There is yet another direct road open to man, namely, to occupy himself with the Torah and commandments for their own sake through the attribute of our Patriarch Jacob, peace unto him, this being the attribute of mercy. It is first to arouse in his mind great compassion before G‑d for the Divine spark which animates his soul that has descended from its Source, the Life of life, the blessed En Sof, Who pervades all worlds and transcends all worlds and in comparison with Whom everything is accounted as nothing. Yet it [this spark] has been clothed in a "serpent's skin" which is far removed from the light of the King's countenance, at the greatest possible distance, since this world is the nadir of the coarse kelipot....

And especially when he will recall all his actions and utterances and thoughts since the day he came into being, unworthy as they were, causing the King to be "Fettered by the tresses"— "By the impetuous thoughts of the brain," for "Jacob is the cord of his inheritance," as in the illustration of one pulling a rope, and so forth. This is the esoteric doctrine of the "Exile of the Shechinah" Concerning this it is written: "And let him return unto the Lord, and have mercy upon Him," arousing great compassion towards G‑d Who dwells among us, as is written: "Who dwelleth among them in the midst of their uncleanness."

This is the meaning of the verse: "And Jacob kissed Rachel and lifted up his voice and wept." For "Rachel" represents Knesset Israel? the community of Israel, the fount of all souls; and "Jacob"— with his supernal attribute, the attribute of Mercy in Atzilut— is the one who arouses great compassion for her. "And he lifted up his voice"— upwards to the fount of the Higher Mercies, called the "Father of Mercies," and their source; "and he wept" — to awaken and draw from there abundant compassion upon all the souls and upon the fount of the community of Israel, to raise them from their exile and to unite them in the Yichud Elyon (Higher Unity) of the light of the blessed En Sof, on the level of "kisses," which is "The attachment of spirit with spirit," as is written: "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth," which means the union of the word of man with the word of G‑d, namely, the halachah. So, too, are coupled thought with thought, act with act, the latter referring to the active observance of commandments and, in particular, the act of charity and loving-kindness. For " chesed (kindness) is the [Divine] right arm," and this is, as it were, an actual "embrace," as it is written: "And his right arm doth embrace me," while the occupation in the Torah by word of mouth and concentrated thought constitute, as it were, actual "kisses."

In this way, a person is able to attain the distinction of Ahavah Rabbah ("great love") in the consciousness of his heart, as is written: "Of Jacob, who redeemed Abraham," as has been explained elsewhere.