The Work of the Merkava and a Prayer

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338) It was said about the eighteen prayer, “One does not study the Merkava alone,” since one who teaches another one, that one is with him, hence they are two in this study. He must not make a sound in his prayer, but rather, as it is written, “Only her lips moved, but her voice could not be heard.” This is the meaning of what is written, “And the foreigner who approaches shall be put to death.” So it is in a prayer: each one prays in a whisper, so his prayer is not heard by his friend. It is about that that it was said, “One does not study.”

It is as one who interprets to his friend, but he wishes to silence the speaking toward him, so it will not be heard. He need only speak in a whisper, and then his friend will not hear. This is why the sages established, “Anyone who speaks aloud in his prayer is of little faith.”

339) For this reason, the animals of fire murmur above as the branches of the tree, which are the ministering angels who would gather there in the delights of groom and bride. In what place? In the unification of the Shema reading, which is a Huppah, where it is written, “And I heard the sound of their wings,” for the lower unification, YAHDONHY, was still not there. This is why they were murmuring, which is sixty-four to the four wings: four animals, each of which consists of four, so they are sixteen animals, and each animal has four wings, and four times sixteen is sixty-four.

Also, the wings are included with one another, and each wing comprises four wings. Therefore, the sixty-four should be multiplied by four, which is 256. This is the meaning of “Ranu [sing (256 in Gematria)] to Jacob with joy.” Once he takes revenge from his enemies and burns their idols, it is written, “And when wicked are lost there is Rina (singing),” which is Ranu in Gematria, with the inclusion.

340) The sixty-four depend on the eight times “then” [AlephZayin] (8), for “then” indicates the eight letters of the unification, YAHDONHY. Thus, sixty-four derived from the eight times AlephZayin [8 in Gematria], if you multiply them to the four sides, they are Ranu [256]. And when he reaches the “heart” [LamedBet] (32), it is “then,” “then,” “then,” “then,” which are eight, eight, eight, eight, adding up to thirty-two. Yod connects to them on each side, to be HetYod HaVaYaH [the Lord lives], where Yesod is called Hay [HetYod], connecting to HaVaYaH in the eighteen blessings of the prayer, in which there are eighteen times HaVaYaH, which add up to seventy-two letters.

At that time, when HaVaYaH connects to ADNI in eighteen worlds, YAHDONHY, through Yesod, called “the one who lives forever,” the animals immediately grow silent. It is so because during the unification they are silent, as it is written about them, “When they stood, they let down their wings.” This means that when Israel stand in prayer, when it is the time of unification, their wings are let down so they are not known until that time, meaning they are silent.

341) This is the meaning of “Only her lips moved,” which are the wings of the animals, “but her voice could not be heard.” The electrum, which was previously murmuring animals of fire, is now silent. This is why they established the prayer in a whisper, and the work of the Merkava is also in a whisper, to speak there in a whisper just to himself.

They established three prayers, and in each there are eighteen times HaVaYaH, which are seventy-two letters in each prayer, in the eighteen signings in the eighteen blessings, and three times seventy-two are 216 letters. They are included in Hesed, which is three times seventy-two, with thirty-two paths of wisdom, which are 250 minus two, which are 248, Hesed. These are included in the middle pillar, Hesed.

342) From the offering we learn about the prayer, and the prayer is learned from the offering. It is written in the prayer, “And I heard the sound of their wings.” So are the cherubim, which are a unification of HaVaYaH ADNI that is done in the offering. It is written, “And he heard the voice speaking to him.” And we learn the prayer from the offering, of which it is written, “The voice speaks,” implying to voice and speech, HaVaYaH ADNI. It is likewise in the prayer: although it is only written, “And I heard the sound of their wings,” and speaking is not mentioned in it, the speaking is included there, too.

As with the ramp of the altar, on which sacrifices and offerings go up and down, in the prayer two angels ascend and two descend. And it is as with Sinai, on which Moses and Aaron ascended and descended. Thus, two ascended and two descended. In this Mitzva of the prayer, all the Mitzvot of the Torah are implied.

The middle line corrects the lines, so the Hesed will illuminate from above downward, and the illumination of Hochma will illuminate from below upward. Hence, the illumination of Hesed is called a “descent,” and the illumination of Hochma, an “ascent.” It is written in the prayer, “And I heard the sound of their wings.” Likewise, it is written about the cherubim, “And he heard the voice speaking.” A voice is illumination of Hassadim de ZA; a speech is illumination of Hochma. We learn one from the other, for in the verse, “And I heard the sound of their wings,” said in the prayer, the speech is included, as in the cherubim. The prayer comprises both illumination of Hassadim and illumination of Hochma.

And as with the ramp of the altar, on which offerings ascend and descend, there was illumination of Hochma in it, ascending, and illumination of Hassadim, descending. Likewise, in the prayer, two angels ascend and two descend. That is, there are two kinds of illumination: through a descent, and through an ascent, Hochma and Hassadim.

All the Mitzvot in the Torah are implied in this Mitzva of the prayer. It is so because all the Mitzvot of the Torah were included in these two lights, since 248 positive Mitzvot [commandments to perform certain actions] are Hassadim, and the 365 negative Mitzvot [commandments to avoid certain actions] are corrections of illumination of Hochma.

343) When Rabbi Akiva began the work of the Merkava, his mouth was Sinai, and his voice was a ladder on which angels were ascending and descending. In each word of his, Angel Matat was riding. He is a vehicle to the Shechina since the Sefirot of the middle pillar, ZA, are included in him, the YodVavDalet HeyAleph VavAlephVav HeyAleph inside, while the Shechina, who consists of ten Sefirot, is outside, on him. Thus, the Creator and His Shechina are a vehicle and a Merkava [chariot/assembly].

The middle pillar is a vehicle to the Cause of Causes, Ein Sof, and His Shechina is a vehicle for the middle pillar. The Cause of Causes, Ein Sof, unites everything and arranges everything, and illuminates in everything. His light passes through a Neshama [soul], Guf [body], and Levush [clothing]. There is no change in Him, nor partnering or calculation, nor an image or a similitude of any Merkava and a vision, and a semblance that are seen by the eyes of the mind. The upper and lower degrees are a vehicle and a Merkava to Him, and there is no one who rides Him.

344) KofShinTav [rainbow] is a sign of Tekiah [slightly longer than Shevarim or Teruah], Shevarim [three connected short sounds], Teruah [nine very short notes divided into three note sequences]. They are a sign of the Merkava of the patriarchs. Tekiah is Abraham, Shevarim is Isaac, and Teruah is Jacob, of whom it is written “And the Teruah of a king is in him.” Three colors are seen in a rainbow: white, red, and green. From the side of GevuraYesod is called “The bows of the mighty men are broken.” From the right side, Hesed, it is called, “As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain.” When it appears on a rainy day, it appears as Rachamim; and when it appears on a day without rain, it appears as Din. And if it is mixed between rain and sun, it shows that Din and Rachamim are included.

This is the Shin of Shadai, indicating the three branches of the patriarchs, HaVaYaH [the Lord] Elokeinu [our God] HaVaYaH [the Lord], three names corresponding to the three branches of the patriarchs, HGT. There are fourteen letters in these three names, as the count of Dai from ShadaiShadai is Yesod de ZA, and the clothing of Shadai is Matat, which is Shadai in Gematria (314).

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