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.
407. Happy is the generation that Rabbi Shimon dwells therein. Happy is his lot among the higher and lower beings. Regarding him, it is written, "Happy are you, O land, when your king is free" (Kohelet 10:17). What is meant by "free?" His head stands straight and he states matters without fear, as one who is free. He says what he wants and fears not. Who is "your king?" This refers to Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, master of Torah, master of wisdom. When Rabbi Aba and the sages would see Rabbi Shimon, they would run after him saying, "They shall walk after Hashem, who shall roar like a lion" (Hoshea 11:10).