We’ll soon discuss how the vessels continued to exist (even when they didn’t function) by means of the 288 sparks. But first we’ll need to provide some background information.
Ramchal’s statement in Petach 55 is very obscure, so let’s explain it out before we cite it.
As we’d indicated in 5:5 above (as well as in 7:5 to a degree), the names AV (72), SaG (63), MaH (45), and BaN (52) represent different ways of spelling out the Tetragrammaton. It’s important to know that while each name has the numerical value that it merits having based on its own specific spiritual level, sometimes the fact that they’re all derived from a single source — i.e., AV in this case, which is analogous to Erich Anpin — factors into that numerical value. As such we see that each of those four names contains within it an overt or recondite number value of 72 (the value of AV) aside from its own inherent numerical value .
What this indicates, among other things, is that while the source (AV or Erich Anpin) may seem just like any other offshoot of the Tetragrammaton, it’s in fact the most potent of them all, which important implications. Here’s how Ramchal words it.
When two or more of the names that are offshoots of the Tetragrammaton come to have the same numerical value, i.e., 72, contained within it albeit by different means, it’s to be understood that this is an instance of a single root, i.e., AV, which each of the other names must be connected to in its own way to be sure, but which in the end it will come to be connected to after all of its machinations.
This in fact is the mystery of the name AV that’s contained in each of the four names of AV, SaG, MaH, and in BaN. For, even though each separate name has its own way of doing so, each will all arrive at or somehow contain this value, i.e., 72. What this shows is that this AV is a root that each name must arrive at in its own way.
The truth of the matter is that this derives from and is analogous to Erich Anpin from which Abba and Imma, Zeir Anpin, and Nukveh derive. Erich Anpin in this instance is an AV whose four separate Yud’s produce an AV, SaG, MaH and BaN. And each one of them, i.e., each name AV, Sag, MaH, and BaN, must express the value of i.e., must add up to, its root, which is the name AV, which is their dominant power.
Finally, the fact that AV is the primary sum here alludes to the fact that “not only the expansion of AV but also all the other expansions eventually reach the total of 72”, which is the numerical value of Chessed, representative of God’s loving-kindness, “showing that the root of all the various means of governance is loving-kindness”, as Ramchal notes in his own comments.
That alludes to the fact that the lower Partzufim of Abbah and Imma, and Zeir Anpin, and Nukveh respectively each derive from and draw upon God’s overarching benevolence.
 See how R’ David Cohen (“The Nazir”) laid it out the way to find 72’s in each name on p. 410 of his edition, as well as R’ Friedlander on p. 207 of his.
(c) 2013 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman
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