283. "And it came to pass, on the third day" (Shemot 19:16). Rabbi Aba opened the discussion with the verse, "We have a little sister and she has no breasts, what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for" (Shir Hashirim 8:8). "A little sister" is the Congregation of Yisrael, which is called 'the sister of the Holy One, blessed be He.' "She has no breasts" is as we have learned, that when Yisrael approached Mount Sinai, they had in them no merits or good deeds to protect them, as it is written, "she has no breasts" - for they are the beauty of a woman, and a woman's beauty comes from them alone. "What shall we do for our sister," that is, what will be done with them when the Holy One, blessed be He, reveals Himself on Mount Sinai to proclaim the words of the Torah, for their souls will fly away from them.
284. Rabbi Yosi said, At the time Yisrael approached Mount Sinai, together with that night and the following morning, it was three days altogether during which the people abstained from conjugal intercourse with their wives. The holy angels came and received them with fraternity, for they are angels above and Yisrael are angels below; they sanctify the Supreme Name above, while Yisrael sanctify the Supreme Name below.
285. And Yisrael were crowned with seventy crowns on that night. Then the supernal angels said, '"We have a little sister and she has no breasts," for they have no merits and good deeds, so "what shall we do for our sister?" That is, how shall we honor her on the day when the Holy One, blessed be He, reveals Himself on Mount Sinai to give them the Torah?
286. It is written, "Be ready by the third day; come not near a woman," (Shemot 19:15) and, "And it came to pass, on the third day." Rabbi Shimon said that at the time that the Holy One, blessed be He, desired to be revealed on Mount Sinai, He gathered all His retinue and told them, 'Now Yisrael are like children, who do not know My commandments, and I desire to be revealed before them with Mercy, and they will accept My Law.' Therefore it is written, "And it came to pass on the third day." Indeed, the manifestation took place on the third day, FOR IT IS THE DAY OF TIFERET, which is Mercy. And how do we know all that? It is written, "He bowed the heavens also, and came down" (II Shmuel 22:10), AND "HEAVENS" ARE TIFERET, WHICH IS MERCY, AS IS EXPLAINED ABOVE.
287. When the Holy One, blessed be He, revealed Himself before Yisrael, He extended Mercy at first and afterwards He gave them the Torah, from the side of Gvurah, on the third day. THUS, THEY INCLUDED BOTH MERCY AND JUDGMENT, as is appropriate for them. Hence, they are called 'Yisrael,' FOR THE NAME 'YISRAEL' CONSTITUTES MERCY AND JUDGMENT.
288. "When morning came." It is written, "In a morning without clouds" (II Shmuel 23:4), for if it was a cloudy morning, there would have been darkness in it and Chesed would not have been revealed. And when does Chesed reveal itself? In the morning, as it is written, "The morning was light" (Beresheet 44:3). Thus, as soon as the day breaks, Chesed is present in the world and Judgments are removed, but when the light of the morning does not enter, Judgments are not removed, as it is written, "When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of Elohim shouted for joy" (Iyov 37:7), as soon as the stars fade away and the sun shines at that time, as it is written, "A morning without clouds." And Chesed is awakened in the lower world at that time, it is written, "When morning came," since the stars disappeared and morning appeared.
289. Rabbi Yosi said that "When morning came," the Holy One, blessed be He, started to reveal Himself on Mount Sinai. We learned that, "When morning came," means when the merit of Abraham is awakened, of whom it is written, "And Abraham went early in the morning" (Beresheet 19:26).