There is yet another good way for a man, which is suitable for all and "very nigh" indeed, to arouse and kindle the light of the love that is implanted and concealed in his heart, that it may shine forth with its intense light, like a burning fire, in the consciousness of the heart and mind, to surrender his soul to G‑d, together with his body and [material] possessions, with all his heart, and all his soul and all his might, from the depth of the heart, in absolute truth, especially at the time of the recital of the Shema and its blessings, as will be explained.

This [way] is: to take to heart the meaning of the verse: "As in water, face answereth to face, so does the heart of man to man." This means that as [in the case of] the likeness and features of the face which a man presents to the water, the same identical nice is reflected back to him from the water, so indeed is also the heart of a man who is loyal in his affection for another person, for this love awakens a loving response for him in the heart of his friend also, cementing their mutual love and loyalty for each other, especially as each sees his friend's love for him.

Such is the common nature in the character of every man even when they are equal in status. How much more so when a great and mighty king shows his great and intense love for a commoner who is despised and lowly among men, a disgraceful creature cast on the dunghill, yet he [the king] comes down to him from the place of his glory, together with all his retinue, and raises him and exalts him from his dunghill and brings him into his palace, the royal palace, in the innermost chamber, a place such as no servant nor lord ever enters, and there shares with him the closest companionship with embraces and kisses and spiritual attachment with all heart and soul— how much more will, of itself, be aroused a doubled and redoubled love in the heart of this most common and humble individual for the person of the king, with a true attachment of spirit, heart and soul, and with infinite heartfelt sincerity. Even if his heart be like a heart of stone, it will surely melt and become water, and his soul will pour itself out like water, with soulful longing for the love of the king.

In a manner corresponding in every detail to the said figure and image but to an infinitely greater degree, has the Lord our G‑d dealt with us. For His greatness is beyond comprehension, and He pervades all worlds and transcends all worlds; and from the holy Zohar, as also from our Master Rabbi Isaac Luria of blessed memory, it is known of the infinite multitude of hechalot and worlds, and of the countless myriads of angels in each world and hechal. So does the Gemara note, "It is written: 'Is there any numbering of His hosts?' Yet, it is also written: 'A thousand thousands minister unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stand before Him.'..." The discrepancy is explained by the answer, "A thousand thousands,... is the quota of one 'troop' but His troops are innumerable." Yet, before Him, all of them are accounted as nothing at all and are nullified in their very existence, just as one word is truly nullified in relation to the essence and being of the articulate soul whilst the utterance was still held in its [faculty of] thought, or in the will and desire of the heart, as has been explained above at length.

All these [angels] ask: "Where is the place of His glory?" And they answer: "The whole earth is full of His glory," that is, His people, Israel. For the Holy One, blessed be He, forsakes the higher and lower creatures choosing none of them but Israel His people, whom He brought out of Egypt— "The obscenity of the earth," the place of filth and impurity— "Not through the agency of an angel, nor of a saraf, ... but the Holy One, blessed be He, Himself in His glory" descended thither, as is written: "And I am come down to deliver them,..." in order to bring them near to Him in true closeness and unity, with a truly soulful attachment on the level of "kisses" of mouth to mouth, by means of uttering the word of G‑d, namely, the halachah, and the fusion of spirit to spirit, namely, the comprehension of the Torah and the knowledge of His will and wisdom, all of which is truly one [with G‑d]; also with a form of "embrace," namely, the fulfillment of the positive precepts with the 248 organs, for the 248 ordinances are the 248 "organs" of the King, as has been explained. These, in a general way, are divided into three categories— right, left, and centre— namely, chesed (kindness), din (stern justice) and rachamim (mercy)— the two arms and the body, and so forth.

This is the meaning of [the text of the benedictions] "Who hath sanctified us by His commandments": like one who betrothes a wife that she may be united with him with a perfect bond, as is written: "And he shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be one flesh." Exactly so, and even infinitely surpassing, is the union of the divine soul that is occupied in Torah and commandments, and of the vivifying soul, and their garments referred to above, with the light of the blessed En Sof.

Therefore did Solomon, peace unto him, in the Song of Songs compare this union with the union of bridegroom and bride in attachment, desire, and pleasure, embrace and kissing. This is also the meaning of "Who hath sanctified us by His commandments," by means of which He has raised us to the heights of the blessed Supreme Holiness, which is the holiness of the Holy One, blessed be He, Himself. Kedushah ("holiness") is a term indicating aloofness, in that the Holy One, blessed be He, is apart from the worlds, namely, His quality of "encompassing all worlds," which cannot be clothed within them.

For through the union of the soul with, and its absorption into, the light of the blessed En Sof, it attains the quality and degree of the holiness of the blessed En Sof Himself, since it unites itself with, and is integrated into, Him, may He be blessed, and they become One in reality. This is the meaning of the verse: "And ye shall be holy unto Me, for I the Lord am holy, and I have separated you from other peoples that ye should be Mine;" and, "Ye shall do all My commandments and be holy unto your G‑d; I am the Lord your G‑d... " The meaning is that through fulfillment of the commandments I become your G‑d, [in the same sense] as "The G‑d of Abraham," "The G‑d of Isaac," and so on, called thus because the Patriarchs were, as it were, a "vehicle" unto Him, may He be blessed, and they were nullified and absorbed into His light.

So it is with the soul of every Israelite at the time he occupies himself with Torah and commandments. Therefore the Rabbis, of blessed memory, made it obligatory for us to rise and remain standing in the presence of every one who is engaged in a commandment, even if the latter is uncultured and illiterate. This is because the Lord dwells and clothes Himself in this man's soul at such time, though his soul is unconscious of it because of the barrier of the bodily grossness which has not been purified and which dims the eyes of the soul [preventing it] from seeing Divine visions, as experienced by the Patriarchs and others of their stature, who "Saw their world during their lifetime."

This is also the meaning of what Asaf said, under Divine inspiration, on behalf of the whole community of Israel in exile: "So foolish was I and ignorant, I was as a beast before Thee. Yet am I continually with Thee." This means that even though I am as a "beast" when I am with Thee, being unaware of, and insensitive to, this union in my soul, which should bring down on it fear and awe first, followed by a great love of delights, or a burning [love] like fiery coals, similar to the quality of the tzaddikim, whose corporeality has been purified; for, as is known, da'at connotes a sensitivity of the soul, comprising chesed (kindness) and gevurah (sternness)— Yet "I am continually with Thee," for the corporeality of the body does not prevent the union of the soul with the light of the blessed En Sof, Who fills all worlds, and as is written: "Yea, the darkness hideth not from Thee."

Thereby will be understood the severity of the punishment for transgressing the prohibition of work on the Sabbath or that of unleavened bread on Passover, which [prohibition] equally applies to all. For even in the soul of an uncultured and completely illiterate person shines the light of the sanctity of Sabbath or Festival; hence he faces capital punishment by karet or stoning, for the profanation of this sanctity.

Similarly, [transgression involving] the slightest amount of leaven, or the handling of muktzeh tarnishes the sanctity which rests on his soul, just as it would the sanctity of the soul of a tzaddik, for we have all one Torah.

(And as for the use of the plural form "behemot" this is an intimation that before Him, may He be blessed, even the so-called Da'at Elyon ["Supernal Knowledge"]— which comprises chesed and gevurah— is like "beasts" i.e. a physical creation, when compared with the light of the En Sof, as is written: "In wisdom hast Thou made them all," and this is called Behemah rabbah ["a great beast"], as is explained elsewhere. And this is the Name of ב"ן , with the numerical of בהמה [beast], preceding Atzilut.)