The Gate of Unity – Chapter 21

ובזה יובן כללות ענין ההתכללות דג’ קוין דנאצלים, חח”ן מימין ובג”ה משמאל ודת”י באמצע כו’

With all of the above [in mind], the general matter of the inter-inclusions of the three emanated lines may be understood.  [The sefirot of] Chochmah, Chessed and Netzach are to the right, Binah, Gevurah and Hod are to the left, and Da’at, Tiferet and Yesod are in the middle.[1]

כמ”ש בפרד”ס דפנימית הכתר הנק’ כתר שבכתר, לא נחלק לג’ קוין

[Now,] it is stated in Pardes[2]that the inner aspect of Keter, which is called Keter of Keter, is not divided into three lines.

בחי’ חיצוניות שבו, ממנו מתחלק לג’ קוין

[It is only from] the external aspect of [Keter] that the three lines separate.

והוא מבחי’ חכמה שבכתר כו’, וכידוע בכונות דהגדול הגבור והנורא כו’.

[In other words, it is] from the aspect of Chochmah of Keter [that a distinction of three lines begins], as is known regarding the [Kabbalistic] intentions of [the words] “The Great, The Mighty and The Awesome”[3] etc.

וביאור הדברים, הנה בחי’ התכללות הקוין ימין ושמאל הוא ע”י קו האמצעי דוקא

The explanation of these matters is that the aspect of the inter-inclusions of the right and left lines [one with the other] is specifically by means of the middle line.

והענין הוא דקו הימין חח”ן, הרי החסד ענף החכמה ומובדל הימנה

The [explanation of the] matter is that in the right line of ChaCha”N,[4] Chessed – Kindness is an offshoot of Chochmah – Insight, but is [nonetheless] separate from it.[5]

והוא מה שנסתעף החסד מצד השכל והטעם שמטה כלפי חסד בדבר מורכב כנ”ל

This may be [understood by] the fact that Chessed – Kindness, is an offshoot of [Chochmah, which is the] intellect and reasoning which leans to kindness toward something separate[6], as mentioned previously.

וכן הנצח ענף החסד, מובדל הימנו. דהיינו מצד החסד יחויב בחי’ הניצוח להביא החסד למעשה בפו”מ כו’

Similarly, Netzach – Conquest is an offshoot of Chessed, but is [nonetheless] separate from it.  This is to say that the quality of kindness necessitates the aspect of triumph, in order to bring the kindness to actualization etc.[7]

וקו השמאל היפוכו, כמו שכל המטה כלפי דין שנסתעף הימנו מדה”ד כו’

[On the other hand] the left line [of BoGa”H[8]]is the opposite [of the above].  For example, the [emotional] quality of judgment branches out from an intellect which leans towards judgment.

כך בינה גבורה כו’ כמ”ש אני בינה, לי גבורה כו’

In this manner Binah [gives rise to] Gevurah, as stated,[9] “I am Binah, Gevurah is mine”.[10]

דהחכמה נוטה לחסדים ובינה מינה דינין כו’

[For, as is known,] Chochmah leans towards kindness, while judgments are aroused from Binah.[11]

(וכמ”ש בע”ח דאבא מקור החסדים ואימא מקור כל הגבורות כו’ וכידוע)

(This accords with the statement in Etz Chaim that Abba (Father) is the source of the kindnesses and Imma (Mother) is the source of the judgments, as is known.[12])

ובחי’ ההתכללות דב’ קוין הללו שיבואו להתחבר במקום א’, הוא ע”י קו האמצעי דת”י כו’

Now, the aspect of the inter-inclusion of these two [opposite] lines, so that they come to be connected [and synthesized] as one, is by means of the middle line of DaTi”Y.[13]

כמו הדעת שהוא בחי’ ממוצע להטות משכל של חסד לשכל של דין, ונק’ דעת נוטה

For example, Da’at[14]is the aspect of the median [conduct] which tips [the mind] from intellectual kindness to intellectual sternness, and is [therefore] called “The Leaning Da’at”.[15]

(וכמו כי יצר לב כו’ שנעשה שכל וטעם לזכות, אשר תחלה היה זה השכל עצמו נוטה כלפי חוב, כמ”ש וירא כי רבה רעת כו’ וכה”ג וכמ”ש במ”א)

(For example, [the verse,[16] “I will not continue to curse the earth because of mankind,] because the inclination of man’s heart is evil from his youth, [I will, therefore, not continue to punish any living thing, as I had done etc”] becomes an intellectual reasoning for merit, though at first, this very same intellectual [reasoning] leaned toward judgment, as stated,[17] “And G-d saw that the wickedness of man was great [in the earth, and that all the impulse of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And G-d repented that he had made man on earth] etc.”[18]  There are [many] other cases similar to this, as is explained elsewhere.)

ונמצא בדעת יחובר ב’ שכליים הפכיים דחו”ג להיות נוטה לחסד באופן  זה ולדין באופן זה וכה”ג, גם במקום א’

We find that [specifically] in Da’at the two conceptual opposites of Chessed (Kindness) and Gevurah (Judgment) become connected.  That is, it may lean toward kindness in one manner and toward judgment in another manner, and the like, even in [regard to] the same case.

וכך מדת הת”ת מכריע בין חו”ג

Similarly, the attribute of Tiferet mediates between [the heartfelt emotion of] Chessed and [the heartfelt emotion of] Gevurah.[19]

שהוא כמו הרחמים, שאינו אלא אחר מדה”ד, שעכ”ז רחמנות פוטרו, והיא מדת יעקב כידוע

An example of this is the [quality of] mercy, which can only take place subsequent to the quality of judgment.  [This is to say that] although [he is found guilty], mercy releases him.[20]  This is the quality of Yaakov, as is known.[21]

וכן בחי’ יסוד ממוצע לכלול ב’ הפכים דנו”ה

Likewise, the aspect of Yesod is a mediator which inter-includes the two opposites [gut emotions] of Netzach and Hod.

שהוא ענין כליות יועצות הן ולאו קודם השפעת המשפיע כשצריך להשפיע עצם המדות חו”ג

This is the matter of, “The kidneys which council” [either] yes or no”[22], before the [actual] influence of the influencer [is expressed].  [This takes place] whenever it is necessary to express the essential [heartfelt emotional] qualities of Chessed and Gevurah.

וכמו כל שיקול הדעת בא בהכרעה

For example, in every deliberation of Da’at, [the final decision] comes about through the tipping of the [intellectual] balance.

ואחר הכרעה ישקול במאזני צדק שהן נצח והוד, איך להביא השפע למקבל כו’

Then, after the verdict [has been reached], it is weighed upon “The Righteous Scales”, which are Netzach and Hod, [to determine exactly] how to bring the influence out to the recipient.[23]

והיינו כללות ענין קו האמצעי דת”י, שמחבר לב’ קוין דימין ושמאל

This, then, is the general matter of the middle line of DaTi”Y,[24]which connects the two lines [to its] right and [to its] left.

ופרטי התכללותן נק’ י”ב גבולי אלכסון כידוע, וקו האמצעי נק’ בריח התיכון שמבריח מן הקצה כו’

[Now,] as is known, the particulars of how [the sefirot] are inter-included are called[25] “The Twelve Diagonal Lines – Yood Beit G’voolei Alachson[26], whereas the middle line is called[27] “The Inner Beam”, for it runs through from one end [to the other].[28]

דהיינו שעולה עד בחי’ פנימית הכתר, שלמעלה מהתחלקות הקוין

In other words, it reaches up to the internal aspect of Keter, which itself is higher than the division into lines.[29]

ע”כ יש בכחו לחבר ולכלול ב’ הקוין כו’.

It is for this reason that [the middle line] possesses the power to unify and synthesize the two [opposite] lines [to its right and left].[30]

וביאור ענין פנימית הכתר דנאצלים שנק’ כתר שבכתר (והוא בחי’ כתר דע”י וא”א כו’)

Now [for] the explanation of the matter of the inner Keter of the Emanated (Atzilut), which is called Keter of Keter, (and is the aspect of Keter of Atik Yomin and Arich Anpin etc[31]).

היינו בחי’ הרצון והתענוג הבא בגלוי שנק’ אור הכתר שגם הוא כלול מי”ס

This is the aspect of the desire and pleasure which come in a revealed fashion.[32]  It is called “The Light of Keter”,[33] and likewise, includes ten sefirot within it.

ובחי’ חכמה שבכתר זהו הטעם לרצון ונק’ טעם כמוס לרצון

[However] the aspect of Chochmah of Keter is the reasoning for the desire, and is called “The Hidden Reason of the Desire”[34].

וכן יש בו חסד ונצח

Similarly, [Keter] contains a Chessed and a Netzach etc, until the aspect of Malchut of Keter.[35] [36]

והכל בבחי’ הרצון שהוא בלתי מוגבל, גם שבא בגלוי מעצם העלם הרצון כנ”ל

All this is within the aspect of desire, which is [still] unlimited,[37] even though it becomes revealed from the “Hidden Essential Desire” [of Adam Kadmon], as previously explained.

וע”כ המדות שברצון ותענוג נק’ ימי קדם לגבי מדות שבחו”ב שבאים בהגבלה כפי הגבלת השכל הגלוי בלבד כמשי”ת, עד בחי’ מל’ שבכתר

It is for this reason that the emotional [sefirot] of the desire and pleasure (i.e. Keter itself) are called “the days of old”[38] in comparison to the emotional [sefirot] of [the levels of] Chochmah (Insight) and Binah (Comprehension) [themselves], which come about in a limited fashion, [that is], only according to the limitations of revealed intellect, as will be explained.

ומבחי’ חיצוניות דכתר נחלק לג’ קוין

It is [only] from the external aspect of Keter that there comes about a division into three lines.

מפני שבטעם הכמוס לרצון נק’ התחלקות הרצון לחו”ג וממוצע כו’

This is because in the “Hidden Reason for the Desire”, the desire is [already] regarded as being divided into Chessed, Gevurah and the intermediary [quality of Tiferet].[39]

אבל בכתר שבכתר שלמעלה מטעם כמוס לרצון עדיין, רק רצון פשוט ועצמי בלא טעם כלל

However, in Keter of Keter, which is beyond the “Hidden Reason for the Desire”, it is still only a simple essential desire, altogether beyond[40] reason.

כי אין טעם לרצון כלל, גם לא טעם כמוס

This is because a desire is altogether beyond reason, even a hidden reason.[41]

כענין  שתוק כך עלה במח’ כו’, וכמ”ש במ”א

This is similar to the matter of,[42] “Be silent!  Thus it arose in thought etc”, as is explained elsewhere.[43]

ע”כ הוא למעלה מהתחלקות ימין ושמאל כו’, הגם שבא בגלוי מבחי’ האחרונה שבהעלם הרצון דבחי’ א”ק (כנ”ל בסוף אות י”ט)

Therefore, although [this level of Keter of Keter] comes into revelation from the lowest aspect of the concealed desire of the aspect of Adam Kadmon, (as explained at the end of chapter 19), it is [nonetheless] above divisions of right and left.[44]

ועז”א והבדילה הפרוכת בין הקדש כו’

About this it states,[45] “And the curtain shall be for you as a separation between the holy and the holy of holies”.

בחי’ פרסא שבין כתר דכתר לחכמה כו’

[This refers to] the aspect of the space (Parsa) seperating Keter of Keter from Chochmah [of Keter].[46]

והוא בחי’ קרומא דאוירא כמ”ש במ”א באריכות

This is the aspect of the Krooma D’Aveera[47] (“Airy Membrane”), as explained elsewhere at length.

וע”כ או’ יהי רצון מלפניך, מלפני הפרסא כו’

For this reason we say [in our prayers[48]], “May it be desirable before you”, [that is,] before the Parsa – Space.

לשנות מרצון של דין לרצון של חסד וכה”ג כו’ וד”ל:

[Since it is above division, it can therefore] change from a desire of judgment to a desire of kindness, and the like.[49]  This will suffice for those of understanding.

 

End of Chapter Twenty One



[1] These three lines are known in Kabbalah and Chassidut by their abbreviations.  Chochmah, Chessed and Netzach are called ChaCha”NBinah, Gevurah and Hod are called BoGa”HDa’at, Tiferet and Yesod are known as DaTi”Y.  (It is this configuration of the sefirot into three lines, right, left and middle, which is usually depicted as “The Tree of Life”.  This configuration of the three lines of the sefirot as they are inter-included, is generally called the ten sefirot of Yosher.)

[2] See Pardes Rimonim of Rabbi Moshe Cordovero, Shaar HaTzinorot.

[3] See the beginning of Amidah prayer.  As mentioned previously, “The Great – HaGadol” represents Chessed (Kindness) to the right, “The Mighty – HaGibor” represents Gevurah (Might/Judgment) to the left, and “The Awesome” represents the median conduct, the middle line which synthesizes the right and the left, which is Tiferet (Beauty/Mercy).

[4] This is an acronym for Chochmah, Chessed and Netzach.  See footnote 1.

[5] This is to say that although Chessed – Kindness is an offshoot of the holistic perception of Chochmah – Insight, nonetheless, Chessed, which isthe emotion of Kindness, is an entirely different matter than Chochmah.

[6] The literal translation of “something separate” is “a composite”.  This is in contrast to the simple essential desire mentioned in the previous chapter.  In that case, it is not the “separate” object which forms the emotions and desire towards it, but rather, the simple essential desire forms the emotions and desire towards it.  However, here, this is a composite desire, that is, his emotions are born out of his connection to the separate object itself, rather than from his essential desire. In other words, he is objective rather than subjective.  Now, because Chochmah, which is the intuitive flash of insight, views things in a holistic fashion, it will therefore tend to lean toward kindness. For instance, in judging someone in a court case, if we look at the whole person, such as his upbringing, social status and environment etc., rather than only scrutinizing the details of the crime, in the majority of cases, we will tend to view him more kindly and favorably. From this we see that Chessed is an offshoot of the holistic perception of Chochmah.  Nonetheless, as mentioned above, Chessed is an entirely different matter than Chochmah.

[7] Chessed (Kindness) is the quality of expansive and abundant spreading forth of influence.  Since Netzach is the quality of Conquest, which is the matter of spreading forth by expanding the borders of his influence, we see that it is an offshoot of Chessed.  But, on the other hand, it is an altogether separate matter from Chessed, just as Chessed is an altogether separate matter from Chochmah, though it is an offshoot from it, for Netzach is not a form of Chessed at all.  Nonetheless, when there is a desire to do a Chessed, all obstacles to its fulfillment must be overcome for it to come to its fruition. This is a function of Netzach, which is the quality of perseverance, and the overcoming of obstacles.

[8] This is an acronym of Binah, Gevurah and Hod.  See footnote 1.

[9] Proverbs 8:14

[10] It is specifically from Binah that the heartfelt quality of being judgmental branches out.  This is because Binah constitutes a close scrutiny and analyses into the finest details of a subject (as discussed in chapter 1). Therefore, it is specifically in Binah, that faults will begin to be noticed, eventually bringing about a judgment to withhold influence (Gevurah).  (However, although Gevurah is an offshoot of Binah, it is nonetheless an entirely separate matter from it.)

[11] Zohar VaYikra 10b, 11a

[12] Chochmah is called “Father”, for it is Chochmah which provides the seminal “drop”, the flash of intuition, which is then developed by Binah – “Mother”, into a fully comprehended and developed concept, which then affects and gives “birth” to the arousal of emotions.

[13] This is an acronym of Da’at, Tiferet and Yesod, as stated in footnote 1.

[14] As mentioned in chapter one, the faculty of Da’at is the intellectual interest, feeling and connection to the subject matter.

[15] That is, the thoughts towards any given matter are according to the intellectual connection and feeling towards it.  Moreover, it is the faculty of Da’at which makes the actual intellectual “decision” towards anything.

[16] Genesis 8:21

[17] Genesis 6:5,6

[18] These verses were said by G-d, both as the reason for bringing about the flood which took place during the time of Noah and also the reason for pledging never to destroy the world with a flood again.  However, the very same reason is given for both.  This difference in decision, even in the same matter, comes about because of the quality of Da’at, which is the intellectual connection and feeling towards anything. It acts as an intellectual “scale”, so to speak, and can lean either to the right or to the left, for it includes both.

[19] See Pardes Rimonim of Rabbi Moshe Cordovero, (Shaar HaMachri’in) Shaar 9; Chapter 3.

[20] Mercy is a composite of both kindness and severity.  It acts as the “scale” for the heartfelt emotions.  This is because it is the emotional feeling and connection to something which mediates between either kindness or severity, thus producing a composite emotion.  The resulting composite emotion is neither entirely kindness nor is it entirely severity, but is, rather, a median conduct which is a synthesis of the two.

[21] See Zohar Lech Lecha 87b.  As will be explained later on, Avraham represents the attribute of Chessed (Kindness), Yitzchak represents the attribute of Gevurah (Might), and Yaakov represents the synthesis of the two, which is the quality of Tiferet (Beauty).

[22] The sefirot of Netzach and Hod are the gut emotions andcorrespond to the Kidneys.  Many times the sefirot are allegorically referred to by various organs in the human anatomy to which they correspond.  This will be explained later in great detail, in the explanation of the “vessels”.

[23] The concept of the three lower sefirot of Netzach (Conquest), Hod (Majesty)and Yesod (Foundation) is the matter of how the influence will be expressed to the recipient.  As mentioned above, Netzach (Conquest) is an offshoot of Chessed (Kindness), while Hod (Majesty) is an offshoot of Gevurah (Might).  The explanation of the difference between these two, and how they are synthesized and inter-included in the aspect of Yesod – Foundation, can be understood by the following example.  When a parent wants to influence his child in a way of Netzach, he explains to him why he should think or act in a certain way until he has “won him over” to his way of thinking or acting.  This is the aspect of Netzach (Conquest), where he brings out influence to “win over” the opposition etc.  In contrast, the word Hod also mean, “submission”, as in the word “Hoda’ah”.  Therefore,in the parent/child relationship, when the parent demands that the child should act or desist from acting in a certain way, not because he has “won him over” to his way of thinking, as with Netzach, but by force of authority alone, this is an influence of Hod. This is when he says to the child, “You must do it because I say so. I don’t owe you explanations.” In the case of a citizen of a country, this is the fact that a person must submit to the laws of the land, whether he agrees with them or not. When he is stopped for a traffic violation, for instance, he cannot argue the merits or demerits of the law with the police officer. He must submit, and if he does not, he will be arrested and restrained. This is to say that the quality of Gevurah necessitates the submission to authority of Hod in order to bring about the actualization of Gevurah.  Now, Yesod represents the “scales” of the gut emotions which determines how the actual issuance of influence from the influencer to the recipient should come out.  That is, should the influence be in a way of Netzach, should it be in a way of Hod, or should it be a synthesis of both.

[24] This is an acronym for Da’at, Tiferet, Yesod, as stated in footnote 1.

[25] See Sefer Yetzirah, Chapter 5, Mishna 1.

[26] In the configuration of the sefirot of Tikun there are three horizontal pipes, seven vertical pipes and twelve diagonal pipes. These pipes represent how the sefirot interconnect and influence each other. They correspond to the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The three horizontal lines correspond to the letters Aleph, Mem and Shin. These are called the three mothers and represent the connections between Chochmah and Binah, which are intellectual sefirot, the connection between Chesed and Gevurah which are heartfelt emotional sefirot, and the connections between Netzach and Hod which are gut emotional sefirot. The seven vertical pipes correspond to the seven letters of the Hebrew alphabet which may be pronounced either hard or soft. They represent how influence is drawn down through the three modes of conduct, Chessed, Din, Rachamim-Kindness, Judgment and Mercy. There are vertical two pipes on the right side which represent the mode of Kindness. The upper pipe connects Chochmah-Insight to Chessed-Kindness. The lower pipe connects Chessed-Kindness to Netzach-Victory. There are also two vertical pipes on the left side which represent the mode of Judgment. The upper pipe connects Binah-Comprehension to Gevurah-Sternness. The lower pipe connects Gevurah-Sternness to Hod-Authority. There are four pipes in the middle pipe which represent the mode of Mercy. The highest pipe connects Keter-Desire to Da’at-Interest. The next pipe connects Da’at-Interest to Tiferet-Mercy. The next pipe connects Tiferet-Mercy to Yesod-foundation. The lowest pipe connects Yesod-Foundation to Malchut-Kingship. The twelve diagonal pipes correspond to the twelve simple letters of the Hebrew alphabet and represent how the middle pipe connects the two opposing sides to its right and to its left. The diagonal lines, in a descending order, beginning with the uppermost ones are as follows. The first pipe connects Keter-Desire to Chochmah-Insight. The second pipe connects Keter-Desire to Binah-Comprehension. The third pipe connects Chochmah-Insight to Da’at-Interest. The fourth pipe connects Binah-Comprehension to Da’at-Interest. The fifth pipe connects Da’at-Interest to Chessed-Kindness. The sixth pipe connect Da’at-Interest to Gevurah-Sternness. The seventh pipe connects Chessed-Kindness to Tiferet-Mercy. The eighth pipe connects Gevurah-Sternnessto Tiferet-Mercy. The ninth pipe connects Tiferet-Mercy to Netzach-Victory. The tenth pipe connects Tiferet-Mercy to Hod-Authority. The eleventh pipe connects Netzach-Victory to Yesod-Foundation. The twelfth pipe connects Hod-Authority to Yesod-Foundation. Theses twenty-two letters represent the twenty-two primary creative forces which are expressions of the ten sefirot (as will later be explained at lenghth).  All subsequent conducts and forces arise through combinations of these forces. All in all, there are two hundred and thirty one possible two letter combinations.  These are called “The two hundred, thirty-one Gates”.) It must be pointed out that the above mentioned connections are applicable when contemplating the Seder Hishtalshelut (The process of the chaining down of the worlds) when taking all the particulars into account. Rabbi Moshe Cordovero, in his monumental book Pardes Rimmonim, Gives a different order of connections, according to a more general overview.  For a clearer understanding of all the above, see Appendix One to Chapter 21.

[27] See Zohar Terumah 175b.

[28] The “Inner Beam” is called the “Breeyach HaTichon”.  This refers to construction of the Tabernacle (Mishkan) which was a portable Temple used by the Jewish People during the forty year sojourn in the desert until the building of Mishkan Shiloh.  Its walls were constructed of cedar beams which stood side by side and were held together by a long beam, the “Breeyach HaTichon – Inner Beam” which ran within all the beams, connecting them together. Everything in the construction of the Tabernacle (and the Holy Temple in Jerusalem) corresponded to something in the chaining down of the worlds (Seder Hishtalshelut).  This inner beam corresponds to the middle line of Keter (Da’at), Tiferet, Yesod and Malchut which connects all the other sefirot together.

[29] The middle line of sefirot (Keter (or Da’at), Tiferet, Yesod and Malchut) is different than all of the other interconnected lines in that it goes from one end to the other without any diminishment whatsoever (as will be explained later at great length). This middle line “runs through”, directly from the internal aspect of Keter, until the final end action of the actual influence of Malchut.  Moreover, all the sefirot of the middle line actually represent the same aspect, that of a “connection” between the influencer and recipient.  Keter represents the connection of the desire to the object of the desire, Da’at is the intellectual connection of the mind, Tiferet is the heartfelt connection, and Yesod is the actual or gut connection between the influencer and the recipient.  Furthermore, all the sefirot of the middle line are literally bound up with each other, as a single entity.  For example, regarding the physical connection between Adam and Chava it states, “And Adam knew (Yada) Eve”.  This knowledge (Da’at) does not merely refer to an intellectual connection, for the verse tells us that through this “knowledge” they gave birth to a child.  Rather, the Zohar states that the sefirah of Yesod corresponds to the male reproductive organ, (whereas Malchut corresponds to the female recipient of the seminal drop of life force).  The Talmud states, “A man is incapable of having an erection without Da’at (i.e. without mental interest and focus”).  Rather, the verse mentioned above about Adam and Chava teaches us that the sefirot of the middle line are literally bound up with each other, as one. This is to say that the erection (Yesod) occurs simultaneous to the arousal of desire (Keter), the mental interest and focus (Da’at) and the heartfelt emotional connection (Tiferet). They act, literally, as one. This will be explained in greater detail in chapter 35.

[30] This is to say that because in the inner aspect of Keter (Desire) the sefirot are bound up as a singular essence which is altogether above division into three lines, Keter (Desire) therefore, has the power to inter-include the sefirot one with the other.  This is because in the inner aspect of Keter, they are not opposites at all.  (As will now be explained, it is only beginning with the external aspect of Keter (i.e. Chochmah of Keter) that the sefirot begin to divide into the three lines of Chessed (Kindness), Gevurah (Judgment), and the median conduct of Tiferet (Mercy).

[31] As mentioned previously, Atik Yomin and Arich Anpin are the two aspects of Keter, and correspond to pleasure and desire, respectively.  These two aspects will be explained in great detail in chapters 23 and 24.

[32] As opposed to the concealed desire of Adam Kadmon which was previously explained. On the other hand, in comparison to Adam Kadmon, Keter of Atzilut is the revealed desire for the external object of desire and pleasure.

[33] As mentioned previously, Keter, i.e. the pleasure and desire in something,is referred to as the “Light” which “enlivens” and “motivates” all the other sefirot.  Similarly, Keter of Keter is the light of Keter which “enliven” and “motivates” all the other sefirot of Keter itself, such as Chochmah of Keter, Binah of Keter etc.

[34] In the original Hebrew this is called, “Ta’am HaKamoos LaRatzon”

[35] In the original Hebrew text, the statement, “until the aspect of Malchut of Keter”, appears at the end of the sentence and the statement beginning with, “All this etc. precedes it parenthetically.

[36] Since the general sefirah here is Keter – Desire, all of its sub-sefirot are also sefirot of the Desire.  Therefore, Chochmah of Keter does not refer to actual intellect (which will be explained later).  Rather, it refers to the Insight of the Desire. This principle is true of all the other sefirot of Keter as well.  For example, Chessed of Keter does not refer to the actual emotional quality of Kindness, but rather, to kindness as it exists within the Desire.

[37] All the sefirot of the desire are still unlimited, since they have not yet come within the constraints of rational intellect.  (For example, a person’s desire for money and wealth is infinite. It is only in the intellect that it takes on the constraints of being reasonable in his expectations.) It is for this reason that the desire (Keter)is referred to as “Arich Anpin – the Long Face”, in contrast to the emotions which follow the intellect, which are referred to as “Zeir Anpin – the small Face”.

[38] This may also be translated as “The preceding days”.  In general, the seven emotional sefirot (Chessed though Malchut) correspond to the seven days of the week.  Therefore, “The preceding days” refers to the “days” (the emotional sefirot) which “precede” and are beyond the limitations of the intellect.  This refers to the emotional sefirot of the desire before they become limited within the bounds of the intellect.

[39] This refers to Chochmah of Keter, which is external relative to Keter of Keter.  As will be explained in chapter 24, Chochmah of Keter (Insight of Desire) is the desire which comes about according to the dictates of the intellect that something should be in a specific manner, as opposed to any other manner.  This is in contrast to Keter of Keter, which is the simple essential pleasure and desire.  Because Chochmah of Keter (Insight of Desire) is a desire which is compelled because of the hidden reasoning of the intellect, it is evident that here there is a division of three lines.  In other words, there is an aspect of something which he takes pleasure in and desires, there is an aspect of something which pains him and which he does not desire, and there is the aspect of a compromise between the two extremes.

[40] The original text is “no reason”. However, here it means that it is super-rational rather than sub-rational.

[41] This is to say that the internal aspect of Keter (which is Keter of Keter) isthe simple essential desire for something, which is not according to any intellect or reasoning, or even a hidden reasoning, whatsoever.  This is like the aforementioned aspect of the essential desires of Tohu.   For example, the simple essential desire for kindness does not differentiate between one who is worthy of kindness and one who is not.  There is not yet any division into three lines, but there is only a simple essential undivided “point” of desire.

[42] See Menachot 29b.

[43] When Moshe was receiving the Torah on Mt. Sinai, he could not understand the meaning of the crownlets on top of the letters of the Torah.  When he asked if there will ever be a person who could understand them, he was shown a vision of Rabbi Akiva expounding mounds and mounds of Halachot – Jewish Laws, from the crownlets of the Torah etc.  Moshe asked what the reward of such a great sage would be.  He was then shown a vision of Rabbi Akiva’s brutal death at the hands of the Romans who flayed off his skin.  He then asked, “Is this the Torah, and is this its reward?” He was answered by G-d, “Shtok, Kach Alla BaMachshava – Quiet!  Thus it arose in thought.”  This is to say that this was G-d’s essential desire which is above and beyond reason. However, it must be understood that, as Rabbi Akiva stated himself, his own personal essential desire was to have the opportunity to give up his life, with total self-sacrifice, for the sake of sanctifying G-d’s name. This, then, was actually his reward.  Moreover, the above statement by G-d, “Shtok kach alla BaMachshava” also translates as, “Quiet, Thus he arose in thought.” This may be understood to be an answer to Moshe’s question. That is, through the self sacrifice of Rabbi Akiva, in his service of G-d, in which he gave himself over totally to G-d’s will, literally to the point of death, he “arose” to the level of G-d’s essential desire. Later, in chapter 40, on the statement of the Zohar, “Eet machshava v’eet machshavah – There is thought and there is thought the Rebbe explains that there are two levels of thought-machshava, one of which actually is desire. This is because a “desire” becomes immediately enclothed within thought, as mentioned previously. The thought spoken of here, in the case of Rabbi Akiva, is referring to this level of thought which is beyond reason and is actually a desire.   

[44] One may think that since Keter of Keter of Atzilut only comes out of the external “letters” of Malchut of Adam Kadmon, it is no longer a simple essential light, but is, rather, already defined.  Here, the Rebbe informs us that this is not the case. This is because although the “letters” of Malchut of Adam Kadmon is a limited definition of “self-perception” and “desire for desire” relative to the Primal Desire (Ratzon HaKadoom), nonetheless, it still is unlimited. For example, the concealed nature of a person to desire a dwelling place, is still completely unlimited, and is not yet defined to any specific type of shelter.  When this desire becomes revealed as Keter of Atzilut, as a desire for a house, although in a sense, it is limited to being the desire for a house, nonetheless it is still entirely unlimited. This is because, as mentioned above in note 36, in the essential desire of Keter of Keter, the desire for the house is a desire for an infinite house, with infinite rooms etc. Moreover, in the essential desire of Keter of Keter, there is not yet any compromise or composite desire.  It is only when the desire descends from Keter of Keter to Chochmah of Keter (the intellect of the desire) that there is a division of three lines according to the “hidden reasoning”, and there can, therefore, be compromise.

[45] Parshat Terumah, 26:33

[46] The word Parsa means a space or separation, as in the verse, “Kol maphreset parsa-Every [animal] that has separated hooves etc” (Leviticus 11:3).  That is to say, there is a jump ( a Dilug) and gap of a “Parsa-seperation” between the essential desire of Keter of Keter (Tohu) and the composite desire of Chochmah of Keter (Tikkun), for, as previously mentioned, there is no reason at all for a desire.  There is, therefore, a “gap” between Keter of Keter (the simple point of the desire), and Chochmah of Keter (the desire to rationalize the desire, or a desire which is compelled by intellect etc).

[47] See Zohar (Idra Rabba) Naso 128b.  The skull (Galgulta) corresponds to Keter (desire), while the brain (Mocha) corresponds to the intellect, namely, Chochmah (insight).  Just as above, there is a “space” between Keter and Chochmah, so too, there is an airy membrane (Krooma D’Aveera) which exists between the physical skull (Keter)and the brain (Chochmah).  (Many times throughout Kabbalah and Chassidut, certain aspects of the sefirot are referred to by their physical counterparts in man.  As is known, man is called an “Olam Katan – A little world”, in that he is a microcosm that corresponds to the entire chaining down of the worlds.  Everything found below in man is an indication of how it is in the Seder Hishtalshelut-The chaining down of the worlds.)

[48] See the morning blessings and other places.

[49] As will be explained later, the source of the Torah and all its specific commandments is from the aspect of Chochmah of Keter (Insight of Desire).  We therefore appeal to G-d and say, “Although according to the dictates of Your Divine wisdom and intellect (the Torah) we have transgressed your commandments (Mitzvot) and are, therefore, guilty and worthy of punishment, nonetheless, may it be that Your essential desire (Keter of Keter) of love and kindness be revealed, thus superceding Chochmah of Keter, and may You deal with us kindly, beyond the letter of the law, i.e. from beyond the Parsa.”

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