122. Rabbi Yitzchak opened the discussion, saying: "The priests said not, 'Where is Hashem?' They that handle the Torah knew Me not; and the rulers also transgressed against Me" (Yirmeyah 2:8). 'The priests' refers to those who serve as high priests, bring the Holy words to their place and bring everything into a union properly. "They that handle the Torah." Who are "they that handle the Torah," if the priests do not handle the Torah? HE ANSWERS: These are the Levites who handle the lyre that comes from the side of the Torah. The Torah was given through their side, THE LEFT SIDE, GVURAH, and they are in charge over singing the praises of the Holy King, to properly unify Him in complete union. "The shepherds also transgressed against Me" (Ibid.). These are the ministers of the people who lead the people, like a shepherd leads his flock.
123. These are the three grades, NAMELY THE THREE COLUMNS - RIGHT, LEFT AND CENTRAL - which always need to be found by the sacrifice so that there will be good will above and below, and so that there will be blessings in all the worlds. The priest brings a sacrifice and concentrates upon uniting the Holy Name in a proper manner, and he awakens his own side, THE RIGHT SIDE, CHESED. The Levites concentrate on awakening their own side, THE LEFT SIDE, GVURAH, through singing, to be included within the priest's side. Yisrael, WHO ARE THE SHEPHERDS, THE CENTRAL COLUMN, TIFERET, concentrate with their hearts and desires upon complete repentance, and they submit before the Holy King, who takes everything. Thus are their transgressions atoned for, and joy abides in the upper and lower realms.