1. Rabbi Chizkiyah opened the discussion with the verse, "As the Rose among the thorns" (Shir Hashirim 2:2). HE ASKS: What is the Rose? AND HE REPLIES: It is the Congregation of Yisrael, WHICH IS MALCHUT. Because there is a Rose; and there is a Rose. Just as the Rose among the thorns is tinged with red and white, so is the Congregation of Yisrael affected by the qualities of Judgment and Mercy. Just as the Rose has thirteen petals, so the Congregation of Yisrael is surrounded by the thirteen attributes of Mercy. Thus, between the first mention of the name Elohim, WHICH APPEARS IN THE PASSAGE, "IN THE BEGINNING ELOHIM CREATED" (BERESHEET 1:1) TO THE SECOND MENTION OF ELOHIM, THERE ARE THIRTEEN WORDS IN THE VERSE, WHICH TRANSLATE AS "THE, HEAVEN, AND THE, EARTH, AND THE EARTH, WAS, WITHOUT FORM, AND VOID, AND DARKNESS, WAS UPON, THE FACE, OF THE DEEP, AND A WIND" (IBID. 2). These words surround and guard the Congregation of Yisrael.
2. After this, THE NAME ELOHIM is mentioned another time in the passage "ELOHIM MOVED OVER" (IBID.). And why is it mentioned again? In order to bring out the five rigid leaves that surround the Rose. And these five LEAVES represent the five gates of salvation. And this secret is written about in the verse, "I will raise the cup of salvation" (Tehilim 116:13). This is the 'cup of benediction' that is raised after the meal. The cup of benediction must rest on five fingers, and no more, just as the Rose rests on five rigid leaves that represent the five fingers. And this Rose is the cup of benediction. FROM THE second to the third mention of THE NAME Elohim, there are five words, WHICH TRANSLATE AS "MOVED, OVER, THE SURFACE, OF THE WATERS, AND SAID." AND THESE WORDS PARALLEL THE FIVE LEAVES. From this point, THE VERSE CONTINUES, "ELOHIM SAID... LET THERE BE LIGHT" (BERESHEET 1:3). After this light was created, it was concealed and enclosed within the covenant that entered the Rose and fructified it. This is referred to as "a fruit tree yielding fruit...whose seed is in itself" (Ibid. 11) and this seed is the Brit.