Zohar Commentary on Parasha Pekudai Section 53 - 7 Chambers of the Other Side

Section 53 of the Zohar Commentary on Parasha Pekudai - 7 Chambers of the Other Side

It is recommended to read the synopsis after you have formed your own opinion of the meaning of the Zohar Comments. This allows you to be a cause rather than the effect of the writer of the synopsis.


Rabbi Shimon opens with: "But they, like Adam have transgressed the covenant." He speaks to Adam, saying that he was only asked to keep one precept, and yet he could not keep it and was seduced by the serpent. Next he talks about David, who ran away from Saul and was rejected from the Holy Land. Nevertheless, he says, David did not turn to evil. He describes the grades of the evil inclination, the seven names it is called by, and the seven names of Gehenom. These correspond to the seven chambers of the Other Side. Just as there are grades and chambers on the side of holiness there are grades and chambers on the side of defilement. Many grades and chieftains stand ready to purify people who worship God, and many grades and chieftains stand ready to defile people who sin. Rabbi Shimon tells us that everyone sees the Angel of Death when his time of reckoning comes.

Pasook 836. of the Zohar Commentary on Parasha Pekudai

רִבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן פָּתַח וְאָמַר, וְהֵמָה כְּאָדָם עָבְרוּ בְרִית שָׁם בָּגְדוּ בִי. מַאן יְגַלֶה עָפָר מֵעֵינֶיךָ אָדָם קַדְמָאָה, דְקוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא פָּקִיד לָּךְ פִּקּוּדָא חֲדָא, וְלָא יָכִילַת לְקַיְּימָא בָּה. בְּגִין דְּאִתְפַּתִית עַל מִלִּין בִּישִׁין, דְּאַסְטֵי לָּךְ הַהוּא חִוְיָא בִּישָׁא, דִּכְתִּיב וְהַנָּחָשׁ הָיָה עָרוּם. וּבְגִין כָּךְ, אִתְפַּתִּית אֲבַתְרֵיהּ, וְגַרְמַת מִיתָה לְגַרְמָךְ, וּלְכָל אִינּוּן תּוֹלְדִין דְּנַפְקוּ מִינָךְ. תָּא חֲזֵי, דְּכָל מַאן דְּאִתְפַּתָּא אֲבַתְרֵיהּ וְנָחִית לְגַבֵּיהּ בְּרִגְעָא חֲדָא, יִתְאֲבִיד לְגַבֵּיהּ.

Rabbi Shimon opened the discussion with the verse: "But they, like Adam have transgressed the covenant" (Hoshea 6:7). Who will remove dust from your eyes, Adam, if the Holy One, blessed be He gave you one precept and you could not keep it, for you were enticed by the wicked things with which the evil serpent seduced you, as is written, "the serpent was craftier" (Beresheet 3:1). Hence you were seduced by it, and brought death to you and all your offspring. Come and see: Whoever is seduced by it, and goes down to it, he will be lost in an instant, NAMELY, FALL UNDER ITS DOMINION.

chanoch's Commentary

There are 2 Verses from Tanach mentioned in this Pasook. It is recommended that you read the whole verse regarding Beraisheet 3:1 and all of Chapter 6 of Hosea,rather than just the quoted portion. Hosea 6:7 refers to they but it is not clear who they are. In my opinion they are people who seek knowledge without wisdom. The serpent is still craftier than all of the sentients in the universe. This is a true cautionary comment.

Pasook 837. of the Zohar Commentary on Parasha Pekudai

תָּא חֲזֵי, דָּוִד הֲוָה קִיוּמָא נָעִיץ בִּמְקוֹרָא דְּמַיִין נַבְעִין, וְכַד אִתְדַּחְיָא לְאַרְעָא אַחֲרָא, וְצַעְרִין לֵיהּ, וּלְפוּם צַעְרֵיהּ אִתְדַּחְיָא מֵאַרְעָא קַדִּישָׁא. אַף עַל גַּב דְּנָחִית מִדַּרְגּוֹי לְדַרְגָּא תַּתָּאָה, קָם בְּקִיּוּמֵיהּ, וְלָא עָאל לְסִטְרָא אַחֲרָא, וְאִסְתְּמַר מִנֵּיהּ. מַה כְּתִיב וְאוּלָם חַי יְיָ' וְחֵי נַפְשֶׁךָ כִּי כְּפֶשַׂע בֵּינִי וּבֵין הַמָּוֶת. דְּהָא נָחִית בְּדַרְגּוֹי, עַד דַּהֲוָה בֵּיהּ הַאי שִׁעוּרָא. וְזַכָּאָה חוּלָקֵיהּ, מַאן דְּאִסְתְּמַר מֵהַהוּא סִטְרָא בִּישָׁא, וּמִכָּל דַּרְגִּין דְּהַהוּא סִטְרָא, דְּמִשְׁתַּכְּחֵי בְּעָלְמָא.

Come and see: David, whose existence depended upon the source of running water, NAMELY, BINAH, FOR DAVID IS THE SECRET OF MALCHUT ABOVE THE CHEST, THE PLACE OF BINAH, WHENCE HE TAKES HIS LIFE AND EXISTENCE. When he was chased into another land, WHEN HE RAN AWAY FROM SAUL, he was grieved, and for his grief, he was rejected from the Holy Land, NAMELY, HE FELL FROM HIS GRADE, WHICH IS THE HOLY LAND. Though he descended through his grades to the last one, he nevertheless resisted and did not enter the Other Side, but kept away from it, as it is written, "but truly as Hashem lives, and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death" (I Shmuel 20:3). For he went down the grades until there was but a step between him AND DEATH, WHICH IS THE OTHER SIDE CALLED 'DEATH'. Happy is the portion of he who is kept from that evil, and from all the grades of that side that abide in the world.

chanoch's Commentary

The lesson here is one can fall spiritualy either as a test or an effect of earlier actions - earlier in this life or a previous life yet one does not have to fall to the desire to receive for oneself alone. Remember this well and often.

Pasook 838. of the Zohar Commentary on Parasha Pekudai

דְּכַמָּה סִטְרִין וְדַרְגִּין אִית לְיֵצֶר הָרָע: נָחָשׁ עֲקַלָּתוֹן. שָׂטָן. מַלְאַךְ הַמָּוֶת. יֵצֶר הָרָע. וְהָא אוּקְמוּהָ. דאע"ג דְּבִשְׁמָהָן אִלֵּין אִקְרֵי, שֶׁבַע שְׁמָהָן אִינּוּן לֵיהּ: שָׂטָן. טָמֵא. שׂוֹנֵא. אֶבֶן מִכְשׁוֹל. עָרֵל. רָע. צְפוֹנִי. אִלֵּין אִינּוּן שֶׁבַע שְׁמָהָן, לָקֳבֵל שֶׁבַע דַּרְגִּין דְּהֵיכָלִין דִּילֵיהּ, דְּכֻלְּהוּ מִסִּטְרָא מִסְאֲבָא כִּדְקַאמְרָן. לָקֳבֵל אִלֵּין שִׁבְעָה שְׁמָהָן, אִינּוּן דְּאִקְרֵי בְּהוּ גֵּיהִנָּם, אֲתָר דְּאִתְּדָנוּ בֵּיהּ חַיָּיבַיָּא דְּעָלְמָא. וְאִלֵּין אִינּוּן: בּוֹר. שָׁחַת. דּוּמָה. טִיט הַיָּוֵן. שְׁאוֹל. צַלְמָוֶת. אֶרֶץ תַּחְתִּית. כָּל אִלֵּין שִׁבְעָה מָדוֹרִין דְּגֵיהִנָּם, לָקֳבֵל אִלֵּין שֶׁבַע שְׁמָהָן, דְּאִית לֵיהּ לְיֵצֶר הָרָע.

There are several aspects and grades to the Evil Inclination, which are the Satan, the Angel of Death, and the Evil Inclination. And we explained that though it is called by those names, it has seven names IN PARTICULAR: the Satan, unholy, foe, a stone of stumbling, uncircumcised, evil, northern. These seven names correspond to the seven grades of its chambers, all of them on the side of defilement, as we said, and to the seven names given to Gehenom, NAMELY where the wicked are condemned. These are: pit, grave, Dumah, gruesome mud, Sheol, shadow of death, a nether land. These are the seven departments of Gehenom corresponding to the seven names of the Evil Inclination. AND THE SEVEN CHAMBERS OF THE OTHER SIDE ARE CALLED BY THE SAME NAMES AS THE SEVEN DEPARTMENTS OF GEHENOM.

chanoch's Commentary

Does that mean that the 7 chambers of the other side are the 7 levels of Gehinom?

Pasook 839. of the Zohar Commentary on the Parasha Pekudai

וְהָא אוֹקִימְנָא, דִּכְמָּה דְּאִית דַּרְגִּין וְהֵיכָלִין לִסְטַר קְדוּשָּׁה, הָכִי נָמֵי לִסְטַר מִסְאֲבָא. וְכֻלְּהוּ מִשְׁתַּכְּחֵי וְשַׁלְטֵי בְּעָלְמָא, בִּסְטָר מִסְאֲבָא. שִׁבְעָה הֵיכָלִין אִינּוּן , דְּאִינּוּן לָקֳבֵל שִׁבְעָה שְׁמָהָן, דְּאִקְרֵי בְּהוּ גֵּיהִנָּם. וְכֻלְּהוּ קַיְימֵי לְדַיְּינָא, וּלְסַאָבָא, לְאִינּוּן חַיָּיבֵי עָלְמָא דְּדַבְּקֵי בְּהוּ, וְלָא אִסְתַּמְּרָן אָרְחַיְיהוּ מִנֵּיהּ, כַּד אִינּוּן בְּהַאי עָלְמָא.

Here we explained that as there are grades and chambers on the side of holiness, so there are on the side of defilement, all of which abide in and rule the world on the side of unholiness. THEREFORE, THERE ARE seven chambers, corresponding to the seven names of Gehenom, NAMELY, CALLED BY THE SAME NAMES AS THE SEVEN DEPARTMENTS OF GEHENOM. All of them stand ready to condemn and defile the wicked of the world who clove to them, and did not keep away from them, while in this world.

Pasook 840. of the Zohar Commentary on the Parasha Pekudai

דְּהָא מַאן דְּאָתֵי לְאִתְדַכְּאָה בְּהַאי עָלְמָא, בְּסִטְרָא דְּדַכְיָא, מְדַכְּאִין לֵיהּ, בְּהַהוּא אֲתָר דְּאִקְרֵי רָזָא דִּמְהֵימְנוּתָא. דְּכַמָּה דַּרְגִּין אִינּוּן, וְכַמָּה מְמָנָן, דְּכֻלְּהוּ קַיְימִן לְקָרְבָא לִבְנֵי נָשָׁא לְפוּלְחָנֵיהּ דקוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא, וּלְדַכְּאָה לֵיהּ. וּמַאן דְּאָתֵי לְאִסְתַּאֲבָא, מְסָאֲבִין לֵיהּ בְּהַאי סִטְרָא אַחֲרָא דְּאִיהוּ מִסְאֲבָא. דְּהָא כַּמָה דַּרְגִּין, וְכַמָּה מְמָנָן, כֻּלְּהוּ קַיְימֵי לְסָאֲבָא לוֹן לִבְנֵי נָשָׁא.

Whoever comes to be purified in this world, on the side of purity, he is cleansed in the place called 'the secret of the Faith', NAMELY, MALCHUT OF HOLINESS. How many are the grades and chieftains all ready to draw people nearer to the worship of the Holy One, blessed be He, and purify them. And whoever comes to be defiled, he is defiled on the Other Side, which is unholy, where many grades and chieftains stand ready to defile people.

Pasook 841.of the commentary on the Parasha Pekudai

מַאן דְּיִקְרַב בְּהוּ, וְאָתֵי לְאִתְמַשְּׁכָא בָּתַר הַהוּא סִטְרָא בִּישָׁא, עָלֵיהּ כְּתִיב, מִי גֶּבֶר יִחְיֶה וְלֹא יִרְאֶה מָּוֶת יְמַלֵּט נַפְשׁוֹ וְגוֹ'. מַאן אִיהוּ בַּר נָשׁ דְּאִתְבְּרֵי בְּעָלְמָא דְּלָא יֶחֱמֵי מוֹתָא, הַהוּא דְּכָל עָלְמָא אִתְמַשְּׁכָאן אֲבַתְרֵיהּ. דְּהָא בְּהַהוּא זִמְנָא דְּאָתֵי ב"נ לְמֵיהַב חוּשְׁבָּנָא קָמֵי מָארֵיהּ, עַד לָא יִפּוּק מֵהַאי עָלְמָא, חָמֵי לֵיהּ, וְהָא אוֹקִימְנָא.

He who comes near them, and is drawn after that Evil Side, of him it is written, "What man is he that lives, and shall not see death, but shall deliver his soul" (Tehilim 89:49). Who is the man who was born into this world, and does not see death, to which all the world is drawn, NAMELY, THE ANGEL OF DEATH. For when the time comes to do reckoning before his Master, HIS TIME TO PASS AWAY FROM THE WORLD, before he does depart he sees him, THE ANGEL OF DEATH, as we already explained.

Pasook 842. of the Zohar Commentary on Parasha Pekudai

וְאִלֵּין שִׁבְעָה הֵיכָלִין, דְּאִינּוּן שִׁבְעָה מָדוֹרִין לַגֵּיהִנָם. תְּרֵיסָר יַרְחִין אִקְרוּן, בְּגִין דְּהָא כְּמָה דְּאִית לִסְטַר מְהֵימְנוּתָא תְּרֵיסָר יַרְחִין, דַּרְגִּין קַדִּישִׁין, הָכִי נָמֵי אִית לְסִטְרָא אַחֲרָא דָּא תְּרֵיסָר יַרְחִין, דְּחַיָּיבַיָּא אִתְדָּנוּ בְּהוּ, וְנִשְׁמְתָא דִּלְהוֹן אִתְּדָנָת בְּהוּ. זַכָּאָה חוּלָקֵיהוֹן דְּצַדִּיקַיָּיא, דְּאִתְמָנְעָן רַגְלַיְיהוּ מִנַּיְיהוּ בְּהַאי עָלְמָא, וְלָא מִתְקָרְבֵי לְתַרְעַיְיהוּ, בְּגִין לְאִשְׁתְּזָבָא מִנַּיְיהוּ בְּהַהוּא עָלְמָא.

These seven chambers, the seven departments of Gehenom, are called 'twelve months'. As there are twelve months of holy grades on the side of the Faith, MALCHUT, so the Other Side has twelve months, to which the wicked are condemned, and their souls are sentenced to. Happy is the portion of the righteous who keep their feet in this world away from their gates, to be saved from them in that world, SO THEY WILL NOT BE CONDEMNED BY THEM IN GEHENOM.

chanoch's Commentary

This is telling us that no one spends more than 12 months in Gehinom. This is also why we say kaddish for only 11 months so as not to embarrass anyone for thinking that they got the longest sentence.