125. Rabbi Shimon was sitting (Katnut) and studying the Torah on the night (absence of the spiritual Light, Galut – exile from spirituality) when the Bride, Malchut, unites with her husband, Zeir Anpin (precisely in Galut). And all the friends (the souls, parts of Malchut) present in the bridal chamber (Malchut of the world of Atzilut) on that night, the eve of the holiday of Shavuot (Pentecost, the end of Galut), must stand together with the bridegroom (ZA, the Creator) under the Huppah (wedding canopy), and be with him this whole night, and rejoice (over being filled with Light) with him in the corrections of the Bride (the common soul), i.e., study the Torah, then Prophets, then Holy Scriptures, and finally the wisdom, for these corrections are the Bride’s adornments (the Light of Hassadim, into which the Light of Hochma clothes). And the Bride (all the joined souls) receives corrections (in the property of bestowal), adorns herself with them (obtains the Light of Hochma), and rejoices with them all of that night (the end of spiritual exile). And on the next day, on the holiday of Shavuot (the receiving of Light), she only comes to the Huppah (Ohr Hozer, Hassadim) together with them (the souls of those who participated in her correction). And her friends, who studied the Torah (their correction) the whole night (of the exile), are called the sons of the Huppah. And as she approaches the Huppah, the Creator asks about them, blesses and adorns them with the Bride’s adornments (the corrections of the Light of Hassadim). Happy are those who merit this!
126. This is why Rabbi Shimon and all of his friends stayed up that night, and each of them renewed the Torah again and again. Rabbi Shimon was joyous, and so were his friends. Rabbi Shimon said to them: “My sons, how blessed is your lot, for it is you who shall accompany the Bride tomorrow to the Huppah, for all those who correct Her and rejoice in Her this night shall have their names recorded in the Book of Remembrance. And the Creator shall bless them with seventy blessings and adornments of crowns of the Upper World.”
127. Rabbi Shimon opened and said, “The Heavens declare the Creator’s greatness. I have already explained this, but when the bride awakens to enter the Huppah on the following day, with all the friends who rejoiced with her through that night, she rejoices with them, corrects herself and shines with her adornments.”
128. And on the following day, a multitude of masses, hosts, and legions join her. And she, together with all these masses, hosts and legions, awaits all those who corrected her by studying the Torah on that night. This is so because Zeir Anpin unites with Malchut, and she sees her husband, and it is said: “The Heavens declare the Creator’s greatness.” “The Heavens” alludes to the Bridegroom (ZA), who enters the Huppah. “The Heavens declare,” i.e., shine, like the luminescence of a sapphire, upon the entire Malchut, from end to end.
129. The Creator’s glory = EL – is the bride, Malchut, called EL, as it is written: “EL rages each day.” She is called EL on all the days of the year. And now, on the holiday of Shavuot, when she already entered the Huppah, she is called GREATNESS and she is called EL, greatest of the great, luminescent out of the luminescent, dominion over dominions.
130. The hour when the Heaven (ZA) enters the Huppah and shines upon Malchut, all of her friends, who corrected her by studying the Torah, are known by their names, as it is said: “The Heavens declare the work of His hands.” “The work of His hands” refers to the members of this covenant, called “the work of His hands.” As you say: “Confirm for us the work of our hands,” which is the mark of the covenant, imprinted on man’s body.
131. Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba then said as follows: “Do not let your mouth cause your body to sin,” i.e., one must not allow his mouth to get close to evil and be the cause of sin for the sacred flesh, which bears the mark of the holy covenant with the Creator. If he does so, he shall be dragged to hell. And the ruler of hell, called Domeh, stands at the gates of hell with hundreds of thousands of angels, but he is forbidden to approach those who have kept the holy covenant in this world.
132. When this happened to King David, fear enveloped him. Right then, Domeh ascended before the Creator, and said: “Master of the world, it says in the Torah: ‘And the man that commits adultery with another man’s wife…’ David broke his covenant, is it not so?” The Creator replied to him: “David is righteous, and his holy covenant remains pure, for it is known to Me that Bat Sheva was destined for him since the creation of the world.”
133. Domeh said to Him: “Master of the World, what is revealed to You is concealed from him.” The Creator answered: “Whatever David did was done with My permission. For no man goes to war without first giving his wife a Get (document of divorce).” Domeh then said: “But if this is so, David should have waited three months, which he did not.” The Creator replied: “This extension is only necessary to make certain that the woman is not pregnant from her previous husband. But it is known to Me that Uriah never went near her, for My Name is imprinted in him as testimony. Indeed, Uriah is Ohr–Iah, the Creator’s Light, though it is written Uriahu = Ohr + i + a + hu (Yod-Hey-Vav), without the last Hey, Malchut, which proves that he did not use Malchut.”
134. Domeh said to Him: “Master of the World, this is exactly what I have said: if You knew that Uriah had never laid with her, then who revealed it to David? He should have waited three months. And if You will say that David knew that Uriah had never laid with her, why did he send Uriah to his wife, saying: ‘Go down to your house, and wash your feet?’”
135. He replied to him: “Of course, David did not know, but he waited more than three months, as four months had passed. As we have learned, on the 15th day of Nissan, David ordered all the people of Israel to prepare for war, Yoav – on the seventh day of Nissan. They conquered the lands of Moav and remained there for four months, until he went to Bat Sheva in the month of Elul. And on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), the Creator forgave him his sin. But there are those who say that David dispatched his orders on the seventh day of Adar, the troops assembled on the 15th day of Iyar, he went to Bat Sheva on the 15th day of Elul, and on Yom Kippur the Creator forgave him and spared him from death at the hands of the angel Domeh.
136. Domeh said: “Master of the World, I have nonetheless one claim against him: why did he open his mouth and say: ‘The Lord is righteous, for a mortal does so,’ thus condemning himself to death. Hence, I have the power to bring death upon him.” The Creator replied to him: “You are not allowed to bring death upon him, for he has repented and confessed: ‘I have sinned before the Creator,’ even though he did not sin. But he did sin in one matter – the killing of Uriah. I have recorded his punishment, and he had received it.” Then Domeh immediately gave up his complaints, and returned, despondent, to his place.
137. And David said to this: “Were it not for the Creator’s help, Domeh had nearly claimed my soul.” “Were it not for the Creator’s help” means “had the Creator not been my guard and guide against the angel Domeh.” “Nearly” means that only the distance as thin as a thread separated me from the other, impure side, so close was I from Domeh dragging my soul to hell.
138. Therefore, man should be careful not to say what David said, for one cannot say to the angel Domeh that “It was an error,” as it was with David, when the Creator won the dispute against Domeh. “Why should the Creator be angry over your word,” i.e., for what you have said. “Destroyed the work of your hands,” i.e., the sacred flesh, the holy covenant, which you have broken, and are therefore to be dragged to hell by the angel Domeh.
“The Night of the Bride” – full commentary
Shamati Article #163: “What the Authors of the Zohar Said”