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Baruch Shalom Ha-Levi Ashlag (Rabash)/Explanation of the Article, “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah”
Explanation of the Article, “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah”

Explanation of the Article, “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah”

Four Phases of Direct Light

The learning begins with a Behina [discernment] called “The connection between the Creator and the created beings,” since we do not speak of the Creator Himself and we cannot attain Him. Instead, “By Your actions we know You,” meaning all the attainment is only in the operations that extend from Him.

This connection is also called “the purpose of creation.” Our sages attained that His desire and goal are to do good to His creations. Hence, the order of evolution begins from this discernment until it reaches the souls, whose root is the soul of Adam HaRishon, which extends from the internality of the worlds BYA.

Allegorically speaking, when He wished to benefit His creatures, He wanted to give them 100 kilograms of pleasure. Hence, He had to create such creations that would want to receive it. We learned that the desire to receive delight and pleasure is the very essence of the created being and after whom Creation is called “existence from absence.” He created it so His thought of delighting His creations would be realized.

For the will to receive to be born, there had to be an order of development by four discernments, since one can enjoy something only according to one’s yearning for it. This is why we call the Kli [vessel] by the name, “will to receive” or “yearning.” That is, according to the measure of the need, so is the measure of the yearning to satisfy the need.

There are two conditions for the making of the yearning:

  1. One should know what to yearn for. One cannot yearn for something of which one has never seen or heard.

  2. One will not have the yearned for thing, since if he has already obtained his wish, he loses the yearning.

To meet these two conditions, four Behinot [phases/discernments, pl. of Behina] emerged in the will to receive, and along with their root, they are five Behinot. The fifth Behina is called a “Kli that is suitable for reception of delight and pleasure.”

This is their order:

1) Keter: His desire to do good to His creations.

2) Hochma: His desire to do good to His creations created a deficiency existence from absence, and along with it, created the light. Thus, the abundance and the desire to receive the abundance came together. This is so because the desire still did not know what to want; hence, it was born along with the filling. However, if it has its filling, it does not have the desire for the filling, as written concerning the second condition. This Behina is called Behina Aleph [first discernment] de Aviut [“thickness,” “desire”].

3) Bina: Since the Light comes from the Giver, the force of bestowal is included in this Light. Hence, at its end, Hochma wants equivalence of form, meaning to not be a receiver but a giver. There is a rule in spirituality: “Any generation of a new form is considered a new discernment.” Hence, this discernment is given its own name—Bina, and this is Behina Bet [second discernment] of Aviut. We also learned that the Light that spreads while the lower one wants equivalence of form is Ohr Hassadim [Light of Mercy], and this is the Light that shines in Bina.

Question: If Bina yearns to bestow, why is she called Aviut Bet [second degree of Aviut]? On the contrary, she should have been finer than Behina Aleph de Aviut [first degree of Aviut].

Answer: I explained it with an allegory: A person gives his friend a gift and the friend receives it. Afterwards, he reconsiders and decides that it is not in his interest to receive, and returns the gift. In the beginning, he was under the influence and domination of the giver; hence, he received. But once he received, he felt that he was the receiver, and that sensation caused him to return the gift.

Lesson: In Behina Aleph, he received due to the domination of the giver, but he still did not feel like a receiver. And when he saw and felt that he was the receiver, he stopped receiving, and this is Behina Bet. In other words, in that state, he felt that he was the receiver, and hence wanted to bestow upon the Giver. This is why Behina Bet is called Bina, for she Hitbonena [examined/observed] that she is a receiver and therefore wanted to bestow. This is also why we learn that the beginning of the learning is from Bina down.

4) ZA: At its end, Bina received, as a kind of drive—which stems from the purpose of Creation—that she must receive since the purpose of Creation was not for the creatures to engage in bestowal. On the other hand, she also wanted equivalence of form, bestowal. Therefore, she compromised: She would receive Hassadim [mercy] and illumination of the Ohr Hochma [Light of Wisdom].

This is called Behina Gimel de Aviut, since she already extends Hochma, but there are still Hassadim in her. This is the reason for the name Zeir Anpin [small face]. Hochma is called Panim [face], as in “A man’s wisdom illuminates his face,” but it receives this Ohr Hochma in a Zeir, meaning a very small extent. But this discernment is still not considered a Kli [vessel], since if it can bestow and receive only an illumination of the Ohr Hochma, it is a sign that its craving to receive is incomplete, since it still has the strength to engage in bestowal, too.

5) Malchut: At its end, Behina Gimel is prompted from above to receive abundantly because of His desire to do good to His creations. After all, the purpose of Creation was not for the lower ones to receive in Zeir Anpin. Hence, this awakening causes Malchut to have a desire and craving to receive the Ohr Hochma as it shone in Behina Aleph, when she had all the Ohr Hochma.

But the difference between Behina Aleph and Behina Dalet is that in Behina Aleph, it could not be said that she enjoyed the Ohr Hochma since she still did not have the yearning and deficiency, since the abundance and the Kli came together. But Behina Dalet yearns for the Ohr Hochma while she does not have it; hence, when she receives, she feels the delight and pleasure that come with satisfying her deficiency.

Only this Behina is called “a Kli,” since it wants only to receive. All the Behinot [pl. of Behina] prior to her are called “Light without a Kli.” And when this Behina Dalet receives the Light, it is a state called “the world of Ein Sof,” and also “filling the whole of reality.”

Question: If we are dealing with spirituality, where there is no time and no place, what does “filling the whole of reality” mean?

Answer: Let us return to our allegory from the beginning of the explanation, the allegory that He wanted to give His creatures 100 kg of pleasure and therefore had to create 100 kg of deficiency and desire to receive in the creatures, corresponding to the pleasure. When the 100 kg of deficiency receives the 100 kg of filling, this is called “filling the whole of reality,” meaning no deficiency is left unfulfilled.

Now we will explain the meaning of the name Malchut de Ein Sof [Malchut of infinity]: This Malchut, which yearns to receive abundance to fill her deficiency, is called “receiving in order to receive.” This means that she receives in order to satisfy her lack. At a later stage, she put an end and Tzimtzum [restriction] on using this Kli. But in the initial stage, which we are dealing with, she still did not make that Sof [end] and Sium [conclusion]. Hence, this state is still called Ein Sof [no end].

We learned that, at its end, after receiving the abundance, a desire to bestow awakened in Hochma, fitting the Emanator’s desire to bestow. Also, once Malchut received the Light, it evoked within her a desire to bestow, since this Light possesses the power of bestowal. Bina wished to bestow, but did not succeed because in Bina’s way, the purpose of Creation is missing. Even her subsequent reception of illumination in ZA was not enough since the Creator’s desire to do good to His creations was in abundance, not in ZA. Hence, how could Malchut achieve equivalence of form and obtain the purpose of Creation, too?

It is said about it that she invented something new: Malchut would receive everything, but unlike Ein Sof, where it was all in order to receive, she would do it in order to bestow. Thus, on one hand she would be realizing the purpose of Creation of doing good to His creations, since she would be receiving. On the other hand, her aim would be to bestow, which is equivalence of form.

Tzimtzum Aleph

When that Malchut said that she did not want to receive in order to receive, it is as though she repelled the Light. That state is called Tzimtzum [restriction]. There is a rule in spirituality: Any appearance of a new form is considered a new discernment. Therefore, we should discern two states:

  1. When Behina Dalet received all the Light with a Kli called “yearning.” This is called “filling the whole of reality,” as well as “the world of Ein Sof.”

  2. After she wanted equivalence of form, that state is considered a different world, called “the world of Tzimtzum,” from which the Light departed.

Hence, as we discerned that Hochma received and Bina repelled the Light, Malchut remained as she was in the state of the world of Ein Sof— receiving all the Light—and now we discern a new Malchut, which repels the Light.

We should know that in the first state, called Ein Sof, it was “He is One and His Name are one,” meaning that the Light and the Kli were one discernment. Only after the Tzimtzum was there a distinction of the four phases, or ten Sefirot, since the Light departed from them.

Question: With this Tzimtzum, the Light departed from all ten Sefirot. This is perplexing since the Tzimtzum was on reception in order to receive, which is Behina Dalet, and not on the rest of the Behinot!

Answer: The first three Behinot are not regarded as Kelim; they only prompt a procession of development, at the end of which the Kli, called “receiving in order to receive,” is born and becomes separated from the Giver. But the first three Behinot are still not separated from the Giver.

After Malchut was born, she obtained her causes. Hence, it cannot be said that after the Tzimtzum the Light remained in the first nine, since they are not Kelim. The only Kli is Malchut, and if she does not want to receive, all the Light departs and she does not receive anything.

The Ari also says, “The Tzimtzum was equal,” namely without distinction of degrees.

Question: If this is so, why did we say that the four Behinot became distinct after the Tzimtzum?

Answer: The distinction was made with respect to cause and consequence, but there was no distinction of Above and below.

Question: What do Above and below mean in spirituality?

Answer: Importance—whereas cause and consequence do not imply importance. For example, the Vilna Gaon was caused by his father, but who was more important, the cause or the consequence?

We need to understand why there was no distinction of Above and below. Malchut received the Light that “fills the whole of reality,” and this is not considered a deficiency or inferiority in importance. Hence, she could have remained in that state, had she not chosen to make the Tzimtzum.

This is what the ARI wishes to imply when he says that the Tzimtzum was equal, that Malchut was not of inferior importance, but that the Tzimtzum was made through her own choice. But afterwards, when Malchut does not receive due to the prohibition, she becomes inferior in importance. Then, what is farther from Malchut becomes of Higher importance, and what is nearer to Malchut becomes of lower importance.

The Ten Sefirot de Igulim [circles] and the Line of Ein Sof that Fills Them

After the Tzimtzum, the Kelim were left empty, and within them Reshimot [recollections/memories] of the Light they had had. They are called “the ten Sefirot de Igulim in the world of Tzimtzum.” They are called Igulim to imply that the issue of Above and below does not apply to them, as it is in a corporeal circle.

Because Malchut is the operator, since she is the actual Kli, Malchut de Igulim returned and extended the Light in order to receive it in order to bestow. And here we learn a new rule: “A desire in the Upper One becomes a binding law in the lower one.” Hence, now she is forbidden to receive.

I once offered an allegory about that: The eve of a new month is a time for saying the small Yom Kippur [Day of Atonement] prayer and for awakening to repent. Sometimes, a person debates whether or not to fast on that day, too. It is not mandatory to fast and there is no prohibition on the food itself, too. Hence, the choice is in one’s own hands.

If, in the end, a person decides to fast. If he later regrets and wishes to eat, the rule is that the food is now forbidden, so “he shall not break his word,” concerning the oath. Thus, we see that initially, there was no prohibition on the food, but after he had chosen to avoid eating, the food became forbidden.

Lesson: In the beginning, Malchut did not want to receive through her own choice. But now that she extends the Light again, it is prohibited to receive the Light. And if there is prohibition, there are Above and below in importance. Hence, this extension is called “a line that extends from Ein Sof from Above downwards.”

We also learned that even though the Igulim [circles] extended the Light, they received it only from the line. We must understand why this is so: Any new form in spirituality is a new discernment. Hence, there are two kinds of Kelim [pl. of Kli]:

  1. Kelim in which there is no prohibition on reception.

  2. Kelim that extend now, with the extension of the Light, and whose Malchut is called Malchut de Yosher [directness], on which there is prohibition to receive, due to the rule: A desire in the Upper One becomes a binding law in the lower one.

We also learn that the Igulim should receive Light from what they had drawn anew. This Light is called “a line.” It contains Above and below in importance, and there is no other Light. This is the meaning of the Igulim having no Light but from the line.

Yet, there is a big difference between Malchut de Igulim and Malchut of the line. Malchut de Igulim had the Light in the form of “filling the whole of reality,” while Malchut de Yosher never had any Light, nor will it ever have Light in its Kli, called “receiving in order to receive.”

The Line and the Zivug de Hakaa

Thus far, we have discussed three states:

  • The will to receive that was created in the world of Ein Sof and received all the Light.

  • In the world of Tzimtzum, it became apparent that the will to receive must be corrected for the purpose of decoration.

  • In the line, it is apparent that the Kli must be corrected due to the deficiency. Otherwise, the Light does not expand to it.

Now we shall speak of the line. We have already learned that the line has Above and below in importance, since Malchut of the line was forbidden to receive because she is regarded as receiving in order to receive. The rule is that in all the degrees, Malchut’s name was not changed, and it is “receiving in order to receive.” And her Light is Ohr Hozer, meaning she wishes to bestow upon the Upper One.

When the Light extended to Malchut, she made a Zivug de Hakaa, a Masach, which implies ending the Light and making calculations. For example, she assumed that she could receive only twenty percent of the Light in order to bestow. Hence, she decided to clothe only that much Light.

However, she felt that there was too much pleasure in the remaining eighty percent, and if she were to receive it, it would be in order to receive. Hence, she decided not to receive that part of the Light. So what is the difference between a Tzimtzum and a Masach [screen]?

  • A Tzimtzum occurs through choice, as we learned that Malchut had all the Light and she chose to not receive it.

  • A Masach is the domination of the Upper One on it. Thus, even if the lower one wished to receive, the Upper One would not let it.

The meaning of the term Zivug de Hakaa [coupling of striking] is as follows: In corporeality, it sometimes happens that when people disagree, they strike one another. In spirituality, when two things contradict one another, it is considered that they strike one another.

What is the dispute? The Upper One, who wishes to do good to His creations, awakens in the lower ones a desire to receive all the Light. But the lower one wishes the contrary, to equalize its form, and hence does not wish to receive at all. This is the striking that takes place between the Upper One and the lower one.

In the end, they equalize with one another and create a union and Zivug between them. In other words, the lower one receives the Light as the Upper One wishes, but only as much of it as it can receive in order to bestow, as the lower one wishes. Thus, there are two things here: 1) equivalence of form, and 2) reception of the Light.

However, the Zivug is possible only if a striking preceded it, since without the striking, and with the lower one’s desire to receive the Light, this would be oppositeness and separation from the Creator. This process of Zivug de Hakaa is called Rosh [head]. A Rosh means root, a potential which needs a process of realization. The Rosh exists because of the existence of a Sof, a prohibition on reception. Hence, Malchut is compelled to calculate, which is called a Rosh, preceding the actual reception.

Accordingly, we can understand the words of the ARI in the beginning of Talmud Eser Sefirot [The Study of the Ten Sefirot]: “Behold that before the emanations were emanated and the creatures were created, etc., and there was no such part as head, or end,” etc. This is so because in Ein Sof, there was still no prohibition on receiving; hence, it immediately received it. But now that an end was made, we should distinguish between the Rosh, which is the potential, and the Guf [body], which is the realization.

And afterwards she receives in practice, meaning the twenty percent that she receives in order to bestow are called the Toch [interior] of the degree, and the place of the expansion of the Light is called from Peh [mouth] to Tabur [navel]. Malchut de [of] Toch stands at the Tabur and says, “What I receive from here on, meaning the eighty percent, will be in order to receive. Hence, I do not want to receive, so I will not be separated.” Thus, the Light departs, and this discernment is called the Sof of the degree.

The Bitush between Internal and Surrounding in the Partzuf

Everything discussed here concerning the RTS [Rosh, Toch, Sof] concerns the first Partzuf, called Galgalta, which uses the Aviut of Behina Dalet. And we learned that Galgalta received the maximum it could receive in order to bestow. It could not receive more.

Yet, we learned that in the Thought of Creation, the Kli received everything. This is so because the Kli of reception in order to receive was created by the Creator, while in the Kli that the lower one makes, called “in order to bestow,” there is a limit to the amount it can receive. It follows that there is no Kli that can receive the eighty percent of Light that remained outside the Partzuf. So what will become of them?

To correct that, a Bitush of internal and external was created. These are the words of the ARI concerning this issue in Part 4, Chapter 1, Item 4: “When the Inner Lights connect to the Surrounding Lights, they connect inside the Peh. Hence, when they emerge together outside the Peh, tied together, they strike and beat on each other, and their beatings engender the Kelim.” Thus, it is through the beating that the Kelim are made.

We need to understand why 1) the Ohr Pnimi [Inner Light] and Ohr Makif [Surrounding Light] beat on each other, and 2) why this beating creates the Kelim.

Answer: We have already said that in spirituality, beating occurs when two things are in opposition to one another. But we also need to understand why the beating occurs “when they emerge together outside the Peh.”

At the Rosh of the degree, 100 percent of the Light expands without a distinction of Pnimi [internal] and Makif [surrounding]. This is so because His desire to do good to His creations is complete. But the lower one, who is limited, calculates and decides, for example, that it can receive only twenty percent in order to bestow. This occurs in the Rosh, in potential. “When they emerge outside the Peh”: Emergence, in spirituality, is called “revelation,” when what was in potential is revealed in practice. At that time, it receives a part and repels a part to become Ohr Makif.

This Ohr Makif seemingly comes to the Masach de Guf and argues, “Admit that your conduct, meaning the fact that you have erected the Masach, is not good, since how will the purpose of Creation of doing good to His creations be implemented? Who will receive all the Light?”

On the other hand, the Ohr Pnimi agrees with the Masach, since the very expansion of the Light within is through the Masach and the Ohr Hozer [Reflected Light]. This dispute is called Bitush of Ohr Makif and Ohr Pnimi, or Bitush of Ohr Makif in the Masach.

In truth, the Ohr Makif is right; hence, the Masach agrees with it. And since it agrees, it can no longer repel and raise Ohr Hozer, and therefore can no longer receive in order to bestow. Consequently, the Light departs and the Masach is purified, meaning stops receiving. This state is called Din [judgment] and Achoraim [posterior].

Since each Behina [discernment] consists of four Behinot, the Masach departs gradually, beginning with Behina Dalet in Behina Dalet, then from Behina Gimel in Behina Dalet, etc., until it rises to Peh de Rosh, the source from which the Masach de Guf arrived. In other words, it stops receiving altogether.

As it rises, it uses a smaller Aviut each time, and thus receives smaller Light in order to bestow. For example, when it ascends to Behina Aleph, it can receive only the Light of Ruach. When it rises to Behinat Shoresh [root], it can receive only the Light of Nefesh in order to bestow. Finally, it cannot receive anything in order to bestow and thus stops receiving altogether.

Question: What is the benefit of the Ohr Makif, which wants to shine because of the purpose of Creation, and therefore wants the Masach to receive more? After all, things are unfolding in contrast to its will, meaning the Masach loses even what it had!

Answer: All the degrees that appeared during the departure are not residue of what it had in the beginning, since there is a rule: “There is no generation of new Light that does not extend from Ein Sof.” This means that each discernment that appears is a new discernment. Thus, in the beginning, it could not receive anything more. But now that Behina Dalet has departed, it can receive more, namely from Behina Gimel.

This is the meaning of the Kelim being made through the Bitush. That is, prior to the Bitush, it did not have any more Kelim for reception, since it received all it could with the aim to bestow. But after the Bitush, when the Masach of Behina Dalet was purified, there was room to receive on Behina Gimel, since it departed from Behina Dalet and had nothing. And when it departed from Behina Gimel, it could receive on Behina Bet.

But this still leaves the question: What is the benefit if it receives less each time?

Answer: There is no absence in spirituality. This means that anything that appears remains, except he does not see it and cannot currently enjoy it, but only from the present. When the work is done, all the Lights will appear at once. Thus, in the end, he will have gained.

Baal HaSulam once said an allegory about this: Two people who were childhood friends separated as adults. One of them became a king, and the other, indigent. After many years, the poor one heard that his friend had become a king and decided to go to his friend’s country and ask him for help. He packed his few belongings and went.

When they met, he told the king about his dire state, and this touched the king’s heart. The king said to his friend: “I will give you a letter to my treasurer to allow you into the treasury for two hours. In those two hours, whatever you manage to collect is yours.” The indigent went to the treasurer, armed with his letter, and received the longed for permit. He walked into the treasury with the box he was used to using for his beggary, and within five minutes, he filled his box to the brim and merrily stepped out of the treasury.

But the treasurer took his box from him and spilled its entire contents. The indigent started sobbing but the treasurer told him, “Take your box and fill it up again.” The poor man walked into the treasury once more and filled his box. But when he stepped outside, the treasurer spilled its contents as before.

This cycle repeated itself until the two hours were through. The last time the beggar came out, he told the treasurer: “I beg you, leave me what I have collected, for my time is through and I can no longer enter the treasury.” Then the treasurer told him: “The contents of this box is yours, and so is everything that I had spilled out of your box for the past two hours. I have been spilling your money every time because I wanted to do you good, since each time, you were coming with your tiny box full and you had no room to put anything more into it.”

Lesson: Each reception of Light in order to bestow remains. But if the Light remained, we would not want to receive anymore, since we would not be able to receive in order to bestow on more than we had received. Hence, each degree must depart, and each time, we correct a Kli of will to receive with the aim to bestow until all is corrected. Then, all the Lights will shine at once.

Now let us return to explaining the purification of the Masach. The first expansion that emerged from the Peh down is called Taamim [flavors], from the verse, “as the palate tastes its food.” After the Bitush of Ohr Makif, the Masach began to purify, and on its way produced a new degree each time. These degrees are called Nekudot [points/dots].

I have already explained the words of the ARI that the Kelim were made through the Bitush, since now he has the ability to receive more Light. But Baal HaSulam interprets the making of the Kelim [plural for Kli] differently: While the Light was in the Kli, the Light and the Kli were mingled in each other. Through the Bitush, the Light departed and the Kli became apparent.

Interpretation: While the Light shines in the Kli, the deficiency of the Kli is indistinguishable; hence, it does not merit the name Kli. This is because without the Kli, the Light cannot shine. Hence, they are of equal importance. But once the Light departs, the Kli is distinguished as a Kli, and the Light, as Light.

The Nekuda [point] of Tzimtzum is the reason why the degrees emerging during the purification are called Nekudot.

And what is the Nekuda of the Tzimtzum? The Zohar says that Malchut is called “a black dot without any white in it.” This means that during the darkness, Malchut is called “a dot.” When there is Tzimtzum, and it is forbidden to receive in order to receive, it becomes dark. In other words, the point of Tzimtzum is present wherever it is impossible to receive in order to bestow and there is a desire to receive in order to receive.

We should also explain the difference between Rosh, Toch, and Sof: Rosh is considered “potential,” meaning there is no reception there. Two parts spread from the Rosh:

  • One part can receive the Light, and it is called ten Sefirot de Toch. The Light is the abundance that enters the Kelim, and it is called Ohr Pnimi, which is Ohr Hochma—the Light of doing good to His creations.

  • The second part that spreads from the Rosh is the part of the desire to receive in order to receive, which it does not want to use. It says that it does not want to receive there, meaning it ends it. Hence, this part is called “ten Sefirot de Sof.”

Question: We learned that the word Sefirot comes from the word “sapphire,” meaning it shines. But if Malchut de Guf, called Malchut de Tabur, does not want to receive and puts a Sof on the Light, why is this part called Sefirot?

Answer: They are called ten Sefirot because, in truth, the Light did shine for them. An explanation on that matter can be found in Part 4, Chapter 5, Item 1, where he explains the difference between Toch and Sof: “From Peh de AK emerged ten internal Sefirot and ten surrounding Sefirot. They extend from opposite the Panim through opposite the Tabur de AK. This is the majority of the Light, but it also shines through the sides and all around that Adam,” meaning not necessarily opposite the Panim, but also from the sides.

In Item 2, he interprets the words of the ARI as follows: “In short, we will explain that from Tabur up it is called Panim. This is because the Light of Hochma, considered the essential Light, spreads there, and from Tabur down it is called Achor [posterior], since it is considered receiving in order to receive. Hence, the Light of Hochma does not spread there, but comes through the sides.”

Further down that page, it continues, “…because through the Ohr Hozer that Behina Dalet brings to the Partzuf, which is Ohr Hassadim.” This means that Malchut de Tabur does not want to receive there, since there it is a will to receive in order to receive. Instead, it wants equivalence of form, called Hassadim. “Thus, she receives illumination of Hochma, as well, though in the form of ‘female Light,’ meaning only receiving and not bestowing.” “Receiving and not bestowing” means that she does not want to bestow the Light upon herself, but, to the contrary, she says that she does not want to receive.

And through this Dvekut [adhesion], an illumination of the Light of Hochma shines upon her, and this is called “illumination of Hochma.” Accordingly, the difference between Toch and Sof is that the Ohr Hochma shines in the Toch and in the Sof. As long as she does not want to receive for the purpose of equivalence of form, the Light that shines is Ohr Hassadim in illumination of Hochma.

We still need to explain why the names in Ohr Hassadim are “right” and “left,” and in the Ohr Hochma they are called “long” and “short.” When the Light shines, in Hassadim, it is called “right,” and in Hochma, “long.” When it does not shine, in Hassadim, it is called “left,” and in Hochma, “short.”

What do these names mean?

Answer: We learned that Ohr Hochma shines in the vessels of reception in order to bestow, of course. Hence, the measure of illumination depends on its measure of Aviut. This is called “above” and “below,” and this is why the names in Ohr Hochma are “long” and “short.” But Ohr Hassadim is not extended through Aviut and is not dependent on it. Hence, the names in Ohr Hassadim relate to width: “right” and “left,” implying that they shine in the same level, and it does not matter to them if there is more Aviut or less Aviut.

An Inner Partzuf

Thus far we have discussed the first Partzuf of AK, called Galgalta or the Inner Partzuf de AK. Now we will explain the inner Partzuf. There is a rule that in all the worlds, there is an inner Partzuf with four clothes. We will explain it in AK: Partzuf Galgalta has complete HaVaYaH within its degree, and a complete degree emerges from each letter in this HaVaYaH.

  • Its Rosh, called Keter or “the tip of the Yod,” is unattainable.

  • From Peh to Chazeh it is called Yod de HaVaYaH, and from there emerges Partzuf AB de AK, which clothes it.

  • From its first Hey, called Bina, emerges Partzuf SAG, from the Chazeh down.

Thus, the Yod-Hey, which are AB and SAG, clothe it from Tabur up. Below Tabur, it is Vav-Hey de HaVaYaH.

  • The Vav is called the Upper third of NHY, called Partzuf MA, and from it, emerges the world of Nekudim, which clothes there.

  • From its last Hey, called Malchut, which are the two lower thirds of NHY de AK, emerged Partzuf BON, called “the world of Atzilut,” which works with Aviut Shoresh.

The Reshimot

When the Light departs from Partzuf Galgalta, empty Kelim remain, and in them Reshimot from the Lights that shone within the Kelim. The meaning of Reshimot is as we see in corporeality: When a person eats a tasty dish or hears of something pleasant, a taste remains of what he experienced, evoking him to re-extend what he had had. Similarly, a Reshimo [sing. of Reshimot] is a yearning for what he had had.

There are two discernments in the Reshimot: 1) the pure Light in the Reshimo, and 2) the Av [thick] Light in the Reshimo.

This means that as the general Ohr Yashar shone in Kelim called “the general Ohr Hozer,” when the Ohr Yashar departs, it leaves a Reshimo that is a part of the Ohr Yashar. This Reshimo clothes in part of the Ohr Hozer that was there, meaning it leaves an impression of the fact that it worked with the aim to bestow. This is called Reshimo from the Ohr Hozer.

  • What remains of the Ohr Yashar is called “the pure Light in the Reshimo.”

  • What remains of the Ohr Hozer is called “the coarse Light in the Reshimo.”

Both are clothed in the general Ohr Hozer, called Kli, and both are one Behina.

Explanation: When the Light shines in the Kelim, we say that the Light and the Kli are mixed in one another until the Light and the Kli become indistinguishable. This means that they are performing the same action, and one cannot be without the other. It is like meal and appetite: they both perform the same action, since it is impossible to eat if there is appetite but no meal, and it is also impossible to eat if there is a meal but no appetite. But afterwards, when the Light departs, we discern the Kli, meaning the Ohr Hozer receives the name Kli.

So it is concerning the Reshimot: When the fine Light and the thick Light are together, they are both called Light and they are mingled in one another. And when the fine Light is separated from the thick Light, the thick Light receives a new name: Nitzotzin [sparks].

We should understand why it is that when the general Ohr Yashar departs, the general Ohr Hozer is called Kli, but when the Ohr Yashar in the Reshimo departs, the thick Light in the Reshimo is called Nitzotz [spark], meaning a spark of Light.

Answer: We should say that when the general Ohr Yashar departs, it does not shine at all. But when the Ohr Yashar in the Reshimo departs, it shines from afar.

Now we can understand the matter of the root of the Kelim and the root of the Lights: There is a rule that all the worlds emerge in the form of seal and imprint. This means that as the discernments emerge the first time, the worlds expand from above downward by that same order. The first time that Kelim emerged was in Partzuf Galgalta. This is why it is considered “the root of the Kelim.”

This means that when the Light shines in the Kelim, they are mixed. For this reason, it is impossible to distinguish the Light from the Kli. But after the departure of the Light, the Kelim appear. Also, Reshimot from the Light remain in the Kelim: a Reshimo of the Light of Keter in the Kli of Keter, a Reshimo of the Light of Hochma in the Kli of Hochma, etc. Hence, when we speak of the Kelim, we begin with KHB.

And when the second Partzuf emerged, called AB, where the Light of Hochma shines, following the rule that each Light that comes shines in the finest Kli, called Keter, now the Light of Hochma shines in the Kli of Keter. This is called “the root of the Lights,” which are arranged in this order, the order of HBD. By this we can understand why he sometimes starts the ten Sefirot with KHB and sometimes with HBD.

Tagin and Otiot

Now we shall explain the matter of Tagin and Otiot. We learned that the Reshimot that remained from the Taamim are called Tagin. Sometimes he calls the Reshimot that remain of the Nekudot by the name Otiot. The reason for it is that when the whole of Partzuf Galgalta purifies, which is Behina Dalet de Aviut, the Masach was included with the Reshimot of all the levels that departed. This Masach rose to the Rosh of the degree and asked for the powers it had lost. Since the last Behina is lost due to the Bitush de Ohr Makif that weakened the force of the Masach, it could not overcome Behina Dalet, but only Behina Gimel, which is similar to Nekudot.

We learned that two kinds of Reshimot remained—a Reshimo from the Light of Keter that was clothed in the Kelim, called Dalet de Hitlabshut [clothing]. However, it lost the Reshimo from the strength and overcoming. It is said about that, “the last Behina is lost,” and what remains is only Gimel de Aviut.

It follows that when the Masach of Guf de Galgalta rose to the Rosh de Galgalta, it asked for the power of the Masach for both kinds of Reshimot:

  1. On Dalet, the Reshimo from the level of Taamim.

  2. On the Aviut of the level of Nekudot.

Hence, two Zivugim were made at the Rosh of the degree:

  1. On Dalet de Hitlabshut at the level of Keter.

  2. On Gimel de Aviut at the level of Hochma.

We also learned that Dalet de Hitlabshut shines only at the Rosh of the degree of the lower one, the Rosh de AB. But Gimel de Aviut has Hitpashtut in the Guf, as well. Since the Guf is called Kelim and Otiot, the Reshimo de Aviut, meaning the Reshimo de Nekudot, is called Otiot. This is so because afterwards, Kelim spread from this Reshimo, while the Reshimo de Hitlabshut remains as Tagin, shining only at the Rosh of the degree.

Orally, he explained it in this manner: Gimel de Aviut de AB and Gimel de Galgalta are not identical, since Gimel de AB is the Gimel of the general Aviut, while Gimel de Galgalta is the Gimel of Dalet de Aviut. Even so, Gimel de AB still extends from Gimel de Galgalta. Hence, here he ascribes the Reshimo de Aviut on which Partzuf AB emerged to Reshimo de Nekudot, whose highest Behina is Gimel.

The Continuation of the Procession

Let us return to clarifying the continuation of the procession. Once the Ohr Makif canceled the Masach de Guf de Galgalta, the Masach de Guf rose to the Rosh. Since the last Behina was lost, there was a Zivug at the Rosh de Galgalta on Reshimot Dalet Gimel only, spreading from Peh to Chazeh.

Since the Masach de Tabur is included in the Aviut de Rosh, while it is at the Rosh, there are two discernments to make in it:

  1. Its own BehinaMasach de Tabur;

  2. Aviut de Rosh.

Once this Masach descended from Peh to Chazeh, which is Behina Gimel, it is considered that the Light of AB shines in the internality of Kelim de Galgalta. This means that the inner AB made a Zivug on what was included in the Aviut de Rosh. From Chazeh to Peh de Galgalta, a new degree emerged, called “Rosh of the outer AB,” and from Chazeh to Tabur emerged the Guf de AB.

Question: This is perplexing. After all, there is a rule that the next degree should fill the empty Kelim of the previous degree. So why does AB not expand below Tabur de Galgalta?

Answer: It is because it does not have a Masach on Behina Dalet. Hence, were it to expand below and see the will to receive that is present there, it would not be able to overcome it. This is why it remained above the Tabur.

In Partzuf AB, too, there was a Bitush of Ohr Makif, and Partzuf SAG emerged from the Reshimot of Partzuf AB. These are still the Reshimot from above Tabur de AK, but the Reshimot from below Tabur de AK have not yet been filled.

This Partzuf SAG emerged on Reshimot Gimel de Hitlabshut and Bet de Aviut, as well as filled the empty Kelim of Partzuf AB. However, it could not descend below Tabur de Galgalta and fill the empty Kelim there since it has Gimel de Hitlabshut, which are Kelim for extension of Hochma. It follows that this discernment, called Taamim de SAG, expanded through Tabur de AK.

But Nekudot de SAG, considered merely Hassadim, since they do not have the above-mentioned Behina Gimel, could expand below Tabur de Galgalta, although there is Behina Dalet de Aviut there, which is a vessel of reception on which it is impossible to place a Masach. Still, because Nekudot de SAG are vessels of bestowal, they have no interest in vessels of reception. Hence, they expanded below Tabur de Galgalta and filled the empty Kelim that were there.

Yet, since they saw the will to receive that was there, they wanted to receive in order to receive, as they did not have a Masach on Behina Dalet. And since we learned that there was a Tzimtzum on receiving in order to receive, the Light immediately departed from them.

Question: We learned that Nekudot de SAG are vessels of bestowal. Thus, how were they restricted?

Answer: There is a difference between GAR de Bina and ZAT de Bina, since we learned that ZAT de Bina should receive Hochma in order to bestow upon ZA, but GAR de Bina engage solely in bestowal.

Now we can understand why GAR de Bina, which are GE, were not mixed, which left GE in the degree, unrestricted, while ZAT de Bina, called AHP, departed the degree because they wanted to receive in order to receive. This is called Tzimtzum Bet [second restriction].

It follows that in HBD, HGT de Nekudot de SAG, which are GE, there is no mixture of Behina Dalet. Hence, their place is still considered the place of Atzilut. Below Tabur de Nekudot de SAG, clothing the two bottom thirds of NHY de AK, the reception in order to receive governs.

When Partzuf SAG rose to Peh de Rosh, two Zivugim were made there at Rosh de SAG:

  1. A Zivug on Reshimot de Taamim de SAG that did not descend below Tabur de AK, and from which the Partzuf of the upper MA emerged.

  2. A Zivug on Reshimot de Nekudot de SAG that were restricted and mingled with Behina Dalet below Tabur de AK, from which MA emerged—the world of Nekudim. This Zivug took place on half a degree of Aleph de Aviut and on Bet de Hitlabshut.

Therefore, we must understand that Malchut does not extend Light on her own vessels of reception, but only on vessels of bestowal due to the Tzimtzum. Because of it, were she to use the vessels of reception, it would be in order to receive.

Here, too, we learn that the Light spreads in both the inner Kelim de SAG, and in the outer Kelim de SAG. We should know that as a rule, he does not speak of the upper MA, since we are speaking primarily about the association of Midat ha Rachamim [quality of mercy] with Din [judgment], which begins in Partzuf MA, which is the world of Nekudim.

We learned that there are two Roshim [pl. of Rosh] in the world of Nekudim: 1) from the Aviut, and 2) from the Hitlabshut [clothing]. Keter is called Bet de Hitlabshut, and AVI are Aleph de Aviut. Since Bet de Hitlabshut cannot extend Light, since there is no deficiency there, it needs the association with the Aviut, which has the power to extend Light. We also learned that the level of Light that shines there is VAK de Bina, in the form of “for He desires mercy,” which frees the degree from the need for Hochma.

This Light is also called Tikkun Kavim [correction of lines]. Hence, we learned that the Tikkun Kavim shines only at the Rosh, since the Hitlabshut does not have Hitpashtut [expansion] in the Guf. But the Guf had only a small illumination, and it was not satisfied with the state of Katnut. Hence, when the Light of Gadlut came, the vessels of bestowal of the Guf broke, as well.