Pekudei: Chapter 59

The sixth chamber, evil, corresponding to the name 'shadow of death'


Rabbi Shimon describes the openings to the sixth chamber: 'death', 'evil', 'shadow of death' and 'somber'. These four openings cause evil, and this particular chamber comprises all the other chambers of defilement as well. Here all the evil lusts are found that cause people to be denied the World to Come. The chamber also includes all the pleasure of the fools, the heartless and the witless. Rabbi Shimon describes the meaning of: "but her end is bitter as wormwood," telling us that when a man succumbs to temptation he is punished by 'the harlot' who spills bitter drops into his mouth that then rip the soul away, cause his death and make his face become green and putrid. We learn next of the results of vanity. Rabbi Shimon offers two explanations of the verse: "I have had to sacrifice peace offerings," and talks about the fate of adulterers. He concludes by saying that when men take their pleasures in the world the good inclination stays away from them and eventually they are judged. The righteous are happy in this world and in the World to Come.