Rabbi Yitzhak opened with: "When you have eaten and are replete, then you shall bless the L-rd your G‑d..." (Deut. 8:10) How fortunate are Israel that G‑d favors them and brings them close to Him from among all the nations. Because of them, He gives His sustenance and satisfaction to the whole world. If it were not for Israel, G‑d would not give sustenance to the world. Now that they are in exile, surely they [the nations] receive double-portions [so that Israel can be sustained from their "left-overs"].

As long as Israel were in the Holy Land (and the Temple was standing - Ed.), sustenance would descend to them from a most supernal place, and they would give a portion of the remnants to the idol worshipping peoples. All the nations were sustained only from the remnants. But now that they are in exile, the situation has flipped the other way. [For the divine sustenance now flows to the rest of the nations and only after does a small portion nourish Israel.]

...as long as the children of Israel do the bidding of their Master, they eat at the table of the King...

This is likened to a king who prepares a meal for his household. As long as they do his bidding, they eat together with the king, and they give the dogs a portion of bones to chew. But when the members of his household do not do the bidding of the king, he gives the entire meal to the dogs, and he gives the bones to them. Similarly, as long as the children of Israel do the bidding of their Master, they eat at the table of the King and the entire meal is prepared for them. And they, in their joy, give the bones, which are the remains, to the idol worshippers.

As long as the children of Israel are not doing the bidding of their Master, they go into exile, and the meal (i.e. all spiritual sustenance) is given to the dogs (i.e. the rest of the nations) while they are given the remains. This is as it is written: "Thus shall the children of Israel eat their bread, unclean, among the nations." (Ezekiel 4:13) This is because they eat the remnants of their abhorrence. Woe is to the king's son who sits and waits at the table of the servant, to eat the left-overs of his table.

King David said, "You (G‑d) prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies: You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over." (Psalms 23:5) "You prepare a table for me" refers to the King's meal (in the above parable); "…in the presence of my enemies" refers to the dogs that sit under the table and wait for the portion of bones, while he (i.e. the children of Israel) sits with the King at His table, delighting in the meal.

Whatever is left over is given afterwards to the dogs...

"You anoint my head with oil": This refers the beginning (or "head") of the meal, for all the oil and fats and the prepared items1 of the meal are brought at the beginning to the king’s beloved. Whatever is left over is given afterwards to the dogs and those who serve at the table (i.e. the ministering angels who serve Israel cause their prayers to ascend and bring about in the arousal of union; they receive holy flow only for the sake of Israel).

"My cup runs over" means that the cup which is before the king’s beloved is always full and he does not have to request (that it be filled). The relationship between the children of Israel and the nations is always based upon the secret (of the above parable).

BeRahamim LeHayyim:
My cup runneth over, as translated by King James in perhaps the most popular line of the most popular Psalm [Google has over 2 million entries for Psalm 23!] Many times, dare say most times, we cannot say this with sincerity. We are caught in the trap of "not enough", when we are not happy with our portion. Therefore, we consider ourselves poor: poor in our physical appearance [not movie star-like], poor in our financial status [Oh, If I were a rich man!] poor in our love life [she/he doesn't fulfill my needs, I really should get a better deal], etc.

But as the Zohar teaches, our bounty really is always flowing over, a cup brimming with delightful wine, a life complete. Much more than the optimist = cup half-full/pessimist = cup half-empty analogy. Our life/cup is great just like it is, it only takes a slightly different focus. When one is full of self, there is no room for G‑d. It is only when one empties a bit of the "not enough" complex, does G‑d enter the picture. We are, in the language of the Zohar, "the King's friend" even at those times when we don't know it. During the these 22 days, to know in one's heart that the Divine Presence is with us in this exile is an important step toward dining with the King at all of His meals.

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