Typescript relating the story of Shelah and her entry into the temple
Typed Document authored by Alex Sanders’.
Lecture on Shelah.
1 In Hebron there was a certain man whose name was Shamiel and he came and sitteth by the well where the women were wont to gather to gossip. And he was a Midrasharach. For he spake unto the people in stories and the women entreated him saying, [“]Tell us therefore O Abomer (Father of Words) of a goodly woman, for all stories are of men that do great deeds and we weary of them and would hear of a woman even as we are, and, pray thee, speak not of queens, for they are not as we.[”]
2 Therefore was Shamiel stirred and he sayeth to them, [“S]urely there is but one that I knoweth and she was greater than all for she was plucked from the doors of death and given a new life that she may serve the people,[”] and Shamiel spoke unto them in these words.
3 In those days cometh a woman whose name was Shelah, a woman who was wise in the ways of men, for they had abused her sorely, for she knew none that would give her hire, nor would a man marry her, because her husband had put her away, for she could bear him no offspring, neither was there any fruit of her womb[.]
4 [S]o she travailed against the world and wandered far between places of rest, and she tarried hither and yonder and hired herself as a maidservant or begged for her food, and, perchance did have occasion to prostitute herself, for she did suffer a great hunger[.]
5 And it came to pass that on a certain day having hungered for many and several days she bathed by the river that flowed out of the desert, for she was of a mind to die, and being cleansed, was wont to lie down that she might die peacefully[.]
6 [A]nd a merchant that was perchance passing saw her and that she was yet fair and his soul went out from him and he loved her, therefore did Shelah come to him and told him wherefrom she cometh, and what had befallen[.] Nor did she hide things from him that had been, nor the things that she had done[.]
7 [A]nd he loved her yet the more, for an honest woman without guile he had never met. Yea, even his wife had deceived him and played the whore in his own house and in the house of his friends. And they had stoned her and cast her out for she was an abomination unto him and unto the Lord[.]
8 And when the merchant did hear the things that Shelah speaketh he straight away fell down and wept for joy that he should thus find her. For happiness had not dwelt with him since he cast out his wife and he had sorrowed three years and ten. For he had not sought a woman to wife[.]
9 And Leban the merchant did call Shelah to him and spake unto her saying “Surely though shalt be my wife, and I shall be thy husband, and in this place shall I build a house, for where I found thee there also was I born again and there I found happiness.[”]
10 And Shelah bade with him and loved him and the vin[e]yards thrice bore fruit, yet she bore him no offspring, for it seemeth that she was barren[.]
11 Yet both she and her husband did follow the law which was of god and of his son and of Ashtoreth the Queen of Heaven, and made fine offerings at the proper seasons yet it availed them nought[.]
12 And it grieved the servants to see their master full sorrow, for without heir his name would pass away as a grain of sand in the desert or as a drop of water that leaveth to [no?] mark[.]
1 But there was one servant that had the understanding of years and that was wise in many things, and seeing his master thus sore stricken, be begged an audience with him and the master saw him and spoke with him[.]
2 [A]nd the servant called Shamish sayeth “Master, come I pray thee and bring thy wife to him that I speaketh to thee of and who may surely be able to show the way to happiness[,] for this man is surely a great Kashshaph and can make a circle and uncover mysteries.”
3 [A]nd Leban spake with Shelah concerning these things and she crieth out saying “Master[,] why concerneth thou with me? Knowest thou not that I would die for thee? Thou hast but to command me, yet thou dost love me so that thou shouldst ask me. Gladly should I go whither thou wouldst send me for such a thing.”
4 So the master and his wife and the servant who was called Shamish did set out upon a journey and they took camels, two for each[,] and donkeys[,] also two for each[,] to carry the food and the water and the tents thereon for it was a far journey[,] and the first day passed away and they saw not that which they sought.
5 [A]nd the second and the third day passeth and they saw not that which th they travelled to find for it was hidden in the fastnesses of the mountains[.]
6 [A]nd they slept and on the morrow they journeyed hence and the donkeys fought and did kick and gnash their teeth for a thirst was heavy upon them because there was no water to be found, and they smelt the water that was in the pitchers that they carried upon their backs and they fought and broke the pitchers of water.
1 And on the fifth day they crossed the desert and drew nigh unto the mou mountain and found there a stream that runneth out of the hills and the donkeys ran and drank thereof and then lay down and gave up the ghost.
2 Now when Shamish saw this thing he was wroth for had t not the donkeys been a burden in the desert and yet when they were needed for traversing the mountain, and food and water were abundant, they lay themselves down and gave up the ghost[.]
3 Therefore did they divide up the burden of the camp that each may carry his allotted share and they toiled and climbed and wound their way upwards[,] one behind the other and Shamish always in the van[,] and thus another day and night passed and this was the sixth day of their journey.
4 Then upon the seventh day against the side of the mountain they beheld a rock like unto a symbol and straight upwards it pointed, even to god and the Baalim of the tribes[.]
5 [A]nd they beheld as they approached it that there were signs and mysteries described thereon and Leban was afeared, for he knew not the meaning of them and only believed in the one YHVH and in his son they called Satan and in the Queen of Heaven whose name was Ashtaroth[.]
6 [F]or he was a Zidonite and had worshipped them only and had poured wine and baked cakes unto the Queen of Heaven as he had been taught by his fathers and as they had been taught by their fathers before them[.]
7 But Shelah feared not, nor did she turn away her head for the signs
held her because she was a woman and woman hath an affinity for these things[,] and she was as one transfixed and a longing grew in her breast that she should be able to interpret these signs and symbols and be born again in the knowledge that these things offered[.]
8 [A]nd the servant Shemish [sic] observed by her face that she was wise and that the journey had not been in vain. So he led them slowly for the path was hard and the way wound slowly round and about and ever upwards[.]
[Pentagram drawn in left margin]
9 [A]nd a cave opened before them[,] nor was the outer room large for a man must stoop to enter therein but the inner place was of greater proportion and seven lamps gave it light and each lamp was large and a hin of oil it took to fill them and each had seven wicks.
10 And upon a wall was a mighty symbol like unto a tree that bore eight fr fruits and each fruit was a gift of god for his name was in the topmost[.]
11 [A]nd as they gazed upon these wonders a man appeared before them, a man garbed from neck to heel in a dark raiment, yet his eyes appeared lit as with strange fires and in his hands he held a black stick that was too short to be a staff and too thin to be a weapon[,] and a girdle of fine silver gathered his skirt and he was alone for none was there with him[.]
12 [A]nd he greeted them each according to his an name and their number for he knew of them and whence they cometh[,] and the reason for their journey told he them and he welcomed them to the mountain of the desert[.]
13 And the number of Shelah was 8 for she was the stronger in mind and Leban had a 4 and the wise servant Shemish [sic] was 3for he had faith and understanding.
14 Therefore was Shelah amazed and called him Baal but the Kashshaph speaketh hard unto her and sayeth “Woman, curb thy tongue, knowest thou not that I am but a man even as thy husband is? Think never to see god in human form nor any that cometh from him for man shall only see him when he has passed through the belly of a worm.[”]
15 Then did Shelah say “Master, what name calleth they thou? Tell me that I may respect thee and offend thee not”[,] and he answered her and said “My name is Horam for I am a teacher of teachers[.]”
16 “In the temple I am the Cohen-He-Gadul for my number is that which gives me great wisdom and ascendancy over the mysteries[,] for I am a 5 and have achieved the silver paths[.”]
1 And Shelah went straight forth into the temple because she was filled with desire and she was forbidden not[,] but Leban and his servant did stay without for they were sore afraid and they entered not into the temple of the Kashshaph Horam but beheld all that transpired there for there was no veil between the rooms nor a door to shut against them.
2 And Shelah sayeth unto him “Master guide me whither I must goest[,] to the place where I might obtain the things needful for my studies that I might yet learn to perceive and use the signs and gain the power that none may say of me nay, nor may yet I refuse them that asketh for a filtre or a spell to stay the plague or give to a woman that which she should desire to fulfill [sic] her role[.]
3 [A]nd she begged him that he should teach her the mysteries for she had known suffering and privation and sickness and she would help others in their travail[.]
4 Therefore did Kashshaph Horam take her aside and removeth her robe and her sandals and sayeth to her “Look[,] here is thy body wherein lies the mysteries[,] and the energy for a body is like the fruit on yonder tree and of the vine whereof if ye eat when it is ripe it shall give thee satisfaction through beauty and sweetness and the fruit shall bear a seed that should be nurtured that it may in turn bear a fruit and be a joy and sweetness in life[.”]
5 [A]nd he laid his hands upon her head and sayeth “[H]ere is thine head that holds the key[,] wherein is stored that sweetness and mystery and energy[,] and through this key the fruit may be made into wine of which thou mayest drink according to thy wish, and thou mayest attain marvellous things depending on thy desire ([N]etsach) or thy knowledge (Hod) or thy luck (Yesod).
6 [“F]or wine like knowledge can give thee joy and sadness, memories or forgetfulness, visions and vio void, strength and weakness, make thee a queen or a beggar that asketh alms. Yea all things and more canst thou find if thou express the grape and ferment it according to the proper way[.]
7 [“F]or to sip the wine thou must learn of the tools wherewith thou shalt do the work and the times between this and that shalt thou wait, for each thing thou doest shall have its own time, but the more wisdom that thou useth, the better the wine and forget not that wisdom, like wine shall improve with age.”
8 And yet again he laid his hands upon her and sayeth “Within thy bosom lieth the spirit and the soul that shall be the place wherefrom a voice shall cry out and tell thee whether thou shouldst ask for the mind to be made the key that will unlock all the mysteries unto thee or yet stay as thou art.”
9 And them [sic] he robed her and stood her at the doorway whence she cometh and sayeth to her “Go and speak with thy husband and afright him not for he understandeth not the things that thou wisheth nor the signs nor the symbols that lead to god[.]
10 [“Y]et shall he indulge thee for he loveth thee and would have that for which thou both did journey for and didst prevail against the desert.”
1 Therefore did Shelah go and spake with her husband concerning these things and sayeth unto him “Behold[,] here shall I find that which we seek and more also shall I find[,] for it is in my heart that I should aid those that seek solace and show them the joy that they should have for I know what they feel that are so oppressed[.]
2 [“]Husband, I say now to thee what thou didst say to me in the place where thou foundest me where thou took me to wife. Sayest thou not that here also shall I be born again and here shall I find the happiness that we both desire. Yea even so shall it be for me in this very place.
3 [“]Therefore, build me, I pray thee, a place wherein I may dwell during my sojourn upon this mountain[,] for I wouldst tarry here a while for the space of my learning until the time is ripe to produce that for which we came[.”]
4 And Leban pitched a tent upon the mountainside for his wife against the time that he should build her a house[.]
5 [A]nd he tarried not but departed hence to find labour worthy of the hire
task before them and he gathered artisans and labourers from near and far and sent them each with his own tools and he spared not[,] for he gave that he might receive[.]
6 [A]nd he sent masons and carpenters that they could bake stones from clay[,] and labourers and servants[,] and commanded them to build a house upon the mountainside and to furnish it according to the desires of his wife that she might have that which was needful, as befits a true student Kahen[.]
7 For she was to be a priestess[,] nor would it be right that she should tir[e] by journeying far to and fro from the temple[.]
8 And they built her a house of stone and of baked clay and of wood that was cut from the mountainside[.]
9 [A]nd a cistern was set and a place for the fire to heat the water that was stored therein for it was not meet that the Tohorah should be taken in cold water alone[.]
10 [A]nd a room within the house was set aside as a small temple wherein she could prac[t]ice [sic] the things that she was taught and wherein she should keep the things that belongeth in a temple that they may be revealed only to those that were worthy[.]
11 And she wandered over the mountains to gather the herbs and the plants and the stones and the sticks that she needed to perform her duties and to make her potions[.]
12 Yea even her servants begged to assist her and they gathered for her a staff and stones and clay with which to make an altar[.]
13 And the weavers wove her cloth[,] yea of the colours of the night was it and of the mysteries and some also of the colour of blood and of fire and of the sun and of the earth and of the snows that lay upon the mountain tops[.]
14 [A]nd she made robes and inscribed them according to the instructions of eht [sic] Kashshaph and the law of the [t]emple. A robe for the first stage of her learning did she make and it was plain for she was to be humble and severe[.]
15 [A]lso a second robe she made that was to be worn after a short space[,] and a final robe also madest she that was fitted for a Cohen to wear and it was circled about with fine threads of silver and a girdle was fashioned to divide the robe the top from the bottom and this also was of silver work[.]
16 [A]nd all the things that she had made and all the things that she had gathered were placed upon the altar of the true temple and dedicated and blessed by the High Priest that they may obtain the power needful for the performance of ritual[.]
1 When Shelah returneth from the temple she found her servants awaiting[,] for they had conversed the one with the other and all with each and they were of a mind to speak with their mistress[.]
2 [A]nd the heads of the servants spoke[,] yea both the man and the woman[,] and sayeth unto her “[W]e would have thee teach us after the manner that thou hast been taught that we may be servants to the godhead in the proper manner and be as thou art, for surely thus can we still serve thee”[,] therefore Shelah loved them even more and wept and kissed them[.]
3 [A]nd when all was ready She<l>ah again approached the Kashshaph and sayeth to him “Master I desire thy teachings for surely have I now proved sincerity. Yea even have I obtained the blessing of he that is my beloved husband.”
4 Therefore did Horam reply “Truly thou seemeth sincere and thy heart goeth out from thee for these things at this time[.]
5 [“]Therefore tarry in thine own house until I call thee[,] for thy mind must settle and be calm for thou shalt have to adjust it to accept the difference between the true laws of god and those of the Ab (heart) and the Shareth of the Hebrews. For where is peace is happiness and where thou findest happiness there also shalt love dwell for they are as the stream and the river and the sea.”
6 Then he put her away for a period, yea 13 <3> days did he command her to be celibate and to eat certain foods for she was to take the Tohorah before she dedicated herself[.]
7 Therefore because it was in her mind she obeyed him and only did the things that were rightful, and she studied and meditated and purified her mind also.
8 And upon the 4th day again she did enter the temple and fell upon her knees before the altar and before the sigil[.]
9 Then Horam entered from the place wherein none may go and Shelah beheld that there were others coming from the fastnesses of the temple and that they were the Kohen and the Kahen of this place[.]
10 [F]or they were vested in the garments of the learned ones and she was afraid for she knew not of them nor that there were any other than Horam within the temple[.]
11 [A]nd they did circle her about, yea to the back and to the sidewards did they encompass her so she was in the midst of them and she felt a certain feeling within her that dried up the water in her mouth that she fe felt choked and her breast beat strongly so that she heard it even in her head[.]
12 [A]nd then Horam looked at her strongly and with a firmness and she knew that god had touched this man[,] and he spake thus “Arise and hear the thing that I tell thee – remember that thou soughtest us and not t us thee[.] Therefore thou must pay need.”
13 [A]nd those that stood about her were the priests and priestesses of the Beyeth-Ha-Ram (Temple of the Height) and they served before the altar of Bemel to reach the father[.]
14 Then Horam spake and sayeth unto her “Thou was well named Shelah for of a surety now shalt thy learning begin. Therefore look at those that standeth here around thee and know their names for each of them shall teach thee and also show thee the things that they wotteth[.”]
15 And Horam took by the hand he that stoodeth on his right hand and sayeth to Shelah “This is my chiefest of priests. He ye shall call Giddel. He cameth far both to learn and to teach for his knowledge was great, having learned from his father who is a servant of Sheloneh the wise, the son of David[,] and he was taken out of the tribe of Nethinim[.]
16 The another stepped forward and was presented in a like manner and he held his hand and sayeth “Behold another priest of a high rank and he is known of [g]od. Therefore is his name Deuel[.]”
17 [A]nd likewise did he present them all and each in his turn did come forward and Horam named them one after the other in like manner[.]
18 [A]nd there was Gaddiel, the Israelite, because he was the fortune of god, and Dibry of the loud voice, and Harory that had forsaken the life of the mountains that he may become a priest of the temple[.]
19 Yea priest and priestess named he them and from the highest to the lowliest missed he none[.]
20 [Y]et did he save his chiefest of priestesses until all had been named.