Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto ("RaMChaL"):
138 Openings of Wisdom

Opening 34

The connection between AV, SaG, MaH and BaN and their place of emergence from Adam Kadmon's sensory organs.

The passages through which the lights pass were chosen because of the way they are linked to the interior with the four Names that are arranged there, and they correspond to the different combinations in which the lights are interconnected. And the route by which the spirit travels through them is such that the place that it touches first is where it emerges.

Having discussed the radiant splendor that is revealed, we must now discuss the places from which the revelation comes forth.

The proposition has two parts. Part 1: The passages... This explains that there is a relationship between the passages and the lights that pass through them. Part 2: ...and they correspond... This explains the nature of the relationship.

Part 1: The passages through which the lights pass... The way in which the inner light emerges through the apertures of the face is not merely haphazard as in the case of a blazing fire covered over by a perforated vessel, through which the light of the fire emerges wherever there is a hole. Had this been the way the inner light emerged, it would have had two results, both of which we know not to be the case. Firstly, since it is the same fire under all the holes, what emerges through each hole is also entirely uniform: the fire does not take on any new movements in order to exit via particular locations that might cause it to undergo some kind of change. Rather, the fire leaves wherever it finds a hole, and it passes through one hole in exactly the same way as it would leave through any other. Secondly, the fire standing covered under one hole passes out through that hole, while the fire standing under a different hole passes out there: the fire does not undergo any kind of change causing what is under one hole to go out via another.

Neither of these phenomena is found in the worlds of Vision, Hearing, Smell and Speech under discussion. In the first place, the light that is within is uniform, while that which emerges is not uniform, for it emerges in stages in several different ways. If it were the case that the light emerged purely haphazardly wherever it found an exit in front of it, this would mean that the light emerging from the Ear would not be any different at all from the light emerging from the Nose. Secondly, we do indeed find that the lights change places. For the lights of SaG emerge from the Ears, Nose and Mouth, while the lights of BaN emerge from a place that is higher than the Ears, Nose and Mouth, namely the Eyes. And the lights of MaH emerge from a place that is higher than all of these -- namely, from the Forehead.

From all this it is quite evident that the way in which the light emerges is not merely haphazard. Rather, the passages were specially chosen to match their respective lights in each case. Each individual light must necessarily pass through its own particular passageway and not through any other, because of the special relationship that it has with it. Because of this relationship, the light undergoes a change when passing through the revelant passageway, for the emerging light is already subject to the influence of the aperture or "vessel" from which it comes forth.

If it were merely by accident that the light emerged from one aperture rather than any other, we could say that the light is not subject to the vessel -- on the contrary, it would be free of subjection. If that were the case, it could be that as long as the light is contained within the vessel, it would function within the constraints of the particular vessel in which it is contained. In that case, and even though the light itself might be intrinsically unchanged, its action would change through being subject to the constraints of the vessel, as discussed earlier in connection with the Line and the Residue (see Opening 28). However, on breaking through and passing out, it should loose that subjection and act like the soul outside the body. But having said that the light passes out through a given vessel because of the specific relationship which it has with that vessel in particular, we must infer that even after its emergence, the light remains subject to the vessel -- because it would not have been able to pass out through a different vessel. Even after passing out, this does not mean that it becomes free of all subjection to the vessel. On the contrary, the very nature of the vessel in question is to serve as a vessel of exit, as discussed earlier in connection with container vessels and exit vessels (see Opening 32, Part 1). This being the case, the light performs only the function of the vessel itself, and its functioning changes as if it were acting within the container vessel itself.

...were chosen because of theway they are linked to the interior with the four Names that are arranged there. This relationship between the emerging lights and the container vessels from which they emerge is not dependent upon the way things appear to stand as seen on the outside. On the contrary, this is precisely what is changed, for Ban and MaH are down below, yet they ascend higher than everything. Rather, the relationship derives from a bond forged inside, within the body. Thus we see that the whole relationship between the emerging lights and the passages through which they pass is an internal relationship which is dependent upon the order in which the Names stand arranged within, inside the body. The passageways are connected with them in the same order in which they are afterwards revealed outside.

Part 2: ...and they correspond to the different combinations in which the lights are interconnected. For even though we say that the Partzuf as a whole consists of ten Sefirot so that we may understand the govermental order that emerges from it, nevertheless we must examine many different details in the Sefirot, these being the totality of all the six hundred and thirteen lights contained in the Partzuf. Moreover, the main thing is to understand the links whereby these lights are connected to one another and the way they meet so as to connect one end to the other, even though they are far apart from one another in the order in which they stand. This is bound up with the way the lights join up in various different combinations: one light combines with another causing the emergence of a new offspring. This is how the different parts of the body are related one to another, so that if something happens to one part, it will be felt in the other even though the two parts in quesion may be very far from one another and other body parts stand between them. The intervening body parts will not feel it while those at separate ends do feel it.

The root of this matter is that the form of every Partzuf, both in general and in detail, depends upon the name MaH, as it is writen: "And the likeness of their faces was the face of a man (Adam)" (Ezekiel 1:10; the numerical value of the letters of ADaM = 45 = MaH). Now this name contains the specific number of powers that it contains, and it is these powers that divide up into various particulars, thus producing the limbs of the body with all their different properties. In some cases the particular components of the power in question unfolded in stages, one after the other, in a gradual developmental sequence. In other cases, the components of the power in question were separated from one another, with one being placed in one location and another in a different location far away from the first. Afterwards, the circuit of the spirit that circulates around all the different parts was instituted, and everything reaches the overall form, which is based on the underlying secret of the "irrigation of the tree", which is the secret of the name MaH (see Opening 29 Part 3). Thus when something happens to and is felt by one part of the Partzuf, it comes to the root, the name of MaH, and from there it immediately reaches the second part, which is likewise a component of the same power whose other component was affected in the first place.

It is the same in the case of man here below: the soul (neshamah) that builds the body does so through one general power contained within it. This is the "Likeness of Man", and this is the name MaH we have mentioned. For this must also exist in man here below in accordance with the secret of the "irrigation of the tree". It is from this that the entire structure emerges, and this is what experiences all the feelings and sensations of the different parts of the body, and it is from this power that their interrelationship derives. It is the spirit (ru'ach) itself that is affected and activated in the place where it dwells. When the spirit is affected through one of the body parts according to the distinctive nature of that part, this itself has an effect upon the second body part that is the natural partner of the first. When activated in one part, the overall form sends a current to the second part, which is also activated there in its place in the same way through the overall form that connects the two of them, while the intervening parts are not affected. (Thus "the eye muscles depend upon the understanding in the heart" Avodah Zarah 28b). For no other part will be affected in this way except one that is the natural partner of the first and structurally coupled with it. This is comparable to the way water is affected according to the place where it is contained. The influence of the stars also proves this point, for the stars send their influences through the entire atmosphere yet their effects are felt only in the place prepared for them: there alone does the particular influence flash forth to act and nowhere else.

And the route by which the spirit travels through them is such that... In other words, this phenomenon has its own individual law whereby the spirit (ru'ach) circulates in this way. ...the place that it touches first is where it emerges. For these names circle around inside, within the body (of Adam Kadmon) in accordance with the laws instituted for them. The spirit finds the limbs it comes to first and enters into these limbs and body parts, sending forth the radiation through the parts of the face that are related to those bodily limbs and organs.

This is what makes it possible to find that the lights of BaN emerged through the Eyes while the lights of SaG emerged through the Ears, Nose and Mouth. For the circuit of SaG is arranged in such a way that it first reaches the organs that are structurally coupled with the Ears, Nose and Mouth, and its radiations passed out from there immediately. The circuit of BaN, on the other hand, reaches the limbs that are structurally coupled with the Eyes, and the same applies to MaH in relation to the Forehead.

An objection could be raised on the basis of our earlier statement that the radiance of the fissures or apertures of the face derives from the fact that the entire soul is included in the face. How it this connected with the fact that it circulates in the body?

The explanation of this matter is as follows. Every action that the spirit brings about in the body must, as we have already said, be revealed in the face. Accordingly, for every action that this spirit performs in the body, it immediately produces a corresponding power in the face which stands ready to reveal it. Simultaneously with the performance of the action through the body, it rises up and is seen in the overall expression of the face. Yet this is still not the end of its circuit. For, as you already know, the face as a whole divides up into the various different sensory apertures. Accordingly, every action of the spirit in the body has a corresponding power that starts in the face and ends in one of the apertures. The general form divided up its powers in such a way that for every action performed by AV or SaG, it brought forth and revealed in the face certain corresponding powers in the Ears, others in the Nose and others in the Mouth. The same applies to SaG of SaG and BaN: it brought forth certain corresponding powers in the Eyes in the way explained above, whereby the general form divides up into the various specific powers contained in the body.

Thus we see that the powers corresponding to AV (i.e. AV of SaG) were placed below, while those of BaN were placed above (in the Eyes) and those of MaH higher still (in the Forehead). However, the parallel is not between the parts of the spirit and the parts of the body (e.g. between BaN and the Eyes) for they are not in the same category. Rather, it is between these parts of the body and those parts of the body. If so, we must say that the limbs and organs where BaN circulates are those corresponding to the Eyes. Accordingly, when BaN reaches those limbs below, it immediately shines forth in the corresponding part of the face, and from there to the Eyes, and the same applies to all of them.

In summary: The circulating spirit -- the totalitof AV, SaG, MaH and BaN -- produces powers in the body. For example, the light of BaN produces the powers of the legs, and there is thus a link between BaN and the legs. Everything that happens in the body is visible in the radiance of the face and produces a fissure, i.e. one of the senses. Thus the power in the leg eventually produces vision, and this is how BaN is connected with the Eyes.






Translated by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
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