"Every man of the children of Israel shall camp by his own standard, with the ensign of their father's house." (Numbers 2:2) Rabbi Elazar opened [his discourse] with, "Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad with her, all you that love her..." (Isaiah 66:10) How beloved the Torah is before G‑d, for wherever the words of the Torah are heard, G‑d and all His hosts pay attention to His words…and G‑d comes to live with him. That is the meaning of, "in all places where I cause My Name to be pronounced..." (Ex. 20:21) And in addition to this, his enemies fall before him. This has already been explained.

Come and see: the commandments of the Torah are supernal Above [for their source is in malchut]. A man comes and performs one commandment.1That commandment stands up before G‑d and adorns itself and says, 'this person has made me and I am from him.' For he awakens it Above. As he arouses it below, it awakens above and makes peace above and below, as it was said, "Or let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me." (Isaiah 27:5) "That he may make peace with Me," that is, Above [in the yesod of Zeir Anpin]; "and he shall make peace with Me," that is below [in the yesod of malchut]. Worthy is the lot of that man who performs the commandments of the Torah.

"Rejoice with Jerusalem..." That is because joy is prevalent only when Israel reside in the Holy Land [malchut]. It is there that the Woman [malchut] has relations with her Husband [tiferet]. Then it is time for everyone to rejoice, Above and below. During the time when Israel are not found in the Holy Land, a man is not permitted to rejoice and show joy, as is written: "Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with Her." This is meant exactly.

Rabbi Aba observed one man who was rejoicing in the house of nobility in Babylon. He scolded him and said: It is written, "Rejoice with Jerusalem." During a time when Jerusalem is in happiness, a person is required to rejoice. Rabbi Elazar follows this reasoning in saying, "Rejoice with Jerusalem" specifically as is written, "serve G‑d with gladness." (Psalms 100:2)

One verse says, "Serve G‑d with gladness" (Psalms 100:2) and one says, "Serve G‑d with fear, and rejoice with trembling." (Psalms 2:11) What is the difference between them? One speaks of the time when Israel reside in the Holy Land and one speaks of a time when Israel reside in other lands. "Serve G‑d with fear:" This refers to the Congregation of Israel at a time when she is in exile among the nations.

Rabbi Yehuda said the Scripture says, "For you shall go out with joy," (Isaiah 55:12) referring to the Congregation of Israel [the Shechinah who went into exile among the nations]. And since it says, "you shall go out" from exile and it is called 'a rejoicing'' [for also in exile Shechinah is called rejoicing]. He replied to him: Certainly that is the way it is. During all the time she is in exile and lies in the dust, you can not call it 'happiness' until G‑d comes and raises her from the dust and says to her, "Shake yourself from the dust", (Isaiah 52:2) "Arise, shine..." (Isaiah 60:1) And then they will join together. At that point it is called 'rejoicing'. That will be happiness for everyone and then certainly, "you shall go out with joy." Then, many legions will go out to greet and receive the Matron to the joyous festivity of the King as it is written: "the mountains [the angels of peace of G‑d] and the hills [the angels of the Shechinah] shall break forth" (Isaiah 55:12) [from exile]; and further, "for G‑d will go before you; and the L-rd of Israel will be your rearguard." (Isaiah 52:12) [May it be soon in our days, Amen!]

BeRahamim LeHayyim: What does the above mean to you, and why is it revealed to you NOW?

"Rise and shine, and give G‑d your glory, glory..." How is our mindset to be for those of us living in the diaspora? Must every day, hour, minute, moment feel heavy with the fact that we are not in the Holy Land? Can we have true joy not in —the Holy band, the Land of Israel? The above Zohar seems to say this clearly: we can't call it happiness until G‑d comes and raises the Shechina from the dust. For as we sing in Lecha Dodi on Shabbat night, "Shake yourself from the dust", the dust being the lowest level of our earth plane, the place where all descends, the receptive container for all good and bad.

But perhaps, just perhaps, with the ingathering of much of the Jewish people, things have changed and will be changing rapidly in our days, may this be through lovingkindness! That perhaps in the supernal realm there too has been a return, and it is only a short time till above and below are one. And on that day—may it be soon!--G‑d will be one and His Name will be one. We are where our thoughts are. May our thoughts be where we want to be, in the Land of Israel. Am Israel Chai!

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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