i. Note the Zohar, [Vol. III,] Parshas Pinchas, p. 214b, and the gloss of the Ramaz.

ii. See the conclusion of the maamar entitled Vayikra Moshe, in [Likkutei Torah, Devarim,] Parshas Ki Savo, [p. 43d]; the maamar entitled Ki Seitzei, in [Likkutei Torah, Devarim,] p. 36d; and the maamar entitled Lo Siy’yeh Meshakeila, in [Torah Or,] Parshas Mishpatim, [p. 78d].

iii. Note the explanation of the verse (Tehillim 118:5), “Out of the straits, I called to G‑d,” [in Torah Or, p. 74b,] in the maamar entitled VeChol HaAm Ro’im. See also [Likkutei Torah, Devarim, p. 44c-d,] the maamar entitled Atem Nitzavim, withregard to the statement “And therefore He is called the sublime G‑d.” Note also [Likkutei Torah, Devarim, p. 61c ff.,] the maamar entitled LeHavin Peirush Ve’inyan Yud-Gimmel Middos; and [Likkutei Torah, Bamidbar, p. 8b,] the maamar entitled Ve’erastich Li, withregard to the verse (Tehillim 84:3): “My heart and my flesh will sing joyously to the living G‑d.”

iv. See the Zohar, [Vol. III,] Parshas Kedoshim, p. 86a; [Vol. I,] Parshas Bereishis, p. 8a; [Vol. I,] Parshas Vayigash, p. 205b; [Vol. III,] Parshas Nasso, p. 132a; and the gloss of the Ramaz at the beginning of Parshas Shemini.

v. See a similar issue raised in the maamar entitled Chayav Inish Livsumei,[Torah Or, p. 99d, translated in Vol. 1 of this series].

vi. Note the explanation of this concept in the maamar entitled [Vayedaber Moshe El] Rashei HaMatos, [Likkutei Torah, Bamidbar, p. 81c].

vii. Note the interpretation [of the phrase (Devarim 13:19): “To do what is just,”] in the conclusion of the maamar entitled Ki Sishmah Bekol, in [Likkutei Torah, Devarim, p. 23b].

viii. See the explanation in other sources [Likkutei Torah, Bamidbar, pp. 13d, 14d,] of our Sages’ comment [Shabbos 85a]: “…Who revealed this secret to My children,” as referring to the light of hidden love [that exists within every Jew].

ix. This is what is meant by the directive (see Likkutei Torah, Chukas, p. 56d): “And you shall seek... from there.” The word æä — “this,” refers to something at which one can point one’s finger and say, “This is it” (see Shmos Rabbah at the conclusion of ch. 23). [In an ultimate sense,] this expression can be used only in regard to the Holy One, blessed be He, as it is written (Shmos 15:2): “This is my G‑d, and I will glorify Him,” because “the entire earth is full of His glory” (Yeshayahu 6:3). [Thus, when one points to the true existence of any entity, he is highlighting its G‑dly source and potential.]

In contrast, the domain of kelipah is referred to as ùí — “there,” in the nethermost depths (see Or HaTorah, Vayikra, Vol. I, p. 125). This connotation relates to a teaching of our Sages,* which leads to the following interpretation of the verse (Yirmeyahu 46:17): ÷øàå ùí ôøòä ëå’ äòáéø äîåòã, “There they called out, ‘Pharaoh..., the appointed time has passed.’” [Since the Hebrew word îåòã can be translated as both “appointed time” and “festival,”] this verse can be interpreted thus: Pharaoh caused the path of the festivals and of rejoicing to pass into the realm of frivolity.

* From Maamarei Admur HaEmtza’i, Vayikra, Vol. I, p. 59; and Or HaTorah, Devarim, Vol. VI, p. 2296, it appears that the reference is to Moed Katan 16a, where the Sages discuss the concept of שמתא (“a ban of ostracism”). As taught in the above-noted maamarim, this word can be broken up into the words שם מיתה, “There is death,” and can thus relate to the concepts discussed in our text.

[There is, however, a desirable conception of a desert as well. In that vein, a positive interpretation can be given to the verse (Bamidbar 14:35): במדבר הזה יתמו, “In this desert, they will expire.” [As explained above, “this” refers to the revelation of G‑dliness. Similarly, we can reach the level of “this desert,” a desert connected with revelation, for the word מדבר, “desert,” shares the same root as דיבור,“speech.”] Thus, “this desert” can refer to the words of prayer, as in the phrase, “This is my G‑d.” The same is true of Torah study, as implied by the phrase (Bamidbar 30:2): זה הדבר — “This is the word....”

[In this context, the continuation of the verse quoted earlier can also be explained in a positive context.] The word יתמו, [translated above as “expire,”] can also mean “become perfect,” [which,] as interpreted by the Zohar, [Vol. III, p. 163b, implies that one ought to attain the level required by the verse (Devarim 18:13)]: תמים תהיה, “you shall be perfect.”

[The continuation of Bamidbar 14:35:] “And there they will die” refers to the elevation of the sparks [of G‑dliness] that fell to the level of שם, “there,” through [teshuvah, as indicated by the verse (Tehillim 25:1)]: “To You, O G‑d, I raise up my soul.”

In this context, too, we can understand the verse [describing the exodus from Egypt] (Devarim 6:23):** ואותנו הוציא משם, “And He took us out from there.” G‑d took us out from the level of “there” so that we could cleave to Him.

** Note Pesachim 116b which emphasizes that the recitation of this verse is an important element of the Pesach Seder.

If, however, a person has caused a blemish through a particular thought or statement or, most certainly, through a deed, [and is thus controlled by kelipah — the realm of “there” —] he must follow the above advice, “And you shall seek... from there.” He must review his undesirable deeds.

x. See also the interpretation of the phrase, “And you shall seek... from there,” in [Torah Or, p. 27a,] the maamar entitled Vayeishev Yaakov, and the interpretation of the verse [Yeshayahu 55:6], “Seek G‑d when He is to be found,” in [Likkutei Torah, Devarim, p. 78b,] the maamar entitled KeNesher Ya’ir.

xi. [Thus] even though the person is, as in the analogy, separate and entirely cut off from his source, nevertheless, through one thought of teshuvah,[see Kiddushin 49b,] he can return and cling to his source. This concept is illustrated in parable form in [Likkutei Torah,] Parshas Bamidbar, [p. 1b,] in the maamar entitled Vayedaber... legulgelosam. There, the concept of “lift[ing] up the heads [of the entire congregation of the children of Israel” (Bamidbar 1:2), which is the biblical metaphor for counting,] is compared to a remedy which could reattach a head that was severed from the trunk of the body.

See also [Likkutei Torah, Devarim, p. 83b,] the maamar entitled BaYom HaShemini Atzeres, which explains that even people who are liable to suffer the penalty of kares (“excision”), and about whom the Torah states, [Vayikra 22:3]: “They will be cut off,” [still possess the potential for teshuvah]. Concerning them we can apply the verse, [Tehillim 27:10], “My father and mother have forsaken me, [nevertheless] G‑d will gather me in.”

xii. [Zohar, Vol. II,] p. 20 [a-b].

xiii. [Regarding the parallel to a city, see] the interpretation of the phrase [Bamidbar 15:2]: “the land of your dwellings, in [Likkutei Torah, Bamidbar, p. 40a ff.,] the conclusion of the maamar focusing on the wine libations. [Regarding the parallel to a field, see] Torah Or, Parshas Chayei Sarah, p. 17b, which expounds upon the phrase [Bereishis 24:63]: “And Isaac went out to supplicate in the field.”

xiv. See the explanation of this concept in [Likkutei Torah, Bamidbar, p. 88c,] the maamar entitled Eileh Maasei, and the explanation of the concept of sowing in the maamar entitled Haazinu HaShamayim, [Likkutei Torah, Devarim, p. 74c; 76d ff.], and in the maamar entitled Shishim Heimah Melachos, [Likkutei Torah, Shir HaShirim, p. 31b ff.].

xv. See the interpretation of this concept at the end of Makkos, ch. 3, [p. 24a,] and the comments of Maharsha in his Chidushei Aggados. See [Bamidbar] Rabbah, Parshas Korach, and [Shmos] Rabbah, Parshas Beshallach, the end of sec. 22, which states: “What about the sheep? … so too, [the people of] Israel, even though they sin….” Consult that source. This is what is meant by “a lost sheep.”

xvi. This will enable a person to reach the level of שמע which can be divided as 'שם ע. [See Likkutei Torah, Devarim, p. 30b, which explains that this refers to the elevation of the G‑dly sparks that fell into the 70 nations and their reconnection to their source.]

xvii. As explained in the maamar entitled Bamidbar Sinai, BeOhel Moed, [Likkutei Torah, Bamidbar, p. 2b ff.].

xviii. As stated in Meorei Or, Os Chaf, sec. 15, כרת, [the soul being cut off,] is the counterpart of the level of Kesser (כתר), [as evidenced by the fact that the two terms share the same Hebrew letters].

xix. See the description of the quality of fire in the maamar entitled Vehayah Lachem Letzitzis, [Likkutei Torah, Bamidbar, p. 44c ff.]and in [Likkutei Torah, Vayikra,] Parshas Behar, [p. 40c,]on the verse [Vayikra 25:2]: “When you enter [the land]… and the land shall rest.”

xx. “The roses” can also be interpreted as a reference to “a red stripe for a white horse” [Chagigah 9b]. This also relates to “the scarlet thread” [that served as a sign of G‑d’s acceptance of the teshuvah of the Jews on Yom Kippur (Rosh HaShanah 31b, et al.)]. It also relates to [the High Priest’s alternating between] golden garments and white garments [during his service on that holy day], as explained in Raya Mehemna, Parshas Pinchas ([Zohar, Vol. III,] p, 255b).

See the maamar entitled Lamenatzeiach Al HaSheminis, [Likkutei Torah, Vayikra,]p. 22b and the explanation, [(see Zohar, Vol. III, p. 262b, et al.)] of the description, [I Shmuel 16:12,] of King David as “ruddy, with pleasing eyes.” See also the explanation of the maamar entitled Vechol Bonaiach,[Likkutei Torah, Devarim, p. 31bff.].

xxi. [In the Hebrew phrase] ,שאהבה נפשי “whom my soul has loved,” the ש is vocalized with a kamatz implying the past tense; love which has already been established. For “Israel arose” in the earliest and highest levels of Divine thought, [see Bereishis Rabbah 1:4], at the level alluded to [in our morning blessings] by the phrase, “it is pure,” a level which precedes the stage alluded to by the following phrase, “You created [it].” This concept is explained in [Likkutei Torah, Shir HaShirim, p. 16d ff.,] the maamar entitled Yonasi BeChagvei Hasela.

From the level [of “it is pure,”] hidden light is drawn [to the soul]. This is the hidden love described above in the explanation of our Sages’ comment, “[He saw] that it would be good to hide [the light].” This is what is meant by “the one whom my soul has loved,” [implying a relationship] that already exists. This [potential within the soul], known as Eitan HaEzrachi (Tehillim 89:1), is also explained in [Likkutei Torah, Devarim, p. 18a,] the maamar entitled Re’eh Anochi.

There are, however, persons for whom this love is [not merely hidden, but rather] lost and exiled, as explained above. Concerning this, it is written, “I will search for the one whom my soul has loved.”

xxii. See also the explanation of this concept in the maamar entitled Bamidbar Sinai,[Likkutei Torah, Bamidbar, p.1b].

xxiii. [As mentioned above, the fact that] the ש in the phrase ,שאהבה נפשי “whom my soul has loved,” is vocalized with a kamatz, implies the past tense, referring to love which has already been established. For “Israel arose” in the earliest and highest levels of Divine thought.

This is alluded to [by the phrase (Yechezkel 1:1)]: “I was in the midst of the Diaspora, on the Chebar River.” See the concept of Chebar in Bereishis Rabbah 16[:3], Zohar, [Parshas] Bereishis, [Vol. I,] (p. 6b); see the glosses of Mikdash Melech and Ramaz there, and Zohar, Vol. III, [Parshas] Pinchas, p. 247a. See Torah Or, the maamar entitled VeEileh HaMishpatim, [p. 75d,] with regard to the verse [Shmos 21:2]: “When you acquire a Hebrew servant.”

xxiv. See Zohar, Vol. II, [Parshas] Vayakhel, (p. 200 [a-b]).

xxv. See the maamar entitled Re’eh Anochi, [Likkutei Torah, Devarim, p.18c,]with regard to [our Sages’ statement (see Midrash Tanchuma, Pekudei, sec. 3) that before a child is born,] there is a lamp burning over his head and he is taught [the entire Torah]. See also the maamar entitled VeAsisa Bigdei Kodesh LeAharon Achichah, [Torah Or, p. 82a ff.].

xxvi. See the interpretation of the term “my friend” in the maamar entitled Ani Yesheinah,[Likkutei Torah, Shir HaShirim, p. 34a ff.,]and the interpretation of the phrase [Mishlei 9:5]: “Go partake of My food” in the maamar entitled Yonasi BeChagvei [Hasela,] [Likkutei Torah, Shir HaShirim, p. 17a].

xxvii. See the explanation of the phrase (Bamidbar 15:41): “I am G‑d, your L‑rd,” at the end of the passage concerning tzitzis [in Likkutei Torah, Bamidbar, p. 49b].