Our first concern of course is the makeup of the Tikkun process: what was involved, and what it brought about. So Ramchal starts off by saying that the Tikkun process consisted of the binding together of two emanations — that of Adam Kadmon’s “forehead” and “eyes”, which are MaH and BaN. We’ll explain those specifics, of course.
Once that came about, there came to be an immediate awakening of love between the lights, which were then no longer in the state of “sadness” they had been in, in the course of the Shevira, when the lights stood in perpendicular relationship to each other. Instead, each one turned to face the other, and they became bound to one another in the mystical sense of, i.e., like a, “father”, “mother”, “son” and “daughter”, where each light manifests kinship to the other in an appropriate manner (Petach 59). We’ll discuss the joy of love versus the sadness of opposition, and the idea of familial relationships among things.
We then concern ourselves with some of the more esoteric details, as in the fact that after the lights of Adam Kadmon’s “eyes”, which are BaN, emerged, they were tied to the governance of Malchut of Adam Kadmon, whereas when the radiation of the “forehead”, which is MaH, emerged, it was tied to the governance of Yesod of Adam Kadmon. Yesod and Malchut of Adam Kadmon then conjoined, and as a consequence all judgments were mitigated, and governance functioned along the lines of Tikkun and love instead (Petach 60).
The esoteric factors continue with the fact that MaH, which is to say, the lights of the “forehead”, which represent eventual perfection, had all the levels that were selected from BaN, which came about as a result of the Shevira process and represents imperfection, connected to it, and out of it were produced the “Tree of Holiness”, which is to say, the various of Partzufim of Atzilut, and the worlds of Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiyah. But other levels of BaN that weren’t attached to MaH remained behind in Atzilut, Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiyah, so creation wasn’t complete given there were still a number of deficiencies. Nonetheless this connection of MaH and Ban will eventually be rectified step by step to the point where everything will be repaired and in a state of perfection (Petach 61).
We’ll then touch upon the differences between MaH and BaN and their interplay, concerning which we’re told that all things concerning damage, i.e. everything that allows for defects and their ensuing punishments, are rooted in the Sephirot of BaN, whereas all things concerning repair, that come to repair these defects, are rooted in the Sephirot of MaH. But each level needs to be comprised of both MaH and Ban for the sake of the sort of governance needed. As a consequence, all aspects of rah exist there under the auspices of BaN within it, while all aspects of good exist there under the auspices of MaH (Petach 62).
And that analysis will continue with the statement that since Divine governance is based on the mystical principle of a combination of Chessed and Din, which serve as a source of right and of wrong, it follows then that two progenitors are needed for every action. Thus, a light that’s to govern will only emerge through the agency of two lights that draw it forth, i.e., that will produce it. Of these two producing lights, one will be male and from the side of MaH, and one will be female and from the side of BaN. They will then produce the light that needs to be produced by their conjunction, which will thus be constructed out of both MaH and BaN (Petach 63).
More on the Tikkun process with the statement that out of all of the Sephirot in BaN that were broken and that descended down to Briah in the Shevira process, those parts that were to be clarified were indeed clarified, and they, i.e., their vessels, ascended to receive their lights that remained in Atzilut by means of Nukveh, which elevated them that way. Alternatively, all the levels of MaH, both the vessels and lights that joined with them descended by means of the male, i.e., the Yesod of Adam Kadmon, that drew them downward this way and placed them in Nukveh. Nevertheless, the male also took part in the repair of the vessels that ascended through the female: the male repaired the right side, while the female repaired their left side. The parts then joined together in Nukveh, and MaH joined with every one of them, as a result of which the resulting offspring was complete (Petach 64).
The above-cited polarity of Male-Female is expanded upon with remarks that the themes of male and female, i.e., the theme of the conjunction of male and female, are also found in higher realms than this, namely in the world of Adam Kadmon, since the system of governance had already been set in the mystical sphere of Chessed and Din which are themselves male and female respectively. It’s just that there was a difference when it came to Nikkudim, in that male and female weren’t rectified at first in that instance, since BaN which is female emerged on its own. Only afterwards when MaH which is male came to play a part in them, i.e., in the Sephirot of Nikkudim, through the rectification process did the sources of male and female from Atzilut and downwards depend upon a “balance” of male and female, which is the mystical conjunction of MaH with BaN (Petach 65).
And the implications of the Male-Female polarity are enunciated in the idea that rectification comes about through the interactions of male and female under the rubric of the mystical notions of “coupling”, “pregnancy” and “birth”. “Coupling” comes about when the subdivisions of MaH and BaN are drawn downward so as to set everything in the female. Everything that needs to exist in the light in question in total is contained there, and there’d be no need to add or subtract anything. This totality must then to be subdivided into its various parts, but it, i.e., the “offspring”, isn’t made manifest until all of its parts are fully manifested. So, until that time, it, i.e., the Partzuf as “offspring”, is concealed within the light it depends on in order to be completed by it. This is because the lights of the one¸ i.e., of the “offspring” can only be completed through the lights of the other, i.e., of the female from which it was formed. Once it, i.e., the Partzuf, reaches the stage where all its details are manifest, even though each contains only the barest amount of illumination, the “offspring” is then made manifest, since there’s no longer a need to differentiate the light any further, and it can only gain further ability and illumination during the “suckling” process. And “birth” occurs when it, i.e., the Partzuf, is made manifest from the higher light outward (Petach 66).
We then focus upon the ascendancy implied by a Tikkun with the insight that It was the “folding” of Erich Anpin’s “legs”, i.e., of its Netzach, Hod, and Yesod, that was the first impetus for the broken vessels to ascend from Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiyah to Atzilut, and thanks to which all their subsequent ascents could come about. In truth, these vessels depended on those “legs” and they were initially sustained by them below, i.e., in Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiyah. But when the “legs” were then “folded” the vessels then had the ability to return upward. It’s in this sense that Erich Anpin is the source of everything, and they, i.e., the “legs”, that were the part of Erich Anpin could serve as the source of the vessels when they descended. But afterwards, as a result of the “folding of the legs”, Chessed, Gevurah, and Tipheret of Erich Anpin also served as their source when the rectification got greater (Petach 67).
Discussion of an ascent is expanded upon with the remark that the parts of the vessels that ascend upward from Beria, Yetzirah, and Assiyah, their orders of ascent, and their ways of interconnecting within each and every Partzuf are exactly what’s needed to make this world the way it needs to be made in the course of the Tikkun process — with just the right number of reparations, of deficiencies, and of processes necessary to complete the cycle of Divine governance and to lead to the revelation of God’s Yichud (Petach 68).
And we conclude the subject with the statement that the Tikkun is structured like a balance-scale in which all the lights are repaired in correspondence with the others, with just enough “openness” when it comes to the Tikkun of MaH, and just enough “closure” when it comes to the Tikkun of BaN, so that all produces a rectified form of Divine governance with all the great orders in place that will enable it all to bring about one cycle of creation in the course of which everything will achieve a state of goodness and utter perfection (Petach 69).
We’ll delve into all of this after an initial discussion of the idea of Tikkun in the tradition.
(c) 2013 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman
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