Part 7.
Sixes and Sevens

Before returning to the “Path of the One,” we will pause a bit more than usual to present some foundational kabbalistic concepts as they are critical to the plot.

As mentioned, Neo’s journey began at the level of Malkut when he met Trinity. He then moved along to the level of the six Sefirot of “Ze’ir Anpin,” in his encounters with Morpheus and the Merovingian. It is here at this level the he must develop certain deficient aspects of his character before proceeding to the higher levels (the three highest Sefirot called the “Mochin”) as symbolized by his next encounters with Seraph and the Keymaker, who both open higher-level “doors” for him.

As the Oracle counseled him:

“Sorry, kid. You got the gift, but it looks like you're waiting for something.

In traditional kabbalistic study, the coming together of the “Groom and Bride” represents the “Unification of the Name” which in turn relates to the culmination of human history and arrival of the Messianic age, i.e.,

Zechariah 14:9: And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.

Two numbers are always associated with this unification. The groom (Neo), representing the six Sefirot of Ze’ir Anpin (see Part 3 of this study) is linked to the number six (and to the letter vav, the sixth letter of the Aleph-Bet). The Bride (Trinity), being Malkut (Kingdom), the last of the seven “emotive Sefirot” (middot) is represented by the number seven. (Incidentally, this is why we see the bride circling the groom seven times in a Jewish wedding.)

The combination of these two numbers, when added, gives us the sum of 13. When they are multiplied (called the “chibur,” meaning “joining)” it gives us the product of 42. Both these numbers are extremely significant and present themselves in the very first lines of the Zohar:

Zohar 1:1 - Rabbi Hizkiah opened his discourse with the text: As a lily among thorns, etc. (Song of Songs 2:2). ‘What’, he said, ‘does the lily symbolise? It symbolises the Community of Israel. As the lily among thorns is tinged with red and white, so the Community of Israel is visited now with justice and now with mercy; as the lily possesses thirteen leaves, so the Community of Israel is vouchsafed thirteen categories of mercy which surround it on every side. For this reason, the term Elohim (God) mentioned here (in the first verse of Genesis) is separated by thirteen words from the next mention of Elohim, symbolising the thirteen categories of mercy which surround the Community of Israel to protect it. The second mention of Elohim is separated from the third by five words, representing the five strong leaves that surround the lily, symbolic of the five ways of salvation which are the “five gates”. This is alluded to in the verse “I will lift up the cup of salvation” (Psalms 116:13). This is the “cup of benediction”,which has to be raised by five fingers and no more, after the model of the lily, which rests on five strong leaves in the shape of five fingers. Thus the lily is a symbol of the cup of benediction. Immediately after the third mention of Elohim appears the light which, so soon as created, was treasured up and enclosed in that b'rith (covenant) which entered the lily and fructified it, and this is what is called “ tree bearing fruit wherein is the seed thereof”: and this seed is preserved in the very sign of the covenant. And as the ideal covenant was formed through forty-two copulations, so the engraven ineffable name is formed of the forty-two letters of the work of creation.’

The connection between the six and seven, and coming of the Messianic Age, and “Ezekiel’s Temple – specifically the dimensions of the Eastern Gate through which the blessings of G-d will come into the world – is mentioned in the book Secrets of the Future Temple (Mishkney Elyon), by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato (translated by Avraham Greenbaum, Temple Institute and Azamra Institute, Jerusalem, 1999, pp. 74):

As the great and powerful letter Vav asserted itself (for it was from the Vav that the light [of the heavenly Holy of Holies] emerged, its force was so great that it broke through the wall and made there a gate as high as the measure of the vav (=6): six cubits. And since the Vav was joined with its mate (6+1=7), the width of the gate was seven cubits.

To put it succinctly, the number 42 is associated with the idea of a “window” between the spiritual and physical realms. When the groom (6) and bride (7) are together (6x7=42) this window is open. It is important to note that this can number can also represent an unholy connection, as seen by Balaam offering forty-two sacrifices against Israel. (Seven sacrifices on each of six mountains.)


Part of the process of this unification of the “six” and the “seven” is the prior “coming together” of the six. This idea of the six as a group being “formed” is seen in a number of places:

The six sons of Leah (and one daughter!)

The six steps the throne of Solomon (1 Kings 10:19, Midrash Rabbah, Devarim 5:6)

The six days of creation leading to the seventh day of Shabbat:

Zohar, Bereshith 31a:  R. Jose propounded the question: What are the six days of Bereshith of which the Rabbis speak so often? R. Simeon answered: These are, in truth, the cedars of Lebanon which he has planted
. As the cedars spring from Lebanon, so these six days spring from Bereshith. These are the six supernal days which are specified in the verse: Thine, O Lord, are the Greatness (Gedulah), the Might (Geburah), the Beauty (Tifereth), the Victory (Nezah), and the Majesty (Hod) (I Chronicles 29:11). The words “For all” refer to the Zaddik (righteous one, who is Yesod (foundation of the world).

The six aspects of our three-dimensional space continuum:

Zohar, Bereshith 3b: BERESHITH (In the beginning). Said R. Yudai: What is the meaning of Bereshith? It means with Wisdom, the Wisdom on which the world is based, and through this it introduces us to deep and recondite mysteries. In it, too, is the inscription of six chief supernal directions, out of which there issues the totality of existence. 

The idea of "six righteous ones" coming, the last of whom is the Messiah, is found in these Midrashim:

Midrash Rabbah, Genesis 97 -- Thus a waw was added to Nahshon, hinting that six righteous men would come forth from his tribe, each of whom was blessed with six virtues. Thus of David it is written, That is skilful in playing, and a mighty man of valour, and a man of war, and prudent in affairs, and a comely person, and the Lord is with him (I Samuel. 16:18. Of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah it is written, Youths in whom was no blemish, but fair to look on, and skilful in all wisdom, and skilful in knowledge, and discerning in thought, and such as had ability to stand in the king's palace (Daniel 1:4). Of Hezekiah too six virtues are recorded: And his name is called, Wonderful, Counsellor, Prince, Mighty, Everlasting father, Prince of peace (Isaiah 9:5).  Of Daniel it is written, Forasmuch as a surpassing spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and declaring of riddles, and loosing of knots, were found in the same Daniel (Daniel 5:12). Finally, of the royal Messiah it is written, And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2).

Midrash Rabbah, Ruth 7:1,2 – “AND SHE LAY AT HIS FEET UNTIL THE MORNING, AND SHE ROSE UP BEFORE ONE COULD DISCERN THE OTHER.” R. Berekiah said: BEFORE (BETEREM) is written with an extra waw (vav), teaching that she tarried with him for six hours, the numerical equivalent of the letter waw. FOR HE SAID: LET IT NOT BE KNOWN THAT THE WOMAN CAME TO THE THRESHING-FLOOR (ib.). To whom did he say this? R. Meir said: To his major- domo. R. Hunya and R. Jeremiah in the name of R. Samuel b. R. Isaac said: All that night Boaz lay stretched out upon his face, and prayed, Lord of the Universe, it is revealed and known to Thee that I did not touch her; so may it be Thy will that it be not known that the woman came to the threshing-floor, that the name of Heaven be not profaned through me.AND HE SAID: BRING THE MANTLE THAT IS UPON THEE (ib. 15). BRING (HABI) is written habah, teaching that he addressed her in the masculine, that none should notice her. AND HOLD IT. teaches that she girded her loins like a man. AND HE MEASURED SIX MEASURES OF BARLEY, AND LAID IT ON HER. R. Simon said: Bar Kappara expounded in Sepphoris: Is it then the custom of a king to betroth a wife with six grains of barley? Or is it the custom of a woman to be betrothed with six se'ah of barley? R. JudaSimon said: The meaning is that as a reward for, AND HE MEASURED SIX BARLEYS AND LAID [THEM] ON HER,1 he was vouchsafed that there should arise from her six righteous men, each one of them possessing six outstanding virtues, viz. David, Hezekiah, Josiah, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, Daniel, and the Messiah. David, as it is said, Skilful in playing, and a mighty man of valour, and a man of war, and prudent in affairs, and a comely person, and the Lord is with him (I Samuel 16:18); Hezekiah, as it is said, That the government may be increased, and of peace there be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it, through justice and through righteousness (Isaiah 9:6). And his name is called Pele- joez-el-gibbor-abi-ad-sar-shalom (ib. 5).4 Some observe that l'marbeh (be increased) is written with a closed mem.5 Josiah, as it is said, For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out its roots by the river, etc. (Jeremiah 17:8). Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, as it is said, Youths in whom there was no blemish, but fair to look on, and skilful in all wisdom, and skilful in knowledge, and discerning in thought, and such as had ability  (Daniel 1:4). Daniel, as it is said, A surpassing spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and declaring of riddles, and loosing of knots, were found in the same Daniel (ib. v, 12). The Messiah, as it is said, And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, etc. (Isaiah 11:2).

The following Midrash also presents the one who “restores the six” as the Messiah:

Midrash Rabbah, Numbers 13:12 - The numerical value of waw is six, corresponding to the six things which were taken from Adam and which are to be restored through the son of Nahshon, that is, the Messiah.

All of the above is very significant with regard to something the Architect revealed to Neo:

“The matrix is older than you know. I prefer counting from the emergence of one integral anomaly to the emergence of the next, in which case this is the sixth version.”

Neo is the final version of “the One” (the “anomaly” as he is referred to) as he is the sixth of six, completing the totality of Ze’ir Anpin, which is now ready to return to the “Source” – the machine mainframe. (As mentioned in Part 4 of this study, the Architect is not able to “see” this.)

One has to wonder if the Wachowski brothers got this idea directly out of this passage of the Zohar, which speaks of the soul that completes this process of six-time rectification in order to “return” to its “source”:

Zohar, Shemoth 94a-b:  When a soul is doomed to undergo transmigration, should it be one which has emanated from the side of the Servant, Metatron, who represents in himself six aspects, then the successive revolutions of that soul will not be more than six years (i.e. times) until it shall have completed the six stages which lead back to the region from whence it came.

Interestingly, the titles of the second and third Matrix movies, (“Reloaded” and “Revolutions”) may be seen as synonymous with “transmigration.”

The angelic character of “Metatron” mentioned in the Zohar verse above is called (among many names), “the body of the King's daughter,” when the Shekinah (which never separates itself from the people of Israel) is in exile with them.

Zohar, Shemoth 94b: For at that time they were in the grade of servants, represented by Metraton, who is but the bearer of the Shekinah; but in the days of the Messiah they shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight (Isaiah 52:12) from their captivity.

Metatron is the key to understanding the “window” that the Keymaker tells Neo and his companions they will have a limited amount of time to go through. (More on this in a later section.)

This idea of the “vav” connecting to the source of all "things" (the Ayn Sof) is also found in another Kabbalistic text:

The essence of the third letter is the essence of the letter vav, and it includes the six Spheres which are the numerical equivalent of the letter vav [six], three above, which is half of vav and three of its other half below. The three of the upper half are Gedulah (also called Hesed), Gevurah and Tiferet and the three Spheres on the lower half are Netzach, Hod and Yesod. All these Spheres are included in the letter vav. Behold, the letter vav of the special Name (YHVH) stands in place of the complete Name. ... This letter contains the secret of tying all the upper and lower Spheres.  It ascends to Keter and descends to Malchut and it suits all the Spheres., for all are united in it whether they be above or below, to the right or to the left, and it is called the center line. ... Know that this great Name YHVH is the attribute the Kabbalsits call the Middle Line. ... The meaning of the term "the Middle Line" is the essence of the letter vav that is found in the Name YHVH, for it stands in the place where the Name is. It is like an intermediary line, thus this name ascends ever upward until AYN SOF (the infinte), which is the essence of Keter and unites with the name EHYE, which is the essence of the Heavenly Line and then returns to unite below with the Name Adonay. After this He returns and extends to the sides, and all sides from every direction hold fast toHim. One finds that the letter vav of the Name YHVH, may He be blessed, stands in the place of the whole Name, and to it all the other Names hold fast.
(From "
Gates of Light" (Sha'are Orah), Rabbi Joseph Gikatilla, translated by Avi Weinstein, Altimira Press, London, 1994, excerpts from pp.147-246.)

As expressed by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh (see, the six Sefirot of Zeir Anpin first come together, then connect to the higher levels:

“The six sefirot from chesed to yesod join and develop to form the partzuf of Zeir Anpin. Zeir Anpin receives its "head" or "brain-power" (the three higher sefirot of chochmah binah da'at) from the higher partzufim of Abba and Imma.”

Once this same process of “rectification of the six” is completed in “the One” (Neo), he can proceed to the next level – but first, he will need Da’at – Knowledge, in fact, two aspects of Da’at, before he can attain "Abba and Imma" (Chokmah and Binah).