• EXILE: (Creation, humanity, Israel, the soul) Multiple historic stages and mini stages, Descent in order to ascend, exile is part of rectification – sparks & teshuvah, 49th level etc, (Kramer book p.222ff) and protecting the pathways from the forces of prosecution (Ramchal 16f) there is always a connection (micah 7:8, Isaiah 12:1) (Awaken not love = pekidah & zechirah) see ramchal p.26 and covid article (Also Deut 31:17-21)
    “It’s vital to understand that [during pekidah] the revelation of God’s hidden face (hester panim) is only present at the deep [subconscious] level of the collective soul of the people of Israel. It’s not open and revealed at that time, and even further, even that great inner revelation lasts only for a period of time; it’s temporary, though it makes it’s impact, and then retreats until … It’s first impact is that it lifts the Shechinah(the grand collective of Kenesset Yisrael) from the dust … And don’t think that nothing is accomplished during pekidah, for there is profound rectification … still, it is followed by a period of darkness, a darkness that leads to a progressive diminution of Torah, a [national, spiritual] weakness. (I:10-11, 18)” 

    In Hebrew, The Book of Numbers is called Bamidbar, ‘In the Desert”. It has an additional name: The Book of Counting, because it relates to the counting of the Children of Israel. The Hebrew word for counting, pekidah, also alludes to the intimate relationship between husband and wife. The entire book tells of the tension in the intimate relationship between God and Israel. This tension must be rectified and sweetened to become pekidah (intimate relations), a rectified relationship between God and Israel. – R. Yitzchak Ginsburgh, “Bamidbar: The Book of Numbers”

    “Exile consists of either misfortune (caused by distancing from the nations, where Israel alone feels the blow) or evil (caused by assimilation) which is spiritual degeneration (where Torah joins in bearing witness to the extent of the degeneration.)

    • Four aspects of decline
      1. Concealment
      2. Domination by other Nations
      3. Exile of the Shekinah
      4. Y’Israel’s afflictions

F.) Elevation of the Feminine

As we will see from the text, the condition of the ‘female’ is temporary – in fact a type of restoration of what once was. This ‘break’ goes all the way back to Gan Edan where we see the first diminished state following the incident with the serpent. The Return to Eden is greater than that – it is a pre-eden state of oneness where the feminine is AT LEAST equal to the masculine.

(Compare 7:11 to Genesis 3:16 … a ‘foreseeable conclusion”)



More than this, the feminine voice of the Song is seen not so much as symbol of Israel’s (feminine) degraded incapacity in exile or in law, but of our wholeness with God, our built-up, fortified, sense of peace in God’s all-encompassing presence. The lack of consummation in the Song not as evidence of limited agency and ongoing enslavement, but of future promise and hope.’ This is a very correct and ‘futuristic’ view.


This is especially seen in the verse that is associated with the month we are now in – ELUL, as the four letters are the acronym for Ani Ledodi V’dodi Li, which is a MUTUAL song of praise, though in exile, speaks as her true essence.

“In all other songs either God praises Israel or they praise Him. In the Song of Moses [at the Red Sea] they praise Him, saying, This is my God, and I will glorify Him (Ex. XV, 2). In the Song of Moses [before his death] He praises them, as we read, He made him ride on the high places of the earth  (Deut. XXXII, 13). Here, however, they praise Him and He praises them. He praises them: Behold thou art beautiful, my beloved (I, 16), and they praise Him: Behold thou art beautiful, my beloved, verily pleasant (I, 17)”
– Midrash Rabbah Shir Hashirim 1:11

In all the places, the male chases the Nukva (female) and awakens the love toward her. But here it turns out that she awakens the love and chases him, as it is written, “Set me as a seal upon your heart.” Usually, however, it is not to the Nukva’s credit to chase the male. Indeed, this is an unclear matter and a sublime thing, hidden in the treasures of the King.
– Baal Sulam


The Redemption & Mashiach


God is your shadow …” (Psalm 121:5) … God is our shadow, and like every shadow, He follows our lead. As the Ramchal says, (Daas Tvunos chelek bet, p. 22-23), “Therefore, the actions of the Creator change based on their (Am Yisroel) desire. For He always aligns Himself with their will and desire.”

This breathtaking picture of our potential to shape the unfolding geula is an expression of a profound principle found in the Zohar and the sefarim ha’kedoshim. It’s known as itaruta d’ltatah and itaruta d’layla, the relationship between an “Awakening from below,” and an “Awakening from Above.” This dynamic relationship between our will, choices, and actions, and God’s shadow-like response, is the great determinant on which the hinges of history, and geula shleima, swing. “There is no itaruta d’layla, no Awakening from Above, until there is first an itaruta d’ltata; for the itaruta d’layla requires a yearning from below.” (Zohar aleph, 86:2) …

Please arrive and have mercy on Zion, for it is time to mercifully favor her; for the destined time has come. Because your servants lovingly desire her very stones, and cherish her dust.” (Tehillim, 102:14-5) Reflecting on these verses, Rabbi Yehudi Halevi says at the end of the Kuzari, “The only way Jerusalem will be rebuilt is if the children of Israel intensely long for it, so much so that they express their love for her stones and dust.”
Rabbi Shimon Apisdorf


A few preliminary remarks are in place. In the first three chapters, the woman (“hara’aya”) is dominant. She initiates and closes each dialogue. Her speeches are longer than those of the man, and include reference to more outside elements (e.g. daughters of Jerusalem, King Shlomo).


In chapter two, she presents her beloved’s response (“My beloved replied…” 2;10), and chapter three is entirely hers. Chapter four and one verse of chapter five belong to the man (“hadod”). The remainder of chapter five is the ra’aya. (The chapter break, of course, seems to more properly belong after verse 1.) The next three chapters contain speeches and responses of both lovers, the ra’aya becoming more dominant in each, until the last (chapter eight) is again almost completely hers.


Within the allegory we can find related themes – such as the geula and coming of mashiach. Delays, problems, desire – the issues faces during a ‘transition’ – we hear about the footsteps or birthpangs of mashiach. Many people believe that we are in such a generation. (On the cosmic weekly calendar it is now late on Friday afternoon.)


All too often the focus is on the perceived ‘negatives’ – but this is missing the opportunity before us.




Indeed, in the days of Mordechai and Esther, the Jews were far from deserving salvation, they had utterly despaired of redemption, and the events of the time unfolded in a gradual, natural fashion, without the fanfare of great miracles or any other indication that what was actually taking place was the stirrings of a salvation of historic proportions. In fact, as an indication of how obscure Divine involvement was at the time, the name of God is never even mentioned in the Book of Esther.” – Rabbi Shimon Apisdorf, Orthodox Union

Shir Hashirm has close connection to Purim. Both relate to intensification of the commitment to follow Torah despite the challenges of exile.


Even some of the details are interesting:


  • Shir Hashirim and Esther are the only texts in Tanakh having no direct mention of G-d
  • Who has erred and caused separation?
  • Whose palace (‘vine’) are the people consuming of?
  • The wine/intoxication connection (not the physical kind)
  • Where does the ‘arousal’ to reconnect come from?
  • Eternal aspect of Purim (=Keter of ShS)

Esther and Shoshana share the numerical value of 661.

“The word keter (crown) only appears three times in the whole Tanakh and all three are in the Book of Esther and always in the phrase “keter–malchut” which hints to a powerful kabbalistic practice, called yichud (unification/singularity).”
Keter-Malchut, Sarah Yehudit Schneider

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