Moshe Chaim Luzzatto ("RaMChaL"):
138 Openings of Wisdom
Coupling, Pregnancy and Birth
The repair of each aspect through the Male and Female comes about through the mystery of Coupling, Pregnancy and Birth. Through coupling, the respective parts of MaH and BaN are channeled so as to place everything in the Female. There in a single whole is found everything that needs to exist in the light in question so that there will be no need to add or subtract. Afterwards, this overall whole must be differentiated into its detailed parts, and the offspring is not revealed on its own until it is fully established in all its different parts as a complete revelation. Until that time it is therefore concealed within the light upon which it depends in order to receive its completion from it. This is because the lights of the one (the offspring) can only be completed through the lights of the other (the Female in which it is formed). When it has reached the stage where all its details are visible except that each contains only the minimum possible degree of radiation, the offspring is then revealed on its own, since there is no further differentiation that the light can undergo and it can only gain added power and lustre (the mental powers that enter during the time of suckling). Its being revealed from the higher luminary to the outside is what is called birth.
Having explained the overall subject of the institution of Male and Female, we will now enter into the details.
This proposition consists of two parts. Part 1: The repair of each aspect... This introductory statement provides a general listing of the developmental stages instituted in the repair through Male and Female. Part 2: Through coupling, the respective... This explains these stages in detail.
Part 1: The repair of each aspect through Male and Female comes about through the mystery of Coupling, Pregnancy and Birth. For we already know that the entire repair is bound up with the underlying mystery of the Likeness of Man. Having reached this aspect of Male and Female, we may infer that all its various facets are governed in accordance with what this aspect involves here in the lower world - namely coupling, pregnancy and birth.
Part 2: Through coupling, the respective parts of MaH and BaN are channeled... It is already clear from the principle of sequential development (השתלשלות, hishtalshelut) that lights emerge from other lights. The channeling of the emergent light depends upon coupling through the arousal of the Yesods (of the parent Partzufim), for the Yesod possesses a unique power in this respect: this will be explained further in its proper place, with the help of Heaven.
...until everything is placed in the Female. There in a single whole is found everything that needs to exist in the light in question so that there will be no need to add or subtract.
This is clearly the case, because the cause of the resultant light's existence is only the coupling. Nothing can exist in any given subject without its having a cause. With the completion of the process of coupling, the first cause (the Male) has already completed giving what it has to give to the resultant light, and no other further causal factor acts in it. If so, nothing can exist in it that was not there already. It is quite clear that no other causal agent acts in the offspring that comes forth as a result of the coupling, for this offspring is precisely that which is able to emerge and exist only through the coupling. (There are no other concomitant factors.) Indeed, this is why this pathway was instituted as the particular pathway followed throughout the developmental chain of the lights. If so, once the coupling is completed, the cause (the Female) certainly contains all that has to exist in the resultant offspring that is to be built therefrom.
Afterwards, this overall whole must be differentiated into its detailed parts... Clearly, this is always the way of gradation: first there is the overall whole, and afterwards this whole divides up into its constituent parts. ...and the embryo is not revealed on its own until it displays all its constituent parts fully revealed. Since we are following the path of gradation, the fact is that no light can carry out its functions until all its constituent parts are revealed in it. (The path of gradation requires first the overall whole - through coupling - and afterwards the details - which develop during the pregnancy.) For all those parts are necessary in order to produce the required function. Thus as long as it has not reached this point, we cannot count it among the governing powers (i.e. as a Partzuf in itself).
Until that time it is therefore concealed within the light on which it depends... You have already heard how the Supreme Will wanted to reveal the powers by way of sequential development, showing how one emerges from another. Obviously there is no revelation of how the second emerges from the first until the first has truly produced it with its full array of powers. As long as the resultant light is not yet complete in this sense, it is merely concealed as an embryo within the power that produces it, until it gains sufficient power to reveal all of its own constituent parts. It will then appear on the outside as a single, complete governmental power that develops out of the first power. That first power will then go on to clothe itself within the resultant power, in the same way as all the higher powers clothe themselves in and direct lower powers. Initially, however, the lower power is merely concealed within the higher power and is not revealed to the outside at all.
...in order to be completed thereby. I.e. in order to emerge sequentially with all its parts fully revealed.
This is because the lights of the one (the offspring) can be completed only through the lights of the other (the Female in which it is formed). This is the principle of sequential development that I have discussed.
When it has reached the stage where all its details are visible... Two things must be understood about each level (i.e. each Partzuf): the number of details it includes, and the degree of power they have. The full tally of all the constituent details must be revealed (at the time of birth) because each detail is the root of one function or of some condition governing one function. However the degree of power merely governs whether the function itself is carried out with greater or lesser power (e.g. with mature or immature mental powers). Accordingly the revelation (i.e. differentiation) of all the details has to come before the resultant light is (actually) revealed to the outside at birth, in order that it should be complete in all its powers. For afterwards there will be no additional revelation of any further component power. There can only be an increase in the force exerted by the existing component powers themselves. Indeed, there are different periods of time according to the order of gradation. There is a time for the details to be revealed, and when this time comes to an end, no further details can be revealed. What comes later is a period when the power of those particulars that have already been revealed is increased.
...even though each contains only the minimum possible degree of radiation, the offspring is then revealed on its own... As already explained, there are different degrees of power, but as soon as the offspring reaches even the first degree, once all its detailed components are present, it is revealed on its own, for it is already a complete governmental law in itself, separate from the governmental law that brought it forth.
...since there is no further differentiation that the light can undergo and it can only gain added power...
For if there were any details to add, they could not be added now (after birth), but additions of power and radiance are possible. This is because the difference between the powers from level to level (from Partzuf to Partzuf) depends on the intensity of the lights within each one. These have the power to expand or contract in accordance with the nature and dimensions of the different vessels. However, the number of specific powers depends on the parts of the vessels themselves. (After birth, the higher powers - the parent lights - cannot add any additional parts to the vessels of the resultant offspring, but they can expand those vessels depending on their quality.)
Everything that has to be joined in as a component in the resultant light so as to be fixed as a part of the governmental order is already joined from the outset, prior to its emergence from the place where it develops (concealed within the parent power) to the outside (as a Partzuf in its own right). For once it comes forth, its unique mode of government is known as soon as it emerges, and it goes down under the upper branch (the parent power that produced it), and its mode of government is not susceptible to any change or increase in terms of its constituent parts. However the actual mode of government itself can "ascend" or "descend" depending on the higher lights that enter the Partzuf itself and give it new strength.
and radiance (the mental powers that enter during the time of suckling). The concept of radiance (הארה,he'arah) applies because according to the way the Chariot appears in prophetic vision, the resultant light is itself a radiation (הארה, he'arah) of light.
The revelation of the offspring from the higher luminary to the outside is what is called birth. This is obvious since everything follows the underlying Likeness of Man.
138 OPENINGS OF WISDOM INDEX PAGE
by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
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