Trumah: Chapter 73

"Extol Him who rides upon the clouds"


Rabbi Yosi here continues discussing the firmaments. He says "the clouds" means the seventh firmament, that of Chesed, which is called Aravot because it is mixed from fire and water. He "who rides upon the clouds" is the eighth and higher firmament, Binah. Aravot includes within itself all the other six Sfirot, and that is the secret of the Supernal Chariot. Because those who enter the presence of this firmament must enter with only joy, the High Priest must enter the Holy Sanctuary only with joy.

Rabbi Yosi next asks what the person in dire straits is to do if he cannot pray with joy, being full of sadness. He answers that those who pray with tears awaken the compassion of God.

Then we learn that Binah is called 'Yah', because he is joy and he causes joy and he is the higher firmament. And when this firmament dominates, we are told, it revokes any punishment that had been decreed for a person who is in sadness yet still fasts on the Sabbath.

Rabbi Elazar next expresses the belief that "Him who rides upon the clouds" refers to Arich Anpin, who is the most hidden and most ancient of all, whose name is 'Yah', and who rides upon Aba and Ima, who are Yud-Hei. Even though Arich Anpin cannot be grasped or understood, Aba and Ima are the first level that emerged from Him. The name of Zeir Anpin, Yud Hei Vav Hei, is not as great because it has more letters, but, nonetheless, it is still the Great Name, which is used for Amen, to draw Light from Him.

Rabbi Elazar then repeats that the precepts of the Torah are the limbs of the body; every one of the limbs is important, and neglecting even one precept of the Torah makes a blemish. He next discusses the union of the supernal limbs, whose secret is 'remember', and the lower limbs, whose secret is 'keep'. We are reminded that anyone who completes the precepts of the Torah will inherit two worlds, this world and the world to come.

Then, Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Aba rise at midnight to study Torah, and the daughter of the innkeeper stands nearby to light a candle for them and listen to their words.


Depression and gloom cause the Shechinah to depart from our presence. Hence, true joy is kindled in our hearts so that the Shechinah envelops us in all her splendor. We are told that genuine tears of sadness (not selfishness) cause our prayers to be answered. In turn, the gates of mercy are opened to us by the lamenting prayers of the righteous who have cried and spilled tears on our behalf throughout history. We are connected to the highest, most hidden realms of the spiritual atmosphere that shines immeasurable rays of Light into our dimension.

Meditating upon this section, while making the conscious effort to share this Light with all mankind, brings us blessing, helping our world now to become the world to come.