One of the more complex ‘angelic’ entities in Torah literature is called Metatron, also known as ‘Mem-Tet.’ There are numerous mentions to this figure in Torah literature, from Talmud, to Midrashim to esoteric works like Zohar and associated commentaries.
Here are some terms and concepts connected to Metatron:
- The Watchman
- The Prince
- Teacher of mysteries
- The King of Angels
- The servant of the King
- The body of the Shekinah
- Handmaid of the Shekinah
- The staff/rod of Moses/G-d
- The middle pillar
- The angel of G-d’s presence
- Head of the world of Creation
- The source of light of the rainbow
- The “Youth” of the tabernacle above
- One who “offers up the souls of the righteous to atone for Israel in the days of their exile.”
The name Metatron is not Semitic in origin. It would seem to correspond with the words “meta” and “tronos,” in Greek, alluding to the idea of “beyond or amidst the throne,” i.e., the throne of G-d. In some Latin texts the term ‘metator’ shows up, indicating a ‘guide.’
Metatron is associated with much more than the throne of G-d. In some texts, he indeed does seem to ‘operate’ at this level of Beriah, which also includes the idea of ‘powers’ or ‘forces.’ In other places, he is clearly part of the angelic world of Yetzirah. Further, in some texts he seems to be functioning amidst the people on earth in our physical world of Asiyah.
A modern commentary explains this, relating it to the function of the messiah:
“MemTet rules over G-d’s entire universe, not just here on planet earth. Thus when Melekh HaMashiah comes, he will be MemTet incarnate. As such, he will serve as G-d’s regent over the entire universe and not just king here on earth. Mashiah will be to HaShem what Yosef was to Pharaoh in Egypt. Thus, we see that the role and authority of Mashiah is not merely limited to this world.” (1)
As the quotation above indicates, aspects of Metatron cut across the three worlds of creation – Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah.
Numbers Rabbah 12:12 – Another explanation of the text, SETTING UP ETH THE TABERNACLE. R. Simon expounded: When the Holy One, blessed be He, told Israel to set up the Tabernacle He intimated to the ministering angels that they also should make a Tabernacle, and when the one below was erected the other was erected on high. The latter was the tabernacle of the youth whose name was Metatron, and therein he offers up the souls of the righteous to atone for Israel in the days of their exile.
Zohar, Vayikra 66b: “R. Jose said: ‘How are we to understand the words, “and they saw the G-d of Israel” (Ex. XXIV, 10)? Who can see the Holy One? Is it not written: “No man can see Me and live”? It means that a rainbow appeared above them in radiant colours resplendent with the beauty of His grace. Therefore the saying that he who gazes at a rainbow gazes, as it were, at the Shekinah. . . . R. Jose further said: “They saw the light of the Shekinah, namely him who is called “the Youth” (Metatron), and who ministers to the Shekinah in the heavenly Sanctuary.”
“Mashiach ben Yoseph is the meta-archangel known throughout the Talmud (including the standard commentaries of Rashi and Tosafot), Midrash, and Zohar, as Metatron.” (2)
“This is the great angel, who on account of it is called Mattatron, the meaning of the word being “the guide of the road.” Thus the Rabbis have said in the Sifre: “The Holy One, blessed be He, was the mattatron (guide) for Moses, and He showed him the entire Land of Israel.” …
By the way of Truth, [the mystic teachings of the Cabala], this angel they were promised here is the redeeming angel in whom is the Great Name, for in Y-a-h the Eternal is an everlasting Rock. This is [what He meant when] He said, I am the G-d of Beth-el, for this is the custom of the King to dwell in His Palace. He is called mal’ach (angel) because the whole conduct of this world is by that attribute. And our Rabbis have said that this is Mattatron, a name which signifies “the guide of the road” . . . ‘to bring thee into the place which I have prepared, referring to the Sanctuary. . . I will yet mention the Rabbis’ meaning in saying that Mattatron’s name [in the sum of letters-numbers] is even as the Name of his Master. His voice is thus the voice of the living G-d, and it is mandatory upon us to hearken to His voice by the mouth of the prophets. . . he will not pardon your transgression if you rebel against his word, for he who rebels against him, rebels against the Great Name which is in him, and he deserves to be cut off by the attribute of justice.” . . . his voice is the voice of the Supreme One.” (3)
“The angel Metatron is God’s shaliach, His agent in charge of this physical world.” (4)
“…the Mashiach ben Yosef from above is Metatron, the Minister of Interior; as is known, Yosef is Metatron.” (5)
“For [Metat’s] name is like that of his Master’s, as it is written (Exodus 23:21) “because my name is in Him.” This is the lower unification. In other words, the Holy One, blessed-be-He, clothes Himself in Metat during the six days of the week and rules the world through him.” (6)
“Shabbat is on a much higher level of holiness than the weekdays. It is completely holy, with the negative forces and qualities of bad, evil, falsehood, etc. having no place therein. This is not true of the weekdays. During the six days of the week, a mixture of good and evil, false and true, etc. predominates. Similarly, G-d is, so to speak, completely holy. Rulership of the world on Shabbat is entirely under his personal jurisdiction and domain. However, during the weekdays God clothes Himself in the angel Metat (Yevamot 16b, Tosafot. Zohar I, 126a). Through him, God rules the world, not directly and openly, but indirectly through a veil. This distancing from absolute holiness allows for the appearance of a creation separate from and even devoid of God, which ultimately what provides man the maximum free will to serve God of his own volition.” (7)
“A youth” — (Gen. 37:2) “and he was a youth” — Four individuals were given the appellation ’ youth’: Yosef, Joshua, Metatron, and David.” (8)
As we trace the “path of Neo” across these same worlds, there are connections we can make, taking this from a ‘top-down’ approach.
Follow along precept upon precept:
- When we speak of “Creation,” it includes these three worlds. The first is itself called Creation (Beriah) and the other two worlds (Yetzirah/Formation and Asiyah/Making) follow suit.
- All three worlds of Creation were affected by the sin of Adam and thus all three worlds need tikkun/repair in some fashion.
- The place where ‘all three meet’ for this tikkun to take place is the lowest world (Asiyah) of physicality, as it is only here where ‘holy and unholy,’ ‘clean and unclean,’ etc., can intermingle and impact each other. Thus, it will require a man, not an angel, to ‘get the job done.’ (A second Adam to fix the sin of the first Adam.)
- The Torah expresses the negative situation caused by Adam in different ways, a primary one being a ‘disunity in the Name of G-d.’ (Conversely, when messiah comes, the name of G-d will again be One – Zechariah 14:9)
- The function of tikkun is thus expressed in terms of ‘reconnecting’ the name, which is expressed in terms of the letters of the most holy (4-letter) name; Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey (YHVH).
- The letters in the name are associated with specific divine personae (partzufim) which make up the B’tezelem Elohim – the “Image of G-d” which is “male and female” (Genesis 1:27).
Yud = Father/upper male
Hey = Mother/upper female
Vav = Son/groom/lower male
Hey = Daughter/bride/lower female
- The disunity in the Name is specifically expressed in terms of the final letter Hey being separate from the rest of the name – this represents the idea that the “presence of G-d in this world,” called the Shekinah, is ‘separated from the King.’
- The Vav, (which letter represents the idea of a hook), has the function of connecting the Hey after it (the shekinah, lower female) to the Hey before it (the upper female), which in effect unites the entire 4-letter name as the Yud and first Hey (Father & Mother aspects of the Image of G-d, expressed in the name “Yah”) are never separated.
Returning to the Matrix and applying these ideas:
- Neo began with his meeting with Trinity in the Matrix. This is the world of Asiyah which is associated with Trinity, the lower female. When he comes to trust her, she becomes the ‘first gate’ (Sefirah of Malchut) on his spiritual path.
- By the middle of the second movie, Neo reaches the point where he has come to knowledge (da’at) of the world of the Oracle who is the ‘upper female’ corresponding to the world of Beriah.
- Beriah is associated with the concept of teshuvah, which is the concept of ‘returning’ to our true self (‘before sin’). Teshuvah is also read as “tashuv-hey,” meaning “returning or restoring the Hey,” which has been distanced from Yod-Hey-Vav, due to our sin.
- This concept is seen in the relationship between Neo and Trinity. She represents the “Hey” who is ‘returned’ when she goes with him on his journey to the Machine City.
- Before that occurs however, Neo himself must gain access to the world above Beriah, that of Atzilut, which is the level of the Architect and the letter Yod.
- In order to do this, he had to pass through a door of light. The character of The Keymaker explained that this door of light had a ‘width and breadth’ of 314 seconds. This is a very peculiar expression as he is taking the idea of SPACE (that being the square area done by multiplying two numbers) with the resulting product expressed as TIME – 314 seconds.
- There is a mathematical concept in Torah associated with the process of ‘bringing two things together’ and causing something ‘new’ to come into place (to be understood). The gematria (numerical value) of each thing is multiplied. This is called a “chibur.” The product of the two reveals a spiritual concept.
- There is a specific kabbalistic term for ‘female’ with regard to the aforementioned unification of the Name. This is “nukveh.” The gematria of nukveh is 157.
- Neo’s is the ‘vav’ who connects the two females, Trinity (the world of Asiyah) to the Oracle (the world of Beriah). Thus we have the idea of a chibur of 2×157, which is 314, which happens to be the ‘width and breadth’ of the door according to the Keymaker.
- The number 314 is the gematria of “Metatron.” It is also the gematria of “Shaddai.”
- “Identifying Shiloh – The Secret Soul of the Mashiah,” Parashat Vayehi, 5762, Rabbi Ariel bar Tzadok, org
- Joel David Bakst, The Secret Doctrine of the Vilna Gaon, Vol 1, Pg 134
- Ramban, Exodus 12, Bo, and Exodus 23, Mishpatim, translated by Rabbi C. Chavel, Shilo Publishing House, pg. 410-413
- Mayim, Breslov Research Institute, pg. 79
- Kol Hator 1:20
- Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, Likutey Moharan 11.5, Breslov Research Institute, p. 183
- Commentary on Likutey Moharan 11.5, Breslov Research Institute, pg 183
- Kol HaTor 2:94