Downward, upward, downward again, etc.

Let’s delve now into the very esoteric Petach 16 which cites the fact that the Sephirot express two sorts of “forward” and “backward” light. Firstly, after the descent grade by grade from Keter to Malchut, Malchut then turns backward to become Keter, and so on in the same way until Keter becomes Malchut.

That’s to say, Sephira #1 (Keter) emanates from Starting Point A in the spherical Empty Space created by the Tzimtzum (to be explained later). Sephira #1 then irradiates downward through the spherical Empty Space (which is obviously no longer empty) to produce (spherical) Lights #2, 3, 4, (Chochma, Binah, Chessed, etc.) until it reaches End Point A of the spherical Empty Space, where it produces Light #10 (Malchut). Then the whole thing repeats itself in reverse.

Light # 10 (Malchut) starts ricocheting back from new Starting Point B (i.e., the old End Point A) in the spherical Empty Space so that Light #10 (Malchut) now functions as a new Light #1 (Keter) until it becomes a new Light #10 (Malchut) at new End Point B (i.e., the old Starting Point A). Then the whole process repeats itself.

But there’s more.

(c) 2011 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

Feel free to contact me at


AT LONG LAST! Rabbi Feldman’s translation of Maimonides’ “Eight Chapters” is available here at a discount.

You can still purchase a copy of Rabbi Feldman’s translation of “The Gates of Repentance” here at a discount as well.

Rabbi Yaakov Feldman has also translated and commented upon “The Path of the Just” and “The Duties of the Heart” (Jason Aronson Publishers).

Rabbi Feldman also offers two free e-mail classes on entitled “Spiritual Excellence” and “Ramchal”.

2 responses to “Downward, upward, downward again, etc.

  1. I found this a little hard to visualize even after reading it a few times, so I drew a very crude diagram – does this look correct? I’m also not sure why malchus functions (becomes?) keter at the start of the looping back. Does it take the same path backward or does it just reverse direction?

  2. You’ve got it, and thanks! Yes, it does all reverse backwards. Thanks for the question.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *