Moshe Chaim Luzzatto ("RaMChaL"):
138 Openings of Wisdom
The Sefirot of BaN are the root of defects and punishments, while facing them are the Sefirot of MaH, which repair them.
In the Sefirot of BaN are rooted all the different aspects of damage - i.e. everything that gives a place for defects to exist and after them the ensuing punishments. In the Sefirot of MaH are rooted all aspects of the repair - to repair these defects. For the sake of the required governmental order, it is necessary for every level to be constructed out of both of them. Then all aspects of evil will exist in that level through the side of BaN within it and all aspects of good through the side of MaH.
Having introduced the subject of the joining of MaH and BaN, we must now specify the different effects of each one.
This proposition has two parts: Part 1: In the Sefirot of BaN... This explains the separate functions of MaH and BaN. Part 2: For the sake of the required governmental order... This explains how they are joined together.
Part 1: In the Sefirot of BaN are rooted all the different aspects of damage... It is the Sefirot of BaN that are the roots of the various kinds of damage, as already explained earlier, while it is the Sefirot of MaH that bring them back to good, as stated above. But because things were not permanently fixed to perfection, it can be that the Sefirot of MaH hold sway over those of BaN, producing only good. On the other hand, it is also possible (God forbid) for BaN's intrinsic nature to be reawakened since this has still not been completely changed. This can prevent MaH from holding sway over the Sefirot of BaN, out of which come forth the various kinds of damage.
.i.e. everything that gives a place for defects to exist... For the phenomenon of damage and destruction is ordered in such a way that if pathways had not been prepared whereby the lights can be darkened and flawed, this phenomenon of damage would simply not exist in the world. However, the pathways have already been prepared with exact precision and measure, neither less nor more than what is required. This is the cause of the flaws in the lights above and the punishments in the world below, as it goes on to say. Overall these pathways are in accordance with the rule of BaN.
...and after them the ensuing punishments. This is obvious, because when the lights are darkened above (through sin), the person who caused this suffers a corresponding interruption in the flow of goodness, and this is how the governmental levels of the Other Side gain sway over him. For the Other Side has the opportunity to attack through this flaw (in the lights caused by the sin), and does evil to the perpetrator in proportion to his deeds as long as some trace of that flaw remains above. The flaw steadily disappears in accordance with the punishment suffered by the sinner.
In the Sefirot of MaH are rooted all aspects of the repair - to repair these defects. They are parallel: the repairs of MaH come to repair the damage of BaN. It was through this arrangement that the joining of MaH and BaN was brought about. For the above-mentioned defects require precisely those repairs that have the power to rectify these very defects.
For the sake of the required governmental order... - in other words, in order to produce a governmental order based on the required principle of reward and punishment to make a place for free will - ...it is necessary for every level to be constructed out of both of them. For every level has a corresponding level of service on the part of man, and man's whole service is based on free will. Wherever there is choice, there is the possibility of damage and repair, reward and punishment. This is why every level must be constructed out of both of them. Then all aspects of evil will exist in that level through the side of BaN within it and all aspects of good through the side of MaH.
138 OPENINGS OF WISDOM INDEX PAGE
by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
© AZAMRA INSTITUTE 5764 - 2004 All rights reserved