But What Does All This Mean?

Very well, but what does all this mean, as Ramchal understands it? We’ll need to turn to his Klallim Rishonim for that.

The relations between the lights and vessels that emit through the “orifices” of Adam Kadmon’s “face” and Adam Kadmon itself speak to the “system of governance that was set into place after the conjunction of the inner (components) and the external (ones)” [1]. That’s to say that the lights and vessels represent the way God arranged for the human soul (i.e., light) and body (i.e., vessel) to interact in the course of time.

His point is that there are always instances of a combination of a soul and a body; it’s just that sometimes the body is so very subtle and fine that it’s subsumed within the light and invisible and ineffective for all intents and purposes, while at other times it’s more or less visible and effective. This will not only explain all we’d offered above in more accessible terms, it will also speak to the various stages of human spiritual development, as we’ll see.

Notes:

[1]       Klallim Rishonim 9; also see Da’at Tevunot 54, 76-84.

(c) 2012 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

Feel free to contact me at feldman@torah.org

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