345. "And they marched three days in the wilderness, and found no water" (Shemot 15:22). Water means nothing if not the Torah, as it is written, "Ho, everyone that thirsts, come to the water" (Yeshayah 55:1). Rabbi Yisa said, And who gave them Torah here? For until now the Torah was not yet given to them.
346. Rabbi Elazar said, They went out into the wilderness to gaze and perceive, but the Holy One, blessed be He, removed His precious splendor from there. They went in order to conceive Him, but did not find Him. We have learned that the Holy One, blessed be He, is called 'Torah.' Therefore, water is Torah, and Torah is the Holy One, blessed be He.
347. Rabbi Shimon said, While they were still traveling in the wilderness, a different government of the other nations, appeared to them, namely, that one which dominates the wilderness, and it met them there. Then Yisrael saw that it was not the precious splendor of their King. This is what is meant by, "And when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah" (Shemot 15:28). Why? "For they were bitter." Their souls were not gratified, as before. And even more, he had come to accuse them.
348. It is written, "And he cried to Hashem, and Hashem showed him a tree" (Ibid. 25). A "tree" means only Torah, as it is written, "She is a Tree of Life to those who lay hold on her" (Mishlei 3:18). And Torah means the Holy One, blessed be He. Rabbi Aba said, "Tree" means the Holy One, blessed be He, as it is written, "For a man is the tree of the field" (Devarim 20:19). The "tree of the field," assuredly is the tree of the Field of the Holy Apples, MEANING THIS FIELD IS MALCHUT. "THE TREE OF THE FIELD" REFERS TO ZEIR ANPIN, HER HUSBAND. And when the splendor of the glory of the King appeared over them, then, "when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet" (Shemot 15:25). What is the meaning of, "and the waters were made sweet?" It means that the Accuser has become an advocate.
349. Rabbi Aba said, Come and behold. When Yisrael first entered into the Covenant of the Holy One, blessed be He, they did not enter properly. Why? Because they circumcised but did not uncover, thus the holy sign was not revealed. But when they arrived here, TO MARAH, it is written, "There He made for them a statue and an ordinance" (Shemot 15:25), WHICH MEANS that Yisrael entered into the two holy parts, MALCHUT AND YESOD, WHICH THEY MERITED BY THE CIRCUMCISION AND MEMBRANE UNCOVERING. In that revealing, in which their sign was uncovered and revealed, they were called 'a statute and an ordinance.' Statute (Heb. chok) IS MALCHUT, as it is written, "And gives food to her household, and a portion (Heb. chok) to her maidens" (Mishlei 31:15). IT ENCOMPASSES MALCHUT AND ALLUDES TO CIRCUMCISION. "Ordinance" as it is written, "An ordinance of Elohim of Jacob" (Tehilim 81:5). THIS IS YESOD, ALLUDING TO MOCHIN THAT ARE REVEALED THROUGH THE MEMBRANE UNCOVERING THAT IS CALLED 'ORDINANCE.' "And there He tested them," namely with His holy sign. SINCE IT IS A STATUTE, IT CAN BE TESTED, as it is written, "For this is a statute for Yisrael." Rabbi Yiba Saba (the elder) said in his book: It refers to that holy staff, REGARDING WHICH IS SAID, "AND HASHEM SHOWED HIM A TREE."