173. When a man dies, what is written about his soul? "When you walk, it will lead you; when you lie down, it shall keep you; and when you awake" at the resurrection of the dead, it shall talk with you" (Mishlei 6:22). HE INQUIRES: this is fine as far as the resurrection of the dead is concerned, that it should awaken THE BODY OF MAN AT THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, but what will be the reward of the soul in the World to Come?
174. He answers, The Holy One, blessed be He, dresses THE SOUL as formerly in clouds of glory, and as formerly it enters into a vision. In the same sort of way that the body has 248 parts, it will also be in a vision including 248 lights that spread forth from that vision, FOR THE NUMERICAL VALUE OF THE LETTERS OF "BEMAR'AH" IS 248, as it is said about it: "If there be a prophet among you, I, Hashem, make myself known to him in a vision (Heb. bemar'ah)" (Bemidbar 12:6), and it will have the apparel of clouds of glory. IT IS SAID ABOUT IT: "and I shall look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant" (Beresheet 9:16). This is the shining vision. "And speak to him in a dream" (Bemidbar 12:6): this is the vision (Heb. mar'ah) that does not shine, being made up of 365 lights, corresponding to the numerical value of 'yeshenah' (lit. 'sleep'), as in the verse: "I sleep" (Shir Hashirim 5:2). One VISION, therefore, is FOR THE SOUL in this world, and the other VISION IS FOR THE SOUL in the World to Come, and they GIVE LIGHT to the work of the hands of the Holy One, blessed be He, NAMELY, THE SOULS.
175. And their secret is to be found in the verse: "this is My name forever" (Shemot 3:15). THE NUMERICAL VALUE OF 'Yud Hei' and 'My name' (Heb. shmi) is together 365. "AND THIS IS MY MEMORIAL (HEB. ZICHRI) TO ALL GENERATIONS" (IBID.). THE NUMERICAL VALUE OF Vav Hei together with zichri is 248. And heralds descend and ascend before Him, proclaiming: 'Give honor to the likeness of the King,' NAMELY TO THE SOUL.
176. And this is the meaning of the verse: "So Elohim created man in His own image, in the image of Elohim He created him" (Beresheet 1:27). In other words, He created him in two forms: ONE, "IN HIS OWN IMAGE;" AND THE OTHER, "IN THE IMAGE OF ELOHIM," NAMELY with two countenances. 1) is as it is said: "for you saw no manner of form" (Devarim 4:15), and regarding the other FORBIDDEN forms it is written, "the similitude of any figure" (Devarim 4:16). 2) "and the similitude of Hashem does he behold" (Bemidbar 12:8). And 613 angels raise up the soul in these forms, all of them with "Thus were their faces; and their wings were divided upwards" (Yechezkel 1:11), to establish the verse that is said about them: "I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you to Myself" (Shemot 19:4).
177. Just as they came out of Egypt and went with clouds of glory and all that honor, so, too, is the exit of the soul from its body - that "putrid drop:" the soul goes to the two gardens, THE UPPER GARDEN OF EDEN AND THE LOWER GARDEN OF EDEN, whose heavens and earth were created by the Name of Yud Hei Vav Hei, for whose reason it was said: "Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice" (Tehilim 96:11). At that time the verse will be fulfilled in man: "yet your teacher shall not withdraw himself any more" (Yeshayah 30:20) from you. "WITHDRAW HIMSELF" IS AS IT IS WRITTEN: "with two he covered his face..." (Yeshayah 6:2), nevertheless "but your eyes shall see your teacher" (Yeshayah 30:20). And Moses our Master, may peace be upon him - the master of the prophets and sages - is worthy in the aspect of these TWO visions. The Holy Luminary, THAT IS RABBI SHIMON, said TO THE FAITHFUL SHEPHERD, You are the one who merited in your lifetime what the righteous will merit after their lives. Happy is your portion!