The exile of the Jewish soul–the apparent loss of Jewish identity–is compared to a state of sleep. In sleep the eyes are closed to outer reality. The power of sight, together with the other conscious powers of mind and heart, disappear into their subconscious source.
Here, “heart” does not refer to the emotive powers of the heart, such as the conscious love of G-d. These powers, along with the power of sight, are asleep, as explained above. Here, heart refers to something more essential. It refers to the innermost point of the Jewish heart, the totally irrational longing for G-d, the true source of life.
Teshuva begins with the spontaneous sensing of one’s heartbeat. This is called “arousal from above”, since any spontaneous sensation of spiritual light is a gift given from above in order to arouse a soul below to return to G-d.Hashem has mercy on the exiled soul buried in the existential pain of vain pursuits, and He causes a ray of light to shine from the innermost point of the heart to the conscious levels of mind and heart.
In order to “see” the Creator, the initial “arousal from above must be followed by “arousal from below”. In the Song of Songs G-d and the Jewish people are compared to groom and bride. The groom first arouses the bride by knocking on the door and making his voice “heard”.
The love between brother and sister differs from the love between man and wife in three respects. Unlike marital love, fraternal love does not depend upon physical proximity. Fraternal love is relatively constant, whereas the intensity of marital love fluctuates. Fraternal love is cold, lacking passion, while marital love is fiery and impassioned.
“Companion describes the closeness between marriage partners which follows the sister. brother relationship. This state of love is born anew in the heart through experiencing Light in meditation.
Doves are the most loyal mates of all creatures in nature. Doves never remate. This instinctive loyalty is expressed in their gaze. Mated doves continually gaze upon one another, never tiring of the unbounded pleasure of beholding the beloved.
The Jew reaches the highest level of service–”my perfect one”–when he perfects” G-d in His relationship to the world (in His revealed presence in the world). This comes after he perfects himself in his relationship to G-d through bitul, as above in the level of service of “my dove”.
Dew, unlike rain, does not depend upon evaporation from the ground below. Thus, dew is symbolic of the gift of Divine Revelation that does not require arousal from below; for it comes from such a hidden and transcendent source that no effort of created beings can possibly reach.
Only with the most intense yet sublime might can infinite kindness and leisure be conveyed to finite recipients.
When serving G-d, one must as a rule proceed in order through each of the four successive levels–sister, companion, dove and perfect one. From the onset of one’s service, however, one can and should be sensitive to the full meaning of serving one’s Creator, especially to how the consummate service of “my perfect one” helps to perfect the world as a whole.