Development of the Shekhina

The first allusion we have to the Shekhina is in the story of the Exodus. The Divine says she will dwell [v’shachanti] among each person when they have build the Mishkan (tabernacle). The root of the Shekhinah shares the root, "to dwell". The Sages teach that the feminine presence is just this: she dwells within our bodies, and animates all of creation.

וְעָ֥שׂוּ לִ֖י מִקְדָּ֑שׁ וְשָׁכַנְתִּ֖י בְּתוֹכָֽם׃
And let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.

Here we learn that if two people sit together and learn Torah, the Shekhina dwells between them:

(ב) רַבִּי חֲנִינָא סְגַן הַכֹּהֲנִים אוֹמֵר, הֱוֵי מִתְפַּלֵּל בִּשְׁלוֹמָהּ שֶׁל מַלְכוּת, שֶׁאִלְמָלֵא מוֹרָאָהּ, אִישׁ אֶת רֵעֵהוּ חַיִּים בְּלָעוֹ. רַבִּי חֲנִינָא בֶן תְּרַדְיוֹן אוֹמֵר, שְׁנַיִם שֶׁיּוֹשְׁבִין וְאֵין בֵּינֵיהֶן דִּבְרֵי תוֹרָה, הֲרֵי זֶה מוֹשַׁב לֵצִים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים א) וּבְמוֹשַׁב לֵצִים לֹא יָשָׁב. אֲבָל שְׁנַיִם שֶׁיּוֹשְׁבִין וְיֵשׁ בֵּינֵיהֶם דִּבְרֵי תוֹרָה, שְׁכִינָה שְׁרוּיָה בֵינֵיהֶם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (מלאכי ג) אָז נִדְבְּרוּ יִרְאֵי יְיָ אִישׁ אֶל רֵעֵהוּ וַיַּקְשֵׁב יְיָ וַיִּשְׁמָע וַיִּכָּתֵב סֵפֶר זִכָּרוֹן לְפָנָיו לְיִרְאֵי יְיָ וּלְחֹשְׁבֵי שְׁמוֹ. אֵין לִי אֶלָּא שְׁנַיִם, מִנַּיִן שֶׁאֲפִלּוּ אֶחָד שֶׁיּוֹשֵׁב וְעוֹסֵק בַּתּוֹרָה, שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא קוֹבֵעַ לוֹ שָׂכָר, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (איכה ג) יֵשֵׁב בָּדָד וְיִדֹּם כִּי נָטַל עָלָיו:

(2) Rabbi Hanina, the vice-high priest said: pray for the welfare of the government, for were it not for the fear it inspires, every man would swallow his neighbor alive. R. Hananiah ben Teradion said: if two sit together and there are no words of Torah [spoken] between them, then this is a session of scorners, as it is said: “nor sat he in the seat of the scornful…[rather, the teaching of the Lord is his delight]” (Psalms 1:1); but if two sit together and there are words of Torah [spoken] between them, then the Shekhinah abides among them, as it is said: “then they that feared the Lord spoke one with another; and the Lord hearkened and heard, and a book of remembrance was written before Him, for them that feared the Lord and that thought upon His name” (Malachi 3:16). Now I have no [scriptural proof for the presence of the Shekhinah] except [among] two, how [do we know] that even one who sits and studies Torah the Holy One, blessed be He, fixes his reward? As it is said: “though he sit alone and [meditate] in stillness, yet he takes [a reward] unto himself” (Lamentations 3:28).

In the following Talmud passage from Berakhot 6a, we learn that the shekhinah is present when ten people pray, when three people come together to constitute a religious court, and when two people study Torah together.

וּמִנַּיִן לַעֲשָׂרָה שֶׁמִּתְפַּלְּלִין שֶׁשְּׁכִינָה עִמָּהֶם — שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״אֱלֹהִים נִצָּב בַּעֲדַת אֵל״.
And from where is it derived that ten people who pray, the Divine Presence is with them? As it is stated: “God stands in the congregation of God,” and the minimum number of people that constitute a congregation is a quorum of ten.
וּמִנַּיִן לִשְׁנַיִם שֶׁיּוֹשְׁבִין וְעוֹסְקִין בַּתּוֹרָה שֶׁשְּׁכִינָה עִמָּהֶם — שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״אָז נִדְבְּרוּ יִרְאֵי ה׳ אִישׁ אֶל רֵעֵהוּ וַיַּקְשֵׁב ה׳״ וְגוֹ׳.
From where is it derived that two who sit and engage in Torah study, the Divine Presence is with them? As it is stated: “Then they that feared the Lord spoke one with the other, and the Lord listened, and heard, and a book of remembrance was written before Him, for them that fear the Lord, and that think upon His name” (Malachi 3:16). The Divine Presence listens to any two God-fearing individuals who speak with each other.
וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁאֲפִילּוּ אֶחָד שֶׁיּוֹשֵׁב וְעוֹסֵק בַּתּוֹרָה שֶׁשְּׁכִינָה עִמּוֹ — שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״בְּכָל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר אַזְכִּיר אֶת שְׁמִי אָבוֹא אֵלֶיךָ וּבֵרַכְתִּיךָ״.
The Gemara returns to Ravin bar Rav Adda’s statement: And from where is it derived that when even one who sits and engages in Torah study, the Divine Presence is with him? As it is stated: “In every place where I cause My Name to be mentioned, I will come to you and bless you” (Exodus 20:21); God blesses even a single person who mentions God’s name, a reference to Torah study (Iyyun Ya’akov).
וְכִי מֵאַחַר דַּאֲפִילּוּ תְּלָתָא, עֲשָׂרָה מִבַּעְיָא?! עֲשָׂרָה — קָדְמָה שְׁכִינָה וְאָתְיָא. תְּלָתָא — עַד דְּיָתְבִי.
The Gemara asks: Since the Divine Presence rests even upon three, is it necessary to mention ten? The Gemara answers: The Divine Presence arrives before a group of ten, as the verse: “God stands in the congregation of God,” indicates that when the ten individuals who comprise a congregation arrive, the Divine Presence is already there. For a group of three judges, however, the Divine Presence does not arrive until they sit and begin their deliberations, as in the midst of the judges He judges. God aids them in their judgment, but does not arrive before them.

This passage teaches us that whoever is diligent in the mitzvah of tzitzit merits the שכינה, the divine presence:

ותניא אידך וראיתם אותו וזכרתם ועשיתם ראיה מביאה לידי זכירה זכירה מביאה לידי עשיה ורשב"י אומר כל הזריז במצוה זו זוכה ומקבל פני שכינה כתיב הכא וראיתם אותו וכתיב התם (דברים ו, יג) את ה' אלהיך תירא ואותו תעבוד
And it is taught in another baraita: The verse states: “That you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the Lord and do them.” This teaches that looking at the ritual fringes leads to remembering the mitzvot, and remembering them leads to doing them. And Rabbi Shimon bar Yoḥai says: Anyone who is diligent in this mitzva of ritual fringes merits receiving the Divine Presence. It is written here: “That you may look upon it [oto]” (Numbers 15:39), and it is written there: “You shall fear the Lord your God; and Him [oto] shall you serve” (Deuteronomy 6:13). Just as oto in that verse is referring to the Divine Presence, so too in this verse it is referring to the Divine Presence.

This text reveals that wherever the Jewish People went in exile, the שכינה (divine presence) was with them:

תַּנְיָא, רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן יוֹחַי אוֹמֵר: בּוֹא וּרְאֵה כַּמָּה חֲבִיבִין יִשְׂרָאֵל לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, שֶׁבְּכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁגָּלוּ — שְׁכִינָה עִמָּהֶן. גָּלוּ לְמִצְרַיִם — שְׁכִינָה עִמָּהֶן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״הַנִּגְלֹה נִגְלֵיתִי לְבֵית אָבִיךָ בִּהְיוֹתָם בְּמִצְרַיִם וְגוֹ׳״. גָּלוּ לְבָבֶל — שְׁכִינָה עִמָּהֶן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״לְמַעַנְכֶם שֻׁלַּחְתִּי בָבֶלָה״. וְאַף כְּשֶׁהֵן עֲתִידִין לִיגָּאֵל — שְׁכִינָה עִמָּהֶן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וְשָׁב ה׳ אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת שְׁבוּתְךָ״. ״וְהֵשִׁיב״ לֹא נֶאֱמַר, אֶלָּא ״וְשָׁב״. מְלַמֵּד שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שָׁב עִמָּהֶן מִבֵּין הַגָּלִיּוֹת.
§ It is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai says: Come and see how beloved the Jewish people are before the Holy One, Blessed be He. As every place they were exiled, the Divine Presence went with them. They were exiled to Egypt, and the Divine Presence went with them, as it is stated: “Did I reveal myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt?” (I Samuel 2:27). They were exiled to Babylonia, and the Divine Presence went with them, as it is stated: “For your sake I have sent to Babylonia” (Isaiah 43:14). So too, when, in the future, they will be redeemed, the Divine Presence will be with them, as it is stated: “Then the Lord your God will return with your captivity” (Deuteronomy 30:3). It does not state: He will bring back, i.e., He will cause the Jewish people to return, but rather it says: “He will return,” which teaches that the Holy One, Blessed be He, will return together with them from among the various exiles.

The prayer El Maleh Rakhamim asks the Divine to provide the dearly departed true rest in the wings of the shekhinah:

שֶׁהָלַךְ לְעוֹלָמוֹ בְּגַן עֵדֶן תְּהֵא מְנוּחָתוֹ. אָנָּא בַּעַל הָרַחֲמִים יַסְתִּירֵהוּ בְּסֵתֶר כְּנָפָיו לְעוֹלָמִים, וְיִצְרוֹר בִּצְרוֹר הַחַיִּים אֶת נִשְׁמָתוֹ. יְיָ הוּא נַחֲלָתוֹ, וְיָנוּחַ עַל מִשְׁכָּבוֹ בְּשָׁלוֹם. וְנֹאמַר אָמֵן

El Maleh Rakhamim, shokhein bamoromim, hamtzei menukhah al kanfei hashekhinah b’ma’alot kedoshim u’tehorim k’zohar harakiyah mazhirim et nishmat (name of the deceased) shehalakh l’olamo b’gan eden t’hei menuchato. Ana ba’al harakhamim yastireihu b’seiter k’nafav l’olamim vitzror b’tzror hayim et nishmato. Adonai hu nakhalato, v’yanukhu al mishkavo b’shalom. V’nomar amen.

God who is full of mercy and dwells on high, provide a true rest on the wings of the Divine Presence amongst the holy and pure ones who shine as brightly as the brilliance of the sky to the soul of (name of deceased) who has gone on to their eternity, the Garden of Eden will be their resting place. We beseech the Merciful One to shade them forever with divine wings, and to bind their soul up in the bonds of life. The Lord is their heritage, and they shall rest peacefully on her bed. And let us say, Amen.

כי המלכות היא הנטרדת עמנו, עולה עמנו ויורדת עמנו, נגאלת עמנו וגולה עמנו.

והיא הדבקה תמיד עמנו, לא תפרד בשום אופן בעולם. והיא השוכנת אתנו. אנו גורמין במעשינו יחודה או פירודה או רחמיה.

Moshe Cordovero, 16th c. Tzfat Kabbalist, Ein Yaakov

For Malchut (Shechinah) is the one who is expelled with us, ascending with us and descending with us. She is redeemed with us and exiled with us. She is the one connected to us always, never separated from us under any circumstance. She dwells with us. Our deeds cause her union or separation or mercy.

ר' יוסי ורבי יהודה ורבי חייא היו הולכים בדרך. פגע בהם רבי אלעזר. משראו אותו ירדו כולם מן החמורים. אמר רבי אלעזר: ודאי פני שכינה רואים אנו! שהרי כאשר רואה אדם את הצדיקים או זכאים אשר בדור ופוגש בהם, ודאי הנם פני השכינה. ומדוע נקראים פני שכינה? מפני שהשכינה מסתתרת בתוכם. היא בסתימות והם בגילוי, מפני שהשכינה - אותם הקרובים לה נקראים פניה. ומי הם? אותם שהיא נתקנת עמהם להראות אל המלך העליון. והואיל ואתם כאן, ודאי שכינה נתקנת עליכם, ואתם הפנים שלה.

Zohar, Vol.II 163b 9 (Teruma)

Rabbi Yosi, Rabbi Yehudah, and Rabbi Hiyya were traveling on the road, and Rabbi Elazar met them. As soon as they saw him, they all dismounted from their donkeys. Rabbi Elazar said, “Surely, I have seen the face of Shekhinah! For when one sees the righteous or virtuous of the generation and meets them, they are surely the face of Shekhinah. “Why are they called the face of Shekhinah? Because Shekhinah is hidden within them: She is in concealment and they are revealed, for those close to Shekhinah are called Her face. And who are they? Those with whom She adorns Herself to appear before the supernal King. Now, since you are here, surely Shekhinah is arrayed upon you, and you are Her face.”[1]

[1] I have seen the face of Shekhinah... According to rabbinic tradition, “whoever welcomes [literally, receives the face of] the wise is considered as if he welcomes Shekhinah.See Mekhilta, Amalek (Yitro) 1. Cf. JT Eruvin 5:1, 22b: “Rabbi Shmu’el said in the name of Rabbi Ze’eira, ‘...Whoever receives the face of his teacher is considered as if he receives the face of Shekhinah.’.... Rabbi Yishma’el taught...‘One who receives the face of his friend is considered as if he recieves the face of Shekhinah.’” The Zohar transforms the rabbinic simile into an actual description of the righteous, who are here called the face of Shekhinah. She dwells within them. From another perspective, they adorn Her in prepartion for Her union with the King.

“When the Tabernacle was completed and the Shekhinah came down to earth, a celestial satan (accuser) stood at Her side and covered her face with a veil of thick darkness to prevent her from finding Her way down to earth. And a thousand five hundred myriads of accusing angels were around her. A multitude of exalted angels flew up before the throne of the Holy One, and said: Lord of the world! Our splendor and radiance comes from the Shekhinah of your Glory, and should she now descend to those below? But in that hour, the Shekhinah gathered up all her strength and, breaking through that darkness, like one breaking through strong barriers, came down to earth. As soon as they saw this the celestial beings cried mightily together: O God, how powerful is your name in all the earth!”

—Zohar II, 140b

According to the Zohar, the Shekhinah’s descent into the universe is not easy. Many angels and demons stand in Her way, wanting to keep her from Her creation. So too, many forces keep us from claiming our own place, our own truth. The spring season is a time to gather up our own strength and fully enter into the world, using our gifts for good, knowing that we can embody the Shekhinah through our love and our righteous actions. It is a time when we nourish the buds that will blossom into our best selves. -Rabbi Jill Hammer

Hillel Zeitlin (1908) translated from Hebrew by Avraham Leader

The Shechina is the mother of all of creation, the mother of the lower world especially, the mother of all the children of Israel, the mother of every individual, a loving, compassionate, comforting mother, a savior-redeemer.

And in the language of the Kabbalists: Supernal Mother is Binah; Lower Mother is Malhchut/the kingdom, Knesset Yisrael/Assembly of Israel, Lady/Matron, beautiful maiden, the doe of the dawn, Rachel, daughter, higher earth, Wisdom of Solomon, speaking, speech, and more like these.

And we, the last of the last, orphans amongst orphans, children of unprecedented suffering, children of misfortunes of a magnitude that even a people all too familiar with pain has never previously known, firebrands salvaged from slaughters and pogroms, we who thirst and yearn for redemption and only for redemption – we let go of Binah and Wisdom of Solomon and speech and leadership and our eyes seek and search for the mother, for Rachel weeping for her children, for the doe of the dawn, the beautiful maiden who beseeches on our behalf and on behalf of the entire world, who brings redemption to us and to all those who are oppressed.

לְכָה דודִי לִקְרַאת כַּלָּה. פְּנֵי שבָּת נְקַבְּלָה.

1) שָמור וְזָכור בְּדִבּוּר אֶחָד. הִשמִיעָנוּ אֵל הַמְיֻחָד. יי אֶחָד וּשמו אֶחָד. לְשם וּלְתִפְאֶרֶת וְלִתְהִלָּה.

2) מִקְדַּש מֶלֶךְ עִיר מְלוּכָה. קוּמִי צְאִי מִתּוךְ הַהֲפֵכָה.
רַב לָךְ שבֶת בְּעֵמֶק הַבָּכָא. וְהוּא יַחֲמול עָלַיִךְ חֶמְלָה.

3) הִתְנַעֲרִי מֵעָפָר קוּמִי. לִבְשי בִּגְדֵי תִפְאַרְתֵּךְ עַמִּי.
עַל יַד בֶּן יִשי בֵּית הַלַּחְמִי. קָרְבָה אֶל נַפְשי גְאָלָהּ.

4) הִתְעורְרִי הִתְעורְרִי. כִּי בָא אורֵךְ קוּמִי אורִי.
עוּרִי עוּרִי שיר דַּבֵּרִי. כְּבוד יי עָלַיִךְ נִגְלָה.

5) לא תֵבושי וְלא תִכָּלְמִי. מַה תִּשתּוחֲחִי וּמַה תֶּהֱמִי.
בָּךְ יֶחֱסוּ עֲנִיֵּי עַמִּי. וְנִבְנְתָה עִיר עַל תִּלָּהּ.

6) וְהָיוּ לִמְשסָּה שאסָיִךְ. וְרָחֲקוּ כָּל מְבַלְּעָיִךְ.
יָשיש עָלַיִךְ אֱלקָיִךְ. כִּמְשוש חָתָן עַל כַּלָּה.

7) יָמִין וּשמאל תִּפְרוצִי. וְאֶת יי תַּעֲרִיצִי.
עַל יַד אִיש בֶּן פַּרְצִי. וְנִשמְחָה וְנָגִילָה.

8) בּואִי בְשלום עֲטֶרֶת בַּעְלָהּ. גַּם בְּשמְחָה וּבְצָהֳלָה.
תּוךְ אֱמוּנֵי עַם סְגֻלָּה. בּואִי כַלָּה. בּואִי כַלָּה.

Lecha Dodi: Shlomo Alkabetz, 16th c. Tzfat

Come out my Beloved, the Bride to meet;
The inner light of Shabbat, let us greet.

"Observe" and "Remember" in a single word, He caused us to hear, the One and Only Lord. G‑d is One and His Name is One, For renown, for glory and in song.

To welcome the Shabbat, let us progress,
For that is the source, from which to bless.
From the beginning, chosen before time,
Last in deed, but in thought - prime.

Come out my Beloved, the Bride to meet;
The inner light of Shabbat, let us greet.

Sanctuary of the King, city royal,
Arise, go out from amidst the turmoil.
In the vale of tears too long you have dwelt, He will show you the compassion He has felt. Arise, now, shake off the dust,
Don your robes of glory - my people - you must. Through the son of Jesse, the Bethelemite, Draw near to my soul, set her free from her plight. Wake up, wake up, Your light has come, rise and shine. Awaken, awaken; sing a melody, The glory of God to be revealed upon thee.

Be not ashamed, nor confounded,
Why are you downcast, why astounded?
In you, refuge for My poor people will be found, The city will be rebuilt on its former mound.May your plunderers be treated the same way, And all who would devour you be kept at bay. Over you Your God will rejoice, As a groom exults in his bride of choice.

To right and left you'll spread abroad,
And the Eternal One you shall laud.
Through the man from the house of Peretz, We shall rejoice and sing happily.

Come in peace, her Husband's crown of pride, With song and good cheer.
Among the faithful of the people so dear
Enter O Bride, enter O Bride!

דריש ר"ע איש ואשה זכו שכינה ביניהן לא זכו אש אוכלתן
§ Rabbi Akiva taught: If a man [ish] and woman [isha] merit reward through a faithful marriage, the Divine Presence rests between them. The words ish and isha are almost identical; the difference between them is the middle letter yod in ish, and the final letter heh in isha. These two letters can be joined to form the name of God spelled yod, heh. But if due to licentiousness they do not merit reward, the Divine Presence departs, leaving in each word only the letters alef and shin, which spell esh, fire. Therefore, fire consumes them.
טו. צהר תעשה לתבה ואל אמה תכלנה מלמעלה וגו', ריב"ש ע"ה אמר, צהר תעשה לתבה, שתהיה התבה [שאדם מדבר בתורה ובתפלה] מצהיר, כי יש בכל אות עולמות ונשמות ואלהות, ועולים ומתקשרים ומתייחדים זה עם זה, עם אלהות, ואחד כך מתייחדים ומתקשרים יחד האותיות ונעשה תיבה, ואחד כך מתייחדים ייחודים אמיתיים באלהות, וצריך האדם לכלול נשמתו בכל בחינה ובחינה מהנזכר ואז מתייחדים כל העולמות כאחד ועולים ונעשה שמחה ותענוג גדול עד אין שיעור, וזהו תחתיים שניים ושלישיים וכו', דהיינו עולמות ונשמות ואלהות, תלת עלמין אית ליה וכו', (זוהר פ' שלח דקנ"ט ע"א) וצריך לשמוע בכל תבה מה שאומר, שהשכינה עולם הדיבור (זוהר פינחס דר"ל ע"א) מדברת והוא שושבינא לה, צהר, שתצא בבהירות, ולעשות נחת רוח ליוצרו, וצריך אמונה גדולה לזה, דהשכינה נקראת אמונת אמן (זוהר ויקרא דט"ז ע"ב) ובלא אמונה נקרא ח"ו (משלי ט״ז:כ״ח) נרגן מפריד אלוף, ואל אמה תכלנה מלמעלה, היינו אמא, או יש לומר אחר שיצא התבה מפיו אין צריך לזכור אותה להלן, והענין שלא יראה שהולכת למקום גבוה, דוגמא שאין יכול לראות בשמש, וזהו תכלנה מלמעלה, ובמה אתה יכול לעשות כן, בא אתה וכל ביתך אל התבה היינו בכל גופך וכחותיך תבא אל התבה:
(צוואת הריב"ש ד"ח ע"ב, ובס' אור התורה).

"Make an opening [tzohar] for the ark [teivah], closing up to a cubit at the top." (Genesis 6:16) -- The Baal Shem Tov, peace be upon him, explained these words in the following way: let the word (teivah) said in Torah or in prayer radiate light (matzhir)! For in every letter there are worlds, souls and divinity, that rise up and interconnect and cleave to one another and to the divine. Afterwards, these letters connect and conjoin, finally becoming a word. After that, they connect and unify unifications of truth in the Divine - and one must unify one's soul with each of the aforementioned aspects. In this way, all the worlds rise and become as one, and then there is immense joy and immeasurable delight. This is the meaning of "...bottom, second, and third decks," (Genesis 6:16) - that is the worlds, souls and divinities, as it says (Zohar I:159a) "there are three worlds, etc." In each and every word one must listen to what is being spoken, since the Shechina is the world of speech, as it is says (Zohar III:230a) "She speaks and He is Her escort." "Tzohar" - this 'opening' for light - that everything should be illuminated with clarity, giving pleasure to the Creator. One needs great faith (Emunah) for this, since the Shechinah Herself is called Emunat Amen, faithful faith (Zohar II:16b). Without faith, Heaven forbid, She is called (Proverbs 16:28) "A querulous one who alienates their friend." As for the end of the verse, "closing up to a cubit (amah)" -- this is the Mother (Ima). It could be said that after the word leaves one's mouth, it does not need to be remembered again, one does not see that it rises to an elevated place, just as one can not look at the sun, as it says, "closing up at the top." How does one do all this? "Go into the ark [teivah], you and all your household." (Genesis 7:1) -- this means that with all your body and strengths, you shall enter the word [teivah]!

וענין פגימת הירח הוא מצד סיהרא, היינו נקודת מלכות שמים שרצתה לירד עד שפל המדרגות, שיהיה מקום לכח העבודה ע"י ההסתר ובחירה, וכדאי' חולין (דף ס.) שאמר לה הקב"ה לכי ומעטי עצמך, ולא נאמר שמיעטה הקב"ה, רק שהקב"ה הראה לה עצה טובה, שטוב לפניה שתמעט עצמה, והמיעוט הוא ג"כ לצביונה של הבריאה שרצתה בהסתר הזה, כדי שתזכה לגודל האור אח"כ כמ"ש בזוה"ק הנ"ל. שבאמת בנקודת ההסתר יש אור יקר מאד, מפני שסוף כל המדות נעוץ בתחלת וראשית המדות. ולכן היה בה בשרשה תקיפות עצום לומר שלא תרצה לכנוס להסתר, ושתקבל אור משרשה שלא ע"י מסכים, כי קבלת האור על ידי השמש רומז, מה שהאדם מקבל אור על ידי עבודה וצמצומים, וכמו שנתבאר בזוה"ק, שעיקר שלמות התקשרות הבריאה בהש"י הוא רק כשמקבל ע"י עבודה. ודוגמת זו הלבנה שבזמן הקיבוץ, אז עומדת ופניה נגד השמש ומקבלת האור מקרוב, שאז היא קרובה ביותר להשמש, אבל אז אינה מאירה לעולם. ובזמן הניגוד, שאז היא בתכלית הריחוק ומקבלת דרך הפסקת מרחק ואז מאירה בשלמות להעולם:
The blemish of the moon represents the point of Divine Sovereignty that wanted to descend to the lowest of levels, so that there is the potential for serving G-d through concealment and free choice. This is hinted when the Talmud says (Hullin, 60b), “The Holy One told her: Go and make yourself smaller,” and not that “God made the moon smaller.” God only gave the moon a piece of good advice, telling her that she would benefit from making herself smaller. This reduction follows the desire of the creation, which wanted this state of concealment in order to later be worthy of a very great illumination, as is explained in the passage of the Zohar quoted above. An intensely precious light hides in this point of concealment, since the end of the attributes is wedged in the beginning and chief of all attributes. Therefore the moon displayed incredibly brazenness, in order to say at first that she did not want to enter into a state of concealment, but rather receive light directly from the source without any diminution of the light by means of a system of filtration in the upper worlds. The act of receiving the light of the sun teaches how man receives light through Divine service and constriction (tzimtzum). The Zohar explains that the only way that man can completely connect to God is if he receives the Infinite light through the Divine service. We see this in the moon. When the moon is in the time of the, “ingathering” (the new moon), she stands facing the sun, receiving light from nearby. At this time, when she is closest to the sun, she does not illuminate the world. At the time of, “opposition” (the full moon), she is at the farthest position from the sun, and only receives the light over a great distance. Yet, she shines a full illumination to the world.