The Palace of Merit, Gevura

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594) The fourth palace is called “merit,” and the Creator’s governance in the earth is known by it. This is the one that is poised to keep the ways of Torah. All the Dinim of the world are judged in it, and all the merits are in it, as well as all the demerits, punishments, and all the good reward for those who keep the Mitzvot of the Torah.

595) The palace of merit is different from all other palaces. Four palaces are included in it, which are different from one another, and they are all one. In this palace, there is a spirit, Zechut El [Merit of God], and the palace is named after it, Zechut [merit]. Also, this is El, for here all the Dinim of the world are judged, as it is written, “God has indignation every day.”

596) The four palaces included in the palace of merit have doors. A high appointee, Sansania, stands outside the first door of that palace, and over him is another appointee, to the left, taking Dinim from Sansania to his palace to awaken and to make Dinim in the world. And because he takes from him, he, too, is called Sansania. He governs that spirit, Askara, of the infants.

597) When the superior appointee, Sansania, who stands outside the first door in that palace, receives a Din, he declares to all the appointees that stand in the 12 doors of this palace, and they are the heralds who declare all those Dinim that are judged in that palace of merit.

598) The spirit that takes everything, and which is called Zechut El, everything is included in him, 70 sparkling lights come out of him, all standing in a circle, to be seen, and to not cover one another. All the merits, all the punishments, and all the Dinim stand before all those lights.

599) Two lights come out of the 70 lights, always standing before the 70 lights. The 70 lights and the two lights that stand before them are inside, in the middle of the palace. In that palace, the demerits and merits merge.

600) Corresponding to these 72 lights, 72 other ones come out from the right side, and 72 other ones from the left side. The first, inner 72, are inside, in the middle of the palace. All the merits and all the demerits come to be purified before the inner lights. All the deeds in the world come from those 72 inner lights. It follows that all the lights that come from the upper spirit Zechut El, are 216 lights, for three times 72 is 216, and they are all included in that spirit.

601) Two lights that stand before the 70 always testify a testimony and write verdicts of merit or demerit. Those 70 sentence sentences and judge judgments, and all the judgments in the world are here, for better and for worse.

602) The three letters YodHeyVav are inscribed in the spirit, Zechut El, clinging to it from above. When those letters cling to that place of Dvekut [adhesion] of male in female—since YodHeyVav are HGT, and they are male, and Zechut El is female—then those letters are inscribed in the spirit, Zechut El. Here David says, “And my God the rock of my refuge.” Elohay [My God] has the letters of El YodHeyVav, which is the spirit, El. The letters inscribed in it are called YodHeyVav. Those are three sides of the lights, three times 72 on the right, left, and middle, where right and left are YodHey, and the middle, inner one is Vav.

603) Afterwards, one light comes out and illuminates to four sides. This light elicits three other lights, which are the three courthouses. The first 72 lights are for soul sentences, and the three courthouses are for other things, which are not soul sentences. Accordingly, it follows that those three courthouses are the two external 72 on the right and on the left. These three courthouses divide from the inner 72 to sentence the matters of the world in wealth, poverty, disease, and in complete health.

It is so because those four palaces are set up for all those other Dinim, as well. Two palaces are to the two other sides of the light, meaning the two 72 on the right and on the left, which are three courthouses that sentence other sentences. There is one palace for all those with eyes, who calculate all the deeds of the world, even soul sentences, which is the middle, inner 72, and there is one palace for other counters, who are under those first, internal ones. Those four palaces are included in the palace of merit.

604) At each of those palaces is an appointee. In the first door is an appointee, Gazriel, appointed over the Dinim that were judged and sentenced, to disclose them to the first appointee, Sansania, who stands outside that door. The other appointee, who stands on the palace of the Sitra Achra, takes from him and stands on the disease, diabetes, in children.

605) The appointee, Gazriel, takes the matter that the inner courthouse sentenced and informs the appointee Sansania, who is outside the door, and all those heralds declare and say through all the firmaments, “So and so was decreed from the King’s house,” until they take the matter in the third palace, below. From there they go out and declare the matter until it is heard through all the lower firmaments, and they come down and notify the matter to everyone below.

606) All the lower ones take the matter from degree to degree. Even the fowl of the sky and the fowl of the earth take the matter and notify in the world, until all those evokers of Din and judgment take the matter and appear to people in a dream. And the matter comes for the near time.

607) Sometimes, when the matter should be known to the kings of the earth, the appointees on nourishing and leading nations notify the matter down to the firmament in which there is the sun below. The matter stands there until the appointees of the sun, appointed over the sun, take the matter and notify the upper appointees in the Sitra Achra, and they notify the matter to the kings of the earth, who are on their side.

608) When there were prophets in Israel, they would take their prophecy from the two upper pillars, NH, to which the Torah, ZA, is adjacent. After the prophets departed from the world and visionaries and dreamers arrived, they would take the matter from its place. When there were kings in Israel and the prophets departed, and the dreamers and visionaries were not present, those kings would be notified of the matter from the first door in that palace.

609) How do the kings of Israel take the matter from that high place? Each degree and each door have certain appointees above, appointed in all those firmaments until they descend to the lower firmaments and notify the matter to those they should. It is so because out of those palaces—which are on the side of Kedusha and faith—degrees depart downward, all in faith, and degrees descend until they flourish in this world and are appointed in it.

610) Some appointees are to keep people from the Sitra Achra, from the harms of the world and in the ways they go, to help people when they come to be purified, to make tokens and miracles in the world. Some of them are poised to examine people’s actions, to testify a testimony above. Also, several degrees separate into their Behinot, and it is all in the upper faith, upper Kedusha.

611) It is likewise, in the Sitra Achra, the side of Tuma’a: degrees part from the palaces of Tuma’a downward. All are degrees to harm, to deflect the world, to stray people from the good way to a bad way, to defile those people who have come to be defiled. A person who comes to be defiled is defiled in this world and defiled in that world. They are also called “boiling feces,” as it is written, “You shall say to it, ‘Get out!’” Those degrees are poised to defile most, which is why they are always before those who come to be defiled.

612) In the second door, to the right, Dahariel is appointed on letting in all the merits with which people have been rewarded so the person will be sentenced favorably for them. When the merits are more than the iniquities, the appointee, Dahariel, is appointed over the reward and the portion of those merits and their good reward.

613) He executes the judgment favorably, and appoints the appointee Pdiel, in the third palace, telling him, “Redeem him from going to the pit.” This is because when a person is on the deathbed, caught in the King’s prison, the person is sentenced, and all the merits and demerits he had done in this world enter that palace to be tried there.

614) When he is sentenced favorably, his favorable sentence comes out through that door, to the right of the appointee, Dahariel, who stands at that door. His good sentence is announced until he is saved and healed from his sickness, and the judgment comes down through all the appointees, who are degrees that are known as good below, degrees by degrees until reaching the person in this world. And everything, for better or for worse, a person is judged from the King’s house.

615) In the third door, to the left, is the appointee Gdiel, letting in all the transgressions and all the ills that a person followed in this world, and lowering them down to the scale to weigh them with those merits that were let in by the appointee Dahariel.

616) If those scales stand at the fourth door, and merits and sins are weighed together there, whomever wins has appointees from that side. If the merits win, several appointees on the right side take the Din and remove ills and sicknesses from that person until he is saved. If the transgressions win, he has several appointees on the left side until the Sitra Achra takes the matter and all those who evoke Din and law, until his fortune wanes. At that time that side comes down and takes his soul. Happy are the righteous in this world and in the next world.

617) In the fourth door stands the appointee Moznia, the Moznaim [scales] that takes merits and demerits, and in which they are all weighed together. He is called “scales of justice,” and all are weighed to be tried by it.

618) There are two appointees under the appointee Moznia. To the right is Hariel, and to the left is Gdudiel. When merits and demerits are weighed, the one on the right sentences to the right, and the one on the left sentences to the left, and all are included in the spirit called Zechut El.

619) When all are included in Zechut El, he brings out one flaming animal, Tumiel, which is poised to watch over in the world, inside the eyes of the Lord that walk and roam the world. The eyes of the Lord take Providence from good deeds that were done in hiding, noticing those deeds that are in wholeheartedness, even if they were not done properly.

620) This animal is poised to watch over the prayers because all the requests that people ask in their prayers stand in its hands, and it places them in that palace. Those requests stand in that palace up to 40 days to be watched over.

621) Every 40 days, that animal comes out and takes all the prayers, placing them before 72 lights, and they are sentenced. Then the spirit Zechut El, examines them—whether the person is innocent or not innocent. If he is innocent, that prayer comes out, that request rolls, and 12 appointees come out with it, each demanding of the spirit for the prayer to be granted. Thus, by them, it is granted.

622) Four seraphim blaze under the animal—Seraphel, Brakiel, Krishiael, and Kdumia—to the four directions. They are appointed on keeping those who observe the Sabbath day and properly delight the Sabbath.

623) When those four seraphim travel, sparks of fire come out of them, and 72 wheels are made out of those sparks, blazing with fire. From here the river of fire is made. A thousand thousands will tend to that river. The four appointed seraphim observe all who delight the Sabbath, the animal, Tumiel, stands over them, and they travel through it, under it.

624) Each day, the river of fire extends and burns spirits and rulers. When the Sabbath comes, a herald comes out, the river of fire calms, and the storms, flickers, and glimmers calm. That animal goes and rises above those four seraphim, entering the middle of the palace in the place called “delight.”

625) All the tables of all the people in the world, who are called “the King’s children,” are set there in the place of delight when the Sabbath begins. A thousand thousands and ten thousand ten thousands stand by these tables, and this animal, which is superior to the four seraphim, enters that place, sees all those tables, and looks at each table—how each table is delighted. It stands and blesses that table, and all those thousand thousands and ten thousand ten thousands begin and say, “Amen.”

626) It blesses over the table, which is properly blessed and delighted, as it is written, “Then you shall delight in the Lord … for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” They all say, “Then shall you call and the Lord will answer.” And when the table is delighted on all three meals, the superior spirit, called Zechut El, finishes with the last meal and says about the first, “Then shall your light break forth as the dawn … the glory of the Lord shall be your reward.” All those 70 other lights on all three sides start and say, “Behold, a man who fears the Lord shall be blessed.”

627) When a person’s table is not present in that place, called “delight,” in a setting of delight as it should be, that animal and those four seraphim under it, and all those thousand thousands and ten thousand ten thousands push him outside, to the Sitra Achra. Then several evokers of Din and law take and put him in a place that is the opposite of the letters Oneg [pleasure/delight], and which is called Nega [affliction]. When he is put in there, they say, “He loves cursing and it came to him, and he does not desire blessing, and it turns away from him.” “Let the creditor root out all that he has; and let strangers loot his labor. Let there be none to extend kindness to him.”

628) Because the Sabbath delight is faith in the Creator, which is the delight of Divinity, who is called “faith,” those four seraphim who stand under the animal are opposite the river of fire. They do not leave all who delight the Sabbath, special times, and occasions properly, to be burned in it.

629) Under those four seraphim are other appointees who are standing outside, convened on the side of that palace, and declaring all the judgments and all the decrees that were sentenced in that palace.

630) Everything is judged here except three things that the palace of merit was not permitted to judge. Those are sons, life, and nourishment. This is because those three are not here, since they depend on luck, since the river that stretches out is Yesod de ZA, whose root is from Dikna de AA, on which life above depends, on which nourishment depends, and on which sons depend. It is so because those three come out of there, drip down, and extend downward. This is why everything is found in this palace except for those three.

631) When a person is on the deathbed, he is sentenced here, and so are the rest of the judgments in the world. But if a man on the deathbed is sentenced to life, it is given to him. So how can we say that sons, life, and nourishment do not depend on here? However, this does not mean that life depends on here, but that when he is sentenced to life here, life extends from above, from the luck, and is given to him. Happy are the righteous who know the ways of Torah and are rewarded by it with eternal life. It is written about them, “And you people are all righteous; they shall forever inherit the land.”

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