51 The secret of the Lower Garden of Eden.
(51) The secret of the Lower Garden of Eden.
Know that the Lower Garden of Eden was created 1808 years before this lowly world in which we exist. And this world is one sixtieth of the size of the Garden, and the Garden stands on the right side of the Garden of Eden to the South East. And compared to the Garden of Eden our world is like a one day old child in comparison to his mother.
The land of this lowly world is separated by a handsbreadth from the land of the Garden, and the north side of this lowly world is next to the south side of the Garden. And also to the north side of this lowly world is Gehinom, the dwelling place of harmful creatures and angels of destruction. And the form of this lowly world is like the letter 'beis'.
And because it is difficult for both the living and the dead to go to the Garden of Eden because of the fear of the harmful creatures of Gehinom who are located on the north side of the world, Hashem’s wisdom decreed the making of an underground tunnel from the Cave of Machpelah which is in Chevron to a place outside of this lowly world next to the Garden, in order that the souls of the Tzaddikim can go there directly without encountering any harmful creatures.
Adam and Chavah (Eve) knew this secret and therefore they endeavored to be buried there, and after they were buried there the mouth of the cave was sealed so that no one would know about the specialness of the place.
But on the day that Avrohom went with his son Yishmael to take three bulls from his herd, the angel Refael, on a mission from Hashem, secretly followed him, and after Avrohom took two bulls and gave them to the lad to take home, Refael appeared before him in the guise of a very superior looking bull (this is alluded to by the name פר אל - רפאל - an superior bull), and thus this was the third bull that Avrhom planned to take. But when Avrohom tried to take it, the bull evaded him and ran a little way off.
This process repeated itself until it brought him to the entrance of the Cave of Machpelah and the entrance of the cave opened. When he saw Adam and Chavah buried there and smelled the fragrance of the Garden of Eden, he immediately understood the specialness of the place and desired that his burial should be there.
The bull now delivered himself into the hands of Avrohom, but when he reached his tent he only found two bulls, and so Avrohom had to create a third bull using the Sefer Yetzirah in order not to cause distress to his guests, because if he returned to the herd to take a third bull the time when it is fitting to eat would have passed. This is what the posuk in Bereishis 18:8 means “and he took…the young bull which he had made” - which he had actually made.
And know that the cave is like a courtyard (חצר) of the Garden of Eden, and this is why the posuk in Bereishuis 23:16 says “עובר לסחר”, because לסחר has the same gematria as אורח לגן - way to the Garden, and the same gematria as חצר, because the Cave is the courtyard of the Garden of Eden.