And if you shall say [in the seventh year, when working the land is prohibited], 'What shall we eat ?'" (Lev. 25:20) Rabbi Yehuda opened [his discourse by first explaining the verse]: "Trust in G‑d, and do good; dwell in the land, and be nourished by faith." (Psalms 37:3) Man should always be careful with his Master and cleave with his heart to the supernal faith, so as to be at peace with his Master. For when he is at peace with his Master, the inhabitants of the world can do him no harm.

Come and see [what the verse says]: "Trust in G‑d, and do good." What is "and do/make good"? We have learned [on page 92a above] that our deeds below arouse supernal action [in the upper sefirot] Above. It has already been established [on page 113a] that "and do/make them," means you shall, so to speak, 'make' [rectify] them [the sefirot, drawing bounty to the supernal worlds], since by your deed of arousing below there is an arousal above. Therefore, it is written, "and do/make good" [for you arouse "goodness"] since there is no goodness other than a tzadik [referring to yesod, which is called righteous, for it bestows goodness to malchut], as is written, "Say of the righteous for it is goodness." (Isaiah 3:10) When you do this, truly this goodness will be aroused [to bring flow to malchut]. Then [the verse:] "dwell in the land, and enjoy faith" [will be fulfilled] and everything is one. [Both "land" and "faith" refer to malchut.]

"Dwell in the land" refers to the supernal land [malchut], since there is none in the world [even the greatest tzaddik] that can dwell with Her [malchut, while it is at its strength of judgment] until that good [yesod] is aroused towards Her [and sweetens all judgments]. Once he arouses Her [malchut, by fulfilling mitzvot], it is as if he made Her [and caused Her rectification]. Then, he may "dwell in the land" [of malchut, for Her judgments have been sweetened], dwell within Her, eat of Her fruit, and have pleasure with Her [by causing unity of yesod with malchut].

"...and desire faith..."; this [faith] is the land [malchut], it is all one [as faith and land both refer to malchut], as it is written, "and your faithfulness every night." (Psalms 92:3) [Malchut, which is faith, rules the night.] "And be nourished by faith"; leading Her wherever he may wish [as a tzadik rules through his fear of Heaven, as explained later].

If one does not arouse Her [malchut, through mitzvot and good deeds], this goodness [yesod] stays away from Her [malchut, and they do not unite]. Do not then approach Her, do not come near the furnace of burning fire [as malchut is then full of unsweetened, fiery judgments]. If you do come near Her, be fearful as one fearful of death, since She is then a burning fire that consumes the world with its flames.

When this goodness [of yesod] is aroused towards Her, then you shall dwell with Her and not be afraid of Her. Then, "You shall also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto you; and the light shall shine upon your ways." (Job 22:28)

Come and see: the faithful guide [malchut] daily according to their wishes. Who are the faithful? Those who arouse good [yesod, through their righteousness] towards Her [malchut] without sparing their own, knowing that G‑d will give them more, as is written: "There is one who gives freely, and yet increases." (Prov. 11:24) What is the reason for this? For this arouses blessings opposite him.

One must not say, 'what shall I eat tomorrow if I give now?' since G‑d bestows upon him blessings without end, as explained.1 Hence, "And if you shall say, 'What shall we eat in the seventh year?'" (Lev. 25:20); what is written [afterwards]? "Then I will command My blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth [in Hebrew, 'asat'] fruit for three years." [Reb Zusha said: Since they asked 'What shall we eat' and didn't trust in G‑d, the pipeline was closed. Therefore, G‑d dealt with them beyond the letter of the law and commanded his blessings to flow upon them, even so.]

Why [is it written ]"asat" [and not 'astah', with a final hei]? In order to cause the hei [that signifies malchut] to leave, as there is a Sabbatical Year and rest and it does no work [malchut only influences bounty on the spirituality of the shemita year, not its physicality], as is written, "See that G‑d has given you... on the sixth day [associated with the 6th sefira of yesod]…the bread of two days."2 (Ex. 16:29) In a similar manner, "then I will command My blessing upon you in the sixth year." [The 6th year is the source of physical bounty of the 7th year.]

BeRahamim LeHayyim: What does this mean to you, and why is it revealed now?

"The righteous live by their faith." The Talmud holds that to be the shorthand message for living. Faith. Simple Faith. Not blind faith, G‑d forbid! Rather in one's heart of hearts, to accept completely in the presence and power of G‑d in one's life. Easier said than done. Easier said when bad things happen to the good people we love. But the reward for this shift of mind is endless. It requires a arousing of one's heart that it placed into good action. The uniting of thought, word, and deed, all done in simple faith—not a complex matrix at all—is enough to do it all.

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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