"The matter is by the decree of the watch-angels and the say of the holy ones"— the sages of the Mfefosofc, may peace be on them, who taught in their Mishnah: "Ten that sit and busy themselves with Torah, the Shechinah dwells amongst them." This is the whole of man. Moreover, (man's) very descent to this world was for the purpose of this ascent, of which there is none higher. For the Indwelling of His Might (shechinat uzo) which is in the heights of the upper realms, and whose dread the heavens and the heavens of the heavens cannot contain, dwells and becomes magnified among the children of Israel. Thus it is written: "For I, the Lord, dwell among (toch) the children of Israel"— through the occupation with Torah and the commandments by ten, expressly, as our sages, of blessed memory, said: "We compare toch-toch.. ." ; of this it was said: "The Holy One in your midst;" and "There is no matter of holiness with less than ten."

Therefore, too, our sages, of blessed memory, need to derive from Scripture whence we know that even one who sits occupied with Torah.., And even so they did not find from Scripture support for that, but only for the allotment of a reward to the individual, proportionate to himself and in proportion to the many. But as to causing an indwelling (hashraah) of G‑d's Holiness, (the individual) cannot be compared to (the multitude) at all.

The difference between causing an indwelling (hashraah) and the allotment of a reward is explicit to those who discern knowledge.

For the "allotment of a reward" is when G‑d irradiates the soul that seeks Him with the light of Torah, which is truly the wrapping of His garment— [wherefore the Torah is called "light" ], as it is written: "He wraps (Himself in) light, as (with) a garment.' But because the soul is limited and finite in all its powers, the light of G‑d that radiates in it is also limited, contracted, and vests itself in (the soul). That is why the heart of those who seek the Lord is in a mode of ecstasy at the time of prayer, or the like. For their heart rejoices in Him and exults "Even with exultation and song," and their soul delights in the pleasantness of the Lord and His light as it becomes revealed from the wrapper of His garment— the Torah; "And His arrow comes forth like lightning." This is the allotment of the reward for Torah, which is always fixed in the soul that labours in (Torah).

The indwelling (hashraah), however, is an immense radiation from the light of G‑d that radiates in (the soul) without limit and end. It cannot become vested in a finite soul, but encompasses it from above, from "its head to its foot," as our sages, of blessed memory, said: "The Shechinah hovers over every gathering of ten," i.e. — over them, from above. Thus it is written: "May the pleasantness of the Lord our G‑d be upon us, and the work of our hands establish upon us." This is to say that the pleasantness of the Lord which shone forth through the work of our hands in the occupation with Torah and the commandments [for "The Torah and the Holy One, blessed is He, are entirely one" ] become established and "Dwell upon us from above"; for it is without limit and end, and does not become vested in our soul and intellect. That is why we do not apprehend with our intellect the delightfulness and sweetness of the unlimited and infinite pleasantness of the Lord, and the splendour of the Shechinah, established and dwelling upon us through the work of our hands in Torah and the commandments (performed) specifically en masse. And of this our sages, of blessed memory, said: "In this world there is no reward for the commandments." For it is impossible for the world to attain it [the reward] but by divesting the soul from the body; and even then by way of grace, as it is written: "Also unto You, O Lord, belongs the mercy, for You render to each according to his work." Thus our sages, of blessed memory, said that the Holy One, blessed is He, gives unto the righteous a capacity.., It is not so, however, with the angels, as I heard from my masters that if there were an angel standing in the presence of a gathering of ten Israelites [even if there are no words of Torah between them], an unlimited and infinite fear and awe would then befall him from the Shechinah that dwells over them that he would become totally nullified.

Therefore, evil in my eyes is the behaviour that takes place under the sun in general, and especially among my brethren and friends that draw near unto the Lord, "drawing near means prayer:" after prayer or before it there is formed a "seat of scoffers," the Merciful save us, as our sages, of blessed memory, said: "Two who sit together, and there are no words of Torah between them...." And if a "seat of scoffers" is formed by ten, over which the Shcchinah dwells, there is no greater insult and shaming of the Shechinah than that, the Merciful save us. And when our sages, of blessed memory, said of him who commits a transgression in secret that "He repulses the feet of the Shechinah," Heaven forfend, he who commits a transgression in public repulses the whole measure of the stature of the Creator, as it were, as our sages, of blessed memory, said: "It is impossible for Me and him.. ," except that "The King is held captive in the tresses..," But woe unto him who repulses the Shechinah when G‑d will raise (the Shcchinah) and say to her: "Awake, arise from the dust ..." ; and "For three things Israel is kept back in exile: because they repulse the Shechinah, and because they shame the Shechinah...", as mentioned in the sacred Zohar.

Therefore, my beloved ones, my brethren and friends: do not commit this great evil and "Give glory unto the Lord your G‑d before it grows dark," i.e.. between Mincha and Maariv, by studying every week-day in groups often the pnimiyut of Torah, i.e. the Aggada contained in the work Ayin Yaakov. For most of the secrets of the Torah are concealed in it, and it atones man's sins, as explained in the writings of R. Isaac Luria, of blessed memory. The revealed parts therein are the ways of G‑d wherein man is to walk, and (enable him) to devise counsels in his soul pertaining to matters of heaven and matters of the world, as is known to all the wise of heart. (They are) also to learn somewhat in Shulchan Aruch-Orach Chayim, the laws that are essential to every person. Of this our sages, of blessed memory, said: "Whoever repeats halachot every day ..,"— referring to the clarified and adjudged rulings that are of practical relevance, as explained in the commentary of Rashi, ad loc.

On the holy Sabbath, towards the time of Mincha, they should occupy themselves with the laws of the Sabbath. For "The law of the Sabbath is important." It is easy for man to stumble in it, Heaven forfend, even in the matter of a prohibition involving extirpation and stoning, because of a lack of knowledge, and "Error in teaching amounts to intentional sin," Heaven forfend. No need to mention (that the same applies to) the rabbinic injunctions which are ever so numerous, and especially with respect to the prohibitions of muktzah, of which there are many; and as our sages, of blessed memory, said: "The words of the Sopherim are more severe than the words of Torah." For whoever transgresses the words of the sages, even but a light injunction of theirs [as, for instance, he who eats before the evening-prayer, and the like] is guilty of death, just as one who transgresses the severe matters of the Torah. And let no individual separate himself from the congregation, even to learn something else; rather, (each one is to participate) in whatever the congregation busies itself with. There is no need to mention that one should not leave if there are not ten without him; to him I apply the verse "And those that leave the Lord shall be consumed...", as our sages, of blessed memory, said with respect to every sacred matter. For there is no holiness as the holiness of the Torah— whereas "The Torah and the Holy One, blessed is He, are entirely one." Thus, whoever separates himself from the community ... But he that will listen to me shall dwell securely, and in his and in our own days Judah shall be saved and Jerusalem shall dwell securely,— amen, may this be (His) will.