222. Rabbi Shimon was going to Tiberias, accompanied by Rabbi Yosi, Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Chiya. On the way, they saw Rabbi Pinchas coming toward them. When they met, they dismounted FROM THEIR DONKEYS and sat under one of the trees on the mountain. Rabbi Pinchas said: Now that we are seated, MEANING NOW THAT WE ARE PREPARED TO LEARN TORAH, I would like to hear of the good teachings you expound every day.
223. Rabbi Shimon then opened a discourse by saying, "And he went on his journeys from the Negev..." (Beresheet 13:3). It says "journeys" IN THE PLURAL, where it should have said "journey," IN THE SINGULAR. Why did the scripture say "journeys" IN THE PLURAL? Because there were two journeys, one his own, and the second that of the Shechinah. The dual journey indicates that everyone should be male and female, so that his faith may be strong and the Shechinah may never depart from him.
224. And you may ask if the sojourner is not both male and female, will the Shechinah then leave him? Come and behold: He who goes on a journey should pray to the Holy One, blessed be He, BEFORE HE LEAVES, so as to draw upon himself his Master's Shechinah, when still at home and still both male and female. And when he has prayed and praised, and the Shechinah rests upon him, then he can go on his way. Now that the Shechinah is with him, he can be male and female both in the city (THAT IS, AT HOME) and in the field (ON HIS JOURNEY), BECAUSE THE SHECHINAH IS JOINED TO HIM. This is the meaning of, "Righteousness shall go before him," WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS REPRESENTING THE SHECHINAH, "and then he shall place his footsteps on the way" (Tehilim 85:14).
225. Come and behold: As long as a man is traveling, he should beware of sinning, so that the supernal mate, NAMELY THE SHECHINAH, will not desert him, causing him to become defective, that is, not composed of male and female. Just as he guards his actions in the city, when his wife is with him, he should do so all the more on the road, when the supernal mate, NAMELY THE SHECHINAH, is attached to him. Furthermore, because the supernal mate, NAMELY THE SHECHINAH protects him on the road and does not depart from him until he returns to his home, HE SHOULD, THEREFORE, WATCH HIS ACTIONS AT HOME TOO, SO THAT THE SHECHINAH DOES NOT DESERT HIM.
226. When he returns home, he should please his wife, because it is she who procured the supernal mate for him. BY RECITING A PRAYER FOR THE JOURNEY WHILE STILL AT HOME WITH HIS WIFE, HE MERITED THE SUPERNAL MATING ON THE JOURNEY. THUS HIS WIFE BROUGHT ABOUT HIS SUPERNAL MATING ON THE WAY, NAMELY THE INSPIRATION OF THE SHECHINAH. And when he comes to her, he should please her for two reasons. First, because of the joy of mating, as this mating is the joy of a precept, and because rejoicing in a precept is the joy of the Shechinah.
227. Furthermore, he increases peace at home, as it is written: "You shall know that your tent is at peace and you shall visit your habitation and not sin" (Iyov 5:24). HE ASKS: If he does not mate with his wife, is that a sin? ACCORDING TO THE WORDS, "AND YOU SHALL VISIT YOUR HABITATION AND NOT SIN?" AND HE SAYS: Evidently so, IT IS A SIN. He has diminished the glory of the supernal mating, NAMELY THE SHECHINAH, who has mated with him on the way because of the actions of his wife. AND IF HE IS UNGRATEFUL TO HER, HE THUS REVEALS HIS OPINION THAT THE SUPERNAL COMPANION WAS NOT SO IMPORTANT TO HIM AND HENCE DEROGATES HER HONOR.
228. The second REASON WHY HE SHOULD GLADDEN HIS WIFE is that if his wife conceives in consequence of this mating, the supernal mating endows her with a holy soul. For this covenant OF THE SUPERNAL MATE THAT ENDOWS THE HOLY SOUL is the covenant of the Holy One, blessed be He. BY THIS MATING WITH HIS WIFE, HE CAUSES THE MATING OF THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, WITH HIS SHECHINAH. It behooves one, then, to concentrate on that joy, as one should concentrate on mating on Shabbat, which is the sages' mating, THAT IS, THE HOLINESS OF THE MATING WHEN ONE RETURNS FROM A JOURNEY EQUALS THE HOLINESS OF THE MATING ON SHABBAT EVE. Hence, the quotation, "you shall know that your tent is at peace," indicates that you will know the Shechinah is with you and has settled on your home. Hence, "...and you shall visit your habitation and not sin," means that you should not sin by refraining from intercourse before the Shechinah, which is the joy in a precept, NAMELY ONE MUST NOT PREVENT THE UNION OF THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, WITH HIS SHECHINAH, THROUGH WHICH A SOUL CAN BE ENDOWED. THIS IS A GREAT SIN.
229. Similarly, the great scholars abstain from their wives all weekdays, so as not to be distracted from their full occupation with Torah. The supernal mate consorts with them, and THE SHECHINAH does not leave them, so that they remain male and female. And when Shabbat comes, these scholars have to please their wives for the honor of the supernal mate, as we have explained, CAUSING THE SUPERNAL MATE TO ENDOW THEM WITH HOLY SOULS. They should meditate on their Master's desire.
230. Similarly, the supernal mate joins with a man whose wife is on her unclean days and who dutifully abides by the laws of family purity all those days, so that he remains male and female. And when his wife is purified, he is obligated to rejoice with her, with the joy in a precept, the joy of the supernal. All the reasons we have discussed reach the same conclusion: the main objective is that the faithful must concentrate in their heart and wishes on.
231. One may say that a man is more praiseworthy while journeying than when he is at home, because the supernal mate embraces him WHILE HE IS ON HIS WAY. Come and behold: When a man is at home, the foundation of the house is the wife, because of whom the Shechinah does not leave the house. As we have learned, it is written that when "He brought her to the tent of his mother Sarah" (Beresheet 24:67), the candle was rekindled, AS IT WAS WHEN SARAH, HIS MOTHER, WAS ALIVE. That is because the Shechinah came to the house FOR HIS WIFE'S MERIT. THE SHECHINAH, THEREFORE, DWELLS IN THE HOUSE BECAUSE OF THE WIFE'S MERIT.