151. Rabbi Yehuda said, "Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land" (Mishlei 31:23). Come and behold, the Holy One, blessed be He, was exalted in His glory, because He is hidden and greatly elevated. Since the creation of the world, nobody has ever been able to grasp and conceive His entire wisdom. Thus, no one is able to comprehend it.
152. He is concealed and exalted high above the reach of all the lower and supernal beings. He is so far above that they all proclaim, "Blessed be the glory of Hashem from His place" (Yechezkel 3:12). The people on earth say that THE SHECHINAH is high above, as it is written, "His glory is above the heavens" (Tehilim 113:4), but the supernal beings say that THE SHECHINAH is down below, as it is written, "His glory is over all the earth" (Tehilim 57:12). So that all the supernal and human beings declare, "Blessed be the glory of Hashem from His place," because He is unknowable, and no one is able to grasp Him. Thus, how does one explain the verse, "Her husband is known in the gates?"
153. Most certainly, "Her husband is known in the gates" refers to the Holy One, blessed be He, who is known and conceived according to what each one assumes in his mind and is able to grasp with the Spirit of Wisdom. Thus, he is able to understand according to what he is able to assume. Therefore, it is written, "Her husband is known in the gates (Heb. she'arim)," WHICH REFERS TO THOSE ASSUMPTIONS (HEB. SHI'URIM) THAT EVERYONE FORMS ACCORDING TO HIS OWN MIND, even though full knowledge of Him is far beyond the reach of anyone.
154. Rabbi Shimon asks, "Her husband is known in the gates." What are the gates? They are the same as the gates mentioned in, "Lift up your heads, gates, and lifted them up, you everlasting doors" (Tehilim 24:9). It is through these gates, which are the supernal grades, that the Holy One, blessed be He, is known. For were it not FOR THESE GATES, no one would have been able to commune with Him.
155. Come and behold, even the soul of man cannot be understood directly. It is grasped only through the members of the body, which represent the grades THAT BELONG TO THEM, which reveal the actions of the soul. This is why THE SOUL is conceivable and at the same time inconceivable. IT IS CONCEIVED BY THE MEMBERS OF THE BODY, BUT IS NOT CONCEIVABLE IN ITS OWN ESSENCE. In such a manner, the Holy One, blessed be He, is conceivable and inconceivable. He is the soul to the soul and the spirit to the spirit, hidden and concealed from all. But to he WHO MERITS those gates, NAMELY, THE SUPERNAL GRADES that are the openings of the soul, the Holy One, blessed be He, is made known. SO HE IS CONCEIVABLE BY THE SUPERNAL GRADES, WHICH ARE HIS DOINGS, BUT HE IS INCONCEIVABLE FROM THE ASPECT OF HIS OWN ESSENCE.
156. Come and behold, there is gate upon gate, grade upon grade, through which the glory of the Holy One, blessed be He, is made known. This REFERS TO the "tent door," which is the gate of righteousness, WHICH IS MALCHUT. Thus, it is written, "Open to me the gates of righteousness" (Tehilim 118:19). And this is the first gate to enter. From this gate, all the other supernal gates can be seen. Therefore, whoever enters this gate knows the other gates as well, because they all rest on it.
157. But now, this LOWER gate, WHICH IS CALLED THE "TENT DOOR" AND THE "GATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS" is unknown, because the children of Yisrael are in exile. As a result, all the gates are gone from it. Thus, they are incapable of knowledge and conception. But when Yisrael shall return from exile, all the supernal grades will be destined to dwell upon this gate of righteousness, as should properly be.
158. Then, people will have knowledge of the supernal Wisdom, of which they previously knew nothing, as it is written, "And the spirit of Hashem shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of Hashem" (Yeshayah 11:2). In the future, all these shall rest upon this lower gate, which is the "tent door," NAMELY MALCHUT. And they shall all rest upon King Messiah to judge the world, as it is written, "But with righteousness shall he judge the poor..." (Ibid. 4)