265. Rabbi Chizkiyah opened with the verse, "Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Yisrael to the robbers? Did not Hashem..." (Yeshayah 42:24). Come and behold, From the time the Temple was destroyed, no blessings hovered about the world. They stopped, as if detained above IN THE UPPER WORLDS and below IN THE LOWER WORLDS. All these lower grades were strengthened and ruled over Yisrael, because Yisrael had brought it about by their transgression. THIS ABSENCE OF BLESSINGS IN THE UPPER WORLDS OCCURRED BECAUSE THE LOWER BEINGS WERE NOT WORTHY OF RECEIVING THEM, AND ALL THE ABUNDANCE THAT THEY SHOULD HAVE GIVEN TO THE LOWER WORLDS WAS WITHHELD, FOR THERE WAS NO ONE TO GIVE TO.
266. This verse contains a contradiction. It is written, "Who gave Jacob for a spoil, AND YISRAEL TO THE ROBBERS? DID NOT HASHEM, HE AGAINST WHOM WE HAVE SINNED." After it said, "Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Yisrael," why does it continue with "we have sinned?" It should have said, 'They sinned;' NAMELY, IT SHOULD HAVE USED THE THIRD PERSON AND NOT SPOKEN AS IF THEY WERE TALKING FOR THEMSELVES. Since it said, "We have sinned," NAMELY THEY REFER TO THEMSELVES, why does it continue with, "They would not walk" IN WHICH HE USES THE THIRD PERSON AGAIN, instead of saying, 'We would not walk,' AS IF THEY WERE SPEAKING FOR THEMSELVES.
267. HE ANSWERS THAT, when the Temple was destroyed, the Holy of Holies burned and the people were exiled. The Shechinah wanted to move from Her place and go into exile with them. THE SHECHINAH said, I will first go and see my house and palace and visit the places of the priests and the Levites, who worshipped in my house.
268. Rabbi Elazar said that at the time the Congreation of Yisrael, THE SHECHINAH, looked up and saw that Her husband, ZEIR ANPIN, had left Her and ascended up high, She went down, entered the Temple, and looked at places. SHE WEPT and the sound was heard up above IN HEAVEN and below ON EARTH. This is the meaning of the verse, "A voice was heard up high, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children" (Yirmeyah 31:14). This has been explained.
269. When She went into exile, She looked at the people and saw how they were pushed and trampled under the feet of other nations in exile. Then She said, "Who gave Jacob for a spoil..." And YISRAEL responded, "Did not Hashem, He against whom we have sinned." IN THIS IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT HE SPEAKS FOR HIMSELF. The Shechinah asks, "And in whose ways they would not walk, and to whose Torah they were not obedient?" (Yeshayah 42:24) THUS, THE QUESTION OF WHY IT IS WRITTEN IN THE THIRD PERSON IS AGAIN SETTLED.
270. When the Holy One, blessed be He, visits His people, the Congregation of Yisrael, TO TAKE THEM OUT OF EXILE, THE SHECHINAH will return first and go to the Temple, because the Temple will be built before THE GATHERING OF THE EXILES, WHERE THE DWELLING OF THE SHECHINAH RESTS. THEREFORE, THE SHECHINAH IS ALSO ANXIOUS TO GET OUT OF EXILE. And the Holy One, blessed be He, said to Her, "Rise from the dust." But the Shechinah responded, Whither do I go? My house is destroyed and my palace is burned. This will continue until the Holy One, blessed be He, will first rebuild the Temple, fix the palace, and establish the city of Jerusalem. Only then does He raise THE SHECHINAH from the dust, as it is written, "Hashem builds Jerusalem" (Tehilim 147:2). Then "He gathers together the outcasts of Yisrael" (Ibid.) and tells Her, "Shake yourself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem" (Yeshayah 42:2). Then He gathers the exiles of Yisrael. Thus it first says, "Hashem builds Jerusalem" and then "He gathers together the outcasts of Yisrael." Then, "He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds" (Tehilim 147:3), which refers to the resurrection of the dead. And it is written, "And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to follow my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them" (Yechezkel 36:27).