620. The breads of thanksgiving are forty Challot, ten wafers, ten mixed with hot water and oil, ten of leavened bread, ten of unleavened bread, making a total of forty, PARALLELING THE FOUR YUD'S THAT ARE IN THE FOUR YUD HEI VAV HEI'S THAT ARE IN THE FOUR FACES, NAMELY paralleling the Yud of Yud Hei Vav Hei of the four faces of a man, AND PARALLELING the Yud of the Yud Hei Vav Hei of the four faces of a lion, AND PARALLELING the Yud of Yud Hei Vav Hei of the four faces of an ox, AND PARALLELING the Yud of the Yud Hei Vav Hei of the four faces of an eagle. And this is the first preparation for the King's table, for there are ten things that a person must observe at the Shabbat table.
621. The first THING TO OBSERVE FOR THE SHABBAT TABLE IS to prepare the table, as for one who eats in the presence of a King, as it is written: "This is the table that is before Hashem" (Yechezkel 41:22). The second PREPARATION is to wash the hands to the extent that the sages decreed, namely five knots, THAT IS THE FIVE FINGERS OF THE RIGHT HAND, which contain fourteen joints, FOR EACH FINGER HAS THREE JOINTS, AND THE THUMB ONLY TWO, TOTALING FOURTEEN JOINTS. Similarly there are fourteen joints in the left, making A TOTAL OF 28 joints. And corresponding to these 28 JOINTS IS THE SECRET OF "the power of Hashem" (where the word for 'power' is koach = 28), and these are the 28 letters of the first VERSE in the Works of Creation: "IN THE BEGINNING ELOHIM CREATED THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH" (BERESHEET 1:1). THERE ARE 28 LETTERS IN THE verse, and about them it is written: "And now, I pray you, let the power (Heb. koach) of Hashem be great" (Bemidbar 14:17).
622. The ten fingers correspond to the ten sayings at the creation of the world. For this reason, the sages of the Mishnah taught: Whoever is careless over the washing of the hands is uprooted from the world. Why is this? It is because the ten fingers of the hands and the 28 joints of the fingers contain the secret of the ten sayings and the 28 letters with which the world was created.
623. The third thing to observe is the cup of benediction, for which ten things were ordained: It requires washing, rinsing, adorning, wrapping, and must be undiluted, full, taken up with both hands, and placed in the right hand; he who says the blessing must look at it, it must be raised a handbreadth from the surface, and he must send it around to those members of his household as a present.
624. And according to the esoteric meaning, IT IS THE SECRET OF the cup "full with the blessing of Hashem" (Devarim 33:23), for the numerical value of the word cup (Heb. kos) is the same as Elohim, WHICH IS BINAH, NAMELY MALCHUT ENCLOTHING IN BINAH. And from there comes the Neshamah that is named after it, cup, as it is written: "I will raise the cup of salvation" (Tehilim 116:13). What is the meaning of "salvation"? It is the five fingers THAT HOLD THE CUP, which correspond to the five Sfirot: CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET, NETZACH, HOD AND YESOD, that are in the cup, which is the living Elohim which is Binah, that spreads THROUGH THE FIVE SFIROT to fifty gates, which are five times ten. That is, the letter Yud stands for the ten things that the sages ordained for the cup, which is the living Elohim, and the five (Hei) letters OF THE WORD ELOHIM, which are five in number, AND TEN TIMES FIVE COMES TO FIFTY GATES.
625. And they taught about the cup that it needs washing and rinsing, where washing refers to the outside, rinsing to the inside. And the secret of the matter is that the inside and the outside OF THE CUP should be the same, for whoever has been privileged to receive a Soul from this cup, WHICH IS BINAH, SUCH A SOUL MUST be pure both within and without. And the secret of the matter is: "and cleanse it, and hallow it" (Vayikra 16:19) with purification on the inside and sanctification on the outside. And just as the cup, whose purification and sanctification both inside and outside is only with water, so the purification and sanctification of the soul, both inside and outside, is only with the Torah. And this is why Rabban Gamliel said: No one whose inside does not correspond to his exterior may enter the academy house. This is because such a person is not from the Tree of Life, but from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, FOR WHOEVER IS LACKING HOLINESS ON THE OUTSIDE OR PURITY ON THE INSIDE IS A MIXTURE OF GOOD AND EVIL.
626. The adornment THAT IS STATED IN RESPECT OF THE CUP, has been explained thus: He crowns it with pupils. And the secret is that Hei is the cup, NAMELY BINAH, and it is crowned with pupils, with the letter Yud, which is a diadem on the Hei, FOR THE PUPILS MULTIPLY AND DRAW DOWN CHOCHMAH. The wrapping THAT IS MENTIONED IN RESPECT TO THE CUP refers to the need to wrap the head, NAMELY TO COVER IT, because the Shechinah is over his head. For this is what the sages of the Mishnah taught: A scholar of the Law is forbidden to walk four cubits with his head uncovered because, "the whole earth is full of His glory" (Yeshayah 6:3). And even more so IS IT FORBIDDEN to go with uncovered head during a blessing or the mention of the Holy Name!
627. AND THE REASON FOR THE PROHIBITION OF GOING WITH UNCOVERED HEAD IS that the letter Yud of Yud Hei Vav Hei, WHICH IS CHOCHMAH, is enveloped in light (Heb. or - Aleph Vav Resh) and becomes air (Heb. avir - Aleph Vav Yud Resh), since the letter Yud, which is Chochmah, is in the air. And this is the light with which He enveloped Himself when He created the world, as it is written: "Who covers Himself with light as with a garment" (Tehilim 104:2). Thus "Let there be light" (Beresheet 1:3) is 'Let there be air'. And the sages of Sitrei Torah taught: Before anything else was formed, the existences were formed. Thus: "Let there be light, and there was light" REFERS TO LIGHT that had existed previously.
628. AND REGARDING the 'undiluted' IN RESPECT TO THE CUP OF BLESSING, they taught: Undiluted from the barrel, WHICH MEANS THAT IT SHOULD NOT BE MIXED WITH ANY WATER THERE. And the secret is: The upper Shechinah, WHICH IS BINAH, is the eighth Sfirah OF THE TEN SFIROT, WHEN ONE STARTS TO COUNT from the below upwards, and is for that reason called 'Chet' (whose numerical value is eight). And this is alluded to in the verse: "Through wisdom a house (Heb. bayit) is built" (Mishlei 24:3). Hence a barrel (Heb. chavit - Chet Bet Yud Tav) IS THE LETTERS CHET AND BAYIT (Bet Yud Tav). FOR THIS SHOWS THAT THE WINE, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF GVURAH OF ZEIR ANPIN, IS TO BE DRAWN DOWN FROM BINAH, THAT IS CALLED 'BARREL', NAMELY CHET BAYIT. And because BINAH is life, as it is written, "She is a tree of life to those who lay hold on her" (Mishlei 3:18) therefore, the wine that is DRAWN DOWN from there, FROM BINAH, is undiluted (lit. 'live'). And this is the wine of the Torah, for whoever engages in it is called 'live'. And furthermore, the Righteous, WHICH IS YESOD, is CALLED 'live' and is undiluted from the barrel, BECAUSE ITS LIGHTS ARE DRAWN FROM BINAH, THAT IS CALLED 'BARREL', AS ABOVE.
629. Wine comes in two colors, white and red. THE NUMERICAL VALUE OF WINE IS seventy facets, this makes 72, AND THIS ALLUDES TO THE FACT THAT THE LIGHTS OF THE 72 LETTER NAME ILLUMINATE IN WINE. And corresponding to the two colors of the wine are 'Remember' and 'Keep', referring to the Shabbat, AND THESE, TOGETHER WITH the seventy words of the SHABBAT EVE Kiddush, make 72.