All the damage and repairs in the world are rooted in the breaking of the vessels and their repair.
The root of the existence of damage and repair lies in the process of the breaking of the vessels and their repair. For if there had been no damage in them, there would have been no destruction in the world. And if their repair had been fully completed, that would have been the end of everything. However, the way it happened is that the damage came, and afterwards the repair. And the repair was not completed except to the degree that would provide a root for the cycle of damage and repair to continue in the world. And at the end of everything there will be a complete repair, after which there will be no more damage at all.
Having introduced the general subject of the Nekudim, we will now enter into the details.
The proposition consists of two parts. Part 1: The root of the existence... This is a general statement of the first principle relating to the Nekudim and their repair. Part 2: For if there had been no damage... This specifies the implications of this principle.
Part 1: The root of the existence of damage and repair... For the Sefirot are the calculations and measures devised by the Supreme Mind to cover the needs of the entire governmental order, and if creation and destruction exist in the world, this must be rooted in the Sefirot.
...lies in the breaking of the vessels and their repair. For at first sight it might appear that the root of creation should be in the lights of Kindness (chessed) while the root of destruction should be in the lights of Judgment (din), but not that there should be lights which destroy and negate other lights. For it would seem that the concepts of both creation and destruction should apply only to the creations. But the power of destruction does not negate the power of creation -- and yet, we are saying that the Sefirot (of Nekudim) existed, and that they were negated and broken. Likewise it seems problematical that we are saying it was from these very Sefirot that the Other Side (Sitra Achra) emerged -- but surely destruction does not come out of creation.
The root of this whole matter lies in what has already been explained earlier (in Opening 4) about how the entire governmental order of the Supreme Mind is directed only to revealing the perfect light of God, so that at the end of everything, general beneficence will extend to all. Man together with all the other created beings are nothing but the revelation of this order of government. For besides ruling the world in this way, He wanted to reveal His government in and through the creation of man. He made man, and so too all the other creatures after him, in such a way that man in all his different parts alludes to all the different kinds of ways in which the Holy One, blessed be He, governs His creations. Included in this is everything that can possibly be said about this government. In other words, the very fact that the government itself comes alluded to and revealed in man's body also depends on the underlying Likeness of Man itself, and so too in the case of the orders of nature and its laws.
Thus the existence of the governmental order above, its being drawn down to be revealed in this way in man, its actualization in the making of man and man's existence from it -- all depend on the Likeness of Man itself. It is through the way the Supreme Mind designed this Likeness that all this came about, i.e. this is how He designed the governmental order in all its laws. We must accordingly infer that all the calculations and measures (i.e. the Sefirot) seen to have been devised by the Supreme Mind correlate to the creations in all their parts. For the roots of the creations are those very laws of government and its ways. For to provide a root for any one division of creatures requires a separate law in the order of government. All levels of the lights are this way. For the upper worlds are themselves the creations rooted in a great root, while the worlds below them are those same creations rooted in a root smaller than the first.
First the Supreme Mind calculated how the creations should be in their unrectified state, i.e. that they should contain many parts of evil. In the worlds above, these are the governmental laws of destruction, which stand ready to destroy those very entities themselves, and these parts were included in them. Afterwards He calculated how those same realms and beings were to be in a state of destruction and negation. The evil components mixed up in them were to attack and gain power, bringing about their own destruction. On the level of the upper realms the existing entities are then seen to be broken, destroyed and negated because of the rule of the evil components over those entities themselves. Now since these entities existed on the level of the upper world (that of the Sefirot) and were also destroyed, we see that they were indeed given existence in the mode of creation and destruction. However, initially it was the force of destruction that took greater and greater control -- which would not have allowed anything to exist at all. Afterwards the Supreme Mind calculated how these entities should exist in a state of repair, though not one of complete repair. They were to be rectified only to the extent that they are now: they are not in complete ruins -- they exist -- but they are damaged. The measure and calculation of how existence is to be in this state constitutes the Sefirot as they are now, after the "balance" (משקלא, mashk'la, "weight" or "scales", Zohar, Terumah 176b. This balance is the key to the entire repair. See Opening 59 Part 1 and Opening 69 Part 1).
However, there is something else that you must understood. This is that just as when destruction held sway, it destroyed what existed completely, so too it was necessary to institute a repair that would be the very opposite of destruction. The power of creation must hold complete sway so that destruction will no longer have any existence at all. Included among the laws of government, there is indeed this law that everything should reach such a level of . So far, however, this has not come about. Everything that gives the creations existence did indeed come forth, but not what gives them endurance forever. On the contrary, the power of destruction still holds sway so as not to allow this perfection to exist.
It is this power of destruction that prevents what exists from enduring in a state of complete perfection, causing it to go through cycles of creation and destruction. Sometimes the power of creation gains strength and endures for a long period, sometimes the opposite is the case, and the power of destruction attacks and destroys what exists. But when the time comes for complete perfection to emerge and for the giving of this law that will cause what exists to attain complete perfection, this will totally negate evil. The creations themselves will then also include components that are not present in them now, corresponding to and revealing this perfection.
We have here two things. There is the Other Side (Sitra Achra), which is the opposite of what is rectified -- this is what was rejected and expelled from the Sefirot. Then there is what remains of the kings that has still not been purified as yet. The Other Side is something that was allowed to exist but was nevertheless rejected and cast aside so as not to destroy the rest of existence. However, it did not pass from the world. It is just that it does not destroy everything at this time the way it did when there was the initial destruction. Nevertheless, it stands ready and waiting to be aroused at its ordained time and within its ordained limit.
As to what remains of the kings that was not purified: this means that the damaged parts prevent certain laws contained within the governmental order from operating now, and the same applies to certain parts contained within the independent realms and beings that are ruled by it. These laws are the laws of perfection, under which there will be no more evil at all. The emergence of these laws comes about through the constant process of sifting and purification that is going on with steadily increasing gain each and every day, as will be explained in its proper place. And when they complete their process of purification and come to full existence, they will do what is within their power so that there will be no more evil at all in the world, leading to a state of repair that cannot possibly be followed by any damage whatsoever.
Part 2: For if there had been no damage in them, there would have been no destruction in the world. As I have already explained to you, the "kings" that were negated (the Sefirot that were "broken") are themselves the measure and calculation of the way things were to be in their state of destruction. And if their repair had been fully completed, that would have been the end of everything. This refers to the complete perfection that must emerge in the creations in order for them to endure, as mentioned above.
However, the way it happened is that the damage came, and afterwards the repair. And the repair was not completed... Thus we have the two beginnings -- the creation and the destruction -- that we discussed above. ...except to the degree that would provide a root for the cycle of destruction and repair... For it is already clear that everything was brought about with exact measurement. Thus without the repair on all those levels on which it was brought about, it would not have been possible for man's service to add further repair. But had the repair been greater, there would have been no further need for any kind of service.
...that would provide a root for the cycle of destruction and repair to continue in the world. Since they are both in one balance, sometimes one increases and sometimes the other.
And at the end of everything there will be a complete repair, after which there will be no more damage at all. In other words, from the outset, the intention was to fix and rectify, but the Supreme Will wanted that He should begin while leaving the completion in the hands of man. And when man's work will at last be complete, that will be the end of the work, and a state of repair will reign with no destruction at all after it.
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138 OPENINGS OF WISDOM INDEX PAGE
by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
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