The gist of Section 5

In short, this is what’s being said in this section (and note that Ramchal doesn’t introduce any extraneous themes here other than a quick one at the very beginning as we’ll see).

The Sephirot are meant to bring about physical phenomena, but they can only do that by means of the Hebrew letters, as “The Heavens were fashioned through God’s word” (Psalms 33:6), which is to say, through the letters that comprise God’s words (Petach 18).

There are exactly and exclusively twenty-two letter-orderings (Petach 19).

These twenty-two letter-orderings form three separate columns: Chessed, Din, and Rachamim, which is to say, right, left, and center. And they form various combinations that are represented as being “closed” and “compressed” for example, or “open” and “expanded” the latter of which is represented in the form of a “line” or a “point” (Petach 20).

While the letters themselves are the main factors in bringing about actions the trope, vowels, and the “crowns” that are attached to them all contribute in their own way (Petach 21).

The ten Sephirot, as well as the trope, vowels, “crowns” and letters, are all subsumed under the four letters of God’s name as well as the four esoteric names and their combinations (Petach 22).

It’s in fact the Divine names that enable the Lights to bring about actions in the world, and the Torah is the sum total of all those names (Petach 23).

We’ll thus be focusing on

1. The significance of the Hebrew letters;

2. The “words” used to create heaven and earth;

3. The role of the right, left, and center columns as well as of the so-called “closed” and “compressed”, or “open” and “expanded”, or “line” or “point” formations;

4. The roles played by the trope, vowels, and “crowns”;

5. The makeup of the various Divine names;

6. And the role of the Torah in activating things in the world.

(c) 2011 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

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