Moshe Chaim Luzzatto ("RaMChaL"):
138 Openings of Wisdom
The rule of Judgment is the cause of immaturity; its removal brings maturity.
Swelling Judgment is what darkens, and it causes the lights to become incapable of emitting their light widely with all of their full force. This must be made to subside and the Kindness fortified, and it continues to subside little by little, while the lights continue growing accordingly.
Having discussed immaturity and maturity, in which the lights are initially closed up and afterwards widen, we will now examine what causes the closure or opening.
This proposition has two parts. Part 1: Swelling Judgment. This is what causes closure in the lights. Part 2: This must be made to subside. This is its repair.
Part 1: Swelling Judgment is what darkens. This is obvious because Judgment (Heb. din) means limitation and restraint, and by limiting the lights it causes darkness.
.and it causes the lights to become incapable of emitting their light widely. When Judgment rules in a given light, this prevents its innate powers from expanding. .with all of their full force. This limitation is a lack of completeness, and when it departs, we say that the light in question becomes complete. This enables us to measure the different states of the lights from their inception until their completion - i.e. from the time the limitation has an effect until it departs altogether.
(Pregnancy and immaturity are thus explained as being the outcome of Judgment - for the active influence could have conferred maturity from the outset had not the power of Judgment prevented it. All the different states of deficiency and completeness depend on the intensification or removal of restraint, and can accordingly be measured according to the measure of the restraint that rules or is negated.)
Part 2: This must be made to subside. We are taught that Judgment is like fire, which as we see either takes hold and flares up or otherwise subsides, as in "the fire subsided" (Numbers 11:2). See how all this is found in man down below: the fire of young people burns very strongly and they do not have much mercy. The older they become, the more this fire subsides and they become filled with mercy. Thus the elder is full of mercy, because the anger has already calmed down. When Judgment subsides, it does not cease altogether but is diminished.
.and the Kindness fortified. As the force of Judgment subsides, so the Partzuf increasingly shines out with Kindness. If Judgment had been made to subside all at once, all the lights would have immediately brought forth all their powers at once, leading to instant maturity. However, this is not the way it is, because the gradual order is preserved throughout everything. Accordingly the Judgment subsides gradually, little by little, as the proposition goes on to state.
.and it continues to subside little by little. This is also the mystery of how the Mental Powers of immaturity are pushed down from the head of Zeir Anpin into his body, and with each successive stage in their descent mature Mental Powers enter in their place, as discussed in the teachings of the ARI (Etz Chayim, Shaar Hamochin d'Katnut ch. 3).
.while the lights continue growing accordingly. For maturity comes about through the limbs growing, and this they do only to the extent that the Judgment subsides within - allowing them to expand their rule accordingly.
138 OPENINGS OF WISDOM INDEX PAGE
by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
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