The where and what of The Unfathomable Beginning (1)

This section is entitled “The Issue of Radlah (רישא דלא אתידע — Reisha D’lo Ityada, “The Unfathomable Beginning”) and (certain) Anomalies about It” and it encompasses Petachim 85-89. The subject will come up again though, in Petachim 99 and 104.

Ramchal starts this section off with a definition of Radlah and he situates it in the continuum we’ve been dealing with until now.

Petach 85 points out that the realm in which all of the governance having to do with the conjunction of MaH with BaN occurs that we concentrated on in the previous section is termed “The Unfathomable Beginning” or Radlah.

That is, the Partzufim are situated in the exalted World of Atzilut but they’re actually rooted above that in Attik, as was pointed out. It’s in Attik’s uppermost stages though where MaH and BaN are conjoined, and that realm is termed “The Unfathomable Beginning” both because it’s so elevated and also because its actions are so inscrutable. The term is discussed in the Zohar (3, 288a), in the recondite section of it known as Iddrah Zuta.

(c) 2015 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman
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