The Gate of Unity – Chapter 34 Intro – Section 1

In the following chapter the Rebbe begins to explain the aspect of the emotions of the world of Atzilut – Emanation, which are called Zeir Anpin.  He begins by stating that there are two general states and levels of Zeir Anpin (the emotions). These two states are called Yaakov and Yisrael.  To fully understand the explanations of the chapter in regard to these two general states and the difference between them (including all their particulars), the following introduction should be read.

Within the aspect of the heart there are emotions, such as the aspects of love or hate etc.  For instance, when a person sees something he loves, which his soul is attached to, his heart will be drawn after it.  When he sees something he hates, his heart is moved to despise and distance himself from it.  These are the aspects of the right and leftlines of the heart (Chessed and Gevurah).  All subsequent emotions are particular “branches” of these two primary emotions.

Now, the emotions of the heart are drawn from the emotions of the intellect.  This is because in the intellect there also is an aspect of emotions, except that as they exist there they are not actual emotions of love and fear altogether.  Rather, they are intellect, such as an intellect which necessitates love for something or an intellect which necessitates hate for something.  It is, therefore, possible for the emotions to exist intellectually, even though what he loves or hates is not present. Rather, his intellect necessitates that if this thing would be present, it would be fitting to either love it or hate it, etc.  In contrast, the emotions of the heart do not arise except if what he loves or hates is present.  Only then do the actual heartfelt emotions of love or hate come into play and become revealed in the heart.

As explained above, within the intellect are the two aspects of Chochmah and Binah.  There are emotions in the aspect of Binah, which are emotions of comprehension, and there are emotions which are higher than the comprehension and reasoning of Binah, as they exist in the aspect of Chochmah.  This is the aspect of how the essence of a person’s intellect, which is higher than reasoning, necessitates and compels him to lean either towards Chessed or Gevurah, to love or to hate something etc.  (As explained in chapter twenty-six, the emotions of Chochmah are the emotional leanings of the intellect towards either kindness or severity before spreading forth into the comprehension and reasoning.  That is, as of yet, he cannot explain why this is his leaning and opinion, however, this is how he sees things.  This is similar to the Talmudic incident in which, “Rav was silent” and did not respond to the difficulties posed against his position, even though he did not submit to the opposing view etc. In contrast, the emotions of Binah are the tangible explanations and reasons of why this is his position.)

Now, as known, “Chochmah is found from nothing”. This “nothing” is the aspect of the potential power to conceptualize (Koach HaMaskeel) which is higher than Chochmah itself and is the hidden potential power and source of intellectualization and conceptualization.  It is from this power and source that all the various particular flashes of insight and intellect become revealed.  This intellectual flash of insight comes forth into a state of revelation from its concealed source in a manner of a “skip – Dilug” from “nothing” to “something”.

(However, although the revelation of kindness in the heart also comes from its concealed source, nevertheless, this does not occur in the manner of a “skip – Dilug”, but rather, it comes from being concealed (in the mind) to being revealed (in the heart).  Therefore, it is only considered to be a progression or chaining down of “something from something” (Yesh M’Yesh).  In contrast, Chochmah occurs in the way of a “skip – Dilug” from “nothing to something” (Yesh M’Ain).  This is evidenced from the fact that the revelation of kindness in the heart does not require toil. Rather, all that is required is the arousal of desire.  As soon as a person’s desire to do goodness or kindness is aroused, the kindness immediately becomes revealed in his heart.  Such is not the case in regard to intellect.  Even when a person’s desire is aroused to conceptualize and “be wise”, it does not become revealed except through great toil and effort.  This indicates that the source and root of Chochmah is in a state of “nothingness – Ein” and may, therefore, be revealed only through great toil and effort.)

This potential power to conceptualize (Koach HaMaskeel), is called “the hidden wisdom – Chochmah Stima’ah, since it is the source of the intellect, and is itself hidden and above actual thought, but is rather included in the essence of the desire (Arich Anpin), as previously explained.  Now, just as there are emotions in Chochmah and Binah, as mentioned above, so is there also an aspect of emotions in this source of Chochmah, as it is included as a “nothing” in the essence of the desire (Arich Anpin).  These are the emotions of the aspect of the “hidden wisdom”- Chochmah Stima’ah.  (Likewise, in the same manner, there are even higher emotions than the aspect of the “hidden Chochmah”, as they exist in the very essence of the desire itself (Keter of Arich Anpin), and even higher, as they exist in the essential pleasure (Atik Yomin), and even higher, all the way to their original source within the very essence of the soul itself, which is even higher than pleasure and desire, as previously explained.)

In light of the above, we may now understand that there are two aspects, Yisrael Saba – The Elder Israel and Yisrael Zoota – The Little Israel:

The aspect of Yisrael Saba – The Elder Israel, is the aspect of the emotions of Chochmah and Binah and the emotions of the “hidden intellect – Chochmah Stima’ah”.  This is because the word “Saba” is the Aramaic for the Hebrew word “Zaken – Elder”, as in the verse “Zaken Shekana Chochmah – An elder who has acquired wisdom” from the actual source of wisdom itself.  The matter of “acquisition (Kinyan)” means that it is drawn down (from one domain to another) without any actual transformation in its state of being at all.  For example, when someone acquires or purchases something there is no essential change in the thing itself.  Rather, the only change is that it is transferred from one domain to the other. It originally was in the domain of the seller and now is transferred to the domain of the buyer etc.

In the same manner, as the emotions are included in the intellect of Chochmah and Binah, the intellect radiates within them without any concealment or change of being at all.  This is likewise true of the emotions of “the hidden wisdom – Chochmah Stima’ah” wherein they are totally included and one with the source of intellect, which radiates within them. They have no separate existence from it at all.  It is because of this that the emotions of the intellect, including the emotions of the “source of intellect” are called, “The Elder Israel – Yisrael Saba”.

This, then, is the meaning of the verse,[1] “What (Ma”H) is his name and what (Ma”H) is his son’s name”.  (As previously explained, the aspect of Ma”H refers to the six emotional sefirot.)  The first part of the verse, “What (Ma”H) is his name”, refers to the aspect of the emotions as they exist in the “hidden wisdom – Chochmah Stima’ah”.  The second part of the verse, “What (Ma”H) is his son’s name”, refers to the aspect of the emotions which are “born” in the brain, as they exist in the aspects of Chochmah and Binah.  That is, they are “born” or become revealed from the “hidden wisdom-Mocha Stima’ah, which is the source of Chochmah itself.

However, the aspect of Yisrael Zoota – The Little Israel, is the aspect of the emotions that are drawn into the heart which is below Chochmah.  (That is, the term “An elder who has acquired wisdom” is not applicable to actual heartfelt emotions, since they only receive a glimmer of a glimmer of the emotions of the intellect, and do indeed undergo a change of their state of being.)  They are called “Little Israel – Yisrael Zoota” because they are in a state of immaturity. This is because they only become revealed through the concealment of the main essence of the intellect.  As stated, they only receive a glimmer of a glimmer of the essence of the intellect as it is drawn forth into the heart to vest within the heartfelt emotions of Chessed and Gevurah.  This glimmer of a glimmer is called, “The intellect of the emotions”, and is only drawn from the aspect of the external vessels of NeHi”Y of Chochmah and Binah, whereas the essential light of intellect itself becomes withdrawn and concealed.

For example, this is similar to the seminal drop which is drawn from the brain of the father (Abba), which comes only from the externality of the vessels.  Moreover, the seminal drop is only from the most external vessels, since it is derived from the spiritual intellect as it is already vested within the physical brain.  This is in contrast to the above revelations of intellect which are more spiritual and do not actually vest within the physicality of the brain.  Nevertheless, there is a benefit in the seminal drop of the father in that the very essence of his soul is vested in it (since it results from the pleasure (Atik) which draws out the essential self). It is for this reason that this gives birth to a child who resembles his father.

With the above in mind, we can now understand a second meaning of the verse, “What (Ma”H) is his name, and what (Ma”H)is his son’s name.”  That is, both the aspects of the intellect of Chochmah and Binah and the aspect of “the hidden wisdom – Chochmah Stima’ah” are included in the first part of the verse, “What (Ma”H) is his name”.  The second part of the verse, “What (Ma”H) is his son’s name” refers to the aspect of the heartfelt emotions, which come about in a manner of “birth” from the seminal drop (as will be explained), specifically after the main essence of the intellect has become withdrawn and concealed and only a glimmer of the intellect radiates within them.  This is called an “offspring light – Ohr Shel Toldah”.  (That is, it is no longer the essential light of the intellect itself, but is rather only an “offspring light” which is “born” of it.)

More particularly, this may be further understood as follows:  In various places it is explained that the letter Aleph (א) represents the sefirah of Chochmah, as in the verse,[2]A’Alephcha Chochmah – I shall teach you wisdom”.  (Chochmah is called a teacher since it is the aspect of the influencer relative to the aspect of Binah, which is the recipient of the wisdom etc.)  Now, as may be observed, the form and image of the letter Aleph (א) has a Yod (י) at its top, a Yod (י) at its the bottom, and the line of a Vav (ו) in its middle.  Now, the point of the Yod (י) which is above, is the aspect of Chochmah of Chochmah[3] which receives from the light of Keter (i.e. from the aspect of “the hidden wisdom – Chochmah Stima’ah” of Keter, i.e. Arich Anpin).  This is as stated, “Chochmah is found from nothing”.  This level is called “Pele – Wondrous” or “Pla’ot Chochmah – The Wonders of Chochmah”.  (The word “Pele – Wondrous” (פלא) is the reverse letters of “Aleph – Teach” (אלף).  This, then, is the aspect of the “brain” of the “father – Abba.)  This is because the aspect of Chochmah of Chochmah is the most supernal aspect of Chochmah, and is like the aspect of Atzilut of Chochmah itself.  It is for this reason that it is called “Pele – Wondrous” (פלא).  In contrast, the lower Yod (י) is the aspect of Yesod of Abba (Chochmah) which influences below to Binah in an aspect of an intangible point of insight which becomes revealed in the depth of the comprehension (Omek HaMoosag) of Binah.

(The letter Beit (ב) represents the aspect of Binah, as is explained regarding the letter Beit (בית) which is the first letter of the first word of the Torah, “Bereshit – In the Beginning” (בּראשית).  The point in the center of the letter Beit (בּ) of the word “Bereshit – In the Beginning” (בּראשית) represents the point of Chochmah which flashes into Binah.  This is because the letter Beit (בית), when spelled out, is the same as the word “Bayit – House” (בַּיִת).  As was previously mentioned, this union of the point of the insight of Chochmah within the comprehension of Binah is known as, “the point [of Chochmah] within the palace [of Binah] – Nekudah BeHechalah”.  This is also in accordance with the verse,[4] “A house (Bayit) is built with wisdom (Chochmah).”)

Now, the line which is in the middle of the letter Aleph (א) represents the “six directions” (the emotions) of Chochmah, for it is similar to the letter Vav (ו) which has the numerical value of six.  Thus, we find that, as a whole, the form of the letter Aleph (א) represents Chochmah (Abba).  The Yod (י) on top is the aspect of Chochmah of Chochmah (i.e. the “brain” of the “father – Abba”), the Vav (ו) in the middle is the aspect of the “six directions” (The emotions of Chochmah), and the Yod (י) at the bottom is the aspect of the point of Yesod of Abba – Father (Chochmah) which influences down into Imma – Mother (Binah).

From the above it is understood that in Chochmah itself there are two aspects.  This is to say that there is Chochmah of Chochmah, which is the essential light of Chochmah itself.  This is the aspect of the upper Yud (י) of the letter Aleph (א), which refers to Chochmah of Abba as it receives from the aspect of “the hidden wisdom – Chochmah Stima’ah” of Arich Anpin.  In regard to this it states, “What (Ma”H) is his name and what (Ma”H) is his son’s name”.  More particularly, however, when this Chochmah of Chochmah itself comes to influence down to Binah, there issues forth a seminal drop or seminal flash of insight which comes to be revealed only through the constraints and measurement of the line of the Vav (ו) of the Aleph (א).  This is the aspect of the seminal point of the lower Yud (י) of the letter Aleph (א), which represents the aspect of Yesod of Abba – Father (i.e. Chochmah).

We may now understand the particular explanation and meaning of the statement of the Rebbe in the following chapter that: “The emotions which are below Chochmah [intellect] are called “Yisrael Zoota – The Little Israel”, for they are in an aspect of immaturity.”  This refers to the aspect of how the emotions are included and concealed within the seminal drop and flash of insight which is below the main essence of the intellect of Chochmah of Chochmah and is only the aspect of the seminal flash of Yesod of Abba which spreads forth into Binah“[This is] because of the fact that they come [to be revealed] with the concealment and withdrawal of the main essence of the intellect.”  This is to say that the main essence of the intellect of Abba, which is the aspect of Chochmah of Chochmah, becomes withdrawn and concealed.

“[All that is revealed] is what the external vessels of Netzach and Hod of Abba draw forth in order to give rise to and [for example] bring out an intellect for kindness (Chessed) and love, which is called “Chessed Zoota – The Little Kindness”.”  As previously explained, Netzach and Hod are the aspects of “the kidneys that give council” and determine exactly what to reveal and bring down to the recipient through the aspect of Yesod which mediates between the two and receives the limited influence etc.  (Allegorically, this is compared to the aspect of the two testicles of the father.)  Thus, we find that the actual essence of Chochmah of Abba is withdrawn and concealed, and only a limited and restrained influence of the seminal drop and flash of insight is sent forth into Imma – Mother (Binah of Atzilut).  (We have underlined the word “intellect” to emphasize that although we are speaking of the source of the emotions of Zeir Anpin, nevertheless, this flash of insight from Yesod of Abba (Chochmah) into Imma (Binah) is still pure intellect and not yet emotions at all.  Moreover, this seminal flash of insight is still considered to be an aspect of the “nothing (Ein)” of Chochmah, relative to the “something (Yesh)” of Binah, and is still the intangible depth of the comprehension.  (For example, the emotions as they exist in this seminal drop of Chochmah do not yet have a tangible explanation and reasoning, as explained previously regarding the matter of “Rav was silent”.)  Nonetheless, the birth and growth of the heartfelt emotions is compared to the conception, birth and developmental growth of a child, and just as the main essence of the child comes from the seminal drop of the father, so too, the main essence of the emotions is from this seminal flash of insight and perception, as will soon be explained at greater length.)

“(Allegorically, this is like the seminal drop which is in the brain of the father etc.  Similarly, it states “What (Ma”H) is his son’s name” in reference to “Yisrael Zoota – The Little Israel” which is drawn from the seminal drop of Abba (The Father) [i.e. Chochmah] etc, as is known.)”  This is to say that there is a vast difference between how the seminal drop is, as it still is totally included in Chochmah of Chochmah which is “the brain – Moach” of “the father – Abba”, in contrast to how the seminal drop spreads forth from Yesod of Abba (Chochmah) to ultimately become the source of actual heartfelt emotions.  Thus, more particularly speaking, regarding these two aspects of the essential light of Abba (which is Chochmah of Chochmah) and the aspect of the point of the flash of insight (Yesod of Chochmah) which is the seminal drop which is “the son” (Zeir Anpin) it states, “What (Ma”H) is his name, and what (Ma”H) is his son’s name”.



[1] Proverbs 30:4

[2] Job 33:33

[3] It is explained in various places that the upper point of the Aleph includes all three upper sefirot of Chochmah, which are Keter, Chochmah and Binah of Chochmah.  (See Biurei Zohar of the Tzemach Tzedek, Parshat Balak – chapter 10 (p.532).)

[4] Proverbs 24:3

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