172. "And he made the Efod of gold" (Shemot 39:2), this was already explained. Rabbi Yosi said: The Efod (Eng. 'priestly garment') and the breastplate were as one. FOR THE EFOD IS THE SECRET OF MALCHUT, AND THE BREASTPLATE IS ZEIR ANPIN. It was established that in a place that maintains, NAMELY, WHERE THERE ARE WHOLE MOCHIN, are found the twelve stones, with the names of the children of Yisrael upon them. And they are the twelve high borders, NAMELY, THE TWELVE COMBINATIONS OF YUD HEI VAV HEI, THE SECRET OF CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET AND MALCHUT EACH INCLUDING THREE COLUMNS, TWELVE ALTOGETHER. All of them are in the secret of the tribes of Yisrael. FOR THE TWELVE TRIBES OF YISRAEL ARE ALSO IN THE SECRET OF THE TWELVE COMBINATIONS OF YUD HEI VAV HEI, TRANSMITTED TO MALCHUT.
174. Rabbi Chiya said: 'Tribes' is written twice, "...THE TRIBES, THE TRIBES OF YAH." "There went the tribes" refers to the tribes below IN MALCHUT. "The tribes of Yah" are the tribes above IN ZEIR ANPIN. "A testimony of Yisrael" is the secret of the supernal Holy Name, YAH, called 'testimony', as it is said: "and My testimony that I shall teach them" (Tehilim 132:12). THEREFORE, THERE ARE THE NAMES OF THE TWELVE TRIBES IN THE BREASTPLATE, THE COUNTERPART OF ZEIR ANPIN, AND THERE ARE THE NAMES OF THE TWELVE TRIBES IN THE EFOD, THE COUNTERPART OF MALCHUT. The twelve supernal holy tribes IN ZEIR ANPIN are the twelve holy stones IN THE BREASTPLATE. They are therefore IN THE BREASTPLATE below, as the ones above, and the names of the twelve tribes are engraved upon the stones, carried by the High Priest.
179. Come and see: When the High Priest wore these twelve stones on the breastplate and on the Efod, the Shechinah dwelt upon him. The names of all the tribes were engraved upon the twelve stones. Each tribe was engraved upon one stone, and the letters were set in the stones. When the stones shone, the letters stood out and illuminated whatever was to be illuminated.
184. He said to him: Surely it is so. Thus, the breastplate and the Efod correspond to Urim and Tumim. This is a secret of Tefilin and the knot of Tefilin, that correspond to these two. He opened the discussion and said: "And you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen" (Shemot 33:23). "And you shall see My back"; we learned that the Holy One, blessed be He showed Moses the knot of Tefilin. "My face" are the Tefilin themselves. HE EXPLAINS: "My face" are Tefilin, the high secret, the Holy Name. "My back," is the secret of the knot of Tefilin. It is known among the friends that TEFILIN are the shining mirror, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN, and this, THE KNOT OF TEFILIN, is the mirror which does not shine, WHICH IS MALCHUT.
185. Correspondingly, these are Urim for they shine (Heb. meirim) with their utterances, NAMELY, ZEIR ANPIN, THE SHINING MIRROR. And these are Tumim so called for completing with their utterances, NAMELY MALCHUT, SHINING BY THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH IN THE SECRET OF "AND YOU SHALL SEE MY BACK," WHERE ALL PERFECTION LIES. URIM ARE the face, and TUMIM ARE the back. This is the secret of sound and speech. Sound, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN shines upon the speech, WHICH IS MALCHUT, so it may speak. For the speech completes the word, NAMELY, THE VOICE IS THE MAIN AND SUBSTANTIAL PART, AND THE SPEECH COMPLETES IT. They always rise together, and never separate, FOR YOU CAN NEVER SEPARATE SOUND AND SPEECH. Hence, the breastplate and the Efod, the one is the face and the other the back, and all pertain to the same principle with no separation whatsoever, LIKE SOUND AND SPEECH.
186. He said to him: If this is so, THAT THE BREASTPLATE AND THE EFOD never separate, and whoever separates them, it is said about him that he "separates close friends" (Mishlei 16:28), FOR THEY ALLUDE TO ZEIR ANPIN AND MALCHUT AS MENTIONED, THEN how do you explain the verse, "And it came to pass, when Aviathar, the son of Achimelech, fled to David to Ke'ila, that he came down with an Efod in his hands" (I Shmuel 23:6), yet the breastplate is not mentioned. IT APPEARS AS IF HE SEPARATED THEM.
187. He said to him: Assuredly this is so. All that is more significant is hidden and stored, it is not mentioned too much. In the same manner it is written, "that did wear a linen Efod" (I Shmuel 22:18), AND THE BREASTPLATE IS NOT MENTIONED DUE TO ITS IMPORTANCE. What is revealed is mentioned so as to cover what is hidden and concealed. Therefore that which is the more revealed, THE EFOD is mentioned.
196. "And they bound the breastplate by its rings to the rings of the Efod with a lace of blue" (Shemot 39:21). HE ASKS: Why "with a lace of blue"? AND HE ANSWERS: To show that this blue, THE JUDGMENT PART OF MALCHUT, BOUND WITH CHESED, is connected to all. Therefore, all is in the high secret, THE BLUE TYING THE BREASTPLATE, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN, TO THE EFOD, WHICH IS MALCHUT.
198. "And he made the robe of the Efod of woven work, all of blue" (Shemot 39:22). We already explained the secret of the breastplate and the Efod, and all is one. THAT IS, THE ROBE OF THE EFOD PERTAINS TO THE SAME MYSTERY AS THE EFOD, NAMELY MALCHUT. It is "all of blue," as ought to be, for blue is the secret of the light of the throne, MALCHUT, WHICH IS THE BLACK LIGHT OF THE CANDLE BURNING AND CONSUMING WHATEVER IS BENEATH IT. Blue is connected to the white light IN THE CANDLE, WHICH IS CHESED, and therefore, the Efod is of blue, BEING THE LIGHT OF MALCHUT.
201. Come and see: The robe of the Efod covered him AROUND HIS BODY. When he wore it, it is written, "You have beset me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me" (Tehilim 139:5), THE BREASTPLATE BEING BEFORE AND THE EFOD FROM BEHIND.
209. Come and see: The Efod and the breastplate were behind and before, THE BREASTPLATE BEFORE AND THE EFOD BEHIND. And when the priest wore them, he had the likeness of the higher image, ZEIR ANPIN AND MALCHUT, THE SECRET OF BEHIND AND BEFORE. And we have learned, that his face shone and the letters stood out, illuminating and rising up. Then he knew that WHICH WAS NEEDED.
210. For that reason the function of the breastplate and the function of the Efod are closely connected. And though their functions are not the same, yet all is in the one secret. They are connected so the breastplate, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN, will be united with the Efod, WHICH IS MALCHUT, by four rings connected to this place and that place, NAMELY, TO THE BREASTPLATE AND THE EFOD. They are the secret of the Chariots connecting this side below to those above, all in the mystery of the wheels and the holy living creatures. FOR THE TWO RINGS IN THE BREASTPLATE ARE IN THE SECRET OF THE LIVING CREATURES, WHICH ARE YETZIRAH. AND THE TWO RINGS IN THE EFOD ARE IN THE SECRET OF THE WHEELS, WHICH ARE ASIYAH. AND THEY ARE INTERCONNECTED, AS SAID: "AND WHEN THE LIVING CREATURES MOVED, THE WHEELS WENT BY THEM: AND WHEN THE LIVING CREATURES WERE LIFTED UP FROM THE EARTH, THE WHEELS WERE LIFTED UP" (YECHEZKEL 1:19).