The Beginning of Wisdom – Chapter 7

(Within which is explained the joining and union of Mercy – (Rachamim) with Judgment – (Din), the six sefirot of Zeir Anpin with Malchut, G_d, Blessed be He with the worlds, & the feminine waters with the masculine waters.)

144. The conduct of Zeir Anpin is also called Israel (ישראל), and the conduct of Malchut is also called Rachel (רחל).  Zeir Anpin possesses another quality called Jacob (יעקב) and Malchut too possesses another quality called Leah (לאה)[1].

145.  The GR”A explains[2] that the reason for these two aspects of Rachel and Leah in Malchut is because there are two aspects of G_d’s kingdom.  One aspect is our acceptance of the yoke of his kingdom willingly[3] and faithfully without the force of miracles, as stated[4], “Say Malchuyot before me in order that you coronate me as your King.”  This is the ultimate goal of our service of G_d and is called Rachel.  The second aspect is the revelation of His kingdom by force of miracles, as in the exodus from Egypt, and as will come about in the future.  This aspect displays G_d’s splendor, yet he is called, “Humble” for[5], “Wherever His greatness is, so is His humility.”  This aspect is called Leah.

There are also two aspects of Zeir Anpin.  Our adherence and acknowledgment of G_d’s existence on the basis of faith, is called Yaakov, that is, that we recognize and believe that G_d is the source of all reward and punishment, though it is not readily apparent.

The second aspect represents the revelation of G_d as the source of everything, and is called Yisrael.  The essential quality in Zeir Anpin is that of –Yisrael – revelation, while the essential aspect in Malchut is that of Rachel – acceptance[6].

146.  As is known, our father Avraham personifies the attribute of Chesed – Kindness, our father Yitzchak that of Gevurah – Judgment, and our father Yaakov, personifies the median attribute of Tiferet – Mercy.  Chesed is therefore sometimes called Avraham, Gevurah is called Yitzchak, and Tiferet is called Yisrael or Yaakov[7].  Since the generation of the exodus lived in a miraculous fashion, unique to history, the aspect of Leah is sometimes called Dor HaMidbar – The generation of the Exodus.

147.  The world is generally conducted through the attribute of Malchut, which is more severe than Zeir Anpin.  As such, it is called Nukvah – Female, and represents an exacting Judgment.  Zeir Anpin, which is the conduct of Justice, represents a more lenient, merciful judgment.  If the world is meritorious, Zeir Anpin joins with Malchut, affecting Goodness.  If not, Zeir Anpin separates, and the world is conducted solely through the severity of Malchut. All this is dependent on man’s deeds. This is in accordance with the statement, “The world was originally created with judgment.  G_d, seeing that it could not withstand this, added the quality of Mercy”[8].

148.  This is the matter of Zivug – Joining, mentioned in Kabbalistic literature, such as the Zivug-joining of Zeir Anpin to Malchut, that is, the super-addition of the mercies of Zeir Anpin to the judgment of Malchut.  This is accomplished through the prior joining of the conducts of Chochmah and Binah with those of Zeir Anpin. As a result, Zeir Anpin gains a greater degree of mercy and in turn joins with Malchut, affecting kindness and goodness towards the world.

149.  Included as part and parcel of the function of Malchut is to manifest G_d’s Kingdom in the world and to sanctify His great name.  Since man was given free choice, it is his responsibility, through his deeds, to lovingly receive the yoke of G_d’s Kingdom upon himself and to properly serve him, thereby sanctifying and glorifying His name. This causes rectification throughout all worlds and draws down G_d’s Shechinah – Presence and Sanctity, in them, thus bringing about the optimal revelation of His kingdom. The reverse is true if man acts rebelliously.  In this respect, all worlds may be considered branches of Malchut, since it reveals G_d’s kingdom, which is G_d’s ultimate goal in creation.  This is accomplished through the union between the mercies of Zeir Anpin and the judgment of Malchut (Nukvah) and is determined by the deeds of man[9].

150a. The principle of Zivug-Coupling, implies a joining of a conduct of Mercy with one of Judgment, and represents the union of the names of 45 & 52.  As such, Zivug is not limited to Zeir Anpin and Nukvah, but applies to other conducts as well.

150b. The joining of two conducts results in a third median conduct, which, though it is a synthesis of the two, is uniquely different from either of them. [For example Oxygen + Hydrogen = water]. This Concept is explained in Nefesh HaChaim[10], “Concerning the concept of Zivug; certainly it is to be taken allegorically and alludes to union in spiritual terms.  It is similar to a person who combines two ideas in his mind arriving at a third, novel one.

150c. Though it is a synthesis of the two, it is never the less, novel and different[11].

151.  The basis of Zivug is the revelation and connection of the Creator to His worlds or the lack thereof, all of which depends on the deeds of man[12].]

152.  There are four spiritual Worlds;

Emanation – Atzilut

Creation – Briah

Formation – Yetzirah

Action – Asiyah.

The first and highest of the created worlds is Briah, since Atzilut, being an emanation of G_d is, in a sense, an extension of Him.  The world of Briah is feminine relative to Atzilut[13].  Before the sin of Adam, the two were in a state of zivug, which is the union of the male and female aspect, in which the one gives and the other receives.  Adam’s sin resulted in their separation.  This is the meaning of the statement in the Zohar that the Matronita separated from her husband.

152b. Briah is called Matronita – Mother, since it is the highest and first of the created worlds which issue from her.  Similarly the Torah often compares the relationship of G_d and the Jewish people to that of man and wife[14].

153.  The union and joining of mercy with judgment, or the connection of G_d with the worlds, depends on and is initiated by the merits of mankind.  This union, in turn, causes a precipitation of influence from above, as scripture states[15], “Truth sprouts from the earth (i.e. from below) and G_d will give goodness (i.e. will respond from above)”.  The merit and awakening from below is called Mayim Nukvim – Feminine Waters, whereas the influence from above, which follows, is called Mayim D’Churin – Masculine Waters.

154.  The world of Briah, which is the Matronita, is sometimes called Malchut[16].

155.  When, as a result of man’s deeds, Malchut is in a diminished state and the Shechinah is concealed from mankind, it is similar to a solitary point.  Conversely, when the Shechinah is revealed throughout the 613 components of Creation, Malchut is considered to be a complete Partzuf – Stature, comprised of 613 parts[17].  There are several aspects in man that correlate to the various states of Malchut.  The Glans alludes to Malchut in its diminished state[18].

155b. The state in which Adam and Eve were originally attached to each other back to back, alludes to Malchut in a fuller state affecting the entire creation as a Partzuf – Stature.  Their separation and relating face to face, as well as their previous state of attachment, parallel the union and separation of the world of Briah – Matronita, which is the world of separation – Olam HaPirud, with that of Atzilut.  Furthermore, there are many profound concepts which are alluded to in these matters[19].



[1] See chapter 2.

[2] Likutei HaGR’’A, end of Sifra D’Tzniuta.

[3] GR’’A Mishlei.

[4] Talmud Rosh HaShanah 16a.

[5] Talmud Megillah 31a.

[6] GR’’A, on Ra’ayah Mehemna, end of part 1-Zohar.

[7] Zohar, Ra’ayah Mehemna, Emor p.99-100.

[8] Zohar Ha’azinu, Idra Zuta.

[9] Klach Pitchei Chochmah, Petach 136-138.

[10] Nefesh HaChaim p.7 in the footnotes.

[11] Klach Pitchei Chochmah, Petach 60, 66 and 73.

[12] Nefesh HaChaim, chap.1 and 2.

[13] GR’’A, Sifra D’Tzniuta, chap.4.

[14] The seat of Chochmah is Atzilut – Yod

The seat of Binah is Briah – Heh

The seat of Zeir Anpin is Yetzirah – Vav

The seat of Nukva is in Asiyah – Heh

[15] Tehilim 85:12-13

[16] Magid Meisharim, Devarim. Because of this both Malchut and Binah are represented by a Heh in the name of G_d. Binah is the upper Heh and Malchut is the lower Heh.

[17] See chap.2:52

[18] See chap.1:32

[19] See Ramchal, Klallei Chochmat HaEmet. Also see Klach Pitchei Chochmah, Petach 135.

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