206. Rabbi Aba was staying with Rabbi Shimon. Rabbi Shimon rose at midnight to study Torah, and Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba rose with him. Rabbi Shimon opened the discussion saying, "As the hart pants after the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, Elohim" (Tehilim 42:2). The friends have established this verse. Fortunate are Yisrael more than all nations that the Holy One, blessed be He, gave them the Holy Torah and bequeathed to them saintly souls from a holy source in order that they should observe His commandments and take pleasure with the Torah. All those who take pleasure in the Torah need not fear anything, as it is written, "Unless Your Torah had been my delights, I should have perished in my affliction" (Tehilim 119:92).
207. What are my delights? The Torah as the Torah is called delights, as it is written, "And I was daily His delight" (Mishlei 8:30). We have learned that the Holy One, blessed be He, comes to delight Himself with the righteous in the Garden of Eden. What is meant by 'delight Himself?' IT MEANS to rejoice in them. As we learned, fortunate are the righteous about whom it is written, "Then you shall delight yourself in Hashem" (Yeshayah 58:14), so as to take pleasure from the drink of the stream, MEANING BINAH, as it is written, "And satisfy your soul in drought" (Ibid. 11). It is as if the Holy One, blessed be He, delights in them by means of that drink of the stream that the righteous take pleasure in, so He comes to have delight with the righteous. All those that toil in the Torah will merit to find delight in the righteous from that drink of the stream, MEANING BINAH.
208. We have learned that "as the hart (Heb. ayal) pants after the water brooks" refers to the Congregation of Yisrael, NAMELY MALCHUT, as the verse says, "O my strength (Heb. eyal), haste You to help me" (Tehilim 22:20). "MY STRENGTH" REFERS TO MALCHUT. "Pants after the water brooks," MEANING to be watered by the water of the spring, REFERRING TO BINAH, through the aid of the Righteous, NAMELY YESOD. "Pants (Heb. ta'arog)" as the verse says, "To the beds (Heb. arugot) of spices" (Shir Hashirim 6:2). "So my soul pants for You, Elohim," MEANING to be watered from You in this world and the World to Come.
209. HE QUESTIONS: What are the sources of the spring? HE ANSWERS: THERE IS one spring above, NAMELY BINAH, as it is written, "And a river went out of Eden to water the Garden..." (Beresheet 2:10). It flows on from there and waters the Garden, NAMELY MALCHUT. All these streams, NAMELY THE SFIROT OF ZEIR ANPIN THAT RECEIVE FROM THE RIVER, flow out and join in the two springs known as Netzach and Hod OF ZEIR ANPIN. These are called water brooks AND POUR in that level called Righteous, MEANING YESOD OF ZEIR ANPIN, from which it continues and goes out; and the Garden is watered, NAMELY MALCHUT. For this reason, the hart and the deer are together, REFERRING TO righteousness and the Righteous, NAMELY YESOD AND MALCHUT THAT ARE TOGETHER. HART STANDS FOR MALCHUT AND DEER FOR YESOD.