Who Has Created These
7. In the beginning, Rabbi Elazar opened, “Raise your eyes and you shall see, WHO HAS CREATED THESE” (Yeshayahu, 40:26). Raise your eyes where? To the place on which all eyes depend. Who is He? He is the One who opens eyes, Malchut de Rosh de Arich Anpin. And there you shall see that Atik is concealed and within it lies the answer to the question: WHO HAS CREATED THESE? WHO? MI, ZAT de Bina, the Highest Edge of Heaven, and everything depends on Him. And since the question lies in Him, and He is concealed, He is called MI. For MI is like when the question “Who?” is asked, as there are no questions above Him. The question is found only at the Highest Boundary of Heaven.
In the beginning, Rabbi Elazar opened, “Raise your eyes on high and look at who has created these.” Raise your eyes to what place? To the place, where all eyes depend on Him. And who is He? He is the One who opens eyes. And there you shall know. It is the concealed Atik, within which lies the question: who has created these? And who is He? MI = who. He is called by the edge of the Supernal Heaven, where everything belongs to him. Since there lies a question, and He is on a concealed path and does not reveal Himself, He is called MI. And because there is no question Above, this edge of Heaven is called MI.
In Hebrew, the word MI means the question “Who?” as well as the preposition “from.” Since Kabbalah tells us about the property of our world’s roots, one spiritual object can sometimes reveal an entire range of associations, properties, and categories. In the same way, here the word MI is a part of the word ElokIM, where the last two letters form the word MI. However, at the same time, they carry a variety of additional charges and meanings.
Rabbi Elazar wishes to explain how Heaven and earth were created. Naturally, just like the whole of the Torah, The Zohar refers only to spiritual degrees and categories, and does not deal with explanations of the physical origin and development of our world. Moreover, it is impossible to understand the true origin and development of our world without attaining the spiritual world. However, whatever one does attain, he is unable to pass these attainments to others. Hence, even after he attains the full essence of our nature’s origin and its actions, he will still be unable to describe it in a form that will be comprehensible to others.
Heaven and earth constitute the seven days of Creation – ZON of the world of Atzilut. However, if it is a part of Atzilut, then why is it described as BARAH (created, from the word Beria) and not ATZIL (emanated, from the word Atzilut)? Yet, precisely herein lies the opportunity to open our eyes to the process of creation.
Rosh (head) de AA has only Keter and Hochma. Malchut standing below the eyes, below Sefira Hochma, is called “the opening of the eyes.” After all, only when she opens up does the Light of Hochma pass through her from Rosh de AA to all the Partzufim of the world of Atzilut.
It is therefore said that the eyes should be raised up TO THE PLACE ON WHICH ALL EYES DEPEND, for the Light of Hochma can fill all the Partzufim of the world of Atzilut only when Malchut opens up in Rosh de AA. Hence, the entire secret of the opening lies in Malchut. The Light of Hochma (the Light of wisdom) is the Light of the eyes. It exits the eyes, and only in this Light can one see.
The word BARAH signifies BAR (beyond), meaning outside the world of Atzilut. This is because Bina herself came out of the Rosh of AA and stood lower, outside the Rosh of AA, giving birth to, that is, precisely BARAH (creating) ZON.
In Hebrew, every notion has several possible names that determine the specific action that takes place. Here, the birth of ZON occurred by means of Bina’s exit and descent from her degree; hence, the birth of ZON is called BARAH, from the word BAR – outside (of one’s degree).
The entire creation consists of only ten Sefirot. Yet, since every Sefira includes all the others, and since all of them are interconnected, every world, degree, or Sefira includes the properties of all the others, and consists of their parts. Therefore, every Sefira consists of Keter, Hochma, Bina, ZA, and Malchut, each of which in turn consists of five. In all, 5 x 5 x 5 = 125 Sefirot or steps of the ladder that separate us (the lowest) from the Creator (the highest).
The property of Bina herself is not to receive the Light of Hochma. Yet, in order to pass the Light of Hochma to ZA and Malchut, who desire to receive it for the Creator's sake, since receiving the Light of Hochma is the goal of creation, Bina allocates within herself a certain part called ZAT de Bina or YESHSUT, which receives the Light of Hochma from Partzuf Hochma and passes it to ZON. The main part, Bina herself, is called GAR de Bina. The part of Bina that receives the Light of Hochma is called ZAT de Bina.
Therefore, if Bina exits the Rosh and falls into the Guf, as it occurs in the second restriction, this has no effect on Bina herself, for she does not suffer from lack of the Light of Hochma whatsoever, as though she had never left the Rosh. This refers only to the Upper part of Bina, GAR de Bina, which has no desire for Hochma. This part is called AVI, and it spans from the Peh (mouth) down to the Chazeh (chest) of AA.
However, ZAT de Bina, which wants to receive Hochma for ZON, just as a mother who wants to receive for her children, feels the exit from the Rosh of AA to its Guf, for there it cannot receive the Light of Hochma, but only the Light of Ruach- Nefesh, VAK of the Light. This part of Bina is called YESHSUT, and it spans from the Chazeh down to Tabur of AA.
ZON of the world of Atzilut, which receive from YESHSUT, span from Tabur to the end of the feet of AA, on the Parsa. Thus, there are two Parsaot (plural for Parsa): one is in the world of Atzilut, separating the Sefirot of “bestowal” (GE) from the Sefirot of “reception” (AHP).This Parsa is located at the chest of AA. The second Parsa is located between Atzilut and BYA. However, we can also say that every Partzuf has its own Parsa, which separates the desires of bestowal from the desires of reception.
Although GAR de Bina are positioned below the Rosh of AA, they are considered not to have left it, as they do not feel it, that is, they do not want Hochma; they wish only to bestow, and he who wants only to bestow feels perfection wherever he is. All the Partzufim and their parts that have nothing to do with reception of Hochma (Keter, Hochma, and GAR de Bina) separate themselves with a Parsa from the remaining parts of the world of Atzilut that want Hochma (ZAT de Bina and ZON).
The “existence of the question” that The Zohar speaks of signifies the sensation of the lack of Light of Hochma, the desire for it. This is felt by ZON, which is why they raise MAN. MAN is a request of the lower one to receive the Light of Hochma from the Upper One for the Creator’s sake. It is called a “question,” for a question is similar to prayer or request. The Zohar tells us that the question exists only in YESHSUT, meaning that it receives MAN from below, from ZON.
And before that, it is said of YESHSUT: BARAH (from the word Beria = BAR), something that exists outside of its degree. What did it do? BARAH (created) ELEH (AHP, ZON). However, it created them as headless as itself. For the word BARAH (beyond) indicates the lack of a Rosh(Kelim of the world of Atzilut).
ZAT de Bina that wait for an “answer to their question,” for the Light of Hochma, are called MI. It is said BARAH in regards to them because they exited and descended independently from the level of the Rosh de AA to below its Chazeh. These are ZAT de Bina, called YESHSUT or MI, the “Highest Edge of Heaven,” for Heaven refers to ZA, who receives from YESHSUT. Malchut is called “earth.”
ZAT de Bina is called “firmament.”
ZA is called “Heaven.”
Malchut is called “earth.”
All that exists below YESHSUT (ZON and the worlds of BYA) receives from it. Hence, it is considered that YESHSUT revives the whole of creation: whatever it has, they will receive it, too. However, their MAN determines whether or not YESHSUT will have something to bestow upon them.
THERE LIES NO QUESTION in GAR de Bina (AVI). They do not receive MAN for the reception of Hochma, and they never feel any lack of Hochma, neither for themselves nor so as to give to others. Only ZAT de Bina or YESHSUT are created and exist for the question, for the reception of MAN (ZON’s plea). YESHSUT raises MAN that is received from ZON to the Rosh of AA and receives the Light of Hochma from there. YESHSUT is called the “Highest Edge of Heaven,” for ZA, called “Heaven,” receives from it.
8. But there is another one below, called MA. What is in common between this one and that one? The first one is concealed and is called MI. There exists a question in it for man to inquire and research in order to see and know all the degrees, down to the end of all degrees, which is Malchut. That is MA. What does MA mean? MA (what) do you know? What do you see? What do you research? After all, everything is initially concealed.
Being in a state of Zivug PBP with ZA, Malchut is also called MA (like ZA) and is considered the lowest edge of Heaven, for she concludes all the degrees and Atzilut. ZA, called “Heaven,” stands between Malchut (lowest edge of Heaven) and YESHSUT (Highest Edge of Heaven).
MAN MUST INQUIRE, SEE, RESEARCH – only if one who is below ZON raises MAN (his prayer) to ZON will they raise this MAN higher. For ZON themselves are corrected by the Light of Hassadim, and do not want to receive the Light of Hochma. And only if a request comes from below, from man, will ZON ascend to YESHSUT and ask for the Light of Hochma. YESHSUT proceeds to raise MAN to AVI, and AVI raise MAN to AA: AVI ascend to the Rosh of AA, where there is the Light of Hochma, where they make a Zivug on this Light.
A Zivug of AVI is called “Aba and Ima looking at each other.” To “look” means to receive the Light of Hochma (to “hear” means to receive the Light of Hassadim). As a result of AVI’s ascent to the Rosh of AA, Bina starts receiving Hochma for ZON. All the Partzufim of the world of Atzilut are corrected by the Light of Hassadim in such a way that they do not want to receive the Light of Hochma for themselves.
He who is able to raise his request (MAN) to compel ZON to ascend to YESHSUT, whereupon YESHSUT and AVI will ascend to the Rosh of AA together so as to receive the Light for him – such a person is not simply considered a mere “person,” but a “righteous”!
The request that one raises to ZON is called one’s “soul,” for a soul is a vessel, a desire filled with Light. However, the Light inside a vessel is determined by the desire. Hence, the spiritual desire, the intention to act for the Creator’s sake is called “a soul.” Naturally, if one does not yet have such an intention, he does not have a soul.
The spiritual world is a world of only desires without any corporeal shells. The reader must revise his ideas about the soul, body, connections between worlds, etc., and correct himself continually so as to properly interpret these categories.
So then, man’s corrected desires are called “the souls of the righteous.” These souls of the righteous ascend to ZON in the form of MAN and compel ZON to ascend to YESHSUT. The presence of ZON creates in YESHSUT adesire to receive the Light of Hochma. This compels YESHSUT(ZAT de Bina) to ascend to the Rosh of AA and there join with GAR de Bina (AVI) into one Partzuf. And then AVI(AB + SAG = AA + AVI) look at each other, exchange the Light ofHochma between them, and pass it down to ZON.
Without a request from below, AVI will be satisfied with the Light of Hassadim and will not “look” at one another. Only the request of their children (ZON) compels AVI to face each other (Panim be Panim) and make a Zivug. In this Zivug, Ima-Bina receives the Light of Hochma for the children, ZON, from Aba-Hochma.
However, this occurs BECAUSE MAN INQUIRED – man’s question signifies the raising of MAN so as to make AVI look at each other, make a Zivug together, and let Ima receive Hochma from Aba for the man that is elevating his soul. The descending Light of Hochma is called knowledge or wisdom (Daat), for ZON ascend to YESHSUT + AVI, and there stimulate a Zivug on the Light of Hochma, called “knowledge.” Hence, it is written in the Torah: “And Adam came to know his wife.”
Thus, to COME TO KNOW means to receive the Light of Hochma. ZON that stand in AVI and compel AVI to receive the Light of Hochma are called Daat (knowledge) or the SefiraDaat.
Yet, Daat is not an additional Sefira. There are only ten Sefirot. However, in order to designate the fact that ZON’s request for the light of Hochma is inside the ten Sefirot of Partzuf AVI, we say that AVI have a Sefira called Daat. In this case, instead of the regular count of Sefirot: KHB-HGT-NHYM, we count the Sefirot: HBD-HGT-NHYM. The SefiraKeter is omitted, and we only mention the Sefira Daat after Hochma-Aba and Bina-Ima. FROM ONE DEGREE TO ANOTHER signifies the passing of the Light of Hochma from the Sefira Daat of the degree of AVI to the degree of ZA. And TO THE END OF ALL DEGREES – from ZA to Malchut, which is called “the end of all degrees.”
When the Light is present in Nukva, she is called MA, and the Light that she passes to the lower ones is called 100 blessings. There are several states in Nukva, Malchut of the world of Atzilut. We need to know them, for all that we receive, we receive from her alone. In addition to all stages of growth from a point to a full Partzuf, a grown Malchut has two big states.
Malchut attains the first big state when she receives the Light of Neshama. This occurs when, due to her MAN, AVI ascend one degree from their permanent place to the Rosh of AA. However, although YESHSUT ascends from its permanent place between the chest (Chazeh) and the navel (Tabur) of AA to where AVI used to be (between the mouth and the chest of AA), it still remains clothed onto the Guf of AA, even though it merges into one Partzuf with AVI.
And since YESHSUT now clothes the place from the mouth (Peh) to the Chazeh of AA from the outside, YESHSUT becomes like the Rosh of AA, as it merged with AVI in the Rosh of AA as one Partzuf. Also, YESHSUT ascends from under the Parsa of Atzilut in the Chazeh of AA and stands above it, where the Rosh of AA shines.
That is why YESHSUT passes the Light of Hochma to ZA, and ZA passes it on to Malchut, who fills herself with this Light, called “100 blessings,” for, having received this Light, ZON can ascend to the permanent place of YESHSUT between the C hazeh and the Tabur of AA.
By ascending to this degree, Malchut becomes like Ima. In the spiritual world, the degree of a spiritual object determines all of its properties. Even in our world, the degree of man’s inner development alone determines his properties, thoughts, and desires. And since Ima equals 100, Malchut, too, is called “100,” so as to emphasize the fact that Malchut ascended to Bina of the world of Atzilut.
Now Malchut is similar to MI just as YESHSUT was prior to raising MAN and passing the Light. This is because she now clothes the place of the small state of YESHSUT from the Chazeh to the Tabur of AA, and stands under the Parsa of the world of Atzilut, below which the Light from the RoshdeAA cannot pass.
That is why Malchut gained no Light, for the sake of which she had raised MAN. Nevertheless, Malchut gains by receiving the properties of Ima-Bina, for she ascended to YESHSUT, called Ima.
Hence, the Light that Malchut received is only considered VAK of the Gadlut state, the first stateof Gadlut. Malchut will not be able to receive the GAR of Gadlut, the second Gadlut, the Light of Hochma(Haya), as long as she is under the Parsa of Atzilut in the Chazeh of AA. (How Malchut receives GAR of the Gadlut is explained in items 11 through 15 in the next article).
The Zohar calls Nukva that ascended to YESHSUT by the word MA (from the word Me’ah – 100), for by means of this ascent, Malchut gained the properties of Bina – 100 blessings. And she gained the sensation of the question – she feels that it has only VAK (a half, a part of the big state). Put differently, she feels the desire for its second half, GAR. Nevertheless, she gained a part of the big state, VAK of AVI.
Thus, Nukva became like YESHSUT before it raised MAN, but gained the properties of Bina, 100 blessings. And since this is VAK of the Light of the big state, she feels a deficiency (a question), just as YESHSUT felt prior to raising MAN – at its place, when YESHSUT was in the Katnut state. When it ascended to AVI, AVI ascended to AA, and ZON ascended to the place of YESHSUT. AVI shine from the Rosh of AA on the place of YESHSUT. ZON that stand there now feel the Light that they receive from AVI, and realize that this is merely a part of the Light, which generates another question within them.
9.This is the secret defined by the word MA: WHAT do you testify and WHAT is equal to you? When the Temple was destroyed, a voice came forth and said, “What (MA) shall I indicate to you, and what (MA) shall I equate to you?” (Eicha,2:13). However, here MA means, “What is the covenant, testimony, what ( MA) is equal to you?” For every day testifies to you the days of past, as it is said: “This day I call onto Heaven and earth to witness for you” (Devarim, 30:19). WHAT is equal to you? It is said: “I adorned you with holy adornments and made you ruler of the world.” And it is said: “Is this the city that men called the quintessence of beauty?” (Eicha,2:15). I have called you, “Jerusalem, a city rebuilt by me” (Tehilim,122:3). “What shall I equate to you?” (Eicha, 2:13). Just as you sit here, so He sits Above in Supernal Jerusalem. Just as the holy nation does not enter into you, so I swear to you that I will not enter Above until I enter you down below. And this is your consolation – that I will equate you with this degree, with Supernal Jerusalem, which is the Supernal Malchut (Hebrew – Kingdom) that rules over all. But for now you are here, and “Your misery is great, like the sea” (Eicha, 2:13). And if you say that there is no existence or salvation for you, then WHO (MI) shall heal you (not Who? with a question mark, but the Upper Force called WHO is what will heal you), that is, that same concealed Upper Degree, which is called MI, Bina that revives all,shall heal and revive you.
In other words, MA and MI, besides being translated as WHAT and WHO, also designate the names of spiritual objects that perform actions described in The Zohar. The destruction of the Temple was the consequence of Israel’s transgression of egoistic reception, because they did not want to raise MAN for the Zivug of ZON, and instead wished to receive the Light into the impure forces, their egoistic desires, called “other gods” (Elokim Acherim). There is only one Creator.
There is but one property for the Creator, and we know it – the property of bestowal. Drawing closer to this property is defined as working “for the Creator’s sake.” Any other desire can only mean distancing from this property and from the Creator, for except for this property or its opposite (rather, its absence), nothing else exists in creation. Hence, man’s inner movement towards the property of “reception” pushes him away from the Creator, and is therefore called “worshipping other gods.” As a result, ZON stopped their Zivug, the 100 blessings disappeared from Nukva, and the Temple was ruined.
The FirstTemple – Malchut ascended to AVI and there receives the Light of Haya. Its ruin is the fall of Malchut to the level of reception of the Light GAR de Ruach.
The SecondTemple is Malchut’s ascension to YESHSUT and the reception of the Light of Neshama. In its ruin, Malchut fell to the level of reception of the Light of Nefesh in her SefiraKeter, while the other nine Sefirot fall below the Parsa. Such a state is called Galut – exile from the spiritual, from the world of Atzilut. The single Sefira Malchut in the world of Atzilut remains as a point below the Sefira Yesod of ZA.
ZA is called “six days” and Malchut is called Shabbat (Saturday). Yet, is Malchut really bigger than ZA, as Shabbat is bigger (higher) than weekdays? The worlds of BYA, including our world, receive the Light, their life-force, from Malchut. The “six weekdays” are a state of ZON when ZA and Malchut are unconnected to one another. Shabbat is a state of ZON when Malchut joins with ZA, a Zivug takes place between them, and Malchut receives the Light from ZA and passes it on to the whole world.
Since the state of Malchut when she passes the Light received from ZA down to the world is important to us, by measuring our states in accordance with what we receive from Malchut, we define the extent of maximal reception as Shabbat. (Naturally, this has nothing to do with our calendar: weekdays and Shabbat are spiritual states that transcend time).
AND A VOICE CAME FORTH AND SAID: “EACH AND EVERY DAY MY COVENANT HAS BEEN IN YOU SINCE THE DAYS OF PAST” – here, The Zohar speaks of the Light of VAK that ZON receive in the state of Gadlut, which Nukva receives as MA. This Light is called “the past days” (Yamim Kadmonim). Therefore, it is written in the Torah (Devarim, 4:32): “Ask now of the past days, which were before you, since the day the Creator created man, from one edge of Heaven unto the other, whether there has been any such thing as great as this?...”
The Light of VAK of the Gadlut state is called in ZON “the past days,” for it is VAK of AVI. YESHSUT is ZAT of AVI. ZAT is an abbreviation of the words Zayin (7), and Tachtonot (lower, meaning the lower Sefirot). ZAT of AVI, meaning the seven Sefirot of Partzuf AVI, is YESHSUT. These Zayin are seven days, the seven primary Sefirot of AVI with regard to Zayin, the seven days or the seven Sefirot of ZON.
Hence, it is written, “MY COVENANT EACH AND EVERY DAY BY HEAVEN AND EARTH” (Devarim, 4:26). These words of the Torah speak of the Zivug of ZON called “Heaven” ( ZA) and “earth” ( Nukva). “The past days” or “Supernal Days” constitute YESHSUT, and “the low days” or “the present days” are ZON.
In this sentence, the Creator cautions that the Zivug of ZON needs to be constantly realized and maintained. Otherwise, the Creator warns that “you will disappear from the earth.” And this is the meaning of the Creator’s warning about the 100 blessings: they should be guarded and constantly created.
For these 100 blessings that Nukva receives from ZA every day in the Zivug of MA between them take place during the ascent of ZON to YESHSUT, when ZA becomes like YeshS (Israel-Saba) and Nukva becomes like T (Tvunah).YESHSUT stands for Israel- Saba and Tvunah. And then, the Light that Nukva receives from ZA becomes 100 blessings, like the light in Tvunah.
It is said about it, “the city that united with her,” for Nukva, called “city,” merged with Tvunah, and Nukva became like Tvunah. And Nukva receives in Tvunah the Light of Tvunah, called “holy adornments,” and then, like a crown of beauty, she surrounds the earth and receives power over the earth.
However, as a result of Israel’s transgressions (the rise of impure desires over the pure ones), the Temple is ruined (the Light disappeared), and Israel is banished from its land (fell to lower degrees). This led to the distancing of Nukva (all creatures) from ZA (the Creator), for the lower nine Sefirot (desires) of Nukva fell to the impure forces (became egoistic). In other words, the nine pure, altruistic desires (forces) lost their screen and became egoistic, and Nukva herself turned into a point that stands below the SefiraYesod of ZA.
Hence, it is written: “WHO SHALL REBUILD YOU AND HEAL YOU” – if the sons of Israel return in their aspirations to the Creator (to altruism), called “the return,” correct their deeds (desires), and raise their prayers (MAN) for help in their correction to the Creator in ZON, they will once more be able to receive the Upper Light in ZON, Nukva will rise again to YESHSUT, called MI, and will be healed thereby (the Upper Light will enter Malchut, the souls, and will impart its properties onto them).
10. MI – WHO sets the boundary of Heaven Above – YESHSUT. MA – WHAT sets the boundary of Heaven below – ZA and Malchut. And this is what Yaakov inherited, as he is ZA that shines from end to end. From one boundary, which is MI, to the other boundary, which is MA. For he, Yaakov, stands in the middle, between YESHSUT and Malchut. Hence, it is said, MI BARAH ELEH: MI is YESHSUT, BARAH means created, and ELEH stands for ZA and Malchut.
Actually, it should rather be written, “from the beginning, i.e., from the Height of Heaven down to its end (lowest point) below.” Yet it says, “from the boundary of Heaven.” MI is YESHSUT that upholds everything with its question, the desire to receive the Light for ZON. MA is Nukva. Before Nukva raises MAN, she is the very last degree, standing below the Chazeh of ZA. Between YESHSUT and Nukva stands Yaakov – ZA that clothes AA from Tabur to Malchut of AA.
Arich Anpin is the central Partzuf in the world of Atzilut. Since Atik is unattainable, everything comes from AA, and all the Partzufim of the world of Atzilut clothe it (receive from it): Rosh de AA towers over all, and no one can clothe it, meaning no one can attain its thoughts and reasons for its actions.
The next Partzuf is AVI. AVI clothe (attain) AA from Peh to Chazeh. Below AVI stands Partzuf YESHSUT, clothing AA from Chazeh to Tabur. ZA stands below YESHSUT and clothes AA from Tabur downwards. Partzuf ZA is incomplete, as he has only six Sefirot HBD-HGT or VAK; he is in the Katnut state, ending with his Sefira Tifferet (his Chazeh).
Nukva(Malchut) stands below ZA, or parallel to his last Sefira Tifferet (the Chazeh of ZA). She has only one Sefira Keter, whereas her nine other Sefirot fell below the Parsa to the worlds BYA. The entire world of Atzilut ends at the Chazeh of ZA, where the single Sefira of Malchut stands, who is therefore called a point.
In our world, there is desire and its physical manifestation – action. For example, one wants to receive something, but he does not allow himself to perform the physical act of taking. Meanwhile, his desire to take remains the same. In the spiritual world, there are no bodies, only bare desires. Therefore, the desire itself already constitutes action, like an already completed mental and physical action in our world. Therefore, the desire alone determines man’s spiritual state.
Just imagine what it would be like if in our world we judged a person not by his actions, but by his desires! It is terrifying to think how distant we are from spiritual demands. However, our desires are determined by our spiritual degree. And The Zohar explains that only by raising MAN (the request for correction) can we attract onto us the flow of Upper Light, which will correct and elevate us to a Higher Degree. And we will immediately begin to think and desire whatever that degree will evoke within us.
Therefore, our task is to attain the desire for correction. To this end, we need a “question,” perception of our state as intolerable. This is called the realization of evil, i.e., that our egoism is evil, that it brings me harm by severing me from the spiritual.
However, in order for this to happen, we need to come to sense at least a little bit of what the spiritual is and how good it is. Evil can only be realized in contrast with good. Yet, how can we sense the spiritual if we have yet to escape egoism? In what Kelim (desires) can we sense this? Even though we lack corrected desires, and therefore cannot sense the spiritual, as a result of studying Kabbalah, one begins to sense the surrounding Light, which bestows onto him the desire for the spiritual (See “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot,” item 155).
The desire of one who physically exists in our world, but spiritually exists in the worlds of BYA – is a desire to enjoy the Light. However, opposite these desires one has an “anti-desire,” a screen, which neutralizes his innate will to receive pleasure.
A screen is created (appears, emerges, born) within the Kli (desire, man) as a result of man’s sensation of the spiritual Light (the Creator). Therefore, all our requests (prayers, MAN, “questions”) should be about one thing only: for the Creator to grant us the strength necessary to ascend spiritually, to transform our desires or, as Kabbalah defines it, to acquire a screen. It is impossible to annul one’s will to receive pleasure. The Creator created it, and it is His only creation. All we can do is acquire a screen (counterbalance) on it, thereby ascending above creation (egoism), and become similar to the Creator! And to the extent of this similarity, to merge with him.
Thus, Partzuf Yaakov stands from MI (YESHSUT) to MA (Malchut), from end to end. However, what is referred to here is the state of ZON, when they ascend to YESHSUT and receive the Light of its degree.
The entire spiritual distance from us to the Creator is divided into 125 invisible degrees, all of them named. These degrees differ from one another only by the magnitude of their screen on man’s egoistic desires. Man receives the Light in his corrected, altruistic desires. The volume of the received Light depends on the screen’s magnitude (the size of the desire’s corrected part).
Every degree is characterized by a particular sensation of the Creator, and this sensation is called Light. Hence, we can designate the spiritual state of the Kli (man) in the spiritual world by the name of its degree or the name of the Light it receives, as every degree has its own particular Light. These gradations of the sensation of the Creator are precisely what we call spiritual degrees.
That is why, having ascended to a degree called YESHSUT, ZON receive the Light of YESHSUT, although Partzuf YESHSUT itself ascended, accordingly, to a Higher Degree, and there receives the Light of that degree, called AVI. In turn, AVI ascend to a degree called AA, where theyreceive the Light of AA. We call degrees by the names of the Partzufim that abide there in their usual, lowest state. Such a state is called permanent.
Even though by ascending to a Higher Degree, the lower Partzuf receives the Light of that degree, which changes its properties, the Partzuf remains itself nonetheless, just as a person who acquires new properties remains a person, though now one of another level. Therefore, when it is said, “having ascended to the Upper One, the lower one becomes like him,” it implies a change only in the inner properties of man (or Partzuf), but not in his identity.
Upon ascending to YESHSUT, ZA receives greater Light, for an ascent in the spiritual world signifies an increase in the magnitude of a screen, and, accordingly, reception of greater Light. That is to say, ZA himself grew, but did not turn into YESHSUT:previously, at his own place, he had only the Light Ruach- Nefesh, but upon ascending and acquiring a screen, he receives the Light of Neshama as well.
Therefore, all the places between us and the Creator are established, and the Partzufim that are there “stand” on them in their permanent place. However, all the Partzufim and the worlds can ascend relative to their permanent, lowest states by one, two, or three degrees. In its lowest state, a Partzuf has only GE and no AHP, and only the Light of Nefesh-Ruach.
By receiving the Light of correction from Above, the Partzuf can gradually correct its AHP: it corrects the Sefira Bina and receives the Light of Neshama, which designates an ascent of one degree. After that, the Partzuf corrects the Sefira ZA, and receives the Light of Haya, which designates an ascent to another degree, i.e., already two degrees. And after that, it corrects Sefira Malchut and receives the Light of Yechida, which designates an ascent to yet another degree, a third one.
However, the new Light does not enter the just corrected Kli (Sefira), but comes from Above and enters through the Sefira Keter.
Man’s spiritual ascent can be the consequence of two factors:
An awakening of a desire from Above, called “special days” – holidays, new moons, Sabbaths. This kind of an ascent is called “an awakening from Above,” and leads to the general ascent of all the worlds ABYA, and, consequently, of all that inhabits them.
Man’s efforts in his studies and inner work, his prayer to merit the Creator personally giving him the strength to ascend to a Higher Degree.
Moreover, such an ascent is not limited to only three degrees, but can elevate man along all 125 degrees to the Creator Himself. Ascension to the Highest Degree is precisely the purpose for which man was created. He must accomplish this task while still living in this world. And until he attains this goal, he will have to return to this world again and again.
Although ZON are called “the last days,” upon ascending and receiving the Light of YESHSUT, they receive the name “the days past or first days.” In this instance, one boundary of Heaven (Malchut or MA) ascends and clothes the other boundary of Heaven (YESHSUT or MI).MA and MI merge in one, and The Zohar emphasizes that fact. AND KNOW:
MI = WHO
BARAH = CREATED
ELEH = THIS
MI is YESHSUT that stands in the place of Bina de AA, from Chazeh to Tabur de AA. And although only Kelim of GE (vessels of bestowal) are present in the world of Atzilut, there are Partzufim among them that wish only to “bestow”: Atik, AA, AVI, and those that want to receive for the sake of bestowal, so as to pass the Light on to YESHSUT and ZON.
YESHSUT and ZON want to receive the Light so as to pass it to the souls of the righteous, the people who seek correction. Hence, within the world of Atzilut there is a division into two types of Kelim – GE and AHP. They are separated from each other by the Parsa of the world of Atzilut that stands in the Chazeh of AA.
The Light from the Rosh de AA does not pass below the Parsa of the world of Atzilut. Therefore, YESHSUT in its permanent state, or ZON, when they ascend to YESHSUT, cannot receive the Light of RoshdeAA. This is why they have the desire to receive the Light of Hochma, called “question.” The question (desire to receive the Light of Hochma) therefore amounts to MI (YESHSUT, the Light of YESHSUT), which is BARAH (beyond ELEH – ZON), and upon their ascent, ZON do not receive the Light of Hochma, as they are outside the Rosh of AA, outside of the Light of Hochma, but with a question (a desire for it). This enables them to continue their ascent.