Moshe Chaim Luzzatto ("RaMChaL"):
138 Openings of Wisdom
Arich Anpin in itself functions with complete Kindness, its branches with Justice.
There are two aspects to Arich Anpin. One is the way it governs with complete Kindness through its own intrinsic essence. The other is the way it governs through its branches in the mode of Judgment, until everything will return to the essential nature of Arich Anpin in the very end.
Having introduced the subject of Arich Anpin, let us now enter into the details.
There are two aspects to Arich Anpin. Having said that Arich Anpin has branches through which it functions, we must infer that Arich has two aspects, because the functioning of the branches is also bound up with Arich itself. Arich thus has its own independent function without having need of its branches for this (as in the exercise of the Attributes of the Beard, תיקוני דיקנא, tikuney dikna, lit. repairs or adornments of the beard). For Arich Anpin in itself is the source of influence and many repairs (which derive from the concealed governmental order of unity). In addition Arich Anpin also functions through its branches, for the functions that we see being carried out are all functions of Arich Anpin. Since everything has a root, the functioning of the branches rooted in Arich must have a specific individual root in Arich Anpin itself, as will be discussed below (Opening 95).
One is the way it governs with complete Kindness. For Zeir Anpin also contains Kindness, but includes Judgment as well. However, Arich Anpin's intrinsic mode of government is all complete Kindness with no Judgment at all. ("This Eye is entirely right and contains no left" - Idra Zuta 289a).
.through its own intrinsic essence. As stated above, this mode of government derives from Arich Anpin in itself not acting through its branches.
The other is the way it governs through its branches. i.e. through their functioning. .in the mode of Judgment. This is the whole difference: when Arich Anpin acts by itself, it is with complete kindness. However, when it acts through its branches, Kindness is mixed with Judgment depending on man's behavior in the lower world.
.until everything will return to the essential nature of Arich Anpin in the very end. Since Arich Anpin is complete Kindness, why should it execute Justice? The intention is that since Arich Anpin is complete Kindness, it will not execute Justice, but its branches have the power to do so. Arich Anpin therefore uses this intermediary in order that something will exist that can execute justice, since this is not Arich's own intrinsic attribute. However the intention is not that things should stay this way. On the contrary, since it is really Arich Anpin acting, even though at first it may appear that Arich is willing for Justice to be done, the intention is that in the very end Arich Anpin alone will rule and govern everything with Kindness.
138 OPENINGS OF WISDOM INDEX PAGE
by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
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