"How abundant is Your goodness which You have treasured up for them that fear You ... "

In the class of the "servants of the Lord" there are two degrees and levels which, depending on the root of their souls above, are distinct in relation to the categories of the right and the left. That is, the characteristic of the left is the trait of contraction (tzimtzum) and concealment in the service of the Lord, as it is written: "and to walk secretly ..." ; "in secret places cries ..." ; "whoever busies himself with Torah in secret ..." From this attribute derives also the aspect of contraction (tzimtzum) and limitation in the service of G‑d; for example, with charity — to judge according to the means, "And he who expends, should not expend more than one fifth;" and, likewise, as regards the study of Torah and the other commandments — he suffices in discharging his duty, the definite duty to which the Torah obliges him, "to appoint times ..." From it derives also what our sages, of blessed memory, said : "Cast a scare upon the pupils ..." On the other hand, the characteristic of the right is the attribute of grace (chesed) and extension in the service of G‑d by way of expansion, without any contraction and concealment whatever, as it is written: "And I will walk in an expanse..." , without any contraction and limitation whatever. There is no restraint to the spirit of his generosity— whether it be with respect to charity, the study of Torah, or other commandments. He does not suffice in discharging his obligation only, but to the extent of "never sufficient..."

Now, every one of Israel needs to comprise both these traits, for "There is no thing that has not its place." Thus we find various matters that are of the leniencies of Bet Shammai and 'of the stringencies of Bet Hillel. This comes to teach us that Bet Shammai, the root of whose soul is of the category of the supernal left— [that is why they always decided stringently as regards all the prohibitions of the Torah; but Bet Hillel, who were of the supernal right, would find favourable arguments to be lenient and to piermit the injunctions of Bet Shammai so that these should become muttarim from their issur , and able to ascend upwards. Nevertheless]— in several matters, even Bet Shammai are lenient. This is so because of the inclusiveness of their soul's root, which compounds the right as well. And, likewise, the root of Bet Hillel's soul compounds the left also. For, as known of the mode and attributes of the kodesh ha'elyon, there is no cleavage and division there, Heaven forfend, and all the traits compound each other. Thus, they are united one with the other, as known to the Cabbalists. Thus it is written of Abraham, who is the attribute of chesed and love: "Now I know that you are fearful of G‑d,"— for he had donned the attribute of gevurah "And bound Isaac his son... and took the knife..." As for Scripture stating "Abraham who loved Me," and "the Fright of Isaac," this difference and distinction is with respect to manifestation and concealment. In the attribute of Isaac, fright is in a state of manifestation, while love is hidden, in a state of concealment and hiding. The opposite is with the trait of our father Abraham, peace be to him.

And this is the meaning of what King David, peace be to him, said: "How abundant is Your goodness..." That is to say that the attribute of goodness and chesed, which is in a state of concealment and hiding with everyone the root of whose soul is of the category of the left, referred to as "those that fear You" [as is the trait of Bet Shammai], now, though this is a concealed and hidden goodness, it is nevertheless truly as abundant and immense as the attribute of gedulah and chesed, which is of the right, and both are of the category of a manifestation that is without limit, measure and size.

And this is the meaning of Scripture: "How abundant is Your goodness," i.e. without limit and measure; whether it be the goodness "Which You have hidden for them who fear You," or that which "You have wrought for them that trust in You"— i.e. the hopeful that are of the category of the right, and whose kindness and goodness are also in a state of manifestation and expansion "before the children of man," and by no means in a state of contraction and concealment. ( The reason it says "For them that fear You" rather than "In them that fear You," is because with every soul whatever is in a state of concealment is not vested within the body— in his mind and heart. It is, rather, in a state of "encompassing from above," and thence it radiates to his mind and heart at those times when an arousal of this aspect becomes necessary i.e. to be aroused and to illumine his mind and heart in order to result in a real act.)

He, therefore, said that whereas the "abundance of goodness" of the House of Israel [that which is hidden and that which is manifest] is in a state of "without limit and measure" [according to the category of their soul vested in the body], therefore "You, too, Oh Lord, treat them with the attribute of Your unlimited and infinitely great chesed which is called rav chesed" For there are different types of chesed: there is chesed olam, the corresponding opposite of which is the attribute of din, Heaven forfend, which serves to diminish and contract His chesed and goodness. But the chesed elyon, which is called rav chesed, does not have an attribute of din opposed to it [to diminish and contract the abundance of His grace from extending unlimited and infinitely]. For it derives from the rank of sovev kol almin, and temira dechol temirin called keter elyon. This, then, is the meaning of "You hide them in the covert of Your countenance ... You conceal them in a pavilion ..."