Come and see: when Shabbat enters and that flame [the Great Wind, the source of all harsh judgments (as described here)] is hidden [in the Great Depths], then all the flames of the harmful fires are hidden and subdued. And even the fire of Purgatory rests, and all the evil there have rest, and all, Above (in the upper worlds) and below (in the lower worlds) have rest.

And at the end of Shabbat, when Israel recite the benediction over fire
[when reciting the Havadalah ceremony, strengthening the flame of holiness], all the hidden flames come out and return each to its place. In order not to arouse another flame [of those hidden when Shabbat enters], it is written: "You shall light no fire throughout your habitations on the Shabbat day." (Ex. 35:3) And it was already explained why the fire on the altar is allowed1.

When Shabbat enters, the crier proclaims throughout all the firmaments 'be prepared, O Chariots; be prepared, O legions, before your Master'.
Then a spirit comes from the south [the side of chesed, on the right2] That spirit spreads over all those armies and legions of the right side [of chesed] and they wrap themselves in it. That spirit is called 'the precious garment of Shabbat'. Then the tables people set in this world are rectified in one chamber [of malchut]. Praiseworthy is the portion of the person whose set table appears as is fitting,3 and everything is arranged as it should be,without shame, each man according to his means.

BeRahamim LeHayyim: Why did the Ari and Chida include this section? What do they want us to learn?

This esoteric revelation of energies at the beginning of Shabbat is so important that the Ben Ish Hai includes it in his Seder for Kiddush on Friday night, right before Kiddush. (The problems of lighting a fire on Shabbat include flicking on a light switch, turning on a car ignition, using a flashlight, etc.)

Why? Because what we do has a supernal effect, like the butterfly wings fluttering in China affect the weather here. We control the fires of Purgatory where souls are being cleansed. If we light a fire before the time of Havadalah, the souls that deserve their day of rest unfortunately get a proverbial hotfoot.

Even if one considers himself a non-observant Jew, if he has a sense of the after-life and Purgatory, he would be hard pressed to voluntarily send burning fire to the place where souls being cleansed 24/6 are resting.

What does this mean to you, and why is it revealed to you now?

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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