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Five Levels of Masach

17) The three basic definitions are now clear to us:

1) The Ohr is a direct emanation of the Creator’s light, while the Kli is a "desire to receive" created by the light. The light initially contains an unexpressed "desire to receive", but as this desire develops, the vessel (Malchut) is separated from it. Malchut is called “His Name” (Shemo) (“He and His Name are one”). The numerical value of the word “Shemo” is identical to the word “Ratzon” (desire).

2) The 10 Sefirot or the 4 worlds of ABYA correspond to the 4 Behinot (phases). They must be present in any created being. The "desire to receive", or the Kli, “descends” from the Creator’s level through these 4 worlds and achieves its full development in our world.

3) The First Restriction and the Masach of Behina Dalet bring forth a new vessel instead of Behina Dalet. The vessel is an intention to bestow to the Creator, and is called “Ohr Hozer”. The quantity of the received light depends on the intensity of the desire.

18) We will now clarify the five Behinot of the screen according to which the size of the Kli is changed during the Stroke Contact with the Upper Light.

After the First Restriction, Behina Dalet ceases to be a receiving vessel. The Reflected Light (Ohr Hozer), which rises above the screen because of the Stroke Contact, now plays that role instead. However, Behina Dalet with its powerful "desire to receive" has to accompany the Ohr Hozer. Without it, the Ohr Hozer is absolutely unable to be a vessel of reception.

Remember the situation between the host and his guest. The guest’s force of refusal to eat has become a receiving vessel taking on the role of hunger, which lost that function because of shame. During that refusal, receiving actually turns into an act of giving. However, we cannot say that the guest has no need for the usual vessels of receiving. Without them, he will not be able to please the host by eating his delicacies.

By way of refusal, hunger (the "desire to receive") acquires a new form – a "desire to receive" for the sake of bestowing to the host, the Creator. Shame has now become a merit. It turns out that the usual vessels of reception keep functioning as before, but acquire a new intention, i.e., to receive for the Creator’s sake. The coarseness of Behina Dalet, the state of being opposite to the Creator, prevents it now from being a receiving vessel.

However, thanks to the screen set in Behina Dalet, which hits and reflects the light, it takes a new form called the Ohr Hozer – the Reflected Light – while receiving turns into giving, as in the example with the host and the guest. Nevertheless, the essence of the form remains the same, because the guest would not eat without an appetite.Yet all the power of Behina Dalet’s desire to receive pleasure is included in the Ohr Hozer, making it a proper vessel.

There are two forces always present in the screen. The first is Kashiut, the force of resistance to receiving light; the second is Aviut, the force of Behina Dalet’s "desire to receive". Because of a Stroke Contact of Kashiut with the light, Aviut totally changes its properties, turning reception into bestowal. The two forcesfunction in all five parts of the screen: Keter, Hochma, Bina, Tifferet, and Malchut.

Five parts are in the screen through which it receives the light (five Zivugey de Haka’a). The Ohr Hozer is not a genuine vessel; it can only assist in the receiving of light. The desire to receive pleasure, Behina Dalet, which was a vessel before the First Restriction, still retains that role; only its intention changes.

The larger a man’s egoism, the more light he is able to receive, provided there is a screen matching his egoism. Instead of resenting his unworthy desires, man should only ask the Creator for a screen that will correct those desires by making them altruistic.

Often times we know neither what motivates our actions nor what our real desires are. Sometimes we feel a need for something but have no idea what it is. Man is in a constant dream-like state until Kabbalah wakes him up and opens his eyes. Initially we do not even possess a genuine desire to receive pleasure. Kabbalah works with the spiritual desires, which are much more powerful than those of our world are.

Thanks to the Kli’s new intention, the "desire to receive" obtains a new form: a "desire to bestow", or more precisely, a "desire to receive" for the sake of the Creator. Man now starts receiving in order to please the Creator. Upon discovering the difference between its own properties and the Creator’s, Behina Dalet feels shame. The screen set up by Malchut reflects the light and thus changes the intention. The essence of the "desire to receive" remains, but now it is receiving for the Creator’s sake.

Kabbalah is a logical science. Every phenomenon leads to a certain consequence, which in turn becomes a reason for the next, thus forming a chain of cause and effect connections. Our problem, however, consists in that we are not yet really connected to what we study. While reading about the spiritual worlds, the Partzufim and the Sefirot, we cannot yet feel them.

There are two levels in Kabbalah studies. The first is for beginners, when there is no sensation of the material studied. After further study though, a Kabbalist receives a feeling of thephenomena and terms described in the book.

One should point out that the light is actually motionless; it neither enters anything nor exits from anywhere. However, depending on its inner properties, the vessel feels the light differently, distinguishing in it different “tastes” or pleasures. If the vessel enjoys direct reception of the light, then such pleasure is called Ohr Hochma. If the creation receives pleasure from the likeness of its properties to those of the Creator, then this kind of delight is called Ohr Hassadim. The alternate reception of either Ohr Hochma or Ohr Hassadim creates “movement”.

When man starts on his spiritual path, he initially realizes how evil his nature is. This thought leads him to the beginning of correction. As a result, he ascends, starts feeling more and more subtle influences of the supreme forces.

The light descending from the Creator after the First Restriction represents a narrow ray of light coming from Infinity to the central point of the universe. All spiritual worlds (AK and ABYA) are dressed onto this ray. From the point of the Creator’s influence, we are at the very center of all the worlds.

The Creator’s personal providence is implemented with the help of the light ray. This ray descends to a certain soul, dressing it in all the worlds, starting from Adam Kadmon (AK), then continuing to Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira and the outermost, Assiya.

A common person differs from a Kabbalist by the fact that he has no screen, hence he cannot feel, reflect the light, or create his own spiritual vessel. Such a vessel is Toch, the inner part of the Partzuf where the creation receives the Creator’s light. Strictly speaking, what we call the Creator is His light, since we are unable to attain the Creator’s Essence.

The Creator influences all people as though they had never left the world of Infinity (Ein Sof), i.e., they are in an unconscious state. Such an influence is called “Derech Igulim”, with the help of circles and spheres, i.e., through the general light surrounding the entire creation. The spreading of the light in the form of a circle signifies the absence of a limiting force, the screen.

Man’s task is to take into his own hands a partial control over his destiny, thereby becoming the Creator’s partner. Then the Creator will no longer treat him as He does all other creatures, but individually, with the help of the light ray (Derech Kav). In this case, man himself takes control instead of the Creator.

19) As stated, the three first Behinot are not considered vessels yet. Only Behina Dalet is a true vessel. Since these three first Behinot are the reasons, phases preceding the creation of Behina Dalet, it adopted their properties upon completion of its development. They were somewhat imprinted in it, creating inside of Behina Daletits own four levels of the "desire to receive". Everything begins with the Behina Alef, the “purest”, “weakest” "desire toreceive". Then follows the Behina Bet,which is a bit “coarser” and has a bigger Aviut than the Behina Alef,i.e., it is a higher level of the "desire to receive".

Behina Gimel has an Aviuteven greater than that of the Behina Bet. Finally comes the turn of the Behina Dalet, which has the largest Aviut, i.e., the greatest "desire to receive". Its desire reached the highest, most perfect and ultimate level. It should be pointed out that the root (Shoresh) of these four Behinot is Keter (known as the highest of all and the closest to the Creator), which also left its imprint in Behina Dalet. Thus we mentioned all five levels of the "desire to receive" included in Behina Dalet, which are otherwise called Keter, Hochma, Bina, Tifferet and Malchut.

The three Behinot preceding Malchut are called “the light”; only Malchut is the Kli, for it wants to receive for its own sake. As a result, it becomes a separate independent part. The previous Behinot are not separated from the Creator; hence, they are defined as the light.

When the last phase or Malchut is completely filled with the light, it begins to feel the properties of all the preceding Behinot: first the adjacent Tifferet, then Hochma, which created Bina, then the source (Shoresh) and finally the overall Thought – Keter.

This means that all the previous properties of all the Behinot are included in Malchut and influence it. It is then Dalet de Dalet (i.e., the last part – Dalet of the entire Dalet) and all the previous properties it acquired from the light. Apprehending the light that fills it, Behina Dalet attains the Creator’s greatness . It discovers in itself the striving to become similar to the 'desire to bestow'; to the way the Creator does it.

What is “to bestow”? The Creator is the source of the light. The Kli cannot bestow anything; it can only intend to do so. The Creator created the 'desire to receive', the rest being just different degrees of it. Only an intention can change from “for one’s own sake” to “for the sake of the Creator”.

What is the difference between Aviut Keter and Aviut Bina? Are they not both called “the "desire to bestow"”? Keter is the "desire to give", Hochma receives, and Bina, upon receiving the light, returns it to the Creator. This can be understood from the example taken from the Mishna. “Man studies the Torah for the sake of the Creator” means that he refuses to receive anything that corresponds to Aviut Keter. “The Torah secrets are revealed to him” means that he did not ask for this, but received them from above – from Behinat Hochma.

Upon receiving, man has to overcome himself and say, “I refuse it, because all I want is to bestow”. Now look what a difference it makes: man wishes to give after receiving the light or before receiving it!

20) The five levels of the "desire to receive" included in Behina Dalet are called by the names of the 10 Sefirot of the Upper Light because Behina Dalet was a vessel receiving this light before TA (“He and His Name are One”). All the worlds, the entire Universe, was included in Behina Dalet of the Direct Light (Malchut of the world of Infinity).

Each Behina contained in Malchut adopted the properties of the corresponding Behina in the 10 Sefirot of the Upper Light. Behina Shoresh of the Behina Dalet adopted the properties of Keter, “dressed in it”, one of the 10 Sefirot of the Upper Light. Behina Alef of the Behina Dalet “dressed” into the light of Hochma of the 10 Sefirot, and so on. Even after TA, when Behina Dalet ceased to be a vessel of reception, its five levels of the "desire to receive" still bear the names of the five Sefirot: Keter, Hochma, Bina, Tifferet, and Malchut.

We are Behina Dalet de Dalet, whereas all the preceding four Sefirot are the worlds. By interacting with the worlds, we can receive their properties in order to correct the Behina Dalet. All the worlds are inside of us, as well as all spiritual work. Our task is to feel the Creator’s light as Malchut did in the world of Infinity and thus get corrected.

What does it mean that Behina Dalet attains the properties of the preceding Behinot? It means that it begins to feel that, with the exception of the "desire to receive", there is also the "desire to bestow", which was absent in it. Malchut still wants to receive pleasure; however, it is now imbued with the "desire to give"; i.e., it now strives to receive delight from giving.

The properties and desires inside the Kli gradually change from a yearning for simple reception of the light to a "desire to give" everything. These changes are caused by the light; the Kli’s behavior depends solely on this influence.

We study the 10 Sefirot, the 10 aspects of the relationship between the Creator and the creation. First, Malchut completely reflects the light, and then it calculates how much it can receive inside. If it worked with all its five desires, it could receive the light in all its five parts. If Malchut does not have enough anti-egoistic force to receive all the light for the Creator’s sake, it receives only that portion out of five parts of the light for which it has a screen.

The ability to withstand the desires to receive pleasure is termed willpower. The force of resistance in the screen is called rigidity (Kashiut). The intensity of the desire to receive pleasure, the passion for fulfillment, is called thickness (Aviut). Inside the screen, two of Malchut’s properties collide: these are “reception” and the screen’s anti-egoistic force of “bestowal”. If my egoistic "desire to receive", has an Aviut that equals 100%, and a force of resistance or rigidity, that equals only 20%, then I can receive for the Creator’s sake no more than this 20%. Only Kashiut determines what amount of egoism I may use.

After TA, Malchut wants to change only the method of applying its desire. Malchut understands its “egoism”, it realizes that the "desire to receive" is its nature. However, this property is not negative; everything depends solely on the method of its use. The sensation of the Creator’s properties, of the "desire to bestow" and of the previous Behinot arises inside the egoistic desire (Behina Dalet). Now Malchut only has to become like them, i.e., it must make its desire to receive pleasure similar to theirs.

For that purpose, it pushes the entire light away from its egoism by performing Tzimtzum (Restriction) on itself. It then calculates to what extent it can assimilate the Creator’s properties – Behinot 0, 1, 2, and 3.

The screen knows exactly how much light it may let in according to its egoism. The screen’s Kashiut, its will power, the force of resisting temptation to receive pleasure, must match precisely its Aviut, the "desire to receive".

The memories left from the previous state of being filled with the light, which help Malchut calculate her future actions, are called “a record” or “a memory” (the Reshimot). Spiritual attainment is called investing.

21) We have already learned that the screen’s material is called kashiut. It is similar to a solid body that does not allow anything to enter it. Likewise, the screen prevents the Upper Light from entering Malchut, i.e., Behina Dalet. The screen stops and reflects all the light that was destined to fill Malchut. The five Behinot of Aviut in Behina Dalet are included in the screen according to its kashiut. Hence, the screen performs five Stroke Contacts (Zivugey de Haka’a) with the light according to its five Behinot of Aviut.

The light reflected by the screen, consisting of all the five Behinot of Aviut, rises back, envelops the coming light and reaches its source, the Behina Shoresh. However, if only 4 out of 5 parts of the Aviut are present in the screen, then its Reflected Light will “see” only four portions of pleasure.

In the absence of Behinot Alef and Gimel, the 5-th and the 4-th parts of rigidity in the screen, it can reflect the Ohr Hozer only up to the level of Bina. If there is only the Behina Alefin the screen, then its Ohr Hozer is very small and can envelop the Direct Light only up to the level of Tifferet in the absence of Keter, Hochma, and Bina. If there is only the Behina Shoresh of Kashiut in the screen, then its resisting power is quite weak and the Ohr Hozercan envelop Malchut’s coming light, while the nine first Sefirot are absent.

The screen is characterized by two properties. One of them is kashiut (strength); it does not let the light enter Malchut. Any measure of the light that comes to the screen is pushed back and reflected.

The second property of Masach is its coarseness, egoism, Aviut (thickness). This is what can be added to the strength of the screen of Behina Dalet and be used for reception for the Creator’s sake.

Since there are five desires for five kinds of pleasure in Malchut, it reflects all of them, thus avoiding the egoistic reception of pleasure.

The screen is like a curtain that I can draw when the sunlight disturbs me,. In the material world, we know of what material a curtain is made. In the spiritual world, the material of the screen is called “Kashiut”, which is its strength, hardness, or rigidity. One ascribe as “very hard, tough” a person who does not accept other people’s opinions but sticks vehemently to his own.

The conclusion: The Creator (the "desire to bestow" delight upon created beings) prepared the "desire to receive" and wishes to fill it. However, the creation is adamant in its decision to receive nothing for its own sake. This is the purpose of the screen.

Here we need to make an important note: there is no restriction of the desire! If man sees pleasure before him, he instantly wants to receive it in full. However, he can only receive by applying the intention for the sake of bestowal; but this does not mean that the "desire to receive" the entire pleasure is absent in him. Now we can formulate a law: man makes a restriction on the pleasure he cannot refuse and receives the pleasure he can give up.

For example, man says to his body on Yom Kippur; “Know that today you must not receive food, so don’t feel the hunger!” Nevertheless, his body does not listen… Why is it designed in such a way? The Creator created the "desire to receive"; therefore, it is invariable. If this desire disappears, then man is no longer alive.

Some people speak about the elimination of desires. Here is what Rabbi Israel from Ruzhin said in this connection: “He, who eliminated one desire, will receive two instead”. It is impossible and unnecessary to eliminate the "desire to receive"; one should pray for an opportunity to use it with the intention for the Creator’s sake.

The difference between created beings depends on the size of the "desire to receive". Someone with big aspirations is called big; someone with a small "desire to receive" is called small.

My spiritual level is determined by how completely my Reflected Light can envelop the entire Direct Light coming to me, all the pleasures anticipated by me, so that I would be able to receive them for the Creator’s sake. I can be on the level of Malchut, ZA, Bina, or maybe even Hochma or Keter.

Malchut of the world of Infinity divides into many parts, but they all differ from one another only by the screen’s properties. In the world of Assiya, Malchut is similar to the Creator in perhaps 20%, 40% in the world of Yetzira; 60% in the world of Beria; 80% in the world of Atzilut, and in the world of Adam Kadmon (AK) Malchut is 100% equal to the Creator.

The levels differ only by the strength of their screen. There is no screen in our world. Hence, we cannot feel the Creator and exist in an absolutely empty space. As soon as man acquires the screen, he already starts feeling the spiritual world on the lowest level of the world of Assiya. We ascend with the help of increasing the strength of the screen.

What is the transition from one spiritual level to another? It means to acquire the properties of a new, higher level. If at a certain level, man can increase his screen’s magnitude; this can elevate him to the next level. The higher the level is the more different is the sensation, the attainment of the universe.

We have said that when there are five Behinot of Aviut in the screen, the Ohr Hozer reaches the highest level (the light of Keter, Ohr Yechida). Then the Kli receives all the lights: Keter, Hochma, Bina, Tifferet, and Malchut from all the preceding Behinot.

In the absence of the coarsest Behina (Dalet) in the screen, i.e., the intention for the Creator’s sake on the most intense desires, the highest light (Keter, Yechida) is also absent in the Kli, while the screen reaches the level of the light of Hochma (Ohr Haya). In the absence of Aviut Dalet and Gimel in the screen, the lights of Keter and Hochma (Ohr Yechida and Haya) are absent in the Kli; it works with Aviut Bet and the light of Bina (Ohr Neshama).

If the Aviut of the screen is Alef, then the lights of Tifferet and Malchut (Ohr Ruach and Nefesh) are present. Finally, the screen with the Aviut Shoresh raises the Ohr Hozer only up to the level of the light of Malchut (Ohr Nefesh), and only this light is present in the Kli. To make it easier, we usually say that masach is set before Malchut, although we have to understand that masach spreads over the entire Malchut, over all the desires of the Kli.

Why is the highest light missing in the absence of Aviut Dalet? It happens because there is an inverse relationship between the Ohr and the Kli, the light and the vessel. If the screen has a maximum Aviut, it raises the Ohr Hozer to the highest level, i.e., to the light of Keter. It means that with the “strongest” screen, the Ohr Hozer can envelop all pleasures standing before the screen and let them inside the Partzuf.

22) The five levels (Behinot) of the 10 Sefirot of the Reflected Light emerge because of five kinds of Zivugey de Haka’a (Stroke Contact) of the Upper Light with the five levels of the screen’s Aviut. This light is not perceived or attained by anyone if there is no vessel to receive it.

These five phasesemerge from five Behinot of Aviut of Behina Dalet, which were five receiving vessels of Behina Dalet before TA; they enveloped the 10 Sefirot: Keter, Hochma, Bina, Tifferet, and Malchut. After TA, these same five Behinot merge with the five Behinot of the screen, and with the help of the Reflected Light again become receiving vessels instead of the five Behinot of Behina Dalet, which played that role before TA.

Now we can understand that if the screen has all these five Behinot of Aviut, then it possesses five vessels for enveloping the 10 Sefirot, i.e., for receiving the Upper Light. If the Aviut of the Behina Dalet is absent in the screen, it has only four vessels and can receive only the four lights corresponding to Hochma, Bina, Tifferet and Malchut but cannot receive the light of Keter.

If the Aviut of Behina Gimel is absent in the screen, it has only three vessels and can receive only the three lights corresponding to Bina, Tifferet and Malchut. The lights corresponding to Keter and Hochma as well as the vessels corresponding to Behinot Gimel and Dalet are absent in it.

If the screen has only two levels of Aviut, Shoresh, and Behina Alef, it possesses only the two vessels corresponding to the lights of Tifferet and Malchut. It turns out that such a Partzuf lacks the three lights of Keter, Hochma and Bina, as well as the three vessels corresponding to Behinot Bet, Gimel, and Dalet. If the screen has only Aviut Shoresh, then it has only one vessel with only the light of Malchut (Nefesh).

The remaining lights, Keter, Hochma, Tifferet and Malchut, are absent in it. Therefore, the size of each Partzuf depends only on the screen’s Aviut (thickness). The screen with the Aviut of Behina Dalet creates a Partzuf consisting of five levels including Keter. The screen with Aviut of Behina Gimel creates a Partzuf consisting of four levels up to Hochma, and so on.

There are five levels of the desire to receive pleasure in the screen, i.e., 5 levels of anti-egoistic force of resistance to pleasure. Two of its forces, thickness (Aviut) and strength (Kashiut), must be balanced. Then Malchut has the freedom of will and can make its own decisions, since it is independent of its own desires and pleasures.

The Ohr Yashar is equal to the Ohr Hozer, which means that the creation wishes to bestow upon the Creator the very pleasure He prepared for it. The Ohr Hozer (intention) dresses, as it were, on the Creator’s delight; this demonstrates that the Kli does not want it for itself, but returns the delight to Him.

In the absence of one more desire (the absence of the "desire to bestow" is meant and not an egoistic "desire to receive", since the latter never disappears), Gimel, the screen can envelop only three lights in its Reflected Light. Therefore, it will not be able “to see” the lights of Yechida and Haya. That is why we cannot feel the Creator’s light in our world. Initially we do not possess the screen and the light reflected by it without which it is impossible to see or feel the Creator’s light.

The amount of the Reflected Light depends on the screen’s strength: the stronger the screen, the higher the level of the Reflected Light, the farther the Kli sees and the more it can receive for the Creator’s sake. As the screen grows weaker, the Kli sees less and accordingly can receive less for the Creator’s sake.

There are no changes in the screen. All changes are only in Aviut. The screen is the force of resistance to egoism; it is present in each property. The difference is in the Aviut, in the number of egoistic desires provided with the screen. We study only four levels of Aviut, since Keter has no Aviut (the "desire to receive"); it only wants to bestow.

The desire to give pleasure to the created beings – Keter – called forth the "desire to receive" in the lower Sefirot; therefore, Keter is a root of Aviut. When the lower spiritual object is unable to receive with the intention for the sake of the Creator, it uses the Aviut Shoresh, i.e., it can perform only acts of giving with the intention for the Creator’s sake.

There is the light – pleasure, the Kli – the "desire to receive" and the screen – the force of resisting pleasure, which the Kli creates to become like the Creator. There is nothing else in the entire universe! One should constantly remember this and try to interpret Kabbalah with the help of these three components.

We cannot feel any spiritual pleasures because we lack even a minimal screen. The screen’s will power determines with what pleasure the Kabbalist works. After TA the Kli includes not just the "desire to receive" but also the "desire to receive" with the screen, i.e., not for self-satisfaction, but for the Creator.

When there is no screen for a certain desire, it means a Kabbalist cannot work with it, i.e., it is unfit to be filled with the light; hence we say it is absent. It does not disappear; it is just not worked with. The spiritual level (Koma) of a Partzuf depends on the intensity of desire fitted to the screen.

The opposition to the most intense desire – Dalet, gives birth to the Partzuf of the highest level – Keter. The opposition to the desire of the level Gimel gives birth to the Partzuf of Hochma, which is a step below Keter. The force of opposition to the desire Bet creates the Partzuf of the level of Bina, one-step lower than the preceding one, i.e., it can liken itself to the Creator even less than with the screen Gimel.

If the screen can resist the desire - Alef, it means that the Kabbalist’s spiritual level is Tifferet. If it can resist the smallest desire - Shoresh, then it gives birth to the tiniest Partzuf, Malchut.

Egoistic desires should be used only to the extent of the will power to resist them. One cannot work with uncorrected desires without the screen; they should be neutralized and restricted. Desires neither appear nor disappear; they are created by the Creator. Only their use depends on man.

Everything depends on the screen’s force of resistance, the intention, which turns a receiver into a giver. That is what the “game” between the Creator and the creation is all about: transforming an egoistic desire into an altruistic one, i.e., directing it towards the Creator.

All desires are in Malchut or the world of Infinity; it uses them in accordance with the screen, which emerges in it in each case. There are screens with the help of which Malchut builds worlds and those that form various Partzufim. Certain types of screens promote the appearance of souls. These are all parts of Malchut or the world of Infinity.

Giving up a certain pleasure is easier than receiving it from someone who gives it to you. One can always receive for the sake of the Creator less than one can give up or not “work” with it.

If a Kli decides to receive egoistically, i.e., has a desire without a screen, the light first approaches the Kli (the Kli attracts the light), but as soon as the light wishes to get inside it, the law of TA snaps into action and the light retreats.

When Malchut or the world of Infinity performed TA, the Creator accepted this law. Hence, we cannot openly use our egoism. We are under the influence of this law; therefore, we cannot feel any spiritual pleasures until we succeed in creating a screen for them.

In addition, what are the pleasures of this world? They constitute the micro-dose of the light (the Ner Dakik) of the entire Malchut of the world of Infinity, which was allowed to be felt by us and can exist outside TA. Transcending this world is possible only through acquiring the screen.

If there is the screen for a greater pleasure, then it is also available for a smaller one. In order to stop receiving delight for oneself, one should add an intention to that pleasure (the Ohr Hozer) and receive it for the sake of the Giver.

Movement in the spiritual world occurs only because of a strengthening or weakening of the screen. The entire creation, Malchut of the world of Infinity, gradually acquires the screen for all its desires. When all of Malchut’s desires are fitted with the screen, it will achieve the state of “the Final Correction” (the Gmar Tikkun). This is the meaning of all of creation’s actions.

The creation of the screen, its interaction with the light, the Ohr Hozer enveloping the light, is called “a commandment”, a Mitzvah. The received light is called “the Torah”. Overall there are 620 levels, steps, measures of the screen’s interaction with the light so as to receive all the light particles in all Malchut’s desires. When Malchut is completely filled with the Creator’s light, it means it has received the entire Torah and has achieved perfection.

23) We need to understand why, in the absence of the vessel of Malchut, the light of Keter is missing, and why light of Hochma is missing when the vessel of Tifferet is also absent. On the face of it, everything should be the other way around. If the Aviut of the Behina Dalet is absent in the screen, then the light of Malchut (Nefesh) should be missing. If two vessels are absent – Behina Gimel and Behina Dalet-the lights of Tifferet and Malchut should also be missing.

Supposedly, if there is no force of resistance for the greatest desire (Malchut), then the light of Malchut should presumably be missing, i.e., the light that fills this desire. Then why do we claim that the greatest light (Keter) is missing in this case? Is this not the light, which fills Behina Keter?

This can be explained by the inverse relationship between the light and the vessel, i.e., first the smallest desire (Keter) is filled with the smallest light of Malchut (Nefesh), so far unrelated to the formed Kli and temporarily taking its place. However, as the desire gradually grows, or rather by acquiring the screen for more desires, greater lights fill the Kli Keter. Meanwhile Hochma, Bina, Tifferet, and Malchut are filled with the various lights until Malchut is finally filled with the light of Nefesh and Keter, plus the light of Yechida.

24) The fact is that there is an inverse relationship between the lights and the vessels. First, the higher vessels emerge and start growing in the Partzuf, from Keter and down to Hochma and so on until Malchut.

Hence we call the vessels according to the order of their growth: Keter, Hochma, Bina, Tifferet and Malchut (KaHaB-TuM), from up downwards. The lights enter the Partzuf in an opposite order, first the lower ones: the lowest light – Nefesh (its place is inside Malchut), then Ruach (Zeir Anpin’s light) and so on until Yechida.

Hence we name the lights in the following order: Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Haya and Yechida (NaRaNHaY), from down upwards, according to the order of their coming into the Partzuf. When the Partzuf has only one vessel (this can be only Keter), the first light to enter it is not Yechida, which must be inside it, but Nefesh, the lowest light.

When two higher vessels, Keter and Hochma, emerge in the Partzuf, then the light Ruach also enters it. The light Nefesh exits the vessel Keter and descends to the vessel Hochma, whereas the light Ruach enters the vessel Keter. When the third vessel Bina emerges in the Partzuf, the light Nefesh exits the vessel Hochma and descends to the vessel Bina, while the light Ruach descends to the vessel Hochma and the light Neshama enters the vessel Keter.

When the fourth vessel Tifferet emerges in the Partzuf, the light Haya entersit;the light Nefesh exits the vessel Bina and descends to the vessel Tifferet. While the light Ruach descends to the vessel Bina, the light Neshama enters the vessel Hochma and the light Haya enters the vessel Keter.

When the fifth vessel Malchut emerges in the Partzuf, the light Yechida entersit. All the lights are now in their places, since the light Nefesh exits the vessel Tifferet, and descends to the vessel Malchut, while the light Ruach descends to the vessel Tifferet, the light Neshama enters the vessel Bina, the light Haya enters the vessel Hochma, and the light Yechida enters the vessel Keter.

When the Partzuf consisting of five parts of the "desire to receive" (the Kelim Keter, Hochma, Bina, Tifferet and Malchut) is filled with the light, Nefesh is in Malchut, Ruach is in Tifferet, Neshama is in Bina, Haya is in Hochma and Yechida is in Keter. This is what a completely filled Partzuf looks like.

However, the formation, i.e., correction of the Kelim, their acquiring the screen, occurs from the most unselfish (Keter) to the most egoistic (Malchut) from up downwards. Their filling with the lights starts from the weakest one (Nefesh) to the most intense pleasure (Yechida).

Gradually, all the lights first enter Keter, one after the other . The filling of the Partzuf always occurs in the following order: Keter – Hochma – Bina – Tifferet – Malchut. The lights enter in the following order: Nefesh – Ruach – Neshama – Haya – Yechida. The rule states: the Kli starts growing from the uppermost Sefira, while the lights enter from the lowest one. It is similar to two cylinders entering one another.

According to the order of their entering the Partzuf from Nefesh to Yechida, the lights are abbreviated NaRaNHaY, from the smallest to the largest; while the Kelim are abbreviated according to their descending order KaHaB-TuM.

We see the same occurrence in our life: if I want to resist some pleasure while remaining somehow connected to it, I always start from the smallest one, gradually passing to more and more intense delights, until I am quite sure that even the biggest pleasures I can receive are not for my own sake.

When we say that the new Kli is born, it means that there is a screen for the corresponding pleasure, the force of resisting this delight, the intention to receive for the Creator’s sake. Consequently, the Partzuf is being filled with the light that matches the opposing force.

The screen appears as a result of focused studies and work in a group with the proper intention. When a Kabbalist acquires a screen for the smallest desire, he only works with it. The rest of his desires are simply put aside and restricted. Because of man's efforts, the screen grows stronger, i.e., an additional force of resisting a bigger desire emerges and man starts working with two desires and receives two lights.

This continues until there is a screen for all five desires, when all the lights can be received for the sake of the Creator. Every time a man can work with new desires, the preceding ones come nearer to perfection, for along with the light that was in it, a new more powerful light enters bringing greater pleasure.

If a person, who consistently studies in a group of like-minded people and listens to the Teacher’s explanations, can afterwards concentrate on the same spiritual matters, while being in various states and circumstances of our world, then the next time he comes to study he will feel more than the previous time. He will receive a higher light, for he now works with purer Kelim and does not think about animal pleasures. This is what the inverse relationship between the Ohrot and the Kelim (the lights and the vessels) means.

The land of Israel differs from all other places by its highest level of egoism. It is the most difficult place for the spiritual work. However, at the same time, it is unique and most favorable.

The weeks I spent abroad felt like being in a vacuum. There is minimal spiritual advancement in the outside world. I have groups of students abroad, but it is impossible to advance outside of Israel. Kabbalists must only live here.

This land has a special spiritual potential. The Baal HaSulam wrote that Jerusalem is a place of the destruction of the Temple. The most powerful force is present there, but so are the mightiest impure forces, the Klipot.

Is the Kli Keter, the Aviut de Shoresh, designed for the smallest or the biggest pleasure? – It is meant for the biggest delight – the Ohr Yechida, which enters Keter last, when the Masach gets strong enough to oppose the most intense desire of Malchut. In other words, by working with the lowest desires, creating for them the intention to receive pleasure for the Creator’s sake, the Kabbalist receives the greatest delight – the Ohr Yechida, which enters the purest Kli Keter.

If, by filling his coarsest animal desires, man can think about the Creator and the Purpose of Creation, then while learning, studying Kabbalistic texts and also by praying, he will surely establish better contact with the Creator.

There are five desires to receive pleasure in the Kli. Its “size” or “volume” depends only on the screen. The level of desire it can resist determines the light that will enter the Kli, i.e., the Kli’s level. First, one works with the Kli of Aviut de Shoresh and gradually creates the screen for Aviut Alef.

When this process is over, you will be able to receive the same screen for Aviut Alef and work with it. Next, little by little, you create a screen for Aviut Bet, Gimel, and Dalet. The Kli with the initial Aviut Shoresh must have rudiments of the screen for all the five Behinot, to build the screen for all these kinds of Aviut.

The Kli gradually builds itself going from the tiniest desires to the biggest. It happens in this order to avoid the egoistic reception of pleasure. The desires are measured according to the intensity of the pleasure felt. That is how humankind progresses from small desires to bigger ones.

Beginning to work with the smallest desire (Keter), man transforms it into an altruistic one with the help of the screen. Then he receives the light Nefesh, feeling great pleasure, because the Creator is partially revealed in it, i.e., according to the size of the Kli's correction, he becomes equal to the Creator.

The Ohr Nefesh is a delight of being united with the Creator in the smallest, fifth part, where one is able to feel eternity, wisdom, absolute knowledge, exquisite delight and perfection.

Such a state of the Kli means transcending the bounds of our world, our nature. So far, the Kli is unable to see beyond that state. Nevertheless, as it develops further, it starts feeling more and more perfect states, receiving greater and greater pleasures.

Man’s reception of Ohr Nefesh means reception of all five parts of that light: Nefesh de Nefesh, Ruach de Nefesh, Neshama de Nefesh, Haya de Nefesh, and Yechida de Nefesh (“de” means “of”). Any Kli, any reception, also consists of five parts. It is similar to the way we receive information in this world through our five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.

All these five lights must manifest in the Kli Keter, where the light Nefesh enters first. The same happens with the rest of the lights. All external religious trappings just hint at spiritual actions. Great Kabbalists in each generation introduced certain rules into the life of the religious masses to bind them to the Torah and thus educate them.

For example, there is the tradition of putting on two robes, which symbolizes the two types of “Levushim” (clothes) that dress the soul in the world of Atzilut. All these religious rituals have a Kabbalistic meaning. The principal spiritual law is the equivalence of man’s properties, his desires, with those of the Creator.

The Creator’s light is homogeneous by nature. A certain Kli, depending on its inner parameters, distinguishes in the homogeneous light various “tastes”, i.e., different kinds of pleasure: the Ohr Yashar, the Ohr Hozer, the Ohr Elion, the Ohr Pnimi, the Ohr Makif, etc. This is the same light; everything depends on how the Kli perceives it. Prior to entering the Kli, it is called the simple Upper Light (the Ohr Elion Mufshat), since no diversity of properties can be distinguished in it.

This resembles the Baal HaSulam’s example about the heavenly manna, which has no taste, whereas everyone senses the taste that corresponds to his properties. If the simple Upper Light shines in the head of the Partzuf, it is called the Ohr Yashar” (the Direct Light). The light reflected by the screen (the Ohr Hozer) envelops the Ohr Yashar, and when they both enter the Kli, this light receives another name – the Ohr Pnimi (the Inner Light) or ta’amim “the taste”.

Since the Partzuf receives only a certain portion of the coming light, the uncollected part of it is left outside of the Kli. This part of the light is called the Ohr Makif” (the Surrounding Light). The Partzuf will gradually receive this light in small portions. The state in which the entire Surrounding Light will be able to enter the Partzuf is called Gmar Tikkun (the Final Correction).

The light exiting the Kli is called “Nekudot” – points, because Malchut is called a point, a black point, due to its egoistic properties, which are unable to receive the light after TA. Upon filling the Partzuf with the Inner Light, the Surrounding Light presses on the screen in the Tabur, so that the Kli might receive the light left outside.

However, the Partzuf does not have the proper Masach for this light. Hence, if it receives it (it already lacks the intention for the Creator’s sake), such a reception will be egoistic. Since the restriction on receiving the light is a consequence of Malchut’s egoistic desire (the black point), the light exiting Malchut is called “Nekudot”.

When the Inner Light exits the Partzuf and shines on it from afar, it provokes a special sensation, an impression inside the Kli, called recollections (Reshimot). These recollections constitute the vital information without which the Partzuf cannot know what to do next.

25) Until the formation of all the five Kelim in the Partzuf has been completed, their five lights are not in their places; moreover, they are arranged in an inverse order. In the absence of the Kli Malchut, the light Yechida is missing in the Partzuf. In the absence of the two vessels Malchut and Tifferet, there are no lights Yechida and Haya On the one hand, the pure vessels are born, from Keter to Malchut; on the other hand, the weaker lights (starting from Nefesh) are the first to enter them.

Since any reception of the light occurs in the purest vessels, each new light must enter the Kli Keter. As the new light enters the Kli Keter, the light that was there descends to the Kli Hochma. When there is a Masach for the vessel Hochma, Ohr Ruach enters the Kli Keter and the Ohr Nefesh descends to Hochma.

As the screen grows stronger, the following vessels are formed: Bina, Tifferet and Malchut, and the lights Neshama, Haya, and Yechida are able, one by one, to pass through Keter and fill all the vessels. All the lights enter their rightful places: Nefesh in Malchut, Ruach in Tifferet, Neshama in Bina, Haya in Hochma and Yechida in Keter.

Remember this rule about the inverse relationship between the lights and vessels, and you will always be able to distinguish whether the lights or the vesselsare meant in a certain context without getting confused. We have learned about the five Behinot (levels) of the screen and how the levels of the Kli emerge one under the other in correspondence with them.

Each new light is billions of times more intense than the preceding one. Hence, each subsequent level is perceived as a totally different world. In our world, where we have no screen at all, we cannot see the light that is before us. One can only see with the help of the Reflected Light (the Ohr Hozer) and only to the extent of Malchut's reflecting it.

However, by studying Kabbalah we stimulate the Ohr Makif until it creates in us the primary Kli Keter, where we will instantly receive the Ohr Nefesh. This state signifies our spiritual birth, crossing the barrier (the Machsom) between our world and the spiritual one. It means we are on the lowest level of the world of Assiya.

By continuing to work our correction, we acquire the next screen of the Aviut Alef and receive the light Ruach. Next, we acquire the screens for the Kelim Bet, Gimel, and Dalet and accordingly receive the lights Neshama, Haya, and Yechida. Now all the lights are in their correct places.

How can we set up a screen? If I could know and feel my egoistic properties today, I would run away from the corrections! There is nothing my egoism hates more than the screen. Nevertheless, I cannot escape the spiritual for the reason that I am unaware of my own egoism or do not understand my properties. Such an “unconscious” initial state is deliberately created that we may not resent spirituality, but that we may aspire to it out of a curiosity and desire to improve our future.

Therefore, the principle consists in crossing the barrier in spite of our own nature. It happens unconsciously; man does not know what he is heading for or when it might happen. After crossing the Machsom, man begins to see that, until that moment, he was in a dream-like state.

Two processes precede the crossing of the Machsom, the first being a comprehension of one’s own evil. Man begins to understand how harmful his egoism is for him. The second process consists in the realization that spirituality is very attractive, and there is nothing more worthwhile, magnificent, or eternal than that.

These two opposite points (realization of the evil and attraction of the spiritual) come together in the common person to create a zero level. As they advance spiritually, they begin to move away from one another. At the same time, spirituality gets elevated in man’s eyes, while his egoism is perceived as evil.

This difference between them, one’s own appraisal of the spiritual and criticism of egoism, increase so tremendously that it evokes one’s inner outcry, a request about a solution to the problem. If this outcry reaches the required intensity, the screen is given to one from above.

The study of egoism, its correction and proper use, constitutes man’s entire journey from the initial state to the ultimate end (the Gmar Tikkun). In the spiritual worlds, man continues to study his egoism on each level. The higher we ascend, the more egoism is added to us, so that by working with it, we are able to turn it into altruism.

Everything we say is seen from the point of view of the creation. We cannot say anything about the Creator, since we do not really know who He is. On a personal level, I just know how He is perceived in my sensations. Only philosophers have the time to speculate about something that can never be attained. Hence, this science has completely degenerated.

Kabbalah operates only with what the Kabbalists sensed and quite distinctly drew upon themselves and related to us in a special Kabbalistic language. Everyone can reproduce that process internally as in a strict scientific experiment.

The instrument of such an experiment is the screen that man must create in the central point of his own egoism; this “I” develops with the help of the method called Kabbalah.

There are two kinds of screen. The first is positioned in front of the Kli in the Peh de Partzuf, i.e., in Malchut de Rosh. It reflects the entire light, as if standing guard over the implementation of TA. The second screen receives the light; it works with the Aviut that is positioned in Malchut de Guf. It absorbs all the egoism that can be transformed into reception for the sake of the Creator.

Generally, the screen is always in Malchut, the lowest point of the Partzuf. Reflection and reception are two of its actions. The first forms Rosh while the second forms the Guf of the Partzuf. For further details, see Part 3 (“Histaklut Pnimit”), chapter 14, p. 5 of “The Study of the Ten Sefirot”.

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