357. "And when Abraham was ninety nine years old..." (Beresheet 17:1). Rabbi Yosi opened the discussion by quoting, "Your people also shall be all righteous, they shall inherit the land forever..." (Yeshayah 60:21). Happy is Yisrael above all other nations because the Holy One, blessed be He, called its people righteous. For we have learned that there are 125,000 winged creatures roaming the world ready to hear and receive the voice.
358. As we have learned, everything in the world has a voice, which floats and flies in the firmament, where those winged creatures catch it and carry it aloft TO MAYIN NUKVIN (FEMALE WATERS) FOR MALE AND FEMALE, to be judged to good or to evil, as it is written, "For the bird of heaven shall carry the sound and that which has wings shall tell the matter" (Kohelet 10:20).
359. "When do they judge this voice?" IN OTHER WORDS, "WHEN IS THE VOICE CARRIED ALOFT AS MAYIN NUKVIN (FEMALE WATERS) FOR MALE AND FEMALE." Rabbi Chiya answers, When a person goes to bed and sleeps, because at that time, the soul leaves him and testifies about him; that is when the voice is judged. THIS MEANS THAT IT IS ELEVATED TO MAYIN NUKVIN (FEMALE WATERS) IF THE SOUL TESTIFIES IN HIS FAVOR! Therefore, it is written, "Keep the doors of your mouth from her that lies in your bosom" (Michah 7:5). Why? Because it is she who testifies against the person. THE WORDS "FROM HER THAT LIES IN YOUR BOSOM" ALLUDE TO THE SOUL. As Rabbi Yehuda says, All that a person does during the day, his soul testifies on him at night.
360. Rabbi Elazar said, as we have learned, At the beginning of the first hour at night, when the day is blown away and the sun goes down, the keeper of the keys, who is in charge of the sun - METATRON, THE GOVERNOR OF THE WORLD, WHO DRAWS THE LIGHT OF THE SUN DOWN TO THE WORLD - enters the twelve gates that BELONG TO THE SUN. THESE GATES are open during the day, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF THE TWELVE HOURS OF DAYLIGHT. After he has passed through all TWELVE GATES, MEANING AFTER THE TWELFTH HOUR IS OVER, then all the gates are closed, MEANING THAT THE DOMINION OF THE DAY HAS ENDED AND THE TIME FOR THE DOMINION OF THE NIGHT HAS COME!
361. A herald then makes an announcement - BECAUSE EVERY CHANGE IS ACCOMPLISHED BY AN ANNOUNCEMENT. THE HERALD, THE ANGEL GABRIEL risesand holds onto their keys. DURING THE DAY, THE KEYS ARE IN THE HANDS OF METATRON. THROUGH THESE KEYS, HE DRAWS THE DARKNESS, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF THE ANNOUNCEMENT. After he completes the announcement, all the guardians of the world gather together and ascend FROM THE WORLD. Nobody remains to create an opening TO DRAW DOWN EVEN A TINY LIGHT, because they are all silenced. Then the lower Judgments are aroused. They start to roam the world, and the moon begins to shine.
362. And wailers WHICH ARE THE FORCES OF JUDGMENT THAT AROUSE WAILING AND HOWLING IN THE WORLD, cry out loud WITH THE BLOWING OF A TRUMPET. At the second blast, the angels begin to chant and sing before their Master. How many Guardians stand erect TO OFFER PROTECTION FROM JUDGMENTS, and Judgments are aroused in the world. Then as people sleep, their souls leave THEIR BODIES, give testimony, and are sentenced - BECAUSE THERE IS NO RIGHTEOUS PERSON ON EARTH WHO DOES NOT SIN. But the Holy One, blessed be He, deals mercifully with the human beings and allows the soul to return back IN THE MORNING.
363. At midnight, when the birds awaken, THAT IS, THE COCKS, a spirit (or wind) rises in the North. THIS REFERS TO THE LEFT COLUMN, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH WITHOUT CHASSADIM - THE SECRET OF THE UPPER THREE SFIROT OF RUACH. The scepter then rises in the South, NAMELY IN THE RIGHT COLUMN, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF CHASSADIM, and unites with that spirit OF THE LEFT COLUMN. THUS, THEY ARE INCLUDED WITHIN EACH OTHER, AND THE JUDGMENTS OF THE LEFT COLUMN subside and are mitigated BY CHASSADIM. And the Holy One, blessed be He, is awakened and, as is His wont, delights Himself with the righteous in the Garden of Eden.
364. Happy is he who awakens at that time to delight in the Torah, because the Holy One, blessed be He, together with all the righteous in the Garden of Eden listen attentively to his voice. This is why it is written, "You that dwell in the gardens, the companions hearken to your voice -- cause me to hear it" (Shir Hashirim 8:13).
365. In addition, the Holy One, blessed be He, draws down upon him a thread of grace (lit. 'chesed') which earns him protection in this world from both higher and lower beings. Therefore it is written, "Hashem will command His loving kindness (Heb. Chesed) in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me" (Tehilim 42:9).
366. Rabbi Chizkiyah said, whoever delves to the study of Torah at that hour shall definitely have an eternal share in the World to Come. Rabbi Yosi then asked, what is the meaning of 'eternal'? He answered, This is what I have learned. Every midnight, when the Holy One, blessed be He, enters the Garden of Eden, all the plants - NAMELY THE SFIROT, of the Garden of Eden, WHICH IS THE NUKVA - are watered most generously by the stream that is called the 'ancient stream' and also the 'stream of delight,' WHICH REFERS TO THE SUPERNAL ABA AND IMA, which waters never cease to flow; BECAUSE THE MATING OF ABA AND IMA NEVER STOPS. So, if a person awakens to study Torah, it is as if that stream is poured on his head and he is watered, together with the plants of the Garden of Eden. HE RECEIVES AN ETERNAL PORTION OF THE MOCHIN OF THE WORLD TO COME AS WELL.