The Gate of Unity – Chapter 34 Intro – Section 4

For, as is clearly observable, the reasoning and the intellect becomes shortened and withdrawn when there is an arousal of the [heartfelt] emotions.  The reason intellect and reasoning withdraw in order for the emotions to be born may be understood through the following explanation of the matter of “You shall see on the birthing stones” that the thighs become cold during the time of [labor] and birth:

The Torah relates how Pharaoh commanded the midwives to kill all Jewish male newborns.  The verse states,[1] “And he said, when you are assisting the Hebrew women at childbirth… and you see on the stones; if it is a son, you are to kill him, and if it is a daughter she shall live.”  The Talmud states regarding this,[2] “What are the stones to which the verse refers?  Rabbi Chanan said:  “Pharaoh gave over a great and dependable sign of imminent childbirth to the midwives.  He said to them, ‘When a woman kneels to give birth, her thighs become as cold as stones.’”  Etz Chaim[3]  explains that because the opening of the womb (Yesod)is very small, the child is not capable of coming out through it.  Thus, when the period of Ibur (the development of the fetus during pregnancy) is complete, the fetus has fully developed into an infant and it now is time for its birth, the spiritual light and vitality of the aspect of NeHi”Y (the thighs) of Imma (the mother) withdraws from its place, and arises into the body of the mother herself.  It is the withdrawal of this additional light and life force into the torso and womb of the mother which gives her the extra force and strength to give birth to the baby, so that it can exit her womb.[4]  However, because of the withdrawal of the light and life force from her thighs, they become as cold as stones.

Now, from this analogy of how childbirth takes place in human beings, we may understand the analogue.  The “thighs” of the “mother” refer to the aspect of NeHi”Y of Imma (Binah).  As mentioned above, the more one thinks about something in his brain of Binah, the more it expands and grows, and the emotional arousal of his thoughts and intellect concerning the matter become expanded, until his mind can no longer contain the great arousal taking place within it.  At this point the “infant”, i.e. the emotional arousal of the intellect, has been developed to the point that it can no longer be contained within the brain of comprehension.  At this point, the emotions must be “born”, i.e. expressed, and brought forth into the heart with actual heartfelt emotional arousal.  However, in order for the “child” (i.e. the heartfelt emotions) to be born, it is necessary for the intellect and reasoning to withdraw into itself.  It is for this reason that when one has an arousal of his heartfelt emotions, his intellect and reasoning withdraws.

Because, the first NeHi”Y is withdrawn and a new NeHi”Y is drawn forth.  That is, the aspects of NeHi”Y (i.e. the “thighs”) of the comprehension of Binah (i.e. the “mother”) are withdrawn in order to give rise to a heartfelt emotional arousal.  Only afterwards does the intellect give forth a new NeHi”Yin order to develop the child (as will soon be explained). If the intellect would not initially withdraw it would be impossible for an arousal of heartfelt emotions to take place.[5]  From all of the above we can clearly understand the particular explanation of how Zeir Anpin, the stature of the heartfelt emotions of the world of Atzilut, is born out of Abba (i.e. Chochmah)and Imma (i.e. Binah) of the world of Atzilut – Emanation.

(However, the difference between the analogy and the analogue is clearly understood.  In the analogy, the father, mother and infant are three separate entities and individuals.  In contrast, in the analogue, Abba (i.e. the stature of Chochmah), Imma (i.e. the stature of Binah, and Zeir Anpin (i.e. the stature of the emotions) are all one single entity and being.[6]  This is similar to the fact that in a human being, his wisdom is one with his essence, his understanding is one with his essence, and his emotions are one with his essence.  Likewise, Abba of the world of Atzilut is one with the Essence of G-d, Imma of the world of Atzilut is one with the Essence of G-d, and Zeir Anpin of the world of Atzilut is one with the Essence of G-d, as previously explained at length.

Moreover, there is another difference between the analogy and the analogue in that when a human mother gives birth, she loses that which was concealed in her.  In contrast, when the emotions are born out of Binah comprehension, in truth there is no actual loss in Binah itself.  The intellect merely recedes.  Clearly, [through Hitbonenut]the same emotion may be brought forth again from Binah (Contemplation) afterwards, so there is no actual loss.)



[1] Exodus 1:16

[2] Sota 11b

[3] See Etz Chaim, Heichal Z”A, Shaar HaMochin, Chapter 3.

[4] It is explained there that this additional life force and vitality within the torso (Tiferet) of the mother serves a third function as well.  That is, it causes the milk to begin to flow after childbirth so that the child can begin its second stage of maturation which is called “Yenikah – Suckling”, as will be explained later.

[5] It is for this reason that when one is having an intense emotional arousal, like anger, one cannot tell him anything at all to calm him down.  This is because his intellect has withdrawn and his emotions are not a thing of reason.

[6] See Pardes Rimonim, Shaar 22, Chapter 1.

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