358. "Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian" (Shemot 3:1). Rabbi Shimon opened the discussion, saying: "My Beloved is mine, and I am his, he feeds among the lilies" (Shir Hashirim 2:16). Rabbi Shimon said, Woe to people who do not pay attention and do not know that all the worlds arose in one thought at the moment it arose in thought before the Holy One, blessed be He, to create His world. And with this thought were they all created, as it is written, "In wisdom have You made them all" (Tehilim 104:24). And with this thought, which is wisdom, this world and the world above were created.
359. He stretched out His right hand and created the world above, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN. He stretched out His left hand and created this world, WHICH IS MALCHUT. This is what is written, "My hand has also laid the foundation of the earth," WHICH IS MALCHUT, "and My right hand has spanned the heavens," WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN. "When I call to them, they stand up together" (Yeshayah 48:13). All of them were created in a moment, and He made this world corresponding to the world above. The model of all that is above EMERGED below, FOR THERE IS NOTHING BELOW THAT HAS NO ROOT IN THE HIGHER WORLDS. The sea is the model of all that there is below ON THE EARTH, and it is all one. He created angels in the higher worlds. He created people in this world. He created a Leviathan in the sea, as is written, "To couple the tent together, that it might be one" (Shemot 36:18).
360. It is written about Adam, "For in the image of Elohim made He man" (Beresheet 9:6), and, "Yet You have made him a little lower than the angels" (Tehilim 8:5). If people are so precious with their actions yet they perish from the dust of the well, MEANING THEY PERISH THROUGH THE KLIPOT THAT CLING TO THE DUST OF MALCHUT, WHICH IS CALLED 'WELL,' how can they come to draw SUSTENANCE from the well? And He chose those above, THE ANGELS, and He chose Yisrael. He did not call those above children, but those below He did call 'children.' As it is written, "You are the children of Hashem your Elohim" (Devarim 14:1). He called them children and they called Him Father, as it is written, "For You are our Father" (Yeshayah 63:16), and also: "My Beloved is mine, and I am his" (Shir Hashirim 2:16). He chose me and I chose Him.
361. "He feeds among the lilies." He grazes among the lilies even though the thorns surround them, MEANING THE KLIPOT, and no other can feed among the roses as He. Another explanation of, "He feeds among the lilies," is that as the rose is red and the nectar THAT IS SUCKED FROM IT is white, so the Holy One, blessed be He, leads His world from the attribute of Judgment, ALLUDED TO BY THE RED, to the attribute of Mercy, WHICH IS ALLUDED TO IN THE COLOR WHITE. As it is written, "Though your sins be like scarlet, they shall be white as snow" (Yeshayah 1:18). I don't understand the shift from lilies to roses - is it correct to refer to both flowers? The symbols seem always to represent roses."
362. Rabbi Aba was traveling on the road with Rabbi Yitzchak. They came upon some roses. Rabbi Aba took one ROSE in his hands and continued walking. Rabbi Yosi met them and said, It is certain that the Shechinah is here. I see a rose in the hands of Rabbi Aba AND THAT HE IS to learn FROM IT much wisdom, because I know he took it only to teach that wisdom.
363. Rabbi Aba said, Sit, my son, sit. They sat down. Rabbi Aba smelled the rose. He said the world is definitely maintained only by scent. FOR IT IS THE SECRET OF THE MOCHIN OF THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH THAT RADIATE FROM BELOW UPWARDS, AS DOES SCENT. Because I see that the soul is maintained only through scent, therefore we smell the myrtle at the end of Shabbat IN ORDER TO DRAW THE MOCHIN OF THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF ITS SCENT, AS ALREADY MENTIONED.
364. He opened the discussion, saying: "My beloved is mine, and I am his, he feeds among the lilies" (Shir Hashirim 2:16), MEANING that my Beloved is mine and I am His, because He leads His world with lilies. The rose has a scent and it is red, yet squeeze it and it turns white. But its scent never leaves, and the Holy One, blessed be He, does lead His world in this way, for otherwise the world would not exist, because of the sinner. And the sinner is called 'red,' as written, "Through your sins be like scarlet, they shall be white as snow." SIMILARLY, THE SINNER makes his offering to fire, which is red, then sprinkles the blood, which is red, around the altar. So is the attribute of Judgment ALLUDED TO IN red. Squeeze it, MEANING WHEN THE OFFERING IS BURNED ON THE ALTAR, and the smoke rises all white. Then the red turns into white, WHICH INDICATES THAT the attribute of Judgment turns into the attribute of Mercy. (again - why refer to lilies at all?)
365. Come and behold, the attribute of Judgment needs its scent only from the red part, BECAUSE THE SCENT, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH, IS NOT DRAWN FROM THE WHITE PART - WHICH IS THE RIGHT COLUMN WHICH IS ENTIRELY CHASSADIM - BUT RATHER FROM THE RED PART, WHICH IS THE LEFT COLUMN, FROM WHICH SOURCE IS CHOCHMAH. And Rabbi Yehuda said that it is written, "And they cut themselves according to their fashion with swords and lances till the blood gushed out upon them" (I Melachim 18:28), but they knew that they would not get from the attribute of judgment, WHICH IS MALCHUT, what they wanted - NAMELY, TO DRAW THE CHOCHMAH FROM ABOVE TO BELOW, WHICH ALL IDOL WORSHIPERS WANT - except with red - MEANING THROUGH THE LEFT COLUMN, WHICH IS RED. AND THEY THEREFORE CUT THEMSELVES WITH SWORDS UNTIL BLOOD GUSHED OVER THEM, IN ORDER TO ATTRACT THE RED.
366. Rabbi Yitzchak said, moreover, red and white, WHICH ARE LEFT AND RIGHT, are always close and the scent arises from them both. This is BECAUSE THE CHOCHMAH, WHICH IS IN THE LEFT, IS NOT ABLE TO ILLUMINATE WITHOUT BEING CLOTHED WITH THE LIGHT OF CHASSADIM, THAT IS IN THE RIGHT. AND THEREFORE, as the rose is red and white, so is the scent of the offering and the offering ITSELF is of red and white. Come and behold, from the scent of the incense, some of the spices are red and some are white; namely, the frankincense is white, pure myrrh is red, and the scent rises from red and white. Therefore, He leads His world in lilies, which are red and white. And it is written, "To offer Me the fat and the blood" (Yechezkel 44:15). THE FAT IS WHITE AND THE BLOOD IS RED.
367. Correspondingly, a person who offers his fat and blood is granted atonement, for the one is red and the other is white. Just as the rose, which is red and white, is not cast to turn completely white, save in fire, similarly the offering is not cast so as to turn it completely white, except in fire. Now one who fasts and offers his fat and blood does not get thin so as to turn completely white, save in fire. For Rabbi Yitzchak said, through the fasting of man, his limbs become weakened and the fire gains control over him, and at that time he must offer his fat and blood in that fire, and that is called 'the Altar of Atonement.'