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The Letters of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba

22. Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba said: “In the first four words of the Torah, IN THE BEGINNING THE CREATOR CREATED EtBeresheet Barah Elokim Et, the first two words begin with the letter Bet, and the following two begin with Aleph” (The letter Aleph is pronounced both as “A” and “E”). It is said that, “When the Creator thought to create the world, all of the letters were still concealed, and even 2,000 years before the creation of the world, the Creator gazed into the letters and played with them.

In the language of Kabbalah, the same sentence appears in the following way: when the Creator (Bina) decided to create the world (ZON of the world of Atzilut), the Kelim of ZON (Zeir Anpin and Nukva) were still in Bina. Hochma and Bina (Aba ve ImaAVI) are called 2,000 years. Before the creation of the world (the birth of ZON), all the letters (the Kelim of ZON) existed in AVI in the form of MAN, and MAN always stimulates a desire in the Upper One to attend to it.

With regard to the lower Partzuf, the Upper One is called the Creator, for it truly begets it, and whatever the lower one receives, comes directly from its Upper One. Moreover, one may say that this is all that the Upper One desires, its entire existence is meant exclusively for the lower one. Therefore, the Upper One always waits for the lower one’s genuine request for the desire to ascend spiritually, which is called MAN. Provided this desire is sincere, the Upper One immediately responds and passes the powerful light of correction to the lower one.

Since the lower one is ZON of the world of Atzilut, and all that is below this Partzuf (all the worlds of ABYA and our world) is considered a part of it, AVI of the world of Atzilut constitute the Upper Partzuf. The desires and properties of ZON are called “letters,” and here The Zohar explains the properties that ZON (the spiritual worlds and our world, we ourselves) were created with, which properties are desirable, which require correction, and how this correction is achieved.

Since the properties of the future Creature are determined by the Creator’s purpose in creating it, it is said that even before the creation of the world, the Creator played with the letters. The word “played” suggests that the Creator’s interaction with the Creature is like His game with the leviathan (the legendary sea monster), with the property that is opposite from Him. At the end of correction all the letters unite and combine into the one name of the Creator.

The order of the Hebrew alphabet indicates the descent of the Direct Light from Above, the Inner Light that fills the Partzuf. The reverse order of the letters from the end of the alphabet alludes to the ascent of the Returning Light. The direct order of the alphabet refers to mercy, whereas the reverse order – to the strict law and restrictions on using egoistic desires.

When Adam sinned, the letters detached themselves from him, and only the letters Shin and Tav (the Kelim for the Light of VAK of Nefesh) remained in him. The Kelim for the Light of Neshama are represented by the letters from Aleph to Yod; the letters from Yod to Kuf are the Kelim for the Light of Ruach, and the letters Kuf and Reish – the Kelim for GAR of Nefesh – disappeared from him.

This is why Adam gave his son, born after his sin, the name SHeT (Seth): Shin- Tav, according to the two last letters of the alphabet – the Kelim that remained in him. The Kli Shin-Tav are only fit for the Returning Light from below upwards, but not for the reception of the Upper Light from Above downwards. However, after it receives Yesod of Zeir Anpin (the letter Yod), Shin- Tav turns into a combination Shin-Yod-Tav. And if the Creator creates the world by the letter Bet, it then enters between Shin and Tav and forms the word Shabbat (Sh-B-T), the state of spiritual perfection, the goal of creation. For this reason, the first word in the Torah – Beresheet consists of: Bara (created) Sh(in)- Y(od)- T(av).

23. When the Creator thought to create the world, all the letters of the alphabet came to Him in reverse order from last (Tav) to first (Aleph). The letter Tav entered first and said, “Master of the world! It is good, and also seemly of You, to create the world with me, with my properties. For I am the seal on Your ring, called EmeT (truth), that ends with the letter Tav. And that is why You are called truth, and why it would befit the King to begin the universe with the letter Tav, and to create the world by her, by her properties.

The Creator answered: “You are beautiful and sincere, but do not merit the world that I conceived to be created by your properties, since you are destined to be marked on the foreheads of the truly faithful who fulfill all of Torah from Aleph to Tav (from the first letter to the last), and perished because of you” (Talmud Bavli, Shabbat, 55)

What does a particular name of the Creator mean? The name of the spiritual object indicates the way one can receive the Light that fills it, the way one can attain its spiritual degree. Generally speaking, the twenty-two letters are the ten Sefirot-Kelim in the Ibur (embryonic phase) of the future Partzuf in the Sefira Yesod, for that is where the screen of the embryo of the new Partzuf is located. That is why Yesod is called a “number,” as it measures the size of a new Partzuf.

Bearing in mind that each name determines specific spiritual properties and states of an object, one can understand what is meant by a change of name, place, or action.

HaVaYaH is the basis of all the letters, but the filling of each letter clarifies the letter itself. The filling of a letter is heard as the letter is pronounced. As we read the letter Yod in the word HaVaYaH (Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey), we actually pronounce three sounds (y-o-d); although we write only one letter, the sounds “o- Vav” and “d- Dalet” are heard together with the sound “y.” When we say “Hey,” the sound “ey” – Yod or “ey” – follows the sound “h.” Therein lies the clarification of the name HaVaYaH in the process of its emergence.

The Creator’s form-properties are revealed in His deeds; hence, the three lines in Bina (the Creator) are imprinted and act in His created beings (the lower worlds) as a seal and its imprint. Therefore, the name MB exists in Bina, as well as in ZA and Malchut. However, in ZA, this name is divided into the ten sayings and thirty-two forces of creation of Elokim, which create Malchut, the creature.

Bina is designated by the letter Mem, Malchut – by Bet; the name MB designates the creation of Malchut by Bina. The letter Aleph designates ZA, which passes all the twenty-two letters (from Aleph to Tav) to Malchut (Bet). This is why Malchut is called ET (Aleph pronounced as‘ E-Tav).

Malchut is the central part of creation and its purpose. She is the only creation and includes all the worlds with all that inhabits them, us included. Depending on its states, parts of Malchut or Malchut herself (which is one and the same) have different properties designated by the different letter combinations. For this reason, Malchut’s parts receive various “codes” (combinations) of letters (properties) or names.

All the words in the world originate here, in Malchut. There is not a single property in the world that is not included in Malchut. Each property of Malchut, each of the creatures (for all creatures are her parts) is designated by the property that distinguishes it from the others, by the unique set of letters-properties that forms its name.

Malchut is called Shechina (Divinity), as she is filled with the Light, Shochen (Dweller – the Creator). The Creator is called Shochen when Malchut feels Him as such, within her. If man, being part of Malchut, purifies himself of egoism, either partially or completely, and thus fills his corrected desires with the Light (the Creator), he becomes part of the Shechina.

Malchut consists of four parts that are named by their properties (also called faces): face of a lion, face of an ox, face of an eagle, and face of a man. Alternately, Malchut is likened to a spiritual kernel, surrounded by four shells, which correspond to the four Klipot (impure forces): Ruach Se’ara (Stormy Wind), Anan Gadol (Great Cloud), Esh Mitlakachat (Blazing Flame), and Noga (Radiance).

Kabbalah can describe spiritual actions either as names of Sefirot and Partzufim or as names of HaVaYaH, EKYEH, and so forth, with their fillings and Gimatriot (plural for Gematria – the numeric value). Although the most frequently used language is that of Sefirot and Partzufim, sometimes the language of HaVaYaH with its fillings can also be applied, even in parallel or simultaneously with the former.

Most Kabbalistic terms are composite: Maatzil (the Creator) comes from the word Tzel (shadow), as the Creature emerges from the Creator’s concealment, from His restrictions. Another name for the Creator is Boreh (combination of Bo – come and Re’eh – see).

A name denotes attainment. Upon attaining an object, man gives it a name. Similarly, man gives a name to the Creator according to the property that he attains, depending on how he feels the Creator. There are several kinds of names to the Creator, based on His properties. For example, the Creator’s name EMET – “Truth” is based on the sensations of His Light within the Partzuf.

Below are the names of the Creator with the corresponding names of the Sefirot:

Keter: Aleph-Hey-Yod-Hey (EKYEH)

Hochma: Yod-Hey (YA)

Bina: HaVaYaH with the punctuation Segol-Holam-Hirik, as Elokim: Yod(Yod-Vav-Dalet) - Hey (Hey-Yod) - Vav (Vav-Aleph-Vav) - Hey (Hey-Yod).

Hesed: Aleph-Lamed = EL (pronounced KEL)

Gevura: Aleph-Lamed-Hey-Yod-Mem (ELOKIM)

Tifferet: Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey (HaVaYaH without punctuation)

Netzah: HaVaYaH TZEVAOT.


Yesod: Shin-Dalet-Yod = SHADDAY

Malchut: ADONAY (pronounced ADNI)

Merging the two worlds, the Upper and the lower, is designated by the words HaVaYaH-ADNI, implying the ascent of Malchut- ADNI to the level of Bina-HaVaYaH with the punctuation of Elokim.

The name ZA of HaVaYaH comes from the right line (Hesed), and the name ADNI, from the left line (Gevura). Joining of these two lines forms the middle line, where the Light of Hochma shines on account of the presence of the Light of Hassadim from the right line. Such state is designated by a combination of the two names HaVaYaH-ADNI:

YOD-Aleph-HEY-Dalet-VAV-Nun-HEY-Yod. The union (Zivug) of ZA and his Nukva is designated by mixing the two names.

HaVaYaH-ADNI: Yod-Aleph-Hey-Dalet-Vav-Nun-Hey-Yod. The opening Yod indicates the Light of Hochma in ZA, the Yod at the end refers to the passing of this Light to Nukva.

As a result of the second restriction, Malchut ascended to Bina, and governs Bina and ZA with her desire. Since it is impossible to receive the Light of Hochma in the three SefirotBina, ZA, and Malchut, which are governed by Malchut’s egoistic desire, the Light of Hochma is absent in the Partzuf, and only the Light of Hassadim is present.

This is designated in the following way: the letter Yod enters the word light (Ohr contains the letters Aleph- Vav- Reish, signifying the Light of Hochma), and forms the word Avir (air, containing the letters Aleph- Vav- Yod- Reish), signifying the Light of Hassadim. If the Partzuf returns to the Gadlut state, the letter Yod exits it, and it is refilled with the Light of Hochma. Consequently, Avir (air) becomes Ohr (Light).

Unfilled HaVaYaH designates Partzuf Keter. HaVaYaH with the filling of AB (72) designates Partzuf Hochma (AA). HaVaYaH with the filling of SAG (63) designates Partzuf Bina (AVI). Together, these three HaVaYaH form MB (42) letters – the sacred name of the Light that corrects the souls by its influence on the Kli, the screen.

All that was created is the desire to receive pleasure, which we call “creature.” Only this desire was created, and nothing else. All the worlds and all that inhabits them, our world with everything within it, are but degrees of the desire to receive pleasure. The intensity of the desire determines its place in the spiritual realm, where all creation and our world – as its lowest point – are located. Man’s actual location (the world, his spiritual degree) determines the particular kind of pleasure he desires, how he chooses to enjoy.

In order for the creature to emerge from the Creator, the Light emanating from Him must descend through four stages, whereas the fifth stage already perceives itself as a separate and independent (from the Creator) desire to enjoy precisely the Light emanating from the Creator.

Upon emerging from the Creator – a result of a sequential emanation of His Light – the desire to receive pleasure (Kli-vessel) also consists of five parts designated by the letters: the tip of the Yod, Yod, Hey, Vav, Hey. These five parts (four letters) are called the Creator’s name HaVaYaH, because the Kli gives the Creator a name according to its sensation of Him, according to its sensation of the Light that fills it. The Light that fills the Kli is called “filling.”

The Kli created by the Creator is divided into five parts, called “worlds.” Each world is in turn divided into five more parts, called Partzufim (faces). Then, each Partzuf (singular for Partzufim) consists of five parts called Sefirot. In all, there are 5 x 5 x 5 = 125 spiritual objects or degrees from the lowest degree to the Creator Himself.

Each Partzuf consists of five parts (Sefirot), designated by a dot and four letters: Keter-dot + Hochma- Yod + Bina- Hey + ZA- Vav + Malchut- Hey = HaVaYaH. The difference between each of the 125 Partzufim lies in the type of Light that fills them, whereas the core of the Kli, the letters HaVaYaH, remain the same. A desire cannot appear unless the Creator’s Light had previously passed through the five stages; only the fifth stage is considered a birth of a new creation (desire).

The whole universe (all the worlds) is nothing but the ten Sefirot or the Creator’s name HaVaYaH.

A filling of HaVaYaH with Light is referred to as its revelation. Thus, the letters emerge from the state of concealment when they are not filled. In all there are five Partzufim: Keter (Galgalta), AB, SAG, MA and BON. The first – Partzuf Keter – is the main one and the source of all the rest. Its ten Sefirot is plain (inner) HaVaYaH, for each of the four letters of its HaVaYaH comes outside, revealing a new Partzuf that clothes it.

So then, out of Partzuf Keter-Galgalta, from the letter Yod comes Partzuf Hochma (AB), from the letter HeyPartzuf Bina (SAG), from the letter VavPartzuf ZA (MA), and from the letter HeyPartzuf Malchut (BON). Thus Partzuf Keter is designated by plain HaVaYaH, and the Partzufim that clothe it are designated by filled HaVaYaH. The recording of HaVaYaH with the Light that fills it is called Miluy (filling). For the purposes of brevity when naming a Partzuf, the notion of Gematria was introduced. Gematria is the numerical value of the Light that fills the Partzuf.

Wisdom (Hochma) is called calculation (Heshbon), Gematria. A calculation is made only in a place where Light is received: (i) a preliminary calculation is made as to how much Light the Partzuf can receive for the Creator’s sake; (ii) the Light is received in accordance with the calculation; (iii) calculation of the received amount, called Miluy, Gematria.

Malchut cannot receive the Light of Hochma without the Light of Hassadim, and in that event, Hochma cannot shine in her. Then Malchut ascends to Bina and becomes like an embryo inside of her, by which she receives the right line – Hassadim. Upon joining the past and the present states, Malchut receives Hochma into Hassadim, and the Light of Hochma shines in her. All these actions of Malchut are accompanied by calculations, called Gimatriot.

The Gematria (numerical value) of the Partzuf unfilled with the Light, the Gematria of the empty HaVaYaH is as follows:

HaVaYaH = Yod + Hey + Vav + Hey = 10 + 5 + 6 + 5 = 26. The Gematria of a filled HaVaYaH is formed by filling each letter; In Hebrew, each letter has a full name: A- Aleph, B- Bet, etc.. Hence, there are four kinds of fillings in HaVaYaH: 1) AB, 2) SAG, 3) MA and 4) BON.

1) HaVaYaH with the filling of AB:

Yod: Yod + Vav + Dalet = 10 + 6 + 4 = 20

Hey: Hey + Yod = 5 + 10 = 15

Vav: Vav + Yod + Vav = 6 + 10 + 6 = 22

Hey: Hey + Yod = 5 + 10 = 15

In all: 20 + 15 + 22 + 15 = 72 = AB, where “A” designates the letter Ayin = 70, and not Aleph = 1. HaVaYaH filled with this Light is called Partzuf AB (Partzuf Hochma), for the letter Yod with its filling signifies the Light of wisdom, Ohr Hochma. Such a filling is called “HaVaYaH with the filling of Yod.”

2) HaVaYaH with the filling of SAG: the Partzuf that is filled with Light of mercy, Ohr Hassadim, is called SAG, for its Gematria is this:

SAG = Samech (60) + Gimel (3) = 63:

Yod: Yod + Vav + Dalet = 10 + 6 + 4 = 20

Hey: Hey + Yod = 5 + 10 = 15

Vav: Vav + Aleph + Vav = 6 + 1 + 6 = 13

Hey: Hey + Yod = 5 + 10 = 15

In all: 20 + 15 + 13 + 15 = 63 = Samech + Gimel = SAG

If the Kelim and their filling originate from the first restriction, the letter Yod is present in the filling of HaVaYaH. And if the Kelim are filled with the Light of the second restriction, it is the letter Aleph, present in the filling of HaVaYaH. The difference between the Gimatriot of AB and SAG lies in the filling of the letter Vav: Gematria of Vav in Partzuf AB is twenty-two (from the filling of Ohr Hochma), whereas Gematria of Vav in Partzuf SAG is thirteen (from the filling of Ohr Hassadim). From the aforesaid, it is clear that Partzuf AB originates from the first restriction, whereas the letter Vav (ZA) in Partzuf SAG originates from the second restriction.

3) HaVaYaH with the filling of MA:

Yod: Yod + Vav + Dalet = 20

Hey: Hey + Aleph = 6

Vav: Vav + Aleph + Vav = 13

Hey: Hey + Aleph = 6

Such a filling of HaVaYaH is called 20 + 6 + 13 + 6 = 45 = Mem (40) + Hey (5) = MA (the letter Hey is pronounced as “ah”).

4) HaVaYaH with the filling of BON:

Yod: Yod + Vav + Dalet = 20

Hey: Hey + Hey = 10

Vav: Vav + Vav = 12

Hey: Hey + Hey = 10

Such a filling of HaVaYaH is called 20 + 10 + 12 + 10 = 52 = Nun (50) + Bet (2), pronounced as BON for easier articulation. This is the Gematria of Partzuf Malchut, and it is equivalent to twice the value of the unfilled HaVaYaH: HaVaYaH = 26, and 26 x 2 = 52 = MA.

Partzuf Malchut cannot receive the Creator’s Light due to the absence of a screen. Instead, it can only passively receive what Partzuf ZA gives it. Hence, the twofold twenty-six indicates that whatever Malchut has comes to her from ZA.

From the four kinds of HaVaYaH, it becomes clear that the root of creation is neither Partzuf Hochma nor Bina, but only ZA, as it is the first Partzuf built on the second restriction.

The primary ten Sefirot are located in Partzuf Keter, whereas Partzufim AB, SAG, MA, and BON are merely branches stemming from the first Partzuf. However, when the Light spreads within the Partzuf, it contains five inner Lights NRNHY and five outer Lights. The five outer Lights of Bina come out of the right ear, and the five inner Lights of Bina come out of the left. The five outer Lights of ZA come out of the right nostril, and the five inner Lights of ZA come out of the left.

Since the two Malchuyot (plural for Malchut) are remote from one another, as a branch in our world, man’s ear holes are also separated and distanced. The two nostrils are separated by a smaller distance, whereas the five inner and outer Lights of the common Light of the Peh (mouth) come out of the same opening. Thus, as they exit the mouth, they collide and interweave, and as a result of their collisions, letters (Kelim) are born.

Since twenty-two letters originate from Bina-SAG = Samech + Gimel = 60 + 3 = 63, the opening through which they come out is called 63 + 22 = 85 = Pey + Hey = PeH (mouth). The letters come out of the Peh of ZA, for Yesod of Ima is located there.

We received our entire Torah, all of the knowledge about the spiritual worlds, from our Great Patriarchs, who ascended spiritually above our world, sensed the Upper Worlds, and described them to us. This is how we received the whole Torah – both the written and the oral parts.

We cannot imagine the spiritual world because our sensory organs cannot detect it. Thus, to describe the objects and concepts still unattainable by us, Kabbalists use several techniques, languages. The whole Torah speaks only of the creation, governing, and correction of the world; never about history, geography, or anything else. As it is said in the Torah itself, the Torah is the sacred names, that is, manifestations of the Creator, the degrees and methods of His attainment.

Kabbalists, those who ascend to the spiritual world and thus establish direct contact with the Creator, convey this information to us using four languages:

  1. The language of the TaNaKh (Torah – Pentateuch, Nevi’im – Prophets, Ketuvim – Writings/Hagiographa). This is the language of the written Torah.

  2. The language of laws.

  3. The language of legends.

  4. The language of Sefirot and Partzufim – the language of Kabbalah.

All the languages speak about the same thing – the attainment of the Creator by us, those living in this world. For this is the sole purpose of our creation, and according to the Creator’s design, we must devote all of our physical, mental, and spiritual abilities only to it. And if we were to aspire only to this, we would naturally use our language only for this purpose. After all, everything that is given to us is only for the fulfillment of this exclusive goal – the attainment of the sensation of the Creator, while still in this life.

And this is why the first language mastered by humankind was Hebrew. However, as they distanced from fulfilling their mission, humankind conceived other languages. All the other languages in the world have their inner meaning, too, but since their alphabets were not revealed to us by Kabbalists, we study the spiritual forces depicted in the Hebrew alphabet, the source of all the others.

Every Partzuf is divided into two parts: right and left. The right part consists of Ramach = Reish – Mem – Chet = 248 parts (organs) filled with the Light of Hassadim; and the left part consists of Shasah = Shin – Samech – Hey = 365 parts (tendons) filled with the Light of Hochma. ZA is called a “voice”; he is generally the Light of Hassadim. But when he joins with Malchut, called “speech,” Malchut receives the Light of Hassadim with Hochma from ZA, and thus “speech” is formed.

The seven primary Sefirot of ZA are called “Seven Heavens.” The seventy names of ZA originate from the 70 (7 x 10) Sefirot of ZA. ZA himself is called “Heaven” and Malchut is called “earth.” The Sefirot of ZA are also called Ruach, owing to the Light of Ruach within them, which ascends to Bina (ears) and transforms into sound: Hochma in the left ear and Hassadim in the right.

There is a difference between language and alphabet, as in our world there are people who can speak, but cannot read or write. The most ancient spoken language is that of the TaNaKh, which dates back to Adam. The language of laws originated from it, followed by the language of legends. All of these languages combined and each of them in particular are used in our holy scriptures.

The language of Kabbalah was the last to develop. It is the most difficult language, since proper understanding of it requires sensing the spiritual categories that this language narrates. Kabbalah is also the most precise language of all. It is the only language that can accurately render all the spiritual information.

However, only through direct study with a Kabbalist-teacher can a student learn it and grasp its information. And since for many generations there were only a few Kabbalists, unconnected with one another, the language of Kabbalah was the last to evolve. Even today it can only be “learned” directly from a Kabbalist-teacher.

Initially, Kabbalists enciphered their knowledge of the spiritual world as letters, whose outlines reflected the interrelationships of spiritual forces. In other words, each spiritual degree is characterized by a unique interrelationship of spiritual forces. By assigning each spiritual property with a particular symbol, one can depict the interrelationship, as well as the general product of the union of spiritual forces of each degree, i.e., its essence.

Thus, Kabbalists created the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The Zohar pays much attention to analyzing the connection between the letters, which helps a student to synthesize his knowledge and find new ways of discovering spiritual forces and their actions within.

As our forefather Avraham writes in his Book of Creation (Sefer Yetzira), letters represent the stones from which the building-word is constructed. As our sages tell us, the world was created with the letters of the “sacred language,” each letter representing a certain holy, spiritual, altruistic force of creation.

The properties of this force are reflected in the letter’s outline, its importance with regard to other letters, its potential combinations with the others, its potential punctuation marks, its crowns and notations, its numerical value (Gematria) and variations.

However, this only concerns separate letters and their combinations. There are also certain rules that enable us to determine the properties of spiritual forces not from letters, but from whole words. Moreover, quite often we can replace letters or even parts of a word with similar ones.

The language itself, the roots of its words, indicate the properties of the spiritual object they describe. For example, Adam originated from Adama – earth, which emphasizes his insignificance, and from the word Adameh – similar (to the Upper One), which emphasizes his eminence. The name Yaakov comes from the word Ekev – to get around (Esau). There are many such examples in the Torah, for everything is named after its root, as after the patronymic name of one's father.

Once we have established that certain combinations of letters (Kelim, language of letters) can be used instead of the language of Sefirot and Partzufim when describing spiritual actions, the entire description of the spiritual worlds amounts to portraying objects and actions in the form of letters and their combinations. This is how the whole of the Torah is written, in words. Thus,

a) The shape of each letter and the elements of its structure indicate all the properties and the general state of a spiritual object, Sefira, or Partzuf, which this particular letter depicts;

b) The order of letters in a word indicates the connection between spiritual objects, Sefirot, and their shared properties and actions. Attainment of a word‘s spiritual meaning signifies an ascent to the spiritual level of the object. When that happens, he who attains it becomes this very word, assumes its name. Man’s name keeps changing as he ascends the spiritual degrees; it is determined by the degree he is on, as he assumes the name of that degree. It is therefore said that everyone can become like Moshe, i.e., attain the degree called “Moshe;”

c) The word itself in its “corporeal” reading, its “corporeal” meaning indicates the spiritual root and its branch – consequence in our world;

d) A combination of words indicates an entire spiritual process, which, as a rule, has a corresponding action (Commandment) in our world.

Names change depending on the aspect that requires clarification:

a) By elements of Sefirot:

Keter – has none

Hochma – fire

Bina – water

ZA – air

Malchut – earth

b) By colors:

Keter – has none

Hochma – white – the basis of all colors

Bina – red – most prominent

ZA – green – most perfect

Malchut – black – cannot be changed by any other color

Colors are present only in the Guf (body) of the Partzuf, but never in the Rosh (head). These colors are projected onto Malchut from Above, and she passes them on to all the lower ones.

c) By lines:

Hesed – right – white

Gevura – left – red

Tifferet – central, includes all the colors – green

Quite often, colors and elements are used instead of the names of Sefirot and their properties: fire, water, air, earth (The Zohar, Vayera, Item 32). Malchut is called “earth,” but Malchut that ascends with her properties to Bina is called “earth of the Temple.” In the Temple, the four sides of the world – Hochma, Bina, Tifferet and Malchut join the four elements of the world – fire, water, air and earth. Out of the two points of Bina and Malchut, which are joined together, the Creator made one Partzuf – Adam.

The four foundations of the world, or the four sides of the world:

Four fundamental metals are created as a result of a Zivug of the four foundations with Malchut: gold, silver, copper and iron. All of these names, as well as many others, are used in the Torah instead of the names of the ten Sefirot. Therefore, although the languages of the Torah, legends, the Talmud, and the Scriptures are extraordinarily vivid, only the concise language of Kabbalah provides an accurate description of the spiritual worlds.

The four kinds of symbols used with letters:

Taamim – tone modulations used in pronouncing letters – signify the Direct Light, which spreads from Above downwards in the body of the Partzuf.

Nekudot – letter punctuation marks – signify the Light during its gradual exit from the body of the Partzuf from below upwards.

Tagin – crowns above the letters – represent Reshimot (reminiscences/records) of the previously present Light (Taamim). Tagin originate from GAR de Bina.

Otiot – letters – represent Reshimot of the Light’s exit from the body of the Partzuf (Nekudot). Letters originate from Zat de Bina.

The ten Sefirot are divided into three primary parts – Taamim, Nekudot,and Otiot:



OtiotZAT de Bina and ZON

According to the Light in them, Sefirot are divided into:




The letters were created in the following order: the letter Aleph, which was initially on the right side, begot the letter Shin, which emerged from it and moved to the left side. The letter Shin consists of three sides: the left, the middle, and the right. The letter Vav is thereby formed by three letters , and upon joining with Aleph, it formed the word Aleph- Shin = ESH (fire) in the left side.

Out of the interaction of the right and the left sides these two letters came forth in contradiction between them, as the right line includes water, while the left line includes fire. Their collisions begot the letters Reish, Vav, and Chet, which formed the word Ruach (wind). This wind entered between the two sides (fire and water) and joined them together, thereby establishing the order of the first letters and their perfection.

At first, The Zohar offers a general description of the three lines in ZA, designated by the three names of the Creator: El, Elokim and Elokeinu, and then proceeds to clarify the descent of the degrees of filling ZA and Malchut with the Light of Hochma in the form of letter combinations, in the order of the degrees’ descent from Above downwards. Mayim – water, Esh – fire, Ruach – wind constitute the three lines in ZA from AVI. This is why the first letters in ZA come from AVI.

Then the following combinations emerged: Aleph revealed Mem from its right side, so Mem stands to the left line of Aleph. Mem revealed Shin as the middle line, as Mem initially consists of the left line, for it exists in the form of a concealed letter Mem in the word Elokim, which pertains to the left line, and so forth. This is how all the letters of the Hebrew alphabet were born.

The Letters of the Hebrew Alphabet

The letters Aleph and Ayin do not have any particular sound, and only the accompanying punctuation mark determines their pronunciation.

The letters Bet, Chaf and Peh with a dot inside them are pronounced as “b,” “k,” and “p.” The absence of a dot changes their pronunciation to “v,” “ch” and “f.”

The letter Hey is not pronounced, but rather aspirated.

The shapes of the letters Mem, Nun, Tzadik, Peh, Chaf (pronounced MANTZEPACH) change when placed at the end of a word, as seen in the table of letters.

The shape, external form of letters: the protruding element of a letter indicates that the Light in this part of the letter is greater than in the other. The filling (Miluy) indicates the height of the degree. A punctuation mark (Nikud) indicates the origin of each part of the Partzuf: whether it came from the Upper Partzuf (and constitutes its part in the present one), from the lower Partzuf, or from itself.

The Kelim-Sefirot themselves are called “letters,” and their punctuation marks (Nekudot) indicate the Light that enters and exits them. The Light of Bina, ZA, and Malchut can enter the Kelim, but the Light of Keter or Hochma cannot. A dot above a letter (Holam) signifies the Lights Keter and Hochma, which never clothe the Kli, hence the location of the dot above the letter.

Two horizontally positioned dots (Tzere) allude to Sefirot Hochma and Bina, that Bina does not receive the Light of Hochma, and contains only the Light of Hassadim, the Light of mercy (AVI back-to-back). Bina herself is also called Tzere, for ZA receives everything from her. If there is a third dot (Segol) between these two dots, it means that ZA raised his request for the Light of Hochma to AVI. Such a request of ZA in AVI is called Daat. Daat receives the Light of Hochma in order to pass it on to ZA. The punctuation mark Kamatz (a “T” shaped mark under the letter) indicates that ZA collects (Mekabetz) the Light of Hochma.

A dot indicates Malchut with a reflecting screen, but not a receiving one. Such a form testifies to the absence of Light in the Kli; it is merely a black dot, as the law of restriction rules over it.

The Sefira Hod is an inclusion of Malchut’s properties into ZA, out of which ZA makes a whole Partzuf Malchut. The letter Hey in the word Hod signifies Keter in Malchut, and the nine lower Sefirot of Malchut are located among the impure forces that cling to them. This is designated by an elongated leg of the letter Kuf (dipping below the line), which indicates that the impure forces receive their strength from the spiritually pure forces through this element, the Kuf.

The white background is a plain, indistinguishable and thereby imperceptible Light (by us). Whatever we can distinguish may only be expressed by restricting the diffusion of this white color. The forms and degrees of its restriction are called letters. That is why we see black outlines on white background, and attain only the black restrictions.

We can describe the diffusion of Light in the worlds using attraction and restriction of the Light. And these two forces must act simultaneously. Similarly, when we perceive something in our sensory organs, we only sense it by way of restriction, as the object’s surface or a light wave collides with our sensory organ, which restricts its expansion, and can thereby perceive it.

The spiritual roots of the forms are as follows: A circumference originates from the first restriction of the Light in the world of Ein Sof (Infinity), the first restriction on the diffusion of Light. Since this restriction was equal and uniform, it assumed the form of a circumference.

A vertical line, length without width, signifies that the notion is unattainable by us, and is therefore called a “thin line” of the diffusion of the Light of Hochma. The Light of Hochma can only be received with the help of the screen in Malchut, which creates Returning Light that clothes the Light of Hochma. Therefore, the Upper Light that comes to the Kli is called a line.

A horizontal line, width without height: when a vertical line – the diffusion of the Light of Hochma from Above downwards – collides with the screen, their collision (of desires) compels the vertical line to shift into the horizontal line (to the right), resulting in a shape of the English letter L. Its width is determined by the force of the Returning Light that ascends from the screen from below upwards.

A rectangle is formed by the interlacing of the descending Light of Hochma and the Returning Light: five vertical descending lines – five Sefirot of the Light of Hochma and five horizontal lines from right to left – five Sefirot of the Light of Hassadim. The size of the rectangle’s side is called Amah, consisting of five parts – Tefachim (plural for Tefach). (Both Amah and Tefach are distance measuring units.) This is why we describe the Kli as a rectangle.

The two kinds of diffusion of Light, the Light of Hochma and the Returning Light, are called the right and the left cheeks, respectively, which turn into the upper and the lower lips. Since, after the first restriction, the Light may not be received in Malchut, the Returning Light is only received in four parts of the Kli, not in five. This is why there are 4 x 4 = 16 teeth on the lower jaw and 16 teeth on the upper jaw (The Returning Light stems from resistance, from “chewing” the Light before receiving it inside)

In the second restriction, a Triangle is formed, as Malchut ascends to Bina and forms a slanted line. Thus the combination of the Direct Light with the Returning Light and restrictions beget various spiritual forms.

The Light of Hassadim is defined as “protruding,” for a protrusion beyond the limits of a spiritual body means that:

1) The Light is so great that it comes out by elevating, protruding the limits;

2) It originates from the middle line, Tifferet.

A cavity in the body occurs due to the following reasons:

1) The Light is insufficient; the Light cannot shine there;

2) The Light of Hochma is present, but the lack of Hassadim prevents it from shining.


Nekudot are defined by three lines:

In the Rosh (Head):

KamatzKeter – right line

Patach – Hochma – left line

Tzere – Bina – middle line

Holam – Tifferet – middle line

In the Guf (Body):

Segol – Hesed – right line

Shva – Gevura – left line

Shuruk – Tifferet – middle line

In the Extremities:

Hirik – Netzah – right line

Kubutz – Hod – left line

Malchut – middle line (has no designation)

The Levels of Nekudot:

Above the letters – Light of Neshama

In the letters –Light of Ruach

Under the letters – Light of Nefesh

Zivug de Nekudot is the Zivug between Hochma de Aba and Hochma de Ima.

Zivug de Otiot is the Zivug between Bina de Aba and Bina de Ima.

The letters combined together designate Returning Light during the screen’s ascent from Tabur to Peh. They are combined, for they all ascend to their root, which unites everything, whereas the use of the will to receive, even for the Creator’s sake, causes separation.

A state of separated letters occurs when the Light enters the Kli (vessel, the letters of HaVaYaH); the four letters thereby separate, since the Light makes a distinction between the Sefirot: depending on their different properties, it clothes in them in different ways.

HaVaYaH with filling Aleph comeson a screen with Aviut Aleph (thickness one), HaVaYaH with filling Hey comes on a screen with Aviut Bet (thickness two). A plain name refers to Aviut Shoresh (zero thickness) with the Light of Nefesh. Plain letters refer to a Partzuf with a screen of Aviut Aleph.

The truly faithful, who believe in the three fundamentals: the Creator, His Providence and the Torah, need the two lines to be in constant balance for their spiritual advancement. The left line is wisdom, the Light of Hochma that enters the desire to receive, which pertains to the left side, and the right line is faith, the Light of Hassadim (mercy), the altruistic desire to bestow.

Existing in knowledge only means that man is under the rule of the impure forces (Klipa) of the left side, which renders him totally unable to feel the spiritual, leaving him in spiritual darkness. Alternately, existing only in faith means that man is under the rule of the impure forces (Klipa) of the right side that convinces him that he has achieved perfection, that there is nothing else to work on, nothing to correct within him. This, too, denies him the opportunity to advance.

The Zohar continues: And the Creator answered further (the letter Tav): “The word MaveT (death) ends with you. And since these are your properties, you are not suitable for Me to create the world with you.” Immediately following, the letter Tav departed from Him.

The moment the Creator set about creating the world- ZON by selecting their properties, all twenty-two letters of ZON appeared before Him, starting from the last – Tav, and ending with the first, Aleph – the head of all letters. The reason for the letters coming in reverse order is that they constitute the MAN of ZON, the Kelim of ZON, which emerge from below upwards. The usual alphabetical order corresponds to the Light (MAD), which descends from Above downwards. But the order of MAN is opposite to that of MAD, for it ascends from below upwards.

Letters are none other than desires, properties, and thoughts that, in man’s opinion, are suitable for the attainment of the spiritual, the Creator, of His Providence. Man skips from one thought to another: one moment he thinks that it is possible to attain the Upper Worlds with one property, next he believes he can enter the spiritual realms by mastering another property, then he begins to stubbornly observe all the Commandments and pray zealously, or disregards all the actions and plunges into contemplation and reading. Sometimes he craves only knowledge, and sometimes only faith, right down to fanaticism.

Just as there are two extremes in our world – knowledge and faith, in the spiritual world, as man now consciously ascends the spiritual ladder to the Creator, there is spiritual work in the attainment of knowledge and faith. Hence, Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag’s commentary on The Zohar is entitled The Sulam (The Ladder).

Each of the twenty-two Hebrew letters represents a certain property. At times it seems that the property of the letter Tav is suitable for the attainment of the spiritual; at times he believes that some other letter is more appropriate. This occurs because in the process of his spiritual ascent, man begins to increasingly understand the true Goal of creation and the Creator, which is exactly what is demanded of him.

Thus, he continues to sort through it all, until his search yields the truth: only with the help of the letter Bet, which stands at the beginning of the word Berachah (blessing) – contact with the Creator, – only with the help of this force can one achieve the goal.

Therefore, The Zohar tells us how the letters – properties, forces, and desires – come to the Creator. By offering up his prayer (MAN), man asks for some property that seems like a real goal to him. And each letter tries to prove that it is best suited for the attainment of the sensation of the Creator and merging with Him. But the Creator shows that the best and the only letter is Bet, as only it can help man to establish contact with Him. This is why the Torah begins with this letter.

The description of the spiritual forces designated by each letter is incredibly deep, and in order to attain full clarity we need to bridge several other preliminary explanations: the creation of the world includes its existence and process of perfection so that the world could attain the goal for which it was created.

The Creator created the world consisting of two contrasting forces; against each pure, altruistic force, He created an impure, egoistic one, which is its equal and opposite. Just as there are four pure worlds ABYA, the Creator created opposite them four impure worlds ABYA.

Therefore, in our world – the last degree of the world of Assiya – a spiritually evolved person that senses the Creator and has entered with his properties into the spiritually pure world, looks no different from an egoistic and spiritually undeveloped person, who has not attained the spiritual realm. This means that one who does not perceive the spiritual is totally unable to differentiate between spiritual purity and impurity.

We see that in our world one cannot advance with the help of the pure forces. On the contrary, it is his egoistic aspirations that provide man with the strength to conquer everything in the world. How often do we see fervent fanatics immersed in their impure desires to capture for themselves both this world and the next, whereas one that aspires to the Creator has no strength for even a slightest spiritual movement! In our world there is no proof or confirmation that man advances on the right path. And under no circumstances should one draw conclusions based on one’s life experience or “common sense.”

So how can a person in this world exist and advance towards the Goal of creation if he is unable to tell good from bad, pure from impure? There is one sign by which one can distinguish purity from impurity: impure forces bear no spiritual fruit. Thus, those that advance through the impure worlds ABYA do not attain anything spiritual, whereas those who are connected to the pure forces reap spiritual fruit on their path.

As it is explained in the “Introduction to The Study of Ten Sefirot” (items 19-23), if man advances along the right path, he attains the secrets of the Torah in three to five years. The Creator helps those who wish to acquire altruistic desires over and above their own requests, and thus one attains the desired goal. From below, man aspires to the Creator with his small desire (MAN), and from Above, the Creator pours onto him tremendous spiritual desires and strength (MAD).

This is the only opportunity to check whether or not the path that one is on is correct, whether it leads to altruism or to even bigger egoism. By no means can one consider his well-being, soaring elation, his happiness and success in life as proofs of correct advancement. It is precisely in those states of feeling perfection, well-being, and contentment that he must ask himself: “Have I attained the secrets of the Torah?” And until he has attained them, his “perfection” is impure.

Man should always strive for the middle line – a balance of faith and knowledge – in the following three notions: the Creator, His Providence, and the Torah. And under no circumstances should he advance by either faith or knowledge alone. If he only wants to attain the Creator, His Providence or the Torah, he enters spiritual darkness, for it is impossible to receive the Light of wisdom (Ohr Hochma) without the Light of mercy (Ohr Hassadim).

Such a state is referred to as the left impure force, “Klipat Esau.” And if man strives to advance through faith alone, he enters the impure force of the right side, “Klipat Yishmael,” which tells him he is in a state of perfection. In this case, he sees no point in his work and is thus unable to continue to advance.

In other words, even if one is full of joy, which is exactly what the Torah urges him to feel (to perceive the Creator’s Providence with joy, for joy signifies justification of creation, understanding that His Providence is always just and kind), unless he has attained the secrets of the Torah, his path is considered erroneous, as he lacks the intention “for the Creator’s sake,” which reveals the secrets of the Torah.

This article explains the particular properties of the Hebrew letters – how all the letters come before the Creator, each asking Him to create the world with its property. Each of the twenty-two letters represents a spiritual degree in the worlds ABYA, and each believes that its pure spiritual properties are most suitable for the task, that by attaining its degree and acquiring its properties, the inhabitants of the world will be able to elevate the pure forces over the impure ones, so much so that they will reach the end of correction, the Goal of creation.

However, the Creator answers each letter that against it are the corresponding impure forces, and therefore man will be unable to properly separate the pure forces from the impure ones, and afterwards, utilize the pure forces to achieve the goal. This occurrence repeats itself until the appearance of the letter Bet, which represents the degree called “the Creator’s blessing,” against which there are no impure forces of any kind.

And the Creator consented to create the world with the letter Bet, with its property; for it has no impure counterpart, only Bet presents an opportunity to carry out an analysis between good and evil, to determine when man works for himself and when he works for the Creator’s sake. Therefore, only by its force, by its property can the world exist: so as to extract from the “mixture” of one’s desires only what’s pure, and elevate them above the impure, down to complete eradication of the latter, and the consequent attainment of complete correction of one’s nature.

As it follows from The Zohar, only the Creator’s help, called “a blessing,” is the force of man’s salvation, the only thing capable of freeing him from the rule of the impure forces. And this force, called “blessing,” descends only upon those that advance along the right path.

The right path is a combination of three conditions: (i) one’s efforts in studying (only!) genuine Kabbalistic sources; (ii) contact with a true Kabbalist, whom he accepts as his teacher; and (iii) contact with like-minded people, who seek spiritual elevation. A more detailed explanation will be provided to serious students only.

All twenty-two letters are divided into three degrees: Bina, Zeir Anpin(ZA), and Malchut, since there are no Kelim (letters) above Bina. Twenty-two letters in Bina are called “big,” twenty-two letters in ZA are called “medium,” and twenty-two letters in Malchut are called “small.”

Each of the three Sefirot of Bina, ZA, and Malchut are further divided into three degrees: The twenty-two letters of Bina contain their own Bina, ZA, and Malchut. Likewise, ZA has his own ten Sefirot, in which his Bina, ZA, and Malchut also contain twenty-two letters. The same applies to Malchut.

The twenty-two letters of each degree are divided into three types. The letters from Aleph to Tet (1-9) are considered units; these are the nine Sefirot of Bina. The letters from Yod to Tzadik (10-90) are considered tens; these are the nine Sefirot of ZA. And finally, the four letters Kuf, Reish, Shin and Tav (100-400) are considered hundreds; and these are the four Sefirot of Malchut, since Malchut is located below and downwards of Chazeh de ZA, which corresponds in height to the four Sefirot of ZA.

Bina, units, big letters, nine letters: Aleph, Bet, Gimel, Dalet, Hey, Vav, Zayin, Chet, Tet.

ZA, tens, medium letters, nine letters: Yod, Chaf, Lamed, Mem, Nun, Samech, Ayin, Peh, Tzadik.

Malchut, hundreds, small letters, four letters: Kuf, Reish, Shin, Tav.

However, it is known that units are in Malchut, tens are in ZA, and hundreds are in Bina, which contradicts the aforesaid that units are in Bina, tens are in ZA, and hundreds are in Malchut. Such inverse dependence is caused by the inverse relationship between the Lights and the Kelim: the lowest Light enters the Highest Kelim. The Upper Kelim are the first to emerge, from Keter down to Malchut (Keter, Hochma, Bina, ZA, and Malchut), whereas the first to enter them is the smallest Light, Nefesh, followed by Ruach, Neshama, Haya and Yechida.

Therefore, if there are only units in the Kelim, from Aleph to Tet, then only the Light of Nefesh is present. And if tens are added to the Kelim, the Light of Ruach appears, and if hundreds are added to the Kelim, the Light of Neshama fills them.

This is why hundreds are defined as Bina, tens as ZA, and units as Malchut. However, with regard to the Kelim, the order is inversed: units are in Bina, tens are in ZA, and hundreds are in Malchut.


Light (100)

Kelim (1);


Light (10)

Kelim (10);


Light (1)

Kelim (100).

The letters descend from Bina to ZA and from there to Malchut. When they descend from Bina to ZA, they descend as three lines: 22/3 = 7 letters in each, with the remaining letter being added to the middle line. These twenty-two letters descend in three lines to Malchut, which consists of five final letters MANTZEPACH, thereby bringing the total number in Malchut to 22 + 5 = 27 letters.

The middle line is called “Heaven,” “firmament.” Therefore, when The Zohar speaks of letters in the firmament, it means that the two middle lines, 7 + 7 = 14 = Yod + Dalet = Yad (hand) writes all the twenty-two letters in the firmament (ZA) through the middle line. That is how one should interpret the words of the Torah regarding the letters that appear in the sky or having seen the hand that writes the letters in the sky.

The twenty-two letters of the Torah are the Kelim to be filled by the Light of NRN. Units – from Aleph to Yod – are the Kli intended for the Light of Bina (Neshama). Tens – from Yod to Kuf – are the Kli meant for the Light of ZA (Ruach). Hundreds – from Kuf to Tav – are the Kli for the Light of Malchut (Nefesh).

Letters are the Kelim, into which the Light clothes; in all, there are twenty-two special properties, and thus twenty-two symbols of their description, called letters. Just as the combinations of the twenty-two letters suffice for the description of all existing knowledge, the various couplings, unions (Zivugim of Sefirot) of the twenty-two Kelim, properties, desires of the Partzuf are sufficient for receiving and bestowing Light, fulfilling all spiritual actions and bringing all the letters (man’s desires) to correction.

Letters represent the various correlations of ZON:

a) ZA, consisting of six parts of his extremities, husband to Malchut, designated by the letter Vav, Sefira Yesod – level of an embryo;

b) ZA designated by the letter Vav, Sefira Tifferet, consisting of six parts of his hands – level of nursing;

c) ZA that stands between AVI, while Nukva must ascend to him, thereby reaching the level of reception of Ohr Hochma.

d) ZA, the letter Vav, above him areten Sefirot Keter-Hochma, below him are ten Sefirot Bina-Tifferet-Malchut – and together they make up the letter Aleph. And the final corrected state will come when Malchut ascends to Keter of ZA (the Upper Yod in the letter Aleph) at the end of correction. When Malchut ascends above Parsa (Vav), she receives the Light herself, whereas when she descends below Vav, she receives from ZA. As Malchut ascends, she forms Taamim (tone marks), when she descends, she is called Nekuda (point), and when she merges with ZA, she is referred to as a point inside Vav (Shuruk).

The order of ATBaSH: There is a special combination of letters, e.g. the first with the last (‘A’ through ‘T’), the second with the second last (‘B’ through ‘Sh’), etc., which designate the conditions for diffusion of the Upper Light from Above downwards.

MANTZEPACH: All the worlds and Partzufim were created with the twenty-two letters of Malchut. The screen is located in the head of the Partzuf, preventing the Light from entering. It repels the Light, calculates how much it can receive for the Creator’s sake, and only then accepts it.

Each of the five levels of the will to receive that exist in Malchut, in the Guf of the Partzuf, has a corresponding restriction in the screen, located in the Peh, to prevent the Light from entering the body. Therefore, the screen in the Peh consists of five parts, forces.

These five restrictive forces of the screen, five exertions of the screen are designated by the five final letters of the alphabet: Mem-Nun-Tzadik-Pey-Chaf (abbreviated as MANTZEPACH). They are called “final letters” because they are written only at the end of words. These forces determine the reception of Light in the body of the Partzuf, and therefore beget the other twenty-two letters (Kelim, corrected desires, which receive the Light). Although the five letters MANTZEPACH are only found at the end of words, in oral speech they represent the five groups of pronunciation of the twenty-two letters. And the letters MANTZEPACH stand at the head of each group.

Out of the five letters MANTZEPACH originate five groups of sounds:

  1. Peh-Keter: a group of four sounds-letters emerges from the throat; they are called AChHAAleph-Chet-Hey-Ayin. Aleph is the Light of Partzuf Keter of Atzilut, concealed from the lower ones and called Atik. Chet is the Light of Partzuf Hochma of the world of Atzilut, called Arich Anpin and also concealed from the lower ones. Hey is the Light of Partzuf Bina of the world of Atzilut, called Ima (mother), who receives the Light of Hochma from Aba (father) in order to pass it on to her children (ZON). Ayin is the Light of Zeir Anpin’s face. Since the Light of ZA that enters Malchut is called “the Torah,” it is said that the Torah has Ayin (70) faces, that the Creator (ZA) has Ayin (70) names. After all, with regard to Malchut, ZA is the Creator. Therefore, seventy souls descended to Egypt, and so forth.

  2. Chaf-Hochma: a group of four sounds-letters emerges from the palate; they are called GIChiKGimel-Yod-Chaf-Kuf. The letters AChHA transfer the Light to the letters GIChiK: Aleph passes the Light to Gimel,which carries reward (GemulGimel) for the righteous. Chet passes the Light of Hochma to Yod, but this Light is concealed. Hey illuminates Chaf with the Light of Bina,which carries joy. Ayin illuminates Kuf. Just as Ayin = 70, as it consists of seven Sefirot, Hesed-Gevura-Tifferet-Netzah-Hod-Yesod-Malchut, each containing ten Sefirot of its own, Kuf =100, as it consists of ten Sefirot from Keter to Malchut, each consisting of its own ten. Hence, the palate fully complements the throat.

  3. Nun-Bina: a group of four sounds-letters emerges from the tongue, called DaTLaTDalet- Tet- Lamed- Nun-Tav.

  4. Mem-ZA: a group of four sounds-letters emerges from the lips, called BOMoCHBet-Vav-Mem-Chaf.

  5. Tzadik-Malchut: a group of four sounds-letters emerges from the teeth, called ZaSSHRaTZZayin-Samech-Shin-Reish-Tzadik.

Voice and speech: Voice is formed in ZA, speech – in Malchut. If he who is righteous, and who exists in the worlds BYA, raises his prayers (MAN) to Malchut of the world of Atzilut, he causes ZON to ascend to AVI, and unites them in a constant Zivug so as to assure the Light’s descent to the lower ones. ZON receives the Light from AVI; this Light is called “voice” and “speech,” and this is the power of the righteous – to create the pure and destroy the impure with their voice.

Man’s speech is conceived in the lungs: as the air exits the lungs and reaches the mouth, it turns to voice, and as it leaves the mouth, it becomes speech. Two lips accept the voice from the two parts of the lungs (the left and the right) and turn it into speech. Each lung consists of five parts so as to pass to the five parts in the mouth: to the guttural letters AChHA, the labial letters BOMoCH, the palatal letters GIChiK, the lingual letters DaTLaT and the dental letters ZaSSHRaTZ.

The seven primary Sefirot of ZA are called “Seven Heavens.” The seventy names of ZA originate from the seventy (7 x 10) Sefirot of ZA. ZA himself is called “Heaven,” and Malchut is called “earth.” The Sefirot of ZA are also known as Ruach (because of the Light of Ruach in them), which ascends to Bina (ears), where it turns to sound, with Hochma in the left ear and Hassadim in the right.

The Letter Tav

Each of the twenty-two letters corresponds to a particular spiritual degree, on which it acts. The letter itself is that spiritual degree. Hence, the letter Tav claims that its properties are the most suitable for the creation of the world, that its properties can bring the world to correction and to the goal of creation, for it defines the property of “truth,” the Creator’s seal.

The impure forces exist solely on account of the miniature Light received from the pure forces; this Light is called Ner Dakik (tiny candle). Without this Light, the impure forces would neither be able to exist nor to function – tempting man with the pleasures they received from the tiny spark of Light that fell from the pure Sefirot. Therefore, the last, lowest pure degree lets a little bit of the Upper Light down to the impure forces.

Without the support of the pure forces, the impure forces would instantly disappear. A question arises: who needs them to exist and what for? Obviously, the impure forces were created on a par with pure ones by the Creator Himself, for there is no other power in the entire Universe besides Him.

It was necessary to create impure forces in order to concentrate them in the enormous desires to receive pleasure, in immense egoism. The system of the impure worlds of ABYA serves as a kind of storehouse of desires to receive pleasure, from which, to the extent of his correction, man can take more and more new desires so as to correct them. Thus, by attaching uncorrected impure forces to himself and correcting them, man can gradually ascend higher and higher, up to the level of the Creator. For this purpose the Creator created impure forces and sustains them through the system of pure ones.

The impure system of the worlds ABYA exists on the same level, parallel to the pure one. Our world is located under these two spiritual systems. Our world is also called egoistic and impure, but its forces and desires are so insignificant that they are located below the worlds of the impure ABYA.

When, with the help of Kabbalah, one surmounts the level of our world’s egoism, he enters the pure world of Assiya. And immediately after, the impure world of Assiya begins to influence him, tempting him with its false pleasures. By overcoming the temptations of the impure world of Assiya, one ascends spiritually. But until one surmounts the impure desires of his body, of our world, he will not begin to sense, or enter the spiritual worlds, for he would not be able to withstand the impure forces that act there.

Unlike the forces that act in the spiritual world, man in our world is only influenced by the small egoistic force called his “body,” his ego. Man can struggle with this force, either winning or losing his battles. But even if he is defeated, man retains that tiny spark of Light (Ner Dakik), which sustains his existence.

Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag gives the following example: man’s work in this world resembles writing on a school blackboard, where any mistake may be wiped off without harming the writer, where he can make corrections and write anew, until he learns to write correctly. Only when he learns to write correctly is he allowed to enter the spiritual realm.

Therefore, our world is the most insignificant of all. Everyone must begin here, and everyone is bound to return here, and be born again and again until he crosses the boundary between our world and the spiritual one. (There are many additional conditions required for the soul to not descend to this world anymore, and those who will merit, will understand.)

Hence, the vertical line, the leg of the letter Kuf, descends below the writing line, which signifies the Light descending through this letter down to the impure forces. And no other letter descends below the writing line, like the Kuf does.

For the impure forces to exist (any creature, whether pure or impure, can only exist by receiving Light), the last, lowest degree of pure forces descends into the impure forces and gives them the Light necessary for their existence and realization of their role: to entice man with their pleasures and convince him to act according to the law of the impure forces.

At first, the left leg of the letter Tav also descended below the writing line. But the Creator saw that the impure forces would then be too closely connected to pure ones, so He severed this connection and returned the left leg of the letter Tav back to the writing line, to the level of the pure forces.

As a result of this shortening, the left leg of the Tav doubled in thickness, as it folded in two, and no Light passes to the impure forces anymore. On the contrary, it even becomes the Creator’s seal by holding the impure forces at bay and preventing them from stealing the Upper Light, for as soon as any impure forces touch it, they instantly die.

And all the life-force necessary for the sustenance of the impure forces is passed by the Creator through the letter Kuf, because, being the first letter of Malchut, it is remote from them; thus, there is no fear or risk that its connection to the impure forces would become too strong.

Malchut consists of only four letters from Above downwards: Kuf, Reish, Shin, and Tav. Kuf is the first, Tav is the last, and below it are the impure forces. Therefore, if they receive the Light they need according to the thought of creation from Kuf, the furthest letter from them, the impure forces have no way of “stealing” more Light than Malchut, who consists of four letters, is obliged to give them.

This is why this letter is called Kuf, to show that it gives strength to the impure system of ABYA – a fake (nonexistent) man, just as a monkey (Kof in Hebrew) resembles a human being.

And it misleads people by pretending to be the truth and claiming that its path leads to the attainment of spirituality, the Creator, Lishma, the sensation of the Creator. However, the pure forces maintain that only with the help of the Torah can man attain adequate correction of his properties so as to merge them with the Creator.

And this is what the letter Tav claimed: because it is the Creator’s seal of truth, it stands at the end of the pure system and does not allow the impure forces to cling to pure ones, and pose as if they are pure. This is why its properties are worthy of becoming the basis for the creation of the world – so that via the analysis of good and evil, purity and impurity, inhabitants of this world may be sure that by acquiring its properties they will achieve the goal of their creation.

The four letters Kuf-Reish-Shin-Tav make up the four Sefirot of Malchut of the world of Atzilut: Keter-Hochma-Bina-Tifferet, where Tifferet consists of six SefirotHesed-Gevura-Tifferet-Netzah-Hod-Yesod. But when the letter Kuf is by itself, without Reish-Shin-Tav, the Torah, which spreads to the worlds BYA, also shines upon the impure forces, and the angel of death receives the strength to destroy all that lives. This state is designated by the letter Kuf. But when Malchut is corrected, she is designated by the letter Hey, whose difference from Kuf lies in the long leg of the Kuf (Malchut de Malchut).

This long left leg, which turns the Heyinto Kuf, indicates that the Light descends from the pure forces (Partzufim) to the impure worlds of BYA, the impure forces referred to as death. And when Malchut joins with Bina and receives the strength from Bina to ascend and receive the Light, the other letters join Malchut, and she draws the Light of life from Bina.

In this state, the left leg of the Kuf is reduced in half, turning the Kuf into Tav, whose left leg is twice as thick, due to its shortening. The part of Malchut that passed Light to the impure forces now ascended out of them, hence there are two kinds of Malchut: Miftacha (key) – the part that joined with Bina, and Man’ula (lock) – the part that ascended out of the impure forces.

These two parts of Malchut manifest in different ways: Miftacha – openly and Man’ula – secretly. Two paths of bringing man to correction emerge from them: the good path of the Torah and the path of suffering.

However, after Malchut corrects her properties and joins with Bina, she no longer parts from Bina, but, upon receiving Light from her, Malchut pours it onto the worlds, and the impure forces lose their strength to sow death and rule over the world. And if a case arises where a sinner must be punished, the impure forces must first receive permission to punish him, for without permission they may not reveal the Man’ula.

Thus, after Malchut joins with Bina, thereby correcting her properties, the impure forces are no longer free to rule the world, unless they are permitted. The reason for this is the letter Tet, the last letter of Bina, which sends the Light of life to all with the help of the Miftacha. After Malchut joins with Bina, she becomes a Miftacha, and does not let go of this connection. Respectively, the impure forces, the leg of the letter Kuf, can no longer sow death.

Three places emerge from this: (i) where only the properties of the letter Tet rule by shining with the Light of life of this world; (ii) the entire world after Malchut joins with Bina, defined as Miftacha, when the letter Tet shines upon all, but permits the punishment of sinners according to the rule: “You advance towards the goal either by the path of the Torah or by the path of suffering”; (iii) hell, the place of eternal punishment by the letter Kuf, in contrast with the first place, ruled by the letter Tet, where life is eternally prosperous.

All the letters with all their secret properties, described by those who understand them, are located in the Temple. All the Upper and lower worlds are created and function in the framework of their laws-properties, and the Supernal Name, the Creator’s name HaVaYaH rules over all.

The Mishkan (tabernacle) in the Temple was also designed with the help of letters, for its builder, Betzalel, knew how to join the letters that made Heaven and earth. And since he was unique in possessing this wisdom, he was entrusted with the building of the sanctuary.

As the Creator chose Betzalel Above, so He wished him to be chosen below, as He said to Moshe Above: “Choose Betzalel.” So Moshe said to his people below: “The Creator has chosen Betzalel.” For such was Betzalel’s name-property (Be Tzel El) – “In the Creator’s shadow.”

The Creator is called ZA or the SefiraTifferet in Partzuf ZA, which shines upon the Sefira Yesod, called Tzadik (righteous one). Betzalel is called Yesod, which receivesthe Light of VAK – an incomplete Light – from Tifferet, which is hence called “sitting in the shadow,” and, in turn, shining into Malchut. Thus, like Tifferet, the Sefira Yesod that passes this Light also consists of six Sefirot: Hesed-Gevura-Tifferet-Netzah-Hod-Yesod.

The name of the letter Tav, “truth,” indicates that in order to reach its level, its degree, one must attain the property of truth. Therefore, the letter Tav claimed that with its properties man can fully analyze good and evil, renounce his impure desires as false, and to the degree that he renounces them, draw closer to the pure desires (forces), and thereby be certain that he will reach the goal of creation – correction of all his desires (Gmar Tikkun, end of correction).

This corresponds to the saying: “The Creator is close only to those who truly ask Him for help.” For only with His help can one achieve correction and spiritual elevation. However, this help only comes to those who genuinely, “truly” demand it. As soon as man is able to cry out wholeheartedly for the Creator’s help, he instantly receives it. And if he does not receive an answer from the Creator – it is a sign that his request is not yet complete, that he did not yet fully realize his egoistic nature and properties as worthless, has not yet fully felt his helplessness and inability to exit and correct his properties by himself. This is why letter Tav was certain that once man acquires its property of truth, he will be able to reach the goal.

But the Creator answered her that it is not worthy of becoming the basis of creation, for the forces of judgment that would arise from it would be so strong that even the complete righteous, who fulfilled the entire Torah from Aleph to Tav (A to Z) and reached the property of truth, will nevertheless be punished by it, for they have not destroyed all the sinners, as it is written in the Talmud (Shabbat, 55).

Furthermore, the Creator declines its request, for it is also the seal of death, as its power brought death to this world. For man is bound to die, as the serpent forged its seal and deceived Adam in his understanding of the Tree of Knowledge. This is why the world cannot exist with its properties.

The Letter Shin

24. The letter Shin appeared before the Creator and said: “Maker of the world, it befits the world to be created with me, for Your own name Shadday begins with me.” The Creator replied: “You are fine, handsome, and truthful, but since the letters (properties) of the word Sheker (falsehood) took you to be with them, I cannot create the world with your properties, for SheKeR (falsehood) exists only because the letters Kuf and Reish took you.”

Malchut consists of ten Sefirot and has two endings:

1) If she has only her own properties, she contains all ten Sefirot, from Keter de Malchut to Malchut de Malchut. In this case she firmly restricts the diffusion of Light and is designated by the letter Tav;

2) If Ima-Bina of the world of Atzilut fills Malchut with her Light, Partzuf Malchut ends not in the Sefira Malchut, but in the Sefira Yesod, and is designated by the letter Shin.

The three tips of the letter Shin are called its crown and signify the Light of Bina, Ohr Hassadim (the Light of mercy), which descends from Partzuf Ima-Bina into Partzuf Malchut. This Light of Bina, Ohr Hassadim (the Light of mercy),creates new altruistic properties in Malchut, altruistic intentions to receive the Light for the Creator’s sake, after which Partzuf Malchut can receive the Ohr Hochma (Light of wisdom) from ZA (Talmud, Sanhedrin, 22). When bonded so, ZA and Malchut are called “husband and wife,” and the Light that Malchut receives from ZA is called “100 blessings.”

This new ending of Partzuf Malchut in the Sefira Yesod instead of in the Sefira Malchut is therefore called Yesod de Nukva or “the central point of existence,” for all that exists in the world originates from it and exists thanks to it. Partzuf Malchut is the sum of all the creatures, and we are all its parts. All the worlds and all that inhabit them constitute various parts of Partzuf Malchut of the world of Atzilut.

Each Upper Partzuf is considered the Creator of its adjacent lower Partzuf, for the latter originates (born) from it. Therefore, in relation to all the creatures, Zeir Anpin of the world of Atzilut is considered and called “the Creator,” our Creator.

And, like the Tav, the letter Shin is called “truth” and “the Creator’s seal,” for a seal signifies the end of a spiritual object – Partzuf, like a seal fixed at the end of a letter, written in the name of the Creator. The Creator's seal is similar to Himself; this is why the seal is called the mark of truth, for only the presence of a seal gives a letter the force of truth, and confirms the truthfulness of its content.

However, the significance of the letter Shin is greater than that of the letter Tav, for Shin is the first letter of the word Shadday, one of the Creator’s names-properties, designating His power, by which He said “ Dai” (enough) to creation – stop and do not descend further (Talmud, Hagigah, 12) – do not descend below the letter Shin.

This reveals that the world and its inhabitants can only exist with the help of the letter Shin, thanks to its property that restricts the diffusion of Light. The Creator said: “Stop, Creature, at the letter Shin, and do not spread to the letter Tav,” for if the Light had spread to Tav, the impure forces would have received such great strength that man would have no hope of escaping them and reaching altruistic properties. This is why the ending point of Shin is called “the central point of existence.”

Therefore, after the letter Shin saw the Creator refuse the letter Tav, precisely because ending the diffusion of Light with Tav creates conditions for correction of the world that are too difficult for man to meet, the letter Shin claimed that its property of Shadday is suitable for the creation of the world, and was certain that the Creator would choose it – its properties – as the basis of creation, for it possesses all the advantages that Tav lacked, which was the reason for the Creator’s refusal.

And it has Tav’s advantage, as well: it is the Creator’s seal – truth. Moreover, it has an additional advantage: it is called by the name Shadday, the new ending of Malchut for the inhabitants of the world, instead of the ending by the property of the letter Tav. Based on all that, the letter Shin found the strength and courage to appear before the Creator with the proposition to create the world with it.

But the Creator answered that precisely because of Shin’s additional advantages compared to those of the letter Tav, the impure forces opposite it are strengthened. For opposite each letter (spiritually pure forces or properties) there is an opposing impure force (egoistic desire), as it is written: “The Creator had made one opposite the other” (Kohelet, 7:14).

The strengthening of the impure forces from the properties of the letter Shin occurred as a result of her properties joining the impure properties of falsehood, forging spiritual purity of the letters Kuf and Reish: falsehood would be unable to exist in the world, for it would be recognized at once, had the letters Kuf and Reish not put Shin at the head of the word SheKeR (falsehood). And when truth stands at the head of the word that designates the property of falsehood, man naturally tends to err.

There are two sources of impure forces: the first is a small luminescence (Ner Dakik), which the pure force itself (the Creator) sends to the impure forces (desires) so as to sustain them. This is done so they would not disappear until there is a need to “punish” the sinners with them. However, these are small forces – their height is not great, for they receive only a small luminescence, sufficient to sustain their life.

This small luminescence descends into the impure forces from the letter Kuf, which results in these impure forces becoming similar to man in the worlds BYA, as a monkey in comparison to a human being, as it is said: “The Creator had made one opposite the other” (Kohelet, 7:14).

The second source of impure forces arises from the lower ones’ spiritual fall: as a result of people’s evil, egoistic actions, the Light passes from the system of the pure forces into the impure. And the first transgression is Adam’s sin, by which the system of the impure forces assumed an identical formation to that of the pure system, stationing itself opposite, parallel to it. As a result, the impure worlds ABYA emerged opposite the pure ones.

The second source of impure forces is the letter Reish, which indicates that the impure forces rise and attach themselves to the pure forces, right up to the level of Bina of Malchut, designated by the letter Dalet.

As was previously stated, the twenty-two letters of Partzuf Malchut of the world of Atzilut are divided in three groups of letters: units in Bina, tens in ZA, and hundreds in Malchut.

The letters Aleph-Bet-Gimel correspond to Sefirot Keter-Hochma-Bina, called “the head” of a spiritual object (Partzuf). The letters from Dalet to Tet refer to the body of the Partzuf.

The body only receives what descends to it from the head. Therefore, Dalet, the first letter of the body, through which the body receives Light from the head, is called Dalahve Aniyah (poor and destitute). Dalet only receives what Gimel gives it. Since Gimel contains the Light of Hassadim, that is, what descends into Dalet.

And this is why the letter Gimel is called Gomel Hassadim (merciful One) (Talmud, Shabbat, 104), according to its action with regard to Dalet, which would otherwise be completely without Light. The protruding sharp angle on the right side of Dalet is the sign of Dalet’s abundance of Ohr Hassadim.

However, opposite the pure (altruistic) Malchut, stands the impure Malchut, who is pride and does not wish to receive the Light from Gimel and rely on it. Instead, she rises up in the desire to be the head, and in so creates the sharp angle of the Dalet. That indicates that the presence of Ohr Hassadim disappears, transforming it into the letter Reish, which is written as it is pronounced – with two letters: Reish and Shin.

The true merging of the pure ZA and Malchut is called ECHaD (one), consists of the letters Aleph, Chet and Dalet, for the letters from Aleph to Chet are the nine Sefirot of ZA. He passes the Light from Gimel of Bina to Gimel of Malchut, resulting in Malchut being filled with the Light of Hassadim, thereby becoming Dalet with a protruding right angle. As a result of this, ZA and Malchut become one.

When the lower ones (people) sin in their actions (intentions), they give the impure Malchut the strength to cling to the pure one – Dalet, to erase the sharp angle of the Light of Hassadim and turn it into the letter Reish. Thus, the word Echad (one) becomes Acher (other, alien, foreign): Aleph-Chet-Dalet of the word Echad are transformed into Aleph-Chet-Reish of the word Acher, for instead of the connection with the Creator emerges a connection with other, impure forces, called “ Elokim Acherim” (other gods), which cling to ZA and Malchut of the pure world of Atzilut.

This leads to the letters Kuf and Reish distorting the Creator’s seal (Shin), the letter of truth. As a result, Yesod of Malchut, which receives from Yesod de ZA, becomes linked to the impure source instead of the pure, for a new Yesod of the impure Malchut was formed with the help of the letter Shin.

From here the impure forces develop up to ten Sefirot with a head and a body, whereas Shin becomes the source of all that desolates, for destruction of purity begets impurity. And from this emerged the system of the impure worlds ABYA of the impure man.

Thus, we have learned how the letters Kuf and Reish became the two sources of emergence and development of impure forces. And since the impure forces pose as pure, they are called false, counterfeit letters whose purpose is to annihilate the system of the pure forces and their unity with the Creator, so as to forge themselves out of the devastation of the pure forces.

The birth of the impure forces from the destruction of the pure ones is possible on account of the letter Shin, Yesod of Malchut, joining with the impure forces as a result of the forging of the letter Reish out of Dalet. Thereby, Echad turns into Acher, and the system of the impure forces (Elokim Acherim, other gods) is created.

And had the letters Kuf and Reish not captured the letter Shin, such an enormous system of impure forces, so capable of lying and falsifying everything in the eyes of man, would not have come into being.

Therefore, the Creator answered the letter Shin: “Though you are good, you will stand at the head of the word Sheker (falsehood) together with the letters Kuf and Reish. Indeed, upon capturing you, with your power they will be able to create an entire system of impure forces of falsehood and forgery. Hence, I cannot create the world with your properties, for since there is an impure system opposite from you, it is impossible to achieve the goal of creation with you.”

The Letters Kuf and Reish

25. From the aforesaid, it follows that whoever wishes to tell a lie will succeed if he first tells the truth as a base on which the lie will then grow and start to act. And this is because the letter Shin is a letter of truth, in which the Patriarchs had been united, for the three lines in the writing of the letter Shin (ש) signify the three Patriarchs, who designate the Sefirot-properties Hesed- Gevura- Tifferet.

The letters Kuf and Reish indicate the evil side, as they form the impure side, called KaR (cold), which lacks warmth and life, for it draws its sustenance from Malchut when she turns from living water into ice. However, to create an opportunity to exist, these letters attach the Shin to themselves, thus creating the combination KeSHeR (tie, knot), which embodies strength and survival.

For the Light of Hesed-Gevura-Tifferet of Bina, which she receives from Yesod de ZA, creates a new ending in Malchut, a new Kli-desire to receive the Light called “100 blessings” from ZA. And since Hesed-Gevura-Tifferet are called the Patriarchs, and the Light that passes to Malchut descends from them, the letter Shin that designates them is called “truth.”

By eliminating the sharp angle of the letter Dalet, the impure forces turn it into the letter Reish. By this, they convert the word ECHaD into ACHeR, thereby stealing Yesod of the pure Malchut, designated by Shin. Also, with the letter Shin they build the Yesod of the impure Malchut, which leads to a very strong clinging of impure forces to pure ones. This clinging is called KeSHeR, the reciprocal tie joining pure and impure forces, a knot that is not easily severed.

From the aforesaid, we see that the reason for the letters wishing for the world to be created with them is that each of them believes that only its properties can correct the world. The letter Shin thinks that the Light of Hassadim will bring the souls to the goal of creation. However, the letters Kuf and ReishKaR (cold) – do not desire this Light, for receiving the Light of mercy for the sake of bestowal is pure, but receiving it for the sake of pleasure is impure.

The Letter Tzadik

26. Subsequently, the letter Tzadik appeared before the Creator and said: “Master of the world, You should create the world with me, for Tzadikim (the righteous) are marked by me. You, who is called a Tzadik (righteous one), are also recorded within me, for You are righteous and You love righteousness. Therefore, my properties are suitable to create the world by.”

The Creator answered: “Tzadik, you are truly righteous, but you must remain concealed and not be revealed to the extent required were the world to be created by you, so as to not give the world an excuse.” The concealment of the letter Tzadik is necessary, for first came the letter Nun, which was then joined by the letter Yod from the Creator’s Holy Name Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey (HaVaYaH), who stood above it as a mark of the bond between the Creator and His creations, mounted the letter Nun and joined it on its right hand side, thereby creating the letter Tzadik.

The reason for the necessity of concealing the letter Tzadik, which makes it unsuitable for the creation of the world with it, is that when the Creator created Adam, i.e., ZA, He created him as two Partzufim-objects – male and female, connected to each other back to back. This is why the letter Yod stands with its back to the back of the letter Nun, both facing opposite directions, just as the letter Tzadik is depicted: the face of Yod turned upwards, while the face of Nun is turned downwards.

And the Creator also said to Tzadik: “In the future I will revoke the relationship of back-to back, and will join them face-to-face. In another place shall you so rise as such, but not at the beginning of creation. For in the beginning of creation, you must be connected back-to-back by the letters Nun and Yod, for this form indicates that the Light in you is concealed. Therefore, the world cannot be created with you.” The letter Tzadik then left.

Tzadik came to suggest that the world should be created with its properties, for when it saw that the Tav’s request was turned down by the Creator due to its heavy laws, and the letter Shin – due to the impure forces clinging to it – it thought that its properties could be suitable for the creation of the world. After all, it, too, contains the Creator’s seal, and no impure forces cling to it.

That is why Tzadik said to the Creator that the righteous are sealed by its name as a mark of their union with Him, by circumcision and turning up of the place of contact (Zivug) with the Creator, which, thanks to these corrections, repels all the impure forces.

The Creator, called Bina, is also marked by Tzadik, for He is righteous like ZA, since the Upper Part of Bina of the world of Atzilut (Aba ve ImaAVI) corresponds to the male and female parts, like ZA and Malchut. And AVI are forever joined so as to send down the Light of mercy and thus sustain the existence of all that are below them. This is why Tzadik thought itself suitable for creating the world, for the world lives by the Light of mercy, and can reach the goal with its help.

The letter Tzadik is called the SefiraYesod of ZA. When Yesod joins with Malchut, it is defined as Tzadik (righteous), for the nine Sefirot of ZA are from Yod to Tzadik, and Kuf is the beginning of Malchut, which consists of four SefirotKuf, Reish, Shin, and Tav.

When Malchut is joined with Yesod of ZA, Kuf is joined with Tzadik, and Yesod is called Tzadik (righteous). And to this the Creator replied to Tzadik that it is Tzadik in Yesod of ZA: “And you are Tzadik in Me, for AVI are forever joined so as to pour down the Light of mercy and sustain the existence of the lower ones. And you are righteous, for Malchut is also connected to you, just as in the alphabet, Kuf follows Tzadik. Yet, in spite of all that, you do not merit for your properties to become the basis of the world.”

Yesod of ZA includes in itself Malchut in the form of the letter Kuf in the word TzadiK. And when Malchut is included in Yesod as Tzadik, it is designated by the letter Nun, for Nun is Gevura of ZA (Yod-Keter, Chaf-Hochma, Lamed-Bina, Mem-Hesed, Nun-Gevura).

When ZA grows and becomes big, his Sefirot Hesed-Gevura-Tifferet become Sefirot Hochma-Bina-Daat. Thus, Gevura becomes Bina. And when ZA becomes small once again, Bina, too, returns to being Gevura (Nun). This fall is designated by Nun’s head looking down.

The letter Tzadik consists of the letters Nun and Yod connected back-to-back. The letter Nun designates Malchut with the properties of the Sefira Yesod included in her; Yod designates the actual Yesod of ZA. Their connection – back-to-back, facing out in opposite directions – indicates that impure forces cling to their backs.

They conceal their backs from strangers since there is a flaw in their backs – the desire to receive the Light of wisdom (Ohr Hochma). This flaw must be concealed so as to prevent the impure forces from clinging to their backs. Therefore, the letter Tzadik is unsuitable for the world to be created by its properties. Its very shape reveals an opportunity for the impure forces to cling to it; this is why Adam (created out of ZA and Malchut when they are joined as Tzadik) is also created consisting of two halves, male and female, joined at their backs.

And if the letter Tzadik were to argue that in the big state, in the presence of Ohr Hochma, ZA and Malchut unite face-to-face, it would be told that such connection is impossible at their place, but only during their ascent to AVI. For if such a connection were possible in their own place, the impure forces would immediately cling to them. For this reason, the letter Tzadik is unworthy of becoming the basis of the universe.

The Letter Peh

27. The letter Peh entered and said: “Master of the world, it would be good to create the world with me, for the future liberation of the world is inscribed in me, as the word Pedut (liberation, redemption) begins with me. That is, liberation is deliverance from all suffering. And it is therefore fitting to create the world with me.”

The Creator answered her: “Though you are fine, the word Peshah (transgression) begins with you and is secretly denoted by you, like a serpent that strikes and hides its head in its body. So a sinner bows his head, hiding from others’ eyes, but stretches out his hands to sin. So is the shape of the letter Peh, whose head is hidden inside it.” And the Creator also said to the letter Ayin that it would be unfitting to create the world with its properties, for within it is the property of Avon (crime, sin). And though Ayin tried to object, saying that its properties are contained in the word Anavah (humility), the Creator refused it nonetheless.

Pedut (Liberation) begins with the letter Peh, meaning that the property of Peh is contained in future liberation. This is why the letter Peh claims that it is worthy of being the basis of the world. Indeed, both Galut (exile) and Ge’ula (redemption) depend on Malchut: when Malchut has no inner Light of Hochma, the people of Israel are exiled from the land of Israel. For in our world, the land of Israel corresponds to Malchut of the world of Atzilut, the spiritual land of Israel.

Just as in the spiritual world, ZA (Israel) distances from Malchut (the land of Israel), the people of Israel separate and leave their land in our world. And when the children of Israel correct their actions, they cause ZA (Israel) to fill his Malchut (the land of Israel) with Light, build her with his Light and unite with her face-to-face. As a result, the children of Israel of our world merit redemption and return to their land.

The Light from ZA, which builds and fills Malchut, descends from Sefirot Netzah and Hod in ZA. Hochma of Malchut clothes in Netzah and Bina of Malchut clothes in Hod. The letters Ayin and Peh are Netzah and Hod in ZA. This is why Peh, the SefiraHod in ZA, claimed that it was suitable to be the basis of the world, for the Light of Hochma that brings redemption to the entire world stems from Peh to Malchut. Thus, if the world achieved its property, it would undoubtedly reach the end of correction – complete redemption.

The letter Peh thought that it was more suitable to become the basis of the world than Ayin because although Ohr Hochma enters Netzah-Ayin and Hod-Peh, and is mainly present in Netzah-Ayin, redemption depends on Hod-Peh, nonetheless. That is because initially, Bina liberates Malchut from her restrictions and thereby redeems her.

By receiving from Bina her properties of mercy, Malchut merits redemption. This is fulfilled in the following way: Bina transcends her own properties and joins with Malchut, as a result of which, upon receiving the Light of Hassadim, Malchut can now receive the Light of Hochma. The restrictions imposed on the reception of Light mostly affect the left side, i.e., Hod-Peh in ZA. And that is why the letter Peh thought that since the Light of Bina enters it, and not Netzah-Ayin, it is better suited to become the basis of the world.

However, all the individual corrections made during the 6,000 years of the world’s existence until the end of correction are considered incomplete, for the Upper Light, which allows for the discovery and analysis of all the impure forces within oneself, is not present in its entirety. Therefore, the Light may not be received in the worlds of BYA, below Parsa, below the boundary that separates the world of Atzilut from the worlds of BYA.

Parsa is Malchut that ascended to Bina in order to restrict the diffusion and reception of Light into those parts of her that are located below Bina. And as a consequence of Adam’s attempt to nevertheless receive the Light under the Parsa, impurity slipped into Malchut, of which it is said that the serpent appeared before Chava (Eve) and brought impurity upon her (Talmud, Shabbat, 146). This impurity will only be corrected at the end of correction.

The thing is that the absence of the Upper Light in the force capable of discerning good from evil in all of Malchut’s thickness gives rise to a flaw called “tears” – two tears that fall into a vast sea from the two eyes of Hochma and Bina that are concealed from all.

The two eyes are Hochma and Bina, and the tears signify the flaw in them from the presence of the impure force that appeared in them as a result of Adam’s sin. This led to the ruin of the two Temples. These tears in Malchut’s eyes will only dry at the end of correction, when death disappears from the world and all the Light shines in Hochma and Bina (item 56).

So the letter Peh was told that although it brings the world Pedut (redemption) with its light, and although all redemptions pass only through it, this light is incomplete. All the individual corrections are imperfect, for they come and go, just as the two Temples.

For the properties of Peshah (transgression) and Pedut (redemption) in the letter Peh are not sufficiently perfect and complete so as to withstand the sin of Adam, for in the absence of the full Light of Hochma, there is clinging of impure forces. Hence, the letter Peh is unworthy of being the basis of the world.

And since the property of Peshah (transgression) is concealed, the force of the serpent is present therein, deceiving people and leading them to their death. And it is impossible to kill it, just as a snake bites and immediately hides its head in itself (similar to the head of the letter Peh), which makes it impossible to kill it, for one may only kill the serpent within oneself by striking the “head.” This is why the letter Peh is unsuitable for the creation of the world.

The Letter Ayin

Bina of the world of Atzilut is called Ima Ilaa (Supernal Mother) and also Anavah (modesty, humility). (Here, the capital “A” designates the letter Ayin, not to be confused with Aleph). The Sefira Netzah of Zeir Anpin (designated by the letter Ayin) clothes into Malchut with all of its Light, and ascends to Bina, who adorns her with her own adornments: Bina clothes into Netzah of ZA. But since the letter Peh, signifying Peshah (transgression) is concealed in Netzah, the Creator refused to create the world with its properties, as it is written in item 27.

Two words render the meaning of the word “transgression” in Hebrew: Peshah and Avon. However, “transgression” is mainly concentrated in the letter Peh, for Malchut of ZA connects into the Sefira Hod of ZA.

As a result of Adam’s sin, Klipot (shells, impure forces) cling to Malchut of ZA. But Netzah of ZA is a property of ZA himself, and impure forces cannot cling to it. Yet, as it is written in the Talmud (Baba Kama), even Netzah is subject to Klipot clinging to it.

This flaw – the ability of the impure forces to cling to Netzah of ZA – is called “transgression.” However, the word Avon” (not Peshah) indicates that Netzah is pure and direct, and that the transgression is caused by its connection with the Sefira Hod.

The reason the Creator turns to the letters Peh and Ayin at the same time is that Netzah and Hod are like two body parts – two legs. This is why they both appeared before Him with their requests. However, The Zohar clarifies each of them (their properties) one at a time.

The Letter Samech

28. The letter Samech appeared before the Creator and said: “Creator of the world, it would be good to create the world with my properties, for within me is Smicha (support) for the fallen, as it is written: ‘The Creator supports (Somech) all who fall.’” The Creator replied: “That is why you are needed in your place; do not move from it. If you move from your place, contained in the word Somech, those who fall will lose your support, for they rely on you (your properties).” Having heard this, the letter Samech departed.

The letter Samech stands for Sefira Tifferet in ZA, i.e., Bina in the body of ZA. Since Sefirot Keter-Hochma-Bina (KHB) were transformed into Hesed-Gevura-Tifferet (HGT) in ZA, they were emptied of the Light of Hochma, and were left with only the Light of Hassadim, thus changing their name from KHB to HGT.

As we know, Bina consists of two parts: the Upper Part, called GAR: Gimel (three) Rishonot (first ones) – the first three Sefirot KHB, and the lower part, called ZAT: Zayin (seven) Tachtonot (lower ones) – the seven lower Sefirot from Hesed to Malchut. The Upper Part of Bina is called AbaveIma(AVI). Being filled with the Light of mercy, Abave Ima exist in a state of perfection – without any desire to receive, but only to bestow.

AVI are designated by Samech (numerical value – 60), for they include the first three Sefirot KHB and three Sefirot of ZA, which, in view of the absence of Ohr Hochma in ZA, are not called KHB, but rather HGT. Therefore AVI consist of six Sefirot, each consisting of ten, totaling 60 = Samech.

ZAT of Bina receive the Light from Above and pass it on to ZA. This part of Bina has the property of ZA, rather than of Bina,as it needs to receive exactly what ZA needs, and then pass it to him. Since, unlike Bina, who does not wish to receive anything, ZAT of Bina need to receive Ohr Hochma for ZA, they feels a lack for it, and thus separate from Bina and an independently existing object- Partzuf forms out of her lower part.

This Partzuf is called YESHSUT, and it is designated by the letter Mem (numerical value – 40), for it consists of four SefirotTifferet-Netzah-Hod-Yesod of Partzuf AVI. Owing to its shape (properties), the block-letter Mem is called Mem Stumah (closed).

However, this separation of AVI into two parts occurs only when they have no Light of Hochma, but only the Light of Hassadim. Consequently, the Upper Part of Bina remains in its perfection, whereas the lower part feels a flaw in its state by not receiving Ohr Hochma. And since spiritual objects are separated by the differences in their properties, the sensation of imperfection separates the lower part of Bina from the Upper.

However, if those below improve their “intentions” (called “actions” in the spiritual), and ask ZA for help in correcting their actions, overcoming the egoism of impure desires, and acquiring spiritually pure, altruistic desires, ZA then turns to the superior YESHSUT, which turns to AVI. AVI then send their request even higher, receive the Light of Hochma and pass it to YESHSUT.

Finally, YESHSUT and AVI unite into one Partzuf, for having received Ohr Hochma, YESHSUT becomes as perfect as AVI are perfect being filled with Ohr Hassadim. YESHSUT passes the Light of Hochma down to ZA, who then passes it to Malchut. The Light that Malchut receives from ZA is referred to as 100 blessings, for Samech = 60 joins with Mem = 40.

However, when man sins in his intentions (desires, actions), he does not turn to Malchut with a request for help, causing the Light of Hochma to disappear from ZA, and ZA returns from Gadlut (big state) back to Katnut (small state). (When ZA contains the Light of Hochma, he is called “big”; and when he is filled with only the Light of Hassadim, he is called “small”). And the united Partzuf Bina is once more divided into AVI and YESHSUT.

In this small state (Katnut), ZA and Malchut are in danger of impure forces (Klipot) clinging to them. To make certain this does not happen, for then they may fall from the world of Atzilut below the Parsa into the worlds BYA, AVI send them the property of Samech (the Light of mercy). And although it is only the Light of Hassadim without the Light of wisdom (Light of Hochma), it provides ZA and Malchut with the sensation of perfection in acts of bestowal, and thus impure forces can no longer cling to them, for the sole intention of the impure forces is to receive the Light of wisdom from a pure Partzuf.

And this is why the Light that fills ZA in Katnut is called Samech, which testifies to its action: Samech “supports” ZA and Malchut so that they wouldn’t fall from the world of Atzilut below the Parsa.

That is why the letter Samech thought that if the world were created with its properties, it would be able to reach the goal of creation and merge with the Creator. Its Light could shine in ZA and Malchut even in their small state, and the Klipa (impure force) would not attempt to snatch the Light from them. On the contrary, the impure, egoistic forces would flee from its Light. Samech believed that if the world were to be created with its properties, it would be able to protect all creatures, even when their actions were corrupted, for even in such a state, the impure force would not be able to harm them.

But the Creator said to Samech that precisely because its role is to support those who fall and to protect the lower ones in times of their spiritual descent, it must stay in its place and not move from it. For if the world were created by it, its power would always prevail over all, ridding ZA and Malchut of the chance to grow out of their small state.

And if ZA and Malchut don’t stimulate the lower ones (people) to raise MAN – request for help in achieving Gadlut, the Upper Light will not be able to descend to bring the creatures to the end of correction and redemption. Therefore, the letter Samech must support the lower ones until they merit more. But when they do merit, they will be able to receive the great Light called “100 blessings” into their entire Partzuf. So the Creator refused to create the world with the letter Samech.

“Because the lower ones need Samech only in their Katnut, in the absence of the Light of wisdom (Ohr Hochma), ZON need you and you can help them. However, they need you only in their Katnut. But you do not help to bring them to perfection, and so you cannot be the basis of the world.”

The Letter Nun

29. The letter Nun entered and said to the Creator: “It would be good for You to create the world with me, for Norah Tehilot (great praises) is written with me, as well as ‘Praising of the righteous.’”

The Creator replied: “Return to your place, for you are the reason that the letter Samech returned to its place. And rely on it for support. For the letter Nun exists in the word Nefilah (fall), which must be corrected by the letter Samech. This is the reason why it needed to return to its place – so as to strengthen the lower ones.” The letter Nun left Him at once.

When Nun saw that the Creator sent the letter Samech away (as its properties are only used in the state of Katnut, that is, only to support those who had fallen from the Gadlut), it thought that it was worthy of being the basis of the world. This is because not only does Nun have all the advantages of Samech, but it can also use Ohr Hochma, the Light of Gadlut. Thus, the reason for the Creator’s refusal to Samech does not apply to Nun.

The Sefira Gevura in ZA is called Nun, for it is entirely mitigated by Bina’s property of mercy, called Nun = 50 gates of Bina. It is this property of Gevura that gives ZA the name Norah Tehilot (great praises). Ima-Bina is called Tehilah (praise), and since Gevura descends from Bina, it is referred to as Norah Tehilot, while Nun is used in the Sefira Yesod, in the Gadlut of ZA during his Zivug with Nukva. Like Ima, this is whence Nukva receives the name Tehilah, while ZA becomes one in both TehilotIma and Nukva.

Therefore, the letter Nun said that, being in Gevura, the left line of ZA, it attracts the Light of mercy emanated by Samech (Bina, Ima), which is also called the “Upper Tehilah,” as a result of which ZA acquires its properties and the name Norah Tehilot to match them. This is why Nun has all the properties of Samech: the Light of mercy that bestows perfection and repels the impure forces-desires.

The letter Nun added: “However, I have an additional advantage in that I am used during the big state of ZA in his Yesod, in the letter Tzadik, of which I am the left element.” This Nun in the letter Tzadik is that same Nun that is defined as Norah Tehilot (praises of the righteous), for even when ZA achieves Gadlut during the ascent of ZON to AVI, Nun also acts in Yesod of ZA, connecting Nukva back-to-back with ZA, so that ZA receives the Light of mercy from AVI (Samech).

And so Nun is called “praises of the righteous,” for Yod (righteous one, the basis of the world) mounts it. Nun is called “great praises,” for it attracts the Light of wisdom to Malchut in the state of Gadlut.

Therefore, we find that Malchut receives all her beauty from Nun, which is located in Yesod of ZA. This is why the letter Nun claimed that it merits for the world to be created with its properties, for its luminescence adds to the Light of wisdom that unites and revives ZON, and does not merely support them, like the letter Samech.

So the Creator answered it: “You are wrong in thinking that you merit leading the world to complete correction by your properties, without the clinging of impure forces, for even your properties need to be supported by the letter Samech. Indeed, this is precisely why you are connected back-to-back with the letter Yod, and the Light of Samech guards you against the clinging of the impure forces onto you. And that is why your properties, which rely upon the strength of Samech, are merely ones of support. Hence, you are unworthy of becoming the basis of the world.”

The Letters Mem and Lamed

30. The letter Mem entered and said: “Master of the world, it would be good for You to create the world by me, for Melech (King) is called by me.” The Creator replied: “That is so, but I shall not create the world by you, for the world needs a King. Return to your place. Also, I shall not create the world with the letters Lamed and Chaf that form the word MeLeCH (King), as the world cannot exist without a King.”

The letter Mem is the Sefira Hesed in ZA, which receives the Light from its corresponding Sefira Hesed in Bina. When, in addition to the Light of mercy in his small state, ZA receives the Light of wisdom and becomes big, his Sefirot HGT turn into Sefirot Hochma-Bina-Daat (HBD). In other words, Hesed in ZA ascends and becomes Hochma, thereby revealing a new Light, the Light of Hochma, the Light of the Creator’s face.

This is why the letter Mem claimed that it was suitable for the world to be created by it, for it reveals the Creator’s Light to the world, thereby eliminating any risk of impure forces clinging to it, and so the world is guaranteed complete correction.

But the Creator answered that it is forbidden to reveal this Light to the world, for the world needs for this great Light to first clothe itself in the three letters of the word MeLeCH. In other words, the great Light may be revealed in the world only if Mem joins with the letters Lamed and Chaf. So the Creator said, “Go and join with them.”

Mem in the word Melech is Hesed. Lamed is Bina, which passes the Light to ZA. The letter Chaf is Malchut, Nukva of ZA, for there cannot be a Melech (King) without Malchut (Kingdom). Also, all of the Light becomes revealed only thanks to Malchut.

In this case, Malchut shines from ZA in three places:

1) Malchut becomes a Kisseh (throne) for a King (ZA). A Kisseh derives from Kissui (cover, concealment), so it is designated by the bent letter Chaf.

2) Malchut clothes ZA. Because the great Light is revealed only to Israel, Malchut clothes ZA, and when her kingdom is revealed, ZA frees himself from her garment and throws it over all the nations of the world, idolaters, and the Light of his face pours upon Israel. And all the righteous then point their finger at the Creator and say: “This is the Creator, to whom I aspired!” This diffusion of Light is designated by the letter Chaf.

3) Malchut becomes a crown on the head of ZA. And this is the property of the letter Chaf, of Keter (crown of ZA).

The Letter Chaf

31. At this time the letter Chaf descended from the Kisseh – the Creator’s throne, and stood before the Creator. It trembled and said to Him: “Creator of the world, with my properties I merit to become the basis of the world, for I am Kavod – Your Glory.” When the letter Chaf descended from the Creator’s throne, all the worlds trembled, and the throne itself, verging on collapse. The Creator then answered: “Chaf, what are you doing here? I will not create the world by you. Return to your place, for you exist in the word Kelayah (destruction) and in the word Kalah (bride).”

The Creator’s throne is the world of Beria. The appearance of the letter Mem before the Creator led to the letter Chaf falling from His throne. As a result, Hochma and Bina of the world of Beria trembled, as well as all the lower worlds with all their inhabitants.

All the arguments that the letters raised in their wish for the world to be created with each of them is like raising MAN – a request for precise measure of help from Above in the form of Upper Light (called MAD), corresponding to that particular letter.

If so, ZON will rule the world, and this ruling is effected by the very Light descending from ZON in the exact quantity of MAD that each letter evoked and caused, for the MAD precisely corresponds to the MAN in both quantity and quality, whereas MAN is the actual property of the letter. Hence, each letter argues that it can draw the kind of Light from Above that will surely bring all creatures to the goal.

Similarly, the Creator’s answers to each of the twenty-two letters of ZON de Atzilut constitute the descending MAD (the Upper Light, strength, help) that precisely corresponds to the MAN raised by that particular letter. And when the Upper Light that descends from a particular letter begins to rule the world, this signifies the Creator’s reply to that letter. Since the impure forces cling to one of the letter’s properties, as the Creator created two precisely balanced, opposing systems of pure and impure forces, this reveals the letter’s inability to rule the world. And thus, the Creator dismissed each letter’s individual claim to build the world by its property in order to bring it to the goal of creation.

Herein lies the Creator’s “game” with each of the twenty-two letters, giving each the opportunity to reveal its properties, power and forces, until it becomes clear from their aspirations and analysis, which of them truly merits the world being governed by it.

From this we see that when the letter Mem began to reveal its great Light in the world, in doing so, it caused the fall of the Kisse (throne). This is so because the Kisse has two properties: (i) it covers and conceals the Creator, where the word Kisse derives from the word Kissui; (ii) it reveals the Creator’s greatness in the worlds with the help of the three letters MeLeCH. Then, Malchut that became a Kissui, the Creator’s cover, ascends and turns to Chaf – the Creator’s own garments – thus revealing the King (Creator), and it becomes a crown on His head.

But as soon as the letter Mem, which was not clothed in Chaf, began to reveal the Light of the Creator’s face, the letter Chaf fell from the Kisse (the throne of His Glory), stopped concealing Him, and stated that from now on only the Creator’s revealed glory would rule over it, without any kind of concealment, as desired by Mem.

Owing to Chaf’s fall from the throne, two hundred thousand worlds that originate from Hochma and Bina of the world of Beria, as well as the worlds below them, shook and trembled on the verge of collapse. For the entire connection between the lower degree or Partzuf and the one above it lies in the fact that Malchut of the Upper Degree becomes Keter of the lower. And the property of the letter Chaf consists in clothing Malchut of an Upper spiritual object in Keter of a lower one.

There are three distinctive features to the throne: (i) six steps leading to the throne, six Sefirot – Hesed-Gevura-Tifferet-Netzah-Hod-Yesod of the lower one; (ii) four legs of the throne, the Light in Sefirot Keter-Hochma-Bina-Daat of the lower one; (iii) Malchut of the Upper One that descends to the lower one, clothes into it, and all the Light from the Upper One is passed through her to the lower one.

Thus, when Chaf fell from the throne of the Creator’s glory, the connection between the world of Atzilut and the throne (world of Beria) was severed. This is so because Chaf (Malchut of the world of Atzilut) that clothes in Sefirot Keter-Hochma-Bina-Daat of the world of Beria pours all the Light onto the world of Beria, called the throne of His glory. But when Chaf fell from the throne, the connection between the world of Atzilut and the world of Beria was severed, Chaf trembled, for it lost the power to bestow upon the world of Beria, and two hundred thousand worlds (Hochma and Bina out of Sefirot Keter-Hochma-Bina-Daat of the world of Beria) trembled in fear of collapsing, for they lost all of their life-force, which they receive from the world of Atzilut.

Similarly, in the world of Atzilut, Bina of the world of Atzilut, the Creator, is connected with ZON. This is because Partzuf Bina of the world of Atzilut consists of ten Sefirot, and her last Sefira, Malchut, clothes in ZA of the world of Atzilut with the property of the letter Chaf. Malchut of the Sefira Bina, which clothes in ZA, is the letter Chaf. And this letter Chaf is the Creator’s throne in ZA. For the Creator is Bina, Sefira above ZA. And ZA becomes a throne for Bina. And during the fall, the connection between Bina and ZA is severed, since Chaf is Malchut of Bina; it clothes into ZA and passes all the Light to him.

And it therefore trembled (lost its ability to bestow upon ZA), and so did two hundred thousand worlds, which are the Light for ZA, called Hochma and Bina or KHBD – the four legs of the throne – for all the Light departed from them. And the worlds trembled in fear of collapsing, that is, Sefirot Hesed-Gevura-Tifferet-Netzah-Hod-Yesod in ZA that include all the worlds below them, for all the Light of Bina departed thence.

The Creator told the letter Chaf that because it fell from the throne of His glory, the first three Sefirot of ZA trembled, and all the other worlds are on the verge of total collapse and destruction without any hope of restoration; hence, Chaf must return to its place in the throne of glory.

Chaf’s return to its place in the Creator’s throne takes place just as He refuses to create the world with the letter Mem, for the world needs a King. That is, the trembling of the letter Chaf as it fell from the Creator's throne, which in turn, made the worlds tremble in fear of possible collapse, and the Creator's answer to the letter Mem transpire simultaneously.

The Letter Yod

32. The letter Yod entered and said: “Maker of the world! It would be good to create the world by me, for Your Holy name begins with me.” The Creator replied: “It is sufficient that you are inscribed in My Name, in Me, and all of your aspirations are to Me, and you should not be uprooted from it all.”

Since Yod is the first letter of the Creator’s name HaVaYaH (Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey), the beginning of the Creator’s revelation to creatures, the first degree of the Upper Light, the letter Yod argued for the world to be created with its properties, for the world would then be absolutely guaranteed complete correction. However, the Creator objects to it. As was already stated, the letters’ questions and the Creator’s answers signify the Creator playing with each letter, where the letters’ questions are their MAN, and the Creator’s answers are MAD in the form of the Upper Light.

So, by telling Yod, “It is sufficient,” the Creator thus explained the creation of restriction – that the Light is only allowed to descend to its level, but no further. And this restriction is fixed in the Creator’s name Shadday (Shin-Dalet-Yod). After Yod began to spread with the great Light, the Creator stopped it, forbidding it to spread to the letter Tav, but only to Shin (as was said above, in item 25). He said to it: “Enough, and do not spread further. Otherwise you will not be able to remain forever in My Name HaVaYaH.”

As the sages said: “My Name is not pronounced as it is written. For it is written HaVaYaH, but pronounced Adonay” (Talmud, Pesahim, 50). Indeed, the name HaVaYaH is not subject to change, as it is written: “For I, the Lord (HaVaYaH), do not change” (Malachi, 3:6). For corruption and its correction emerge in the days of the world’s existence, meaning that constant changes are coming. Therefore, until the end of correction, the Creator is called Adonay, for this name is subject to change, and not HaVaYaH, which can never be altered.

Yet, in the future, after the end of correction, HaVaYaH will be pronounced as it is written. Therefore, the Creator said, “If I see some fault or evil in you, by this you will be removed from My Name, for My Name, HaVaYaH, may not contain anything flawed or corrected – neither corruption nor correction. And this is why the world cannot be created by your properties.” There are three degrees in the letter Yod of the name HaVaYaH: in the Sefira Hochma of ZA, in Hochma of AVI, and in Hochma of Arich Anpin, called “concealed wisdom.”

HaVaYaH begins with a dot, which then turns into Yod. Subsequently, Yod (Ohr Hochma) spreads to the sides and downward and turns into the letter Dalet, which consists of a horizontal roof-like line that indicates the property of Bina-Ima (mercy, Hassadim, width). When Ohr Hassadim stops spreading in width, Ohr Hochma begins to spread downward in the form of a vertical line. This is the leg of the letter Dalet, the property of Hochma-Aba.

The common property of AVI is designated by the letter Dalet. AVI beget ZA, designated by the letter Vav inside the Dalet, and eventually forms the shape of the letter Hey. Thus, the request of ZA(Vav) to receive from AVI compels them to unite their properties of Hochma (vertical line) and Hassadim (horizontal line), with the help of the letter Yod. Consequently, AVI receive the Light from Yod and pass it on to ZA.

The screen with the desires of Malchut is called “a point,” since the collision between the screen and the coming Light yields Returning Light. And since the received Light always consists of ten Lights, the screen is called “ten points.”

Yod designates the spreading of Nekudot inside Partzuf Keter, from the Light of Hochma downwards, while Vav signifies the spreading of Nekudot inside Partzuf Hochma. However, there is no sign in HaVaYaH that indicates the diffusion of Light in Keter.

Entrance or exit of the letter Yod in a word signifies either presence or absence of the Light of Hochma. There are four kinds of correction:

1. The First Ibur – conception of the small state of ZON. This is an absolutely passive spiritual state, where the letter Yod enters the word Ohr (Light) and transforms it into Avir (air), becoming the VAK of the Partzuf.

2. The letter Yod exits the word Avir, which converts it back to Ohr: the Light of Hochma enters VAK of Partzuf;

3. The Second Ibur – conception of the Gadlut state of ZON: AHP of Bina ascend from ZON to Bina,and GE de ZON ascend with them, for they were together in the Katnut state, defined as conception of GE de ZON;

4. The diffusion of the Light of Hochma.

The Letter Tet

33. The letter Tet entered and said: “Maker of the world, it would be good to create the world with me, for it is by me that You are called Tov (Good).” The Creator replied: “I will not create the world by you, for your goodness is concealed within you and is invisible. Therefore, it cannot take any part in the world that I wish to create, and will only be revealed in the world to come. And since your goodness is concealed within you, the gates of the palace will sink into the ground, for the letter Chet is opposite from you, and when you join together, the word CHeT (sin) will be formed. This is why these two letters are not recorded in the names of the holy tribes.” The letter Chet immediately moved aside.

The letter Tet, whose numeric value of nine, is the inner property of the Sefira Yesod in ZA, while the outer property of Yesod in ZA is the letter Tzadik, whose numeric value of ninety, and it joins with Nukva deZA, forming the notion of Tzadik (righteous one). Besides being the inner property of Yesod in ZA, Tet is also the ninth letter among the letters of Bina in ZA.

Also, Tet is called Tov (good). And since Tov is called Tzadik, for it is the inner Light of Yesod, called Tzadik, to whom no impure forces could cling, Tet calls on the above to justify its claim to become the basis of the world.

In the Talmud (Hagiga, 12), the sages wrote: “In the Light by which the Creator created the world, Adam saw from one end of the world to the other. But the Creator saw that the deeds of the generations of the Flood and the builders of the Tower of Babel are detrimental, and concealed that Light for the righteous in the future.” Because the Creator saw that their actions will bring the threat of the clinging of the impure forces, He concealed this Light, Thus, the Light descended secretly from the Supernal Righteous (AVI) to the righteous one (Yesod in ZA), the letter Tet.

And so the Creator told Tet that because He must conceal it from the sinners and only the righteous will be worthy of it in the world to come, it cannot partake in the creation and correction of the world, for the world is ZON, and the letter Tet is constantly in danger of being clung to by impure forces.

And since this Light shines only secretly inside Yesod of ZA, and not openly, Nukva will not be able to receive this Light directly, but only through its concealment in her. Therefore, the gates of Nukva sink into her Sefira Yesod, which safeguards them against the clinging of the impure forces, and they are confident that the impure forces will not be able to rule over her gates. For even at the time of the ruin of the Temple, the impure forces could not rule over the gates of the Temple, and sank into the ground, that is, the ground consumed them. “But because you are in need of such protection, I cannot create the world with you,” the Creator answered Tet.

There are two pipes (channels) in Yesod de ZA in the world of Atzilut: the right one serves for the birth of the souls, and the left one for throwing away waste to the impure forces. The letter Chet is Hod, whose property is Malchut in ZA, the left pipe in Yesod of ZA, for the properties of the letter Chet are the properties of Kuf included in Yesod, whereas Kuf emanates Ner Dakik (tiny Light) to the impure forces, from which they receive the strength to be similar to an image of a pure man, as a monkey compared to a man, for the Creator created purity parallel to impurity.

These two pipes are located very close to each other, separated only by a thin partition, called “a garlic husk.” Consequently, the left pipe has the strength to rule over the right one, thereby forming CHeT (numerical value 8 + 9 = 17).

The numerical value of CHeT (17) equals that of the word TOV (9 + 6 + 2 = 17), which means that the impure force opposes the pure one. And if the right pipe (the letter Tet) prevails, the word CHeT (sin) will turn into TOV (good, goodness).

Since the left pipe (CHeT) has the strength to rule over the right one (Tet), the impure forces can suck the Upper Light for themselves. This would give power to the sinners of the world. This is why neither Chet nor Tet are present in the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, to show that they (the tribes) are above the letter Chet, the root of all the opposing impure forces.

When all the letters merited receiving a blessing through the letter Bet, they lined up in their alphabetical order, in which the letters Tet and Reish joined. The letter Tet ascended, but did not take its place until the Creator asked her: “Tet, why did you ascend, but do not take your place?” It replied: “You created me to begin the words Tov (goodness) and Torah, as it is written: ‘And the Creator saw that the Light was good.’ How then can I join and stand beside the letter Reish, when it begins the word Rah (evil)?”

The Creator answered: “Return to your place, for it is precisely you that needs the letter Reish. For man, whom I intend to create, combines all those properties – you as the right property, and Reish as the left.” After that, both Tet and Reish returned to their places.

Three lines emerge in ZA of the world of Atzilut. However, they emerge from their source, Bina. (As a result of the second restriction, Malchut ascends to Bina, which leads to Sefirot Bina-ZA-Malchut falling into a lower Partzuf, into ZA.) Bina is called Eloh-im(Aleph-Lamed-Hey-Yod-Mem), and as a result of second restriction, her part Aleph-Lamed-Hey (the ELEH of the word Eloh-im, AHP) fell into a lower Partzuf, to ZA. Only the letters Yod-Mem (the IM of Eloh-im) remained in Bina. This means that only half, (VAK, GE) remained in her from the previous level of GAR. Whatever is left is designated by a sign called HolamVav with a dot above it, as this is the right line, Ohr Hassadim.

Then, in the big state, the letters Aleph-Lamed-Hey (ELEH) returned to Bina and joined with Yod-Mem (IM). Subsequently, the level of GAR returned, yet the Light of Hochma in Bina was incomplete, for the Light of Hassadim disappeared and the Light of Hochma cannot shine without the Light of Hassadim. The returned letters A-L-H are Shuruk - Vav with a dot inside it, because, due to the restrictions in it, it constitutes the left line.

These restrictions are effective until ZON, upon ascending to Bina, begin to receive the Light, and the middle line emerges and reduces GAR of Hochma in the left line. As a result, the right line joins with the left: Ohr Hochma shines in the Ohr Hassadim. This middle line is called Hirik-Vav with a dot under it, or the screen of Hirik, for the Light enters the Partzuf because of it.

And since Bina regained GAR with ZA’s help, ZA, now that he had acquired the three lines, begins to receive this Light from Bina, too. Yod-Mem (IM), Tet and Holam constitute the right line, Aleph-Lamed-Hey (ELEH), Reish and Shuruk constitute the left.

Now let us translate this into the language of Sefirot. When Bina returned once more to the state of Gadlut, ELEH returned to IM, the left line merged with the right, and this drove Tet (right line, Hassadim) away from Reish (left line). This is because being opposite to each other, they cannot stand side by side until the Creator (ZA, middle line) reduces the GAR of both the left and right lines by the force of His screen, which is expressed by the words: “And the Creator commanded it to return to its place.”

GAR de Hochma is called Man’ula – the lock that prevents the Light from entering a Partzuf, and its diminution is called Miftacha – the key that opens a passage for the Light, VAK of Hochma, to spread in the left line into a Partzuf. Then, Tet, the right line, receives Ohr Hochma from the left, joins with Reish, receiving from it the Light of Hochma. Otherwise it would have remained in VAK. Adam, too, is created from the union of these two lines.

But why was the letter Tet reluctant to join with the letter Reish, and had to be forced to do so by the Creator? In the spiritual world, a root rules over all its branches, and the branches submit to its rule. Therefore, Tet did not wish to join with Reish, as it was then bound to become a branch and submit to its root, Reish.

However, the Creator wanted Tet to receive the Light of Hochma from Reish so that this union would enable man to receive the Light of GAR. Thus, when ELEH return to Bina, He made it so Bina’s restrictions would be weakened so as to allow the Reish to join with the Tet and receive the Light of Hassadim from it. It follows that Tet becomes the root with regard to Reish, for without its Hassadim, Reish would be unable to shine, due to the restrictions placed on its Light.

The Letter Zayin

34. The letter Zayin entered and said: “Maker of the world, it would be good to create the world by me, as Shabbat is preserved with me, for it is written: ‘Remember (Zachor) the day of Shabbat, so as to keep it.’” The Creator replied: “I will not create the world by you, for within you is a force of war, as sabers and swords, called “Klei Zayin” (weaponry), are made by you. And you are like the letter Nun, with which the world was not created, for within it is Nefilah (fall)” (item 29). Having heard that, the letter Zayin left Him.

The letter Zayin is depicted as a combination of Vav and Yod, as a head over it, which signifies the big state and the great Light in Malchut, ZA’s wife, for Malchut includes herself into her husband, ZA (designated by Vav), and becomes a crown (Yod) on his head. Together, these two letters, Vav with Yod standing above it, form the letter Zayin.

Therefore, it is written: “Remember the day of Shabbat, so as to keep it holy.” As a result of Shabbat’s elevation, that is, Nukva’s ascent to the head of ZA, when she becomes his crown, she includes herself in the word Zachor (remember) and receives the name Nukva Kedoshah (holy Nukva). This is why the letter Zayin claimed that since this Light is so great and holy that it brings absolute rest on this day, for purity is completely separated from impurity in this state called Shabbat, it is worthy of becoming the basis for the creation of the world.

Zayin is the Sefira Netzah in ZA. When Nukva is included in Netzah and merges with its properties, she gains the strength to ascend along with ZA to AVI. There she becomes a crown on his head, by which he is adorned, which signifies the day of Shabbat. However, since this correction occurs solely as a result of her inclusion in the male essence and their ascent to AVI, and not in her regular place, where she normally abides with ZA, Nukva cannot be corrected completely during the 6,000 years.

The reason for this is that when Nukva returns to her place on weekdays, her connection with the letter Zayin is defined as a Kli Zayin (weapon), and all the wars with the impure forces emerge from her, like the weekdays that prepare Shabbat.

For every man must defeat the impure force within him on the weekdays, and thus merit the King’s daughter – Shabbat. However, during the 6,000 years, the Light of Shabbat is insufficient for the neutralization of the impure forces, for weekdays return and surround the Shabbat. This continues until the end of correction, when there will be only Shabbat as the day of absolute perfection for all eternity.

This is also why the Creator replied to Zayin: “I will not create the world with you, for when you are in your place, your Light is not yet perfect. Only after you defeat the impure forces in war will man be able to attain you.” And the shape of the letter Vav (ZA) resembles a spear, ready to strike and pierce through the impure forces. For Gevurot (courage) signifies the left line of Bina’s male part (Nun).

The Letters Vav and Hey

35. The letter Vav entered and said: “It would be good to create the world with me, for I am a letter from Your Name HaVaYaH (Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey).” The Creator replied:Vav, both you and the letter Hey should just be glad to be contained within My Name. This is why I will not create the world with your properties.”

Although the letter Yod expressed a similar request, Vav thought that Yod had been turned down because of its excessive size (spiritual force). This is why Vav claimed that it would be good to create the world with its properties, i.e., according to the letters Vav- Hey in the name HaVaYaH, with the Light of the Supernal Bina (Ima) of the world of Atzilut.

The Creator responded with the same answer he had given to the letter Yod – that He restricted it by saying to DaY (Dalet-Yod): “Stop at the letter Shin and spread no more, so that the impure forces would not cling to you.” Hence, the letters Vav and Hey are not suitable for the world to be created with their properties, for even they need protection against the impure forces.

Sefira Tifferet is designated by the big letter Vav (Vav with a head), for it has all six (Vav) Sefirot: Hesed-Gevura-Tifferet-Netzah-Hod-Yesod. Yesod is the Sefira that is responsible for passing the Light from ZA to Malchut. This is why it has the same Light as in MalchutNHY without HGT, and this is also why Yesod is called the small Vav(Vav without a head).

The Letters Dalet and Gimel

36. The letters Dalet and Gimel appeared before the Creator. However, the Creator told them right away: “It is enough that you are both together, so that as long as the poor exist on earth, there is someone to treat them with mercy (Li Gmol Hesed). The letter Dalet derives from Dalut (poverty), while Gimel renders mercy to it (Gomelet Hassadim). Therefore, you cannot part, and it is enough for you to aid one another in this way.

It was already stated (item 24) that although Dalet receives the Light from Gimel and its sharp right angle protrudes from the Light of Hassadim, the impure forces are nonetheless strong enough to cling to it, separate it and make the sharp angle smooth, thus transforming it into the letter Reish.

This is why the letter Dalet requires special protection so as not to be corrupted and to be able to continue being fulfilled by Gimel so as to keep the needy ones (Dalut) in the world from disappearing. Thus, it is sufficient for these two forces to sustain and complement one another, to fulfill one another in reciprocal union so as to prevent the impure forces from ruling. And this role is enough from them. This is why the Creator did not want to create the world with them.

The Letter Bet

37. The letter Bet entered and said to the Creator: “Maker of the world, it would be good to create the world by me, as by me You are blessed Above and below. For Bet is Berachah (blessing).” The Creator replied to Bet: “Of course, I will create the world by you, and you shall be the basis of the world!”

The letter Bet is the property of Hochma (wisdom), or rather Hesed in Hochma, a point in a palace, for Ohr Hassadim is a palace for Ohr Hochma and is called Berachah (blessing). Passing through all of the worlds from the Creator down to the lowest degree of the lowest world, this Light does not diminish in any way.

Rather, just as this Light is at the Highest Degree that receives it from the World of Infinity, it is just as great, magnificent, and mighty in the world of Atzilut, and likewise all the way down to the world of Assiya. And it does not get coarser or weaker as it passes through all the screens from Above downwards.

That is why the letter Bet vied for the world to be created with its properties, as the Light of blessing is the same both Above and below; no screen can weaken it and no coarse desires can harm it.

This is also why the property of mercy (Hassadim) is most suitable for the creation of the world, for no impure forces can cling to it. This is because the impure forces can only cling to a place where there is a deficiency. And since there is no deficiency of any kind in the property of mercy, there can never be any contact between Bet and the impure forces.

The Creator agreed with Bet that its property is perfect and suitable for the creation of the universe by Him. As it is said: “Olam (world) Hesed (mercy) Yi Baneh (will be built),” where Yi Baneh means Boneh (building) and HaVana (understanding). (In Hebrew, the letters Vav and Bet are denoted by the letter Bet). This is because the Creator determined that this property is entirely sufficient for precisely evaluating and separating pure from impure.

And if man seeks an idol in the Creator’s stead, a Berachah (blessing) does not descend upon him, for blessing stems from the Creator alone. Thus, it is possible to determine who is righteous and who is a sinner, who works for the Creator’s sake and who works for himself, for the world is built by mercy.

Yet, the Creator did not order the Light of mercy to rule the world. He merely intended it for a good beginning, sufficient to bring the world to perfection. This is because the Light of Hassadim is incomplete (VAK, and not GAR), insufficient for begetting new souls, for their union and multiplication, as no Partzuf (spiritual object) can beget until it attains the full Light of Hochma, termed GAR or head. Until then, the Partzuf remains in a state of imperfection.

Our normal (the lowest possible) state is determined by the property of the letter Bet. Hence, the Creator laid it as the basis for the creation of the world. In other words, the basis of a state is a state of a pure Partzuf (object), when nothing at all can diminish or impede it.

In such a state, an addition of Ohr Hochma to Ohr Hassadim, necessary for the birth of a new Partzuf is no longer considered basic and essential. Rather, it is defined as an addition, i.e., it depends solely on the good deeds of the lower ones. And the fundamental Light, VAK, will never be lacking.

The Letter Aleph

38. The letter Aleph stood outside and did not enter to appear before the Creator. The Creator said to it: “Why do you not come to me like all the other letters?” Aleph replied: “Because I saw all the letters leaving your presence without the desired answer. And besides, I saw You presenting the letter Bet with this great gift. And, indeed, the King of the universe cannot take back his gift and give it to another!” The Creator replied: “Although I will create the world by the letter Bet, it is you who will stand at the head of all the letters, and there shall be no unity in Me, but through you alone; all accounts and deeds of this world shall always begin with you, and all of unity shall be in you alone.”

As we already know, all the letters’ questions are Aliyat MAN – their individual requests, prayers, desires to ascend to the Creator. And the Creator's answers to them are called Yeridat MAD – the descent of the Light from Above, giving strength and abundance according to the letters’ requests. The great perfection in the letter Aleph stems not from the lower ones’ request for spiritual ascent and correction, but from a force (Light) descending from Above and elevating those that dwell below.

This is why from the beginning of correction to its end, Aleph (unlike the other letters, whose properties fuel the process of correction during the 6,000 years) is never stimulated to raise its request to the Creator. And only if the Light that bestows strength for spiritual ascent descends from Above and begins to shine upon Aleph will it be stimulated. However, this will only take place at the end of correction.

Aleph did not raise its plea (MAN) to the Creator, for it saw that all the other letters asked, but to no avail, for there was an opposite property in the system of the impure forces against each of their properties. Therefore, Aleph decided that it was no better than the rest, that there is a corresponding impure force against it as well.

Furthermore, it raised no requests (MAN) to the Creator because it saw that the Creator decided to create the world with the letter Bet, mercy. And since it had no doubt that His decision was irrevocable, it decided not to ask Him.

Although it is true that the world was already created with the property of Bet, and that the Creator will not turn His gift over to another letter, the Partzuf that was created by the property of Bet is incomplete, small, VAK without a head. And since a Partzuf needs a head in order to reach the state of Gadlut, which is possible only when the Partzuf is filled not only with the Light of mercy (Hassadim), but also with the Light of wisdom (Hochma), more letters are necessary for the connection, conception and birth of a new Partzuf, a new state.

A state of Gadlut can only be achieved with the help of the property of the letter Aleph. Only Aleph can bring a Partzuf to Gadlut, to supplement its body, VAK, with a head, GAR, Mochin – the Light of Hochma. The letter Aleph brings the union between ZA and Malchut in a face-to-face position, whereas previously, in Katnut, while being filled with only the Light of mercy, ZA and Malchut were connected back-to-back. This is why Aleph creates a head for all the letters, and hence stands at the head of the alphabet.

The Creator said: “That is why My Unity in the world is expressed only through the property of the letter Aleph. Furthermore, all rewards and punishments, distancing and drawing nearer, as well as the aspiration for spiritual correction (Teshuvah), all of which lead to the achievement of the end of correction, will only happen by the property of the Aleph. I have made Bet the basis of the Partzuf so that it would be in no way dependent on the deeds of the lower ones. Thus, even if they begin to sin, those above will remain unaffected.”

He continued: “But the Light in you, Aleph, is directly related to the actions of the lower ones. So if they sin, the Light of wisdom (the Light of GAR in you) will immediately disappear. But if they correct their actions (Teshuvah), the Light of Hochma will return. And My unity with all the creatures at the end of correction will only be realized through the letter Aleph.”

Letters are Kelim (plural for Kli – vessel), desires. And this refers to both the individual letters of the alphabet and those that form words. In the names of spiritual objects, letters signify the force of their desire, which the Light can fill. Letters of a simple name, without filling, designate its basis without Light – Kli of Aviut zero with the Light of Nefesh. Letters of a fulfilled name designate the magnitude of desires that are filled by Light.

There are two sources of letters: Yod and Aleph. Yod is a genuine source, for when we write something, we begin with a dot (Yod), and then, as we proceed from the dot in one of the four directions, we get a line. Letters are Kelim, desires, in which the Light (pleasure) is received.

A desire for something specific may only emerge if: (i) the initial, still unconscious desire is filled with delight, and (ii) the delight exits the desire. It is the memories (Reshimot) of past pleasures that lead to the emergence of a true desire to receive it, to feel it once more. And this is the very desire that is called Kli.

A filled Kli cannot be called a desire, for it is satisfied. Therefore, expulsion of the Light and sensation of spiritual descent constitute the period of the creation of new Kelim for future receptions of Light, for new attainments. Because the first restriction is the reason for the disappearance of Light from all the vessels, its black dot, Yod, is the basis of all the letters- Kelim.

However, the second restriction is the only true root of all the worlds, because the first restriction was only made on a point, (Phase Four, Malchut, the fourth letter Hey in the Creator’s name HaVaYaH). The second restriction, however, was made on Bina, in whom the two points, Bina and Malchut, were joined. The union of the two points forms a line, either vertical or horizontal. If it is a horizontal line, it is called “firmament” or Parsa.

The sum of consequences of both the first and second restrictions forms a slanted line (\); GE (Keter-Hochma) is depicted to its right, and AHP (Bina-ZA-Malchut) to its left. Keter-Hochma remain on their previous level and are designated by the letter Yod, the first root of the world, whereas, a result of the second restriction, designated by a slanted line (\), Bina-ZA-Malchut fell to a lower level. And since the letter Yod is the first, though a very remote root of the worlds, and all the worlds were created afterwards and in accordance with the law of the second restriction, the letter Aleph stands at the head of the alphabet.

The kind of Light that fills the spiritual Kli or Partzuf can also be seen from its designation: if it is filled with the Light of wisdom (Ohr Hochma), the filling is designated by the letter Yod; and if it is filled with the Light of mercy (Ohr Hassadim), it is the letter Aleph.

39. The Creator made the Upper letters, which refer to the Sefira Bina, large, and the lower letters that refer to Malchut – small. Therefore it is said: “Beresheet Barah” (in the beginning He created) – two words that begin with Bet, and then Elokim Et (the Creator Himself) – two words that begin with Aleph. The first set of Aleph and Bet are letters of Bina, and the second set of Aleph and Bet are letters of Malchut. And they should mutually affect one another with their properties.

When the Upper One wishes to give Light to the lower one, it should clothe in the lower one, signified by the first two letters Bet and the two letters Aleph in the first four words of the Torah. For the first, Upper Bet is Bina, the second, lower Bet is ZA, and the first Bet clothes into the second one.

Similarly, the first Aleph refers to Bina and clothes into the second Aleph in ZA so as to fill it with Light. Therefore, the two letters Bet are like one letter Bet and the two letters Aleph are like one letter Aleph, since the lower letter merely constitutes the influence of the Upper One, which tells us that the Upper Partzuf fills the lower one.

The world cannot be created with Aleph, for the word Arur (cursed) begins with it, and had the world been created with Aleph, the impure forces, called “cursed,” would have received great power from the pure forces, called Baruch (blessed). This is why the world (Nukva of ZA) is created with the letter Bet. Likewise, Adamin Nukva of ZA is also created by the power of Bet. Thus, Malchut of the world of Atzilut constitutes the root of all creation, all the worlds, and all that inhabit them.

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