Shomer Emunim #26-27

2 Mar

Shomer Emunim #26-27


She’altiel: I now realize how ridiculous my skepticism was about that specific detail {that “The Eyes, The Ears, etc.,” are all metaphors}. Never the less, I’m still puzzled at what I’ve seen written in Seforim of the Mekubalim, that there is intimacy and pregnancy in the Sefiros, that are defined as “male” and “female”. It’s really very strange to attribute those concepts to the higher realms. And even though I know that you’re going to answer me that everything is merely a metaphor, I’m asking you; please explain to me the lesson to be learned from it, and what was the primary objective of these concepts?

Yehoyada: The metaphor of “Male” and “Female” refers to the concept of the functions of an influencing entity {“Giver”} and an influenced entity {“Receiver”}. A “Giver” causes an effect to another and is therefore referred to as “Male”; and that which receives what was given, is referred to as “Female”. So the hidden meaning of the bonding which is attributed to The Sefiros, is the bonding and the connection of the male “Giver”, that has a causative effect on the female recipient. As the Ari Z”LHH, wrote in the Sefer Mavo Hashe’arim (The Introduction To The Gates), Gate 3, Part 2, Chapter 2: “The idea behind this is to sweeten the Gevuros of the female with the Chassadim of the male.” [I.e.; The concept here is the sweetening of the limitations which are known to be within the female, with the infusion of Chessed that is being generated and placed there by the male.] And this idea is hinted to in the words of Chazal, in Bereshis Rabbah 12:15: “Initially Hashem intended to create the world with the attribute of justice {alone}. He knew that the world could not endure, so He combined it with the attribute of mercy.” So it’s this bonding together of the attribute of Rachamim (mercy), together with the attribute of Din (justice), that is really the essential meaning of the phrase Zivug (joining). [That is what is referred to as the intimate joining process between Zachar and Nekevah (Male and Female / Giver and Receiver).]

[Now that we’ve discussed the bond that is taking place, where Chessed influences and changes the Midah of Din, we can talk about the hidden meaning behind the phrase Ibur, which means pregnancy.] The hidden meaning as to why this concept is referred to as Ibur (pregnancy), is because the influences and the sources of the resulting developments that are caused by that which the Nekevah receives from the Zachar, {the receiver receives from the giver}, [the influence of Chessed into Din, as in the previously discussed example, where the Midah of Din received from the Midah of Rachamim], they become fixed within her, and are then able to develop as a spiritual concept. [It’s always Chessed and Din, because it’s always a giver and a receiver. The receiver then takes that which was given, and allows it to develop and continue through to another level, thereby creating something with added value.] The reason why this concept is described this way is because while these influences are yet contained within the giver (Zachar), they are highly imperceptible. Therefore, they are transferred to the receiving entity (Nekevah), in order to bring into existence the resulting product of the combination, and then those influences will have a discernible function.

As is written in The Zohar, Parshas Tazria, Page 43a: “All [of the Sefiros] are included within [the concept of] Chochmah (Wisdom), and do not continue to develop unless they go through the pathways connecting to Binah (Understanding)”. {As an example; Wisdom is attainable only through the process of learning with depth of understanding. [For further explanation, see Sefer Matok Midvash on that subject of the Zohar.]} 

(R’ Yosef Irgis is explaining the emanation / creation through the Sefiros. Everything is included in Chochmah. Chochmah is the seed. But it needs to be unpackaged through Binah to be formed into the other Sefiros. The same concept applies to Wisdom, but that’s the Mashal. Chochmah and Binah are ideas used to help us conceptualize the actual process.”  Comment by R’ Avi Klein)

Continuing the quote from the Zohar: “From there, development can take place and they can then become rectified. That’s what is meant in the Possuk (Mishlei 24:3): “With the depth of understanding, it shall be rectified.” From this we learn that everything starts with the source of Chachmah (Wisdom), and continues to develop through the depth of understanding (Binah).” So we see from here that all the functions that were developed were expressed within Chachmah, which is the Zachar {the influencing agent}, and through their transference via the concept of the bonding to Binah, (the depth of understanding), which is the Nekevah {the influenced agent}, they then come into existence and develop into discernible functions, which is the Tikun [ultimate completeness].

As a general rule, these concepts of joining, pregnancy, birth, nurturing and development, are all analogies for the actualization of creation and the chain of development, from its most intangible and hidden existence to a more dense and revealed existence, until they come to the ultimate end of their final stages of development. So these concepts include this concept of Chachmah, which the Sages of the Zohar and the Ari, Z”LHH, were compelled to use to describe these analogies due to their resemblance to bodily functions, so that they can describe deep hidden and wondrous concepts, since there is no other way or method to explain them, and to teach what these concepts are, other than these metaphorical terms and corporeal examples. And they did not, Chas Veshalom, intend to attribute bodily functions to the Sefiros. As I mentioned to you before in the name of the Ari, Z”LHH, and the rest of the Mekubalim, that in order for us to understand, we were given permission to use the limbs of our bodies and other physical attributes as metaphors. Therefore, the image of the human body, and the way it’s formed, and how it functions, and how it develops, and how it moves about and the things that happen to it;…. [the human body] was created, structured and arranged with such tremendous wisdom, to enable mankind to imagine and have some sort of picture {in our minds} of the spiritual, their purpose and how they function. “For the human being is a microcosm.” (See Medrash Tanchuma, Parshas Pikudei, Paragraph 3. Also; Ra’aya Mehemna (Trusty Shepherd) [Quotes from the Zohar], Parshas Pinchas, Page 257b. Also; Tikunei HaZohar, Tikun 70, Page 130b. See also in Pirkei Avos of Reb Nosson, Chapter 31.) [This concept of “… the human being is a microcosm” is cited in many sources.]

Therefore, it is definitely appropriate to use the human body as a metaphor and a way to imagine all the levels of the heavenly realms, in order to clarify secrets of creation and the highest of secrets that are even beyond our capacity to perceive. In a similar vein, we find that it says (Iyov 19:26): “Through my flesh, I can perceive Hashem.” However, the truth is that NO Mekubal ever even considered describing any physical matter or occurrence at the lofty levels of Atzilus (Emanation), as is written in their Seforim.

[To summarize; what he’s saying is that the terms Zachar & Nekevah really mean “Giver & Receiver” or “Influencer & Influenced”. But when discussing the development of  a concept from one level to the next; that requires actions that the giver creates within a receiver so that the next level can develop, which is referred to as Ibur (pregnancy). So we go from Atzilus to Briyah to Yetzirah, etc. All of the Olamos (worlds/levels) of creation are described this way so that we can understand that there’s an interaction that’s taking place. The Ratzon (Will) of Hashem is continuously producing the necessary steps so that we can have our world where we have Bechirah (choice).]

Copyright © 2015 Shaul Taub

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