515. Come and see: About this tree, MALCHUT, on which rest all of the hosts of the worlds OF BRIYAH, YETZIRAH AND ASIYAH, David said: "You maintain my lot" (Tehilim 16:5). What is the meaning of "my lot?" It is the lot to which David is attached, WHICH IS MALCHUT, and it is therefore written: "According to the lot" (Bemidbar 26:56) (where the Hebrew for 'according to' is, literally: 'On the mouth of'). THIS ALLUDES TO MALCHUT, WHICH IS CALLED 'MOUTH.' And the same expression is used in the verse: "So Moses the servant of Hashem died there in the land of Moab, according to the word (lit. 'mouth') of Hashem" (Devarim 34:5), WHICH IS MALCHUT. CONSEQUENTLY, "the lot" is written, WITH THE DEFINITE ARTICLE (HEI), TO REFER TO MALCHUT. Happy are the portions of those who engage in the study of Torah day and night and who know its ways, and each day they eat the divine food OF THE FLOWING BOUNTY OF CHOCHMAH, as it is written: "For wisdom gives life to those who have it" (Kohelet 7:12), for the Torah on high, NAMELY ZEIR ANPIN, is nourished from this place, FROM CHOCHMAH. And it is said about them: "Behold, My servants shall eat" (Yeshayah 65:13).
516. Rabbi Aba started by quoting: "And there was a voice from above the firmament" (Yechezkel 1:25). About this voice, ZEIR ANPIN, which is attached to this firmament (YESOD OF ZEIR ANPIN) and participates with it, it is said: "He has made His wonderful works to be remembered" (Tehilim 111:4), WHICH REFERS TO THE FIRMAMENT WHICH IS YESOD THAT IS CALLED 'REMEMBRANCE'. And this firmament stands over those living creatures, AS IT IS SAID: "AND THERE WAS A VOICE FROM ABOVE THE FIRMAMENT THAT WAS OVER THEIR HEADS." And this is THE FIRMAMENT that was created on the second day OF THE WORKS OF CREATION, ABOUT WHICH IT IS SAID: "divide water from water" (Beresheet 1:6), THE UPPER WATERS AND THE LOWER WATERS.
517. It has been taught: There are seven firmaments higher on high, CORRESPONDING TO CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET, NETZACH, HOD, YESOD AND MALCHUT THAT ARE IN YESOD. Certainly 'Curtain', WHICH IS PARALLEL TO MALCHUT THAT IS IN IT, serves no purpose, for MALCHUT has nothing of her own, apart from what ZEIR ANPIN gives her. And the poor take hold of her, this being the inner meaning of the verse: "Now, behold, in my trouble (poverty) I have prepared for the house of Hashem" (I Divrei Hayamim 22:14) INASMUCH AS DAVID WAS ATTACHED TO MALCHUT, WHICH IS POOR, AS ABOVE. HENCE HE SAID, "IN MY POVERTY." And this FIRMAMENT, CURTAIN, WHICH IS MALCHUT, introduces the morning and ushers out the evening, for at night MALCHUT brings out her hosts in all directions, TO THE RIGHT AND TO THE LEFT, and has control over these hosts and regiments, FOR THEN IS THE RULE OF MALCHUT. And in the morning, she collects together all its hosts, and brings them into their hole (Heb. nekev), THAT IS TO SAY TO THEIR ASPECT OF THE FEMALE (NUKVA), and they have no power, for the morning includes them all, as it is written: "to relate Your steadfast love (Heb. Chesed) in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night" (Tehilim 92:3). But this has already been taught.
518. And there is a voice, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN, that is above this firmament, for from it this firmament is nourished, SINCE YESOD RECEIVES FROM ZEIR ANPIN. When this voice awakens, none of the hosts are in motion, and they have no permission to do anything but stand still where they are. AND THIS IS THE SECRET OF THE VERSE: "AND THERE WAS A VOICE FROM ABOVE THE FIRMAMENT THAT WAS OVER THEIR HEADS; WHEN THEY STOOD STILL, THEY LET DOWN THEIR WINGS" (YECHEZKEL 1:25); NAMELY WHEN THE VOICE STIRS OVER THEIR HEADS, THEN THEY STAND STILL. And the hosts draw near and wait for that goodness which is drawn down FROM THE VOICE, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN, to that firmament, WHICH IS YESOD, and they are blessed because of it, NAMELY THAT THEY RECEIVE FROM THE FIRMAMENT. And therefore, ZEIR ANPIN is above the firmament that is over their head, AND THEY CAN RECEIVE ONLY FROM THE FIRMAMENT, WHICH IS YESOD.
519. Come and see, "And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a Throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone" (Ibid. 26). "in appearance like a sapphire stone" refers to the stone of Yisrael, WHICH IS MALCHUT. And this is the inner meaning of what is written: "and they rolled the stone" (Beresheet 29:3). From on high descended a certain stone, WHICH IS MALCHUT, when Yisrael wanted to inherit the Land (of Yisrael), and on it the lot is written, NAMELY "ACCORDING TO THE LOT," and THE LOT would say: This part for so and so, this part for so and so. And this stone descended from under the King's Throne, NAMELY MALCHUT, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF THE THRONE OF ZEIR ANPIN. Surely it is written "from thence, from the Shepherd, the Stone of Yisrael" (Beresheet 49:24), FOR THIS IS THE STONE OF ZEIR ANPIN THAT IS CALLED 'YISRAEL'. And for this reason: "According to the lot (WHICH IS MALCHUT) shall their inheritance be divided" (Bemidbar 26:56).
520. Rabbi Yitzchak and Rabbi Yehuda were walking from Usha to Lod. Rabbi Elazar encountered them and they ran after him, saying, Surely we shall run after the Shechinah. When they caught up with him, they said, Let us now certainly join you and hear a new matter.
521. He began by quoting, "Hearken to me, you that follow after righteousness, you that seek Hashem" (Yeshayah 51:1). "Hearken to me, you that follow after righteousness" refers to those who follow AND PURSUE AFTER the Faith, WHICH IS MALCHUT, THAT IS CALLED 'RIGHTEOUSNESS', for those who follow righteousness are CERTAINLY the ones who "seek Hashem." If you want to know the Faith and to take hold of this righteousness, then do not look at it on its own WITHOUT ZEIR ANPIN, as do other people WHO CLEAVE TO MALCHUT WITHOUT ZEIR ANPIN, THIS BEING THE SECRET OF LEFT WITHOUT RIGHT, and for which reason they bring death to themselves. But "look to the rock whence you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug out" (Ibid.), NAMELY TO UNITE IT WITH ZEIR ANPIN, AND ABA AND IMA.