261. Rabbi Akiva said, This dirt in the peel of the nut, MEANING IN THE FOUR KLIPOT THAT SURROUND IT, to what do they allude? He said to him, Even though the Torah did not reveal it, BECAUSE THE TORAH SPEAKS ONLY ON THE ASPECT OF GOOD IN THE NUT, it did reveal in this - MEANING IN THE ALMONDS - AS WILL BE EXPLAINED, THAT THE TORAH SPEAKS ABOUT THE FOUR KLIPOT OF THE ALMOND IN PARTICULAR, ALLUDING TO JUDGMENT, AND NOT THEIR GOOD ASPECT.
262. Come and behold, Some almonds are bitter BECAUSE OF THEIR PEELS, and some are sweet, implying that some are of Severe Judgment, TO WHICH THE BITTER ALMONDS ALLUDE, and some serve HOLINESS, TO WHICH THE SWEET ALMONDS ALLUDE. But we see that every open allusion TO THEM in the Torah is about Judgment, AND DOES NOT DISCUSS THE GOOD IN THEM - THE SWEET ONES. And so it is in Jeremiah, who was shown the Judgment THAT IS IN THEM as is written, "I see a rod of an almond tree (Heb. shaked)" (Yirmeyah 1:11). What is the meaning of shaked? Actual almonds - "AND IT WAS SAID TO HIM, 'FOR I WILL HASTEN (HEB. SHOKED) MY WORD TO PERFORM IT'" (IBID. 12), MEANING TO UPROOT, CRUSH, DESTROY AND DEMOLISH... It is written by the rod of Aaron, "And yielded almonds" (Bemidbar 17:23), AND IT BECAME A SIGN TO THE REBELLIOUS PEOPLE. SO WE SEE THAT THE TORAH SPEAKS ONLY OF THEIR ASPECT OF JUDGMENT. And from the word itself, THAT THEY ARE CALLED 'ALMONDS' (HEB. SHKEDIM) it is understood that it refers to Severe Judgment, as is written, "And Hashem watched (Heb. yishkod) over the evil" (Daniel 9:14). And, "I will hasten My word," and so all of them. SO IT IS CLEAR THAT THE WORD "SHAKED" REFERS TO SEVERE JUDGMENT. Rabbi Akiva said to him, It seems that one could gain much wisdom from everything the Holy One, blessed be He, does, as is written, "Whatever Hashem has done is for His own purpose" (Mishlei 16:4). Rabbi Elazar says, We learn it from these words, "And Elohim saw everything that He had made and, behold, it was very good" (Beresheet 1:31). That is the meaning of "very" - IT IS GOOD to learn supernal Wisdom from it.