In the valley below the city of Safed, where Rebbe Pinchas ben Yair, the author of this discourse is buried, there is a spring called the "Fountain of Rebbe Pinchas" that feeds a beautiful pool set among the fruit trees.

Rabbi Pinchas opened his discourse with the verse "A fountain of gardens, a well of fresh water, and streams from Lebanon". (Songs 4:15) Why does the verse say "A fountain of gardens"? Are there no other fountains than those that flow from gardens? There are certainly many other good and precious fountains in the world. But the enjoyment of fountains is not equal. There are those fountains that flow in the desert, in a dry place, and certainly they give pleasure to those who sit by them and drink from them. But how good and precious is a fountain of gardens! That fountain benefits plants and fruits. One who is close to it enjoys all pleasures. He enjoys the water, enjoys the plants and enjoys the fruits. This sort of fountain crowns all others. How many roses, how many fragrant plants are around it! How beautiful is that fountain compared to others. It is called a fountain of living waters.

In Hebrew fresh water is called "living waters" for it is a source of life.

Above these is one secret, hidden fountain….

And [the secret of this verse is] as we have explained. It is all referring to the Shechina [malchut]. She is called "A fountain in the gardens" [because She receives the abundance flowing from out of the gardens]. And what are the gardens? There are five gardens in which the Holy One, blessed be He, enjoys Himself [the sefirot of chesed, gevura, tiferet, netzach and hod that gather into yesod to feed into malchut]. Above these is one secret, hidden fountain [bina] that waters and saturates them. Then all [the gardens] sprout and give fruit [each sefira according to its type: kindness sprouting from chesed, strictness from gevura, harmony from tiferet, exultation from netzach and gratitude from hod]. There is one garden [malchut] below them [yesod is not included as it is here regarded as a funnel to malchut]. This garden is guarded around from all the sides of the world.

The forces outside of the holy want to latch onto her fruits, and the consciousness of bina prevents them by nurturing humility instead of pride, calmness instead of anger, sincerity instead of guile, etc. because in Atzilut there is complete perfection.

So has the Holy One Blessed be He, made a miracle in this place with this spring….

Below this garden [malchut of Atzilut] there are other gardens [of the worlds of Beriya, Yetzira and Asiya], and they all give fruit according to their types [which are the souls each according to their holiness and make up]. This garden [malchut of Atzilut] inverts [and instead of receiving the abundance from above, becomes a source of abundance that flows to the lower worlds.] Then, according to the needs below, She becomes a fountain of living waters [sending abundance to Israel when their deeds are worthy of receiving Her abundance]. And when necessary She is like a well [with a more restricted flow that requires a Tzadik to draw out the flow by virtue of his good deeds]. What is the difference between a fountain and a well? There is no similarity between the waters of abundance that flow of themselves like a fountain, and those which are required to be drawn out [by the Tzadik] to give water [to Israel].

"And stream from Lebanon" - What does it mean to "stream"? These are the five sources [of the sefirot mentioned above] that flow from Lebanon.

In Hebrew, "Lebanon" can be read as "Lev Nun", or "Heart of Fifty", since it is the heart of the Fifty Gates of Understanding that comprise bina. These 5 gardens are each made up of 10 sefirot, so bina, the source or heart of them, is called the "Heart of Fifty".

Above [when they received their abundance] they were streaming [into malchut of Atzilut that became the source for the lower worlds], and when they spout from that source they flow drop after drop [to enable the lower worlds to grow and not be flooded by their abundant rush]. These are the sweet waters that engulf the soul.

So has the Holy One Blessed be He, made a miracle in this place [where Rebbe Pinchas was giving his discourse] with this spring, and that verse [from Song of Songs] is about this spring.

Thus Rebbe Pinchas reflected on a scriptural verse and applied it to reality, showing how it hinted at the spiritual evolution of the sefirot and the flow of Divine Abundance that nurtures all souls.

Zohar, parashat Balak, p. 201a; translation and commentary by Simcha-Shmuel Treister

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