The Beginning of Wisdom – Chapter 6

(Within which is explained the world of Tohu-Chaos, the world of Tikkun-Repair, The connection of the three upper Sefirot with the seven lower ones, Yisroel Saba, Tevunah, The seven Repairs, and the thirteen Repairs of the Beard.)

119.  The Sages noted[1], “At first the world was created through the attribute of Judgment. G_d saw that the world could not withstand this so He joined[2] the attribute of Mercy to it.”  For this reason the Torah begins with the name Elokim (אלהים), signifying Judgment, and only later, in order to soften its nature[3] the name Y’H’V’H, which signifies mercy is used, as is written “On the day that Y’H’V’H Elokim made Earth and Heaven”.  The primary and fixed nature of the world is that of Judgment, since it was originally created through this attribute.  Mercy, however, is added to the world to soften its natural harshness in accordance to the degree of man’s righteousness.  Conversely, to the degree of his transgressions, it is withdrawn, resulting in a regression to its primary nature.

120.  As explained previously the name of Ban-52, indicates absolute judgment, and the name of 45, indicates mercy.  As such the Sefirot were first ordered through this aspect of Ban-52.  Because the conduct of judgment, in and of itself, could not bring about G_d’s ultimate intent in creation, flaws resulted. [4]  These flaws are allegorically described as the shattering and fall of the vessels[5].  This stage of creation is referred to as the World of Nekudim-Points or Tohu-Chaos, during which the light and revelation intended for the ultimate good, was withdrawn.  This is alluded to in the verse[6], “And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom before there reigned any king of the Children of Israel[7].” Edom-(red)[8], indicates Judgment alluding to the named of Ban-52, the World of Tohu-Chaos.  Each of the kings of Edom indicates one of the Sefirot of Tohu as follows;

Bela ben Beor – Daat

Yovav & Chusham – Chesed & Gevurah

Hadad ben Badad – Tiferet

Samlah – Netzach

Shaul – Hod

Baal Chanan ben Achbor – Yesod

and Hadar – Malchut

Concerning each of these kings (with the exception of Hadar,) Scripture speaks of their demise, thus alluding to the shattering of their vessels.  This was not the case with Hadar – Malchut, for at that stage the attributes of Mercy, alluded to by the name of 45, was introduced in order to bring about the eventual Tikkun – Repair.  What is meant here by death is not a total cessation but rather a descent to a lesser state of being as explained in the Zohar, Idra Raba[9], “They were nullified and withdrew from that state of being, not that they were totally nullified, but rather, whenever there is a descent from a higher level to a lower level, it is allegorically considered to be death.”  This concept is also explained in Zohar[10] on the verse “And the king of Egypt died.”  Such is also the case whenever a person falls from his level of spiritual awareness[11].  This concept of death applies when an inner aspect is withdrawn from an external one, the inner aspect symbolizing the soul and the external one symbolizing the body.  Therefore when a conduct descends to a lower level within which the higher aspect is no longer enclothed, it is considered to be similar to death.[12]

121.  After the shattering of these vessels, the aspect of Mercy-Rachamim, which is the conduct of Mah-45, was introduced and superimposed upon that of 52, in order to soften its severity and to lead to the eventual rectification and complete goodness which is G_d’s ultimate intent in Creation.  This process is called the world of Tikkun – Repair (עולם התיקון)[13].

122.  This repair, comes about through the union of Mah-45 & Ban-52 and is a gradual process which is effected by three factors; man’s deeds, G_d’s Supernal intervention, and the various stages of time in G_d’s ultimate plan[14].

123.  The principle of rectification also applies to the six sefirot of Zeir Anpin.  Through the merit of mankind the three upper intellectual sefirot (Keter, Chochmah, and Binah) – Great Mercies, are invested within Zeir Anpin, thus affecting its maturation, resulting in goodness and blessing to the world.  This is alluded to in the verse[15], “Do not come in judgment with your servant.” (Mishpat = Justice = Zeir Anpin).  This concept is also called Shituf-Joining.  Keter, Chochmah, and Binah join with Zeir Anpin.

124.  However, when Binah is joined with Zeir Anpin, only Malchut of Binah, its tenth part, does so.   It therefore receives a distinct designation as a separate Stature-Partzuf containing ten sefirot, and is called Tevunah (תבונה).

125. The three lower Sefirot of Tevunah, Netzach, Hod, and Yesod, which represent Kindness, Judgment, and Mercy, become invested as an Ohr Pnimi-inner light within the six sefirot of Zeir Anpin.  Each of these sefirot consists of ten subdivisions, totaling 90, the numerical value of the letter Tzaddi (צ).

126. Chesed, Gevurah, and Tiferet of Tevunah become an Ohr Chozer-Rebounding encompassing light, relative to Zeir Anpin.  They too consist of ten subdivisions totaling 30, the numerical value of the letter Lamed (ל).  The four upper sefirot of Tevunah; Keter, Chochmah, Binah, and Daat, are Ohr Yashar– a direct encompassing light from a distance, in relation to Zeir Anpin, which consists of a total of 40 subdivisions, the numerical value of the letter Mem (ם).  All these aspects together make up the word TZELEM – (צלם) – Image[16].

127.  In that man’s nature and characteristics were created in a manner which hints at the supernal conducts, his soul consists of three components corresponding to TZELEM; The Neshama which is enclothed within him, The Chaya which encompasses above him closely, and the Yechidah which encompasses above him at a distance[17].  This is the meaning of the verse “G_d made man in his IMAGE – TZELEM.”  Kabbalah sometimes refers to the corresponding supernal conducts by these[18] names.[19]

128.  When mankind is meritorious, there is a Shituf-Joining of Tevunah itself with Zeir Anpin. However, when this is not the case, only Malchut of Tevunah, which is its tenth part, joins Zeir Anpin.  It is considered to be a distinct Partzuf-Stature and is called the Second Tevunah[20] (תבונה שניה).[21]

129.  The concept of Tevunah only applies to the joining of Binah with Zeir Anpin.  Otherwise, Binah is simply referred to as Imma.

130.  If mankind achieves greater merit, then a Joining-Shituf is affected between the level of Malchut of Chochmah, and Zeir Anpin.  This too becomes a distinct Partzuf called Yisrael Saba (ישראל סבא), and similar to Tevunah, joins in an aspect of Tzelem, that is, one inner light and two encompassing ones.  But when mankind is not so meritorious, only the Malchut of Yisroel Saba influences Zeir Anpin.  This is called the Second Yisroel Saba (ישראל סבא שני), and also influences Zeir Anpin through the three aspects of Tzelem.  Certainly, the influence of Chochmah is higher than that of Binah and requires greater merit.[22]

131.  Daat may also affect Zeir Anpin and with even greater merit, an influence from Keter may be achieved.

132.  Essentially, Zeir Anpin consists of six sefirot; Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet, Netzach, Hod, and Yesod, but through the merits of mankind (MiLemata LeMaala – from below to above), or rectification (MiLeMaala Lemata – from above to below), this temporal world may also receive influence from Chochmah, Binah, and Daat (or Keter) by their joining with Zeir Anpin, thus increasing its stature to a conduct of ten Sefirot.  Zeir Anpin is then considered to possess a Keter, Chochmah and Binah, in addition to its essential sefirot.  This matter applies after Tikkun.

133.  For this reason Zeir Anpin is generally considered to consist of six sefirot, for being that they preceded Tikkun they are essential and constant, whereas that which issues after Tikkun may change[23].

134. Chochmah, Binah, and Daat are called Intellect.  Therefore their addition to the conduct of Zeir Anpin is regarded as an influence of “Intellect”.  Likewise, just as man’s body is of this world and his soul, which transcends the world, resides in his brain, so too the joining of a higher conduct to a lower one is allegorically called an “Influence of Intellect”[24].

135.  It is written[25], “May the power of G_d be magnified.”  When G_d, Blessed be He, influences kindness, miracles and goodness towards the world, this is allegorically considered to be a magnification of his power, since we only speak of His actions, as mentioned above.  Conversely, when G_d conducts the world with severity and withholds his influence and revelation, His name is not magnified but is, rather, diminished.  This is called Katnut-Smallness or Immaturity.  (This is symbolized by the stages of childhood in human development.)  When Binah joins and influences the world, it is called Gadlut Rishon-The First or Initial Maturation (magnification) and when there is a further joining and influence of Chochmah, it is called Gadlut Sheini[26]-The Second or Greater Maturation[27].

136.  All the stages of life; embryonic, infancy, childhood, adulthood etc., hint at the Divine conducts.  The embryonic stage in which the embryo is concealed and totally dependant on its mother for sustenance is comparable to a time of severity, in which the world lacks merit and Divine revelation as stated[28], “I shall surely hide My face on that day”.  It then is sustained solely through G_d’s grace and the merit of the patriarchs (Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov).  This connection between the embryonic stage and G_d’s conduct is hinted at in the scriptural verse[29], “Just as you know not what the way of the wind is or how the bones grow in the womb”.  The Egyptian bondage[30], as well as our present state of exile, constitutes such a period.  The state of the Jewish people during the exodus was comparable to infancy, marking the birth of the nation.  However, since they did not yet receive Torah and Mitzvot, they lacked meritorious deeds.  In like manner, there is a relationship between all of man’s life stages and G_d’s deeds.

137. Revelation begins with Chochmah and therefore all subsequent conducts are potentially included within it.  These are the thirty-two general paths (or ways) of G_d, alluded to in the verse[31], “Please make your ways known to me”[32].  Sefer Yetzirah therefore states that[33], “G_d engraved thirty-two wondrous paths of Chochmah”, which correspond to the 10 sefirot and the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, each of which indicates a separate conduct[34].

138. Keter also influences Zeir Anpin through its two heads[35], Keter of Keter which is the Gulgalta-Skull, and Chochmah of Keter which is the Mocha-Brain[36].

139.  There are seven influences-Tikkunim of Keter of Keter, the first head, which are allegorically referred to by the following terms:

1.  Skull-Gulgalta

2.  The Crystal Dew-Talla D’Bdulcha

3. Gaseous Membrane-Krooma D’Avirah

4.  The White Hair of the Head-Amar Nakki

                        5.  The Primordial Desire or Will-Ra’ava D’Ra’avin   (which is revealed in prayer), also allegorically called “The Forehead of Will”-Metzach Ratzon

6.  Conscious Supervision-Ashgacha P’Kicha- Also called- The Eye-Aiyna

7.  The Two Nostrils-Trayn Nukvin D’Pardashka– Also called- The Nose-Chutmah[37].

All these terms indicate types of influences[38] from Keter of Keter and, as such, are exceedingly hidden.  They are collectively called The Seven of The Skull-Shiva D’Gulgalta.

140.  Chochmah of Keter, which is the second head, and is called, The Hidden Brain-Mocha Stima’ah; possesses thirteen influences-Tikkunim, that influence downward.  These are the thirteen attributes of Mercy which were given over to Moshe[39].  They are:

1. E-L – Benevolent G_d

2. Rachum – Compassionate

3. V’Chanun – and Gracious

4. Erech – Long (slow)[40]

5. Apayim – Suffering (to anger)

6. V’Rav Chessed – and Abounding in Kindness

7. V’Emet – and Truth

8. Notzer Chesed – He Preserves Kindness[41]

9. L’Alaphim – for two thousand generations

10. Noseh Avon – Pardoning Iniquity

11. VaPeshah – and Transgression

12. V’Chata’a – and Sin

13. V’Nakeh[42] – and He Cleanses.

141.  There are thirteen corresponding phrases in the book of Micha (7:18-20).  They are:

1.  Mi E-l Kamocha – Who is a G_d like you

2.  Nos’eh Avon – Who pardons iniquity

3.  V’Over Al Peshah – and forgives transgression

4.  L’She’erit Nachalato – for the remnant of His Heritage

5.  Lo Hechezik La’ad Apo – He does not maintain His wrath forever

6.  Ki Chafetz Chesed Hu – for He desires to do Kindness

7.  Yashuv Yerachamenu – He will again show us mercy

8.  Yichbosh Avonoteinu – He will suppress our iniquities

9.  Vetashlich BiMtzulot Yam Kol Chatotam – and you will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea

10.  Titen Emet L’Yaakov – Give truth to Jacob

11.  Chesed L’Avraham – Kindness to Abraham

12.  Asher Nishbata LaAvoteinu – which you swore to our fathers

13.  M’Yimei Kedem – from the days of old[43].

142.  Notzer Chesed is called the “Upper Mazal” and V’Nakeh is called the “Lower Mazal” and, as such, they sometimes influence jointly.  These two are the most essential of the thirteen attributes. They are called Mazal in that they are good influences which descend from G_d and are non-reactive to human deed[44], as is written[45], “I will be gracious to whomever I will be gracious”.  The word Mazal is related to Nozel which means to flow down.  Concerning this the sages stated “Procreation, Health, and Livelihood are not determined by merit, but rather by Mazal[46].

143.  As stated previously, the characteristics of man hint at the supernal conducts.  So too, the human beard hints at these attributes.  They are therefore called, “the thirteen influences of the beard – Yud Gimel Tikunei Dikna“.  Because hair is tubular, influence from the brain is drawn down through them.  Furthermore, in that they are very narrow, this influence is exceedingly constricted and hidden.  This is so, because the influence comes through Chochmah of Keter, which is somewhat less merciful in comparison to Keter of Keter.  As a result, it is possible to perceive matters pertaining to a person’s thoughts by observing his hair[47]. However, these matters are extremely hidden and only perceptible to those who are greatly versed in physiognomy (Chochmat HaPartzuf) as explained in Zohar[48].



[1] Rashi – on the first verse in the Torah (Bereshit).

[2] This is the concept of Shitoof-שיתוף  (Joining), in which two conducts act in partnership, thus tempering each other.

[3][3] The nature of the world is generally severe since its source is in the Divine name Elokim. This is indicated by the fact that the numerical value of the word for nature (הטבע) is 86, which is the same numerical value as the name Elokim (אלקים).

[4] The resulting flaws were not accidental but were, rather, intentional, in order to bring about the Sitra Achera, that making man a free agent though the creation of free choice between good and evil.

[5] The “shattering” took place because of the inherent incompatibility of the sefirot of Tohu, in that each was absolute in its characteristic and therefore unsympathetic to the others. Because of this one quality could not coexist with the other.

[6] VaYishlach 37:31-39.

[7] Klach Pitchei Chochmah, Petach 36-55.

[8] The Dinive attributes are symbolized by specific colors; red for judgment, white for kindness etc.

[9] Idra Raba, Naso p.135b.

[10] Zohar Shemot 19b.

[11] Zohar Mishpatim, p.216b. See Pitchei Chochmah V’Daat, Petach 61.

[12] The intellectual Sefirot of Tohu were not shattered.  This is why Esav’s – (Tohu) head is buried in Maarat HaMachpela.

[13] Klach Pitchei Chochmah, Petach 61.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Tehilim 143:2.

[16] Klach Pitchei Chochmah, Petach 127-128.

[17] See chapter 9:208-209.

[18] See Nefesh HaChaim, footnote on page 1.

[19] In actuality the soul consists of 5 levels (NaRaN”CHaY)

[20] Klach Pitchei Chochmah, Petach 128-129

[21] Malchut of Malchut of Binah

[22]Malchut of Malchut of Chochmah.

[23] See GR’’A on Sifra D’Tzniuta, chap.1, p.3a.

[24] See Sefer Mayim Adirim and Klach Pitchei Chochmah, Petach 101, 116 and 127.

[25] BaMidbar 14:17.

[26] Klach Pitchei Chochmah, Petach 129.

[27] A small child lacks a mature intellect and therefore is chiefly motivated by his emotions. The first influence upon the child is from the mother (Binah) which adds to his maturity. This is called גדלות ראשון-Beginning maturity. Afterwards, he is influenced by the father (חכמה) in Torah and mitzvoth, to bring him to the point of full maturity and responsibility, as a mature adult (גדלות).

[28] Devarim 31:18

[29] Kohelet 11:5

[30] GR’’A on Sifra D’Tzniuta, end of chapter one.

[31] Shemot 33:13

[32] See GR’’A, commentary on Zohar Chadash p.89, end of Anaf 4.

[33] Sefer Yetzirah, mishnah 1.

[34] GR’’A, commentary on Sefer Yetzirah, mishna 1.

[35] Actually, Keter has three heads corresponding to Chesed-Kindness, Din-Judgment and Rachamim-Mercy, but two of them are considered to be more essential. (See chapter 2:10-12)

[36] According to the GR’’A this influence comes fron Chochmah and Binah of Keter.

[37] The GR’’A does not enumerate Talla D’Bedulcha but, rather, counts each nostril separately.

[38] GR’’A Sifra D’tzniuta.

[39] See Shemot 34:6-7.

[40] Erech Apayim-Long Suffering (slow to anger), is counted as two, as stated in Talmud, Baba Kama 50b, “Long suffering to the righteous, as well as to the wicked.

[41] Notzer Chesed L’Alalaphim-He preserves kindness for two thousand generations, is also counted as two.

[42] From here we see that Notzer Chesed-He preserves kindness, is a highe level than V’Nakeh- and HE cleanses, since there, kindness is stated explicitly, whereas here, the shortcoming of the recipient of kindness are recognized. Therefore, V’Nakeh only applies to the penitent.

[43] See Klach Pitchei Chochmah, Petach 105-108.

[44] See Berachot 7a.

[45] Shemot 33:19

[46] Talmud, Moed Katan 28a. Also see Zohar Naso, p.134a and Pekuday p.244b.

[47] GR’’A, commentary on Shir HaShirim 6:15.

[48] See Zohar Naso, starting from page 131. Also see Etz Chaim, Shaar Arich Anpin, chap.9. Also see Sifra D’Tzniuta , beginning of chap.2.

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