157. Rabbi Yehuda was sitting before Rabbi Shimon, and both were studying the text, in which it is written: "And he repaired the altar of Hashem that was broken down" (I Melachim 18:30). What is the meaning of the term 'repaired' in this verse? Come and behold: "In the days of Elijah, all Yisrael left the Holy One, blessed be He, and in so doing, left their holy covenant. And when Elijah came and saw that the children of Yisrael had left the holy covenant and therefore it had been taken away from them, HE FIXED IT AND BROUGHT IT BACK TO ITS PLACE. THAT IS, HE FIXED YESOD, MAKING IT CAPABLE OF MATING WITH MALCHUT. AND THIS IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE REPAIR OF THE ALTAR, WHICH IS MALCHUT, AS SHALL BE FURTHER EXPLAINED.
158. Because he brought it back to its place, NAMELY BECAUSE HE REPAIRED YESOD AND BROUGHT IT BACK TO MALCHUT, all was healed! This is why it is written: "And he repaired the altar of Hashem that was broken down" - a reference to the covenant that had been forsaken. It is therefore written: "And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob" (Ibid. 31), which alludes to the repair of the altar of Hashem, THE FIXING OF THE DAMAGE AND THE 'HEALING' OF THE ALTAR.
159. "To whom the word of Hashem came, saying, Yisrael shall be your name" (Ibid.). HE ASKS: What is the reason for mentioning the name 'Yisrael' upon the altar? AND HE ANSWERS: Assuredly, "Yisrael shall be your name..." signifies FIXING HER to raise her up, NAMELY TO RAISE MALCHUT TO THE SUPERNAL ABA AND IMA, and to return the holy covenant to its place. IT SIGNIFIES THAT YESOD OF ZEIR ANPIN COULD UNITE AGAIN WITH MALCHUT, FOR THERE CAN BE NO UNION BETWEEN ZEIR ANPIN AND MALCHUT UNLESS THEY RETURN TO THE PLACES OF ABA AND IMA. That is why it is written: "For the children of Yisrael have forsaken Your covenant" and have therefore "ruined Your altars" (I Melachim 19:10), WHICH IS MALCHUT. AND BY THE SECRET OF FIXING OF THE COVENANT, SHE SHALL BE REBUILT.
160. Come and behold: As long as Yisrael observed the holy covenant, they maintain the higher and lower worlds. But when they forsake the covenant, the worlds above and below cannot exist. As it is written: "If My covenant be not day and night, it were as if I had not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth" (Yirmeyah 33:25). This is why it is written: "And he repaired the altar of Hashem that was broken down." HE ASKS if this is considered to be "healing?" AND HE ANSWERS: Yes, most certainly! Because he maintains the place upon which faith is dependent. IN OTHER WORDS, HE OBSERVES THE COVENANT, WHICH IS YESOD, AND MAINTAINS THE PLACE ON WHICH MALCHUT THAT IS CALLED FAITH DEPENDS.
161. Come and behold: The same applies to Pinchas, who was zealous because of what Zimri had done. By his action, he reinstated the covenant and returned it to its proper place. That is why it is written: "Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace" (Bemidbar 25:12). Can one really accept the idea that Pinchas was the reason for the peace? What controversy did Pinchas have regarding the covenant? That here, IN THE WORD PEACE, everything was connected to its right place, meaning "Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace." But what shall I give him, THE COVENANT? "Peace," WHICH MEANS SUPERNAL MATING, so that the covenant can be connected to its proper place, WHICH IS MALCHUT. That is why it is written: "I give to him My covenant of peace." And what is "peace?" It is the place with which to connect; IT IS THE MATING WITH MALCHUT REFERRED TO BY THE TERM 'PEACE.' MALCHUT THAT was disconnected from it, FROM YESOD, as a result of the sins OF YISRAEL was attached to it by PINCHAS. He was the person who returned the covenant to its place for all time. "And he shall have it, and the covenant of an everlasting priesthood shall belong to his seed after him, because he was zealous for his Elohim" (Ibid.).
162. Rabbi Shimon said that there is nothing in the world which so provokes the zealousness of the Holy One, blessed be He, as the sin of disregarding the covenant. As it is written: "A sword that shall execute the vengeance of the covenant" (Vayikra 26:25). Come and behold: The sin of the generation of the Flood was not completed until they sinned by corrupting their ways on earth. And even though they were violent with each other - as it is written: "And the earth was filled with violence" (Beresheet 6:11) and "for the earth is filled with violence through them" (Ibid. 13) - "I shall destroy them" (Ibid.) was because of the sin of letting semen spill in vain. THAT IS, THEIR SENTENCE WAS NOT SEALED UNTIL THE COVENANT WAS BLEMISHED. "The earth was also corrupt before the Elohim" (Ibid. 11) and "I shall destroy them" was measure for measure.
163. And there are those who say that their measure of guilt was not completed when they sinned with violence and were cruel with each other. FOR BY THIS they were wicked toward heaven and to other people. Come and behold: There are many ministers above, who are appointed to the voices of those who declare the sentences of their neighbors TO HEAVEN for what has been done to them. And for this sin, it is written: "The earth is filled with violence through them." This means that each and every one passed judgment on his neighbor before heaven. That is why it is said: "I will destroy them with the earth."