Alas, she sits in solitude, the city that was great with people! It is written, "a day of tumult and din and confusion, like the crowing of Kir and Sho'a at the mount." (Isaiah 22:5) "A day": The Holy One Blessed Be He [bina] has a day [Zeir Anpin] which is cherished by His soul that includes all of the other days. The six other days [the extremities of Zeir Anpin] are included within it. It is the sum of all of them. But when there is much sinning in the world [by Israel], it rises up to the place of the World of Life.

There, beneath the Temple [which is malchut], rises a day of sadness, crying, and pain, named "tumult, din, and confusion" [i.e. the Other Side]. It comes in to the Temple, destroys and makes it impure. The Master of the Temple [the Shechinah] leaves and is forced out of Her dwelling, toward the mountain, far into the hill of destruction [the place of the external forces, where the Shechinah is concealed in the secret of exile], and the Temple is destroyed.

Later, that supernal day [yesod of Zeir Anpin] which rose [and now descends to cry over the separation from the Shechinah] now asks about Her [the Shechinah's ] dwelling place. He finds it destroyed, and he comes in and looks for the Master of the Temple, the Woman that His soul loves. She is banished and expelled. The whole building is turned over. Then he [Zeir Anpin] begins to cry out, cry after cry, like the crow of a rooster for its mate. as it says, "like the crowing of Kir, and Sho’a at the mount;" (Isaiah 22:5) "Kir" means a ruler [Zeir Anpin] that dominates.

"Sho’a at the mount" means that He [Zeir Anpin] implores and cries out toward that mountain [the place of the external forces] to which the Matronita [the Shechinah] has fled. He cries out: " Alas, Woe is my soul's beloved [the Shechinah]. Woe is my dove, my perfect one [the Shechinah completing Zeir Anpin ]. Woe is my only love [malchut], which [once] joined with me in oneness [the true unity of reciting the Shema Yisrael prayer]. Woe is she [the Shechinah] who would receive daily the 25 letters of unity [of the verse of Shema Yisrael ] and was thus called "Koh" [(gematria 25). So Zeir Anpin says "Ei-chah," meaning: 'where is Koh/25'?]

(Zeir Anpin speaks of his love for the Shechinah:) Sister, Daughter, Mother Where have You gone? Where are You headed? [i.e. why can't we do these unifications in the exile] We [the Jews in Babylon] who hear this, our Master [Zeir Anpin], crowing every day, we are appropriate to cry, we are appropriate to lament, we are appropriate to begin our talk with "Alas/Ei-chah, [meaning 'where is Koh - 25]'? - Alas, she sits in solitude, the city that was great with people"

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

Where has the Shechinah gone? Long time passing. Ei-chah/Where is Koh/the Shechinah. Truth is she never left us. She is incarnate in our mother, our sister, and our daughter. This is one reason why these relationships are so treasured. The Ari directs us to kiss our mother's hands when we return home on Shabbat Night to say Kiddush. In doing so, we get imbued with the flow that Imma gives to Zeir Anpin. Really!

Just as Zeir Anpin as Son has a sister named Nukvah, with parents Abba and Imma, so too do many of us have sisters, thank G‑d alive and well, may they live long healthy lives. And there too is a daughter many of us are blessed to have in our lives. These women all have a connection to the Shechinah, the Feminine Indwelling Presence and they all have potential to be the woman of valor, extolled by King Solomon and praised at many a Shabbat table. To repair any breach of Israel's relationship with Shechinah requires first the healing of any dis-connect with mother, sister, and daughter.

This can be hard, but it is necessary. For one's relationship with THE Shechinah depends on one's next of kin who embody the Divine Presence on earth. To build the Temple on earth requires Shalom Bayit/Peace at Home, at all costs. Swallowing one's pride is a first step. Building bridges is a second. Pursuing peace based on love like Aaron whose Yartzeit is on Rosh Chodesh Av can only help our communal effort to bring the building of the Holy Temple, and the coming of the Mashiach, may it be soon in our times, Amen!

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

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
Copyright 2003 by, a project of Ascent of Safed (// All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work or portions thereof, in any form, unless with permission, in writing, from Kabbala Online.