248. When Ezekiel saw the Shechinah among the Klipot, THAT IS TO SAY, AMONG THE GARMENTS, he saw with Her ten Sfirot, without any separation whatsoever, and these are the brain that is among all of them. He saw them within the earthly river K'var (Caf Bet Resh), NAMELY, THE EARTHLY CHARIOT (RESH CAF BET), NAMELY, THE LETTERS OF K'VAR REARRANGED) OF METATRON. That is, "The Chariots of Elohim are twice ten thousand, thousands UPON THOUSANDS (HEB. SHIN'AN)" (Tehilim 68:18). "twice ten thousand" are twenty thousand. From this you should deduct two that are missing, AS SHIN'AN IS SPELLED THE SAME AS 'SHE'EINAN' (MISSING). "(SHIN'AN) THOUSANDS" ARE THE MISSING TWO THOUSANDS. Eighteen thousand remain, which is as the number of the eighteen (Chet Yud) worlds. THIS IS YESOD, WHICH IS CALLED 'CHAI' (ENG. 'LIVING' - CHET YUD,), which includes the ten Sfirot, attired in the Tet Tet (nine + nine = eighteen) of Metatron (Mem Tet Tet Resh Vav Nun). And this Tet Tet is taken from the word totafot (Eng. 'frontlets'), about which it is said: "and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes" (Devarim 6:8). Who are the eyes? They are those above, about which it is said: "the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of Elohim" (Yechezkel 1:1). These are the ten visions of Metatron, whom Ezekiel saw as a candle within a lantern, nine OF THE VISIONS being clear, with one being vague.
249. One vision that he saw at the beginning of those ten VISIONS was the one about which it is said: "And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone" (Yechezkel 1:26). Although this VERSE has already been explained before, new things have to be said about it.
250. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to the heavenly encampments: 'Anyone who prays, whether he be a mighty man, a wise man, or a rich man; if he is mighty in merits BECAUSE HE OVERCOMES HIS INCLINATION - a wise man in Torah and a rich man who is rich in the precepts - do not allow his prayer to enter this chamber until there is seen in him these signs: that he has applied My tools to himself.' For this reason, the sages of the Mishnah taught: If the rabbi is like an angel of Hashem Tzva'ot, let people come to consult him in matters of the Torah. IN OTHER WORDS, you may accept the prayer of anyone who is impressed with these signs in his dress: one sign is that he should be marked in his prayer with the blue of the FOUR corners of his fringes, for blue is like the firmament, which is Metatron, AND IT WOULD THEN FOLLOW THAT HE WOULD BE LIKE AN ANGEL OF HASHEM TZVA'OT, whose form is the blue that is in the fringes (Tzitzit).
251. And for this reason the sages set the size for fringes and taught about a cloak (Talit) that a minor wears and which covers his head and most of his body. This is the same as was said about it: "and a little child shall lead them" (Yeshayah 11:6), WHICH ALLUDES TO METATRON, THAT IS CALLED 'A LITTLE CHILD.' He leads the four living creatures, and includes "The throne had six steps" (I Melachim 10:19), NAMELY, CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET, NETZACH, HOD AND YESOD, which are six. And since he is composed of ten, the ten Sfirot OF ZEIR ANPIN AND MALCHUT OF ATZILUT attire themselves in him, for they, too, are ten. And through him the Holy One, blessed be He, appears in His Shechinah to the prophets, for He is composed of ten Sfirot. And from the side of the Shechinah, WHICH METATRON SERVES AS GARMENT TO, which is the tenth SFIRAH and the blue of the fringes, METATRON ALSO appears as the blue of all colors, THAT IS TO SAY: ALL THE COLORS WERE INCLUDED IN THIS BLUE.
252. For it, MALCHUT THAT IS CALLED 'BLUE' (HEB. T'CHELET), is the perfection (Heb. tachlit) ending of the ten Sfirot, and in it "Thus was all the work of the tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting finished (Heb. vatechel)" (Shemot 39:32), SINCE IT IS THE ENDING OF EVERYTHING. AND THE WORD T'CHELET is derived from 'finish (Heb. calh),' as it is written: "And it came to pass on the day that Moses finished (Heb. calot) setting up the tabernacle" (Bemidbar 7:1). And the sages interpreted 'calat' AS DERIVED FROM 'CALAH (LIT. 'BRIDE'). THIS IS WHY THE SHECHINAH IS CONSIDERED BLUE, and is the blue flame in a candle, which consumes the fatty parts of the burnt offerings.
253. And about her, NAMELY ABOUT THE LIGHT of CHOCHMAH IN HER, THAT IS CALLED 'BLUE,' Ezekiel said: "The likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone" (Yechezkel 1:26); and the virtue of this stone is that, whoever receives it, the fire of Gehenom has no control over him, and there is no flame in the world that can damage it, nor any type of metal, FOR IF ONE HITS THIS SAPPHIRE STONE WITH A HAMMER, THE HAMMER WILL BREAK BUT THE STONE WILL BE UNDAMAGED, AS THE SAGES SAID. Water all the more cannot harm it. THUS, for whoever inherits it the verse "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you" (Yeshayah 43:2) will be upheld, and all the upper and lower beings of the Other Side are fearful of him. It was also for the blue of the sea that it was said: "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you," for with this special attribute, THE BLUE LIGHT OF MALCHUT THAT IS CALLED 'SAPPHIRE STONE,' "the horse and his rider has He thrown into the sea" (Shemot 15:1), for it is the minister appointed over Egypt WHO DROWNED IN THE SEA BY MEANS OF THIS BLUE LIGHT.
254. From this BLUE color the upper and lower beings are fearful; the encampments of the sea are fearful of it, and the encampments of the firmament, which is blue, hold it in awe, as do the encampments of the blue fire of Gehenom, NAMELY THE BLUE OF THE OTHER SIDE.
255. And this blue is Judgment, FOR THE NAME OF MALCHUT IS 'ADONAI,' THE LETTERS OF WHICH CAN BE REARRANGED AS DINA (ENG. 'LAW'), and this is the inner meaning of the saying that the law of the kingdom is indeed the law. The Talit (prayer-shawl) has two colors: white and blue, and in respect to these two colors it is said: "And there was under his feet a kind of paved work of sapphire stone" (Shemot 24:10). Livnat (Eng. 'paved work') is the white (Eng. 'lavan') of the sapphire, because the sapphire is composed of two colors, which are Mercy and Judgment, namely white, WHICH IS MERCY, and black, from which comes the darkness of the blue. And the sages hinted at THESE two colors when they asked: 'From what time in the morning may the Sh'ma Yisrael be recited? As soon as one can distinguish between blue and white.' For the daughter of the King, WHICH IS MALCHUT, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF the recital of the Sh'ma, which is the unity of the Holy One, blessed be He, is composed of these two colors, WHITE AND BLUE, which are Yud Hei Vav Hei Adonai. YUD HEI VAV HEI IS THE SECRET OF WHITE, WHILE ADONAI IS THE SECRET OF BLUE, SO THERE ARE BOTH Mercy and Judgment. Similarly, the Holy One, blessed be He, WHO IS ZEIR ANPIN, is composed of two colors, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF Yud Hei Vav Hei Adonai, being Mercy and Judgment, namely the Throne of Mercy and the Throne of Judgment.
256. "The likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone" (Yechezkel 1:26): HE ASKS, IF THE SAPPHIRE STONE IS THE BLUE OF THE FRINGES, what, then, is "the likeness of a throne?" HE ANSWERS THAT it corresponds to the throne that has 72 bridges, NAMELY 72 LIGHTS FROM THE NAME OF 72. So should a person be noted for the 72 knots and links in his fringes, corresponding to the 72 bridges of the throne. These are the eighteen knots and links on each side OF THE FOUR CORNERS OF HIS GARMENT, THAT IS, FIVE KNOTS AND THIRTEEN LINKS, AND FOUR TIMES EIGHTEEN IS 72. For the throne which is Hei, NAMELY MALCHUT, is on each corner, in the four living creatures of the throne, and they are four, PARALLEL TO THE FOUR CORNERS OF HIS RAIMENT.
257. And the six steps of the throne, which are Vav (= 6), which is Metatron, which includes four living creatures, as it is said: "and a little child shall lead them" (Yeshayah 11:6), they being Michael, Gabriel, Nuriel and Raphael. And Metatron is "The throne had six steps" (I Melachim 10:19), WHICH ARE CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET, NETZACH, HOD AND YESOD, EACH OF WHICH IS COMPOSED OF A HUNDRED, totaling six hundred in all. Tzitzit (Eng. 'fringes'), WHEN WRITTEN OUT FULL, with two Yud's, has the numerical value OF SIX HUNDRED. And if THE WORD TZITZIT is written in the abbreviated SPELLING, with one Yud omitted, then the Chirik IS LIKE A YUD AND makes up for its omission. And on each side of the four corners of his garment there is a fringe WITH THE NUMERICAL EQUIVALENT OF 600, which, together with the thirteen links, makes 613.