225. Another explanation for, "You shall afflict your souls" (Vayikra 16:29): Rabbi Aba opened the discussion saying, "There was a little city, and few men within it" (Kohelet 9:14). "A little city" has been explained. Yet the little city is as in, "We have a strong city; He sets up salvation..." (Yeshayah 26:1) and, "And I will not come as an enemy (also: 'in a city')" (Hoshea 11:9), WHERE CITY REFERS TO MALCHUT. "A little city" is small, because it is the last of all SFIROT and the lowest of them all. Its walls are large, strong and holy, and it is called a holy city. "And few men within it:" Few are those who merit to enter within and dwell there, as the verse says, "Who shall ascend into the mountain of Hashem? or who shall stand in His holy place?..." (Tehilim 24:3). Therefore, "and few men within it."
226. "And there came a great King against (or: 'to') it" (Kohelet 9:14). This refers to the Holy One, blessed be He, who comes to join with it and reside in it. "And besieged (or: 'circled') it" as the verse says, "'For I,' says Hashem, 'will be to her a wall of fire round about...'" (Zecharyah 2:9). "And built great siegeworks against it" (Kohelet 9:14) means that He builds its big, strong, fine, beautiful and holy walls, MEANING THE PROTECTION THAT EXTERNAL FORCES WILL NOT BE NURTURED FROM IT. It is called the holy city. All the majesty of the King He brought within. Therefore, it alone comprises all crowns of the King, BEING THE MOCHIN OF ZEIR ANPIN, ACCORDING TO THE SECRET OF THE VERSE, "A VIRTUOUS WOMAN IS A CROWN TO HER HUSBAND" (MISHLEI 12:4). ZEIR ANPIN IS NOT CROWNED WITH THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH, SAVE WHEN HE IS UNITED WITH MALCHUT, SINCE CHOCHMAH IS REVEALED IN MALCHUT ONLY, and all crowns of the King are decorated with it. For this reason, there are "few men within it," AS NOT ALL PEOPLE MERIT IT.