Pekudei: Chapter 46

The chamber of a sapphire stone - Yesod


Rabbi Shimon tells us that the first chamber marks the beginning of the faith and is the light of wisdom or 'sight'. Although it is the first or lowest of the grades of holiness it is also the last of the descending grades of the Other Side. Therefore when Hosea looked into it he saw the levels of defilement, and we are told that people should not enter these chambers of defilement so that they won't be drawn to them. Hosea looked into the chamber because he wanted to know why Yisrael left the secret of the faith, he wanted to know what the defilement was like that they were always drawn to, and he saw these things in the first chamber. This chamber is the start of all the grades of ascent, and it is governed by a chieftain called Tahariel. He and his other chieftains guard the gate that each soul has to pass through after death. If the soul is not good enough to enter, another chieftain of the Other Side is summoned and the soul is moved to the chambers of defilement from where it is taken to Gehenom and judged for twelve months. Tahariel also decides that prayers are worthy to be passed upward through his gate. If a public prayer comes along he opens the gate and brings it in. If it is a solitary prayer he opens the door and lets it in, if it is good enough for the Holy King; but if it is unworthy, he pushes it out and it goes back down to the lowest of the firmaments below.

Here a chieftain called Sahadiel keeps all the rejected prayers until the person repents. When he repents and prays a better prayer Sahadiel takes the unfit prayer and elevates it to meet the good one, then they both rise to stand before the Holy King. We hear about the 'gate of tears', and Rabbi Shimon talks about the Holy Spirit named Staturiyah who rejoins male souls with female souls in the seventh chamber above.

Similarly a spirit named Adiriyah Snugiya rejoins female souls with male souls. After describing the marriage of the souls Rabbi Shimon describes the wheels and the living creatures and the flash of lightning. We hear how Sandalphon takes the finished prayers of the people of Yisrael and brings them up to their Master. The words of the rising prayers and the words of the Torah rise up to the place in the firmament where the stars and constellations and sun and moon are, and this place is called 'the book of remembrance'. We are told more about the wheels and pillars and the secret of the letters of the name Adonai. The name Ya'ahadonahi is shown to comprise two spirits, Yud Hei Vav Hei and Adonai, and to cause the unification of everything, so that "they have all one spirit."