203. Another explanation: "Command the children of Yisrael, and say to them, My offerings, the provision of My sacrifices made by fire, of a sweet savor to Me" (Bemidbar 28:2). Rabbi Yehuda said: With an offering there is smoke and there is fragrance and there is a sweet savor. Smoke is from the side of Judgment, as it is said: "But then the anger (also: 'nose') of Hashem shall smoke" (Devarim 29:19), "There went up a smoke out of His nostrils, and fire out of His mouth devoured" (Tehilim 18:9). Sweet savor is Mercy, as it is said: "and the scent of your countenance (lit. 'nose') like apples" (Shir Hashirim 7:9).
204. The Faithful Shepherd said, Both of them, smoke and fragrance, are in the nose, and are called 'witnesses.' The former IS IN THE NOSE, AS IT IS WRITTEN: "There went up a smoke out of His nostrils," and the latter, AS IT IS SAID: "and the scent of your countenance (lit. 'nose') like apples." If that is so, then why is the former, smoke, called 'Judgment,' and the latter, FRAGRANCE, called 'Mercy?' HE ANSWERS THAT in the nose there are two windows, EACH OF WHICH IS A NOSTRIL. "There went up a smoke out of His nostrils" is said about the left-hand NOSTRIL, WHICH IS JUDGMENT. What is the meaning of "went up?" It is THAT THE SMOKE ROSE UP from the heart, which is on the left and is parallel to Gvurah. And from the right a breeze descends to cool it and quiet its anger from the side of Chesed, which is where the brain is; namely Chochmah, which is to the right, 'He who wishes to acquire wisdom, let him turn south.' And Binah, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF CHOCHMAH OF THE LEFT, is in the heart, opposite the left, 'and he who wishes to enrich let him turn north.' And this is why "There went up a smoke out of His nostrils," namely from Binah, WHICH IS ON THE LEFT, to Chochmah, which is on the right. And CHOCHMAH welcomes it with rejoicing to the accompaniment of the music of the Levites.
205. And this smoke only rises up with fire that is kindled with pieces of wood that are limbs filled with the precepts, which are CALLED "the wood for the burnt offering" (Beresheet 22:3). And the Torah of Torah scholars is enkindled by THE PRECEPTS, their fire is by virtue of Gvurah, and the smoke rising up in them, in Binah, IS CALLED 'the smoke' of the set order on the altar.
206. And when the smoke has arisen to the nose, it is called "incense," as it is written: "They shall put incense in your nostrils." (Devarim 33:10). And nothing is as effective as incense for doing away with death in the world, for incense is the connecting of Judgment with Mercy with the sweet savor in the nostrils. For 'connect' is in Aramaic 'ktiru,' AND HENCE INCENSE (HEB. KTORET) MEANS CONNECTION. Rabbi Yehuda said, Happy is our portion that we have gained hidden matters and can understand them openly. The Holy Luminary added, Since prayer is like a sacrifice, anyone, therefore, who says the prayer 'Compounding of the Incense' after "A praise of David" (Tehilim 145:1) does away with death from the house.