246. While they were still sitting, Rabbi Elazar said to his father, Rabbi Shimon, Why did the Holy One, blessed be He, cause Yisrael to go down to Egypt in exile? He said to him, Are you asking one question or two questions? RABBI ELAZAR said to him, Two. I AM ASKING: why the exile? And why, PARTICULARLY, in Egypt? Rabbi Shimon said to him, They are two questions that result in one question! RABBI SHIMON said to him, Establish yourself, THAT IS, IN YOUR LEVEL. Because of this you will be established above, IN THE HEAVENLY YESHIVAH, speak in your name. Speak up, my son, speak up.
247. He opened the discussion saying: "There are sixty queens, eighty concubines and young women without number" (Shir Hashirim 6:8). "There are sixty queens," are the mighty men of above, from the side of Gvurah, who hold onto the inscriptions, MEANING THE EXTERIORS, of the holy living creature of Yisrael, WHICH IS MALCHUT, AND ARE THEREFORE BAMED AFTER IT: "SIXTY QUEENS." THEY ARE THE ANGELS WHO ARE APPOINTED OVER THE NATIONS, AS WRITTEN FURTHER. "And eighty concubines" are THE ANGELS who are appointed in the inscriptions of the queens which are under THE SIXTY QUEENS. THEREFORE, THEY ARE CALLED 'CONCUBINES' AND NOT 'QUEENS.' "And young women without number," is as is written, "Is there any number to His armies?" (Iyov 25:3). And yet it is written, "My Dove, my undefiled is but one, she is the only one of her mother..." (Shir Hashirim 6:9). This is the Holy Shechinah that emerges from twelve lights, AND IS the brilliance that illuminates everything. Therefore she is called 'mother,' AS IT IS WRITTEN, "SHE IS THE ONLY ONE OF HER MOTHER."
248. The Holy One, blessed be He, did the same in this world. He cast all the nations to every side and appointed overseers over them, as is written, "Which Hashem your Elohim has allotted to all the nations" (Devarim 4:19). And He, MEANING THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, took as His portion the Congregation of Yisrael. This is written, "For Hashem's portion is His people, Jacob is the lot of His inheritance" (Devarim 32:9). And He called it: "My Dove, my undefiled is but one, she is the only one of her Mother." This is the Shechinah of His glory, which He caused to dwell among them. She is the only one and is selected for Him. "The daughters saw her and called her happy," as is written, "Many daughters have done virtuously, but you excel them all" (Mishlei 31:29). "And the queens and the concubines praised her" (Shir Hashirim 6:9). These were the Princes of the nations that were appointed over them.
249. And another secret we have learned is that the world was created by ten sayings, but when you observe it closely, there are really three through which the world was created - NAMELY Chochmah, Tevunah and Da'at. And the world was created only for Yisrael. When the Holy One, blessed be He, wanted to preserve the world, He did so for Abraham with the secret of Chochmah, for Isaac with the secret of Tevunah, and for Jacob with the secret of Da'at. It is written, "And by knowledge are the chambers filled" (Mishlei 24:4). THIS IS THE SECRET OF CHESED, GVURAH AND TIFERET, WHICH ARE ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB. THEY ROSE TO BECOME CHOCHMAH, BINAH AND DA'AT. At that moment, the entire world was perfected. And when the twelve tribes were born to Jacob, WHICH ARE THE SECRET OF THE TWELVE DIAGONAL BORDERS, everything was perfected IN THIS WORLD as above IN ATZILUT.
250. When the Holy One, blessed be He, saw the great joy of this world when it was perfected as above, He said, 'Heaven forbid that THE TWELVE TRIBES become mixed among the other nations and there will remain a blemish in all the worlds.' What did the Holy One, blessed be He, do? He caused them to move from here to there until they descended to Egypt to settle in their homes among a stiff-necked people who ridiculed their customs, were too scornful to intermarry with them and to mingle with them, and considered them slaves. The men scorned them and the women scorned them, until they became perfected completely into a holy seed, WITHOUT ANY MIXTURE OF A FOREIGN PEOPLE. In the meantime, the sin of the nations was completed as is written, "For the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full" (Beresheet 15:16). When they left, they left holy and righteous as is written, "The tribes of Yah, as a testimony for Yisrael" (Tehilim 122:4). Rabbi Shimon came and kissed him on his head, and said to him, stand in your position, my son - MEANING AT YOUR LEVEL - for the moment is at your command.