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Spinning Strictness with Mercy
The Zohar
The Hebrew word for woman is "isha", which includes both strict judgment and mercy. Every woman is called "judgment" until she grows to become a married woman, when she combines the feminine aspect of gevura with the masculine aspect of chesed.
Releasing the Captive Sparks
Mystical Classics
Zohar teaches that the purpose of the Israelites' trek through the desert was to enable the Israelites to seek out isolated sparks of sanctity and to release them from captivity. This required total sanctity, i.e. a combination of the complete sanctity of Israel, the Divine Presence and the holy Torah.
Vows and Dwelling Places
Chasidic Masters
"If a person will make a vow to G-d"

These words can also be interpreted to mean "to create a dwelling place". Every Jew has a soul which is descended from the source of all Holiness and is intrinsically G-dly and he must prepare a dwelling place for this G-dly soul in the upper worlds.
Moses, Warrior of Peace
Contemporary Kabbalists
In the First Temple era the Jews committed major sins that were clearly evil and therefore easily recognized and repented of. Their exile lasted only seventy years.

But during the Second Temple era, the primary sin of the Jews was senseless hatred; subtler and more difficult to correct. Thus the second exile lasts much longer, due to the length of time necessary to recognize the evil and repent.
All an Accident
Ascent Lights
The Torah teaches that a Jewish person's essential nature is to oppose sin, so as not to become separated from G-dliness; any sin is really committed by accident. Just as the accidental sinner exiled himself to a City of Refuge, so too, the Jewish people were exiled because of accidental sins.
How to Act in Exile
Mystic Story
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