215. Rabbi Aba opened with, "And yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies..." (Vayikra 26:44). Yisrael are blessed above all other idolatrous nations, since even though they have angered their Master, the Holy One, blessed be He, does not want to leave them, as wherever they are exiled among the nations the Holy One, blessed be He, is with them in exile. This is the meaning of, "And yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies..."
216. Rabbi Aba said, "And yet for all that, when they are." Come and see how great is the love of the Holy One, blessed be He, for Yisrael. Even though they caused themselves to be in exile among the nations, the Shechinah never removed Herself from them. Do not say that they are in exile alone, but, "And yet for all that (Heb. zot)," AS THE SHECHINAH CALLED 'ZOT' is with them. This is the meaning of, "And yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies..."
217. It is like a king who was angry with his son and decreed that as punishment he should go away from him into a faraway land. The queen heard it and said, Since my son is going to a faraway land and the king threw him out of his palace, I shall not leave him. The two of us shall either return to the king's palace or together dwell in another land. After a few days the king visited the queen but did not find her because she left with his son. He said, Since the queen is there, let both of them return.
218. It will happen the same way when the Holy One, blessed be He, will visit the Shechinah. He shall visit Her first and for Her sake visit His children. This is the meaning of, "And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Yisrael..." (Shemot 6:5). Who brought it about that "I have also heard the groaning"? It is as if the Shechinah HAS CAUSED IT that I remembered Her. This is the meaning of, "and I have remembered My covenant" (Ibid.), THAT IS, THE SHECHINAH CALLED COVENANT. It is also written, "and Elohim remembered His covenant" (Shemot 2:24). AND WHEN THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, WILL BRING YISRAEL BACK FROM EXILE IT IS WRITTEN, "Hashem your Elohim will turn your captivity, and have compassion upon you" (Devarim 30:3). It is the Shechinah, OF WHOM IT SAYS, "WILL TURN YOUR CAPTIVITY." It is also written, "Hashem, You have been favorable to Your land; You have brought back the captivity of Jacob" (Tehilim 85:2), NAMELY THE SHECHINAH CALLED LAND.
219. Rabbi Yehuda said, "Do you thus (Heb. zot) requite Hashem" (Devarim 32:6), you are, "a perverse and crooked generation" (Ibid. 5). You cause 'zot' to go into exile. "Do you thus (Heb. zot) requite Hashem"? Is this how you requite Him for all that He did to you, for all those signs He performed for you. Is this the reward you pay to 'zot?' Who brought it upon you? It is because you are a "foolish people and unwise" (Ibid.), not looking at all the good He did for you until now.