509. He opened the discussion with the verse, "In all their affliction He was (Heb. lo) afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them" (Yeshayah 63:9). Come and behold, during the time when Yisrael are afflicted with troubles, "lo ('not')" is spelled with the letter Aleph, but pronounced "LO ('HE WAS')" with the letter Vav, because the Holy One, blessed be He, is distressed by their affliction. So lo with an Aleph, WHICH MEANS THAT HE WAS NOT DISTRESSED, refers to a higher place. Even though there is no sorrow or grief up there, at the place DESCRIBED BY THE WORDS, "STRENGTH AND GLADNESS ARE IN HIS PLACE" (I DIVREI HAYAMIM 16:27).NEVERTHELESS, the afflictions of Yisrael reach this high place. The term "lo" with an Aleph is used similarly in "it is He that has made us and not (Heb. lo) ourselves" (Tehilim 100:3), where "lo" is written with an Aleph, but pronounced with a Vav, WHICH LITERALLY MEANS 'AND WE BELONG TO HIM (Heb. LO).'
510. Of the verse, "And the angel of His presence saved them" (Yeshayah 63:9), HE ASKS, But He is together with them in their affliction, AS THE BEGINNING OF THE VERSE STATES. Now you are saying that He "saved them." IF HE IS STILL TOGETHER WITH THEM IN THEIR AFFLICTION, THEN He HAS NOT YET "SAVED THEM." AND HE REPLIES, It is not written, 'saves them,' but "saved them," IN THE PAST TENSE, meaning that they had already been saved. THIS MEANS THAT HE "SAVED THEM" by staying together with them in the same affliction and suffering with them. Come and behold, every time the children of Yisrael are in exile, the Shechinah is with them; this has already been explained, as it is written, "Then Hashem your Elohim will return your captivity, and have compassion upon you" (Devarim 30:3). THE VERSE 'WILL RETURN YOUR CAPTIVITY,' LITERALLY MEANS 'WILL RETURN' USING THE INTRANSITIVE, MEANING TO INFORM US THAT THE SHECHINAH IS WITH THEM IN EXILE NAMLY 'WILL SIT.'
511. A different explanation of the verse, "And the angel of His presence saved them," is that it refers to the Shechinah, which is with them in exile, AS IS STATED IN THE BEGINNING OF THE VERSE. You claim that He "saved them," BUT IF HE IS TOGETHER WITH THEM IN EXILE, THEN HE HAS NOT YET "SAVED THEM." AND HE REPLIES, IT is certainly true that the residing places of the Holy One, blessed be He, in exile are WHEREVER THE AFFLICTIONS OF YISRAEL ARE - MEANING THAT THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, IS PRESENT IN EVERY SINGLE AFFLICTION AND SORROW BROUGHT UPON YISRAEL. And because the Shechinah resides with them, the Holy One, blessed be He, remembers to benefit them and draw them out of exile, as it is first written, "and I have remembered my covenant" (Shemot 6:5), WHICH REFERS TO THE SHECHINAH. Later, it is written, "and now, behold, the cry of the children of Yisrael has come to me" (Shemot 3:9). SO HE ACTUALLY "SAVED THEM" BY BEING WITH THEM IN THEIR AFFLICTION. AND EVEN THOUGH THE FORMER VERSE APPEARS AFTER THE LATTER, THERE IS NO CONTRADICTION HERE, BECAUSE THERE IS NO CHRONOLOGICAL SEQUENCE IN THE TORAH.
512. The phrase, "moreover I have seen," includes another 'seeing,' which is the first among all, as it is written, "And Elohim remembered His covenant" (Shemot 2:24), which is the Shechinah. THIS VERSE APPEARS BEFORE THE VERSE, "AND I HAVE REMEMBERED MY COVENANT...with (et) Abraham." HE ASKS, It should have been written 'REMEMBERED HIS COVENANT for Abraham's sake?' AND HE ANSWERS, "With Abraham" alludes to the union and joining OF THE SHECHINAH with the Patriarchs, BECAUSE THE PARTICLE "ET," WRITTEN BEFORE "ABRAHAM," IS THE NAME OF THE SHECHINAH. SO "with Abraham" means the Southwest, THAT IS, THE "EMBRACING" OF THE RIGHT, BECAUSE THE SOUTH IS THE SECRET OF THE RIGHT AND OF CHESED, WHICH IS ABRAHAM. THE WEST IS THE SECRET OF THE SHECHINAH, WHICH IS CALLED ET AND WHICH ABRAHAM 'EMBRACES' WITH CHASSADIM. "...With Isaac..." refers to the Northwest, NAMELY THE 'EMBRACING' OF THE LEFT, BECAUSE THE NORTH IS THE SECRET OF THE LEFT AND OF GVURAH, WHICH IS CALLED ISAAC. AND THE WEST IS THE SECRET OF THE SHECHINAH, WHICH IS CALLED "ET" AND WHICH ISAAC 'EMBRACES' WITH HIS GVUROT. "...And with Jacob..." means One Union, One Whole - a perfect and complete union, as should properly be. THIS ALLUDES TO THE MATING OF ZEIR ANPIN, WHICH IS CALLED JACOB, WITH THE SHECHINAH, WHICH IS CALLED "ET." AND THE MATING CANNOT BE COMPLETED WITHOUT THE CENTRAL COLUMN, WHICH IS JACOB. SO WITH ABRAHAM AND ISAAC, THERE WAS ONLY 'EMBRACING.' THEREFORE, IT IS WRITTEN OF JACOB, ONE UNION. THUS THE PHRASE "AND WITH (HEB. VE-ET) JACOB" CONSISTS OF THEM BOTH, AS ONE WHOLE. SO THE EXTRA LETTER VAV IN "VE-ET" ALLUDES TO THE PERFECTION OF THIS MATING, WHICH IS A PERFECT AND COMPLETE MATING.
513. Similarly, IT IS WRITTEN, "(et) the heavens" (Beresheet 1:1), which is the quality of the night, WHICH IS THE NUKVA, with day, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN. "...And the (ve'et) earth..." refers to the union of the quality of the day with THE QUALITY OF the night, as one. THIS REFERS TO THE INCLUSION OF ZEIR ANPIN IN THE NUKVA, BECAUSE THE LETTER VAV IN "VE'ET ('AND THE')" ALLUDES TO UNION OF THE MALE WITH THE FEMALE. So the term "et" ('the')" appears in them all, AS IN "WITH (ET) ABRAHAM" AND "WITH (ET) ISAAC." However, in reference to Jacob it is written, "And with (ve-et)," WHICH SHOWS THAT they are in complete union, for the Male and Female never depart from each other. And the Holy One, blessed be He, in the future shall make His voice heard and announce to all the world, "For He said, Surely, they are My people, children that will not deal falsely; so He was their savior" (Yeshayah 63:8).