254. Rabbi Yosi said, It is written, "The nakedness of your father, or the nakedness of your mother, shall you not uncover" (Vayikra 18:7) and "She is your mother; you shall not uncover her nakedness" (Ibid.). We learned that your mother is surely MALCHUT, YISRAEL'S MOTHER. If he uncovered her nakedness, why should he return it; BY MEANS OF REPENTANCE. Surely he should rectify his uncovering, AS WILL BE EXPLAINED.
255. According to what we learned, when the Evil Inclination grows stronger within man, it does so through immoral sexual conduct alone. All sins are attached to that nakedness. It is written, "shall you not uncover." When one makes amends, one does so for uncovering it. This is called repentance.
256. Rabbi Yitzchak said, All the sins of the world are connected TO THE UNCOVERING OF NAKEDNESS, so much that mother, MALCHUT, is uncovered for the sins; NAMELY, HER NAKEDNESS IS UNCOVERED. When it is, all her children, YISRAEL BELOW, MALCHUT'S CHILDREN, are uncovered. It is also written, "You shall not take the mother bird together with the young" (Devarim 22:6). When the lower world is corrected, everything is corrected until the correction rises to holy Ima, MALCHUT. She is then corrected and that which was uncovered is covered. It is therefore written, "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered" (Tehilim 32:1). She is then called repentance indeed, and called Yom Kippur, as it says "that you may be clean from all your sins before Hashem" (Vayikra 16:30).
257. Rabbi Yehuda said, When is MALCHUT called repentance? When the mother, WHICH IS MALCHUT, is covered and stands joyfully by the children. SHE THEN PROVIDES THEM WITH EVERY GOODNESS, as written, "A joyful mother of children." She is established AS SHE WAS BEFORE THEY INFECTED HER WITH DEFECT and that which was closed and concealed returns to its place. All the grades return one by one, EACH LOWER ONE ASCENDS TO THE HIGHER ONE, and are blessed every one of them. Then it is considered repentance, repentance in general that includes everything, BECAUSE ALL GRADES BECAME REPAIRED AGAIN.
258. Rabbi Yitzchak said, When the world, MALCHUT, is corrected, all of it is corrected at once, AS it is written, "For Your steadfast love (Heb. chesed) is great above the heavens" (Tehilim 108:5). "Above the heavens" means that MALCHUT rises above the place called heavens. What is it? It is Ima, NAMELY BINAH, FOR ZEIR ANPIN IS CALLED HEAVENS AND BINAH IS ABOVE ZEIR ANPIN. WHEN MALCHUT GOES UP THERE, IT IS CORRECTED AT ONCE LIKE IMA. This is considered repentance (lit. 'return'), BECAUSE MALCHUT RETURNS TO BINAH.
259. Rabbi Yehuda said, It is written precisely "above (Heb. me'al) the heavens." If it would have said 'Al (lit. 'above') the heavens,' it would have meant the place which is situated above the heavens, BINAH, and no more. Since it says me'al (lit. 'above'), it refers to the place situated high above the heavens, WHICH IS ATIKA KADISHA, AS WILL BE EXPLAINED.
260. We learned that when deeds are improved below and Ima is joyful, Atika Kadisha, KETER, is revealed and the light returns to Zeir Anpin. Everyone is glad then, all is perfect and blessings abide everywhere. Mercy is available and all the worlds rejoice. Hence, it says, "He will again (lit. 'return and') have compassion on us; He will suppress our iniquities" (Michah 7:19). Who will do it again? Atika Kadisha will again be revealed in Zeir Anpin, and that which was concealed from the start will be uncovered again. Everything is considered repentance AFTER ATIKA KADISHA, WHO AGAIN WILL BE REVEALED.
261. Rabbi Yehuda said, Everything is included within the "He will return" LIKE ATIKA KADISHA. 'Everything' is general, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, it is also written, "that Hashem may turn (return) from the fierceness of His anger, and show you mercy" (Devarim 13:18). Rabbi Yitzchak said, Assuredly everything is comprehended IN REPENTANCE. We stated as much before Rabbi Shimon.