Moshe Chaim Luzzatto ("RaMChaL"):
138 Openings of Wisdom
The way one power clothes itself in another indicates how the wearer directs the garb, but the underlying reasons are beyond comprehension.
Differences in the extent to which one power clothes itself in another in every place where this occurs indicate whether the action of the wearer is greater or lesser. The degree of action always remains proportional to the extent of the parts of the wearer that are clothed. The fact that in one place a large part of the wearer is clothed whereas in another place only a small part is clothed indicates that the action in one place is greater than the action in the second place in exact proportion to the difference in the extent of the parts of the wearer clothed by the garment in each case. However, as to the reason for the degree of action in any given case - it is because this is what the overall purpose requires. Various reasons could be found for the particular degree of action in any given case, because this has ramifications in various different directions.
In order to complete our explanation of the link between the present governmental order and that of eternity it would be necessary to explain in detail how Atik is clothed in Arich Anpin - why Keter, Chochmah and Binah of Arich each clothe one whole Sefirah of Atik (Chessed, Gevurah and Tiferet respectively) while Chessed-Gevurah-Tiferet-Netzach-Hod-Yesod of Arich in each case clothe only certain parts or limbs of the Sefirot of Netzach-Hod-Yesod-Malchut of Atik clothed within them (see Mevo Shearim 3:2:2). This is what we will now explain through a general introduction relating to all aspects of the phenomenon whereby one power clothes itself in another.
This proposition consists of two parts: Part 1: Differences. This is a fundamental premise relating to clothing. Part 2: However, as to the reason. This is a qualification with regard to this premise.
Part 1: Differences in the extent to which one power clothes itself in another in every place where this occurs. Just as there is a difference in the way the Sefirot of Atik Yomin divide up when they clothe themselves in the Sefirot of Arich Anpin, as explained above, similarly in other places too there are differences in the way the different Partzufim clothe themselves in one another. This premise applies everywhere.
.indicate whether the action of the wearer is greater or lesser. Clearly the concept of one power clothing itself in another indicates action: the wearer acts through the garment. If a major part of the wearer is clothed, this certainly indicates that major action is required, whereas if it is only a small part is clothed, this indicates that the action is smaller.
The degree of action always remains proportional to the extent of the parts of the wearer that are clothed. The fact that in one place a large part of the wearer is clothed whereas in another place only a small part is clothed indicates that the action in one place is greater than the action in the second place.
We must always compare one garment to another in terms of which one clothes a greater part and will therefore be subject to a greater action than one that clothes a small part. Moreover, through this principle we can understand in great detail how the different powers are clothed differently in one another. When we want to make a precise measurement of the power of the action of the higher Partzuf, we will measure which limbs or parts of a limb are clothed in the lower Partzuf and their characteristics and we will then understand the quality of the action. (The quality of the action depends not only on how much of the wearer is clothed but also on which limb or part of a limb - i.e. which Sefirah or part of a Sefirah - is clothed.)
.in exact proportion to the extent of the parts of the wearer clothed by the garment in each case.
Part 2: However, as to the reason for the degree of action in any given case - it is because this is what the overall purpose requires. There is no need to look for a reason for this, for as discussed earlier (see Openings 14 &15), we do not seek the reason for everything that exists in the overall structure. On the contrary, if we see that this is the way the structure is, we may infer that this is what is necessary, and afterwards we will be able to gain a better understanding of the nature of the building through application of our present premise. When we understand which parts of the wearer are clothed in which parts of the clothing, we can then infer the reason why the structure is so. The structure itself is something handed down by tradition in all its measurements and from it derives the entire governmental order.
Indeed, we could find many valid reasons for these structures, but this is not our intention. Rather, it is to know what exists and its function in each case and what depends on the degree and quality of the action - which parts of the garment clothe which parts of the wearer. And we will understand that the particular degree of action requires specific differences in the way one power clothes another. (Differences in the mode of government of the outer garb compared to that of the inner wearer are determined by the extent to which the one clothes the other). From the fact that a particular light is great we can infer that it has to be so, because a complete action is needed. (Thus Mevo Shearim ibid. explains that the Head of Arich needs greater light than the body, and therefore each of the Sefirot of the Head of Arich clothes an entire Sefirah of Atik.) If the light is small, it is because only a small action is needed. It is sufficient if we understand this, because the wisdom lies in knowing what is the effect of this and what is the function of that - not the reason why it has to be specifically this way.
Various reasons could be found for the particular degree of action in any given case, because this has ramifications in various directions. This is not among the things it is forbidden to ask. On the contrary, we could find many reasons, and all of them could be true. For the Supreme Thought did not have only one intention but many - except that we have no need to investigate this at all, but only to understand "what". For example, when we say that Zeir Anpin starts from the chest of Abba and Imma, it means that this is simply how it is: this is the extent to which Zeir Anpin clothes Abba and Imma - from there and below, and all the aspects of the world that depend on this follow the same order. But if you ask why Zeir Anpin does not start from Daat and below, this is not a question. Even if you could find an answer, the inner reason will remain unknown. As we have said already, the Supreme Thought had various intentions and we have no need to go after them but only to know what He laid down and built, and the effects of the structure as it stands.
(It is permissible to investigate how one power is clothed in another because this teaches us about the functioning of the governmental order of this world, which relates to man' service. However, it is forbidden to investigate the reasons for the present governmental order. This is because the World of Service exists in order to attain the reward, and therefore the reasons for its governmental order lie rooted in the World of Reward - the world of perfection - of which we can have no conception.)
138 OPENINGS OF WISDOM INDEX PAGE
by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
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