Moshe Chaim Luzzatto ("RaMChaL"):
138 Openings of Wisdom
Repair of the breakage in stages during Pregnancy, Suckling and Maturity
The Pregnancy is the process of purification in which the Sefirot of Zeir Anpin are sorted out from literal desolation so as to stand in proper order. Zeir Anpin's Mental Powers in this period are at their lowest possible degree of strength. This is called Netzach-Hod-Yesod of the Mental Powers and is termed Nefesh. During Suckling there is growth in all the lights as they expand to the full dominion proper for them, and his Mental Powers are stronger than at first. This is called Chessed-Gevurah-Tiferet of the Mental Powers and is termed Ruach. In Maturity the Mental Powers extend in all their different aspects to govern Zeir Anpin and Nukva through the power of Chochmah-Binah-Daat. They are then at full power, and this is termed Neshamah.
Having discussed the first repair received by Zeir Anpin after the breaking of the vessels, we will now examine the process of gradual repair that followed.
The Pregnancy is the process of purification in which the Sefirot of Zeir Anpin are sorted out from literal desolation. First there was the destruction - the breaking of the vessels - but now the different levels are sorted out and the laws of orderly government are laid down. Whereas initially the Sefirot were no more than levels one beneath the other but not arranged in columns - which is the reason why the destruction took place - the repair required that they should now be given this arrangement of columns . so as to stand in proper order. Accordingly everything that has to be in the rectified Partzuf must be produced during the period of Pregnancy so as to be ordered in columns - Netzach-Hod-Yesod - as already mentioned earlier.
Zeir Anpin's Mental Powers. i.e. his inner soul - Heb. pnimiyut - because not to have both interiority and externality is an impossibility. Thus even during Pregnancy there are Mental Powers.
.in this period are at their lowest possible degree of strength. As discussed earlier, according to the strength of the Mental Powers, so is the strength of the body. Accordingly, when the Mental Powers are at minimum strength, the body also remains concealed and powerless. (Thus in Pregnancy, only Netzach-Hod-Yesod of the body are revealed, while the head - Chochmah-Binah-Daat - and chest - Chessed-Gevurah-Tiferet -- are folded up behind them "three inside three").
This is called Netzach-Hod-Yesod of the Mental Powers. This is because everything is measured in terms of the Ten Sefirot, and thus the Mental Powers of Chochmah-Binah-Daat as a whole are likewise measured in these terms. Accordingly the stages in which the Mental Powers develop follow the steps on the ladder of the Ten Sefirot: Netzach-Hod-Yesod, Chessed-Gevurah-Tiferet, Chochmah-Binah-Daat. Netzach-Hod-Yesod of the Mental Powers - their lowest possible degree of strength - is one single level of the Mental Powers as a whole.
.and is termed Nefesh. For the successive levels of the inner soul, the pnimiyut, are called Nefesh, Ruach and Neshamah.
During Suckling there is growth. During the stage of Suckling (Heb. yenikah) there is no further addition of new lights at all. Rather, the Sefirot built already in the Pregnancy now grow and expand, and thus Chessed-Gevurah-Tiferet, which were there already except that they were concealed, now become revealed.
.in all the lights. The growth is not on any one particular side but in all of the previously built Sefirot, which now expand in length and breadth. This is based on the mystery of the human form: during pregnancy the body is built in all its various parts, but in the period of Suckling it is the parts as already built that expand.
.so as to expand to the full dominion proper for them. When we speak of expansion, we mean that the governmental power included in the intrinsic law of each light becomes complete - all the different parts of the governmental order intensify the power with which they operate. Initially they were closed up in themselves without showing all their power and dominion, but afterwards they expand and reveal this dominion.
.and his Mental Powers are stronger than at first. This is because, as we said above, the strength of the body corresponds to the Mental Powers.
This is called Chessed-Gevurah-Tiferet of the Mental Powers and is termed Ruach. This should be clear in the light of what was explained above about the stages of development of the Mental Powers.
In Maturity the Mental Powers extend in all their different aspects. The whole of Pregnancy and Suckling is a period of preparation and repair to the body in its various parts, which are built in Pregnancy and expand during Suckling. But Maturity (Heb. gadlut, "greatness") depends on the extension of the Mental Powers in all their pathways and details in all their possible aspects so that the government can go forth properly accordingly.
.to govern Zeir Anpin and Nukva through the power of Chochmah-Binah-Daat. For the specific intention here in Maturity is to bring Abba and Imma to complete rule over Zeir Anpin through their providing him with his Chochmah-Binah-Daat.
They are then at full power. I.e. there is no further period of growth after Maturity: the periods of growth are completed at twenty years of age.
.and this is termed Neshamah. This is the end of the scale of the inner soul or pnimiyut, as stated above.
138 OPENINGS OF WISDOM INDEX PAGE
by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
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