Rabbi Elazar opened [his discourse] with: "And He [G‑d] showed me [the prophet Zachariah] Joshua the High Priest, standing before the angel of G‑d..." (Zachariah 3:1, from the Haftorah reading for Chanukah) Come and see: woe to those people who do not look out for their Master's honor and do not pay attention to the proclamation that He issues about them daily.1 When a person observes the commandments of the Torah, many defenders rise to recall his good points, but if a person transgresses the commandments, his deeds accuse him before G‑d.2 We have been told that Joshua was a High Priest. And what is written about him? "...and the adversary standing at his right hand to incite him." If this is how it was for him, then how much more so for those ordinary mortals who do not respect the honor of their Master.

Look what is written: "Now Joshua was clothed in filthy garments..." (Ibid. 3:3) This has been explained.3 Yet the filthy garments were surely the garments in which the spirit is attired in that world. Fortunate is the destiny of he whose garments are repaired and complete in that world! We have already learnt with what raiment they clothe everyone whom they want to send to Purgatory, what these raiments are that they dress him in. Here it is written, "Now Joshua was clothed in filthy garments, and he stood before the angel." Which angel? The Angel appointed in charge of Purgatory and also in charge of everyone who he sees in such clothes. Then a voice said, "Take off the filthy garments from him (from Joshua the High Priest)." (Ibid. 3:4)

It follows from this that it is a person's bad deeds that make the filthy garments for him. "And he said to him (Joshua the High Priest), 'Behold I have caused your iniquity to pass from you; and I clothe you in festive garments'" (Ibid.) For they clothed him in other more suitable garments, in which a person may observe the splendor of his Master's honor.

Come and see the similarity: Pinchas, who did not leave this world until he had changed into other fitting garments which the spirit would enjoy in the next world, had in one hour taken off one set and put on the other, to fulfill that which is written: "Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace" (Num. 25:12) (and thus saved from the angel in charge of Purgatory - KOL)

While they were on their way and the sunlight was strong, they sat down in the shade of a rock in the wilderness. Rabbi Elazar said, "Shade is without doubt the joy of the soul."

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

We below are in essence Dream Weavers. The dream that we weave is our World to Come, our Heaven, our Rabbinic garment. This garment, this dream, this spiritual essence, is the collective product of the actions, words, and thoughts that we produce while housed in the physical shell we call our body. The mission is to create the most wonderful outfit we can, a Tallit of surrounding light that sparkles with all the mitzvahs, Torah, and good deeds that we have performed on this earth plane.

What does your garment look like now? A fur coat? A snazzy blazer? An itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini? Is this garment that you want to wear on Judgment Day? And if not, what can you do to weave the best dream/garment possible? And if not now, when?

What does the above mean to you, and why is it being revealed to you now?

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
Copyright 2003 by KabbalaOnline.org, a project of Ascent of Safed (//ascentofsafed.com). All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work or portions thereof, in any form, unless with permission, in writing, from Kabbala Online.