We’d taken a long Pesach break so let’s review.
We’d begun to delve 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.
Now, the often-cited source for this schema is Eitz Chaim 6:15, but as R’ Shalom Sharabi points out in his note there (in Shemesh), its actual source is Ramak’s Pardes Rimonim 15:4. But the latter in fact draws upon Sefer Bahir 171, so we’ll cite from the it and see how Ramak explains it, then we’ll delve into Ari’s analysis and wind up seeing what Ramchal says about it in his comments to this Petach and in his Biurim l’Sefer Otzrot Chaim (36).
(c) 2011 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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).