836. Rabbi Shimon opened the discussion with the verse: "But they, like Adam have transgressed the covenant" (Hoshea 6:7). Who will remove dust from your eyes, Adam, if the Holy One, blessed be He gave you one precept and you could not keep it, for you were enticed by the wicked things with which the evil serpent seduced you, as is written, "the serpent was craftier" (Beresheet 3:1). Hence you were seduced by it, and brought death to you and all your offspring. Come and see: Whoever is seduced by it, and goes down to it, he will be lost in an instant, NAMELY, FALL UNDER ITS DOMINION.
837. Come and see: David, whose existence depended upon the source of running water, NAMELY, BINAH, FOR DAVID IS THE SECRET OF MALCHUT ABOVE THE CHEST, THE PLACE OF BINAH, WHENCE HE TAKES HIS LIFE AND EXISTENCE. When he was chased into another land, WHEN HE RAN AWAY FROM SAUL, he was grieved, and for his grief, he was rejected from the Holy Land, NAMELY, HE FELL FROM HIS GRADE, WHICH IS THE HOLY LAND. Though he descended through his grades to the last one, he nevertheless resisted and did not enter the Other Side, but kept away from it, as it is written, "but truly as Hashem lives, and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death" (I Shmuel 20:3). For he went down the grades until there was but a step between him AND DEATH, WHICH IS THE OTHER SIDE CALLED 'DEATH'. Happy is the portion of he who is kept from that evil, and from all the grades of that side that abide in the world.
838. There are several aspects and grades to the Evil Inclination, which are the Satan, the Angel of Death, and the Evil Inclination. And we explained that though it is called by those names, it has seven names IN PARTICULAR: the Satan, unholy, foe, a stone of stumbling, uncircumcised, evil, northern. These seven names correspond to the seven grades of its chambers, all of them on the side of defilement, as we said, and to the seven names given to Gehenom, NAMELY where the wicked are condemned. These are: pit, grave, Dumah, gruesome mud, Sheol, shadow of death, a nether land. These are the seven departments of Gehenom corresponding to the seven names of the Evil Inclination. AND THE SEVEN CHAMBERS OF THE OTHER SIDE ARE CALLED BY THE SAME NAMES AS THE SEVEN DEPARTMENTS OF GEHENOM.
839. Here we explained that as there are grades and chambers on the side of holiness, so there are on the side of defilement, all of which abide in and rule the world on the side of unholiness. THEREFORE, THERE ARE seven chambers, corresponding to the seven names of Gehenom, NAMELY, CALLED BY THE SAME NAMES AS THE SEVEN DEPARTMENTS OF GEHENOM. All of them stand ready to condemn and defile the wicked of the world who clove to them, and did not keep away from them, while in this world.
840. Whoever comes to be purified in this world, on the side of purity, he is cleansed in the place called 'the secret of the Faith', NAMELY, MALCHUT OF HOLINESS. How many are the grades and chieftains all ready to draw people nearer to the worship of the Holy One, blessed be He, and purify them. And whoever comes to be defiled, he is defiled on the Other Side, which is unholy, where many grades and chieftains stand ready to defile people.
841. He who comes near them, and is drawn after that Evil Side, of him it is written, "What man is he that lives, and shall not see death, but shall deliver his soul..." (Tehilim 89:49). Who is the man who was born into this world, and does not see death, to which all the world is drawn, NAMELY, THE ANGEL OF DEATH. For when the time comes to do reckoning before his Master, HIS TIME TO PASS AWAY FROM THE WORLD, before he does depart he sees him, THE ANGEL OF DEATH, as we already explained.
842. These seven chambers, the seven departments of Gehenom, are called 'twelve months'. As there are twelve months of holy grades on the side of the Faith, MALCHUT, so the Other Side has twelve months, to which the wicked are condemned, and their souls are sentenced to. Happy is the portion of the righteous who keep their feet in this world away from their gates, to be saved from them in that world, SO THEY WILL NOT BE CONDEMNED BY THEM IN GEHENOM.