Why the specific root of the Other Side lies in the world of Nekudim
The lights do not produce their effects until they stand on a level fitted to them. For a great light cannot be called the cause of a single small creature since the latter will never emerge directly from the former, because the Emanator, blessed be His Name, instituted the law of gradation. Accordingly, the Judgment that was revealed in the Residue did not reach a level where it could in any way be called the cause of the Other Side until it came to produce the Vessel in Nekudim. For higher than this we find nothing that relates to any aspect of the Other Side at all. However in Nekudim something is revealed that does bear some relation to the function of the Other Side. For here alone is the general foundation consisting of all these worlds of Atzilut, Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah, which extend to the level of material physicality and to the end of all existence.
Having stated that these Sefirot contained the root of evil, we must now explain what this root is.
The proposition consists of two parts. Part 1: The lights do not produce... This explains when a given light can rightly be called the cause of a given phenomenon. Part 2: Accordingly, the Judgment... This explains how this applies in the subject under consideration.
Part 1: The lights do not produce their effects until they stand on a level fitted to them. Here we have the fundamental idea underlying everything we discussed in the early Openings, that in choosing the law of gradation, the Supreme Will wanted every light to stand on a level corresponding to that of its offspring, because this is the way of what we call cause and effect. The cause operates only according to what it contains within it, and the effect emerges only according to the nature of the cause. This idea is of key importance here in Nekudim, for it is here that we must trace the root of evil in its various aspects, because only here is this root mentioned (see Etz Chayim, Shaar Hakelipot ch. 1 and Mevo Shearim 2:2:2). This is only because of the law of gradation, for all the earlier levels were proceeding towards this goal, but they did not reach the necessary level except here.
The fundamental idea is that even though the purpose of the lights as a whole was to bring forth separate creations, this had to be done gradually and not directly from the supernal Sefirot. The Sefirot were what the Eyn Sof blessed be He wanted to bring forth in order thereby to create the separate creations. However, each one had to be on a level suited to the offspring it was to bring forth. This was what necessitated all the different graded levels, repairs, concealments and revelations -- all in order to bring the light to a level fitted to bring forth its offspring.
For a great light cannot be called the cause of a single small creation since the latter will never emerge directly from the former... Even though "two hundred include one hundred" and the higher level includes the lower level, the higher level is not called a cause since it is not from there that the effect develops. ...because the Emanator, blessed be His Name, instituted the law of gradation. As explained above (Opening 30) we cannot say that it was impossible for the Emanator to do otherwise. However, since He wanted gradation, this is what gradation involves.
Part2: Accordingly, the Judgment that was revealed in the Residue did not reach a level where it could in any way be called the cause of the Other Side... This is the reason why there is no mention of a root of the Other Side except in the case of Nekudim, even though Judgment (γιο, din) had already been revealed above. However the Judgment above was not on a level that bears any relation to that of the Other Side in any way at all.
...until it came to produce the Vessel... For you have already heard that the root of evil lies in the vessels, just as in the case of man's body, since the vessel is the cause of the body, as discussed earlier. ...in Nekudim. I.e. not in Akudim (the lights of the Mouth of Adam Kadmon), because although a vessel existed there too, it did not rule (for the vessel was entirely subsidiary to the lights) and it did not become differentiated into its details (since it was only one vessel with ten lights). Accordingly it was not yet called a root to the Other Side. But as soon as it became revealed in all its constituent details and took control -- namely, in the world of Nekudim -- it then reached a suitable level.
For higher than this we find nothing that relates to any aspect of the Other Side at all. However in Nekudim something is revealed that does bear some relation to the function of the Other Side. The proof that only here can we speak in terms of a root to the Other Side is because beyond this level we see nothing whatever relating to its function, whereas here aspects relating to the function of the Other Side were immediately evident. Even if the higher levels were a remote cause, this was not revealed and visible in the least. Here, however, we know immediately that it is so. What it is that is seen here that relates to the function of the Other Side will be discussed later.
For here alone is the general foundation consisting of all these worlds of Atzilut, Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah, which extend to the level of material physicality and to the end of all existence. The two overall roots that I mentioned above, the lights of the Sefirot and Tzur Tak (see Openings 39 & 43), comprise all the separate realms and beings and even material physicality and the Other Side -- "to the end of all existence".
To explain: Not only do we see that it actually happened this way -- that here was revealed what was not revealed on the earlier levels. More than this, it is clearly understandable why this root (of the Other Side) specifically relates to the world of Nekudim. This is because it is here that we find the overall foundation of all these separate creations, all of which were measured and calculated individually in detail from beginning to end, including even the Other Side. This was not the case in the worlds that came before, which were only the law instituting that separate creations would emerge but without existence as yet being differentiated into its constituent details. And although it was concealed in this law that the Other Side should also come into being since this too was included with the rest of existence, there was as yet no trace or mention of it. In Nekudim, however, where everything divided up into particulars, this detail also became visible.
We may thus infer that the Other Side itself is included in the Nekudim inasmuch as they include all the separate creations, because Nekudim is the overall category containing the two roots explained above (see Openings 39 and 43). Thus the lights can now be said to be standing on a level suited to that of the separate creations, for the latter had now been calculated in all their details precisely as they are and not otherwise. The power of Judgment likewise stood ready, calculating the details of the Other Side as well. This is why the Nekudim contain the root of evil, because as already explained earlier in relation to the mystery of "sparks and flashes" (see Opening 36), Nekudim goes only on the principle of the underlying unity in all that exists, which is revealed through the mystery of evil turning back to good. For this involves the existence of the Other Side and the repair of everything afterwards.
BACK TO THE TOP OF THIS PAGE
138 OPENINGS OF WISDOM INDEX PAGE
by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
© AZAMRA INSTITUTE 5763 - 2003 All rights reserved