Moshe Chaim Luzzatto ("RaMChaL"):
138 Openings of Wisdom
Atik's male and female aspects are literally one body
The Partzuf of Atik is built of MaH and BaN, and they are its male and female aspects, standing literally in one joint entity like one body, such that it is impossible to assign them a place and call this one right and the other left. Rather, they are joined together in literally one entity made out of both of them into one body.
Having discussed Atik in general terms, we will now go into greater detail, starting with how Atik is constructed.
The proposition consists of two parts. Part 1: The Partzuf of Atik... This explains the male and female aspects of Atik. Part 2. ...standing... This explains how they are arranged.
Part 1: The Partzuf of Atik... As stated in the previous opening, in order for Malchut of Adam Kadmon to become a Partzuf, it had to extend and unfold so as to manifest certain specific repairs. These particular repairs consist of the aspects of MaH and BaN that are joined together therein.
...is built of MaH and BaN, and they are its male and female aspects... You see already that the male aspects always derive from MaH while the female aspects derive from BaN. However, where the male and female aspects are separate from one another (as in the case of the lower Partzufim, which are either male or female), each receives the opposite aspect from the other and this is why we discern MaH and BaN in both of them. (Even though BaN is found also in the male Partzuf and MaH in the female, this is because the male received the BaN from the female and vice versa.) Here, however, on the level of Atik, where both male and female stand together, there is no need for this. On the contrary, they divide up in the Partzuf itself - MaH as the male and BaN as the female.
Part 2: ...standing literally in one joint entity... In other words, on this level the power of perfection is so great that the male and female aspects stand without any break between them. ...like one body... They are considered merely as two aspects combined in one body. ...such that it is impossible to assign them a place and call this one right and the other left. Herein lies the superiority of Atik over Arich Anpin, where the male and female aspects are also in one body. However, in Arich Anpin they are respectively to the right and the left, whereas in Atik one is the front and the other is the back. In one way this may not appear superior at all, but the point is that in Arich Anpin each has its own place, one on the right side and the other on the left, whereas in Atik both of them are on both sides, right and left.
Rather, they are joined together in literally one joint entity made out of both of them into one body. It might appear as if calling one the front and the other the back is a spatial description, but the truth is that they are not front and back in the same sense as we will be using these terms later. Rather they are literally like two simple entities which, through being combined together, become one body made of both of them. Both are compounded together in every place with no way of separating them. We can only say in general terms that in every place where the female is found, it is considered the back of wherever it it is. (In other words, in every part of Atik there are male and female aspects, and in relative terms the female is "behind" in relation to the male. The female thus has no specific place, which is not so in the case of Arich Anpin, where the female is on the left.)
138 OPENINGS OF WISDOM INDEX PAGE
by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
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