Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
This is a useful metaphor, as first the doorway was huge, roughly 30×60 ft (20×40 amos), and second because it suggests that G-d gives us the means, but awaits for us to actually step through the portico (ulam) to the holies and holy of holies within.
See also Eiruvin 53b, which speaks of the hearts of the earlies sages being like the doorway of the portico, but the later ones being as broad as the doorway of the heichal (“only” 10×20 amos). It’s a true “dwarves atop giants” type metaphor — the later sages are further within, but their hearts are smaller.
Mahadura Basra ad loc links this to an enigmatic gemara on Eiruvin 21a about the size of the Torah. For more info, see the Kollel Iyun haDaf Insights page for Eiruvin 21.
The line about the sinner having no hope is in the Qur’an 7:40: “The impious shall find the gates of heaven shut, nor shall he enter till a camel pass through the eye of a needle.” The difference is in line with Islam’s stress on Divine Justice to the exclusion of Divine Mercy.
Yeishu’s comment, OTOH, reflects their belief that man can’t redeem himself but must rely on external salvation. Playing down divine justice and only speaking of their god’s mercy. (I don’t capitalize for the trinitarian god, unlike Islam’s true monotheism.)
We, on the other hand, believe in a definition of Good that is tif’eres, a harmony, between the two. We recognize a human condition that is a set of dialectics; we must balance law and love, justice and mercy, truth and peace (think about tact). We therefore see G-d’s actions through two conflicting lenses. As Rashi quotes Chazal in his commentary on the beginning of Bereishis: the Torah uses the tetragrammaton when His actions look to us as those of mercy, and the name E-lokim (c.f. A-llah) when they appear harsh and the imposition of law.
The following is from Hamaayan by Reb Shlomo Katz, served off torah.org:
In the Friday night zemirot composed by the Arizal we read: “To the right and to the left, and in between them, the bride.” The “bride” presumably is Shabbat, but what is “to the right and to the left”?
Rav Pinchus David Horowitz z”l (the “Bostoner Rebbe”) explains:
In kabbalah, the “right” and the “left” represent the attributes of “chessed” (loving-kindness) and “gevurah” (strength) respectively. In our history, Avraham epitomized chessed (the right) and Yitzchak, gevurah (the left).
Avraham fathered Yishmael, who, according to the midrash, refused to accept the Torah because it outlawed adultery. Adultery is the result of chessed (love) gone awry (see Vayikra 20:17). Yitzchak fathered Esav, who refused to accept the Torah because it prohibited murder, which is the excessive use of accept the Torah because it prohibited murder, which is the excessive use of “gevurah.”
The nations on the right and the left observe their sabbaths to the right and the left of Shabbat, i.e., on Friday and Sunday, respectively. It is to this that the Arizal’s song refers.
Each of these three nations –Yishmael, Esav, and ourselves — claims to have the true Torah of Avraham. When we observe Shabbat, says the Bostoner Rebbe, we add to it a few minutes from Friday and a few minutes from Sunday in order to solidify our claim. (quoted in Shoshelet Boston p.273)