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Lesson 5

We have a total of 125 levels between us and the Creator. First there are the five worlds between the Creator and our world. These worlds are Olam Adam Kadmon, Olam Atzilut, Olam Beria, Olam Yetzira, and finally Olam Assiya. At the bottom end of Olam Assiya is our world.

Each world consists of five Partzufim (plural for Partzuf) called Galgalta, AB, SAG, MA and BON. Each Partzuf contains five Sefirot – Keter, Hochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin and Malchut. For Malchut, Phase 4 (Dalet), to reach the highest level, it must move through all of these levels. In this way Malchut, the only creation, merges with the four previous phases.

As Malchut rises through these levels, it fully absorbs all the properties in each phase and equalizes its attributes with the Creator’s attributes. This is the Goal of creation. The very first thing that must happen now is that Malchut must be fully mixed with the other nine Sefirot.

For this task, a very special Partzuf is created. This Partzuf contains Malchut and the nine Sefirot from Keter to Yesod. Its name is Adam ha Rishon, or simply Adam. If you are wondering if this Adam is the same that is spoken of in Genesis of the Bible, it is most certainly one and the same Adam.

In the beginning, the nine Sefirot and the tenth, Malchut, are not connected to each other in any way. That’s why it was said that in the beginning, Adam was forbidden to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. With the fall of Adam and the breaking of his Vessels, the four upper phases (the nine first Sefirot), fall into Malchut.

All spiritual movements from above downward, from Malchut of Ein Sof to our world and back to the World of Ein Sof, are preordained. Nothing is planned that is not in accordance with the goal of creation. This goal is achieved when the fourth phase becomes similar to the third, second, first and zero phases, which are all contained in the fourth phases.

All the worlds appear as the descent of the Creator from above downward, over the 125 levels of the five worlds. This is like a permanent restriction of the Creator, making the whole of creation recede from Him until Creation reaches the level of our world, which no longer feels Him at all.

When creation rises upward, it makes its way through the same 125 levels of the five worlds that were formed for this specific purpose. Advancing a single level provides you with the power to take a leap forward to the next one.

The descent from above to below is the regression process of the soul, but the ascent is progression. During the descent, the power of each level lessens because it conceals more and more of the Light of the Creator from His creation. But the reverse movement increasingly reveals the Light of the Creator to us and grants us the power to overcome obstacles.

Let’s take a look at what happens when the breaking of the Vessels (Shevirat ha Kelim) takes place in the world of Nekudim. The nine altruistic Sefirot that Malchut, being the selfish part, tries to use for her own sake, fall into Malchut. In the previous chapter we wrote that the Zivug (4,3) made in Nekudim caused the shattering of the Vessels. This Zivug was a request by Malchut for Light. Malchut wished to use the Light for its own pleasure, and the screen, having only the power of (2,2) could not possibly resist. At this time, altruism and selfishness are blended together as a result of the breaking, and we see this blending in our world as well.

An interesting point astute observers will immediately see is that the fall of Adam as told in the Bible was no accident. It was a necessity. Without that fall, there would have been no mixing of the attributes of the Creator with Malchut, and without that mixing there would have been no correction.

Now, if a strong Light enlightens this blend and awakens Malchut, making it understand its own nature and what the Creator is, Malchut can strive to be like the Upper Sefirot, i.e. the Light of the Creator. Even though the breaking of the Vessels seems to be an anti-spiritual action, actually it is the only possible process that can enable Malchut to bond with the altruistic properties of the Creator and to rise up to His level at a later stage.

After the breaking, two parallel systems of worlds, Assiya, Yetzira, Beria, and Atzilut are built as two systems: altruistic and selfish. These worlds are built on the basis of the breaking of the Vessels, which is why their system specifically grasps one’s soul. The soul of Adam also consists of selfish and altruistic Vessels. The fall of Adam combined these two sorts of Vessels and his Partzuf was broken. When ascending to the appropriate level in the system of worlds, each broken part may discover its place there.

Shevirat Neshamot (the breaking of souls) of Adam and Shevirat Olam ha Nekudim (breaking of the Vessels in the world of Nekudim) are built on the same basis. The worlds are a kind of outer casing for the soul. In our material world, it is the Universe, the Earth and everything around us, which forms the outer casing, enclosing mankind within it.

When examining how the World of Atzilut is designed, we may note that its structure completely matches the World of Nekudim. In fact, Nekudim is a model for Atzilut. Partzuf Nekudot de SAG, after Tzimtzum Bet (Second Restriction), ascends to the Rosh (Head) of SAG with three kinds of Reshimot (reminiscences).

From the restricted Reshimot of (2,1) Bet-Aleph, the World of Nekudim is formed in the Katnut (smallness) on Kelim Galgalta ve Eynaim (only on the Vessels of bestowal). This spreads downward from the Tabur (navel – the original border that divided the desires of Aviut level 4) to Parsa, that division in Tifferet that divides Vessels of bestowal and Vessels of reception.

This new Partzuf, like any other, is composed of Rosh and Guf. Its Rosh is divided into three parts: the first Rosh is called Keter, the second Abba (Hochma) and the third Ima (Bina). Abba literally means “Father” and Bina means “Mother” in Hebrew.

The Guf of the World of Nekudim is called ZON Zeir Anpin and Nukva. Above the Parsa is Gar de ZON, below the Parsa we find Zat de ZON. Gar de ZON are Vessels of bestowal, Zat de ZON are Vessels of reception.

Following this, the World of Nekudim craved to enter the Gadlut, i.e., to join the AHPs to itself. Remember that AHP are Vessels of pure reception for oneself. Nekudim wants to correct these. But when the Upper Light reached Parsa and tried to cross it, the World of Nekudim broke apart.

Rosh Keter and Rosh Abba ve Ima remain, since the Heads do not break. But ZON, i.e., the Guf, breaks completely, both above the Parsa, and below it. Now, there are in total 320 broken parts, 32 of which (Lev ha Even) are not possible to correct by one’s own power. The remaining 288 parts are subject to correction.

Next, in order to correct the broken Vessels, the world of Correction (Olam ha Tikkun also called Olam Atzilut) is created. Reshimot from the breakage of all 320 parts ascend to Rosh of SAG. At the beginning, the Rosh of SAG selects the purest parts, the lightest with respect to the ability to be corrected.

This is the Law of Correction: first the easiest parts get corrected and then with their help, the next parts are handled. Out of the corrected Vessels, Rosh of SAG creates the Partzufim of the World of Atzilut, similar to a small World of Nekudim:

(i) Keter of the World of Atzilut, also named Atik

(ii) Hochma, also named Arich Anpin

(iii) Bina, also named Abba ve Ima

(iv) Zeir Anpin

(v) Malchut, also named Nukva The World of Atzilut is a replica of the World of Nekudim: Atik is located between the Tabur of Galgalta and Parsa; Arich Anpin from Peh of Atik to Parsa; Abba ve Ima from Peh of Arich Anpin to Tabur of Arich Anpin; Zeir Anpin stands from Tabur of Arich Anpin to Parsa; and Malchut is in the form of a point under Zeir Anpin (see Figure 7).

Each Partzuf is composed of two parts: Galgalta ve Eynaim (GE), Vessels of bestowal, and AHP, Vessels of reception. After being shattered, the Vessel consists not of two parts, but of four: GE, AHP, GE inside AHP and AHP inside GE. Such a combination can be found in each of the 320 broken Vessels. The goal here is to break each particle and separate the GE (Vessels of bestowal) from the AHP (Vessels of reception).

Here’s how it works. The Reshimot of the corrected state cause the broken Kelim to draw Ohr Makif, which in turn separates the Galgalta ve Eynaim from the AHP and elevates it to spirituality, while the AHP stays and awaits its turn for correction.

Figure 7. The World of Atzilut and the Worlds of BYA

After the World of Atzilut corrects all the Vessels of bestowal, Malchut of the World of Atzilut ascends to Bina, i.e., under the Rosh of the World of Atzilut. The Rosh of the World of Atzilut are Atik, Arich Anpin, and Abba ve Ima. There Malchut performs the following actions:

(i) Zivug (coupling) on level 2 desire (Bet de Aviut), creating the World of Beria.

(ii) Zivug on level 1 desire (Aleph de Aviut), creating the World of Yetzira.

(iii) Zivug on level 0 desire (Aviut Shoresh), giving birth to the World of Assiya.

The ascent to Bina moves the World of Atzilut two levels up, which in turn moves everything under it up two levels. Everything moves together. Malchut is now in the place of Abba ve Ima, Zeir Anpin in the place of Arich Anpin, and Arich Anpin and Atik ascend in proportion. Partzuf Malchut of the World of Atzilut, which is in this ascent equivalent to Bina, to Abba ve Ima, can create, or “give birth.”

The result of this ascent is that the World of Beria is born out of Malchut of Atzilut and occupies a new place instead of Zeir Anpin of the World of Atzilut, under the Rosh, that has given birth to it. The newborn is usually one level below its mother.

After this, the World of Yetzira is brought to life. Its first four Sefirot, i.e. its upper part, now occupy the place of Malchut of the World of Atzilut. In its lower part, six lower Sefirot, are located, correspondingly, in the position of the first six Sefirot, the place of the World of Beria.

The next world, Assiya, covers half of the World of Beria and half of the World of Yetzira. The four Sefirot of the World of Yetzira and the ten Sefirot of the World of Assiya remain empty. This empty place is called Mador ha Klipot, the Shell Section.

If you feel a bit confused about the last few paragraphs, realize that there is a difference between where these world’s places were during their creation and where they are now. It will make it easier to find your way if you make full use of the figure above.

In order to emphasize its importance we can consider the whole process once more:

The World of Nekudim came out in Katnut with a Rosh having three parts, being Keter and the other two Roshim (plural for Rosh) being Abba ve Ima. ZON is its Guf. All this is called Galgalta ve Eynaim and spreads from Tabur to Parsa. After this, the Gadlut (Greatness) of the World of Nekudim begins to emerge, which has ten Sefirot both in Rosh and Guf.

Gadlut appeared in Keter, in Abba ve Ima, but when ZON wants to receive Gadlut the World of Nekudim breaks apart. It is important to remember that Gadlut is the spreading of Light not only to the Vessels of bestowal, but to the Vessels of reception as well. But the Vessels of reception have Aviut (strength of desire) of level 4, much greater than the screen. All of the Kelim of the Guf break into 320 parts; they fall under the Parsa and mingle with each other, yielding four groups:

(i) Galgalta ve Eynaim (GE)

(ii) AHP

(iii) Galgalta ve Eynaim in AHP

(iv) AHP in Galgalta ve Eynaim

To correct the broken Vessels, the World of Atzilut is created. First, its three Partzufim are born: Atik, Arich Anpin, Abba ve Ima, which fully correspond to the Partzufim: Keter and Abba ve Ima in the World of Nekudim.

Zeir Anpin and Malchut correspond to the same Partzufim in the World of Nekudim. At this stage, the correction of the extracted Vessels of bestowal, Galgalta ve Eynaim, from all the 320 parts is finished. Further, we have Galgalta ve Eynaim inside the AHP.

Atzilut wants to do the correction in AHP. Malchut ascends to Bina and gives birth to the ten Sefirot of the World of Beria, which stands in place of Zeir Anpin of Atzilut because Malchut of the World of Atzilut is now in Abba ve Ima. Remember that Zeir Anpin was just below Abba ve Ima.

At this stage the ten Sefirot of the World of Yetzira are created; the last one partially overlaps the World of Beria. The part of the World of Yetzira is under Parsa in the place of the upper half of the World of Beria.

Finally, the World of Assiya is located from the middle part of the place of the World of Beria to the middle part of the place of the World of Yetzira. Beginning in the middle of the place of the World of Yetzira and finally ending in the place of the World of Assiya is emptiness, Mador ha Klipot.

Soon we will see that the worlds can ascend and descend, but always move together with respect to their initial position. All that we have discussed in this chapter is described in the 2100 pages of the Talmud Eser Sefirot (The Study of the Ten Sefirot) by Rav Yehuda Ashlag. You can imagine how encompassing this great work is, describing even the smallest of details. This most important work provides guidelines for our spiritual progression and helps keep us focused on the correct goal. It is no less than a blueprint for reaching the spiritual.

Our correction pertains to the Second Restriction, Tzimtzum Bet. As a result we cannot see beyond Tzimtzum Aleph, the First Restriction. Actually, there is no human way to even imagine the nature of reality that exists in that realm. These are referred to as “the secrets of the Kabbalah.”

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