51. "For I appear in the cloud upon the ark cover" (Vayikra 16:2). Rabbi Yehuda said: Fortunate are the righteous, whom the Holy One, blessed be He, delights to honor. We have learned about a king of flesh and blood, that if someone rides on his horse, he has committed a capital offense. However, the Holy One, blessed be He, placed Elijah on His own, as it is written, "And Elijah went up by a storm of wind into heaven" (II Melachim 2:11) AND IT IS WRITTEN, "HASHEM ANSWERED JOB OUT OF THE STORM" (IYOV 38:1). It is written: here "that he die not: for I appear in the cloud upon the ark cover." The Holy One, blessed be He, brought Moses into the cloud, as it says, "And Moses went into the midst of the cloud" (Shemot 24:18), meaning into the midst of the cloud, DENOTING MALCHUT. IT IS WITHIN THE SAME CLOUD, OF WHICH IT SAYS, "For I appear in the cloud upon the ark cover." This is the meaning of, "And Hashem will create upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion and upon its assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day" (Yeshayah 4:5), "For the cloud of Hashem was upon the tabernacle by day" (Shemot 40:38). ALL THESE CLOUDS HINT AT MALCHUT.
52. We have learned that it is written, "And Hashem descended in the cloud" (Shemot 34:5) and "I appear in the cloud upon the ark cover." We have learned that this is the place, NAMELY MALCHUT, where the Cherubs rested, WHO ARE METATRON AND SANDALPHON, as we learned. The Cherubs were in place by means of a miracle (Heb. nes), MEANING UPON MALCHUT THAT IS CALLED NES. We have learned that three times daily - THE SECRET MEANING OF THE THREE COLUMNS - a miracle (Heb. nes) occurred, MEANING THAT THE SHECHINAH REVEALED HERSELF in their wings. At the moment when the sanctity of the King revealed itself upon them, they raised their wings of their own accord, spread them, and covered over the ark cover. Afterwards, they closed their wings and held them against their bodies, as the verse says, "And the Cherubs shall stretch out their wings on high" (Shemot 25:20). The verse uses the term "stretch out," MEANING AT TIMES THEY WOULD SPREAD AND AT TIMES CLOSE. The verse does not read 'stretched out,' WHICH WOULD BE CORRECT WERE THEY PASSIVE; IN THE SAME WAY, 'overspreading' instead of 'were overspread.' This is WHAT THEY SAID, 'they were erect by means of a miracle and were rejoicing in the Shechinah.'
53. Rabbi Aba said: What does THE VERSE wish to say with the statement, "I appear in the cloud upon the ark cover," WHICH MEANS THE PRIEST SEES THE SHECHINAH? ALSO, in the verse, "Thus (with zot) shall Aaron come," WHICH IS THE SHECHINAH REFERRED TO AS ZOT. Behold, the priest did not see the Shechinah when he entered THE HOLY OF HOLIES. HE ANSWERS: The cloud, WHICH IS THE SHECHINAH, would come down. In coming down, it reached the covering of the ark, the wings of the Cherubs would stir and the Cherubs would strike with their wings and sing a song. FROM THIS, THE PRIEST WOULD REALIZE THAT THE SHECHINAH WAS NOW APPEARING. THIS IS WHAT IS MEANT BY, "I APPEAR IN THE CLOUD UPON THE ARK COVER."
140. As they were going, they stayed in a field and prayed. A fiery cloud descended and surrounded them. Rabbi Shimon said: I believe that the wish of the Holy One, blessed be He, is here. Let us sit down. They sat and discussed words of Torah. He said, "As cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country" (Mishlei 25:25). I examined the words of King Solomon and found that they were said with wisdom.
392. Come and see: At the time Moses ascended the cloud and entered among the holy ANGELS, one angel, by the name Kemuel, came to him in a flame of fire with burning eyes and flaming wings, and wanted to swallow him. Then Moses mentioned one Holy Name which was engraven with twelve letters. He trembled and shook, and Moses was thus able to ascend among them. So happened with each one. Blessed is his lot. We discussed this earlier.