The entire government of the universe is ordered under the four letters of the Name of HaVaYaH
The first order assumed by the emanated light, standing in the form of Ten Sefirot arranged in the Likeness of Man, is called Adam Kadmon. This is the order of the Name of HaVaYaH, blessed be He forever and ever. This means that all the different orders and laws are all drawn after and come under the order of these four letters. In accordance with this order, the teachings of the Kabbalah always trace everything to the underlying foundation of the four letters of the Name Blessed be He.
Until now we have discussed the first foundations: the Residue and the Line and all that depends on them. We must now explain the structures that were built out of them in accordance with what was prepared in them.
The proposition has three parts: Part 1: The first order... This explains the first order, which is called Adam Kadmon. Part 2: This is the order... This explains that this order is that of the Name, blessed be He. Part 3: This means that... This explains the meaning and purpose of this order.
Part 1: The first order assumed by the emanated light... As we have already discussed, the Residue existed initially only as the first root of all that would be created afterwards, standing as a general whole waiting to divide into its particulars. Indeed, many powers are found there, and thus the ARI stated that this emanation contains worlds without end (see Etz Chayim, Drushey Igulim VeYosher 12:1).
To explain this further: The Tikkuney Zohar states, "There is no angel that does not have within it the name of HaVaYaH, blessed be He, and all the other names are considered attributes of this Name" (Tikkun 57 end). The Zohar states, "There are men who inherit three hundred and ten worlds, but it is impossible to ascribe any number to the worlds of the Master of the Universe" (Pinchas 257b). What this means is that although we usually speak only of four worlds, the truth is that there are worlds without number. This is because every complete governmental order consisting of an active source of influence (משפיע, mashpiah) and a receiver (מקבל, mekabel) is called a "world" (עולם olam), and is one complete system or "tree" of all the relevant sources of influence and receivers and their various orders and interconnections. There are very many such trees. Speaking generally, every name is a tree in itself, all of whose levels, influences and "chariots" (מרכבות, merkavot -- governmental apparatus) are arranged in an order unique to itself.
These are the "worlds" which the Tzaddikim inherit. For example, with the emanation of Chochmah from Keter, three hundred and ten complete trees came into being (for Chochmah is yesh me-ayin, "existence out of nothingness", and the letters of יש, YeSh, have the numerical value of 310). This is the secret of the three hundred and ten worlds of the Tzaddikim (Uktzin, 3:12; Zohar loc. cit.). In addition, there are the worlds of the souls, for each soul is a major root in the governmental order, and each soul has a tree of its own. This is the meaning of the statement in the Zohar (loc. cit.) that each Tzaddik has a world of his own -- i.e. the Tzaddik himself is the world. One who attains only his own root takes his world. But one who attains everything receives the entire emanation of Chochmah, which consists of three hundred and ten worlds.
In every world there are various different kinds of clothing (התלבשות, hitlabshut), states (מצבים, matzavim), coupling (זיווגים, zivugim), ascents (עליות, aliyot) and descents (ירידות, yeridot), depending on the nature and purpose of the world in question. The number of lights in the different worlds does not correspond directly to the number of the Ten Sefirot. Rather, each has its own particular number of lights, the sum being bound up with the nature of the given tree. Even the Name of HaVaYaH, blessed be He, gives rise to seventy trees that are all completely different from one another: these are seventy "date palms" (the word תמר, tamar, a date palm, has the connotation of תמורה, temurah, signifying exchange or the substitution of letters or numbers.) However, the order of the Ten Sefirot in the form of the worlds of Atzilut, Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah is called only one tree, as we will be discussing further, with the help of God.
Now all these trees are in the Chariot below, but the root of all this lies above. For as the Line extended inside the Residue and formed orders within it so that the government would unfold properly from the first recipient to the last (for this is called a complete structure), the Line produced many different orders. These are all the attributes or forms of address (כינויים, kinuyim) that were revealed, such as "compassionate", "gracious", etc., for they were all revealed within the Residue. They all have different functions and are the root of various different phenomena in this world. Each one is in the form of a tree in itself. All the many different great orders that make up the overall order of government were all rooted there, as we have said, each in the form of a tree in itself.
And then Eyn Sof, blessed be He, brought forth one order which He put in control of all of them, making all the other trees nothing but attributes, forms of address and garments with which to clothe this order. According to the way in which the different levels of this order are aroused, so all the other trees carry out their particular functions through this central Tree. This alone is what really acts, and it is only from here that the lower realms and creatures emerge and are governed, and their entire service is bound up with this alone. Note the phrasing of the passage from the Tikkuney Zohar quoted earlier: "All the other names are considered attributes of this Name". It does not say that they are attributes, but rather that they are considered as such -- they are the equivalent of attributes. For each one is a tree in itself, but Eyn Sof, blessed be He, took them and made them a garment around this Tree.
This Tree of which we are speaking is the Tree of the four letters of HaVaYaH, blessed be He, which includes everything from the beginning of Adam Kadmon to the end of Asiyah in all the different aspects discussed in Kabbalistic literature. Standing around it like a garment are the various worlds we have mentioned. In themselves they do not act at all. Rather, they are like a garment in which the body is clothed: it is not the garment that acts but rather the body clothed in the garment. Similarly, this Tree acts through these garments around it. Just as the garment that clothes the active body part is included in the action, similarly the worlds surrounding whichever part of this Tree acts are also included with it. They are not there without purpose, for it is those in which the Actor is clothed that hold sway, while the Actor Himself acts in accordance with their power in executing their controlling functions. Yet it is only the Wearer of the garment who acts, not the garment itself. Men's service and all that they receive are bound up with this central Tree, the Name of HaVaYaH, which is garbed in the Partzufim. Afterwards they also attain the worlds in which this Name is clothed, for they inherit them as a matter of course when they inherit the One clothed in them.
As I have already said, this Tree extends from the head of Adam Kadmon to the end of Asiyah. In essence, this Tree is Adam Kadmon and the radiance that emanates from Him. For a glorious radiance came forth from Him, and the different parts of this radiance constitute the worlds of Atzilut, Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah. It is through these very worlds that He shows what exists above. Just as there are many kinds of worlds above with one central world inside all of them, similarly, a single order is visible within the worlds of Atzilut, Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah. This is the order of the Name of HaVaYaH, blessed be He, standing in the form of Ten Sefirot, while many other orders stand in the form of the Chariot. These other orders are included in the four Chayot and their four facand all the other aspects of the Chariot.
Each of these subsidiary orders is a world by itself, but the overall division follows the order of the Name of HaVaYaH. In other words, these worlds that I have mentioned constitute the Chariot in all its turns and pathways, while at the center of all of them is the order of the Ten Sefirot, which includes the whole of Atzilut, Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah. This constitutes the order of the Name of HaVaYaH, blessed be He, which is the essence, while all the others are His attributes or forms of address. And the truth is that even so, all this is called the order of the Name of HaVaYaH, blessed be He. For everything that emerges from Adam Kadmon constitutes the order of the Name of HaVaYaH. This is like a picture or diagram of what exists above, showing how the Tree of the Name of HaVaYaH is at the center with the other attributes or forms of address surrounding it. These very attributes that make up the Chariot are under the control of the Name of HaVaYaH, blessed be He. In other words, the Chariot and its forms of address or attributes constitute Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah, and there too this same order exists: the forms of address or attributes are many, but they are under the control of the Name of HaVaYaH, because they are His "garments".
Accordingly, man's essential service is bound up with the Name of HaVaYaH, blessed be He, and the chariots themselves are subsumed under the overall order of the Name of HaVaYaH, blessed be He. It is in the context of this order that they are called four Chayot (literally, "beasts") together with all the other aspects mentioned in Ezekiel's vision of the Chariot. This Name was placed in control of all the others because all the other trees are pathways of government according to the Residue that remained, while the underlying bond whereby all these things come to unity is the Tree of the Name of HaVaYaH, blessed be He. Thereby the Cause of all causes reveals His unity and binds all the pathways of government into one pathway through which evil turns back to good. This is the order through which the Cause of all causes asserts His unity over all the different orders, joining them together in the mystery of that unity. On this level, as already discussed, there is no division between Kindness and Judgment, but everything is equally good.
This is what is meant by the teaching that, "The Name HaVaYaH does not change in any place in its four letters..." (Tikkuney Zohar #57, 94b). What this means is that this Name, made up of its four interconnected letters, is only mentioned when the Cause of causes unifies all the different levels in the mystery of His unity. The Name of HaVaYaH "does not change" in the sense that the Name of HaVaYaH controls all the different levels in order to bring them into unity and to show that despite their various differences, they all serve only one purpose. This is to demonstrate His unity through the fact that He brings everything back to good.
This is the essence of the faith of Israel, which depends only on the Cause of all causes. Accordingly they have faith in Him despite the protracted exile, even though they see so much that is the opposite of the truth and face so many challenges from the Other Side. Yet through the power of His unity, they endure everything. Thus the above-quoted passage continues: "Because of this, the faith of Israel is centered on these four letters" -- the four letters of the Name of HaVaYaH. Similarly, we find in the Zohar (Vayera 117a): "Rabbi Yose said to him, 'Well spoken, because He is within the mystery of the letters [of the Name of HaVaYaH], and we should not get involved in other calculations of the end of time'." It is perfectly evident from this passage that the Redemption depends upon the mystery of these letters. And the reason is because it is through these letters that the Cause of all causes unifies all the different levels, and this is what the Redemption truly depends upon without any doubt at all.
What we learn from all this is that various different orders of government exist relating to each and every thing, and many different kinds of worlds exist -- whole worlds and whole trees, as discussed above. However, there is one order that lies at the root of the entire government and which governs all the other orders. This is the order of the Name of HaVaYaH, blessed be He. This is the underlying order that exists within all the worlds of Atzilut, Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah. This order begins with Adam Kadmon, and what develops out of it is in Atzilut, Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah.
...standing in the form of Ten Sefirot... Even though all that exists is only Ten Sefirot, many individual aspects can be discerned within each and every Sefirah by itself -- they are not all the same as one another. Each one, depending on its individual purpose, has its own individual levels. Accordingly, all the other trees correspond to the individual levels of the various Sefirot, depending on the level from which any given tree derives. However, the Tree of the Name of HaVaYaH, blessed be He, is the mystery of all Ten Sefirot together for their collective purpose under the number ten. In this aspect, we do not take into account the individual levels of the Sefirot. Rather, each Sefirah with all its levels is considered as only one, so that altogether they make exactly ten. The general pathway of all their arrangements or institutions (תיקונים, tikkunim, lit. "repairs") depends on this number through the mystery of the return of evil to good. All man's service depends on this matter of the Ten Sefirot, and therefore everything involved in the Sefirot goes only on the basis of ten, with all that depends on this. Thus the Ten Sefirot are ten individual kinds of government, each different from the others, but the general law that brings them all together to serve one purpose is that of the overall Ten Sefirot that constitute Adam Kadmon.
It could be objected that the sum of a given number of particulars is not inherently bound up with their intrinsic essence but is merely contingent upon the fact that this many particulars together make up this number. If so, it would seem that the Tree of the Name of HaVaYaH, which is the order of the Ten Sefirot, would be of no consequence in the individual Sefirot themselves, and would not determine the quality of the Sefirot and of the details under it.
The answer to this objection is that the Ten Sefirot constitute the entire essence of the laws of government, yet at the same time the actual government emerges only from the particular way in which these laws are applied. Sometimes the government follows one law with all its particulars, sometimes a different law with all its particulars. Since each Sefirah is one law of government containing many individual details, depending on the quality of that Sefirah, the particulars are very many. However, there are times when we make general use of all the laws together in their entirety without taking account of the particulars. Thus all the Sefirot together enter into the overall government, which uses all of them together for the purpose of God's unity, to bring the creation to the ultimate perfection. The significance of the number ten lies in the fact that here all the Sefirot are together for one purpose.
Thus there are two kinds of numbers: the individual number of each Sefirah, and the overall number of ten. When we follow the individual pathway of any given Sefirah, the number of lights will be whatever that particular Sefirah gives, and all the laws of government contained in those lights go accordingly. These are the trees that we have mentioned: each of the individual orders is called a tree. However, the overall action comes about through all the Ten Sefirot entering in together in this quorum of ten, and the government goes according to what this number gives in accordance with its intrinsic nature.
Quite the reverse of the objection: having seen that this law was laid down first that there should be ten, we may infer without doubt that this is the most general and necessary number. For they have to be this ma, no less and no more, and arranged precisely in this order just as they are, in accordance with the number ten. All the individual details are automatically included in this number. And thus we may understand what each one of them causes and contributes as part of this general law, and we will understand the general repair that arises through this path in the proper way. Thus the number ten is not accidental: it is not by chance that the sum of all the particulars is the number ten. On the contrary, the number ten is the root of the overall government, which brings all the Sefirot to a common purpose.
...arranged in the Likeness of Man... The overall order goes not only on the basis of the number ten but on the basis of ten in all the orders of their different states and individual details. This is called the Likeness of Man (דמות אדם, d'mut Adam) -- the number ten signifies the form in which man is made, which divides up on the basis of ten. For these orders can all be explained in accordance with the Likeness of Man, for they actually correspond to the human form in all its particulars. Indeed, they are the actual cause of the human form in all its particulars. They are even the cause of the very name Adam, inasmuch as they unfold in a certain order which is called Adam: the name of HaVaYaH in which the constituent letters are "filled" (spelled out in full) with alephs: יוד הא ואו הא = 45 = אדם, ADaM. This expansion of the Name consists of ten letters, yet they are all included in four, namely the four "simple" letters, which make ten when they are "filled". It is through all these pathways that this Tree is understood in all its laws. And this first order in the Likeness of Man ...is called Adam Kadmon.
Part 2: This is the order of the Name of HaVaYaH, blessed be He forever and ever. As I have written above in connection with the trees, this is the Tree of this holy Name. It continues unfolding in accordance with the intrinsic nature of its letters in the same order in which they appear in the Name in the mystery of ten and the mystery of four, as discussed above. As to the significance of the letters themselves: the Yud is Arich Anpin (the cusp) and Abba (the main body of the Yud); the first Heh is Imma; the Vav is Zeir Anpin and the second Heh is Nukva, in this order and in the mystery of the four expansions. The Yud corresponds to AV=72; the first Heh corresponds to SaG=63, the Vav to MaH=45 and the second Heh to BaN=52. (See Opening 22 Introductory Note.) In sum, all that exists is founded on the mystery of this Name and upon the mystery of these letters of which it consists.
This means that all the different orders and laws are all drawn after and come under the order of these four letters. This is not one particular pathway but rather the general path, which includes everything that exists in the Sefirot in all their details and which brings everything under its order. For although the actions through which God governs the world are rooted in many different kinds of governmental pathways through the mystery of the various different names, the actions are only actualized through this order of the four letters of HaVaYaH, which direct the other names and forms of address. Thus it is this order that directs all the various orders and is the root of all the actions that come about.
The governmental order of the four letters of HaVaYaH is built of various conditions and divisions: it is built of various different names and forms of address, which constitute the details of the government. All are ordered in the proper order, for when they stand in the proper order, the actions go forth on all sides from the place from which they must emerge. This too is like the soul and the body: the other names are the limbs of the body, while this Name is like their soul, and the whole intention must be to hold by this soul so that it will actualize the actions of the body.
And in accordance with this order, the teachings of the Kabbalah always trace everything to the underlying foundation of the four letters of the Name Blessed be He. This is a very important and necessary principle in the study of this wisdom, because we always speak in terms of the Ten Sefirot, yet there are many kabbalistic teachings that appear to contradict one another. The main thing to understand is that the various levels divide up in many different ways and into many details depending on what is required for the action that they have to execute. The division is not made on the basis of the Ten Sefirot in general but according to the particular nature of the action in question.
However, since everything must be included under the order of the Likeness of Man, which is the mystery of the Ten Sefirot, accordingly each division, as soon as it is made, is arranged in the order of Ten Sefirot. However this is not the basis of the division. The details of individual actions are arranged in accordance with their particular roots, yet at the same time they are also arranged in the order of the Ten Sefirot. This, however, is not the essential order of their individual actions, which depends upon their unique functions. Thus the division is based on other factors and on the particular roots that are relevant. Yet it is arranged in accordance with the order of the Ten Sefirot, which is the order of the four letters of HaVaYaH, blessed be He, and the four expansions of the Name, for it is all one matter, as we have already discussed.
From this you can understand that if those very lights themselves need to divide up in other ways different from the first division, those other divisions are also arranged according to the order of the Ten Sefirot, but they are then described differently. For example, what was at first under SaG can come under AV or under MaH or under BaN, for its appropriate place depends upon the division in question. (Thus the Nikudin are under BaN even though they are branches of SaG.)
The end of the matter is that since the order of the Name, blessed be He, is the general order that holds sway over all the different divisions and orders in the universe, we may infer that the actions have two roots. One lies on the particular level involved according to the individual root of the action in question. The other lies in the way they are arranged under the Name of HaVaYaH, which is their general root. These two roots are not at all parallel in their function. Rather, all the new divisions that come into being through the power of particular levels are all included in and come under this general order.
Let me give you an example. We say that the musical notes, vowels, crowns and letters correspond respectively to the four expansions of AV, SaG, MaH and BaN. This is not to say that they themselves actually come from there, for if that were so, various different teachings, particularly in the works of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, would be completely contradictory and could only be reconciled with a forced solution. The main thing to understand is that they are four kinds of arrangements or institutions (תיקונים, tikkunim, lit. "repairs"). The letters are the actual lights of the government of Zeir and Nukva, which emerge from Imma. As to the vowels and the crowns: through the crowns (which are attached to the letters and written in the Torah scroll), Imma hovers over the letters as a source that does not separate from them even after their emergence. And through the vowels, Imma governs the letters, for the vowels govern the letters. The musical notes are institutions that come for the sake of complete government from the side of Chochmah (Abba). Once things are divided up in this division, they are immediately bound together under the order of the four expansions of the Name, as discussed above.
The same way of resolving apparent contradictions applies in the case of the lights of the ear, the nose, the mouth and the eyes. In one place it says that they are the four letters of the Name of HaVaYaH. According to this, the ear is Yod, the nose is Heh, the mouth is Vav and the eyes are the last Heh (See Etz Chaim, Shaar Ozen, Chotem, Peh 4, 18a and Drushey Nekudot 8, 34b). Ywe find that the ear, nose and mouth are all only the first Heh of the Name, i.e. SaG (Drushey Nekudot 8, 34b). The apparent contradiction is resolved through understanding that the divisions are according to the need. Thus on the level of the particular, the ear-nose-mouth are the category of SaG, the first Heh. Yet all the different divisions are arranged under the order of HaVaYaH, blessed be He, and thus in general the ear, nose, mouth and eyes divide up according to the four letters of HaVaYaH.
We have thus now reached this order of the Likeness of Man. Everything we will be discussing from this point on follows the order that develops in accordance with what is inherent in this Adam Kadmon. We must therefore always speak in terms of the Likeness of Man. This is the basis for all of the kabbalistic teachings relating to the levels from Adam Kadmon onwards: the entire government is explained on the basis of the secret of the Likeness of Man. The Likeness of Man is the foundation of the government of the Universe.
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138 OPENINGS OF WISDOM INDEX PAGE
by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
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