The Lower Seven (1)

We then begin to focus on the seven lower Sephirot which touch upon the function of our world.

As Ramchal said in Petach 17, a Sephira is one of the ten generic forces that serve as the foundation upon which the entire structure … is built, while a Partzuf is the full, detailed expression of each Sephira.

Thus, the ten original — what’s often termed the ten “universal”, perhaps “big picture” — Sephirot are the main building blocks of the cosmos; Partzufim are thus enlarged and more fully configured versions of Sephirot; and yet (and this is where it gets complex) each “universal” Partzuf is comprised of sub- or “particular” or “small picture” Sephirot of its own, just as each sub- or particular Sephira is comprised of sub-sub- or particular-particular Partzufim of its own, ad infinitum.

The ten “universal” Sephirot are, of course

1. Keter,

2. Chochma,

3. Binah,

4. Chessed,

5. Gevurah,

6. Tipheret,

7. Netzach,

8. Hod,

9. Yesod and

10. Malchut, while some Kabbalistic configuration systems substitute Da’at for Keter and vice versa.

And the five “universal” Partzufim are

A. Erich Anpin, often equated with Reisha d’la Ityada

B. Abba,

C. Imma,

D. Zeir Anpin, and

E. Nukveh,

Sometimes the Kabbalists break it down to yet other “universal” Partzufim and thus speak of Attik Yomin as appearing above A. Erich Anpin; of Abba Ila’ah and Yisrael Saba as appearing above B. Abba; of Tevunah as appearing below C. Imma; of D. Zeir Anpin as having two subsets termed Yisrael and Yaakov; and of E. Nukveh having its own two subsets termed Leah and Rachel.

And the worlds in which all of this plays itself out are of course termed

I. Atzilut,

II. Briah,

III. Yetzirah, and

IV. Assiyah (given that Partzufim didn’t come into play in the world of Adam Kadmon).

(c) 2013 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

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