The First Three versus the Lower Seven (5)

Ramchal’s next point is that that’s in fact why the first three Sephirot continued to function and to endure during the course of the breaking of the vessels — the fact that they were above harm. Nevertheless, what exists in them, i.e., in those first three Sephirot, that serves the needs of the lower seven ones — i.e., the elements there that control the degree of “funding” that the lower seven would receive, as we depicted it above — wasn’t rectified, as we’d imagine they should have been.

For had that “funding gauge-system”, so to speak, been rectified and perfected, then all of the seven lower Sephirot would also have been rectified. But it wasn’t yet time for that; “it was (still) necessary for the breaking of the vessels to occur in the seven lower Sephirot” Ramchal explains in his notes here.

So those aspects of the first three Sephirot that relate to the seven lower ones became blemished rather than broken or rectified.  As Ramchal explains in his comments, the “hind-aspect” of the three higher Sephirot descended to the seven lower Sephirot of Atzilut. While that was certainly a blemish and a descent, it was still and all not a “fatal” one by any means, as at least they didn’t descend to Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiyah as their seven compatriots did in the course of the breaking of the vessels [1]. And that purposely stymied their ability to repair the seven lower ones [2].

For if they were able to repair those seven, then there’d be no harm anymore in the world whatsoever, which was not yet to happen (Petach 51).

The clear implication of this then is that even exalted phenomena must sometimes be stifled, if allowing them to be themselves in full would thwart God’s ultimate designs.


[1]      See Eitz Chaim, Sha’ar Sh’virat HaKeilim Ch’s 1-2.

Reference to the “hind-aspect” as opposed to the “fore-aspect” descending, to a relatively minor descent within Atzilut as opposed to a true descent to Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiyah, and the like all falls under the rubric cited by the Leshem to the effect that “everything is to be judged on relative terms” (see Leshem, Sefer HaDeah 1:3:5 as well as very many other places in his works).

What it means is that everything is relative to everything else, and while Phenomenon A may have been bad in itself, in relation to Phenomenon B it wasn’t bad, and vice versa. In other words, things occur but they have different relative ramifications depending on their place, time, and relative stature.

[2]      Ramchal speaks of this as being an aspect of what’s termed “mochin d’katnut” (i.e., “reduced” or “immature” mind) which will be discussed below in Petach 127.

(c) 2013 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

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