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They Have Forsaken Me

Devarim 266a

GYE Corp. Sunday, 25 December 2011

As they walked along, Rabbi Abba said, What is the meaning of the verse: "They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and have hewn them out cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water?" (Yirmeyahu, 2:13)

The meaning of "they have forsaken Me (oti)" refers to one who has forsaken "my sign," by being false to the imprint of the holy Brit. And how does he betray it? By bringing it into a foreign domain, as is said, "and took for himself the daughter of a foreign god," (Malachi, 2:11.) These women are called "broken cisterns," for all of the gentile nations are broken cisterns.

But Israel's women are "a well of living waters." This is a holy domain, of a holy faith, and it is called a flowing well of pure, streaming waters, as is said, "streams from Lebanon," (Shir HaShirim, 4:15) and, "Drink waters out of your own cistern, and running waters out of your own well," (Mishle, 5:15.) Also, it is written, "A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters," (Shir HaShirim, 4:15) But the other domain (Sitra Achra) is called, "broken cisterns than can hold no water."

Behold, the ever-flowing stream above (Yesod) waters all the Garden (Malchut) and irrigates every place, as we have already explained, until it fills that place in the Garden which is called "the well of living waters," which nourishes all of the upper and lower worlds, as is said, "And from there it was parted," (Bereshit, 2:10.)

But all the sides of the Left Side are not watered from that fountain of flowing water, because they are of the side of the other nations, and they are called "broken cisterns."

And one who is false to the holy imprint of the Brit cleaves to this side of the broken cisterns that do not hold water, because the water does not flow into them.

While the man who merits to guard the Brit properly merits to drink of the waters of that flowing stream in the world to come, and causes that upper well to be filled in order to send forth blessings above and below. Fortunate is he in this world and in the world to come. About him it is written, "And thou shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters never fail," (Yishayahu, 58:11.)