We’re told that the existence of all the world’s flaws and of their immediate and ultimate repair is rooted in the issue of “The Breaking of the Vessels” (Petach 37), which occurred within the Sephirot of the world of Nikkudim that we depicted in detail above.
What’s the difference, though, between the world of Nikkudim and the ones that followed: Atzilut, etc., all the way down to the universe we know and experience? And what’s the source of the state of “repair” he refers to here?
As Ramchal put it, “This is … how Atzilut developed: The Supreme Will began to design it above in His ‘mind’. And while it was beginning to take shape (and hadn’t yet come into existence)… the lights of Nikkudim emerged…. Afterwards the design for Atzilut was complete, and it emerged in all the beauty of its intrinsic form, all of which is the state of Tikkun (i.e., repair) which we’ll discuss below” (comments to Petach 36).
In other words, another realm existed for a limited time before the cosmos came about — that is, before the supernal worlds of Atzilut, etc. that preceded the reality that we now know and experience came about. That temporary realm is termed the world of Nikkudim, and it was the arena in which the whole drama of the Breaking of the Vessels took place. This world of Nikkudim allowed for all the world’s rah and flaws, but take heart, because the worlds of Atzilut, etc. allow for the repairing of all that harm.
(c) 2012 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman
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Rabbi Yaakov Feldman has also translated and commented upon “The Path of the Just” and “The Duties of the Heart” (Jason Aronson Publishers).