The solution (Part 6)

As we’d said, Ramchal makes the point in Petach 28 that the line’s interactions with the trace are in accordance with the makeup and needs of the trace and everything connected with it.

We’ll explain this by first offering this statement by Ari: “The top of this line extends from Ein Sof and makes contact with Him (there), but the other end, at the other extreme of the line, does not touch the light of Ein Sof” [1]. That’s to say that while the line emanates outward from Ein Sof, as we’d indicated already, it stops at a certain point close to the end of the trace environment without going all the way to the end, and without re-entering into the Ein Sof at the other end.

That’s so because if the line went straight from Ein Sof at point A to Ein Sof at point B (or at any point, for that matter), then the trace environment would be undone and “pierced”, the “bubble” would “burst”, so to speak, and all would be Ein Sof again as at the beginning.

So God could be said to have had the line that pierces through the trace environment end at a certain point so as to insure that it be finite, and to thus allow for reality as we know it. That way all interactions between God and the universe by means of the line are in keeping with the makeup and needs of our reality, not God’s own.

That’s what Ramchal meant when he said in Petach 28 that all of this — i.e., the line’s interactions with the trace environment — is done only in such a way that the line accommodates itself to the makeup and needs of the trace and everything connected with it.

That once again implies that God purposefully created our finite universe, that He interacts with it, and that He only interacts with it in ways that do not threaten the finite universe’s boundaries or existence: that is, He purposely accedes to our needs to allow us our being.

This is likewise explained by this, from, Petach 27:

Whatever God actually brings about within the trace environment is tailored to the needs of created phenomena, even though He Himself acts according to His perfection in the background, if you will.

Ramchal adds another, more obscure point here, which is somewhat tangential: From the perspective of created phenomena, it is the trace, while from the perspective of the line God is acting according to His own perfection.

That’s to say that from our perspective, the trace environment with all its ambiguities predominates; from God’s perspective as He peers down upon through the lens of the line, though, it’s actually the sovereignty environment, without any ambiguities, that predominates.


1.         The Tree of Life, p. 15 (with slight changes)

(c) 2011 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

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