"But if the woman has not defiled herself and is pure, she shall be cleansed and bear children." (Num. 5:28)

...a previously barren woman would become fertile.

She shall be cleansed: If the suspected adulteress did not in fact commit adultery, the waters not only did not harm her -— they enhanced her future childbearing. If she previously gave birth in pain, she would now give birth in ease. According to one opinion (Sotah 26a), a previously barren woman would become fertile.

Allegorically, the Jewish people are the suspected wife and G‑d is the possibly betrayed husband. In the case of the suspected adulteress, as long as she did not actually commit adultery —- even though she had acted improperly, making her forbidden to her husband temporarily —- she could return to her full marital status. Similarly, when we sin against G‑d, we should not think that we are lost and cannot return. We should not say, as the Jewish people erroneously did after the destruction of the first Temple, "G‑d has forsaken me, G‑d has forgotten me." (Isaiah 49:14)

Rather, we must remember that even when we sinned, the Divine soul within us remained faithful to God. Our temporary indiscretion was only an act of our animal soul, and through proper repentance, which restores the Divine soul's control over the animal soul, our relationship with God can be reinstated.

...our relationship with G‑d will even improve.

Furthermore, our relationship with G‑d will even improve. We will now be able to "bear children": if before the sin our spiritual efforts did not seem to bear permanent fruit—i.e., we were unable to sustain his love and awe for God — they will now. [In Kabbalistic imagery, feelings of love and awe for God are conceived as "children" of the intellect. — Ed.] Our renewed and deepened commitment to G‑d will enable us to sustain Divine consciousness and feel G‑d’s presence with greater depth and permanence.

[Based on Likutei Sichot vol. 2, pp. 313-314.
© 2001 chabad of california / www.lachumash.org]