Alas she sits in solitude, the city." Rabbi Hircanus opened his discourse (explaining the verse) "And He banished "et/the" man [Adam] and settled him east of the Garden of Eden..." (Gen. 3:24) He banished Et. Et refers to the Congregation of Israel [the Shechinah] at the time of the Temple’s destruction, when she was cast away in banishment [the aspect of the lowest part of the exile, and also], when she was sent forth, ejected [the higher aspect, that she was sent with Supernal Imma, as is written "and the two of them went," (Ruth 1:19) that the two of them were sent forth with Adam, so that he would be surrounded by the two Hei's of Havayah]; the throne [the Shechinah] of the King [Zeir Anpin] fell.

"He expelled et" [the Shechinah] - referring to the King’s throne [the Shechinah called "et"]. Woe that it has been exiled! Woe that it has fallen! "the man," who reigns upon the throne, of whom it is written, "Upon the likeness of the throne, the likeness of the image of a man [i.e. the resemblance of Zeir Anpin (Ezekiel 1:26)] When the throne [the Shechinah] fell, everything fell.

"..and settled him" - this refers to He Who banished that one [Zeir Anpin]. He caused another to settle and rest [there], the opposite of what had been. [The Shechinah and the ruling Minister were now opposite each other.] When the Temple was destroyed, he elevated [Zeir Anpin] to the supernal glory above [to chochmah and from there to keter] and reduced His likeness [below] from its prior image. His throne [i.e. malchut] was removed from it and departed. Then, as such, She was settled in the Garden of Eden [the lower Shechinah] with the Cherubim below, and [Zeir Anpin] was separated from the Supernal Glory. Then that flaming sword [the kelipot] was placed to stand in her, the matron’s, place, to guard, to draw [sustenance] and hide that pathway from the Tree of Life.

Of this King Solomon cried out and said, "The earth shudders at three things, at four which it cannot bear. A slave who becomes a king...A slave girl
[kelipot] who overthrows her mistress [the Shechinah]", (Prov. 30:21) i.e. the slave-girl inside, the mistress outside. "Alas, she sits in solitude, the city" - What is the meaning of the word "solitude"? It is likened to the verse which says, " in solitude he should sit outside of the camp, his [fitting] resting place.

BeRahamim LeHayyim: Why did the Ari and Chida include this section? What do they want us to learn?

We are in exile, and there is no apparent Temple in which for us to dwell. But looks are deceiving. For during the Three Weeks one of the reasons why we are recommended to study the aspects of the Holy Temple is to build a place in our heart for the Shechinah to dwell more manifestly. She is always there, really! For She is with us in exile, which means inside each and every one of us, if we listen to Her voice! The small, still silent voice that guides to do the right thing, always.

Instead, and unfortunately, it is the slave girl rebel who rules inside this palace, while the Holy Mistress is sitting in solitude, mourning like a barren woman without children. We need to restore the glory of the palace. We need to be the ones to open the door so that the Shechinah's Presence pervades our inner Temple. We need to bring the King back in all of His glory. And yes, we need to take our place back to the Throne, back to the Garden.

What does the above mean to you, and why is it being revealed to you now?

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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