Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto ("RaMChaL"):
138 Openings of Wisdom
The order of Coupling through the Male and Female Waters
The order of Coupling is that Nukva - the Shechinah - must encompass all of the lower worlds. These must be properly repaired in all the necessary ways - through the removal of the Other Side and the repair of the worlds by each other through all their good arrangements. Nukva is then ready for Zeir Anpin, and he joins with her. He then gives her a certain power known as "the Spirit that her husband sends into her". Through this power she sends up Female Waters - this being what she channels - whether in the form of a revelation of new light or through the restoration of what was concealed or damaged. She sends up her Female Waters through the power of the souls of the Tzaddikim. Zeir Anpin then increases what he gives her - in proportion to what she sends up - in the form of new influence, this being the Male Waters. This is what afterwards comes down into the world, spreading to the ministering attendants and from there down to the world of Asiyah, from where it goes forth to act.
Since Coupling is the goal of all service, we will conclude this entire discussion with an explanation of the order of Coupling.
The order of Coupling. The entire order starts with the very first preparation for Coupling and continues until the whole act is complete.
.is that Nukva - the Shechinah - must encompass all of the lower worlds. You have already heard that Nukva is the root of all the lower creations and is therefore incomplete without them. Accordingly Nukva must first include within her all these lower creations - in the sense that they must be bound to her in all the ways prepared and ready to bring about these interconnections. The way in which the worlds become bound to and included in the Shechinah is through the Chambers (Heb. heichalot), which ascend and become bound with each other until everything is included in the Chamber of Holy of Holies of Beriyah. There they are all bound with the Shechinah like branches merged in their source.
These must be properly repaired in all the necessary ways. These include all the repairs required in the branches to enable them to become attached to their root. Two things are necessary in order to repair the branches.
.through the removal of the Other Side. This is the first repair. The second is: .and the repair of the worlds by each other through all their good arrangements. They must be repaired by each other through their good arrangements because these worlds of Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah contain actual good and evil since they contain separate creations. This is not so in the case of Atzilut, where all is Godliness and evil is irrelevant. It is the evil in these lower worlds that keeps the branches separate from their root, because evil truly has the power to cause this separation, and this is what must therefore be removed. The higher levels of Beriyah-Yetzirah-Asiyah must then be merged and included in one another through all the arrangements that exist for this purpose in the lights of the Chariot.
When the Shechinah is repaired in all these ways, the Receiver is said to be ready to receive. The repair of the worlds through being included in one another comes about through their respective angels: these are the Chariots on which the lights ride.
Nukva is then ready for Zeir Anpin. Thus it says, "Your desire shall be for your husband" (Genesis 3:16). When Nukva is ready for Zeir Anpin, she arouses joy and favor in the Supreme Lights, eliciting a full, open revelation of their powers rather than one that is occluded - because the Giver wants to send a flow of influence, waiting only for her arousal.
.and he joins with her. They become one. Through the Kisses they literally become one on the level of the Ruach, because in the interior the join is complete. And the exterior vessels join together with the greatest degree of connection possible.
He then gives her a certain power known as "the Spirit that her husband sends into her". Now the influence begins to flow - because first the lights themselves must be repaired in order to be able to carry out their functions, and only afterwards do they actually execute them. The function of the lights is to send an ever-renewed flow of influence. For they are always the same lights: it is the influence they channel that is literally renewed. However, in order to draw forth this influence Nukva requires an additional repair - the arousal of the souls, as the proposition goes on to state. But this repair requires a prior preparation to enable the souls to act. A certain power - the "Spirit that her husband sends into her" - is put into the Shechinah herself so as to be able to gather the souls to her in order to accomplish this. This is called making a vessel.
Through this power she sends up Female Waters. This is a particular power that enables the Shechinah to carry out this function of sending up the Female Waters.
.this being what she channels. This is the flow that the Shechinah for her part draws from the Emanator to send into the world. Its root is most exalted - for it lies in the Residue. The material substance of the separate creations derives from the Strengths in Yesod of Nukva - the root of Judgment revealed in the Residue. For, as you have already heard, the Place that remained after the Tzimtzum is Malchut. The Judgment revealed therein is the Strengths in Yesod of Nukva, and this is the root of the material substance of the creations - "Everything was from the dust" (Ecclesiastes 3:20). The Line on the other hand is the Male Waters.
In allusion to this the sages said: "[The congealment of the firmament] can be compared to a pot of milk (=the material substance, Judgment): as soon as a drop of rennet falls into it, it immediately solidifies" (Bereishit Rabba 4:7). In terms of this metaphor, the resulting entity essentially derives from the milk - because the rennet is merely the catalyst. Similarly, the root of the actual material substance of the separate creations lies in the Strengths.
Judgment has its own functions in the government of the creations. However we are not now talking about the governmental functioning of Judgment but rather about what is born as the direct offspring of the lights of Judgment, which then function as they function in the governmental order. The offspring of the lights is the material substance of the separate creations. The subsequent government of these creations through Judgment is a separate matter. What we are saying is that out of Judgment come forth fire and gold etc. i.e. from the actual lights themselves, not through their functioning in the governmental order. Likewise, water or silver etc. come forth from Kindness - from the actual lights themselves. The functioning of the lights is a different matter: this is the "rennet" that activates the material, while the material itself comes from the lights themselves, and this is the "milk".
The separate creations as independent beings are indeed built of two parts - MaH and BaN - for although they are the offspring of Judgment=BaN, they also include parts of MaH. BaN includes everything relating to the material substance given to the separate creations at the outset together with all that depends on it, while MaH includes everything relating to the Line - the part in the substance that repairs, together with all that depends on it. However in the actual body of each separate being the parts of MaH and BaN respectively are equal: half relate to MaH and half to BaN. The part that rectifies - MaH, the Line - is equal to the part of the material that it has to repair. Accordingly we say that all the Partzufim are compounded of parts of MaH and BaN.
Accordingly, the whole function of the Nukva is Strengths - renewal of the half of all entities that comes from BaN, i.e. the renewal of their material substance. MaH performs a different and very essential function: the renewal of the material substance of all that exists through interior spirituality. This material substance deriving from BaN is a dark material but it causes one of two things: either joy or sorrow - through repair or destruction. This material substance stands to be repaired with the most exalted of repairs and radiations by MaH, and if it is repaired it generates every kind of joy and love. But if not, God forbid, it causes every kind of sorrow and destruction (see Opening 92).
To return to our theme: Nukva needs the Five Strengths in her Yesod, these being the roots of the material substance of all the existing entities, as we have explained. When the material is renewed and duly repaired to enable Nukva to arouse this root in the proper way, the Receiver stands asking for Kindness from the Giver of Influence - and then the Male Waters will descend. However, in order to be able to arouse him, she needs a power from the male that completes her, making her a receiving vessel. This power is the Spirit mentioned above. Everything is in the category of Strengths, for this Spirit is from the side of Strengths, because this whole function of sending the Female Waters is rooted in Judgment.
In short, she generates renewal only in the half of every existing entity that derives from BaN - but this very renewal itself is the arousal of all the receivers to their Giver of influence. For it is to show that the arousal of the receivers comes from the side of BaN that BaN is put in every existing entity - for "the Spirit that her husband sends into her" is also in the category of BaN. The function is specific - through BaN - yet it affects the whole, including the parts that derive from MaH. This is how she channels new influence to sustain the half of each existing entity that comes from BaN. According to the renewal of these parts, so are things renewed in the overall government of all the worlds.
.whether in the form of a revelation of new light or through the restoration of what was concealed or damaged. If things were in a state of repair, there would be continual Coupling, which would elevate the entire creation level after level through literal renewal (as was the intention had Adam not sinned). With each act of coupling Nukva would then immediately draw forth a certain light that would renew the half of the existing entities that derives from BaN, as discussed above, elevating it one additional level through that act of Coupling. However because things are damaged (as a result of the sin of Adam and other sins thereafter) many attributes that the worlds previously possessed have been lost. These now have to be restored. Thus the purpose of the Couplings that take place now is merely to restore the levels lost through sin. Only afterwards will it be possible to rise to the heights that would have been attained had it not been for these sins.
All these exalted attributes come through lights emanating from the Shechinah, these being the roots for what exists in Beriyah-Yetzirah-Asiyah. There are things that should have been in those lower worlds and which had their root in the Strengths in Yesod of the Shechinah, which are the roots of the lower creations. However, when these exalted levels left the worlds, those roots either became concealed or were damaged through descending into the husks, with the result that the husks benefited instead of the world and Israel. It is these levels that must be restored. Every day some of these lights are once again revealed in order to repair the world.
She sends up her Female Waters through the power of the souls of the Tzaddikim. This is a repair that depends on the souls since the interior government is bound up essentially with them. In other words, it is the ascent of the souls to become bound above in her Yesod and radiate there that elicits this flow of Female Waters.
Zeir Anpin then increases what he gives her. Zeir Anpin for his part increases what he has to channel - the flow of the influence of MaH to the other half of all the existing entities - which still has to be completed - with all that depends on it in the overall government. MaH thus brings not only the existing entities but also the entire governmental order to perfection.
.in proportion to what she sends up - in the form of new influence, this being the Male Waters. For according to the light revealed through the Strengths - the Female Waters of Nukva - so is the light that descends to complete it from the Kindnesses of Zeir Anpin.
This is what afterwards comes down into the world. These two kinds of flows - the Female Waters and the Male Waters - are themselves the influence that descends into the world. This is the order in which it descends into the world to spread to the ministering attendants (Heb. meshar'tim), as the proposition goes on to explain.
.spreading to the ministering attendants. This also follows a unique order that exists in the world of Beriyah - the place where the Glory stands in its Chamber to ride upon the ministering attendants. For the Chambers are here in Beriyah and the Shechinah dwells at the head of Beriyah in the Chamber of the Holy of Holies. It is there that all the branches - the creations - are attached to her. This is the secret of all that is discussed in connection with the chambers and the Chariot in Brit Menuchah (an ancient, fundamental Kabbalistic text endorsed by the ARI).
.and from there down to the world of Asiyah. Gradations exist among the ministering attendants as required by the governmental order. And the descending influence thus comes down level by level all the way to the bottom of the World of Asiyah.
.from where it goes forth to act. The end goal of the entire flow is to act in Asiyah, whether in the bodies or in the government. According to the nature of that influence - depending on its source, all it undergoes and all the conditions to which it is subject - so is what comes forth from it to act below, whether in the bodies, as explained earlier - i.e. some body is thereby renewed - or in the government - in the form of some new act of government.
Blessed be God for ever Amen! Amen! For God's share is His people, Jacob is the lot of His inheritance. My share is God, says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him. My share is God, I said, to keep Your words.
Finished and complete, with praise to the Creator of the World!
by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
© AZAMRA INSTITUTE 5764 - 2004 All rights reserved