[Commenting on the verse:] "In the beginning", Rebbe Shimon opened [his commentary with the verse:] "The buds appeared in the land" (Songs 2:12). "The buds…" refers to the Work of Creation.

This refers to chesed, gevura and tiferet. Bina is the sefira that energizes the world of Beriya - or "Creation". Bina emanates chesed, gevura and tiferet, and therefore are they called the "Work of Creation".

Bina is called "Creation" because it is the root force in the universe to produce anew. Therefore is it likened to the supernal "mother earth" archetype. The buds produced from it are, accordingly, parables for chesed, gevura and tiferet. Having discovered the promise that this verse alludes to the account of Creation, Rebbe Shimon proceeds to explain how it further hints specifically to each day of Creation and what was made on it. The first two days have no hint because what happened on them was too abstract.

"…have appeared in the land."

Here "the land" refers to bina's counterpart below - malchut. The context of any given discussion determines which one it refers to.

When [did chesed, gevura and tiferet come out of bina to be revealed in malchut]? On the 3rd Day [of Creation], as it is written "And the land brought forth shrubbery…" (Gen. 1:12) - then they appeared in the land.

On the 3rd Day the buds appear, representing fruition that follows unification….

The 3rd Day corresponds to the sefira of tiferet. Elsewhere the Zohar tells us that this attribute is known for bridging the gap between above and below, or bina and malchut (Zohar, parashat Teruma). Therefore on the 3rd Day the buds appear, representing fruition that follows unification.

"The time of song has come" (Songs 2:12) refers to the 4th Day, upon which occured the "pruning of the weeds".

After chesed, gevura and tiferet comes malchut. Therefore the moon, which corresponds to this attribute, was then created. The sun and moon's light are expressions of the Divine light, and, originally, they were created equal. The moon complained, "Two kings cannot use one crown," i.e. be equal; G‑d agreed and diminished the moon. Her light being lessened is the root process of the divine light being hidden in Creation. As a result of this concealment, the kelipot are allowed to take hold.

The 4th Day was a time of seeking to repair and reveal light from amidst darkness….

Therefore the 4th Day was a time of seeking to repair and reveal light from amidst darkness. See Likutei Moharan, lesson 282 where it is explained how this is the spiritual process that creates music. Therefore, the fourth day is the time of song.

Weeds are conceptually regarded as husks, and through singing to G‑d, the husks are cut away.

On this day also the light is lacking. This comes from the aforementioned deficiency of the moon. The word used in Genesis 1:14 for "luminaries", "me'orot", is written missing a letter "vav", which is grammatically supposed to be there; this hints to the missing light of the moon.

"The voice of the dove" (ibid.) refers to the 5th Day, as it is written, "Let the waters swarm with the swarming living soul to make offspring." (Gen. 1:20)

The 5th Day is related to netzach and hod. These sefirot manifest as two pieces of a functioning unit that bring a thing to fruition. Therefore they express in such unified pairs as two sides of the scale (that together measure weight, bringing out the goal of the scale), or the two lips, which together produce speech. The two legs, which together transport you to where you want to go, are also likened to the two wings of are bird that allow him to fly.

Music comes from netzach and hod….

The Hebrew noun for "bird", "of", in verb form actually means "flight". This is because this is the unique quality of the bird. Therefore birds are identified specifically with netzach and hod - the sefirot that correspond to their wings. Therefore were they created on the 5th day, the day of netzach and hod; this is hinted to in the voice of the dove, which hints to music. Elsewhere the Zohar teaches that music comes from netzach and hod. (See Likutei Moharan 3, explaining Atzilut, chesed; Sha'ar Hakelipot, chap. 2, based on the Zohar).

Netzach and hod are expressed in the body through the two kidneys. Together they process the seed, preparing it to be ready to produce offspring in yesod.

"…is heard" refers to the 6th Day, as it is written, "Let us make man" (ibid. 1:26), that he will, in Times to Come, put "doing" before "hearing".

The 6th Day is the day of yesod, which contains all the sefirot above. Therefore, man, who includes all the powers of Creation, was created on the 6th Day.

In the Future, humankind will emphasize doing over hearing - therefore the word "heard" in the verse hints to man and the 6th Day. In terms of this statement, "hearing" refers to the hearing and understanding of the heart. At the giving of the Torah, we took a leap of faith by accepting upon ourselves to do the Torah before having known what it says; this was so precious to G‑d that He held it fit to create the whole world just to reach that moment!

It is written here, "let us make man", and it says there, "we will do and we will hear" (Ex. 29:7).

According to how you love G‑d and express it in His service - thus will G‑d love you and express it….

"Let us make [in Hebrew, 'na'aseh'] man"; "We will do ['na'aseh'] and we will hear". G‑d used the word "to make", "na'aseh", in creating man - only because man himself would once use this word itself to enter the covenant of receiving G‑d's Torah. This hints to the reciprocal relationship of the love between the soul and its Creator - expressed through the Song of Songs in such verses as "I am to my Beloved and my Beloved is to me." (Song 6:3) To each individual this bears a great message: According to how you love G‑d and express it in His service - thus will G‑d love you and express it in His "service of man".

[The voice of the dove is heard] "…in our land" refers to Shabbat, that it is in the image of the Land of the Living [the life of the World-to-Come], the world of the souls, the world of salvations.

At the last stage of the 7 sefirots' unfolding, they ricochet up to connect with bina….

This world was made from the lower seven sefirot. The life force of the World to Come is from a step above, the 8th sefira - bina. It is called "the Land of the Living" because the utopian state of life that we are intended to reach comes from that level.

Shabbat is the 7th Day, which comes from malchut - the lowest of the sefirot. Even though Shabbat is the highest of days, it corresponds to malchut. At the last stage of the 7 sefirots' unfolding, they ricochet up to connect with bina, the level above them. Therefore on Shabbat something special happens.

This World, figuratively called "our land" in our present verse, rises to the states of the "Land of the Living" - the World Above. This results in its sanctification. Thus we abstain from all worldly tasks of work on the Shabbat.

On Shabbat, eating sheds its materialistic animalistic aspect, because the divinity within food shines out through the intrinsic holiness of the day. Free of weekly obligations, it is a time of study, prayer and meditation, all brought together in celebration of G‑d's Creation. Indeed, the Rabbis teach that Shabbat is like the World-to-Come.

[This series became the basis for the recently compiled "Zohar - translation and commentary" by Peretz Auerbach. Part One has just become available as an e-book.]