The Wheels of the Holy Merkava [Chariot/Assembly

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40) We open our eyes and see the wheels of the holy Merkava traveling in their journeys, and the sound of singing, sweet to the ears, to Bina, and beautiful for the heart, Malchut, rising and falling and walking, and not traveling. A thousand thousands are startled, meaning the order of extension of Hochma. And because it extends through the left line, where there are Dinim, it is considered that they startle.

The Sefirot of Hochma are in thousands. When they mingle with one another they become a thousand thousands. And ten thousand ten thousands are Hassadim, whose origin is Atik, whose numerals are ten thousand. And they begin with the song of Hochma from below upwards.

Bina is the Merkava. Her wheels are the three lines, HGT, and the fourth wheel is Malchut from the Chazeh up, which receives from them. When the wheels are included in one another, each of them contains three lines, which are twelve. Through these lines, the high king, Hochma, rides in his MerkavaBina. Also, journeying means illumination of the lines one at a time, in the order of the elicitation of HolamShuruk, and Hirik.

And when they obtain illumination of Hochma, called “opening of the eyes,” through the four wheels of BinaHGT, and Malchut, and Hochma is obtained only by journeying from line to line in the three points—HolamShurukHirik—the sound of singing is heard. This is illumination of Hochma for the ears, which are Bina, primarily through the middle line, Tifferet, called “voice.” And it is imparted from him, from the heart, to Malchut.

And when the heart, Malchut, receives illumination of Hochma, imparted only from below upwards, she rises. And she descends when she receives the light of Hassadim that is imparted from above downwards. The journey is illumination of the three lines one at a time, and so on and so forth. However, there is no journeying in Malchut because she receives only from the journeying of the three lines, since she does not partake with the three lines in the act of illumination but only receives from them. And singing, Hochma, does not travel with them, and they begin with the song of Hochma from below upwards because the singing, Hochma, does not shine from above downwards.

41) To the sound of that tune from the journeying of the wheels, those who stand, stand and gather into one group on the right side, 450,000 with eyes, who see and who do not see. And they are in all their lines. The two other sides, left and middle, are whitened for them. This means that their Dinim [judgments], which are red, are removed because they receive Hassadim from the right line. Also, there are 250,000 to the left side.

Each line contains five SefirotHGT NH. And since they are from Bina, whose numerals are hundreds, they are five hundred. They divide at the place of the Chazeh: two and a half Sefirot are 250, Hesed and Gevura and half of Tifferet from the Chazeh upwards. And two and a half Sefirot—half of the bottom Tifferet and Netzah and Hod—are 250 from the Chazeh down. And since the illumination of the right line is primarily Hassadim, she shines from the Chazeh down, as well, through half of the bottom SefiraHod.

This is so because being Malchut, whose HGT NH are KHB TM, she shines only from below upwards, from the Chazeh upwards. Hence, the illumination of the right line takes up four and a half SefirotHGTNetzah, and half of Hod, which are 450. However, the illumination of the left line does not shine from above downwards whatsoever, but only from below upwards, from the Chazeh and above. It turns out that she shines with only two and a half SefirotHesed and Gevura and half of Tifferet, which are only 250.

450 shine to the right side. Because they are primarily light of Hassadim, they shine from above downwards through half of the Sefira of Hod, too, which are four Sefirot HGT and Netzah, and half of the Sefira Hod, through the Chazeh. And since they are from Bina, whose Sefirot are hundreds, they are 450. And since they extend the Hochma to the left line, and the Sefira of Hochma is thousands, they are 450,000. This is also why they are called “light of the eyes,” since Hochma is called “eyes.”

However, even though they impart Hochma to the left line, the right itself does not receive Hochma. This is why they see and they do not see, since both discernments are observed in them. Because they bestow Hochma upon the left, they are considered seeing, for seeing is Hochma. And because they do not receive Hochma for themselves, since they are in a state of delighting in mercy, they are regarded as not having Hochma in them, but Hassadim.

Also, it is known that the Hochma in the two lines, left and middle, dresses in the Hassadim of the right, and the two other sides are whitened because of them, since they receive the Hassadim from this right. Thus, the redness, meaning Dinim in them, is removed and they become white.

There are 250,000 to the left, since the left line, which is primarily where Hochma shines, illuminates only from below upwards, meaning two and a half Sefirot from the Chazeh up, which are Hesed and Gevura and half of the upper Tifferet. Since they extend from Bina’s left, whose Sefirot are hundreds, and since they are in the light of Hochma, whose Sefirot are thousands, they are 250,000.

42) 250,000 weepers sob and wail from the places where they dwell, from their origins. They begin with Din and end with Din. They sob a second time and the Din appears, and the books are open, to observe the Dinim in them. At that time, the litigant rises; he would rise against them and sit at the judgment throne, and the singing would be silenced before the sentence was completed.

Here The Zohar wishes to explain two different states that occur in each of the three lines:

  • The first state is at the place where it originally exits, where each line acts according to its degree to extend Hochma.
  • The second state is not at the place of its exit, where each line acts to increase the Hassadim and leaves the act of extension of Hochma. It begins with the left line because this is the prime operator in extending Hochma, meaning it acts at the point of Shuruk.

Extension of Hochma is called “singing.” This applies only in the joining of all three lines. However, extension of Hochma in the left line only is sometimes called “wailing,” since the Hochma is without Hassadim in it, and Hochma is intolerable when it is not clothed in Hassadim. Because of this Din, all those who receive from him, meaning 250,000, sob and wail. And there is another Din—the Din of the Masach de Hirik.

There are 250,000 who sob. They extend from the left line and their illumination of Hochma is called “sobbing.” From the places where they dwell, from their origin, they begin with Din and they conclude with Din, since in the first act in the place from which they exit, they begin with extension of Hochma in Din, for lack of clothing of Hassadim. And until they complete wanting to extend Hochma they are in that Din, as it was written that they sob a second time, in the second act, to extend Hochma. Then the Din appears and the books open since the other Din, of Masach de Hirik, appears. Also, it is the carrier of the quality of Din in Malchut, for which the Hochma departs.

At that time, when the litigant stands over them, ZA that carries the Masach de Hirik rises and sits on the throne, meaning Malchut of the quality of Din that removes the light of Hochma, and hence the singing ceases. This is because the light of Hochma, called “singing,” stops shining before the Din ends, since they could not conclude the act of extending Hochma, which extends in the first Din, called “sobbing,” since the Hochma had already departed because of the second Din, which appeared in the Masach de Hirik.

And because of the Masach de Hirik, which ZA, the middle line, reveals, it is called by three appellations:

  1. Before the upper light mated on the Masach de Hirik, it was called “litigant,” for then it only increases Dinim.
  2. After the upper light mated on the Masach de Hirik, at his Yesod, which is called “He that lives forever.” At that time, it extends the light of Hassadim from the right line and clothes the Hochma in the left line with them, and then illumination of Hochma extends once more. And since it was clothed in Hassadim, it shines in completeness without Dinim, and then ZA is called “Patron,” protecting the Hochma so it can shine without Dinim.
  3. After it intensifies to extend the thirteen qualities of Rachamim from Dikna de AAZA is called Saba, the bride’s patron. Saba is named after AA. He is called “the patron of the bride” because he is all Rachamim without any Din. This is so because then he draws plentiful Hassadim from Holy Atik, who is all Rachamim, and since these Hassadim are preferable to Hochma, since Atik is above AA, from whom comes Hochma, the Hochma, too, extends to them by itself. It turns out that he is the patron of the bride because he protects both the proliferation of Hochma and the proliferation of Hassadim.

43) Here he explains the two operations on the right line. They surround those with eyes from the right side, with whom there are eighteen thousand other ones, meaning the Masach de Hirik at Yesod de ZA, called “lives,” which is eighteen in Gematria. And since it causes the extension of Hassadim, within which shines Hochma, it is called “thousands.” Extension of Hassadim is called “blowing,” a simple voice. Then those who receive Hochma from the right line neither sob nor wail.

They begin with singing, meaning drawing out of Hochma, and 250,000 startle, referring to those who sob. The 250,000 on the left line, too, are called “those who sob,” and now they, too, receive illumination of Hochma. Although the sobbing and wailing has already stopped, they are still startled by the dread of the Din that happened to them before they received the Hassadim from the right line.

44) He blew and extended Hassadim a second time, in the second act in the right line, where there is no sobbing. The patron, ZA, journeys from that throne of Din during the disclosure of Hassadim in the Masach and sits at the throne of Rachamim to extend abundant Hassadim. At that time, ZA mentions the great, sublime, Holy Name, which is HaVaYaH with the filling of MA, Yod-He-Vav-He, for life for all extends through that name.

45) Here he explains the two operations in the middle line. He started and said, “ZA is the middle line once—Yod-He-Vav-He—where Yod-He-Vav are the three lines—right, left, and middle—that are included in ZA. The last He is the Nukva, which receives from them, as it is written, “And called upon the name of the Lord.” As in the beginning, they start with those with the holy wheels in the Merkava [chariot/assembly]. Also, a thousand thousands, which is Hochma, and ten thousand ten thousands, being Hassadim, clothe them and sing, praising the angels and saying, “Blessed be the glory of the Lord from the place of His dwelling,” meaning that Divinity will be blessed by ZA and receive Hochma clothed in Hassadim from him.

46) Then comes that garden, Divinity, which is hidden in the 250 worlds above the Chazeh de ZA, where there are two Sefirot, Hesed and Gevura de ZA, and half of the Sefira of Tifferet de ZA, which are hundreds since they extend from Bina, and they are 250. Also, they are called “worlds” because the Hochma in them is clothed and concealed in Hassadim. This is the precious Divinity in the glow of her Hochma, which emerges from the glow of Hochma and clothes and conceals in the glow of Hassadim. And the glow extends from her to the four directions, HG TM, which are the four heads, to keep them with the Mochin, as it was written that from there he would separate and become four heads. And the glow extended from her to all the lower ones, and she is the one called “Garden of Eden.”

And when he says that she is hidden in 250 worlds, meaning above Chazeh de ZA, it is because this is not her real place, for she begins only from Chazeh de ZA downwards. However, to be able to receive Hochma, she rose above the Chazeh and should therefore be hidden there so that the outer ones will not slander her, since it was impossible for her to receive Hochma at that time. This explains the first operation in the middle line, which is to extend Hochma.

47) Saba starting again means that after ZA rose to AA, he is called Saba, like him. This is the second act of the middle line, ZA, both for extending Hochma, and for extending Hassadim. He mentions his name, YodHeVavHe, and everyone start by extending Hochma from the thirteen qualities of Rachamim, which extend at that time from the thirteen corrections in Dikna de AA.

Who saw all those lights, the highest of high, the fiercest of fierce, from among the holy Merkavot [plural of Merkava]? The heavens and all their hosts are startled and shake in great dread, and they praise the Holy Name and say songs. Happy are the souls of the righteous, for they are in that subtleness and they know it, as it is written, “Who would not fear You, O king of the nations? For it befits You.”

48) When Divinity came down to Egypt, another animal from the four animals of the Merkava came down, and its name was Israel, in the shape of that SabaZA. And forty-two holy servants were with it, forty-two angels. Each of them had a holy sign with him, from the Holy Name MemBet [forty-two]. These angels that serve the animal, whose name is “Israel,” are called, “the sons of Israel,” they extend from the name MemBet, and they are the GAR in that animal.

And all of them came down to Egypt with Jacob, as it is written, “These are the names of the sons of Israel who come into Egypt with Jacob.” First it said, “The sons of Israel” and then it said, “With Jacob.” It does not say, “With him.” Rather, the name “Israel” is not the name of Jacob but of the upper animal in the Masach, whose name is “Israel,” and the sons of Israel are its forty-two servants.

49) The sons of Israel are the forty-two holy angels. Thus, why does he say, “They came each man with his household”? After all, there is no household in angels. However, the high angels are higher than the lower ones among them, as it is written, “They came each man with his household,” where the upper angel is called “man” and the one below it is called “his household.” And all those angels in the upper degree are called “male men,” and those in the degree below them are called “females” and “home,” since a woman, female, receives from the male and she is like a house to him.

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