Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto ("RaMChaL"):
138 Openings of Wisdom
The rule of good and evil and the rule of unity
It was rooted in the Tzimtzum that the government of the universe should follow its course until the end. This means that flaws can exist, but in the end, everything will return to the final state of repair, when the true essence of God's unity will be seen. In accordance with this pathway, the axiomatic law was instituted that would eventually bring about the formation of a realm of existence based on good and evil -- "God made also this one against this one" (Kohelet 7:14). This means that the entire array of the Sefirot was to unfold on all their levels with all that they generate, all with a view to bestowing good, while a created realm was to be brought into being that would involve every kind of defect and lack of goodness. This is called the Other Side. The intention is that the power to bestow good should gain sway, until every flaw returns to a state of repair, and then the true essence of God's unity will be known.
Until this point we have discussed what happened when the path of limitation was first introduced and how it is bound up with the Unlimited. From this point on we will be discussing how things developed thereafter, and how the totality of the Residue became divided into different parts in accordance with what had already been prepared. We will now discuss the first axiom of what developed, which is the overall law that governs everything that exists from here and below.
The proposition consists of three parts: Part 1: It was rooted in the Tzimtzum... This explains what was embedded from the outset in this first act of Tzimtzum in accordance with what had to develop from it. Part 2: In accordance with this pathway... This explains what it is that develops out of this root. Part 3: The intention is... This explains what is the purpose of all this.
Part 1: It was rooted in the Tzimtzum that the government of the universe should follow its course until the end. This means that flaws can exist...
You have already heard that the entire wisdom of the Kabbalah is only to understand the government of the Supreme Will and for what purpose He created all these different creatures, what He wants from them, what will come at the end of all the cycles of the universe, and how all these strange cycles are to be explained. For the Supreme Will Himself already calculated the entire cycof government ending with complete perfection. These calculations and measures are what we are explaining when we speak about the Sefirot and the worlds.
As you have already heard, the Tzimtzum was the first calculated measurement by the Supreme Will in order to create all His creatures. We have already called this the Place of all the worlds, and as we have also said, this Place is sufficient for the whole of existence. He therefore surely calculated from the very outset what this existence would be, and He made the Place accordingly, sufficient for all of it. This calculated measurement constitutes the pathway of boundaries and limits which, as we have already said, was subsumed within Eyn Sof. Afterwards it came forth in the form of the Residue in this Place. The act of limitation, which made it possible for independent creatures to exist, is called the Place, while the revelation of the realm of limits -- existence itself -- is the Residue left from the Light of Eyn Sof.
Thus the first act was the formation of the Place brought about by the Tzimtzum. This Place was the first innovation produced when Eyn Sof, blessed be He, removed His limitlessness. This gave existence to the new pathway so that it could be revealed and operate. The pathway of limitation is the order underlying the course of the government of the universe. If so -- It was rooted in the Tzimtzum that the government of the universe should follow its course...
There are two things that we must know here:
1. Inasmuch as this Place is the root of the lower realms and beings, we must understand what is the root of the Place itself. To explain: We cannot say that because Eyn Sof, blessed be He, created the universe in its present order, this is what He was able to create and He could not have made it in any other way. An example of such an argument would be if we were to say that exactly so many worlds had to be created because the light of the first world was so great that it was impossible for the creatures to receive it. A similar argument is to say that a given thing was necessary because it would have been impossible without it. But we cannot say that Eyn Sof was forced to act in this way (God forbid). We must understand that Eyn Sof is completely all-powerful, possessing every kind of power that the mind can and cannot grasp.
The end of the matter is that there is not a single limitation or other accident that we can possibly ascribe to Eyn Sof, blessed be He, except that He is the Master of all. The natural world that we see and experience with our eyes and other senses was made by Him just as it is, with all the sense perceptions to which it gives rise. But He is in no way subject to the limits of any order or law. Wherever we say that something would not have been possible without a certain given, what we mean is that according to the way of gradation and measure, it would have been impossible otherwise (see Etz Chaim, Iggulim VeYosher 11b). Thus it is true to say that the way of gradation and measure made it impossible to bring forth the lower worlds directly from Adam Kadmon, for example, in order for them to receive this light. For according to the way we understand the nature of graded measure, it is not possible for a lowly creature to receive the light of the Supreme Keter. But all this is after we know that Eyn Sof wanted graded measure. If Eyn Sof had not wanted this, He could have done it any way He might have wanted.
Accordingly, the first thing to be understood about the government of the worlds is that it depends on gradation and measure. This is the first foundation that Eyn Sof, blessed be He, willed, and the Place was made according to this will. The very fact of the Tzimtzum itself shows that He wanted gradation and measure, for if not, Eyn Sof, blessed be He, could have made the lowest of all creatures according to His will without any Tzimtzum whatever. On the contrary, the Tzimtzum is the first foundation of what we are explaining. Since He wanted to contract Himself in order to bring forth creatures, clearly He wanted to put the light on a level corresponding to what was to be born out of it. That is why He removed His limitlessness from here, bringing forth the Place that came forth -- the pathway of government by gradation and measure, though certainly, if He had not contracted His light, He could have brought His creatures into being from elsewhere.
If so, we may say that the roots of graded, measured government lie in this Place. But that the Place of the created realms and beings should be one of gradation and measure, as opposed to one following some other pathway, is rooted in the Tzimtzum itself. On the basis of what we have explained here, you can understand that, had it not been for the Tzimtzum, even though this Place was included in Eyn Sof in potential, it would not have emerged in actuality. If so, the Tzimtzum was the cause of the Place, yet it could have come into being in some other manner.
2. The second thing we have to know derives from the first. This is that the degree of the actual Tzimtzum itself is what made the Place the way it is. What this means is that, even following the pathway of limitation, the world could have been made differently. For the All-Powerful certainly includes everything, and thus a variety of different possible kinds of places could have been brought into existence for the lower realms, all included in the All-Powerful. If so, only that which the All-Powerful wanted to leave from among all the different hypothetical possibilities actually remained as the Place made for the lower realms and beings. And how was it that this remained? That which He did not want to exist departed, including all these possible places that He did not actualize. If so, we may say that the Place that remained was determined by the measure of that which He removed. Had He removed more, the place would have been less than it is, yet the worlds still would have existed. Had He removed less, the worlds would have been greater, but they still would have existed. If so, it is the degree of the Tzimtzum that makes things go they way they go now.
If we seek a reason for this degree of Tzimtzum, we could answer: "And God saw all that He made, and behold it was very good" (Genesis 1:31) -- we cannot speculate about this, for it is outside the bounds of our knowledge, as explained earlier (see Openings 14-15). Nevertheless, it is possible to give a satisfactory answer even to this, namely that the Supreme Will knew that turning evil back to good would only be applicable under a graded, measured order and not under some other kind of order.
...that the government of the universe should follow its course until the end. For under the present order, everything is based on choice, reward and punishment, with all the associated flaws and defects. This is certainly the result of the Tzimtzum, where the origins of strict judgment lie rooted. Afterwards Eyn Sof, blessed be He, will want to bring the evil back to good through the revelation of His unity. However you should not think that the latter is a new path that will come into existence only later. The underlying principle here is: "There is nothing at all new under the sun" (Kohelet 1:9). From the very outset everything was prepared in this way. Eyn Sof, blessed be He, calculated the entire governmental order the way it would truly be from beginning to end. Even though the repair itself appears to be the very opposite of the Tzimtzum and what resulted from it, the truth is that He calculated it this way from the very outset and produced the Tzimtzum accordingly.
This means that flaws can exist... This is bound up with the concealment of perfection that I have mentioned. Since Eyn Sof, blessed be He, is the ultimate perfection, it is quite impossible to ascribe any deficiency whatever to Him, for if there were any possible deficiency in Him, His perfection is sufficient to negate it. The negation of any possible deficiency is intrinsic to Him because of His axiomatic perfection.
However, His ability to negate any possible deficiency remained potential as long as there was never an actuadeficiency that His perfection would have to negate. Until an actual deficiency came into existence, we would have had no clear knowledge at all of how that perfection operates to negate all deficiencies, for the light is only discernible out of darkness. As long as we do not know what deficiencies the darkness causes, it is impossible to know the good and perfection caused by the light. In order to demonstrate this clearly in actuality, it was necessary to produce a work in which perfection is invisible. Then all the deficiencies found within this concealment would become visible, so that with hindsight we can know the deficiencies which the primordial perfection negated.
This is the key to understanding the Sefirot as they appear within the Residue. The Sefirot constitute the governmental order of reward and punishment, and were made in accordance with the concealment of perfection. It is because of this that the flaws and defects exist in actuality, since they are contingent on the fact that the government is subject to the rule of strict judgment, and the bestowal of good hangs in the balance because there is a barrier which impedes it. This is not so in the case of perfection, which has no impediment whatever.
...but in the end, everything will return to the final state of repair. For the existence of flaws and defects when perfection is concealed is clear and complete proof that perfection must be their remedy, since without the concealment of perfection, they did not exist. Even now in the encompassing Eyn Sof -- the place of perfection -- they do not exist, while in the place from which He is concealed, they do exist. However, we must say that the knowledge of His perfection is still not complete. For although we have actually seen the flaws and defects and proved that His perfection is what rectifies them -- since they do not exist in Him -- we have not seen the actual repair and how it proceeds. Thus the intention is that flaws and defects should exist, as explained above, but that at the end of everything they should be brought back to a state of complete repair. In retrospect His perfection will then be known completely.
...the final state of repair... Here is the answer to why the flaws and deficiencies continue for so long. Sometimes a state of repair is evident, after which things go backwards and it turns out that perfection is still not visible as yet. But the truth is that from the first days of the world, the wheel has been turning towards one point only: the final perfection that will reign after everything. So far this perfection has not reigned at any time or on any occasion. On the contrary, the way of the cycle is to come near to ruin, then near to repair, then after approaching repair, to return to destruction and deficiency. So far perfection has not come in to do what is in its power. Only the final repair, which is the destined redemption -- may it come soon in our days -- and all that will follow in its wake, will be the complete revelation of perfection, when evil will turn back to good. After this perfection, there will be no flaws or deficiencies, for the wheel will be at rest from its movement, and the truth will have been clarified. From then on will be the time of delight: to delight in the truth that has been clearly manifested.
This is clearly proven by the fact that every time we thought the world was approaching a state of repair and that perfection was operating or starting to operate, the repair affected only Israel. But the nations of the world continued their rebellion, and the world remained in a state of ruin. There was still death, there was still impurity, and there was still an evil inclination. True perfection means there will be no more flaws and deficiencies, and everything will be rectified. Thus in time to come even the nations of the world will be rectified. The Bible explicitly states loud and clear: "On that day, Israel will be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth" (Isaiah 19:24). "For then I will turn to the peoples a pure language..." (Zephaniah 3:9). Even the animals will be rectified: "And the wolf will dwell with the lamb." (Isaiah 11:6). "They will not do evil and they will not destroy..." (ibid. v. 9). As for death: "He will consume death for ever" (ibid. 25:8). As for impurity: "I will remove the spirit of impurity from the earth" (Zechariah 13:2). As for the evil inclination: "And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh" (Ezekiel 36:26).
These are examples of the operation of perfection, where evil itself turns back to good. However, all the earlier good times were caused by the operation of the Sefirot in the mode of reward and punishment. In this mode, everything is evenly balanced. Either the Side of Holiness can hold sway over the Other Side, so that the Other Side is subdued and unable to cause harm, even though it does not actually turn back to good but is tied up like a dog on a leash. Alternatively, God forbid, the Other Side can hold sway and perpetrate the worst evils in its power.
In the good times, holiness held sway to such a degree that even though evil existed in the world, it was unable to act but was bound and subordinate. Only the Generation of the Wilderness at the giving of the Torah were going on the way to the revelation of perfection through Moses, who was complete and was the embodiment of the inner essence, as explained in several passages in the Zohar. Accordingly it was said of that generation: ".the writing of God was engraved upon the tablets" (Exodus 32:16). The Hebrew word for "engraved" [חָרוּת, charut] may be read as "freedom" [חֵרוּת cherut], teaching that they were "free from the Angel of Death and free from servitude to the nations." (Eruvin 54b; Zohar II, 46a, 114a).
Even so, it was not perfection itself that was operating but rather the strongest force near to perfection: higher consciousness -- the "mental powers" (מוחין, mochin) mentioned earlier. However, this too is considered part of the turning of wheel. For the mental powers that are included as part of the cycle come very close to perfection and have great power to rectify things. This was the great power of the generation of the wilderness. The Torah given to them is on the level of the unity which at least stands guard even during the period of flaws and deficiencies, for if it were not so, the world would be destroyed, God forbid, and therefore the Torah was given once for all eternity.
However, this is not called the operation of perfection, but rather the operation of concealment, which in any event does contain some aspect of God's actual unity itself. This is why we have said that the good times came about through the influence of these mental powers. For it is through the mystery of these mental powers that unity is to be found even in the time of concealment, because these mental powers are the force that is the strongest, nearest and most closely related to perfection. However, perfection itself will operate only in time to come, when "Torah will come forth from with Me" (Isaiah 51:4) -- meaning that a new level of Torah will come forth from God (see Vayikra Rabbah 13:3). This means that initially the only aspect of the Torah that was given was that which is bound up with the building of the cycle itself, a radiation of God's unity to keep the world in existence. However, in time to come the Torah will be given from its supreme Source, which is the unity operating as what it truly is in itself. For this reason, there will be no more flaws and deficiencies at all after this.
It could be objected: How can we say that the concealment itself contains some aspect of unity? Surely the purpose of the concealment was to manifest all possible deficiencies, and to show how they can all be completely rectified only through His perfection, in order that His perfection may be known in actuality rather than merely in potential. But if He wants to be revealed in some aspect within the concealment, this means that He does not allow the imperfections complete rein, with the result that in the final repair His perfection is not completknown.
The answer is that the concealment cannot make what certainly exists cease to exist. No matter how many flaws and defects you can think of, His existence, blessed be His Name, is intrinsically necessary. If so, it is impossible to conceive of any deficiencies except after the initial axiom that God certainly exists. You have to say that He is concealed and this is why the defects emerged, but His existence is a certainty. If so, even within the concealment itself, one thing remains enduring. That is His existence and the existence of His perfection -- for they are one and the same. This is what sustains the world in being and prevents it from being destroyed, for any other existence besides Him is inconceivable. But God is perfect goodness. If so, it is inconceivable that there is any evil that is not in some way subject to perfect good.
This can be clearly proved. For if evil were in complete control without being subject to any other power, it would have to be called a domain in itself. However, since we know that the existence of Eyn Sof, blessed be He, is intrinsically necessary, there is no place at all for complete evil to be in control. Even if you think of all the evil in the world, it is impossible not to postulate the existence of a domain of goodness that exists necessarily and therefore holds sway over this evil. It follows that evil cannot gain total power so as to destroy the entire world. However, this necessary existence can be concealed just as much as God wants. Yet His existence cannot be nullified, and it is therefore impossible for the world to be destroyed. Even within the concealment itself, His unity cannot be negated.
A further objection could be raised: If the Torah derives from the unity revealed even within the concealment, why was the Torah not given immediately as soon as the world was created. The answer to this is that the Torah which derives from the unity that exists necessarily even within the concealment is the Seven Commandments of the Children of Noah, which were given to Adam (Sanhedrin 56b). As for the knowledge of the Torah itself, there were Tzaddikim in every generation who had knowledge of the Torah (see Yoma 28b). However, this revelation of unity clearly does nothing more than prevent the world from being destroyed, but it allows the Other Side to perpetrate all the evil in its power. However, there is a way in which this revelation can become even stronger, and therefore initially there were only seven commandments, for it is impossible for there to be less than this, but afterwards the revelation became stronger and the Torah was given.
In sum: Everything that has happened until now derives from the turning of the wheel of reward and punishment under the government of the Sefirot, where either Kindness is dominant while Judgment is inactive, or the opposite, God forbid. Therefore either the Side of Holiness prevails and the Other Side is subdued but still remains evil, or God forbid the opposite. This is what Eyn Sof, blessed be He, wanted for the sole purpose of showing all the flaws and deficiencies that can exist -- in order to show afterwards how they are all rectified. However, the final redemption -- may it come quickly in our days -- is brought about through the operation of perfection at the end of everything. The revelation of this perfection will rectify all the flaws and deficiencies that He wanted to be seen. For this reason, the perfection will be complete and there will be no more flaws and deficiencies afterwards. This is the meaning of the words of the Tikkuney Zohar (Tikkun 70, 127a): "At the time when HaVaYaH rises up from the Throne of Judgement and from the Throne of Compassion, there will be no punishment or reward." This will be when His unity will be roused into action, but this is not the place to discuss this at length.
...when the true essence of God's unity will be seen. As discussed already, the purpose of all this is to show clearly in actuality all that lies within the power of the supreme unity.
Part 2: In accordance with this pathway... As discussed earlier, the Place that came into being in all its aspects corresponds directly to the degree of the Tzimtzum. ...the axiomatic law was instituted... This means that it was the rectification of the Residue to form worlds and structures that was prepared, and the rule of good and evil was instituted, as I will presently discuss.
...that would eventually bring about the formation of a realm of existence based on good and evil... What this means is that good and evil as such were not revealed there immediately but rather, that a certain path unfolded in such a way that at the end, the rule of good and evil emerges. To explain this whole matter: We know that there is such a thing as an opposite and something else that is divergent. What is truly evil is the Other Side and all that results from it, namely every kind of ruin. This is literally the opposite of perfection. On the other hand there is something which diverges from perfection and is incompatible with it but which is not its complete opposite. This applies to all those deficiencies which are not actual evil in themselves but which lead to a steady deterioration until evil itself emerges. However, as long as we have only a deficiency and not actual evil, we cannot call it the opposite.
You must now understand something that was introduced after the Tzimtzum: this is the Line of Measurement (קו המדה, kav hamiddah, also known as בוצינא דקרדוניתא, boutzina d'kardunita, the "torch of darkness"). This is the power to institute boundaries, which causes lack and deficiency. For the Tzimtzum brought into being something that did not exist at first -- deficiency. Initially all was perfection, and only afterwards deficiency emerged. Here we have the underlying power of Judgment, which was revealed through the Tzimtzum. This is the power that causes concealment, void and emptiness, bringing about every kind of deficiency that can possibly exist, as we actually find in reality.
Nevertheless, this did not immediately cause the worst possible deficiency, which is the opposite of perfection, as we said above. What it did was to cause deficiency after deficiency, gradually, stage by stage. Each one was a further divergence from perfection until finally, total deficiency emerged, the very opposite of perfection -- the Other Side. Initially the power of Judgment caused only the slightest of all deficiencies, the first concealment, which was the concealment of perfection. Nevertheless, great light, abundance and illumination remained, and this is the ultimate that the most perfect of creatures can attain. Afterwards the power of Judgment caused a greater concealment, leaving a radiation less than the first. So it went on, causing concealment after concealment. Each further concealment brought about new consequences. Even the second concealment did not cause actual evil and destruction but only a diminishment of radiation. In this way things went down from level to level, with one concealment after another and one deficiency after another, until actual flaws came into being and then evil emerged, as will be discussed below.
Thus as soon as the Tzimtzum came about, it brought into existence this power to cause deficiencies, which would eventually produce evil. Indeed, this power was central in all the acts that followed the Tzimtzum, standing ready to descend and spread forth from level to level until actual evil would emerge. However, since the intention was not only to produce evil, it did not immediately bring forth the evil that is the opposite of perfection. For in fact, the intention was to produce good and evil together. For this is the difference between perfection and imperfection: perfection is entirely good, while imperfection can include good and evil. Perfection consists of nothing but perfection, while that which is deficient may involve many deficiencies, one worse than the other.
If you think about it carefully, you will see that this comes from the fact that the opposite -- total evil -- was not brought into being at once. Initially there was only a ceconcealment of perfection. What remained of the perfection that was not completely concealed is the good, while what was lacking from the initial perfection was bad. With the first concealment, a great deal of the initial perfection remained, while the deficiency was minimal. We could even say that there was no actual deficiency but only a preparation that would eventually lead to the development of evil, inasmuch as there was now a state of concealment, whereas evil would not have developed from perfection at all. Thus, as stated earlier, there was as yet no deficiency but only a state of concealment. Afterwards a second concealment came about, but even so, much of the initial perfection remained while the deficiency was still small.
Thus it went down level by level. Each time, what remained of the initial perfection became less and less, for this is precisely what the concealment caused, until in the end, only a modicum of the initial perfection remained, while the deficiency was so great that actual evil started to develop. Nevertheless, what is able to emerge from it is only the beginning of evil. With further intensification of the concealment level by level, eventually the deficiency becomes so great that actual evil comes into being, this being the very opposite of perfection, as stated above.
Thus we find here two things that exist on all the different levels. The first is the Line of Measurement, which is what causes successive degrees of concealment. The second is the existence of good and evil, which are what is left of the initial perfection depending on the degree of the concealment and the extent of the deficiency. You must understand that the deficiency caused by the Tzimtzum is what is called the root of the roots of evil. In the end, when the deficiency becomes completely overwhelming, the result is that evil becomes manifest. Thus we see that the Tzimtzum is the root of the axiomatic law that eventually brings into being a realm based on good and evil. This law consists of what remains of the original perfection together with the deficiencies that came into being afterwards. What remained of the original perfection later brought forth the entire realm of holiness, which consists of the Sefirot in all their different aspects, while the deficiency brought about a new consequence, just as deficiency itself was a new innovation. This new consequence is the Other Side, as we will discuss further later on.
"God made also this one against this one" (Kohelet 7:14). Not only was evil brought into being; it was made parallel to good so that through the fact that things are parallel, there would be a place for service, as will be explained in its proper place. This means that good was not automatically put in control, for then, even if evil existed in the world, it would have been subordinate to good. Instead, "God also made this one against this one" -- with equal power, on corresponding levels and with equal ability to act. This way, everything that exists on the side of good has something against it on the side of evil which, if it acts in the world, can cancel out that good. Thus evil has the power to challenge good and not allow it any place to act unless it receives help from man in the lower world. This creates an actual path of service for man in making room for good and rejecting evil.
However there are three important initial differences between them, which later give rise to innumerable other differences. The first is that the Sefirot are the will of the Emanator, blessed be His Name, Who is the single, unified Master, whereas the Other Side is merely one creation which the Master made because He wanted it, as it says: "He makes peace and creates evil" (Isaiah 45:7). Thus evil is subordinate to the sole Master and dependent upon Him and is merely charged with carrying out His order because this is what He wills.
The second difference, which derives from the first, is that the power of the Sefirot was exactly calculated in accordance with God's will. What this means is that the Master, blessed be He, does not want to act in any other way except this. However, had He wanted, and wherever He may want, He can increase their power according to His will. With the power they have at present, it appears that the Other Side can challenge them and leave no place for them to function. However, if Eyn Sof, blessed be He, had wanted, He could have increased the power of the Sefirot as much as He liked and the Other Side would no longer have the slightest ability to challenge the Holy Side. But compared to the power of the Sefirot, the power of the Other Side is truly limited. It only has what is in it now and it cannot in any way go outside its limit, even if it wanted.
The third difference is that the root of good was primordial and did not have to be brought into being as a new creation, while the root of the Other Side was a new innovation. The root of the Other Side is deficiency, which came into being only after the Tzimtzum.
This provides the answer to what seems to be a major difficulty. For it appears that evil has two places while good has only one. To explain: If we were to interpret "also this one against this one" as referring to the good and evil in the Sefirot themselves -- i.e. what remained of the initial perfection (good) and deficiency (evil) -- we could justly call the Other Side the offshoot of evil (i.e. of the deficiencies), just as we call the Holy Side the offshoot of good. However, this is not the case. For we say that it is the Holy Side in its entirety and the Other Side in its entirety that are "this one against this one".
And there is a strong reason why we have to say this. For besides the nations of the world and the angels of destruction, there is something else as well: the Ten Sefirot of the Husk, as explained in the Zohar in several places (Zohar, Pekudey, 242a; 264b). Now against Israel and the ministering angels we can put the nations of the world and the angels of destruction, corresponding to perfection and deficiency. But to what can we say that the Ten Sefirot of the Husk are parallel? They are a root that was created for the sake of their offshoot -- the nations of the world and the angels of destruction -- whereas the Sefirot of Holiness are not a created root; they are God's essential will and are therefore not parallel to the root of the Other Side. We cannot say that the Ten Sefirot of the Husk are parallel to the Ten Sefirot of the Holy Side, because it has already been stated above that the root of evil is the deficiencies in the Holy Sefirot. If so, what is the place of the Ten Sefirot of the Husk?
This problem is resolved because of the third difference that exists between the Holy Side and the Other Side, as explained above: the Holy Side did not require a new root, while the Other Side needed a new root to be made for it since it did not have one. Therefore all the deficiencies in the Sefirot are nothing but a newly created root for the Other Side, and what develops out of it is the Other Side itself. We thus have here two roots and two offshoots. The primordial root is the one, unified Master, blessed be He, besides Whom there is none other -- Eyn Sof, blessed be He, and what unfolds from Him is the Sefirot. And with the unfolding of the Sefirot, the Supreme Will created a new root -- the deficiencies in the Sefirot -- to serve as the root for a different consequence, which is the Other Side with all that it involves.
Thus one cannot compare the Sefirot with their deficiencies, for the Sefirot are a branch and an extension of the primordial root, which is Eyn Sof, blessed be He, while the deficiencies in the Sefirot were newly brought into being to serve as the root of the Other Side. We can only compare the offshoot with the offshoot -- the Holy Side, which is the offshoot of the primordial root, and the Other Side, which is the offshoot of the deficiencies willfully brought into being by the Supreme Will in order to reveal His perfection through their repair, as discussed above. This is why Israel are the true firstborn, for since their root lies in the primordial good, preceded evil in the developmental chain, for the Holy Side always precedes the Other Side.
Now you can see how the Other Side emerged. Initially one light of holiness remained -- the Residue, which is an extension of the primordial Root. However, this light contains a certain deficiency, and it is this deficiency that becomes the root of the Other Side. But this deficiency is not a branch parallel to that light of holiness -- it is impossible to say that the deficiencies in the Sefirot are equivalent to the Sefirot themselves. This is because the deficiencies were newly brought into being to serve as the root of the Other Side. They are thus considered a root and not an extension, whereas the Sefirot are an extension of the primordial Eyn Sof. The deficiency in the light of the Residue is one root, from which the Other Side later emerges, a branch parallel to a branch. The Sefirot themselves are a branch of the primordial Root, while the deficiencies in the Sefirot are a new root from which the Other Side develops as a branch.
This is the reason why, as you will find later, the husks of the world of Atzilut stand facing the Holy of Holies of Beriyah. For it is not possible for the branch constituted by the Other Side to be standing facing the branch of Holiness. For not just the branch (the Other Side itself) but even the root of that branch could not come into existence until after the holy branch, the Sefirot, were already there. The holy branch had a certain deficiency, and then out of this deficiency developed the root of the Other Side. And from this new root there afterwards emerged the branch, the Ten Sefirot of the Husk -- the Other Side.
...This means that the entire array of the Sefirot was to unfold. Here we are calling all the Sefirot one side -- the Holy Side -- and the whole of the Other Side a different side, for the reason we have mentioned. For the power of Judgment and the root of evil that we have mentioned in relation to the Sefirot is all called one extension from the primordial Root, in accordance with the Tzimtzum willed by Him. All that we can discern is that the power of strict Judgment contained in the Sefirot is the newly-instituted root of evil, because of the power of the deficiencies revealed through the Tzimtzum.
For when what remained of the primordial perfection was joined together with what newly came into being in the Tzimtzum, i.e. the power of deficiency -- it made the Sefirot. But this very power of deficiency itself came forth through the will of Eyn Sof, blessed be He. All that we can discern is that the Sefirot contain what exists in virtue of the primordial existence, which is entirely good, together with what exists on account of what came newly into being through the power of His will -- deficiency, which is the root of evil. However, everything is one extension: what is left of the perfection together with the newly-created deficiency jointly constitute the Sefirot.
Afterwards, this new innovation became the root of the Other Side, after which the Other Side itself emerged in parallel with the downward extension of the Sefirot. It is of these two parallel extensions, the Holy Side and the Other Side, that the verse says, "God made also this one against this one" -- but always with the differences we discussed earlier. And the beginning of the Other Side is always lower than the end of the Holy Side. Thus it says, "And God divided between the light and the darkness" (Genesis 1:4).
But as to the root of the Other Side in comparison with that of the Holy Side, it is almost forbidden even to ask if there is any equivalence between them (God forbid). For the root of the good is the one, unified, primordial, eternal Master, blessed be He and blessed be His Name for ever and ever. On the other hand, the root of the evil Other Side is merely something newly brought into being whose entire existence depends only on the fact that this is what was willed by the Supreme Will. Had He not willed it, it would not have existed, and if He did not want it, it would not endure. When He no longer wants it, it will no longer exist, but "He will consume death forever and the Lord God will wipe the tears from all faces" (Isaiah 25:8).
The entire array of the Sefirot was to unfold on all their levels... This includes everything good that extends downwards in preparation for the needs of the lower creatures. This includes all that is necessary to benefit them as befits them according to their different levels (be they angels, men, inanimate, vegetable or animal), what is necessary in order to maintain them in existence (Sefirot in the form of circles, general providence), and what is necessary to benefit them according to their service (Sefirot in the straight, upright form, individual providence).
...with all that they generate... This refers to the separate creatures. For the Sefirot themselves consist of all the different measures and attributes of the Supreme Will. What they generate is what was created afterwards: the separate creation and the different offshoots of the Sefirot -- the souls, the angels and all the creatures in the world. .all with a view to bestowing good: All this is called one continuation, because, whether small or great, they all constitute an orderly creation, each part according to its purpose. This is not so in the case of the Other Side, which is all a realm of destruction and ruin, which is why it is called the Other Side, as we will discuss below.
.while a created realm was to be brought into being. The Other Side is not like the Sefirot, which, being the attributes of the Supreme Will, are actual Godliness. This is not so in the case of the Other Side, which is a created realm brought forth by the Supreme Will just as He brought all the other creations into being out of nothingness.
.that would involve every kind of defect and lack of goodness... This is what is meant by the verse, "God made also this one against this one". The intention was to make the good and to make everything that can possibly be the opposite of good: every kind of damage and destruction. The many different levels of the Other Side correspond to all the many different kinds of damage and destruction that can exist when there is deficiency in the world.
This is called the Other Side. This is the name of this opposite realm. It is justly called the Other Side inasmuch as it is literally the opposite of the whole first extension we have discussed. Thus the creation was made with both intentions -- that there should be a realm of existence and a realm of destruction, and we call them two sides.
Part 3: . The intention is that the power to bestow good should gain sway, until every flaw returns to a state of repair. This is the whole purpose of the Line that governs the Residue, as we have explained earlier. .and then the true essence of God's unity will be known. The governmental order itself ensures that this is how everything will end -- with total rectification. This is because of the superiority of good over evil, for good is primordial whereas evil is a new creation. The good is from the one and only Master, while evil is the Other Side, the angel of death, a created slave. This is why, given that there is a war between the Holy Side and the Other Side -- good and evil -- good must necessarily be victorious. But its victory will come about only because of the intrinsic superiority of good over evil. Through this, the truth of God's unity will be known, because it is only in virtue of the fact there is only one domain that in the end everything will be rectified. For we see how the Supreme Will has allowed all the different kinds of damage found in the world to exist. And afterwards, at the end of everything, we know that His unity will be aroused and will rectify everything, as it says, "And I will remove the sin of that land on one day" (Zechariah 3:9).
The objection could immediately be raised that either the Holy One, blessed be He, wants to rectify everything through man's free will or through His own power. If you say He wanted to rectify everything through man's free will, does He not "tell from the the end" (Isaiah 46:10)? Surely, He knows the future, and since He knows that in the end they will need Him, should He not have rectified everything from the very outset?
The point is that Eyn Sof, blessed be He, wanted to remove from the hearts of His creatures the mistake of believing that there are two domains, one of which brings about good and the other evil. Accordingly He first laid down the Sefirot, in which He does not use His unity and perfect power. On the contrary, the power of the Sefirot is like the power of a strong man who submits himself to a test against a rival power -- the Other Side -- which the strong man himself put in possession of a power that is contrary to his own.
God has already shown how all kinds of power in the world, as long as they remain in the category of power alone without having ultimate control, cannot conquer the Other Side. On the contrary, the challenge of the Other Side is so great that it is impossible to escape from it without coming to God's unity. However, when His unity will be aroused and He asserts His ultimate control, it will immediately become apparent that there is no more place whatever for the Other Side. From this we will understand immediately that the Other Side does not possess eternal power in any way, and we will see God's control and unity. Why? Because the Other Side contains every other power except for this. But in order to be a domain, it would have to have complete control. The Other Side is therefore not a domain but a subject slave possessing no power except what is given to it. While the power it is given is great, it does not have any control at all. For there is only one controlling Master, blessed be He and blessed be His Name for ever and ever.
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138 OPENINGS OF WISDOM INDEX PAGE
by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
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