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Lesson 3

Certainly there are many new concepts in those first two chapters, and although a considerable effort has been made to simplify the material, you may be experiencing a feeling of being overwhelmed with new terms. For that reason, you may wish to review the first two chapters a couple of times. The material in the lessons is presented in a fairly technical and dry nature, but they are designed that way on purpose.

For those of you with that point in the heart demanding answers, and if you have an earnest desire for knowledge of this great Wisdom, that same desire that motivates you to further your efforts will also awaken what Kabbalah refers to as Ohr Makif. You might remember that this is Surrounding Light. This special Light further increases a student’s desire to perceive the Creator. When the time is right, you will receive further help from a qualified teacher, as well as by working with others with the same burning desire inside them.

Now, let’s get started again. We left off with the Light entering and leaving the Partzuf. What I am actually referring to here is a desire being fulfilled or unfulfilled. When the Light enters the Partzuf, this is the same as a desire being fulfilled, leaving us with a feeling of wholeness and delight. And when the Light leaves the Partzuf, the opposite happens and we feel frustrated, as if something is missing. This feeling comes to us even though there is no such thing as a feeling of emptiness or lack in the spiritual world.

So if pleasure, Ohr Hochma, exits the Partzuf, then Ohr Hassadim remains. When that pleasure (Ohr Hochma) is shoved out of the Partzuf, the Partzuf knows exactly what is going to happen by refusing that amount of pleasure. In other words, if it has a screen that rejects selfish enjoyment, it is replaced with Ohr Hassadim, or altruistic pleasure. This latter pleasure is far higher and stronger than selfish pleasure. Our task is to learn to sense that pleasure.

If the Partzuf, the soul, understands that it cannot receive under the condition of pleasing the Creator, but only to please itself, it will refuse the pleasure. It is quite obvious here that in order for it to actually make this decision, it must have some help. This help will come from an opposing force—something that has the power to reject the pleasure. That is precisely where the screen known as a Masach comes into play.

So if we have a screen to prevent Light from entering, the Vessel then begins to perceive the Light instead of only darkness. If there is no screen, then the Light simply enters. In such a state there is no opposition, and any perception is impossible. This would be similar to the flame of a candle that is nullified by the light of a torch. Another example might be a person with no eardrum. Without that screen inside the ear, all sorts of sounds may enter, but no hearing takes place. What causes the Vessel to be able to build a screen is the absence of the Light during the First Restriction performed by the Vessel.

We have a multitude of desires. But a desire can only be thought of as spiritual when a screen is placed at the entrance of the Partzuf. The screen operates as a sort of valve, allowing in that Light only under our primary condition of pleasing the Creator.

So our initial main objective is to receive that Light into the soul, the Partzuf. As soon as the Light enters the Vessel, it begins affecting it, transferring its own attributes to the Vessel. Once this happens, we feel the difference between our own properties (to receive) and the properties of the Light (to bestow). This process makes us feel ashamed of receiving the Light, and at the same time, makes us want to resemble the Light.

Now it is important to note here that Spiritual Light (pleasure from perception of the Creator) cannot change the nature of the Vessel from receiving to bestowing. It only has the ability to change for whom the Vessel receives pleasure, or the intent. Am I receiving because I want the pleasure for myself, or am I receiving in order to please the Creator?

If the Vessel chooses to use itself in this manner, it is called “receiving for the sake of giving.” It is a situation where everybody wins. The Vessel, Malchut, gets to completely enjoy receiving the Light. At the same time, Malchut also returns delight to the Creator. This loop of pleasure is unending.

To explain this a bit further, let’s go back to Phase 1 (Hochma). This is where the Direct Light (Ohr Yashar) enters the Vessel. Malchut received the pleasure from this Ohr Yashar. Of course, the sensation of the Giver cancels this Light. But in our condition where the Light extends all the way down to our world, and this time is returned using a screen, the Masach, Malchut does the same thing, fills up with all the Light, but this time its intent is to please the Creator. This allows it to reach endless Light. There is no cancellation. Thanks to this process, all its desires, both the lowest and the highest, lead to never-ending delight. This is also designated by the expression “feeling of completeness and unity.”

Remember that we have five Partzufim, Galgalta, AB, SAG, MA, and BON. When Galgalta filled and then rejected the Light, AB was created and so on all the way to BON. But this is not nearly the end of the story. Remember that place called Tabur where it was impossible to receive Light in Malchut? Our goal is now to remedy that situation.

The problem is that the desires under Tabur do not have a screen, so they cannot be filled with Light. The good news is that there is just such a part of this spiritual machine that is designed to do that very thing. It is a new Partzuf called Nekudot of SAG. What does that mean? It means that Partzuf Nekudot is a sort of sub-Partzuf that comes out while the Light is exiting the Partzuf SAG. This Partzuf is unique and is actually able to go below Tabur, correcting all of those extremely powerful desires there as well.

In order to understand why, it is important to remember the names of the different Partzufim: Galgalta – Keter, AB – Hochma, SAG – Bina, MA – Zeir Anpin, and BON – Malchut. Remember Stage 3 called Phase Bet? In this stage the Vessel only wants to bestow, and that is the exact characteristic of SAG, called Bina. Bina could care less about receiving; it only wants to bestow, to give Ohr Hassadim without restraint, to be like the Creator. This makes it absolutely perfect for expanding below Tabur and dealing with those Vessels that cannot currently receive Light.

You might also remember that all Partzufim are built on memories (Reshimot or records) of the previous Partzuf. Also we have discussed that there are two kinds of Reshimot: Reshimo of the Light, called Hitlabshut and Reshimo of the desire, called Aviut. The breakdown is as follows: Galgalta is built on Reshimot (4, 4); AB is built on (4, 3); SAG is built on (3, 2); MA is built on (2, 1) and BON is built on (1, 0). Now let’s look at SAG. This Partzuf is built on a memory of pleasure (Light) with a strength of 3 and a memory of desire built with a strength of 2.

As the Light exits Partzuf SAG, it rises through those stages of a Partzuf we learned about (see figure 4). When the Light exits the interior Bina level of that Partzuf, the Reshimot that are left are (2,2), the exact combination of giving that is needed in order to lower beneath Tabur. And this is precisely what happens.

Below Tabur, the Partzuf Nekudot of SAG begins to expand and fill this section of Galgalta with the Light of Hassadim, the Light of Pleasure from giving. The entire purpose of this Partzuf is to elevate the uncorrected desires to its own level and correct them. It is important to remember that the whole purpose here is to correct the Vessel where it can receive everywhere, including the area below Tabur.

Below the Tabur in that place of the strongest desires, the Nekudot de SAG (“ de” is Aramaic for “of”) fill Galgalta with the Light of Hassadim, i.e. with the pleasures of giving. These pleasures can then be diffused without restraint to any desire in the Partzuf. Below the Tabur, the Nekudot de SAG form a new Partzuf which contains its own ten Sefirot: Keter, Hochma, Bina, Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod and Malchut.

This Partzuf bears the name of Nekudot de SAG. It is of paramount importance in the whole process of correction, since it is a part of Bina, which elevates the uncorrected desires to its level, corrects and raises above Bina.

From the top to the Tabur, Galgalta comprises:

i. At the Rosh level: the Sefirot Keter, Hochma and Bina.

ii. At the Toch level: Hesed, Gevura and Tifferet.

iii. Below the Tabur, in the Sof: Netzah, Hod, Yesod and Malchut.

When Nekudot de SAG descend below the Tabur and begin to transmit the Light of Hassadim to the Sof of Galgalta, they are subjected to a strong reaction on the part of the Reshimot remaining in the Sof of Galgalta from the Light that previously filled these Kelim (plural for Kli). You might remember that the very first thing the creature (Stage 4) does is completely take the Light in and fill Galgalta.

These Reshimot are of strength Dalet-Gimel (4,3). The strength of the Dalet-Gimel (Hitlabshut of level 4, Aviut of level 3) is higher than the strength of the Masach of the Nekudot de SAG(Hitlabshut of level 2, Aviut of level 2). Therefore SAG cannot oppose such a powerful Light-Desire and begins to desire to receive it for itself.

We can now examine the Bina phase in the spreading of the Direct Light from above downward (See Figure 6).

This phase is composed of two parts:

(i) In the first part, it does not want to receive anything, while giving without restraint. This part is called Gar de Bina and is endowed with altruistic attributes.

(ii) The second part already considers receiving the Light in order to transmit it further on. Although it is receiving, it does not do it for its own sake. This part of Bina is called Zat de Bina. The same thing occurs in the Partzuf of the Nekudot de SAG, which possesses the attributes of Bina:

The first six Sefirot bear the name of Gar de Bina and the last four Sefirot are named Zat de Bina. The powerful Light of Hochma that reaches Gar de Bina does not affect it; it is indifferent to this Light. This part of Bina wishes only to bestow. However, Zat de Bina, which desires to receive in order to give to the lower levels, may receive only that Light which relates to Aviut Bet.

If the desires reaching Zat de Bina are of a stronger Aviut, the desire to receive for oneself alone appears. In other words, Bina is divided into two parts, a part that only wishes to bestow no matter what, and another part that will receive, but only to pass Light to the parts below it. This means that Zat de Bina will only receive in order to pass that Light to the Sefirot below.

Figure 6. Partzuf of Nekudot de SAG

The problem here is that even though Zat de Bina only wants to receive in order to give, it will still receive. So when those massive desires below the Tabur appear, Zat de Bina cannot resist. But we have a restriction here that does not allow such reception. After the Tzimtzum Aleph (First Restriction), Malchut cannot receive with a self-aimed intention. Therefore, as soon as a desire of such strength appears in the Zat of Nekudot de SAG, Malchut rises and positions itself on the border between altruistic and selfish desires, in the middle of Tifferet, between Gar de Bina and Zat de Bina.

This act of Malchut is called Tzimtzum Bet, the Second Restriction. A new border for the spreading of the Light is being formed along this line: the Parsa. This border was located before in the Sium of Galgalta. While the Light was previously able to spread only down to the Tabur, even though it tried to penetrate under it, with the spreading of the Partzuf of the Nekudot de SAG below the Tabur, the Light of Hassadim did penetrate there, and paved the way for the spreading of the Light of Hochma to the Parsa.

A “place” is a Sefira (singular for Sefirot) inside of which another Sefira, smaller in dimension, can be fitted. An example of that is Olam Nekudim, inside of which are Olamot (worlds) ABYA (Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira, Assiya). Our world exists in a place. If you could take out absolutely everything the universe contains, then the place would remain. Our finite minds cannot perceive it, but this is simply a void that cannot be measured, since it is located in other dimensions. In addition to our world there exist spiritual worlds that are impossible to perceive or feel because they refer to other dimensions. Afterward, the World of Atzilut appears at the place of Gar de Bina below the Tabur. The World of Beria is formed under the Parsa in the lower section of Tifferet.

The World of Yetzira appears at the place of the Sefirot Netzah, Hod, and Yesod. The World of Assiya, whose last portion is called our world, is formed at the place of the Sefira Malchut.

How can ten Sefirot be obtained out of five: Keter, Hochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin and Malchut? Zeir Anpin is made up of six Sefirot: Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod. If instead of Zeir Anpin, one places its six Sefirot, then along with Keter, Hochma, Bina and Malchut, ten Sefirot will be obtained. This is the reason why sometimes five or ten Sefirot are mentioned.

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