317. "The nakedness of your father, or the nakedness of your mother, shall you not uncover" (Vayikra 18:7). Rabbi Chiyah opened the discussion saying, "Like the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons..." (Shir Hashirim 2:3). This verse has been expounded by the friends. Yet, how beloved is the Congregation of Yisrael before the Holy One, blessed be He, that she lauds Him in this VERSE. We should look into this. Why does she laud Him through the apple and not with something else or with something THAT HAS color, or fragrance or taste.
318. HE ANSWERS: Since it is written "apple tree," IT TURNS OUT she is lauding him in every manner, with color, fragrance and with taste. Just as the apple is a cure-all also the Holy One, blessed be He, is a cure for all. Just as apple appears in colors - as we established, IT HAS WHITE, RED, GREEN - so does the Holy One, blessed be He, appear in supernal colors - NAMELY CHESED, GVURAH AND TIFERET THAT ARE THE SECRET OF WHITE, RED AND GREEN. As the apple tree has a fine fragrance MORE than other trees, so about the Holy One, blessed be He, it is written, "And His fragrance like the Lebanon" (Hoshea 14:7). Just as the apple's taste is sweet, so also is the Holy One's, blessed be He, as it is written, "His mouth is most sweet" (Shir Hashirim 5:16).
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.
320. Rabbi Yosi said, when righteous men multiply in the world, it is written, "His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me" (Shir Hashirim 2:6), MEANING THE RIGHT AND THE LEFT JOIN IN UNITY, ONE WITH ANOTHER. When the wicked multiply in the world, it is written, "He has drawn back His right hand from before the enemy" (Eichah 2:3), AND THE LEFT RULES WITHOUT THE RIGHT. THEN ALL JUDGMENTS ARE POURED DOWN FROM IT. Rabbi Chizkiyah said, We understand it from here, WHERE IT IS WRITTEN, "and a whisperer separates close friends" (Mishlei 16.28), meaning that the King separates from the Queen, BECAUSE OF THE EVIL MAN CALLED WHISPERER. This is the meaning of the verse, "The nakedness of your father, or the nakedness of your mother, shall you not uncover" MEANING YOU SHOULD NOT CAUSE THE UNCOVERING OF JUDGMENTS ABOVE TO THE NURTURING OF THE OTHER SIDE THROUGH WHICH A SPLIT IN THE HOLY UNION WILL OCCUR.