Shabbat Menuchah: Degel Machane Ephraim
The 17th of Iyar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Moshe Chaim Ephraim of Sadlikov, grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, author of Degel Machaneh Ephraim (1748-1800): It may be said that the lower worlds in relation to the Holy One are as a female in relation to a male, that is, they received their vitality from the Holy One Who in turn is the male element in all the world’s, He showers them with vitality and loving kindness.
Therefore, when a person yearns to attach to the Holy One, he elevates the Female Waters, arousing from Above, the Male Waters, and the us, Shefa and vitality are born for him and for all the worlds. This is not so when one desires the pleasures of this world, which themselves represent the Female Waters, for all things must receive their vitality from God.
As is known, “A person does not commit a transgression unless the spirit of folly first enters him (Sotah 3a),” and thus his soul departs from him, God forbid.
However, when the person’s soul rests with him, he yearns for its root, for the Holy One.
This is hinted at in the verse, “A woman who conceives (Vayikra 12:1),” that is, the salt, which is compared to a woman and a female in relation to the Holy One, “when she concedes,” that is, when she yearns for the Holy One, and in this way she conceives, that is, she arouses the Female Waters, and awakening from Below to Above, then, “she gives birth to a son,” as mentioned above, in that lovingkindness, vitality, and Shefa proceeds from Above and to Below, as represented by the Male Waters. (Degel Machane Ephraim; Tazria)