Petachim 5 and 6 (3)

We’d also need to understand that the Sephirot “were brought about specifically for the sake of creation”, as Ramchal puts it in his comments. That’s to say that just as God has no need for the process of creation per se, He likewise has no need for the existence of Sephirot. For, while they’re an intrinsic and essential part of the universe itself, they aren’t intrinsic to what preceded creation — God’s own existence. He could very easily do without them Himself. But He allowed for them because He wanted the universe to exist, and the Sephirot fill a vital role in that.

In any event, God wanted them to be known of so that we can understand the attribute itself [1], since we’d need to do that in order to draw close to Him and determine His will for us. So He made it possible for prophets and other exalted souls to “envision” the Sephirot and to thus decipher their makeup and implications; all so that we might understand what would be taking place in the governing process … at that time”.

We’ll reiterate the point though that it seemed to be very bold of Ramchal to say that the Sephirot could be “envisioned”. But in fact, others had said so as well; and we’d need to understand what he and they meant by envisioning sublime phenomena.



[1]       See Da’at Tevunot 180.

(c) 2011 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

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