259. Rabbi Akiva said to him, What is the meaning of the passage, "I went down into the garden of nuts" (Shir Hashirim 6:11)? He said to him, Come and behold. This garden comes out of Eden, and this is the Shechinah. Nut is the holy supernal Chariot, which is the four headwaters of the rivers that separates from the garden, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF THE FOUR FACES - NAMELY THE FACE OF A LION, THE FACE OF AN OX, THE FACE OF AN EAGLE, THE FACE OF A MAN. This nut has four holy heads inside, MEANING IN ITS FRUIT, AND IT ALSO HAS FOUR KLIPOT ('PEELS') THAT COVER THE FRUIT, WHICH ALLUDES TO THE FOUR KLIPOT: A STORM WIND; A GREAT CLOUD; A FIRE FLARING UP; AND A BRIGHTNESS, LIKE THE SUPERNAL CHARIOT. And when he said, "I went down," IN "I WENT DOWN INTO THE GARDEN OF NUTS," it is as we learned that so and so descended to the Chariot.
260. Rabbi Akiva said to him, If so, he should have said, 'I went down into the nut,' WHICH IS THE CHARIOT. Why does it say, "I went down into the garden of nuts?" He said to him, Because THE GARDEN, WHICH IS MALCHUT, has all that is goodly in the nuts, FOR THEY GROW IN AND EMERGE FROM THIS GARDEN, WHICH IS MALCHUT. THEREFORE, HE MENTIONS THE GARDEN SPECIFICALLY. AND HE CONTINUES TO EXPLAIN HIS WORDS, AS TO WHY THE CHARIOT WAS ALLUDED TO IN THE NUT. Just as the nut is hidden and concealed from all sides IN ITS PEEL, so the Chariot that emerges from the garden, WHICH IS MALCHUT, is concealed from all sides. All these four heads in the nut are attached to each other on this side, MEANING IN THEIR CENTER, and separate on this side, OUTWARDLY. Thus, THE FOUR ASPECTS OF the Chariot attain each other in unity, in joy, in completeness, and they separate, each one to its individual aspect for which it was appointed. This is what is written, "That it is which compasses the whole land of Chavilah" (Beresheet 2:11). Likewise, "that is it which goes toward the east of Ashur" (Ibid. 14). It is the same with the rest of them.
261. Rabbi Akiva said, This dirt in the peel of the nut, MEANING IN THE FOUR KLIPOT THAT SURROUND IT, to what do they allude? He said to him, Even though the Torah did not reveal it, BECAUSE THE TORAH SPEAKS ONLY ON THE ASPECT OF GOOD IN THE NUT, it did reveal in this - MEANING IN THE ALMONDS - AS WILL BE EXPLAINED, THAT THE TORAH SPEAKS ABOUT THE FOUR KLIPOT OF THE ALMOND IN PARTICULAR, ALLUDING TO JUDGMENT, AND NOT THEIR GOOD ASPECT.
262. Come and behold, Some almonds are bitter BECAUSE OF THEIR PEELS, and some are sweet, implying that some are of Severe Judgment, TO WHICH THE BITTER ALMONDS ALLUDE, and some serve HOLINESS, TO WHICH THE SWEET ALMONDS ALLUDE. But we see that every open allusion TO THEM in the Torah is about Judgment, AND DOES NOT DISCUSS THE GOOD IN THEM - THE SWEET ONES. And so it is in Jeremiah, who was shown the Judgment THAT IS IN THEM as is written, "I see a rod of an almond tree (Heb. shaked)" (Yirmeyah 1:11). What is the meaning of shaked? Actual almonds - "AND IT WAS SAID TO HIM, 'FOR I WILL HASTEN (HEB. SHOKED) MY WORD TO PERFORM IT'" (IBID. 12), MEANING TO UPROOT, CRUSH, DESTROY AND DEMOLISH... It is written by the rod of Aaron, "And yielded almonds" (Bemidbar 17:23), AND IT BECAME A SIGN TO THE REBELLIOUS PEOPLE. SO WE SEE THAT THE TORAH SPEAKS ONLY OF THEIR ASPECT OF JUDGMENT. And from the word itself, THAT THEY ARE CALLED 'ALMONDS' (HEB. SHKEDIM) it is understood that it refers to Severe Judgment, as is written, "And Hashem watched (Heb. yishkod) over the evil" (Daniel 9:14). And, "I will hasten My word," and so all of them. SO IT IS CLEAR THAT THE WORD "SHAKED" REFERS TO SEVERE JUDGMENT. Rabbi Akiva said to him, It seems that one could gain much wisdom from everything the Holy One, blessed be He, does, as is written, "Whatever Hashem has done is for His own purpose" (Mishlei 16:4). Rabbi Elazar says, We learn it from these words, "And Elohim saw everything that He had made and, behold, it was very good" (Beresheet 1:31). That is the meaning of "very" - IT IS GOOD to learn supernal Wisdom from it.