Vayak'hel: Chapter 41

"And you shall make an altar for the burning of incense"


Rabbi Yosi says there are two altars, an inner one for fragrant spice burnt incense and an outer one for burnt offering. The Other Side is bound and tied to the altar; when he saw the smoke of incense rising he fled, leaving the tabernacle purified. Wherever the section of the incense is said with dedication death has no sway, even as Aaron bound the angel of death so he could have no power nor could he pronounce judgment. A man can escape judgment if he says twice a day the passage of the incense ordinance; upon this passage the world exists, and also the World to Come. If it is not said, judgment and plagues hover over the land and it is ruled by other nations. Rabbi Yosi tells us that the section of the incense is dearer to God and more important than all prayers. Incense does more than prayer by creating unity and bringing light and removing filth from the world. The incense unites Zeir Anpin and Malchut. Malchut then becomes Hei; the Hei unites with Vav, that is Zeir Anpin; the Vav arises to be adorned by the first Hei, Binah; that Hei is glittering by the Yud that is Chochmah. Then all their will rises to infinity, and all of them become one; the Holy Name shines and adorns itself, all the worlds rejoice, candles burn brightly, and there is food and blessing for all the worlds.