A Visionary Mirror
“Why is it called זָהָב (zahav), gold? Because in it three qualities are wedded. זָכָר (Zakhar) male—ז (zayin). הַנְשָׁמָה (Ha-neshamah), the soul [is נְקֵבָה (neqevah), female]—ה (he), for ה״ (five) names of the soul: nefesh, ruaḥ, neshamah, ḥayah, yeḥidah. What is the function of ה (he)? It is a כִּסֵּא (kisse), throne, for ז (zayin), as is written, For he who is high has a higher one watching him (Ecclesiastes 5:7). ב (Bet) is sustenance, as is said: בְּרֵאשִׁית בָרָא (bereshit vara), In the beginning fatten (Genesis 1:1) [cf. Ibn Ezra on Genesis 1:1; 1 Samuel 2:29: לְהַבְרִיאֲכֶם מֵרֵאשִׁית (le-havriakhem me-reshit), to make yourselves fat from the first portions].
What is its purpose here? What is this like? A king once had a daughter who was good, pleasant, beautiful and perfect. He married her to a royal prince, and clothed, crowned, and bejeweled her, giving her much wealth. Is it possible for the king to ever leave his daughter? You will agree that it is not. Is it possible for him to be with her constantly? You will also agree that it is not. What then must he do? He places a חַלּוֹן (ḥallon), screen, between the two, and whenever the father needs his daughter, or the daughter needs her father, they can come together through this screen [alt., וִילוֹן (vilon), Curtain, see BT Ḥagigah 12b, cf. Zohar 3:222b (RM)]. Therefore it is written All the princess’s treasure is inward, filigree of זָהָב (zahav), gold, her raiment (Psalms 45:14)” (Bahir §53-54).
“A mirror in which all the colors [sefirot] appear; this is the dim glass” (Zohar 1:183a).
“There is a visionary mirror [Shekhinah] reflecting supernal colors, envisioned in that visionary mirror; there is vision within vision, and vision within vision, one above the other, all poised on specific rungs, presiding, called night vision. Through them spread all dreams of the world, these resembling those above” (Zohar 1:196a).