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Ta’amim, Nekudot, Tagin, and Otiot

46) We said above that because of the Bitush Ohr Makif in the Masach de Guf, the Masach weakens, rises until it joins the Masach de Rosh, and becomes a single whole with it. Then both screens perform a Zivug de Haka’a, which leads to the emergence of a new Partzuf in concordance with the Aviut in its Reshimot. Now let us study the four kinds of the light TANTA (Ta’amim, Nekudot, Tagin and Otiot – in Hebrew the word begins with the letter Alef), which stem out of the Bitush de Ohr Makif and the rise of the Masach to the Peh de Rosh.

47) However, the Masach does not lose its strength at one go; it happens in a certain order. First, the Masach loses Behina Dalet, then Behina Gimel, then Bet, then Shoresh and Alef, until the Masach is totally free from all the Aviut and merges with the Masach de Rosh. The Upper Light never stops shining; it continues to interact with the Masach in whatever state it may be during the process of its weakening.

The egoistic desire that made TA now wants to work only in an altruistic mode and enjoy receiving for the sake of the Creator. However, at the beginning it receives only 20 per cent, then gradually gets free from the light, because it cannot receive any more as the result of the Bitush of the Ohr Makif and the Ohr Pnimi.

In fact, the light neither enters nor exits anything. The light is constantly inside the vessel (the Kli). Everything depends on whether the particular vessel is able to feel the light inside it or not. Similarly, we are filled with the Creator’s light, but do not feel it due to the lack of correction, the screen. If we begin to correct ourselves and acquire the screen against our egoism, we will feel the Creator and His light.

Now that the decision to expel the light is made, Malchut, wishing to feel and reveal the Creator, starts modifying its inner sensations. The Upper Light never stops shining, but constantly makes Zivugim with the Masach in each state as it ascends.

When the Masach de Guf ascended one level above the Tabur, i.e., from the Malchut de Guf to the Zeir Anpin de Guf, there was an intermediate Zivug in the Masach de Rosh. Because of this Zivug, the intermediate Partzuf of the level of Hochma emerged.

Then the Masach de Guf continues to rise. From ZA de Guf it rises to Bina de Guf. At this time, there is another intermediate Zivug de Haka’a on the Masach de Rosh, which leads to the formation ofthe Partzuf of the level of Bina and so on.

There are four such interim Zivugim during the transition from Galgalta to AB. These Zivugim lead to the formation of four intermediate Partzufim called Hochma de Galgalta, Bina de Galgalta, ZA de Galgalta, and Malchut de Galgalta.

Thus, we learned that the second Partzuf AB is born with the help of four Zivugim, which gradually emerge during the weakening of the Masach de Guf on its way to complete merging with the Masach de Rosh. A similar process takes place during the transition from AB to SAG or any other Partzuf.

There is a general rule: the Masach cannot get free from its Aviut at one go; it is a gradual process. The Ohr Elion, which is constantly shining, makes a Zivug on each level.

48) These interim, inner Partzufim are called “Nekudot”. Nekudot are the Ohr Hozer, per se. Besides, the Nekudot are inseparably connected with the category of “Din” (judgment), because the force of this judgment-restriction is already included in them.

There are no half-decisions in spirituality. Therefore, when the Partzuf, affected by a Bitush Pnim u Makif, decides to expel the light, this process cannot be stopped. However, as was said above, during the expulsion of the light, i.e., during the ascent of the Masach from the Tabur(Malchut de Guf), intermediate Zivugim de Haka’a take place and create intermediate Partzufim called Nekudot.

Any reception of the light inside the Partzuf (including what occurred because of such a Zivug) is a reception of pleasure. It means that, even while passing from one level to another lower one (e.g. from Galgalta to AB, from AB to SAG and so on), the Partzuf continues to receive the light (pleasure).

Thus, we can distinguish two levels in each Partzuf: the Ta’amim and the Nekudot. The Nekudot were defined above. The Ta’amim are the first 10 Sefirot de Guf ofthe Partzuf, emerging because of the first regular Zivug de Haka’a, which leads to the formation of this particular Partzuf.

The first spreading of the light – the Ta’amim - came to shine on this level; but the Nekudot, although they have the Direct Light and also spread in the form of Rosh, Toch and Sof, do not emerge to shine on this level because the Ohr Makif annuls the screen and the entire level disappears.

However, since the screen consists of the four Behinot, the light cannot leave the level at one go. It resembles a situation in which a person sitting in the fourth room is asked to leave. He cannot leave the house from the fourth room without passing through the other three. When he enters the third room, he does not intend to remain there, for he wishes only to pass through it.

A person falling down from the fifth floor cannot stop during the fall, can he? He must fall down to the fourth floor, then to the third and so on, until he reaches the ground. A clever person falling down from the fifth level considers the fourth level the lowest; in this case, he can stop immediately and must not continue falling. Someone less smart, falling from the fifth level to the fourth one, thinks: “There are people worse than I am”. This person must fall to the bottom.

There is another example. Two workers received their salary. The first one got $800 and is very pleased; the second got $900 and is very sad. The first one used to receive $600 before; hence, he was pleased to receive $800. The second one used to receive $1000, so he was sad when his salary was cut. The reduced salary brings no pleasure, only judgment and restriction.

It is defined as “the power of judgment”, the power of outcome, which arises from the disappearance of the screen and according to the law that imposes a ban on the egoistic reception. These phases of the light's withdrawal are called “the Returned Light”. Yet in fact, they are the Direct Light since they shine at the time of departure, during “the return of the light to its root”.

Since there are no half-decisions in the spiritual world, we may conclude that, if we wish to attain spirituality, we should prefer it to everything else and go on until the end.

49) The Reshimot (memories) that remain from the Ta’amim inthe Guf ofthe Partzuf are called “Tagin”. The Reshimot that remain from the interim stages of Nekudot are called “Otiot” or “Kelim”. The Tagin (Reshimot from the lights of Ta’amim) are placed above the letters (Otiot - the genuine Kelim), and enliven them.

Therefore, the ten Sefirot that emerged from the first Zivug de Haka’a and the subsequent descent of the light are called the “Ta’amim”. The ten Sefirot or, rather, ten interim Partzufim (or five, if we consider ZA one Sefira), which emerged from the nine (or four) intermediate Zivugim during the rise of the screen from the Tabur to the Peh, are called “Nekudot”. The Reshimot of Ta’amim are called “Tagin” and the Reshimot of Nekudot – “Otiot”.

Nothing ever appears or disappears; everything depends on the attitude of the Partzuf to the light. It either perceives the light as pleasure or as darkness. Malchut of the World of Infinity sensed the light as egoistic pleasure, and then saw emptiness in it. Therefore, it rather disappeared (in the language of Kabbalah, Malchut “expelled” the light).

Now it does not derive pleasure from egoistic reception, but from receiving for the sake of bestowal. The filling of it from the Peh to the Tabur is the sensation of pleasure from giving to the Creator. Being too weak to keep this pleasure, Malchut loses the desire for it, and it leaves. However, the reminiscence of this pleasure stays behind; it is called the Reshimo, i.e., the outside light, as it were, shines from afar upon this Partzuf.

In fact, all sensations are inside; so the meaning of “outside” is purely relative. There are dozens of kinds of Reshimot (memories) and of course, all of them are felt inside. The Ohr Makif (the Surrounding, Outer Light) is inside me, but the attitude to it is different now. We must learn to think internally, turning all our attention and thoughts “inside”.

Being empty of pleasure creates the Kelim. Man had already experienced the previous state, passed it, and sensed all its transformations. Now, he can proceed to the next. Without the state of being filled and the following emptiness, it is impossible to acquire a genuine Kli.

Longing for spirituality or being indifferent to it, striving after animal pleasures – only this determines man’s advancement. It does not depend on us how many levels we will go through. We can only determine the speed. This means that man can shorten the duration of the correction (“Israel shortens the time”). This is the main task of Kabbalah.

It turns out that the Ta’amim, i.e., the spreading of the light from above, only marks the contours of the future Partzuf. It is only Keter, the sketch of the future ten Sefirot. The Nekudot are the ten Sefirot that already appear according to the contours outlined by the Ta’amim. The Nekudot are the next stage of the creation of the Partzuf, the Kli. The Tagin are the ten Sefirot that were also placed on the borders created earlier by the Ta’amim and the Nekudot. The Otiot are the ten Sefirot that appeared after the expulsion of the light.

Otiot, i.e., the state where there is no light, but there is a very strong 'desire to receive' it, are the very final phase in the development of the Kli. One must remember that well, because the weakening of the screen, the expulsion of the light and the emergence of four kinds of the light, Ta’amim, Nekudot, Tagin and Otiot, take place in all the Partzufim.

The light enters or exits the Kli, but the Reshimot are also the light that shines with small intensity, as it cannot be retained anymore.

When man ascends the spiritual levels, all these Reshimot are already inside him. He knows in advance that there will be difficulties; hence, foreseeing a fall, he can use it as a springboard for a future ascent. By working, putting his efforts into something, man is rewarded with knowledge and pleasant sensations. The moment he starts enjoying them, there comes a fall.

Nevertheless, while man is descending, he cannot feel the fall yet; it still pleases him. When he feels it, it means that he is already down. Therefore, to avoid the sensation of a fall, to sweeten its bitterness, man, when he achieves something good, should consider it a fall. Then he can continue ascending. This refers to the practical studies of Kabbalah.

The answers to the questions that come to one’s mind during the study of the material should be attained internally. If man starts feeling the Creator just a little bit, then the questions he used to ask others are revealed to him. Only by receiving a personal answer to his question, by attracting a spark of the light, does he discover the essence of phenomena, and it is never forgotten; it remains inside him, in his sensations.

Such answers depend on the amount of effort man puts forth and have nothing to do with the bulk of his accumulated knowledge. Nor does it depend on his educational level or intellect. This is the main difference between Kabbalah and all other sciences. Kabbalah is called a science because it is based on the reception of the spiritual light – the Ohr Hochma, which enters the spiritual Kli with the help of the screen, but not through knowledge or intellect.

Spiritual knowledge is the light that enters the Kli, the desire to receive pleasure for the sake of the Creator. All other kinds of knowledge enter our 'desire to acquire'; the knowledge itself constitutes egoistic information.

The discovery of spirituality means that one should not seek knowledge; rather one must be eager to acquire the intention to receive for the sake of the Creator. Spiritual information must enter the spiritual vessel. While studying, I should connect with the material; find something that speaks about me. I have to understand where my past, present and future are, and how they are related to the material I study. If man has not yet entered the spiritual world, it means that the quality and the quantity of his efforts were not sufficient.

Or, perhaps man has made considerable effort; but their quality was not adequate enough, i.e., during his studies he did not concentrate on how the Upper Light would purify and elevate him above our world. Instead, he tried to understand the material and fill his mind with it.

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