136. "And you shall love Hashem your Elohim" (Devarim 6:5). Rabbi Yosi opened, "Now therefore, what have I here, says Hashem, that My people is taken away for naught..." (Yeshayah 52:5). Come and see the love of the Holy One, blessed be He, for Yisrael. Even though transgressions caused His departure from among them and they dispersed among the nations, He demands satisfaction for their insult. Come and see, when Yisrael live in their land and the Holy One, blessed be He, takes delight in His garden, MALCHUT, and comes near Yisrael, and hears their voices, He praises Himself with them.
137. When their transgressions caused Yisrael to become exiled from the Holy Land, the Holy One, blessed be He, does not enter His garden, MALCHUT, and takes no delight in it. Moreover, He cries out and says, "Now therefore, what have I here, says Hashem." It is written elsewhere, "here will I dwell; for I have desired it" (Tehilim 132:14). AS "HERE" IN THE LATTER IS THE SHECHINAH, SO "HERE" IN THE FORMER IS THE SHECHINAH. "My people is taken away for naught" is the same as, "You were sold for naught" (Yeshayah 52:3).
138. Ever since the day Yisrael were exiled from their country there is no joy before the Holy One, blessed be He. This is the meaning of, "I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering" (Yeshayah 50:3). All this is for the love the Holy One, blessed be He, has for them, as it is written, "I have loved you, says Hashem" (Malachi 1:2). Hence, "And you shall love Hashem your Elohim." "And you shall love" MEANS that man should be connected to Him with supernal love that at every worship man should serve the Holy One, blessed be He; let him perform it with love. For there is no worship like the love for the Holy One, blessed be He. Rabbi Aba said, These things, NAMELY LOVE, are the essence of the Torah, since the Ten Commandments are included here. The friends have already explained it.
139. Come and see, nothing is more precious before the Holy One, blessed be He, than he who loves Him properly. This accords with the verse, "with all your heart" (Devarim 6:5). What is meant by "all"? It should have said, 'with your heart' AND ALSO 'with your soul, and with your might.' What is, "with all your heart"? AND HE ANSWERS, Its purpose is to include two hearts, a good one and an evil. "With all your soul" (Ibid.) IS WITH TWO SOULS, a good one and an evil. "With all your might" (Ibid.) IS LITERAL AND needs no interpreting. Rabbi Elazar said, Even this needs interpreting. The reason is that whether he receives money as an inheritance or from another source, or whether he earns it, it is written of it, "with all your might."
140. Rabbi Aba said, Let us return to the verse, "And you shall love." Whoever loves the Holy One, blessed be He, is adorned with Chesed on every direction, does kindness with everyone, and cares not for his body or money. We derive that from Abraham, as we learned, who, for love of his Master had no pity on his own heart, soul or money.
141. HE EXPLAINS HIS WORDS: His own heart means that ABRAHAM did not pay attention to his own wishes for love of his Master; his soul means that he had no pity on his son and his wife for love of his Master; his money means that he used to stand at the crossroads and prepare nourishment for the whole world. For that reason he was adorned with a crown of kindness, NAMELY THE SFIRAH OF CHESED, as it is written, "loyal love (Heb. Chesed) to Abraham" (Michah 7:20). Whoever is connected to the love for his Master merits that. Moreover, all the worlds are blessed for his sake. This is the meaning of, "and Your pious ones shall bless You (Heb. yevarchuchah)" (Tehilim 145:10). Do not pronounce it as "shall bless You," but 'shall bless (Heb. yevarchu) koh.' THIS MEANS THAT THE PIOUS ONES (HEB. CHASSIDIM), NAMELY THOSE WHO ATTAINED THE SFIRAH OF CHESED, SHALL BLESS THE SHECHINAH CALLED 'KOH.' THUS EVEN THE SHECHINAH IS BLESSED FOR THEIR SAKES.
142. One day Rabbi Yosi was ill. Rabbi Aba and Rabbi Yehuda visited him. They saw him prostrated on his face, sleeping. When he awoke FROM HIS SLEEP, they saw his face smiling. Rabbi Aba said to him, You have seen something new. He said to them, Indeed, for my soul rose and saw the glory of those who suffered martyrdom for the sanctity of their Master going into thirteen rivers of pure balsam and the Holy One, blessed be He, taking delight in them. I saw what I was given no permission to relate. I asked them saying, Whose glory is this, and they told me it is that of those who loved their Master in that world, NAMELY THIS WORLD. From what my soul has seen, my heart is illuminated. Hence my face is smiling.
143. Rabbi Aba said, Happy is your portion. Yet the Torah bears witness to them, as it is written, "neither has the eye seen, that an Elohim, beside You, should do such a thing for him that waits for Him" (Yeshayah 64:3). Rabbi Yehuda said to him, The friends have enquired why it is written, "should do" in the third person, instead of the second, THOUGH IT IS WRITTEN, "BESIDE YOU" IN THE SECOND PERSON.
144. He said to him, We have learned that, yet its secret is the words, "to behold the beauty of Hashem, and to inquire in His temple" (Tehilim 27:4). We have explained that "the beauty of Hashem" is THE PLENTY coming from Atika Kadisha, WHICH IS KETER, in which the Holy One, blessed be He, takes delight. For that beauty comes out of Atika. "to inquire in His temple" refers to the highest temple, BINAH. Here too, "neither has the eye seen, that an Elohim, beside You, should do." Who SHALL DO? That most hidden Atika, for that PLENTY comes from it. HENCE "SHOULD DO" IS WRITTEN IN THE THIRD PERSON. He said to him, It is surely so. Happy is the portion of those whose Master's love cleaves to them. Their portion in that world is immeasurable.
145. The righteous have many dwellings upon dwellings in that world, and the highest apartment is for those to whom the love of their Master is connected, for their dwelling is connected to the chamber that surpasses everything. The reason is that the Holy One, blessed be He is adorned with it, WITH LOVE.