350. "And he said, 'If you will diligently hearken to the voice of Hashem your Elohim'"(Shemot 15:26) What is the meaning of, "And He said?" It does not say who said this. Rather the Holy One, blessed be He, said this. Rabbi Chizkiyah said, We derive meaning from one vague saying to another. For it is written, "And He said to Moses, 'Come up to Hashem'" (Shemot 24:1). AND THERE IT REFERS TO MALCHUT, FOR IF IT WAS THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, IT SHOULD HAVE SAID, "COME UP TO ME." HERE ALSO, IT MEANS MALCHUT.
351. Rabbi Yosi said, It is understood from the PREVIOUS verse, "And he cried to Hashem, and Hashem showed him a tree." From this we derive THE MEANING OF, "And He said," for it is understood who said this, NAMELY, THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE. 'To the voice of Hashem your Elohim,' or 'to my voice' should have been said. HE ANSWERS, THE meaning is this voice into which they had entered THROUGH CIRCUMCISION, WHICH IS THE VOICE OF MALCHUT. THEREFORE, IT DOES NOT SAY 'TO MY VOICE.'
352. Rabbi Aba said, After the holy sign was revealed in them, they attained two holy parts, as we learned, WHICH ARE YESOD AND MALCHUT. THROUGH CIRCUMCISION THEY MERITED MALCHUT, AND THROUGH THE MEMBRANE UNCOVERING, YESOD. As soon as they attained these two, they also attained these other two parts, WHICH ARE NETZACH AND HOD, because when they are elevated by NETZACH AND HOD, they will join with YESOD AND MALCHUT, and the blessings THAT YESOD WILL CAUSE TO FLOW TO MALCHUT will not be withheld. Therefore, they will reach through these up to the Holy King, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN.
353. And from the placement of the verse is the subject understood. For it is written, "And He said, 'If you will diligently hearken.'" "And He said" refers to the Holy King. And what did He say? "If you hearken diligently to the voice of Hashem your Elohim;" it is as written, "For Hashem your Elohim is a consuming fire" (Devarim 4:24), which is the Congregation of Yisrael, NAMELY MALCHUT. "And will do that which is right in His sight" refers to the righteous, WHO IS CALLED 'RIGHT;' "and give ear to His commandments," refers to Netzach; and "keep all His statutes," refers to Hod. Since they have attained these - MALCHUT, YESOD, NETZACH AND HOD - they have reached the Holy King, WHO IS TIFERET, WHOSE PLACE IS AFTER NETZACH. THEREFORE, what is written afterwards? "I will put none of these diseases upon you, which I have brought upon Egypt; for I am Hashem that heals you." "For I am Hashem," refers to the Holy One, blessed be He, WHO IS TIFERET.
354. It is understood that whoever guards this holy sign, WHICH IS CIRCUMCISION, ascends from it unto the Supernal Holy King. HE ASKS, What is understood from these words? AND HE ANSWERS, It is understood that these two, NETZACH AND HOD, in which the seed accumulates FOR BLESSING, and the holy anointing oil that is poured over the head of the male organ, WHICH IS YESOD, combine together. And the Supernal King, TIFERET, is over them and they connect with Him. Therefore, whoever enters these two, YESOD AND MALCHUT, BY MEANS OF CIRCUMCISION AND UNCOVERING, and guards them, is connected to two others, NETZACH AND HOD, and enters them, and then reaches the Holy King, WHICH IS TIFERET.
355. Rabbi Yitzchak said, Most certainly, one who merits the Righteous, WHICH IS YESOD, merits Netzach and Hod, BECAUSE YESOD INCLUDES NETZACH AND HOD. And they are three with which the Congregation of Yisrael, WHICH IS MALCHUT, is blessed. And he who merits them merits also the Holy King, THAT IS TIFERET, and attains all four SFIROT, TIFERET, NETZACH, HOD, YESOD AND MALCHUT.
356. And corresponding to these four, there is protection for the holy sign from four things, the protection of the Congregation of Yisrael, WHICH IS MALCHUT, which is protection from the impurity of menstruation; protection of the righteous, WHICH IS YESOD, that is protection from the maid servant; protection of Netzach, which is protection from a heathen woman; and protection of Hod, which is protection from a harlot. This is why "the voice of Hashem your Elohim," is the Congregation of Yisrael, WHICH IS MALCHUT, WHICH THEY ENTERED THROUGH CIRCUMCISION.
357. How did Yisrael merit to welcome the Shechinah? It is through guarding against the impurity of menstruation. And about this it is written, "Also you shall not approach a woman in the impurity of her menstrual flow, to uncover her nakedness" (Vayikra 18:19). HE ASKS, "To uncover her nakedness" - of whom? HE ANSWERS, Of the Congregation of Yisrael, MEANING NOT TO BLEMISH HER. And in this way, other things that the Congregation of Yisrael is bound to joined and connect to. And we have already explained this matter.
358. "And will do that which is right in His sight." This refers to the righteous, WHO IS YESOD, as it is written, "The eyes of Hashem are toward the righteous" (Tehilim 34:16). We have discussed being wary of a maid servant in accordance with the verse, "And a handmaid that is heir to her mistress" (Mishlei 30:23), WHICH MEANS that it causes the righteous to cleave unto a handmaid. "And give ear to His commandments," refers to Netzach, for one should not insert this sign into a heathen woman, nor be false with it to Netzach. For it is written, "And also the Eternal One (lit. 'Netzach') of Yisrael will not lie" (I Shmuel 15:29). And he who observes this, THE HOLY COVENANT, fulfills His commandments, as it is written, "For you shall worship no other El" (Shemot 34:14). "And keep all His statutes." This is Hod, to beware of a harlot.
359. This agrees with what we have learned. Rabbi Yehuda said, It is written, "Gird your sword upon your thigh, O mighty warrior, your glory and your majesty" (Tehilim 45:4). This refers to he who makes haste to place the fear of the strong sharpened sword, WHICH IS MALCHUT, before him, upon the thigh. What is "upon your thigh?" It means upon this holy sign, to guard it, as it is written, "Put, I pray you, your hand under my thigh" (Beresheet 24:2).