138 Openings of Wisdom
by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto ("RaMChaL")
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"The redemption will come about only through the study of the Torah. And the essential redemption depends upon the study of the Kabbalah"
R. ELIYAHU, THE VILNA GAON (Evven Shelemah 11:3)
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138 Openings of Wisdom makes available online the first English translation of KLaCh Pischey Chokhmah by the outstanding kabbalistic genius, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto ("RaMChaL", 1707-47). The translation is by Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum.
138 Openings of Wisdom was written by Ramchal as the final step on a ladder of initiation into the kabbalistic wisdom that starts with Derekh HaShem ("The Way of G-d") and Da'as Tevunos ("The Knowing Heart"). Those embarking on the study of Kabbalah are advised to study these works first.
138 Openings of Wisdom is considered by leading scholars to be the classic exposition of the kabbalistic system, providing the student with all the concepts and understandings necessary in order to navigate and find meaning in the Zohar, the writings of the ARI and other kabbalistic literature.
1. Oneness: God's existence, His will and control
2. His desire is only to bestow good. Even evil is a means through which He bestows good. In this way His oneness is clearly revealed.
3. The ultimate goal of creation is to bestow the ultimate good on God's creatures.
4. His desire to bestow good to perfection through the revelation of His oneness is the cause of the deficiencies in the world, which create the conditions for man's service. The revelation of His oneness is itself the reward.
5. The Sefirot were an innovation in that they are visible lights, whereas Eyn Sof is not visible.
6. The Sefirot are what Eyn Sof wanted to reveal of His attributes.
7. How the Sefirot appear in the prophetic vision. The images seen by the prophets and what they represent.
8. The Sefirot may appear in opposite likenesses even simultaneously. Both are true representations.
9. The form in which the Sefirot appear is a spiritual form, yet even this form is not part of their intrinsic essence but only the form in which they appear when seen through the "looking glass" of Malchut.
10. How the Emanator operates through the Sefirot - through chains of cause and effect, and by clothing one power in another. How these appear in prophecy.
11. The images of prophecy derive from Malchut, and only through the lens of Malchut can we understand what is above it and what is below it.
12. Everything that exists and the way everything is governed is all a single order arranged in the underlying likeness of Adam. Adam Kadmon ("Primordial Adam") encompasses everything.
13. The underlying spiritual forms. The circular and straight or upright form: general and individual providence.
14. The government is structured to produce man possessing free will - and everything is laid down in Keter.
15. About Keter, the First Foundation, it is forbidden to ask. From Chochmah onwards it is a mitzvah to investigate.
16. Two kinds of direct and returning light: in the government of the worlds and in the developmental chain.
17. Sefirah and Partzuf: government - overall and individual.
LETTERS AND NAMES
18. The government of the worlds is implemented through the letters.
20. The letters are different combinations of Kindness, Judgment and Mercy -- lines and dots, signifying opening and closure.
21. The action of the letters is completed by the musical notes, vowel points and crowns.
22. The musical notes, vowel signs, crowns and letters are governed under the order of the ten Sefirot included in the Name of Havayah and its expansions.
23, The lights execute their functions through the holy names which make up the Torah.
25. The result of the Tzimtzum: the Sefirot became visible.
26. Details of the Residue that filled the Empty Space.
27. How the Line governs the Residue.
28. The Line divides into the Inner and Encompassing Light of the Sefirot.
29. The Line shines within the Sefirot though a garb.
30. The rule of good and evil and the rule of unity
31. The entire government of the universe is ordered under the four letters of the Name of HaVaYaH
32. The radiance of Adam Kadmon
33. The branches of Adam Kadmon successively reveal the Likeness of Man
34. The connection between AV, SaG, MaH and BaN and their place of emergence from Adam Kadmon's sensory organs.
35. Absorbed within the lights that break forth from the branches of Adam Kadmon is the root of the Vessel.
THE WORLD OF NEKUDIM
The Breaking of the Vessels
37. All the damage and repairs in the world are rooted in the breaking of the vessels and their repair.
38. The connection of Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah with Atzilut
39. The world of Nekudim is the material out of which all the details divide up.
40. The connection of Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah with Atzilut at their root in Nekudim
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.
42. The light joins with the vessels according to the degree of their repair, which will be completed in the future.
43. The root of actual evil lies in Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah
44. Why the specific root of the Other Side lies in the world of Nekudim
45. Evil was rooted at the end of the vessel, so that when the light reached there, the vessel broke.
46. The fall and breaking of the vessels - to produce evil
47. The repair of the vessels from evil, albeit incomplete
48. The repair of Malchut by man, through which everything is repaired completely
49. The production of evil and its future return to good. Beriyah-Yetzirah-Asiyah became Atzilut-Beriyah-Yetzirah-Asiyah but will later turn back into Beriyah-Yetzirah-Asiyah.
50. The entry of the light into the vessels and its exit are the root of the governmental order of this world in a state of damage and repair.
51. The root of the creations is in the seven lower Sefirot, while the first three only direct them. When the vessels broke, the first three Sefirot did not break, but were flawed through their connection with the lower seven.
52. The intrinsic essence of Zeir Anpin (of the Primordial Kings) is stern judgment - divisiveness and limitation - out of which comes the Other Side. Zeir Anpin is rectified and sweetened by Imma through the arousal of the Nukva.
54. What happened to the vessels when they were broken. The difference between the breaking and the repair.
55. AV is Arich Anpin, the root of AV, SaG, MaH and BaN - Abba and Imma, Zeir and Nukva.
56. The difference between the name AV contained in AV, SaG and MaH and that contained in BaN
57. The function of the overall AV - 288 sparks - is to prevent the destruction of the vessels and the world
58. MaH (Yesod) builds Nukvah (the deficient BaN), after which Zeir Anpin sends her a flow of blessing.
THE WORLD OF REPAIR
59. The root of the repair - the joining of MaH and BaN: interrelation and kinship between the Sefirot
60. BaN and MaH were bound up under Malchut and Yesod of Adam Kadmon, and then coupled together to bring about the repair.
61. The connections between MaH and BaN produce the "Tree" - Atzilut-Beriyah-Yetzirah-Asiyah. The repair is completed through men's deeds.
62. The Sefirot of BaN are the root of defects and punishments, while facing them are the Sefirot of MaH, which repair them.
63. For every function and for each effect there are two generators through the coupling of male and female - Kindness and Judgment coming from MaH and BaN - and likewise in the soul and body.
64. The role of the Male and Female in the channeling and repair of MaH and BaN
65. Male and Female before the Nekudim. The Balance as the root of Male and Female thereafter.
66. Coupling, Pregnancy and Birth
67. The legs of Arich Anpin sustained the broken vessels; the folding of the legs repaired and elevated them.
68. All parts of the creation and its laws serve the general repair
69. Balance. Cooperation between all the lights brings the complete repair.
70. Partzuf - a complete mode of government with 613 parts
71. Complete correspondence between the arrangement of the Partzuf and the human form.
72. The Partzufim - male and female, and the differences between them
73. Different degrees of connection of male and female in different Partzufim.
PARTZUF OF ATIK
74. Atik - Malchut of Adam Kadmon - is clothed in and governs Atzilut
75. Atik's male and female aspects are literally one body
76. The "back" in Atik: The face of BaN is the back of the face of MaH
ROOT OF THE CONCEALED GOVERNMENT
78. A trace of all faulty deeds remains, even after their repair, in order to reveal perfection.
79. The Great Day of Judgment: complete repair and receiving the reward
80. BaN and MaH are the root of all defects and repairs.
81. The concealed governmental order - the root of free will. The revealed governmental order - the Partzufim of Atzilut.
82. The role of different souls in the overall repair: variations in the fortunes of the righteous are rooted in the hidden connection of MaH and BaN.
83. The parts of MaH and BaN from which the Partzufim were made are not discernible in the governmental order.
84. The different parts of MaH and BaN in each Partzuf have a concealed influence - but outwardly all are equal.
85. The root of the interconnections between MaH and BaN lies in the Unknown Head while the results are found in the Partzufim, and both are concealed.
86. The uncertainties in the Unknown Head and their consequences in the Partzufim: opposites that all exist.
87. The different combinations in the Head that is Unknown rule as one all the time and are ungraspable.
88. The Unknown Head contains all the interconnections; the uncertainty lies in trying to grasp it.
89. The difference between the Dew of Bedolach and the Head that is Unknown
90. Arich Anpin is the root; the other Partzufim are branches.
91. Arich Anpin in itself functions with complete Kindness, its branches with Justice.
92. Zeir Anpin - Justice - comes from Arich Anpin - beneficence - and is therefore entirely for good.
93. Zeir Anpin derives from Arich Anpin
94. At times Arich Anpin removes Zeir Anpin's stern judgments entirely.
95. Arich Anpin's intrinsic government mode - the Skull and Brain (discussed in Idra Rabba); in generating Zeir Anpin - the Three Heads (discussed in Idra Zuta)
96. Atik Yomin is clothed in Arich Anpin; Atzilut is under Adam Kadmon.
97. The connection between Adam Kadmon, Atik and Atzilut-Beriyah-Yetzirah-Asiyah
98. Atik elevates man's service to the World of Reward.
99. Transfer of man's deeds to the world of reward through Daat of Atik
100. The way one power clothes itself in another indicates how the wearer directs the garb, but the underlying reasons are beyond comprehension.
101. The head includes the crown - Keter - and the mental powers within it.
102. Atik shines in the Head of Arich Anpin through the Seven Repairs of the Head - in the Skull in general, in the Face in detail.
103. Revelation of the Forehead of Favor completely removes stern Judgment; when it is concealed, the Judgment is sweetened.
104. The entire governmental order depends on the Three Heads -root of Kindness-Judgment-Mercy - and the Head that is Unknown - root of the Receiver.
105. Function of the Hairs of the Head and Beard of Arich Anpin
106. Some repairs come to prepare the flow of blessing, others to channel it.
107. The Beard reveals the governmental order of Kindness-Judgment-Mercy stemming from the Three Heads.
108. The Beard subdues stern judgments, humbles the husks and gives power to Holiness.
109. Interrelation of the Partzufim - in the chain of development and through clothing one another
110. In the chain of development, Yesod of Atik ends in the chest (Tiferet) of Arich Anpin; as clothed, it ends in Yesod of Arich.
ABBA AND IMMA
111. Abba and Imma - spread of the Concealed Wisdom in the columns of Kindness-Judgment-Mercy via the Beard for Zeir Anpin
112. Abba reveals the Mental Powers as a whole, Imma in detail.
113. The coupling of Abba and Imma - root of Zeir Anpin's Mental Powers - is constant; that of Israel Sabba and Tevunah - which transfer them to Zeir Anpin - is periodic.
114. The path of influence from Arich Anpin to Zeir and Nukva
115. Zeir Anpin and Nukva - root of the lower creations
116. Abba and Imma direct Zeir Anpin through his Mental Powers; the Keter derives from Arich Anpin.
117. The entry of Abba and Imma into Zeir Anpin generates additional Partzufim: Jacob and Leah and the diagonals.
118. Leah - the hind parts of Imma and inner soul of Nukva
119. Start of the repair of the breakage: Zeir Anpin and Nukva grow to maturity together.
120. Repair of the breakage in stages during Pregnancy, Suckling and Maturity
121. Completion of Zeir Anpin during Pregnancy, Suckling and Maturity
122. Action of Zeir Anpin during Pregnancy, Suckling and Maturity
123. The rule of Judgment is the cause of immaturity; its removal brings maturity.
124. Daat expands through the whole of Zeir Anpin, while Chochmah and Binah do not.
125. Interrelation of Zeir Anpin and Nukva in the developmental chain and the governmental order
126. The spread of Daat through the body
127. The Inner and Encompassing Mental Powers: the Tzelem
128. Abba and Imma divide up into the First and Second Israel Sabba and Tevunah
129. First and Second Maturity of Zeir Anpin
130. Nukva is built separately with mitigated Strengths.
131. Different times of ascent and descent
132. The difference between expansion and ascent
133. Zeir Anpin's ascent - after the Second Maturity
134. Zeir Anpin repairs Nukva to create the possibility of service by the lower creations.
136. When Zeir Anpin and Nukva are complete they are ready for Interior and Exterior coupling.
137. The Shechinah is complete when all the lower creations - the angels and the souls - are included within her.
138. The order of Coupling through the Male and Female Waters