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471) There are two altars: an altar for offerings, and an altar for the incense offering. One is without, and one is within. The altar for the incense is within. But why is it called “an altar”? After all, no sacrifices are offered on it?
472) But because it cancelled and prohibited several evil sides, and because the Sitra Achra is imprisoned, he cannot rule or be a prosecutor. This is why it is called “an altar,” since the Sitra Achra was imprisoned and tied to it like an offering. When the Sitra Achra sees the rising smoke of the incense, he surrenders and flees, and cannot approach the tabernacle at all. This is why he was purified and no other mingled with that joy above but the Creator Himself. And because he is so cared for, he does not stand in that altar, but inside, for it is an altar where blessings are found. This is why it is hidden from the eye, for it stands inside.
473) It is written about Aaron, “And he stood between the dead, and between the living, and the plague was stopped,” since he imprisoned the angel of death until he could not rule at all or pass judgment. And wherever the work of the incense is said with intent and with the will of the heart, death does not govern in that place, and he will not be harmed, nor will the rest of the people be able to rule over that place.
474) It is written, “You shall make an altar as a place for burning incense.” Since it writes, “altar,” why is it called “A place for burning incense”? But because fire is taken from this place to light the incense, as did Aaron, as it is written, “Take the pan and place on it fire, over the altar.” Moreover, it is because incense must be burned on the altar and should be sanctified with incense, for it is forbidden to burn incense anywhere but in a pan
475) One who is chased by Din needs this incense, and to repent before his master, since the incense is help to remove the Dinim from him. By that, the Dinim certainly depart from him, if he regularly mentions twice a day, morning and evening, as it is written, “A burnt offering in the morning, in the morning.” It is also written, “At dusk he shall burn it.” This is the perpetual sustenance of the world, as it is written, “A perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations.” It is certainly the keeping of the world below, and the keeping of the world above.
476) In a place that is not mentioned, when they do not say the work of the incense each day, there are Dinim of above on it, many plagues are in it, and other nations govern it, as it is written, “A perpetual incense before the Lord.” It always stands before the Creator, more than all other works. The work of the incense is more respected and favored by the Creator than all the works and desires in the world. And although the prayer is the most important, the work of the incense is more respected and esteemed by the Creator.
477) What is the connection between prayer and the work of the incense? A prayer was established instead of the sacrifices that Israel would do. All those sacrifices that Israel would do are not as important as the incense. Moreover, what is the connection between them? A prayer is a correction, to correct what is needed. Incense does more: it corrects, ties ties—unifications—and makes more light than anything, removing the filth and purifying the tabernacle, and everything illuminates and is corrected and tied together.
478) Hence, the work of the incense should come before the prayer each day, to remove the filth from the world, which is the correction of everything on each day, like a desirable offering that the Creator desires.
479) It is written about Moses, “And the Lord said unto Moses, ‘Take for yourself spices.’” What is the difference that when it is said, “Take for yourself,” of all that He said to him and did not say to him, “Take for yourself.” Indeed, “Take for yourself” means for your own pleasure and use. This is because when a woman is purified, it is the delight of her husband, for the incense purifies the tabernacle, who is Malchut, Moses’ bride, since Moses was a Merkava for ZA. It is written about it, “Take for yourself spices,” to remove the filth, so the woman would be sanctified, meaning Malchut, with her husband, ZA.
480) Similarly, it is written, “Take for yourself a bull-calf,” which was said to Aaron. This also means for your own delight and use, to atone for his sin, for the calf he had caused Israel. This is why it is written in regard to Moses, “Take for yourself,” for your own pleasure and use.
481) The incense ties a tie. It unites, illuminates light, and removes filth, and the letter Dalet becomes the letter Hey for prior to the Zivug with ZA, Malchut is Dalet, for being without Hassadim, she does not illuminate and she is poor. And when ZA mates with her, the Hochma in her dresses in Hassadim and she illuminates in all the perfection and becomes the letter Hey.
The incense unifies a unification of ZA with Malchut, thus causing the Dalet to become Hey. Through it, Hey connects with Vav, ZA. Vav rises and is crowned in the first Hey, Bina, to receive abundance for Malchut. And the first Hey, Bina, shines in the letter Yod, Hochma, to give to ZA, and all raise a desire to Ein Sof, and all—Hochma, Bina, ZA, and Malchut—become Yod–Hey Vav–Hey, one high knot. All this is done by the incense.
482) Henceforth, since everything is tied in that tie, everything was crowned in Ein Sof, and the holy name shone and was crowned on all the sides, and the worlds were all in joy, the candles illuminated, and there were blessings and food in all the worlds. And all came in the incense, for if the filth were not removed by the incense, none of it would be done because everything depends on it.
483) The incense is always first, before everything. This is why the work of the incense should come before a prayer, songs, and praises. It is because all of this does not rise and is not corrected or connected until the filth is removed by the incense. In the beginning, it is written, “And he shall atone for the holy place from the impurity of the children of Israel,” and then it is written, “And from their transgressions to all their sins.” This is why there is a need to atone for the holy place, to remove the filth, and to purify the holy place through the incense, and then songs, praises, and prayer.
484) Happy are Israel in this world and in the next world because they know how to correct the correction of above and below, as the correction from above to below should be corrected, until all is tied together in one tie, in that high tie, the incense, when there is a need to correct in the correction of the inscribed letters in which the Creator is read, HaVaYaH.
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