Monthly Archives: July 2010

סוד היחוד Part 2

Thus, there are two sorts of zivvugim (literally, “couplings)”: the zivvug of (the elements that comprise) the Middle, and the zivvugim of (the elements that comprise) the Beginning and End. For, while God’s Yichud has to be made manifest, it only comes about little by little and by means of zivvugim. “Left” surrenders to “Right”, and Good prevails as Evil returns to Good. Once the Yichud is made manifest in the Middle (epoch) the others (i.e., the other elements) of Beginning and End then automatically conjoin, as everything will then be One — Beginning, Middle, and End. And all will be Good without any Evil.

(It would not have happened before that) for as long as the Middle existed — which is (the paradigm of) “Name and Expression” as well as of “Benevolence versus Judgment” — there’s a differentiation between Beginning and End. For Beginning is (then only in a potential state) and not yet actualized as the End, which is (in a) realized (state). But once the Middle returns to Goodness, Beginning and End will automatically conjoin, which is the mystical import of (the expression) “I am first and I am last” (Isaiah 44:6).

That’s to say that the ultimate and inevitable coupling of Beginning and End (which are identical) will only come about once the coupling of the Middle — of all the elements of the cosmos including matter, paradox, ethics, reward and punishment, and more — occurs. But that slow process is purposeful, as we’ll see; God’s aim wouldn’t be served if it happened automatically and from the get-go.

© 2010 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

סוד היחוד Part 1

From Ramchal’s Sod HaYichud. Original will be in bold, all comments in standard print.

The Ein Sof was as perfect (from the first) as He is now and as He will be in the World to Come without any change (in between). It’s just that His perfection wasn’t actually made manifest at first, while it will be later on.

Since He wanted this manifestation to come about, there are thus three matters (under discussion when it comes to God’s Yichud): a Beginning, End, and Middle. “Beginning” refers to (that epoch in which) His original perfection was there in a state of potentiality; “End” refers to (that epoch of time in which) His perfection will actually be made manifest; and “Middle” refers to (that epoch of time) before His perfection is to be made manifest.

There is no wrong (evil, wickedness, sinfulness, un-holiness, un-Godliness, etc.) in the “Beginning” or the “End”, as everything is good (right, righteous, holy, Godly) then. In the “Middle”, though, there are things that appear to be wrong (evil, etc.) but they’re actually good. This (entire paradigm) is termed “Name and Expression”.

That’s to say that Ein Sof stands apart from space-time as an inherently existent, independent, perfect entity, and has been so from before space-time came about, and remains so in the course of space-time as well as after space-time will cease to exist.

Space-time — as well as any notions of right and wrong — are all beside His point, if you will, for He is only termed The Creator, and all the other appellations applied to Him after having brought reality as we know it about. Hence, His “Name”, i.e., the truest depiction of Ein Sof, isn’t Creator, The Benevolent One, or the like: they’re mere Expressions of the role He assumes in the course of space-time. His own Self doesn’t touch on any of that.

© 2010 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

The Great Return

See Ramchal’s Ma’amar Reisha v’Sofa (found in Adir BaMarom 2, pp. 35-60) and his Peirush Ma’amar Arimat Yadi (Ibid. pp. 61-92) for his discussion of everything returning to Elohut. See Ba’al HaSulem’s treatment of it in his Introduction to the Zohar, and The Leshem at various points.

I’m going to start blogging from Ramchal’s Sod HaYichud (found in Ginzei Ramchal pp. 264 – 271) in which he explains the various elements of his all-important take on Yichud Hashem

I warn you — this is not your father’s Kabbalah.