The lot of them

Despite the assertion that the letters themselves are of utmost importance, the other elements certainly play a role in governance as well, as we’ll see when Ramchal touches on the combination of trope, vowels, crowns, and letters (known by the acronym TaNTA or טנת”א) later on in Klach in a more esoteric way.

As he puts it in his own comments to Petach 31, “The letters themselves are the Lights of (i.e., are responsible for) the governance of ZuN (i.e., Zachar v’Nekevah, the Male and Female principles) that emanate from Imma (i.e., the Partzuf that corresponds to the Sephira of Binah which is right above ZuN)”. That is, the letters play a direct, hands-on role in the governance of our world, which is defined as the world of ZuN (as we’ll see later on), and they draw upon higher realms.

The crowns “are hovered over by Imma … so as not to be separated from it even when going away from it”. That says nothing about governance per se but rather about the “aloof” nature of the crowns, if you will.

The vowels “are governed by Imma” and they in turn “govern the letters”. That speaks to the subordinate role that the letters play to the vowels, which “drive” them.

And the trope are connected to “governance by means of Abba (i.e., the Partzuf that corresponds to the Sephira of Chochma which is above Imma, depicted above). That means that the trope draw upon even higher realms than the letters.

We’ll explore the significance of all this when we get to Petach 31, as well as elsewhere.

(c) 2011 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

Feel free to contact me at feldman@torah.org

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