The First Three versus the Lower Seven (1)

Ramchal begins this section with a retroactive excursion into the experiences of the first three and the final seven of the ten Sephirot of Nikkudim in the course of the breaking of the vessels.

As we already pointed out in 8:1 above, the World of Nikkudim was comprised of ten Sephirot with a fundamental difference between its first three and the seven others, though. For, while the first three didn’t shatter (though they did experience a sort of “degradation”, as we’ll see), the latter seven did. And they plunged to the realm that was eventually to be occupied by the worlds of Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiyah.

Ramchal begins with a discussion of the latter [1]. He offers that the seven lower Sephirot, i.e., Chessed, Gevurah, Tipheret, Netzach, Yesod, and Malchut, which are, i.e., correspond to, the seven days of creation, are the root of the created realm [2]. As he offers in his own comments there, “the Kabbalists termed these seven ‘the Sephirot that (were used to) build (the physical universe)’, as in the expression, ‘the world was build upon Kindness (i.e., the Sephira of Chessed) (Psalms 59:3)’ ”, which they did [3].


[1]       See elsewhere in Ramchal’s works for ideas discussed in this Petach, including: Iggerot Pitchei Chochma v’Da’at 38; Klallei Chochmat HaEmes 34, 69; and in Adir Bamarom pp. 26a and 28b.

[2]       See Petach 115 below.

[3]      See for example Eitz Chaim, Sha’ar HaMalchim 6; Ramban’s commentary to Genesis 1:3 as well as to Sefer Yetzirah beginning of 1:1 and end of 1:4; and see Ma’arechet Elohut ch’s 7, 8.

(c) 2013 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

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