The Knowledge Of G-D – 1:74

Now, in order to understand the concept of the enclothements of thought, speech and action, we must first understand the source of the letters.

As mentioned earlier, in relation to names, the letters define and give description to everything.  The letters give each thing tangibility and defined existence. It may therefore be stated that the source of the letters is literally in the very essence of the soul itself.  If this were not so, there could not be any kind of revelation from the essence at all.  For example, a desire cannot be revealed as a desire without its letters of description.

This is because without the letters that

1.) Define it as a desire, and

2.) Describe the desire,

there could be no revelation of the desire from the essence at all. It is specifically, by way of the letters that the desire can be revealed in the intellect of the desire. Without the letters which define it, it would be unable to descend from one level to the next, that is, from the desire of the desire (Keter of Keter) to the intellectual reasoning for the desire (Chochmah and Binah of Keter).  Furthermore, the intellect and reasoning of the desire must have letters in order for the desire to descend to the emotions of the desire (CHaG’’aT, and  NeH’’iY of Keter).

We are still speaking here in regard to the desire itself which is above the actual intellect and comprehension of Chochmah and Binah themselves. Nonetheless, from this example it is clear that it is specifically the letters which give something its description and tangibility so that it may descend and transform from one level to the next, from desire to intellect and from intellect to emotions etc. This is similar to the example given above of a person who wants a craftsman to make a chair for him but only tells him, “Make ‘it’ for me”. Nothing can be made because the craftsman has absolutely no description or definition of what his client wants. Only when he names or describes what he is picturing in his mind will it be possible for the chair to become a reality. Only then, when he gives over letters of tangible description and definition of the chair, can the craftsman translate his desire into the action of making a chair.

Clearly, only through letters can there be a chaining down of cause and effect (Seder Hishtalshelut), from the essence of the soul to the final action.  What we further understand from this is that the very essence of the soul is the source of this power of description (i.e. the letters). For this reason it is stated in Etz Chaim that the essence of the soul is full of letters. This is also the reason why the human soul is called a “Speaking soul”.

Likewise, in G-dliness, it is understood that the source of the letters is the essential ability to give description and tangible existence to everything.  This includes giving definition to both the infinite and the finite.  In other words, infinity too is a defined state, just as the finite is a defined state, in that it is defined to being infinite. Now, being that the letters are the source of the “Somethingness” of everything that exists, their source must be higher than everything else.  The source of the letters is, therefore, in the very essence itself.  For this reason G-d is called the “True Something” (Yesh HaAmeety).

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