51. "For I appear in the cloud upon the ark cover" (Vayikra 16:2). Rabbi Yehuda said: Fortunate are the righteous, whom the Holy One, blessed be He, delights to honor. We have learned about a king of flesh and blood, that if someone rides on his horse, he has committed a capital offense. However, the Holy One, blessed be He, placed Elijah on His own, as it is written, "And Elijah went up by a storm of wind into heaven" (II Melachim 2:11) AND IT IS WRITTEN, "HASHEM ANSWERED JOB OUT OF THE STORM" (IYOV 38:1). It is written: here "that he die not: for I appear in the cloud upon the ark cover." The Holy One, blessed be He, brought Moses into the cloud, as it says, "And Moses went into the midst of the cloud" (Shemot 24:18), meaning into the midst of the cloud, DENOTING MALCHUT. IT IS WITHIN THE SAME CLOUD, OF WHICH IT SAYS, "For I appear in the cloud upon the ark cover." This is the meaning of, "And Hashem will create upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion and upon its assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day" (Yeshayah 4:5), "For the cloud of Hashem was upon the tabernacle by day" (Shemot 40:38). ALL THESE CLOUDS HINT AT MALCHUT.
61. As they were walking, he said, "I am black, but comely, O daughters of Jerusalem..." (Shir Hashirim 1:5). The Congregation of Yisrael said before the Holy One, blessed be He: I may be black in exile but I am comely with the commandments of the Torah. Even though Yisrael are in exile, they do not forsake THE PRECEPTS. "Like the tents of Kedar" (Ibid.), MEANING EVEN THOUGH I AM like the children of Keturah, whose faces are always black, still I am like "the curtains of Solomon" (Ibid.), MEANING like the view of heaven for purity, as it is written, "Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain" (Tehilim 104:2). SOLOMON (HEB. SHLOMO) IS THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, THE KING OF PEACE (HEB. SHALOM).
63. Another explanation is that THE SHECHINAH SPOKE literally OF "my mother's children," REFERRING TO THE SFIROT OF ZEIR ANPIN, THE CHILDREN OF BINAH WHO IS THE MOTHER OF THE SHECHINAH, as the verse says, "And cast down from heaven (to) earth..." (Eichah 2:1). So when ZEIR ANPIN threw from heaven the earth, MEANING THE SHECHINAH, "they made me the keeper of the vineyards" (Shir Hashirim 1:6), REFERRING TO THE NATIONS OF THE WORLD. SHE HAS TO POUR ABUNDANCE TO THE NATIONS OF THE WORLD SO THAT YISRAEL WILL DRAW SUSTENANCE FROM THEM. What is the reason? BECAUSE "my own vineyard," NAMELY YISRAEL, "I have not kept" (Ibid.), BECAUSE THEY SINNED. We thus learn that "the children of my mother," NAMELY THE SFIROT OF ZEIR ANPIN, agreed against me, TO DISTANCE ME, meaning the earth was removed with this, REFERRING TO MALCHUT, from heaven, DENOTING ZEIR ANPIN. We established that it is written, "And his sister stood afar off" (Shemot 2:4). THE SHECHINAH, CALLED THE SISTER OF ZEIR ANPIN, STOOD FROM A DISTANCE, MEANING ZEIR ANPIN HAD CAUSED HER TO STAND AT A DISTANCE.
83. This bed, NAMELY MALCHUT, includes them, NAMELY ALL THOSE LEVELS MENTIONED ABOVE. This bed's legs link to the four directions of the world, MEANING IT CONTAINS IN IT THE FOUR SFIROT OF CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET AND MALCHUT - WHICH IS THE SECRET OF THREE COLUMNS AND MALCHUT THAT RECEIVES THEM. Everything is counted, BOTH what there is above, NAMELY THE GRADES OF ZEIR ANPIN, AND what is below, NAMELY HER OWN GRADES. THIS IS THE SECRET OF "in heaven above," NAMELY ZEIR ANPIN, "and upon the earth beneath" (Devarim 4:39), NAMELY MALCHUT, KNOWN AS EARTH. Therefore, it is written, "Behold," MEANING "BEHOLD THE BED OF SOLOMON." What is meant by "Behold?" It means it is ready TO SHED LIGHT to all above and below, and this bed is impressed by all. It is called Adonai, which means master (Heb. adon) over all, marked among its armies.
219. Come and see: When the holy souls come from above downwards and the pious of the world draw them from the King and the Queen, NAMELY FROM THE UNION OF MALE AND FEMALE, there are few THAT MERIT it, that at the exact moment when they descend TO EARTH, they are standing AND SERVING before the King, who pleases to look at it. AFTERWARDS, IT DESCENDS INTO THE WORLD. When the Holy One, blessed be He, blew the breath INTO EVERY SINGLE SOUL AND into every angel in Heaven, all the hosts were created and stood complete, as we have established. This is what the verse says, "And all the hosts of them by the breath of His mouth" (Tehilim 33:6). Among THE SOULS, there are those that remain STANDING BEFORE THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, AS MENTIONED, until the Holy One, blessed be He, causes them to descend.
220. We have learned that from the day the world was created, THE SOULS OF THE GREAT PIOUS ONES have stood before the Holy One, blessed be He, held back IN HIS PRESENCE. THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, WATCHES THEM until the time arrives to send them below, MEANING TO BECOME CLOTHED WITH A BODY, and they rule above and below. Thus the verse, "As Hashem the Elohim of Yisrael lives, before whom I stood." It doesn't say, 'I stand,' but "I stood," MEANING BEFORE DESCENDING TO THIS WORLD. Afterwards, he returned to his place IN HEAVEN and entered his chamber. Other SOULS do not ASCEND TO THEIR PLACE until they die. This is because they never stood earlier BEFORE THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, ON THAT LEVEL of the others, NAMELY ENOCH AND ELIJAH THAT MERITED TO ASCEND TO THEIR PLACE WHEN STILL ALIVE. For this reason, Elijah became a messenger and angel above, AND ENOCH TOO. And these were those that clung most to the King, MEANING MORE THAN AN ANGEL.
251. Come and see what is written concerning Isaac, "And Jacob went near to Isaac his father; and he felt him" (Beresheet 27:22). He said: He is lacking only the dew from heaven that flowed upon the earth, MEANING THAT HE LACKS ONLY THE BOUNTY OF ZEIR ANPIN CALLED HEAVEN, THE LIGHT OF CHASSADIM, AS HE IS A CHARIOT FOR ZEIR ANPIN. BUT HE DOES NOT NEED THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH. Rabbi Yosi spoke, "And the fatness of the earth" (Ibid. 28) IS ALSO WRITTEN DENOTING THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH, and he blessed him with everything, BOTH CHASSIDIM AND CHOCHMAH. Why DID HE BLESS HIM WITH THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH? When he saw him with hair, DENOTING JUDGMENTS, he said, in order to remove this FROM HIM, he needs "the fatness of the earth" DENOTING THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH, but not the filth of the earth, LIKE THE OTHER SIDE THAT FEEDS UPON THE FILTH OF THE NAILS. This filth comes from the earth, DENOTING MALCHUT. When the dew of Heaven and the fine fruit of the earth join, DENOTING ZEIR ANPIN AND MALCHUT, that filth passes.
270. Until one elder man who was among them went and brought the Torah scroll of Rav Hamnuna Saba (the elder). Then the son of Rabbi Shimon, Rabbi Elazar, who was buried with us, was awakened. He went and prayed in the Garden of Eden for them and the world was healed. Then they allowed us TO RETURN TO THE YESHIVAH. From the time they took Rabbi Elazar from this cemetery IN GUSH CHALAV and placed him near his father IN MERON, there is no one who will awaken to rise before the slumberers of Hebron, for we are afraid to do so since the day when they dismissed me and my friends FROM THE YESHIVAH. Now, you have come to us with your Torah scroll. Therefore, I am shaken up as I say: Who will hasten to notify these genuine righteous men slumbering in Hebron. Rabbi Yesa slipped away AND WENT OFF with that remnant of the Torah scroll. Rabbi Chizkiyah said: Heaven forbid, the world is not in distress and we did not come for this reason.
285. (A) "And she said, Will you give me a pledge, till you send it?" (Beresheet 38:17) These are the marks of a Queen blessed by the King during her nuptials. And he said: What pledge shall I give you? And she said: Your signet, and your cord, and your staff (Ibid. 18). These are the heavenly bonds, the jewels of the Bride who is blessed by these three - NAMELY Netzach, Hod and Yesod. Everything is contained within these three. The Bride is blessed from this. Immediately, "he gave it her, and came into her, and she conceived by him" (Ibid.).
(B) "And it came to pass about three months after" (Ibid. 24). HE QUESTIONS: What is meant by three months? HE ANSWERS: After a tripled month. The three months ARE CHESED, GVURAH AND TIFERET, as we have established. HERE IT IS WRITTEN, "About three months," MEANING as the fourth month began, DENOTING MALCHUT, to stir up the Judgments in the world due to the sins of mankind and to nurture from the Other Side. Then, "it was told Judah, saying, Tamar your daughter in law has played the harlot" (Ibid.), so the bride is found on the Other Side. It is written, "Bring her out" (Ibid.) as the verse says, "And cast down from heaven (to) earth the beauty of Yisrael" (Eichah 2:1). "And let her be burnt" (Beresheet 38:24) with a flaming fire in exile.
(C) It is written, "When she was brought forth" to be drawn into the exile, "She sent to her father-in-law, saying, By the man whose these are, I AM WITH CHILD" (Ibid. 25). It is not written: 'from whom these are,' but "whose these are," WHICH MEANS these items are proof of him by whom I am with child. THESE WERE BRIDAL ORNAMENTS AND THEY HAD ALREADY BECOME HERS, AS EARLIER MENTIONED, BUT ONLY HE GAVE THEM. Immediately, "And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She has been more righteous (Heb. tzedakah) than I" (Ibid. 26). Assuredly she is righteous, for this was brought about by that name, FOR SO IS MALCHUT CALLED. What brought upon her this name? He continued, "than I (also: 'from me')," as it is written, "For Hashem is righteous, He loves righteousness (Heb. tzedakah); the upright shall behold His face" (Tehilim 11:7). This is because tzedakah is justice (Heb. tzedek) and Hei, and she received that name from me. She inherited IT from me and all this is come from me.
291. Rabbi Shimon was cleansing the marketplaces of Tiberias. He dug out all the dead that were there, and cleansed the land. We have learned that it is written, "But when you entered, you defiled My land" (Yirmeyah 2:7). Rabbi Yehuda said: Fortunate is the portion of he who deserves during his lifetime to make his dwelling in the Holy Land. All who merit it will cause the dew of the heaven above to continue to descend upon the earth, so all who deserve the Holy Land in this lifetime will later deserve the higher Holy Land, MALCHUT.
301. If it is so to Yisrael, THAT TORAH IS NOT TO BE REVEALED BUT TO ONE WHO IS IN THE UPPER LEVEL, it is all the more so with the idolatrous nations. If one gives to all those who are uncircumcised even a single letter of the Torah, it is considered as if he devastated the world and was false to the name of the Holy One, blessed be He. It is all dependent upon this, CIRCUMCISION. One is bound to the other, TORAH IS CONNECTED TO CIRCUMCISION, as it is written, "If My covenant be not day and night, it were as if I had not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth" (Yirmeyah 33:25).
314. One strong youth came out with a sharp sword that turns into males and females, who carry the measuring of an efa between heaven and earth, sometimes carrying it throughout the world. All are measured by it, as it is written, "A just efa" (Vayikra 19:36).
319. And the Holy One, blessed be He, praises the Congregation of Yisrael like a rose, and we have already explained why HE PRAISED HER as a rose. Rabbi Yehuda said: When righteous men increase in the world, the Congregation of Yisrael, DENOTING MALCHUT, raises good fragrance BEING THE SECRET OF THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH THAT SHINES FROM BELOW UPWARD AS FRAGRANCE, and is blessed WITH CHASSADIM from the Holy King, and her face shines. But when the wicked increase in the world, it is as if the Congregation of Yisrael does not raise up the good fragrance, and tastes from the bitter FEEDING of the Other Side. Then it is written, "And cast down from heaven (to) earth..." (Eichah 2:1), MEANING THE COUPLING OF ZEIR ANPIN CALLED HEAVEN AND MALCHUT CALLED EARTH HAS BEEN DISBANDED, and her face is dark.
329. So it is written, "Hashem shall roar from on high, and utter His voice from His holy habitation; He shall mightily roar because of His habitation" (Yirmeyah 25:30), because of His actual habitation, namely the Queen, WHO IS GONE. It is surely so THAT HE ROARS. What does He say? THUS: woe that I have demolished My house. "My house" MEANS the union with the Queen. This is surely the meaning of, "The nakedness of your father, or the nakedness of your mother, shall you not uncover." From all directions there is nakedness, NAMELY BLEMISH. FOR WHEN MALCHUT, YOUR MOTHER, PARTED DUE TO THE SIN OF THE LOWER BEINGS, THEN THE LIGHTS DEPARTED FROM ZEIR ANPIN AS WELL. THUS, ZEIR ANPIN, YOUR FATHER, WAS DAMAGED. Then "I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering" (Yeshayah 50:3), MEANING ZEIR ANPIN REFERRED TO AS HEAVEN, as the place of the reception of blessings of the springs' sources, WHICH ARE IN BINAH which were flowing and watering ZEIR ANPIN properly, withdrew AND STOPPED.
406. Rabbi Shimon said: The Holy One, blessed be He, said, 'Bring atonement before Me on the New Moon,' BECAUSE I HAVE REDUCED THE MOON, MALCHUT. "Before Me" surely MEANS ON MY BEHALF, in order to remove the serpent FROM NURSING FROM MALCHUT, and to perfume the one who needs to, NAMELY MALCHUT. "Before (lit. 'upon') Me" TO BE EXPLAINED, as "Serafim stood above him" (Yeshayah 6:2), WHICH DOES NOT MEAN OVER HIM, HEAVEN FORBID, BUT FOR HIS SAKE AND FOR HIS GLORY. HERE TOO, "UPON ME" IS TO BE EXPLAINED AS 'FOR MY SAKE.' Therefore, it is written regarding Korah, "Who are gathered together are against (lit. 'upon') Hashem" (Bemidbar 16:11), WHICH ALSO MEANS "FOR HASHEM," MEANING for them, BECAUSE OF THE SIN OF KORAH AND HIS CONGREGATION, someone was awakened from their side, MEANING THE OTHER SIDE, TO BLEMISH HASHEM. Also here, "Bring before Me your atonement" upon Me literally, MEANING FOR MY SAKE AND FOR ME, in order that MALCHUT will have fragrance and the serpent will pass from her and not be found where it dwelt, MEANING IN A PLACE OF LACK DUE TO THE DIMINISHED MOON. What is all this for? Because I reduced the moon, NAMELY MALCHUT, and he who should not has sway over her. Hence, "also you shall not approach to a woman in the impurity of her menstrual flow" (Vayikra 18:19), AS IN THE ADJACENT PARAGRAPH.