13 Tamuz 5779 / Tuesday, July 16, 2019 | Torah Reading: Pinchas
 
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HomeSpirituality and FaithKabbalah and MysticismThe Divine Line
 
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The Divine Line    

The Divine Line



By Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato, translated by Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum. The Divine presence within the Residue is called a Line from Eyn Sof, blessed be He, like a soul within a body.

 



Part 36 of "138 Openings of Wisdom" by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato
  
Opening 27, part 1
 
How the Line governs the Residue.
 
Rooted in this Residue was everything that is destined to exist, and what was not rooted there cannot come into being afterwards. Even so, all that is rooted there could not have come into being without the Unlimited Himself governing it. Nevertheless, the Unlimited acts only in accordance with what is rooted in the Residue. This is like the soul, which governs the body only according to the nature of the body. The action of the Unlimited within the Residue is called one Line from Eyn Sof, blessed be He, that enters into the hollow cavity. For what He actually brings about within the Residue is in accordance with the nature of the created realms and beings. Yet in bringing it about, He Himself acts on His own level of intrinsic perfection. As far as the created realms and beings are concerned, it is the Residue. But through the Line, He acts on His own intrinsic level of perfection. Further, while what was produced is, as far as the creatures are concerned, the Residue, the way in which Eyn Sof operates it is through the Line, which is on His plane of limitlessness, just as He is without limits.
 
Having explained what the emanated light is, it is now necessary to explain what it produced.
 
The proposition has four parts. Part 1: Rooted in this Residue... This explains the distinctive quality of this Residue. Part 2: Even so, all that is rooted there... This explains that the Residue requires the Unlimited. Part 3: Nevertheless, the Unlimited acts only. This explains that the Unlimited governs the Residue as the soul governs the body. Part 4: The action of the Unlimited in the Residue is called one Line. This explains the Line in relation to the Residue and how the Unlimited looks down providentially upon the level of the Residue via the Channel or Pipe.
 
Part 1: Rooted in this Residue is everything that was destined to exist... This is obvious, because, as has already been explained, the Residue consists of what remained of the Primordial Light that departed through the Tzimtzum. For the Residue consists of all that was originally included in the Primordial Light as the root of the lower realms and beings. This remained in the Residue after the departure of all the other powers that were not part of the root of the lower realms and beings. Now, everything that was destined to exist in the lower realms was certainly originally included in the Primordial Light in the category of the root of the lower realms. If so, the Residue is the root of everything destined to exist in the lower realms.
 
The proof that everything destined to exist was originally included in the Light that departed is simple. For what departed was Eyn Sof, blessed be He. Now Eyn Sof includes everything. If so, everything was originally included in what departed.
 
.and what was not rooted there cannot come into being afterwards. It would not be enough for the Residue to be merely the root of the general categories found in the lower realms, which afterwards divide into their particulars down below. All of the lower worlds and beings must necessarily be rooted in the Residue: every single detail must be rooted there. The proof of this is that it is not possible that any detail could exist that is not included in the All-Powerful. The Residue is the revelation of everything that was included in the All-Powerful as the root of the lower realms and creatures. If so, it must be that even all the details were also included in the Residue.
 
Part 2: Even so, all that is rooted there could not have come into being without the Unlimited Himself governing it. For there are entities whose movements are self-generated, and others whose movements depend upon another. For example, the movements of the body depend upon another, while the movements of the soul are self-generated. All this must have a root above. If so, among the lights there must be some whose movements are self-generated, and they are the root of those entities having this property, while different lights, whose movements depend upon other lights, are the root of those entities that have that property.
 
The Residue is the root of the body, while the Unlimited is the root of the soul. The Unlimited is self-governing, while the movement of the Residue is through the Unlimited. This is what is implied by the words without the Unlimited Himself governing it. This means that while the Residue contains all the laws and principles by which the lower realms and beings are governed, the source of this government is not there but in the Unlimited. Everything in the Residue is under His control, like an axe in the hand of the hewer.
 
Two corollaries emerge from this. The first is that the work of the Residue exists only through the Unlimited. The second is that it is the Unlimited that governs the Residue. The word "governs" implies more than mere movement. For if the Unlimited did no more than set the Residue in motion, we could have said only that it could not exist except through the Unlimited. But we are saying that He governs it: that He actually governs and orders what happens in the Residue itself. Let us explain these two corollaries more fully:
 
(1) The work of the Residue exists only through the Unlimited. This means that even though what Eyn Sof brings about is, as far as thelower realms and creatures are concerned, within limits, this does not mean we can say that He executes what He does in a limited manner like a human being. The way in which He acts is beyond our ability to grasp, because He acts without limits. However, His Will decreed that even though He continues acting in His way, we receive only what reaches us, which is within limits. It is therefore true that the results of His action are within limits but not His actual performance of that action. For the lower creatures can receive only what they are ready and able to receive. Accordingly, in all of our discussions, we are speaking only about the results of His action, which are within bounds and limits. But the way in which Eyn Sof actually executes what He does is far beyond us. We cannot understand it, and we should not inquire into it, for the boundaries of our knowledge include only what is done and what it means. How it is done, we cannot know.
 
For example: We know that contracted Sefirot exist made from His light, but how He acted to conceal and contract His light we cannot say. This is not the case from the Tzimtzum and downwards, where we can say this. For we can specify the different parts of the Partzufim, when they hold sway, how the effects they cause emerge, and what happens to them when they bring forth new effects. This is not so in the case of Eyn Sof, to Whom we cannot attribute different "parts" or anything of the kind. Accordingly it is impossible to say how He acted or how these Sefirot radiate from Him now, for the way He acts is without limits.
 
To be continued.
 
 
(Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum is the director of Azamra (http://www.azamra.org/).
The 138 Openings of Wisdom is available for purchase online at http://www.azamra.org/Product_pages/openings.htm)




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