The fall and breaking of the vessels -- to produce evil
When it was necessary to give control to the garments by themselves in order for them to be repaired, the highest part that was contained in Nekudim became concealed, this being their Atzilut, and then the garments ruled on their own. This is called a fall for them, for they had fallen from having been included in Atzilut as its garments and they were now ruling by themselves, not in a state of order and repair but in one of damage and destruction, empty of all the lights that had distanced themselves from them. In this state they were all the time intent on providing a place for evil to emerge and exist, in order that it should be rectified in the end.
Having discthese garments and how they needed to rule in order to produce evil, we will now explain what this rule entailed.
The proposition consists of two parts. Part 1: When it was necessary to give control... This explains how the garments ruled. Part 2: This is called a fall for them... This explains why their rule is called a fall.
Part 1: When it was necessary to give control to the garments by themselves... As I wrote above, the root of evil lay only in the function carried out by the garments during the time of their rule, when they were considered worlds in their own right. For it is said of all that stands in Atzilut, "Evil will not dwell with You" (Psalms 5:5). Now since the intention was to produce evil, it was accordingly necessary for these garments to rule, and then they would produce it.
...in order for them to be repaired... This too is as I wrote above (Opening 41) that all this was necessary for the sake of the eventual repair. For as long as the actual damage had not occurred so as to prepare things to be repaired through the mystery of the return of evil to good, the light (of the new MaH) could not come (so as to return to the vessels after they broke). On the contrary, it was precisely for this purpose that the light was concealed -- to allow the vessels to carry out this function.
...the highest part that was contained in Nekudim became concealed, this being their Atzilut... For after the emanation of the lights of Atzilut, the function of these worlds (after the repair) was to be to draw those lights down to the outside for the sake of the lower realms and beings. Each one then takes what it takes from Atzilut and channels it to its proper place, and this is the rectified order. However, this was not the intention now (in Nekudim). For what was necessary now was to establish the existence of these worlds in and of themselves so that they would afterwards be suited to perform their appropriate function, which is to draw from Atzilut.
This can be compared to a system of pipes or channels taking water from a river in order to conduct it to various different locations. When each pipe takes its proper share of water to bring it to its proper place, this is the rectified order. However, when one wants to prepare the actual channels themselves -- to produce vessels ready to serve afterwards as pipes to channel the water from the river -- the river is of no relevance during the process of installation and preparation. Quite the contrary: the river must not be allowed to flow into the pipes: it is as if they are not its pipes. And indeed, as long as they are being built away from the river, they are not its pipes. Rather, they are vessels that are under construction in order to serve as pipes for the river later on.
So too here, when Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah are with Atzilut after having already been built, each one then receives from Atzilut so as to channel its influence outwards. However, during the process of their actual construction in themselves, Atzilut is of no relevance. On the contrary, Atzilut is concealed, leaving them as unfinished vessels that are built successively, little by little, until everything depending on their structure is complete, so that they may afterwards serve as channels for Atzilut.
Accordingly, now that it was necessary to produce the things that depended on their existence -- i.e. to bring forth evil so as afterwards to restore what was damaged to a state of repair, as discussed above -- Atzilut was concealed from this process, since it had no connection with it. These worlds thus remained alone on their own as part of the process of becoming steadily more defined on the way to their rectification. For Atzilut has no part or share whatever in the production of evil, and its light can only be drawn down by way of Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah when they are rectified to serve as its channels.
...and then the garments ruled by themselves. During that time, they cannot be considered as the feet of Atzilut, and instead of being the feet as they had been, they were left as worlds on their own.
Part 2: This is called a fall for them... Although the orderly array of the worlds (in their rectified state) entails that Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah should initially be garments of Atzilut and afterwards worlds in themselves, nevertheless, the process we are discussing was not like this. Rather, it is called a fall -- i.e. the death of the kings. ...for they had fallen from having been included in Atzilut as its garments and were now ruling by themselves... The order in which they spread forth (after the Tikkun) is that Atzilut remains, while it is the garments that extend in the sense that control is given to each one of them to draw its share from Atzilut, as stated above. Here, however, Atzilut is concealed, and the garments do not channel its influence in an orderly way. Rather, it is a fall for them because it was not that they spread forth but rather that Atzilut departed. After having previously been the feet and garments of Atzilut, they were then left as the worlds of Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah on their own, since they lacked the body which they had been clothing.
Thus in the order in which things developed, they are garments in one aspect, but afterwards, during their period of rule, they are considered in a different category and then they are "worlds". However, here it is the very aspect that was previously in the category of garments that remains as worlds, since they lack the aspect of being garments inasmuch as they lack the body that is being clothed, as stated above. And this is only because they now need to be built in order to be able afterwards to serve as garments to Atzilut in this way, and then they will serve in their proper function.
You must likewise understand that their rule now cannot be compared to the rule they have when they are rectified with Atzilut. For when they are rectified with Atzilut, the purpose of their rule is to channel the lights of Atzilut to the lower realms and beings. But their rule (in Nekudim) is not like this, for they then rule with parts of their own, and they have no connection with Atzilut at all. (The vessels are then cut off from the lights remaining in Atzilut.) They actually rule with parts of their own -- revealing their individual powers and functions as they are when built, in order to bring forth the various aspects of evil swallowed up among these powers...
...not in a state of order and repair but in one of damage and destruction... This is the breaking we speak about, because falling and breaking are two different things. When we speak of falling, it means that they fell from their high level to a lower level. When we speak about breaking, it means that they did not rule with an orderly balance of their various different parts, but rather in a destructive way, generating all the different kinds of damage that evil causes when it rules. For as you have already heard, the breaking of the vessels means that the powers of destruction took control, damaging them and causing all the different kinds of damage and evil that can exist in the world. On the upper level, these are all the different kinds of flaws and damage that can exist in the supernal lights. For the vessels in their broken state constitute the measure of all the different kinds of damage that can exist, because what was not calculated at the outset could not come into being afterwards.
...empty of all the lights that had distanced themselves from them. This very deficiency also gives them the power to perform their intended function in this broken state. For the light is the mystery of the unity that turns all evil to good. Here, however, the intention was to produce evil as such, and what gives added power to these vessels to carry out this function is precisely the fact that the light distances itself from them so that they descend bereft of light. This means that in this phase they are not governed by the light. On the contrary, it is precisely from the intense concealment of the light that this fragmentation derives. They then direct themselves entirely to the purpose of brinforth evil. And in truth nothing caused such a concealment of perfection as the fact that the light disdained even to enter into the vessel. The vessel was then left ruling only in its aspect of harsh judgment.
In this state they were all the time intent on providing a place for evil to emerge and exist... For since they were now completely distanced from perfection, they were left intent only on producing evil, and everything was directed to this purpose alone.
...in order that it should be rectified in the end. Nevertheless the intention was not merely to produce evil, for the ultimate distant intention was only for the sake of repair. Accordingly, you will see that in any event the light did not altogether cease shining from afar to the vessels. Even when it did not shine at all, which is when the fall came about -- a great fall -- nevertheless there were the 288 sparks that descended with the vessels. For on the contrary, the final and ultimate intention was only to turn this great destruction into a total, perfect repair.
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138 OPENINGS OF WISDOM INDEX PAGE
by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
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