37. Rabbi Shimon opened the discussion with the verse, "Only he shall not go in to the veil, nor come near to the altar, because he has a blemish; that he profane not My holy places, for I, Hashem, do sanctify them" (Vayikra 21:23). "He shall not go into the veil." Come and behold, at the time the river is flowing and comes out FROM EDEN, WHICH IS YESOD, and issues the souls TO THE NUKVA, the Nukva conceives WITH THEM. And they all abide WITHIN HER in a room within a room, where the walls are covered with wallpaper or carpets.
38. When the moon is rendered defective by the same aspect of the evil serpent, all the souls that are issued AT THAT TIME, although they were all pure and sacred, since they emerged at a defective time, THE BODIES WITH WHICH the Souls came are crushed, and suffer pains and afflictions. The Holy One, blessed be He, cares for AND LOVES those who are broken, although their souls are sad instead of joyous.
39. The secret is that they remain as above IN THE NUKVA. When the body is flawed, the soul inside remains the same AS IN THE NUKVA. BECAUSE THE SOUL RESIDED WITHIN THE FLAWED NUKVA, IT RESIDES NOW WITHIN THE FLAWED BODY. The one state resembles the other. Therefore, they are renewed like the moon, as it is written, "And it shall come to pass, that every new moon, and every Shabbat, shall all flesh come to bow down to the ground before Me, says Hashem" (Yeshayah 66:23). "All flesh" assuredly, for they are in need of renewal along with the moon.
40. THOSE RIGHTEOUS are the constant companions of the moon, THE NUKVA, and have the identical defects. She therefore dwells always within them and never leaves them, as it is written, "He also that is of a contrite and humble spirit" (Yeshayah 57:15) and, "Hashem is near to them who are of a broken heart" (Tehilim 34:19) - THAT IS, to those who suffered from the same defect as the moon, those who are always near her. "And He saves such as are of a contrite spirit" (Ibid.), by giving them a portion of the life flowing INTO THE NUKVA for renewal, because they who suffered with her shall also be renewed with her.
41. Those DEFECTS FROM WHICH THE RIGHTEOUS SUFFER are called 'sufferings of love,' because they are caused by love and not by the man himself. They are of love because the light of the smaller love was impaired when rejected by the greater love. Therefore, THE RIGHTEOUS are her companions and share HER FLAW. Happy is their portion in this world and in the World to Come, for they merited to be her friends, as it is written of them: "For my brethren and companions' sakes ..." (Tehilim 122:8).