14 Tamuz 5779 / Wednesday, July 17, 2019 | Torah Reading: Pinchas
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The Likeness of Man    

The Likeness of Man

The order of the Ten Sefirot can all be explained in accordance with the Likeness of Man, for they actually correspond to the human form in all its particulars.


Part 53 of "138 Openings of Wisdom" by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato

Opening 31, Part 3
standing in the form of Ten Sefirot... Even though all that exists is only Ten Sefirot, many individual aspects can be discerned within each and every Sefirah by itself -- they are not all the same as one another. Each one, depending on its individual purpose, has its own individual levels. Accordingly, all the other trees correspond to the individual levels of the various Sefirot, depending on the level from which any given tree derives. However, the Tree of the Name of HaVaYaH, blessed be He, is the mystery of all Ten Sefirot together for their collective purpose under the number ten. In this aspect, we do not take into account the individual levels of the Sefirot. Rather, each Sefirah with all its levels is considered as only one, so that altogether they make exactly ten. The general pathway of all their arrangements or institutions (tikkunim, lit. "repairs") depends on this number through the mystery of the return of evil to good. All man's service depends on this matter of the Ten Sefirot, and therefore everything involved in the Sefirot goes only on the basis of ten, with all that depends on this. Thus the Ten Sefirot are ten individual kinds of government, each different from the others, but the general law that brings them all together to serve one purpose is that of the overall Ten Sefirot that constitute Adam Kadmon.
It could be objected that the sum of a given number of particulars is not inherently bound up with their intrinsic essence but is merely contingent upon the fact that this many particulars together make up this number. If so, it would seem that the Tree of the Name of HaVaYaH, which is the order of the Ten Sefirot, would be of no consequence in the individual Sefirot themselves, and would not determine the quality of the Sefirot and of the details under it.
The answer to this objection is that the Ten Sefirot constitute the entire essence of the laws of government, yet at the same time the actual government emerges only from the particular way in which these laws are applied. Sometimes the government follows one law with all its particulars, sometimes a different law with all its particulars. Since each Sefirah is one law of government containing many individual details, depending on the quality of that Sefirah, the particulars are very many. However, there are times when we make general use of all the laws together in their entirety without taking account of the particulars. Thus all the Sefirot together enter into the overall government, which uses all of them together for the purpose of God's unity, to bring the creation to the ultimate perfection. The significance of the number ten lies in the fact that here all the Sefirot are together for one purpose.
Thus there are two kinds of numbers: the individual number of each Sefirah, and the overall number of ten. When we follow the individual pathway of any given Sefirah, the number of lights will be whatever that particular Sefirah gives, and all the laws of government contained in those lights go accordingly. These are the trees that we have mentioned: each of the individual orders is called a tree. However, the overall action comes about through all the Ten Sefirot entering in together in this quorum of ten, and the government goes according to what this number gives in accordance with its intrinsic nature.
Quite the reverse of the objection: having seen that this law was laid down first that there should be ten, we may infer without doubt that this is the most general and necessary number. For they have to be this ma, no less and no more, and arranged precisely in this order just as they are, in accordance with the number ten. All the individual details are automatically included in this number. And thus we may understand what each one of them causes and contributes as part of this general law, and we will understand the general repair that arises through this path in the proper way. Thus the number ten is not accidental: it is not by chance that the sum of all the particulars is the number ten. On the contrary, the number ten is the root of the overall government, which brings all the Sefirot to a common purpose.
...arranged in the Likeness of Man... The overall order goes not only on the basis of the number ten but on the basis of ten in all the orders of their different states and individual details. This is called the Likeness of Man (d'mut Adam) -- the number ten signifies the form in which man is made, which divides up on the basis of ten. For these orders can all be explained in accordance with the Likeness of Man, for they actually correspond to the human form in all its particulars. Indeed, they are the actual cause of the human form in all its particulars. They are even the cause of the very name Adam, inasmuch as they unfold in a certain order which is called Adam: the name of HaVaYaH in which the constituent letters are "filled" (spelled out in full) with alephs = 45 = ADaM. This expansion of the Name consists of ten letters, yet they are all included in four, namely the four "simple" letters, which make ten when they are "filled". It is through all these pathways that this Tree is understood in all its laws. And this first order in the Likeness of Man ...is called Adam Kadmon.
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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