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

Opening 41

The connection of the Line with the Residue -- soul and body -- becomes complete only after the emergence of evil and its return to good.

This general foundation had to receive its light initially through the mystery of the Line joining with the Residue. First, however, it had to be completed, because this was why the Tzimtzum took place in the first place -- in order to bring into existence a place for evil, so that it could be rectified and in the very end become good. Accordingly, the light, which is from the Eyn Sof, blessed be He, must also wait until the vessel is complete, since this is where the root of evil lies. Only afterwards will it shine in it, and then everything will be complete. Accordingly, the light was at first not joined with the vessels butbecame hidden above, until the vessels completed their purpose, which is to provide a place for evil to rule and also complete its rule. Its repair will then come, turning everything back to good, and then the light will shine in it.

Further to our discussion of the Nekudim and what they comprise, we must explain what happened to them when they came into being and were negated.

The proposition consists of two parts. Part 1: This general foundation... This explains the way the light had to join with the vessels as required by the governmental order. Part 2: Accordingly, the light was at first not joined... This explains how the connection actually came about in accordance with this requirement.

Part 1: This general foundation had to receive its light... For all the details that were emerging out of the first material were aspects of the Residue in the category of vessels. Afterwards they would have to receive their inner face or light (פנימיות, pnimiyut) in the category of the Line, as explained earlier (see Opening 27). ...initially... For the first to emerge from the material was this (i.e. the category of vessels). Immediately after it came forth, it had to fulfill its purpose in accordance with the underlying mystery of this light. ...through the mystery of the Line joining with the Residue. For it has already been explained how on all levels the governmental order is established on the foundation of the Residue, and how the Line joins with it to rule over them in accordance with the nature of the Residue (see Opening 29).

First, however, it had to be completed... For you have already heard how the Line and the Residue are the root of the soul and the body. Accordingly, we will first explain the matter in relation to the body and the soul. This body is a coarse body, and all aspects of evil -- every kind of sin and evil trait -- are also rooted in it. The soul, however, is pure, except that it is closed in this body, which separates it from the supreme light, and the soul itself is unable to shine its light properly. The soul's function in the body is to cleanse it and purify it of its coarseness. The essence of the return of evil to good is that what was evil should be rectified and turned to good, so that the soul itself may shine out of it. The soul will then be primary, and its radiance will spread as befits it, and the soul will be attached to the supreme light, delighting in it together with the body.

Now the root of all this above lies in the Line and the Residue, as stated earlier. The Residue (the root of the body) is a certain measure born out of the concealment of God's perfection and unity, upon which all the different aspects of judgment depend, including all the different aspects of evil, as explained above (see Opening 27). This is the way the worlds were created. This is not an aspect of perfection; on the contrary, it is the concealment of perfection. Clearly, the complete perfection of the Supreme Will is far away from this, and His perfect light does not reach this in a manifest way.

The Line, on the other hand, is the root of the soul, and it proceeds through the power of His unity to rule over all parts of the Residue, proving in the very end that everything that appears to be the opposite of truth through the power of the concealment actually turns around to show the real truth and reveal His supreme unity. This will come about in actuality when the world will come to complete perfection, when all evil will already have turned back to good, this being the function of the Line. The Residue will then no longer be something that repels the Supreme Perfection from itself. On the contrary, what will show the power of His true perfection is precisely the repair of all the apparent defects seen in the world through the revelation of His unity.

We have already explained that it is the repair of the Residue by the Line that brings the perfection which was seen even at the outset in the Supreme Will, only this is the actual revelation of that perfection in all its details. It is then that the supreme perfection reaches the Line and the Residue, which are the light that creates the worlds, until the worlds created from them come to enjoy His eternal perfection, and this is eternity (נצחיות, nitzchiut).

The way this perfection comes to the Line and the Residue is similar to the way the supreme light has to reach the soul, having been held back because of the body's being unrectified. But afterwards the light does reach the soul when the body is repaired (after the resurrection). It is known that the main thing is the unity, i.e. the Line, which is like a soul shining with all its lights in the body, so that the perfect unity is revealed properly in all its aspects. And just as the body is secondary to the soul, and is purified and radiant, so the Residue is secondary to the Line, and it is already rectified, because evil no longer comes forth from it, but on the contrary, it stands to reveal the perfection of His unity by showing how the deficiencies were rectified through the power of that unity. (When the Residue is rectified, it too reveals the unity.) It is then evident that despite the great power of evil, it is one small matter that the Eyn Sof blessed be He wanted to display in order thereby to demonstrate His perfection so that all existence may delight in Him through seeing the deficiencies that could exist were it not for the unity of His perfection and the repair accomplished by His perfect unity.

You can see this entire matter in the soul and the body, for the connection which the soul has to make with the body is the perfect, enduring connection that will exist after the resurrection. The essential intent of the creation is literally this: if Adam had not sinned, his body would have been pure and it would have been rectified in a single moment. However, after his sin, the impurity was in man's body, and the soul cannot join with it in a perfect connection. On the contrary, the soul leaves the body: this is death. The body is then alone and brings out all the evil contained in it, and that evil rules and holds sway until the body finishes bringing out all the evil it has to bring out. The body can then be rebuilt again in purity. This will take place with the resurrection of the dead, when the body will be rebuilt. The soul will then enter and remain in the body without a flaw for ever and to all eternity, radiating light after light to it, until it will ascend to the highest level suited to it. Even at the outset, when the soul was in the body before death, it also gave it a certain light. Indeed, according to the light which the soul puts into the body before death, so is the light which the soul puts into it afterwards, after the resurrection, for each one is purified and radiates according to his deeds.

All this is found above in the Line and the Residue. Before the Line could be joined with the Residue in a genuine connection that would cause everything to go in one direction, the Residue had to be allowed to do everything in its power -- i.e. to actually bring forth any evil that could develop out of it, so that afterwards it will be pure of this evil, as will be discussed below. The Line will then join with it in a complete bond, as when it first entered into it, and just as it shone before the breaking of the vessels, so it will shine afterwards with their rectification.

When the vessels are purified of the evil, the Line will radiate within them and its radiation will successively become stronger and stronger until everything will be completely purified, inaugurating the destined perfect repair at the end of everything. We thus see that the light cannot join with the Residue until it is complete in the sense of having brought forth evil and having also been purified from it.

...because this was why the Tzimtzum took place in the first place -- in order to bring into existence a place for evil, so that it can be rectified and finally become good in the end. Even the natural order of things requires that the Line should not be joined with the Residue except after it has been cleansed and purified of evil, bthey are levels resulting from the first Tzimtzum. As discussed earlier, it was the Tzimtzum -- out of which the Residue developed -- that instituted this pattern whereby evil emerged at the outset and would afterwards have to turn back to good. The Residue can therefore only be said to have fulfilled its purpose if it produces evil, which then stands waiting to turn back to good. If so, a genuine connection between the Line and the Residue can only exist after it has brought forth evil, which can afterwards be rectified through the mystery of the return to good. For after the Residue is complete, the Line that comes after it begins to hold sway.

The objection could be raised that if so, the light should not enter at all except after the process of purification. The answer is that the entry of the light and its becoming joined with the Residue are two different things. On the contrary, as far as entering is concerned, the light can enter immediately. However, it must allow the Residue to hold sway until the Residue fulfills its mission so as not to undermine its functioning in the middle. This is why the Line does not join with the Residue so as to actually purify it and raise it to its highest levels except after it has fulfilled its mission. Yet it must start to radiate from the outset, as discussed below (Opening 42).

Accordingly, the light, which is from the Eyn Sof, blessed be He, must also wait until the vessel is completed, since this is where the root of evil lies. Only afterwards will it shine in it... This is for the reason I have explained, for this is the proper order. For it was the Tzimtzum that was a new innovation, while Eyn Sof wanted to reveal His prior existence -- to make it known that this new innovation was only a concealment which He desired in order to thereby demonstrate His very perfection, as already discussed in various places. It was therefore necessary to wait until the Tzimtzum carried out its function, and then go to bring everything back to His unity, and to show His perfection through all of this.

...and then everything will be complete. In other words, to complete the desired labor in its entirety requires all of this: that the Tzimtzum should carry out everything in its power, and not only this, but that at the end of everything produced by the Tzimtzum, the light of Eyn Sof, blessed be He, should shine, as explained above.

Part 2: Accordingly, at first the light was not joined with the vessels... In other words, what actually happened was that the light became hidden above. For although it entered, it was unable to join with it but it went back and became hidden, as it goes on to say: ...but became hidden above... This is like the way the soul stands above in the Garden of Eden all the time that the body is being purified in the earth, bringing out the evil from it. Even from above, the soul radiates what it must to the body during this time (i.e. הבלא דגרמי, hevla degarmei, the "vapor of the bones"). And so it is with these vessels, as will be discussed below (see Opening 54).

Indeed, the light's becoming "hidden" -- whether we are talking about the light above or about the soul after the death of the body -- means that it is concealed in a pure place where the Other Side has no hold, like a person taking refuge somewhere while waiting for a certain matter to come to a conclusion, and in the meantime he has a place to stay. So too the soul in the Garden of Eden and the lights above are gathered into a resting place where no harm can befall them until what is necessary takes place in the vessels and in the body.

...until the vessels complete their mission... i.e. until they carry out everything rooted in their intrinsic law of existence. ...which is to provide a place for evil to rule and also complete its rule. For all these levels are fixed in the law of the vessels, as explained above. Its repair will then come, turning everything back to good, and then the light will shine in it. This is when the lights re-enter afterwards in the time of the repair, as will be discussed below.





Translated by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
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