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Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

Chapter Seven

Talmud Eser Sefirot
(The Study of the Ten Sefirot)
Part 3

Explains how Malchut de Atzilut came down and became the Keter of Olam Beria. Containing ten issues:

1. In Olam Beria, Rosh AA has only HGT, and KHB is missing.
2. The Rosh of every Partzuf does not clothe the Tachton.
3. Two Behinot come down from the Masach in the Upper Olam to the lower Olam: A - Eser Sefirot de Ohr Yashar and Ohr Hozer that extend from the Masach by a Zivug de Hakaa; B – Ohr Malchut de Malchut in the Upper Olam breaches the Masach and comes down to become Keter in the lower Olam.
4. In the beginning, Malchut was as big as ZA, but she complained, for she wanted to rule alone. She was told to go and diminish herself, descend to Olam Beria and rule there. In other words, the point of Malchut became the Keter of Olam Beria.
5. During the diminution, the lower nine Sefirot left Malchut and ascended to their Shoresh in ZA.
6. If the nine Sefirot de Malchut leave due to the blemish in the Tachtonim, they do not rise to ZA, but fall to the Klipot.
7. Just like the point of Malchut de Atzilut came down and became the Keter to Beria, so it is in every single Olam.
8. Because Malchut de Elyon becomes Keter de Tachton, the Olamot connect with one another. Hence GAR de Beria can ascend to Olam Atzilut on Shabbat.
9. When counting the actual Ne’etzalim, they are only four, meaning HB TM; and when you count the Shoresh with them, they are five, namely KHB TM.
10. Similarly, in every single Partzuf and in every single Sefira, the superior is called Maatzil and the inferior Ne’etzal. There is a median Behina between them, called Keter. It is all as it is written in the Olamot, as it says, “I am the first, and I am the last.” Keter is the last in the Upper and the first in the lower.


Two Behinot descend from the Upper Olam to the lower Olam: A - Eser Sefirot de Ohr Yashar clothed in Ohr Hozer, which expand by the Masach in Zivug de Hakaa; B – The last Behina of the Upper Olam, which is Malchut de Malchut, which descends and becomes Atik in the lower Olam. It does not expand by the Ohr Hozer in the Masach, but breaches the Masach and descends.

1. I have found that Rabbi Gdaliah wrote that the Upper Three of the Vav Ktzavot de AA de Beria, which are HGT (1), remained barewithout Hitlabshut (2). These three are regarded as a Masach. It means this: We have explained that each of these three Olamot hasone Masach.

However, when the image of all the Orot de Atzilut passed inside the Masach between Atzilut and Beria to create corresponding Eser Sefirot de Beria, they did not breach that Masach and passed in it (3), but only their Ohr passed through that Masach and all Eser Sefirot de Beria were engraved.

These Upper Three of AA de Beria, which are HGT, also pass through the Masach and do not breach the Masach. They are only diminishing Ohr that some of which passes through the Masach. However, that point of Malchut de Atzilut that came down to clothe these GAR de AA, is the Ohr of Malchut de Atzilut itself. Hence she breaks and breaches the Masach itself and descends and clothes GAR de AA [de Beria] (4).


Ohr Pnimi

1. All Eser Sefirot de Beria are indeed in the level of Ohr Bina, even Keter and Hochma (see Chap 4, item 2). Since the level of Bina de Atzilut clothes HGT de AA, Beria can never be extended from it, but only its HGT NHYM, which are its VAK. Hence, HGT de AA de Beria are regarded as GAR de AA in that place.

2. The Rosh of every Partzuf does not clothe its lower Partzuf because the clothing of the Tachton begins from Peh de Rosh de Elyon downward. Since HGT de AA are Rosh, they are exposed without Hitlabshut.

3. Breaching implies an overpowering of the Ohr on the Gevul in the Masach, which does not watch over the force of detainment in it. It breaks, passes and shines below the Masach as well.

You should well remember what we have explained above regarding the Hakaa of the Ohr Elyon on the Masach (Ohr Pnimi, Part 2, item 3): The Masach stops the expanding Ohr Elyon from reaching below its Gevul and brings it back to its place, as the Rav says (Part 3, Chap 1, item 3). However, a certain part of the Ohr Elyon broke through and did not return backwards. Instead, it descended below the Masach and illuminated, which is like breaking a hole in the Guf of the Masach, reaching downward through it.

However, it is nothing like making a corporeal, physical and tangible hole; it is only about trespassing. It is so because the Masach limits the Ohr. Some of the Ohr Elyon, which the Masach did not detain, is considered to have breached the Masach, meaning its Gevul and detainment, and passed from the Masach downward too.

That part, which breached the Gevul of the Masach and went below, is called Malchut de Malchut of the Upper degree, or the point of Malchut de Elyon. Hence, we should make two discernments in the above Zivug de Hakaa: The first is that the Masach overpowered the Ohr and pushed it back to its place, which made the Ohr Hozer a Levush over the Dalet Behinot in the Ohr Elyon from below upward.

In that manner Malchut expanded to Eser Sefirot from her and within her from the Masach downward. As a result, the entire Eser Sefirot that came from the Masach upward sparkled with the He’arah from the Masach downward too, and thus imprinted their sample there from above downward (see Ohr Pnimi, Part 2, item 3). This is the first discernment in the Zivug de Hakaa.

The second discernment is that part of the Ohr Elyon that broke and breached the Masach and passed under the Masach without the help of Ohr Hozer, but in the form of His Atzmut. This part is called “the point of Malchut de Elyon” or “Malchut de Malchut de Elyon”, which breached the Gevul and did not mind the force of the detainment in the Masach.

You should thoroughly understand that that Masach is considered as nonexistent by that point. That is why the Rav made the precision of saying that she “breaks and breaches the Masach itself.” You will understand the rest of the Rav’s words according to the above two discernments.

4. Meaning in HGT de AA, which are His GAR, because this AA de Beria has only VAK, meaning HGT NHY, and thus His HGT are His GAR. You should see here that that point of Malchut de Atzilut that breached and passed from the Masach downward as in the second discernment is the Ein Sof, is referred to earlier as Tohu.

It has Ein Sof, but not a single Behina of the four Behinot HB TM. Instead, the four Behinot are contained in it in potential, not in fact. These GAR come from the first discernment, called Bohu, and contain four roots of four Behinot HB TM in actual fact, meaning by Hitlabshut Ohr Hozer, which are actual Kelim, and remember that.


In the beginning, Malchut was as big as ZA, and she complained, meaning she wanted to rule alone. She was then told to diminish herself of the nine Sefirot de Atzilut and descend to Beria to rule there. These nine Sefirot that departed from her connected to ZA in their Shoresh, and then she came down and became Atik in Beria.

2. The meaning of this point is that it is known how the two Lights were created in equal level (5). When the mooncomplained and diminished (6), it means that after she had been a whole Partzuf, she diminished and stood as a small point thatconsists of ten Sefirot.

The other nine points left her (7), as it is known that to begin with, her Shoresh is but one point, and nine other points were added by ZA later on. That is why it is called Aspaklaria that has nothing of her own (8), and hence ZA took them once more and a small point remained. She could not stand in him because of her Katnut, and she descended to the Rosh of Beria instead.


Ohr Pnimi

5. ZA and Malchut are called Two Lights since they bestow upon the lower Olamot. It is so because the Tachtonim cannot receive from GAR Keter, Hochma and Bina. Consequently, only ZA and Malchut shine upon the Tachtonim and are therefore called “Lights”.

When emanated, they were on the same level. It means that Malchut received her Shefa from Bina, not through ZA. Thus they were both equal; just as ZA was emanated from Bina and received his Shefa from Bina, so Nukva received her Shefa from Bina. However, when Malchut is not fitting to receive from Bina, but through ZA, she is then considered to be lower than ZA, for the receiver is naturally below the giver.

6. It has already been explained that the moon, which is Malchut, was equal to ZA, which is the sun. At that time they were both at the level of VAK, HGT NHY. Both lacked the Rosh, they lacked the first three, and sucked from Bina, called Keter.

Our sages said (Hulin, 60; 72), that she said: “No two kings use a single crown,” meaning Ima. Malchut wanted to rule alone, and was then told, “Go diminish yourself,” meaning exit from Atzilut to Beria, and rule there.

Malchut was a complete Partzuf in Atzilut, but was diminished by her descent to Bina, and stood there as a tiny point, consisting of “potential” Eser Sefirot, not actual. We shall explain it henceforth.

7. Meaning they remained in ZA in Atzilut and did not go down to Beria, but only Behinat Malchut de Malchut.

8. Aspaklaria means Light, because Malchut is called “Light”. It says that she has nothing of her own because her Shoresh is merely a point, as the Rav says earlier. The nine Sefirot that she had while in Atzilut are not her own Behina, meaning the Behina of Ohr Yashar of Malchut. It is only the Ohr Hozer that she raised by the Masach from her upward to ZA.

This Ohr Hozer returns from ZA to Malchut from above downward and builds Malchut with Eser Sefirot (see Ohr Pnimi, Part 2, item 3). This is what the Rav means when he says that nine other Sefirot came as an addition by ZA.

Thus, when Malchut was diminished and came down to Beria, only Atzmut de Malchut descended, while all nine upper Sefirot, which are the Ohr Hozer, remained in Atzilut, in their Shoresh, namely ZA. This is why the Rav says, “hence ZA took them once more,” and that is why she is called “Aspaklaria that has nothing of her own”.


Malchut remained as Atik in Beria even after the diminution of Malchut was corrected.

3. Indeed, that was during the lunar diminution during the creation of the World. However, after she had been corrected and returned to her place back-to-back, Adam ha Rishon was created and had brought her back to face-to-face as in the beginning (9).

Afterwards, by the sin of the inferior, she diminished once more and came down, for that is the entire meaning of our prayer, to correct her when we pray. Then she returns as in the beginning for we haven’t strength for more. Thus, every holy thing leaves an imprint in its place, even though it’s left it (10), and this Behinat point always remains in the Rosh of Beria.


Ohr Pnimi

9. This is a long issue, and this is not the place to elaborate on it.

10. It is so because there is no absence in spirituality, and any change or diminution and so on does not mean that the first Behina becomes absent and another replaces it. It means only that the first Behina remains as it was and the change that we distinguish about it is an addition to the first.

Thus, wherever it is said that some Behina has changed, it means that a new Behina has been added to the first Behina. We should remember that for it is impossible to always remind it.

This is the meaning of the Rav’s words, “every holy thing leaves an imprint in its place, even though it’s left it, and this Behinat point always remains in the Rosh of Beria.” This point always remains at the top of creation, meaning the ascent and return of the point back to its place in Atzilut does not generate any absence in the point that came down to Beria, as there is no absence in spirituality.

Therefore, we should understand the return of the point to Atzilut as a new issue that is renewed, like lighting a candle from another without the first being lessened. Thus, the point remains at the Rosh of Beria and rose to Atzilut as well, and now has two points.


When the departure of the nine Sefirot of Malchut is due to the sin of the Tachtonim, her nine Sefirot do not ascend to ZA but fall to the Klipot.

4. During her diminution (because of the flaw of the Tachtonim) the other nine points that leave her do not come back to ZA, from which they came. Regrettably, they descend to the Klipa, to a Divinity in exile, and there is no need to elaborate on that.


Just like the point of Malchut de Atzilut came down and became Atik in Keter de Beria, so it was in every single Olam, where Malchut of the Upper Olam clothed the Keter of its inferior Olam.

5. Let us return to the issue that this point was first Zanav la Araiot (A tail for the lions) at the end of Atzilut (20). That is because Eve was a Zanav to Adam, and then descended and diminished herself into her point, and became Rosh la Shualim (A head for the foxes), an actual Rosh to Beria (30).

So it was in every Olam, for the point of Malchut de Yetzira descended in the Rosh de Assiya, and also Beria in Rosh Yetzira. It was the same in Rosh de Atzilut as well, as it says, “In wisdom hast Thou made them all.”

It is so because Ohr Ein Sof clothed the Upper Hochma above Atzilut and that Hochma herself descended (40), broke the Masach over Atzilut and descended and clothed Atzilut. Also, it is through her that Atzilut receives Ohr Ein Sof. That is the meaning of “In wisdom hast Thou made them all,” mentioned in Olam Atzilut.


Ohr Pnimi

20. Meaning the end of all the Sefirot de Atzilut, which with respect to Sefirot de Beria, are presented in the parable as Lions toward Foxes. Then Malchut descended from the Sium of Sefirot de Atzilut and became the Rosh of Sefirot de Beria.

30. ZA and Malchut are called Adam and Eve. Malchut is the Sium of all the Sefirot de ZA. That is why our sages said about Adam ha Rishon, prior to the creation of Eve that Eve was the tail of Adam, meaning his Sium.

40. It means that Malchut de AK, in which Masach de Behina Gimel is erected, being the level of Hochma, that Malchut came down and became Atik in Atzilut.


Because Malchut de Elyon became Keter to the Tachton, the Olamot connect with one another to receive He’arah from each other.

6. Indeed, this Behina that was in all the Olamot was beneficial to the Olamot, in order to connect them one with the other so as to receive He’arah from one another. It is done by the Sium of Atzilut being the Rosh de Beria, as it is also in the other Olamot.


Because Malchut de Atzilut is clothed in Keter de Beria in Heichal Kodesh Kodashim, that Heichal can ascend to Atzilut on Shabbat.

7. This is the meaning of the day of Shabbat. On that day, Kedusha is added to the Olamot, and the Heichal Elyon, the Kodesh Kodashim (50) de Beria ascends once more to Atzilut and becomes absolute Atzilut, for the above reason. It is the same in all the other Olamot as well.


Ohr Pnimi

50. Rosh de Beria, where the point of Malchut de Atzilut is clothed, is called Heichal Kodesh Kodashim. This entire Heichal rises to Atzilut on Shabbat along with the point, by the power of the point of Atzilut that is clothed there.


The Ne’etzal has no more than four degrees HB TM, and a middle Behina between the Maatzil and the Ne’etzal, which is Keter, containing a Behina of a Maatzil and a Behina of a Ne’etzal.

8. It leads to the rule that the Ne’etzal has in fact only four degrees, being the four Otiot HaVaYaH. They are Atzilut, Beria,Yetzira, Assiya, and they are Hochma, Bina, Tifferet and Malchut.

That is why the Torah begins with Bereshit (In the beginning), and there is no beginning but Hochma. Our sages presented it in negative terms so as to negate Keter (60), but in fact, there is a middle Behina that consists of two Behinot: Maatzil and Ne’etzal. It is called Keter, containing everything above it. Even if it is smaller than everyone, it sucks from everyone, has the Shoresh of all the emanated Eser Sefirot, and pours abundance to all.


Ohr Pnimi

60. They should have said that Hochma is the first; why did they say that there is no first but Hochma? It means He and no other thing, meaning, “negate Keter.” This teaches you that Keter is not the beginning of the Olam, but rather Hochma is the beginning of the Olam.

It is so because the Olam too has four general Behinot HB TM. Hochma is the first Behina among them, but Keter is only regarded as a median, containing its own four Behinot.


Some eighty Dalets is the actual number of the Ne’etzalim. When including the Keter with them, where there are Maatzil and Ne’etzal, there are some eighty Heys.

9. Do not be surprised that we sometimes say that the Eser Sefirot are divided into four Otiot HaVaYaH (70), and sometimes we say that they are divided to five Partzufim. When we say that it is four, it is the number of the actual Ne’etzalim, and when we count five Partzufim, we include the Shoresh of the Maatzil along with the Ne’etzalim.


Ohr Pnimi

70. Indeed, the Eser Sefirot are not divided into ten Partzufim. The reason for it is that six Sefirot HGT NHY do not create six Partzufim as they are all regarded as one Behina in the Aviut of the Masach and the level, meaning Behina Gimel. Hence they all come out from a single Zivug de Hakaa and are therefore regarded as one Partzuf. The differentiation among the six Sefirot HGT NHY will be explained in the following lessons.


In every degree in the Olamot, the Upper degree is regarded as the Maatzil, and the lower as the Ne’etzal, containing four Behinot. There is a median Behina between them called Keter, in which there is a Maatzil and a Ne’etzal. Because Keter is Malchut of the Upper, it is called Ani, and because it is Keter of the lower, it is called Ein (absence). This is the meaning of “I am the first, and I am the last.”

10. Know that it is the same in every Eser Sefirot in every single Olam and in every single Partzuf. That is because each and every Behina that is called Upper is always regarded as a Maatzil, and a lower is regarded as a Ne’etzal.

The Ne’etzal is not less than four Otiot HaVaYaH (80), even in the particular and the inner inner Eser Sefirot, and there is also a median Behina between them, called Keter. Understand that thoroughly for by that all the issues will become clear.

This is the meaning of “I am the first, and I am the last.” Keter is the first and He is the last; He is the Ein and He is the Ani (90). It is so because He is last in Behinat Malchut of the Maatzil in Him, called Ani, meaning Malchut. He is first in the Behinat Shoresh of the Ne’etzalim in Him, which is Behinat Keter, called Ein, from Otiot of Ani (in Hebrew).


Ohr Pnimi

80. The four Otiot HaVaYaH are HB TM. Tifferet alone contains six Sefirot and the median between the Maatzil and the Ne’etzal is called Keter. Together, they make up Eser Sefirot, where each specific Sefira of the ten must contain ten inner Sefirot as well. Each inner Sefira must also contain Eser inner Sefirot and so on as has been explained in Histaklut Pnimit Part 2 (item 96).

90. There is a most notable hint here: The word Ein implies absence of attainment, while the word Ani refers to the absolute and total attainment. Even though there are no two opposite matters that deny each other more than these two words, still their letters are the same (in Hebrew) and alike. This is indeed surprising.

It is written: “I am the first and I am the last.” This means that in fact, they are not two matters, but are one and the same, as the Rav has written, “It is so because He is last in Behinat Malchut of the Maatzil in Him, called Ani, meaning Malchut. He is first in the Behinat Shoresh of the Ne’etzalim in Him, which is Behinat Keter, called Ein, from Otiot of Ani (in Hebrew).” These words are deeper than deep and higher than high, and that is why the Rav says, “Understand that thoroughly for by that all the issues will become clear.”

We must thoroughly understand the meaning of the two opposites here, which are not even two opposite Behinot, but must be perceived as one. From the perspective of it being Malchut de Elyon and Atzmut de Elyon, which broke and breached the Masach, the act of Gevul in the Masach does not influence the point of Malchut de Elyon at all. For that reason Keter is called “I am the last,” meaning utter perfection.

That is because Malchut receives from all Eser Sefirot in the Elyon, and these Eser Sefirot necessarily contain all the degrees and the Partzufim that are worthy of clothing in the Olamot below them. For that reason, that point consists of its final perfection, hence, “I am the last.”

This is the meaning of Keter, called Atik, which is also called Tohu, and the Nitzotz of the Creator, and Ein Sof. From its perspective of being a Shoresh to the Ne’etzalim in it, it is Behinat Keter to the emanated Tachton. This is the meaning of “I am the first,” called Ein, with the same Otiot as Ani. This means that with respect the Ne’etzalim, these Otiot of Ani themselves form the combination of Ein.

This has the opposite meaning of the combination Ani, for it is Malchut de Elyon as well, but from the perspective of the “Ohr that diminishes and passes through the Masach.” for that reason it contains the four Behinot HB TM in actual fact, and that is why it is called the Rosh of the Ne’etzal, as everything the Guf has comes from the Rosh.

It is called Ein because all the degrees and the Olamot below it reveal what the Rosh has. Until they finish what they must, the Rosh is considered to be Ein, as it says, “I am the first,” meaning only the beginning and the Shoresh of the disclosure.

It is called Arich Anpin, and Bohu, and Nitzotz of the creature, and it is called Keter. Study these words and perhaps you will find an inlet to the wisdom. However, when it says, “I am the last,” it only speaks from the perspective of His ascent to Atzilut on the day of Shabbat, where it becomes Malchut de Elyon once more, as the Rav says.

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