"And I will lay with my fathers." Rabbi Yehuda began [his discourse by quoting the verse:] "Hear, O deaf; and look, O blind, that you may see". (Isaiah 42:18) "Hear, O deaf" refers to the men who neither listen to the words of the Torah nor open their ears to hearken the precepts of their Master. The blind are those who do not look to know wherefore they live. For every day, a crier comes and proclaims [as it says: "Every day, an echo resounds from Mount Horeb (Sinai) proclaiming and saying: "Woe is to the creatures who insult the Torah." (Avot 6:2)] yet no one pays attention.

We have learned that man's days already exist from the day he was born into the world [in the form of sparks of his soul]. They wander about the world and descend to warn man, each day in its turn. When the day comes to warn the man, yet the man commits a sin on that day, it ascends shamefacedly and bears testimony on him and stands outside alone [for this spark wasn't healed].

We have learned that after [the day, meaning the holy spark] was put to stand alone, it sits and waits for the man to repent. If the man repents, the day returns to its place; but if he did not merit, the day descends, joins the spirit outside and comes back to his [the man's] house, putting on the same appearance as the man, to bring evil upon him. The day dwells with him in his house, and if he has the merit it brings him good, but if not, it brings him evil.1

In either case, when that man's days are accounted, they are in want, and those that remained [and didn't return to their place because of his sins] are not included in the total. Woe to the man who diminished the number of his days before the holy King, and is lacking days Above with which to be crowned in that world, to approach the holy King.

Come and see: When his days come before the holy King, if the man who passed away from the world is righteous, he ascends and enters with these days that are the raiments of glory in which his soul is clothed. For he merited these days by not committing sin.

Woe to the man who reduced the number of his days above. For when they wish to clothe him in his days, the days he spoilt by his sins [that he did not rectify and heal] are missing from that garment, and he wears defective clothing. All the more so if they are many, and that man has nothing to be clad in that world. Woe to him, woe to his soul, for he is sentenced to Purgatory on account of these days, days upon days; two days [of punishment] for each day [of sin]. When he departs from the world he finds no day in which to be clad, and has no garment or covering. Fortunate are the righteous whose days are all stored with the holy King and made into raiments of glory to don in the World to Come.

BeRahamaim LeHayyim: Why did the Ari and Chida pick this passage, and what are they trying to teach us?

What an awesome parable for us to contemplate at Keriat Shema al mitah, the bedtime prayer! What does the garment of our day look like? Is it strong, colorful, drab, frayed, skimpy, full of holes, threadbare, etc? This explains the Haluka DeRabanan--one's supernal garment to be worn in the other world. Every day, besides being a garment, is a holy spark waiting to be rectified. It is an angel waiting to be created for either the good or the bad. It is an amazing opportunity to seize and raise to the highest heights. Each day is in fact one of the six days of the workings of Creation, personally and universally. May we all merit to fashion designer clothing worthy of sacred connection and long days.

What does this mean to you, and why are you reading it now?

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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