Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto ("RaMChaL"):
138 Openings of Wisdom
The role of the Male and Female in the channeling and repair of MaH and BaN
Out of the totality of the Sefirot that broke and descended, those parts that are to be selected undergo the process of sorting and selection, and the vessels ascend to receive their lights in Atzilut - and this is through the Female aspect, which lifts them up in this way. Descending towards them are levels of MaH, vessel and light, and they join with them - and this is through the Male aspect, which channels them in this way and puts them in the Female. Nevertheless, the Male also enters into the repair of the vessels that ascend through the Female: the Male repairs the right side of all the vessels and Partzufim, while the Female repairs their left side. And afterwards the parts join up together, and thus MaH is joined together with every one of them, and the resulting offspring is complete.
There are two parts to this proposition: Part 1: Out of the totality... This explains the process of channeling by the Male and Female aspects, so as to produce or "give birth" to the light that has to be born from them. Part 2: Nevertheless, the Male also enters into the repair... The Male aspect even enters into what is channeled by the Female aspect in order to complete the repair.
Part 1: Out of the totality of the Sefirot that broke and descended... We now come to discuss the process of selection that took place in the totality of the Primordial Kings (the Nekudim), as discussed earlier (see Opening 47, Part 1).
...those parts that are to be selected undergo the process of sorting and selection... In other words, in order to establish the laws of the governmental order, there is a process of selection which takes place out of the totality of all the different aspects contained in the Primordial Kings, so as to pick whatever is fit to be in this law that the Supreme Mind wants to establish.
...and the vessels ascend to receive their lights... It is obvious that the vessels must receive the lights in order to govern properly. ...in Atzilut... - in the Atzilut of the second Atzilut-Beriyah-Yetzirah-Asiyah, which were made out of the original Beriyah-Yetzirah-Asiyah (see above, Opening 46). For by now the levels had already been changed around, and four places were ready prepared: Atzilut-Beriyah-Yetzirah-Asiyah. The vessels had hitherto been in the mode of descent and decline. Thus for them, this is considered an ascent (even though they ascend only to the second Atzilut, which is in the place of the original Beriyah), inasmuch as they come to serve as the government of Atzilut, the root of the present governmental order, the place of the emanation of all the lights.
- and this is through the Female aspect... All the different aspects of the cleansing and selection of these vessels, including both the aspects that are connected with their ascent and those connected with how they receive their lights, in short, everything that comes into the category of BaN - depends on the arousal of the Female aspect, which lifts them up. ...which lifts them up in this way - in all the different details that can be discerned in them (for the nature of the Female is to differentiate all the details).
Descending towards them are levels of MaH... The term "descending" applies to the mystery of the Male Waters, which are channeled down from above towards the Female, which is the place of the ingathering of the lights (the pregnancy is in the Female) so that they can be perfected through the mystery of the cause that brings things to completion, as discussed earlier.
...vessel and light... Clearly, this is in accordance with the nature of the governmental order. ...and they join with them... For the intention is to produce MaH and BaN joined in one - to make literally one body, not that there should be two separate bodies.
It could be objected that we said above (Opening 61) that MaH picks what is suitable from BaN, whereas here we are saying that it is in BaN that the process of selection takes place, and that the descent of MaH depends on BaN. The answer is that it is indeed true that this arrangement of MaH and BaN was made at the outset - which part of each was suited to which part of the other - and it was MaH that made the selection in accordance with MaH's intrinsic nature. This was accomplished through the mystery of the drop of Adam Kadmon's Male Waters that sweetened the Primordial Kings, as stated above, in accordance with the mystery of Yesod of Adam Kadmon that sweetened Malchut. From this foundation there subsequently emerged the Head that is not Known (רישא דלא אתידע, Reisha delo ityeda), as will be discussed later. Afterwards the overall Nukva went through the process of selecting what was suitable in accordance with the original supreme division that I have discussed earlier.
(In other words, initially MaH went through the process of selecting what could be repaired, with MaH providing the material for the repair - the Male Waters. Afterwards the Nukva correspondingly goes through the process of actually selecting what is fit to be repaired out of the breakage. The overall selection by MaH follows the pathways of the world of reward - the Head that is not Known, while the actual selection is carried out through the Nukva by means of the service of the lower creations.)
- and this is through the Male, who channels them in this way... in all their particulars - just as the Female makes the selection in BaN, so the Male selects the particulars of MaH.
...and puts them in the Female. As discussed earlier (Opening 63 Part 2), besides the Female's providing part of the actual resultant offspring itself, the Female also delineates the form of everything, including the part contributed by the Male. The reason is because MaH and BaN exhibit aspects of the Line and the Residue which we discussed earlier (Opening 27). A fundamental principle relating to the Sefirot is that certain lights are themselves the primary roots in some given function, and it is through them that what is required for that function is actually produced, while there are other lights that merely display what is actually produced at root by the primary lights, and these secondary lights undergo processes corresponding to those taking place in the lights which they display. (The secondary lights are in the same category as the primary lights but in a lowlier mode.)
Thus MaH and BaN are both together lights that emerge from Adam Kadmon, and both include vessel and light, which derive respectively from the Residue and the Line. However, MaH is made to display the Line, while BaN is made to display the Residue. Therefore the different aspects of BaN - both its lights and vessels - are discussed in terms of the intrinsic nature of the Residue and undergo processes relating to its function. All the components of MaH, on the other hand, are discussed in terms of the intrinsic nature of the Line, and undergo processes relating to its function. However within each of MaH and BaN in themselves we also diferentiate between lights and vessels of their own (both have an aspect that is light and an aspect that is vessel), each in accordance with its intrinsic nature. For the light is always from the Line and the vessel from the Residue. However, the main thing is to understand things as they relate to one another.
The gain from this pathway is that we need to arrive at man down below and all the material creations, which are merely an image of the entire governmental order. Their different individual parts and aspects are governed in accordance with what they signify in the governmental order, even though they are all in this lowly world. Now the Residue is the differentiation of the Line, because the powers that are all included in a single overall whole in the Line are differentiated into their particulars in the Residue in all its different parts, as explained in the appropriate place (see Opening 27 Part 3) in accordance with the mystery of soul and body. Accordingly the Male channels MaH and channels the power of the overall form, while the Female channels BaN and channels the different aspects of the form in detail, for it is in the Female that this offspring takes form.
Part 2: Nevertheless, the Male also enters into the repair of the vessels that ascend through the Female: the Male repairs the right side of all the vessels and Partzufim, while the Female repairs their left side.
This enables us to resolve a seeming contradiction in the teachings of the holy ARI of blessed memory. In one place we find that the Nukva elevates the selected parts of BaN while the Male brings down MaH (Mevo Shearim II, Part 3 ch. 4). Elsewhere, however, we find that Abba selects the right-hand parts of BaN and Imma the left, as stated in connection with the mystery of the three days of conception (Etz Chayim, Shaar Orot-Nitzotzot-Kelim ch. 1).
The resolution of the apparent contradiction is as follows: The channeling of BaN is through the Nukva, but when it comes to the repair and selection of the parts that ascend, the Male also enters into this, for the Male repairs the right side while the Nukva repairs the left.
And afterwards the parts join up together... And the reason is in order to repair the Kindness-Judgment-Mercy they contain, which was not repaired at first and needs to be aranged in them through the respective roots involved - Kindness through Abba, Judgment through Imma, and Mercy through Understanding, which produces connection. This was not necessary in the case of MaH, which had already emerged from the roots in a proper state of repair aranged in the mystery of three columns.
...and thus MaH is joined together with every one of them, and the resulting offspring is complete. In other words, what Abba himself channeled (not in partnership with Imma, for MaH was already repaired) was already comprised of all these aspects, and now that BaN was rectified, MaH could then join with it in all these rectified aspects.
138 OPENINGS OF WISDOM INDEX PAGE
by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
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