For I Will Appear in the Cloud upon the Ark-Cover

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51) Happy are the righteous, whose honor the Creator desires. If a person rides the horse of a flesh-and-blood king, he is punishable by death. But the Creator had Elijah ride His, as it is written, “And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” It is also written, “And the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind.”

It is written about Aaron, “And he will not die, for I appear in the cloud upon the ark-cover.” Also, the Creator let Moses into the cloud, as it is written, “And Moses entered the midst of the cloud,” which is Malchut, the same cloud of which it is written, “For I appear in the cloud upon the ark-cover.” It is also written, “And the Lord will create over the whole habitation of mount Zion, and over her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day,” and it is written, “For the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day.” All these clouds imply Malchut.

52) It is written, “And the Lord came down in a cloud,” and it is written, “For I appear in the cloud upon the ark-cover.” The cloud is the place, Malchut, where the cherubim would be, meaning Matat and Sandalfon. The cherubim were seated on a throne, on Malchut, and three times a day, which are three lines, a miracle occurred: the Shechina appeared in their wings.

When the holiness of the king appeared on them, they raised their wings by themselves and spread them, covering the ark-cover. Then they fold their wings and grip with their bodies, as it is written, “And the cherubim shall spread out their wings on high.” Spreading out their wings means that once they would spread, and once they would fold.

53) It is written, “For I appear in the cloud upon the ark-cover.” This means that the priest sees the Shechina. It is written, “By this,” by the Shechina, “Aaron will come.” But the priest did not see the Shechina when he would enter the Holy of Holies.

Rather, the cloud, the Shechina, would come down. And when it comes down and reaches the ark-cover, the wings of the cherubim awaken and they flap their wings and sing. This is how the priest knew that the Shechina was seen here. It is written about that, “For I appear in the cloud upon the ark-cover.”

54) When they flapped their wings they would sing, “For great is the Lord and highly to be praised; He is terrible over all gods.” He is the right line, Hesed, called “great.” And when they spread their wings they would say, “For all the gods of the nations are idols, and the Lord has made heaven.” He is the left line that subdues the whole of the Sitra Achra. And when they would cover the ark-cover they would say, “Before the Lord, for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.” He is the middle line, Tifferet, called “sentence” [or “judgment”].

55) The priest in the Temple would here their voices, and then he would place the incense in its place and intend with what he intended so that all will be blessed. And the wings of the cherubim would go up and down, and they would sing and cover the ark-cover, then raise them. It is written about it, “Covering the ark-cover with their wings.” It is precisely so, covering. And how do we know that their voices were heard? It is written in Ezekiel, “And I heard the sound of their wings.”

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