157. "And the pillar of cloud went from before their face" (Shemot 14:19). HE ASKS, What is this pillar of cloud? Rabbi Yosi said, This is the cloud that always appears with the Shechinah, WHO IS THE ANGEL MICHAEL, and this is the cloud into which Moses entered. Rabbi Aba said, It is written, "And Hashem went before them by day in a pillar of cloud," SO WE SEE THAT IT IS NOT MICHAEL WHICH IS THE ASPECT OF SHECHINAH, but rather it is the support of the righteous, THAT IS, YESOD IN ZEIR ANPIN. He spreads CHASSADIM of his imprint, FOR YESOD SPREADS OUT CHASSADIM OVER THE CHOCHMAH IN MALCHUT AND THEN SHE IS ABLE TO ILLUMINATE. Therefore, this cloud goes by day, WHICH IS THE TIME WHEN CHASSADIM SHINE, as it is written, "Yet Hashem commands his steadfast love (lit. 'Chesed') in the daytime" (Tehilim 42:9), because this cloud comes from the side of Chesed and is called 'Chesed.' A different cloud goes by night, and is called 'a pillar of fire,' WHICH IS FROM THE SIDE OF MALCHUT.
158. Rabbi Shimon said, "By day in a pillar of a cloud," refers to Abraham, who is Chesed. "By night the pillar of fire," refers to Isaac, WHO IS GVURAH, and both of them are present in the Shechinah. Rabbi Aba said THAT IT IS THE SUPPORT OF THE RIGHTEOUS, for THEY are present IN THE SHECHINAH through that level.