Moshe Chaim Luzzatto ("RaMChaL"):
138 Openings of Wisdom
The concealed governmental order - the root of free will. The revealed governmental order - the Partzufim of Atzilut.
The joining of MaH and BaN through these interconnections is the true root of the entire governmental order. However, it is impossible for this root to be revealed. Quite the contrary, the entire government depends on the concealment of this root. For then men act on their level in accordance with their freedom of choice while the Holy One blessed be He carries out His plan. For the concealment itself is what brings about the repair. Accordingly, there is on the one hand the order whose function the Holy One blessed be He displays: this is the order of Atzilut with its various Partzufim. On the other hand, there is the concealed root which lies in the way MaH is joined with BaN, and this is not known.
Further to our discussion of the interconnections between MaH and BaN, let us now examine how they are arranged.
There are two parts to this proposition. Part 1: The connection... This is a premise relating to the connection of MaH and BaN. Part 2: Accordingly... This is the corollary of the above premise.
Part 1: The joining of MaH and BaN through these interconnections... If MaH and BaN were merely linked directly, each Sefirah of the one being joined with the corresponding Sefirah of the other, Keter with Keter, Chochmah with Chochmah etc. on every level of the interior and encompassing lights and all the vessels interior and exterior in both cases, then all we would need to understand about this matter is that every level has to be a composite of MaH and BaN. However, this is not the way they are connected. For while the Partzufim of Atzilut are all a composite of MaH and BaN, the respective Sefirot of MaH and BaN in each case are not parallel to one another. Rather, there is a unique arrangement - as is evident from the order in which the Partzufim were sorted and purified - that governs the way MaH and BaN are combined in each of the different Partzufim. The fact that there is a unique arrangement shows that there is a particular purpose here which goes beyond what we would have expected had the connection been direct.
In the light of this we must understand the Partzufim of Atzilut, their arrangement and the way they rule, as a single Tree that constitutes a complete order of government as required for the creations. However, prior to all of Atzilut there is this connection of MaH and BaN. ("The coupling of Yesod and Malchut of Adam Kadmon" - Etz Chayim Shaar 3 ch. 2. This may refer to the connection between the Line and the Residue, which is the root of all that is destined to exist.) For the Partzufim were produced in accordance with the way that MaH and BaN interconnect. We must therefore say that first there must exist this root of the governmental order which arranges these interconnections, and only afterwards the governmental order itself comes forth through the Partzufim.
Thus the connection of MaH with BaN ...is the true root of the entire governmental order. However, the truth is that this root order is not known to us: only the order of the Partzufim which emerges from this root is known to us. We may thus infer that the order of Atzilut is the order which the Supreme Will wanted to reveal to us, but this very order itself is at great depth rooted in its own root, which He does not want to reveal to us. ...the true root... Even though it does not seem so, this is really the true root, because while we only see the government emerging from the Partzufim of Atzilut, we know that its root lies here.
However, it is impossible for this root to be revealed. There is a reason why the governmental order requires that the one should be revealed and the other should not be revealed. Quite the contrary, the entire government depends on the concealment of this root. This root is the level of God's foreknowledge, where all that was to be afterwards - the defects, deriving from BaN, and all the repairs for all these defects, deriving from MaH - were already revealed. On the other hand, the entire service of man depends upon this supreme knowledge being concealed from them. For if they had this knowledge, they would have no free will and there would be no service and no reward or punishment. Since the intention of the governmental order is to provide a place for man's service and for reward and punishment, it was necessary for this root to be concealed.
For then men act on their level in accordance with their freedom of choice... Since foreknowledge of what is going to happen is withheld from people, if they do something and succeed, they are not aware that what they were going to accomplish was already known. On the other hand, if they make an effort to do something without being able to accomplish it, they still receive a good reward for their effort, whereas had they known they were not going to succeed, they would not have made the effort. And so on.
...while the Holy One blessed be He carries out His plan. In other words, ultimately the truth is that what God with His foreknowledge knew is going to happen is what happens. For the concealment itself is what brings about the repair. Through the cycle whereby evil turns back to good, it becomes revealed that the purpose of the concealment was for the sake of the repair - in order to bring about the possibility of free will.
Part 2: Accordingly, there is on the one hand the order whose function the Holy One blessed be He displays... For out of this first hidden root of the governmental order come the Partzufim, which make up a single visible order. However, we always know that every aspect that we see in this revealed order has a root and a cause that lies in the concealed root, which exists to bring about the possibility of man's service, and this root we cannot know. Thus on the one hand there is the revealed order: ...this is the order of Atzilut with its various Partzufim. On the other hand, there is the concealed root which lies in the way MaH is joined with BaN, and this is not known.
138 OPENINGS OF WISDOM INDEX PAGE
by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
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