Moshe Chaim Luzzatto ("RaMChaL"):
138 Openings of Wisdom
Interrelation of the Partzufim - in the chain of development and through clothing one another
The developmental chain is so arranged that all of Netzach-Hod-Yesod of every upper Partzuf are themselves the mental powers of the Partzuf below it. However, the order whereby the Partzufim are clothed in one another follows a different arrangement.
This distinction makes it possible to resolve an apparent contradiction in the teachings of the ARI of blessed memory. In one place Yesod of Atik is said to end in Yesod of Arich Anpin (Etz Chayim, Shaar Arich Anpin ch. 1). Elsewhere, however, we find that Yesod of Atik ends in Tiferet of Arich Anpin (ibid. Shaar Hamelachim ch. 4). How the seeming contradiction is resolved will be explained in the next Opening.
The developmental chain is so arranged that all of Netzach-Hod-Yesod of every upper Partzuf are themselves the mental powers of the Partzuf below it.
As discussed earlier, there are differences in the way the different states of the Partzufim appear in the prophetic vision depending on what the Supreme Will wants to reveal through them. Thus in one aspect the Partzufim are governed one under the other - in the sense that Malchut of the upper Partzuf governs the lower Partzuf. This is called the order of the chain of development (תולשלתשה, hishtalshelut). The prophetic vision reveals this aspect by showing how Netzach-Hod-Yesod of the upper Partzuf serve as the mental powers in the lower Partzuf. (For Netzach-Hod-Yesod of the upper Partzuf serve the needs of the lower Partzuf, while Malchut stands behind channeling their influence to the lower Partzuf. In the chain of development, the mental powers thus complete the lower Partzuf by providing its interior soul - pnimiyut.)
However, besides this interrelationship of the Partzufim through the developmental chain, there is another aspect whereby one Partzuf clothes itself within another. This gives the Partzuf that serves as the garb additional powers besides its own intrinsic power as instituted through the developmental chain. Accordingly there is another state seen in the prophetic vision in which one Partzuf clothes another.
Thus certain aspects of a given Partzuf derive from its intrinsic power as established from the outset through the chain of development. The way this appears in the prophetic vision is that Netzach-Hod-Yesod of the upper Partzuf stand as the mental powers of the lower Partzuf giving rise to the aspects in question. On the other hand there are other aspects of the Partzuf that derive from the way it serves to clothe another, and in the vision these appear accordingly as arising out of that state.
However, the order whereby the Partzufim are clothed in one another follows a different arrangement.
All of these arrangements are found constantly in the Partzufim. Thus when we come to examine their various powers, we must consider the intrinsic power vested in a given Partzuf through the graded chain of development - this being governed by Netzach-Hod-Yesod of the upper Partzuf - and trace all the aspects of the lower Partzuf that derive from this mode of government. In addition, we must take into account how the lower Partzuf clothes and conceals within it certain given levels of the upper Partzuf, providing the lower Partzuf with extra power, and we must trace which aspects derive from this. All the different aspects function as necessary in order to bring the creations to perfection.
138 OPENINGS OF WISDOM INDEX PAGE
by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
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