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Baruch Shalom Ha-Levi Ashlag (Rabash) / Biur Pticha
Biur Pticha

Explanation of the Article, Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah

Four Phases of Direct Light

The learning begins with a discernment called “The connection between the Creator and the creatures,” since we do not speak of the Creator Himself and we cannot attain Him. Instead, “By Your actions we know You,” meaning the attainment is only in the operations extending from Him.

This connection is also called “the purpose of Creation.” Our sages perceived that His wish and goal were to benefit His creations. Hence, the order of evolution begins from this discernment until it reaches the souls, whose root is the soul of Adam ha Rishon, which extends from the internality of the worlds BYA.

Allegorically speaking, when the Creator 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 creature and the reason why Creation is called “existence from absence.” And He created it so His Thought of delighting His creations would be realized.

And for the will to receive to be born, there had to be an order of four discernments, since one can enjoy something only according to one’s desire for it. This is why we call the Kli (vessel) by the name, “will to receive” or “craving.” Thus, according to the measure of the need is the measure of the craving to satisfy the need.

There are two conditions for the making of a craving:

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

  1. One will not have the desired thing, since if he has already obtained his wish, he loses the craving.

To realize these two conditions, four phases/discernments emerged in the will to receive, which are actually five, along with their root. The fifth discernment is called a Kli, suitable for reception of delight and pleasure.

They follow this order:

1) Keter: His desire to benefit His creations.

2) Hochma: His desire to benefit 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 its filling. But if it has its filling, it loses the desire for filling, as the second condition requires. This discernment is called Behina Aleph (first discernment) de Aviut (of the desire).

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

Question: If Bina craves to bestow, why is it considered Aviut Bet (second degree of Aviut)? On the contrary, it seems like it should have been purer than Behina Aleph de Aviut (first degree of Aviut).

Answer: I explain it with an allegory: A person gives his friend a present 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 it Hitbonena (examined/observed) herself being a receiver and hence 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 a kind of drive that stems from the purpose of Creation, which she must receive because 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 makes his face shine,” but it receives this Ohr Hochma in a Zeir, meaning 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 benefit 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 was enjoying the Ohr Hochma, since she still did not possess the craving and deficiency, since the Kli and the abundance came together. But Behina Dalet craves the Ohr Hochma when she does not have it; hence, when she receives, she feels the delight and pleasure that come with fulfilling her wish.

Only this Behina is called a Kli, since it wishes only to receive. All the Behinot (plural for Behina) prior to it are considered “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 this 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 desire receive the 100 kg of filling, this is called “filling the whole of reality,” meaning no deficiency is left unfulfilled.

And now we will explain the meaning of the name Malchut de Ein Sof: This Malchut, which craves 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 wish 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 failed 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 benefit His creations was for abundance, not for ZA. Hence, how could Malchut achieve equivalence of form and obtain the purpose of Creation, too?

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

Tzimtzum Aleph

Malchut’s decision that she did not want to receive in order to receive is considered that she repelled the Light. This state is called Tzimtzum (restriction). There is a rule in spirituality that 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 “craving.” This is called “filling the whole of reality.” It is also called “the world of Ein Sof.”

  1. After she wanted equivalence of form, this 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 reflected 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 reflects the Light.

We should know that in the first state, called Ein Sof, it was “He is One and His Name One,” meaning the Light and the Kli were one discernment. Only after the Tzimtzum was there a distinction of the four phases, or the 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 other Behinot!

Answer: The first three Behinot are not considered Kelim, they only prompt an order 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 Upper 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 a thing.

The Ari also says, “The Tzimtzum was equal,” 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 a consequence of 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 that they’d 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.

And since Malchut is the operator, since she is the actual Kli, Malchut de Igulim returned and extended the Light 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. It is not mandatory to fast and there is no prohibition on the food, as well. Hence, the choice is in one’s own hands.

If, in the end, a person decides to fast, and 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 is 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 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 (plural for Kli):

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

  1. Kelim that extend now, with the extension of the Light, and whose Malchut is called Malchut de Yosher (directness), on which there is a 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 great 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:

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

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

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

And 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, which is “receiving in order to receive.” And her Light is Ohr Hozer, meaning she wishes to bestow upon the Upper One.

And when the Light extends 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 to not 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 each other. In spirituality, when two things contradict each other, it is considered that they strike each other.

And what is the dispute? The Upper One, who wishes to benefit His creations, evokes 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 unfolds 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 the Sof, the prohibition on reception. Hence, Malchut is compelled to calculate, and this is called a Rosh, preceding the actual reception.

Accordingly, we can understand the Ari’s words 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 there was an end, we should distinguish between the Rosh, which is the potential, and the Guf (body), which is the realization.

And afterwards it actually receives, meaning the twenty percent that it 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). And Malchut de (of) Toch stands at the Tabur, saying, “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 shall become of them? To correct that, a Bitush of Internal and External was created. These are the Ari’s words concerning this issue (Talmud Eser Sefirot, 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 beget the Kelim.” Thus, it is through the beatings that the Kelim are made.

And 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, a 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 Internal and Surrounding. This is because His desire to benefit His creations is complete. But the lower one, who is limited, calculates and decides, for example, that it can only receive twenty percent in order to bestow. This occurs in the Rosh, in potential. “When they emerge together outside the Peh”: Emergence, in spirituality, is called “revelation,” when what was in potential is revealed in actuality. At that time, it receives a part and repels a part, to become Ohr Makif.

This Ohr Makif seemingly comes to the Masach and argues, “Your conduct, meaning the fact that you have erected the Masach, is not good, since how will the purpose of Creation of benefiting His creations be implemented? Who will receive 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 on the right; hence, the Masach agrees with it. And since it agrees, it can no longer repel and raise Ohr Hozer, and hence can no longer receive in order to bestow. Thus, the Light departs and the Masach is purified, meaning stops receiving. This state is called Din (judgment) and Achoraim (posterior).

And 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 Lights in order to bestow. For example, when it ascends to Behina Aleph, it can only receive the Light of Ruach. When it rises to Behinat Shoresh (root), it can only receive 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 wishes for 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 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 from Behina Gimel.

This is the meaning of the Kelim were 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 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. But when the work is done, all the Lights will appear at once. Thus, in the end, it is benefitting.

Baal HaSulam once said an allegory about it: 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 became a king and decided to go to his friend’s country and ask for help. He packed his few belongings and went.

When they met, he told the king that he was destitute, 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 poor man 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 rim and merrily stepped out of the treasury.

But the treasurer took his box from him and spilled its entire contents. Then the treasurer told the sobbing indigent, “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. 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 have spilled out of your box for the past two hours. I have been spilling your money every time because I wanted to benefit you, since each time, you were coming with your tiny box full and you had no room for anything more.”

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.

And now let us return 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).

I have already explained the Ari’s words, that the Kelim were made through the Bitush, since now it 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 then 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 Holy Zohar says that Malchut is called “a black point without any white in it.” This means that during the darkness, Malchut is called “a point.” And 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.

To return to our subject, when the Masach was purified from Behina Dalet, Behina Dalet was forbidden to receive. This is the meaning of the point of Tzimtzum being over her. But Behina Gimel could still receive, and when the Masach was purified from Behina Gimel, too, this became the point of Tzimtzum.

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 His desire to benefit 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 over 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 of that 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 essential 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 Ari’s words 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.

And 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.” And 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 are inner Partzufim (plural for 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. And 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 uses Aviut Shoresh.

The Reshimot

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

There are two discernments in the Reshimot: 1) the pure Light in the Reshimo, and 2) the coarse Light in the Reshimo.

This means that as the general Ohr Yashar shone in Kelim called “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 a recollection 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”;

  • And 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 discernment.

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 a Kli there.

So it is concerning the Reshimot: when the pure Light and the coarse Light are together, they are both called Light and they are mingled in one another. And when the pure Light is separated from the coarse Light, the coarse 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 coarse 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 discernment emerged the first time, the worlds expand from Above downwards 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 purest 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. Thus 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 it 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 level rose to the Rosh of the degree and asked for the powers it had lost. And 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.

And 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 powers and intensifications. It is said about that, “the last Behina is lost,” and what remains is only the Gimel de Aviut.

It follows that when the Masach de 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.

  1. On the Aviut of the level of Nekudot.

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

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

  1. On the 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. And 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. But 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 Continuance of the Sequence

Let us return to clarifying the rest of the sequence. Once the Ohr Makif cancelled the Masach de Guf de Galgalta, the Masach de Guf rose to the Rosh. And 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.

And 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 Behina—Masach de Tabur;

  1. 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 fulfilled.

And this Partzuf SAG emerged on Reshimot Gimel de Hitlabshut and Bet de Aviut, and filled the empty Kelim of Partzuf AB, as well. 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 put 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 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. And below Tabur de Nekudot de SAG, clothing the two bottom thirds of NHY de AK, the reception in order to receive governs.

And 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.

  1. 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 unfolded 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.

And here, too, we learn that the Light expands in both the inner Kelim de SAG, and in the outer Kelim de SAG. And 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) in the Din (judgment), which begins in Partzuf MA, which is the world of Nekudim.

We learned that there are two Roshim (plural for 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. And 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 delights in Mercy,” which liberates 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 achieved Gadlut, the vessels of bestowal of the Guf broke, as well.