70. "And all the gold that was applied for the work, in all the work of the holy place" (Shemot 38:24). Rabbi Yosi opened the discussion with the story of Elisha. It is written, "And he went up from there to Bethel and as he was going up by the way, some small boys" (II Melachim 2:23). It has been said that they were small (Heb. ne'arim), empty (Heb. niurim) of words of Torah or its precepts, "small," as they were of little faith, and they were guilty according to the law of this world and of the World to Come. They "came out of the city" (Ibid.), leaving the secret of the Faith, WHICH IS MALCHUT THAT IS CALLED 'CITY'. It is written here, "came out of the city," and there "and I will not enter the city" (Hoshea 11:9); IN BOTH CASES IT MEANS MALCHUT.
71. "And he turned back, and looked at them" (II Melachim 2:24): "turned back" MEANS he looked back, to see whether they would repent or not. "And looked at them" means he saw that it is not worthy that a good seed issue from them, and this was explained. "And looked at them" that they were conceived on the night of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), THAT THEIR MOTHER CONCEIVED THEN. Immediately, he "cursed them in the Name of Hashem" (Ibid.).
72. And there is a mystery in this verse: "And he turned back" MEANING THAT he looked at them whether he would be punished for them, and turned away from it. Also "Aaron turned" (Bemidbar 12:10) from leprosy. Here also "TURNED" MEANS he turned from their punishment. "And he looked at them," MEANING THAT HE SAW that they are destined to cause much evil in Yisrael.
73. "And he turned back" is similar to "but his wife looked back from behind him" (Beresheet 19:26). What does "behind him" mean? It means behind the Shechinah. Here also "he turned back," behind the Shechinah and saw that their mothers all conceived at the night in charge of the atonement of the sins of Yisrael, NAMELY, AT THE NIGHT OF YOM KIPPUR. Immediately "he cursed them in the Name of Hashem." IT IS WRITTEN, "and there came forth two bears out of the wood" (II Melachim 2:24). HE ASKS: Why is it written "two (fem.) bears (masc.)"? Because they were female bears and their cubs WERE WITH THEM, AND THEREFORE, IT SAYS 'BEARS' (MASC.). "And tore 42 of the children." This was established, to counteract the sacrifices of Balak.