"And all of the girls…." (Num. 31:18) Rabbi Yehuda said that from here we learn that the world is only conducted by two "colors" that come from the feminine aspect of the spiritual world. This is the "wisdom of the heart" that governs the word, as is written "All of the women who were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen." (Ex. 35:25)

Now what was the purpose of bringing this particular offering to the dedication of the Tabernacle in the desert? The purpose was to rectify the colors of blue and purple which each include a mixture of white and red. This is also reflected in the verse "She seeks wool, and flax, and works willingly with her hands". (Proverbs 31:13) It is also written that the wise hearted women "spun with their hands". What is this "spinning"? Rabbi Yehuda said that they spun together strictness and mercy.

The color purple signifies the mixture of white and red….

The colors referred too here are a code for the two basic sefirot that define the activity of the Divine in this world, namely chesed and gevura - kindness and strictness. These two sefirot are reflected in the directions right and left and by the colors white and red. The color purple signifies the mixture of white and red in the sefira of "tiferet" - "beauty" - which is in the middle of the tree of the sefirot between chesed and gevura. The color blue represents "malchut", which designates the way the world is conducted in fact.

[It is interesting to note that these colors are in fact used to represent these powers in society as we know it. Thus, the highest judges in the British legal system wear white wigs, representing mercy, and red gowns, appropriate for their activity of judgement. Royalty is referred to as being "blue-blooded".]

White is also connected to light, which is the source of spirituality, referred to in Kabbala as the "Infinite Light". In a similar vein white wool represents chesed and stringy flax, gevura. The woman of valor (malchut) knows how to work both these materials into fabric, the fabric of a life mixing the right balance of kindness and strictness.

Rabbi Yitzchak asked Rabbi Yehuda why the Hebrew word for woman is "isha". He answered that it is because the word includes both strict judgment and mercy. Look at it this way: Rabbi Eliezer said that every woman is called "judgment", until she tastes the taste of mercy. This is as we have learnt, that the fetus receives the white from the male and the red from the woman. When a woman tastes the chesed of the male, then she understands that chesed is preferable to gevura.

In Hebrew the word "ish" means "man" and "isha" means "woman". This indicates that a girl, once she grows to become a married woman, combines the feminine aspect of gevura with the masculine aspect of chesed. The result of the union of these two aspects is a fetus that contains white (such as bones and the whites of the eyes) and red (such as blood and skin).

Zohar, parashat Matot Page 259b; translation and commentary by Simcha-Shmuel Treister

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