342. "And Abraham journeyed from there toward the south country" (Beresheet 20:1). All of Abraham's journeys were to the south, WHICH IS CHESED, rather than in any other direction. He planned wisely, so that he would be attached to the south.
343. "And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister..." (Beresheet 20:2). We have learned that a person should not rely on miracles. If the Holy One, blessed be He, performs a miracle for somebody, he should not rely on a miracle another time, because miracles do not simply occur at any given time.
344. A person who knowingly puts himself in danger may use up all of his merits, because, as it is written, "I am unworthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the trust..." (Beresheet 32:11). AND HE ASKS, If Abraham knew that his emergence from Egypt was a miracle, why did he put himself into difficulty again by saying, "She is my sister?"
345. AND HE REPLIES, Abraham did not rely on himself at all, but saw the Shechinah dwelling constantly in Sarah's residence, from which She never moved. And because THE SHECHINAH was there, Abraham relied on Her and said, "She is my sister," as it is written, "Say to Wisdom, You are my sister" (Mishlei 7:4). THIS MEANS THAT THE SHECHINAH IS ALSO CALLED WISDOM. Therefore he said, "She is my sister."
346. "But Elohim came to Abimelech..." HE ASKS, Could it be that the Holy One, blessed be He, visits the wicked, as it is written, "and Elohim came to Bilaam" (Bemidbar 22:9) and "Elohim came to Laban" (Beresheet 31:24)? AND HE REPLIES, This was only a Governor, a messenger who was in charge over them, as EVERY NATION HAS A CELESTIAL GOVERNOR. When ANGELS complete their missions, WHICH THEY RECEIVE FROM HASHEM, they are called by the holy name ELOHIM, because they represented the aspect of Judgment AND THE NAME ELOHIM IS AN INDICATION OF JUDGMENT. This is why it is written, "But Elohim came to Abimelech, in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, you are but a dead man for the woman which you have taken" (Beresheet 20:3), REFERRING ONLY TO THE ANGEL THAT GOVERNS HIS NATION AND NOT TO THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE.
347. Rabbi Shimon opened the discourse with the verse, "The language of truth shall be established forever..." (Mishlei 12:19) This refers to Abraham, whose words were always truthful. The phrase, "but a lying tongue is but for a moment" (Ibid.), however, refers to Abimelech.
348. Of Abraham it is written, "And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister." This is similar to what he said IN EGYPT, when he said to the Shechinah that accompanied Sarah, "She is my sister." SO TWICE ABRAHAM SAID, "SHE IS MY SISTER," AND REFERRED TO THE SHECHINAH WHEN HE SAID IT. And Abraham did EVERYTHING wisely.
349. HE ASKS, Why IS THE SHECHINAH CALLED SISTER? AND HE RESPONDS, Because Abraham is related to the right side, he said, "She is my sister." And the secret corresponds to what is written, "my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled" (Shir Hashirim 5:2). And Abraham always called Her "my sister" because he cleaved to Her and they were never separated.
350. In the end, it is written, "And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother" (Beresheet 20:12). SO HE ASKS, Was IT REALLY so? WAS SHE NOT THE DAUGHTER OF CHARAN? AND HE REPLIES, Everything that he said was a reference to the Shechinah. "She is my sister," that he said in the beginning is similar to, "Say to Wisdom, You are my sister." And he concluded, "And yet indeed." What is MEANT BY "And?" It expands THE EXPLANATION with, "she is my sister, the daughter of my father," WHICH MEANS THAT THE SHECHINAH is a daughter of the supernal Chochmah, WHICH IS THE SUPERNAL ABA AND IMA, BOTH OF WHICH ARE CALLED ABA. This is why THE SHECHINAH is called his 'Sister' and 'Wisdom,' but not, AS STATED IN THE PRECEDING PARAGRAPH, "the daughter of my mother." THIS MEANS THAT "MY MOTHER" IS DRAWN from the place where everything begins and where everything is concealed, WHICH IS ARICH ANPIN. FROM ARICH ANPIN, THE SECRET OF BINAH THAT RETURNS TO BECOME CHOCHMAH IS DRAWN. BINAH BECOMES ENCLOTHED BY YISRAEL-SABA AND TENUVAH, COLLECTIVELY CALLED IMA. SO THE SHECHINAH HERE IS NOT A "DAUGHTER," BUT RATHER A "MOTHER" HERSELF, AS SHE ENCLOTHES HER. Therefore, BECAUSE SHE IS THE ASPECT OF THE LEFT, FROM THE SIDE OF THE MOTHER, "she became my wife" in fondness and affection as expressed in the verse, "and his right hand embraces me" (Shir Hashirim 8:3). SHE LONGS FOR THE CHASSADIM OF THE RIGHT, SO THAT HER CHOCHMAH MAY BE ENCLOTHED BY THE CHASSADIM. All this is according to the secret of Wisdom.
351. Come and behold, when they first went down to Egypt, he said, "SHE IS MY SISTER" in order to cleave to the Faith. Therefore, he called Her "my sister," so that they would not be mistaken and follow those grades outside HOLINESS. So here as well, WITH ABIMELECH, he said, "my sister" in order not to be diverted from the proper Faith.