The difference between the name AV contained in AV, SaG and MaH and that contained in BaN
Although the fourfold number, which is AV (72), exists in all the names, only what is particular to each of them individually is considered intrinsically their own. It is only in the case of BaN, which does not have its own particular AV, that the AV contained in the fourfold form of the simple name is considered intrinsic to it. This shows that each one of them has an equal meaning at the outset, even in its simple aspect, because this is in accordance with their essential being. But when their letters are filled -- which is when they become different from one another -- each one of these names is given a meaning of its own in accordance with the function that it performs by itself. And BaN, which does not function by itself but receives what is given to it, therefore has no other meaning, and joins with the others through the primary, overall meaning.
Having discussed the AV present in all the names, we must explain one particular matter that appears problematic in connection with the 288 Sparks.
This proposition consists of two parts. Part 1: Although the fourfold number... This presents the answer to a problem that seems to arise in connection with these four AVs. Part 2: This shows... This provides a deeper understanding of the answer.
Part 1: Although the fourfold number, which is AV (72), exists in all the names, only what is particular to each of them individually is considered intrinsically their own.
For a certain problem exists in connection with the 288 Sparks (see Etz Chayim, Shaar RP"H ch. 3, 87a). We are faced with a dilemma. Either we are saying no more than that the numerical value of AV (72) will be found in the simple, "unfilled" (or unexpanded) form of each of these names wherever they are (i.e. in each one's "simple" Havayah in its fourfold form of Yud, Yud-Heh, Yud-Heh-Vav, Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh, which has the numerical value of AV=72, as explained in the previous Opening in connection with BaN). Or else we are saying that this total must be found specifically in the "filled" (or "expanded") form of the names (the ξιμει milui, as explained in the previous Opening in connection with AV, SaG and MaH).
If we are saying the former (that AV is in each case found in the simple, unfilled Havayah in its fourfold form), then we careckon that all Havayahs in their fourfold form contain AV without taking account of the expanded form of the name. However, if this is not enough -- because what is not specific to the filled or expanded form of any given name is not reckoned as AV inasmuch as we want to find it in the filled forms themselves -- then you may object that BaN does not produce an AV from its filled form but only in its simple, fourfold form, and this cannot be reckoned as being particular to BaN it since it is present in BaN in just the same way as it is in the others.
And therefore comes the answer: It is true that AV exists in each one (in the fourfold form of the simple, unfilled Havayah in each case), and it is indeed the truth that in the case of AV, SaG and MaH, the fourfold form is not taken into account in the operation whereby they reach 72 in their expanded form, signifying their connection with Arich Anpin (the overall AV). The reason why we do not take the fourfold form into account in the case of AV, SaG and MaH is because they each have another AV particular to their individual function besides the AV that exists in all of them in virtue of their simple form. BaN, on the other hand, does not have any other AV (i.e. one particular to itself through its filling or expansion), and therefore shows its relation with Arich Anpin (the overall AV) through the AV contained in its fourfold form.
This is precisely the point: even though BaN has no other AV, this does not make it an exception to the rule through having nothing that shows its root, for it certainly does have something that shows its root. Except that in this case, what it has is only the fourfold form of the simple Havayah. What AV, SaG and MaH have over and above BaN is the fact that besides the AV contained in their fourfold form, they also each have their own particular AV in their filled or expanded form. This way the intent is properly fulfilled, showing that no branch can escape being included under Arich Anpin, which is its root. For even BaN, which does not have its own particular AV, nevertheless still does at least have the AV that exists in it in virtue of its being a Havayah (whose simple, unfilled, fourfold form = 72 = AV). The reason for this difference will be explained below.
It is only in the case of BaN, which does not have its own particular AV, that the AV contained in the fourfold form of the simple name is considered intrinsic to it. This is as we have explained, that even BaN does not lack the presence of AV in some way, despite the fact of not having its own particular AV.
Part 2: This shows... As I have written, the various numerical values are not arbitrary and without reason, but show a great deal about the different orders of government.
...that each one of them has an equal meaning at the outset, even in its simple aspect... For as soon as they exist, they already give an indication of their root, in that the start of their existence is as four names of Havayah, for this is how they are implied in Arich Anpin in four Yuds all equal to each other, and this is in their aspect as being lights -- branches -- of Arich Anpin. (The four expansions of Havayah derived from the four Yuds contained in the expansion of the overall AV -- Yud, HeY, VaYV, HeY.) However, because each one has its own particular function, they all have their own individual filled or expanded forms. The intention is indeed to show that even though they are different levels, in the end they are all only the name of Havayah, blessed be He. If so, their original essence is the primary category -- the name of Havayah, blessed be He -- but afterwards they receive additional individual functions. The filled or expanded forms themselves indicate the particular function that each one has.
Thus their original essence (as simple Havayahs) already indicates their root (through the fourfold form=AV=72). Then afterwards their particular functions still also point to their root, to show that even in their individual aspects they remain attached and bound to Arich Anpin, which is the root.
...because this is in accordance with their essential being... i.e. as an order of simple Havayahs. But when their letters are filled -- which is when they become different from one another... It is quite clear that in their aspect of being Havayahs they are identical, and it is in their filled or expanded forms that they differ. The intention may be explained as follows: in their intrinsic essence they are all equal -- they are all lights of one kind, for they are all the name of Havayah, blessed be He, and as such they all indicate their root in the same way. However, their individual functions are different, and this is seen in their filled or expanded forms. It is therefore necessary that each function should indicate the overall root in accordance with its specific nature in order to show that in this aspect too it is attached to its root, and this is its particular meaning. Thus:
...each one of these names is given a meaning of its own in accordance with the function that it performs by itself. For when their purpose or function changes, there is also a change in the way they indicate the root (through the filled or expanded form of the name).
And BaN, which does not function by itself... Just as AV, SaG and MaH each have their own particular functions, so the particular function of BaN is not to act but rather, to stand and receive. ...but receives what is given to it... i.e. the function of the name BaN is to receive rather than to act ...therefore has no other meaning... For this particular meaning (possessed by AV, SaG and MaH in virtue of the unique way in which each one expands to reach the total of 72) is given to them in order to carry out their functions, which they draw from the root. However, BaN does not act at all but receives whatever it is given. Everything that BaN receives, it receives in accordance with the root, since all the different kinds of functioning derive from the root. Accordingly, no particular meaning is applicable in the case of BaN but only the primary meaning, which shows that its light is also in the category of Havayah, just as in the case of all the others. It is thus understood that it receives from others, which is why it has no other signification, for it does not act.
...and joins with the others through the primary, general meaning. In any event, BaN must also enter into this category so as to signify how the root has control over the branches. The way it enters into this category is in virtue of what is prepared within it in order for it to be included in the root in accordance with the portion which the root gave it. For it did not give it any active function whatever but only existence as a light in the category of the simple form of the name of Havayah, blessed be He.
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138 OPENINGS OF WISDOM INDEX PAGE
by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
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