This all-encompassing mass, i.e., the world of Nikkudim, had to be divided up into its component parts of Atzilut, Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiyah, and then there initially came to be the basic foundation which is called Atzilut with its three garments. Afterwards, control was passed to each garment unto itself, which were then called the worlds of Briah, Yetzirah and Assiyah.
For Atzilut when fully repaired is the root of everything, while Briah, Yetzirah and Assiyah serve to bring forth the offshoots of Atzilut. Each one, i.e. Atzilut, Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiyah,eventually brings forth its own distinct offshoot, but they’re all merely offshoots of what already existed in Atzilut (Petach 40).
At bottom we’d say that the world of Nikkudim was like a single mass out of which all the details, i.e., Atzilut, Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiyah, had to come about; as all of existence — both above and below — is a single phenomenon comprised of many details waiting to come about. But this phenomenon is only comprehensive when all of its details function together (Petach 39) .
He then goes into great detail about the final rectification and the roles of these worlds in all that.
In order to actually bring rah about before it would be done in the end, these “garments”, i.e., the worlds of Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiyah had to provide a place for rah to exist. That was accomplished by the selection and gradation that took place among them, until only the very last level — Malchut of Assiyah — was left to produce wrong. The three worlds of Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiyah will then become the four worlds of Atzilut, Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiyah, that is, when Malchut of Assiyah becomes a new Assiyah, Assiyah becomes Yetzirah, Yetzirah becomes Briah, and Briah becomes Atzilut. Wrong will then be rectified and revert to goodness, things will revert to what they’d been at first, and there will no longer a need for wrong to exist in actuality, as it will enough for it to have once existed and to have then been rectified.
Then the new Atzilut, Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiyah will revert to Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiyah, and the Malchut of Assiyah will become integrated with its whole, i.e., with the world of Yetzirah that would then exist, and the original exalted Atzilut of the general Nikkudim that was removed in the course of the “breaking of the vessels” will be revealed. The “garments” will then remain the root of the wrong that once existed but was rectified and reverted to goodness. Ein Sof will then be said to have completed His task, and He will be exalted unto Himself in His sovereignty (Petach 49) .
Ramchal then offers this encapsulating detail in his comments there: “we can thus refer to everything that exists from the world of Nikkudim on down as a single phenomenon which the various levels that we’ll discuss below are nothing but parts of…. (but which are all) necessary in order for the Divine Yichud to be revealed”. That’s to say that everything — heavenly and more earthly — is a part of the single great celestial method of evidencing God’s supreme sovereignty, which is the point of it all .
 See Petachim 44, 46, 47, 49 for more on the “garments” and Atzilut.
 See Ramchal’s exposition of this in his comments here where he offers, among other remarks, that “What happened when the vessels broke is that they fell down to Briah, Yetzirah and Assiyah, which afterwards became (the combination of) Atzilut, Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiyah. They were thus missing the true Atzilut, which existed before the vessels broke and which will be revealed in the future. If so, these worlds must then all go back to being (the combination of) Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiyah in relation to the true Atzilut that will then be revealed”.
Also see there, “The distinguishing feature of what happens at the time of the repair is that it comes to rectify everything that became damaged at the time of the breaking of the vessels, which was as follows. First, the original Atzilut became concealed. Second, its garments descended to (the combination of) Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiyah which turned into (the combination of) Atzilut, Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiyah. This resulted in the last part of Malchut of Assiyah being left to produce rah…. And third, all of the garments remained flawed because of their role in the production of rah”.
 See Petachim 48-50 and 97.
This completes Section Eight
(c) 2012 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman
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