I Am Black, and Comely

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232) “And they said, ‘An Egyptian delivered us.’” When they said, “An Egyptian delivered us,” they did not know what they were saying. It is like a person who is sitting in the wilderness without having eaten meat for days. One day, a bear comes to snatch a sheep. The sheep runs and the bear chases it until they reach that man in the wilderness. He saw the sheep, grabbed it, slaughtered it, and had meat. It turns out that the bear caused that man to eat meat. Here, too, the Egyptian that was killed by Moses caused Moses to escape and come to Midian, to the well. This is why they said, “An Egyptian delivered us,” by the spirit of holiness, meaning the Egyptian that Moses had killed.

233) Israel is the name of Gadlut [greatness/adulthood]. Hence, why is this name mentioned when they came to the exile in Egypt, and why does the name Jacob, which is Katnut [smallness/infancy], return later?

It is written, “I am black and comely.” This is the assembly of Israel, Divinity, which is black, from the exile, and comely because she is comely in Torah and Mitzvot [commandments] and the good deeds that Israel do. The daughters of Jerusalem are the souls that engage in Torah and Mitzvot. For doing so, they are rewarded with inheriting the Jerusalem above, which is Divinity. “As the tents of Kedar” means that although she is Koderet [gloomy] in exile, in deeds she is as “The curtains of Solomon,” the lights of the king that peace is his, meaning ZA.

There are two discernments in exile. There are Dinim and Katnut from the exile itself, but the good deeds that the righteous do in exile are comely and elevate Divinity to the curtains of Solomon. Hence, from the perspective of the good deeds, it is said, “The children of Israel, who come into Egypt,” the name of the Gadlut, and with respect to the exile itself, it is said, “With Jacob; every man came with his household,” the name of Katnut.

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