That’s why Radlah is called the “Unfathomable Beginning”

Petach 88 essentially reiterates what we’d said above. It explains that Radlah is a single emanation which nonetheless contains all the aforementioned combinations of MaH and BaN. Yet it’s an emanation that’s impossible to grasp or understand. Looking at it has us perceive all sorts of anomalies, because it doesn’t seem right for it to contain all those sorts of combinations of MaH and BaN, but that’s because it’s an emanation that’s simply impossible to fully and logically understand.

As Ramchal explains in his comments, “We (really) shouldn’t say that there are anomalies (there, which would indicate contradictions) — in fact all of the combinations exist there”.

In truth, we can’t see what’s in it: sometimes a certain combination seems to be there and at other times another one that may even be its opposite seems to be. Thus even though we know it contains all the various combinations of MaH and BaN, the emanation itself exists in a way that’s impossible to understand, since it first appears one way and then another. So at bottom we really can’t understand the rules of Divine governance on this level.

For if we were to try to follow something below this level in Atzilut then try to follow its root in Radlah, we “wouldn’t be able to find our arms and legs”, i.e., we couldn’t establish where we were standing, since we couldn’t judge anything about it. For, first it looks like this and then it looks like that, making it utterly impossible to understand. That’s in fact why Radlah is called the “Unfathomable Beginning”.

(c) 2015 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

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