You are here: Kabbalah Library Home / Other Authors / An Essay about Letters / PART II / The Missing Letters

The Missing Letters

20) At this point, a query may be posed. Why do we always make mention of only twenty-two letters, and not of the twenty-seven letters of the Hebrew alphabet?

The question may be answered as follows: there are two periods to each "Partzuf". There is a time of maturity and a time of immaturity for each "Partzuf"; that is to say: there are two periods to each "Partzuf": the period of immaturity and the period of maturity. At the time of immaturity, the Sephirah "Malchut" rises to the place of the Sephirah "Binah" of the dimension concerned and there she terminates the dimension of light. As a result, half of the Sephirah "Binah" as well as "Tifereth" and "Malchut" of the dimension, step out from the "Madreigo" and fall down to the "Madreigo" below it. This diminution of the "Madreigo" causes the three upper lights of the head to be expelled from the "Madreigo"; for, from all the vessels that were left in the "Madreigo", there were left but the vessels of "Ketter", "Chochmoh" and half of the upper "Binah" with the lights of "Rooach" and "Nefest" within them. This period is deemed the immaturity of the "Partzuf".

However, at the time of maturity, "Malchut" goes down from the place of "Binah" and returns to her proper place. It is then that the vessels of "Binah", "Tifereth" and "Malchut" return to the "Madreigo" and then that the first three lights of the head of the Sephiroth return to the "Partzuf". Therefore, since there are now five vessels in the "Madreigo", which are "Ketter", "Chocmoh", "Binah", "Tifereth", and "Malchut", this results in the return of the five light of "Nefesh", "Rooach", "Neshamah", "Chayah" and "y'Chidah" to the "Partzuf".


21) When a "Partzuf" is immature, the Sephirah "Malchut", the actual vessel of the "Partzuf" of a dimension of light consisting of six Sephiroth, rises to the Sephirah "Binah" of the particular dimension of light and there, at the Sephirah "Binah", she terminates the light of the complete dimension, that is, of the ten Sephiroth. It must be remembered that, wherever "Malchut" is located, the light from Above cannot pass. Therefore, by reason of "Malchut" occupying the area located at the bottom of the head of "Binah", so, the lower half of "Binah" as well as other Sephiroth "Tifereth" and "Malchut"were deprived of the upper light and thus had to make their exit from the "Partzuf" and remove themselves to the next lower "Partzuf"; with the result that the lower half of the "Madreigo", that is, the "Partzuf" proper, was diminished for the reason that the lower half could no longer abide in its original place. Instead, it had to fall down to a lower degree below it.

This diminution of the upper degree caused the expulsion of the first three lights from her, which is called the head of the "Partzuf".

The only vessels that were actually left in the "Madreigo" were "Ketter", "Chochmoh" and the upper half of "Binah", containing the two smaller lights "Nefesh" and "Rooach"; the "Partzuf" thus finding itself in a state of immaturity.

However, at the time that the "Partzuf" attains maturity, "Malchut" then descends from "Binah" and returns to her original place, that is, to the bottom of the Sephiroth. It is then that the Sephiroth "Binah", "Tifereth" and "Malchut" return to the "Partzuf", that is, to their original place. It is also then that the "Partzuf" again becomes filled with the light of the three upper Sephiroth "Ketter", "Chochmoh" and "Binah".


22) The recovering of the lights by the original "Madreigo" is because the "Partzuf" regained all of its vessels; that is to say: the "Partzuf" has regained all the five vessels "Ketter", "Chochmoh", "Binah", "Tifereth" and "Malchut". This acquisition of all the vessels by a "Madreigo" makes room for the full light to come in, each vessel then becoming filled with its proper light: "Malchut" is filled with the light of "Nefesh"; "Tifereth" with the light of "Rooach"; "Binah" gets "Neshamah" while the Sephirah "Chochmoh" is filled with the light of "Chayah" and the Sephirah "Ketter" with the topmost light of "y'Chidah".

It must be borne in mind that the three vessels the lower half of "Binah", "Tifereth" and "Malchut", because of their stepping out from the "Madreigo" of a "Partzuf", were made to fall down into the next "Madreigo" below, which rendered their status that of immaturity. However, when these vessels return to their original "Madreigo", it is then that they rise from their fall and are again united with their "Madreigo". These vessels which rise from their fall, are connoted the "M.N.Z.P.CH.", the final letters of the Hebrew alphabet.


23) In Tractate "Shabbos", page 104, the Sages have referred to the "M.N.Z.P.CH." by quoting the final letters םןץףך "M.N.Z.P.CH.", saying of them: "THEY SCOUT. THEY ARE FORGOTTEN. THEY HAVE RETURNED AND HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED".

This means that at the time that a "Madreigo" or a certain dimension of light is reduced to immaturity, these letters "M.N.Z.P.CH." are forgotten because they are absent from their original "Madreigo"; for, at that time, due to the diminution of the "Madreigo", they fell down into the "Madreigo" below it.

However, when the "Madreigo" attains her maturity, the fallen "M.N.Z.P.CH." rise and become united then with their original "Madreigo", which must be translated to point out that the "M.N.Z.P.CH." have returned and have become again established, hence, finding themselves in their mature state, they are now designated by the nomenclature "Seers" or "Scouts", which is due to their being able to grasp the shine of "Chochmoh" (Wisdom), that is connoted "Seeing".


24) The source of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet stems from the Sephirah "Binah". However, in "Binah", the letters cannot be considered as having become fully molded. It is only when they reach the Sephirah "Tifereth" ז"א "Z.A", that the letters become formed and completed. It is for this reason that the letters are recognized to actually begin from ז"א "Z.A". As is known and established, the intrinsic quality of the "Partzuf" "Z.A" is the immature state, when it is filled with the light of mercy, that is, when "Z.A" has but six Sephiroth, being recognized as a body without a head. This is the originally established immature dimension of "Z.A".

However, the mature condition which, at times, is bestowed upon "Z.A", is not an essential part of "Z.A" but is, rather, an additional light "Meichin" (Brain); which is meted out to ז"א "Z.A" occasionally.

Thus we find that the assential being of "Z.A" constitutes the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. However, the five final letters םןץףך "M.N.Z.P.CH." are but additional letters that appear in ז"א "Z.A" and are not an essential part of him. It is for this reason that we generally count by the twenty-two letters and not the twenty-seven letters.


25) We distinguish the coming out of the Sephiroth "Binah", "Tifereth" and "Malchut" from their own proper "Madreigo", that is, the Sephiroth which become excluded from their own dimension of light, recognizing it only in the nine Sephiroth of "Malchut", in which the numerical value of the letters is in the hundreds; that is to say: the letters are ק "Koof", numerical value: one hundred; ר "Reish", numerical value: two hundred; ש "Shin", numerical value: three hundred and ת "Tav", numerical value: four hundred. They symbolize the Sephiroth "Ketter", "Chochmoh" and the upper half of "Binah", which is left in the "Madreigo". The ק "Koof" is "Ketter", the ר "Reish" is "Chochmoh", the ש "Shin" constitutes the upper half of "Binah" which is left in the "Madreigo", as aforementioned, and the ת "Tav" is the curtain which terminates the "Partzuf". However, the letters םןץףך "M.N.Z.P.CH." belong to the lower half of the "Madreigo" which stepped out of the "Madreigo Z.A" and entered into the "Madreigo" below him, which is "Malchut", the feminine principle.

It follows then that the letters which were left within ז"א "Z.A" were respectively only the nine letters of his "Binah", which dwell within him: the nine letters of the "Z.A", which is also within him and the four letters of his feminine principle, that is, the "Malchut" that likewise abides within him; together, they are twenty-two letters.

Consequently, we avoid mention of the removal of the lower half of "Binah", "Tifereth" and "Malchut" from the "Madreigo", that is, in the dimension of light of the Sephirah "Binah", who has the first nine letters from א "Aleph" to י "Yood”, that is, from one to ten.


26) The Zohar makes no mention either of the withdrawal of the letters of ז"א "Z.A", who has the nine letters from the י "Yood" to the ק "Koof". We recognize the removal of the lower half of "Binah", "Tifereth" and "Malchut" of "Malchut", who has the nine letters that comprise the last four letters of the Hebrew alphabet, from the ק "Koof" to the ת "Tav", including the final letters of the "M.N.Z.P.CH.", which are five. It is because "Binah", "Tifereth" and "Malchut", which became separated from the nine letters of "Binah", the head of ז"א "Z.A", fell into the next part below his head, that is, they fell into the middle part of "Z.A".

To be specific, the lower part of "Binah", "Tifereth" and "Malchut" of the head of "Z.A" entered into the "Madreigo", which is below his head, that is, they fell into the nine letters of "Z.A", which place is distinguished as the middle of "Z.A".

The "Binah", "Tifereth" and "Malchut" of the nine letters of ז"א "Z.A", which is the middle division of "Z.A"; fell into the next dimension below: the middle section of "Z.A", which is to say, into the letters of "Malchut", the end, the terminating point of "Partzuf Z.A". As a result, there were no letters removed from "Z.A".


27) Although there was a shifting of letters of ז"א "Z.A", yet they remained in "Partzuf Z.A" and were not removed outside of him at all.

Consequently, none of the letters which abide in ז"א "Z.A" were missing from "Partzuf Z.A". It is only "Binah", "Tifereth" and "Malchut" that fell from the nine letters that are contained in "Malchut". They are the "M.N.Z.P.CH." that were completely moved down outside of "Partzuf" ז"א "Z.A" and entered into "Partzuf Nukvoh"; and then these "M.N.Z.P.CH.", in turn, were removed outside of "Malchut".

As a result, they are actually absent from "Z.A". Therefore, in "Z.A" are found the nine letters of "Binah", the nine letters of his middle section that is called "Z.A" and the four letters that were left in "Malchut" after Her םןץףך "M.N.Z.P.CH." fell down. Together, there are but twenty-two letters in "Z.A".

This is conveyed in the Zohar, thus: "When the Creator created Man …" By the word Creator means "Binah", whereas the word Man means "Partzuf Z.A", who has within himself the name "HAVAYA" spelled out with "Alephs" numerical value: forty-five, which is the same numerical value as that of the word "Adam".


28) The words "two Partzufim" were created" mean that ז"א "Z.A" was created together with his opposite feminine principle the "Nukvoh", "Malchut". The words "with upper large letters" mean with the twenty-two letters which are large for the "Partzuf" ז"א "Z.A" and with smaller lower letters for the "Nukvoh" "Malchut", that is, with the twenty two smaller letters for the "Nukvoh".

These are the letters which were mentioned before as being the nine vessels of the head, nine vessels for the middle, and the four vessels for the end of the "Partzuf" ז"א "Z.A" or the "Nukvoh", which letters amount to twenty-two, the essential being of the "Madreigo", that is, the dimension of light. These twenty-two letters are established in the "Partzuf" permanently.

On the other hand, the five letters "M.N.Z.P.CH." are not established in the "Partzuf" permanently but appear there only when the "Partzuf" attains maturity, which explains why the "M.N.Z.P.CH." are scrutinized as an additional phenomenon in the "Partzuf".


29) What has just been delineated has made recognizable the distinction between the twenty-two letters and the five letters םןץףך "M.N.Z.P.CH.". The twenty-two letters are distinguished as the right pillar of the "Partzuf" or the "Madreigo"; which represents the light of "Chessed", mercy wereas the םןץףך "M.N.Z.P.CH." is the left pillar of the "Madreigo". It is the shine of "Chochmoh" (wisdom) related to the left pillar.

To be specific, when the "Partzuf" is in the immature phase, the lower half of "Binah" as well as "Tifereth" and the "Nukvoh" of the "Partzuf" are absent from the "Madreigo" and the twenty-two letters are the right pillar of the immature "Madreigo". However, when "Binah", "Tifereth" and "Nukvoh" return to the "Madreigo", that is when the "Madreigo" reaches maturity; that is to say: it is then that the םןץףך "M.N.Z.P.CH." return to the "Madreigo" and thus form the left pillar of the "Madreigo".


30) The Zohar explains why "Malchut", although in her immature phase is able to receive bounty from ז"א "Z.A", at the time of her maturity as being all because "Malchut" merited to be united with the twenty-two letters of "Z.A", which are the never failing established lights of "Chessed" (mercy) existing within ז"א "Z.A" that never change.

All this is conveyed by the words "ASHER NISHBATO LOHEM BOCH". בך "Boch" means in you and also carries the numerical value: twenty- two, referring to the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Inasmuch as "Malchut" never failed to keep in union with ז"א "Z.A" by means of the light of "Chessed" (mercy), that is, with the constant established twenty-two letters which never change in "Z.A", she therefore also drew maturity, the םןץףך "M.N.Z.P.CH.", from ז"א "Z.A" at the time of her maturity.


31) The Hebrew letters connoted "Meishorim" (Righteous) are those letters who remained outside of "Z.A" at the time of his immaturity. They are the letters "M.N.Z.P.CH.", which are not an essential part of him and are, therefore, not included with those letters that are established in him.


32) From the foregoing, it has already been pointed out that the letters "M.N.Z.P.CH." are actually the left pillar and that the left pillar cannot shine before the middle pillar unites it with the right pillar.

The middle pillar is called "Yoshor" (Righteous), the Vertical Line for the reason that the light of the middle pillar is inclusive of the right and the left pillars as they are in the path of Righteousness. This light does not deviate to the right or to the left.

Consequently, inasmuch as the letters "M.N.Z.P.CH." belong to the left pillar, that cannot shine without the emendation of the middle pillar, which is called ישר "Yoshor" (Righteous). It is for this reason that the letters "M.N.Z.P.CH." are also called "Meishorim" (Righteous) just because of the "Tikkun" (emendation) of the "Yoshor" (Righteous), the middle pillar that is spread over them.

As emphasized in the Zohar, there are no letters that are called "Meishorim" except for the letters םןץףך "M.N.Z.P.CH.". It is due to the reason rendered above, that is to say: all twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet can shine without the aid of the middle pillar except the letters "M.N.Z.P.CH.", which cannot shine without the help of the middle pillar called ישר "Yoshor", the light of which pillar adjusts the "M.N.Z.P.CH."; so that they shine from below upward ONLY. In other words, the middle pillar renders power to the "M.N.Z.P.CH." to be able to retain the light, that is, to rise and not to fall.

This is conveyed in the words of the Zohar, thus: "These letters are doubled the righteous one with the other, that is, מ "Mem" with ם "Mem".

In other words, when the final letters "M.N.Z.P.CH.": the left pillar, unite with the right pillar; that is to say: with the simple ordinary "M.N.Z.P.CH." of the twenty-two letters that abide in the right pillar, which unity between the two pillars is brought about by means of the middle pillar and it is then that they are called "Meishorim". The "Meishorim" love you. Their desire is to become included with you, that is, with the twenty-two letters. This is because the "M.N.Z.P.CH." are unable to shine unless they are united with the right pillar, that is, with the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet.


33) Relative to what has just been brought out about the "M.N.Z.P.CH." of "Z.A" at the time of his immature status falling to the lower "Madreigo": the "Nukvoh", the feminine principle, refers only to the vessels, which are empty of light. However, the lights, which dwelt in the "M.N.Z.P.CH." of "Z.A" have departed. They have risen to their source, that is to the "Madreigo" above ז"א "Z.A", that is, "Binah" בינה.

This is conveyed in the words of the Zohar: "The secret letters" that rose are concealed within the upper world, "Binah"; that is to say: at the time of immaturity, their lights rise and become hidden in the upper "Madreigo" above "Z.A" ("Binah"); and, "when the primordial light is hidden": meaning, when the light of the head, the first three Sephiroth, which is called "OHR KADMOEH", the primordial light, is hidden, due to the ascendance of "Malchut" into the place of "Binah", thereby causing "Binah", "Tifereth" and "Malchut" to step out of "Z.A", it is then that the letters "M.N.Z.P.CH." of "Z.A", become concealed in the "Nukvoh" and, as a result, "Z.A" becomes deprived of his "M.N.Z.P.CH.". Their lights, in turn, go up to "Binah".

Back to top
Site location tree