Then immediately afterwards it seems not to be that at all (3)

Here’s the wording in the Petach again: While “The Crystalline Dew” presents all of the colors together, just as crystals do when light strikes them, Radlah presents itself otherwise: as one thing in one instance and then immediately afterwards as its opposite.       

This statement comes to differentiate Radlah from Erich Anpin, the next Partzuf down, as we’d indicated. For, Ari in fact locates The Crystalline Dew within one of the highest reaches of Erich Anpin [1]. The point of the matter is that while all of the lights in Erich Anpin illuminate distinctly and clearly, that’s not the case with the lights of Radlah — they reveal a light as this at one point and as that at another, as we’d seen.

The simple explanation is that the higher up one goes in the chain of revelation, the hazier and more inscrutable the distinctions between the parts,  and the lower down on goes, the clearer they are. So while those in Radlah aren’t the most arcane and can be distinguished to some degree, though in confounding ways, they’re nonetheless less clear and distinct than the lights below them in Erich Anpin and downward.

 

Here’s how Ramchal goes on to underscore the confounding nature of Radlah‘s lights in the rest of the Petach. In fact, he says, though it stays in this transformative state in which an instances of ”yes” and one of “no” i.e., one thing and its opposite,  appear at the same time, we simply can’t grasp how both a “yes” and the “no” could exist at the same time. That is, we simply can’t understand how it seems to be an instance of “yes” and then immediately afterwards it seems not to be that at all.

 

 

Footnote:

 

[1]         See Eitz Chaim, Sha’ar haClallim 2 and Pri Eitz Chaim, Sha’ar Selichot 8.

(c) 2015 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman
Feel free to contact me at feldman@torah.org

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Then immediately afterwards it seems not to be that at all (2)

The Petach begins with the statement that there’s a difference between “The Crystalline Dew” cited in Zohar 3, 128a which characterizes it there as an entity “in which all colors can be seen” — and Radlah. And here’s how they’re different: while “The Crystalline Dew” presents all of the colors together, Radlah presents itself as one thing in one instance and then it immediately presents itself as its opposite.      

We’ll have to refer to Ari’s references to this to understand what Ramchal is saying.

 

(c) 2015 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman
Feel free to contact me at feldman@torah.org

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Rabbi Feldman also offers two free e-mail classes on http://www.torah.org entitled “Spiritual Excellence” and “Ramchal”.

Then immediately afterwards it seems not to be that at all (1)

The final Petach to this section, Petach 89, serves as a segue to the next one which focuses on the Partzuf known as Erich Anpin. It contrasts a characteristic that Radlah and Erich Anpin would seem to have in common but which actually proves to be different in each, the sorts of “colors” emitted within each.

The Zohar speaks of a phenomenon known as “Tal b’Bedolcha” — a crystalline dew — in the arcane section of it known as Iddrah Rabbah (Zohar 3, 128a).

The dew is taken from the following sequence cited there in the Zohar. The Jewish Nation was complaining to Moshe about the lack of food, so God said, “I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel. (So) speak to them, saying, ‘In the afternoon you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be full with bread, and you know that I am God the Lord’.” And indeed, “It came to pass in the evening that quails went up and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. The layer of dew went up, and behold, on the surface of the desert, a fine, bare (substance) as fine as frost on the ground” which referred to the manna that they ate in the desert (Exodus 16: 12-14).

And the crystalline aspect of it refers to the verse cited there that reads,” Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its appearance was like the appearance of crystal” (Numbers 11:7).

Dew is thus a manifestation of God’s beneficence, and its crystalline character represents its multi-fadedness — of taste in the case of manna, and of color in the case of an actual crystal which reflects all colors.

(c) 2015 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

Feel free to contact me at feldman@torah.org

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Rabbi Feldman also offers two free e-mail classes on http://www.torah.org entitled “Spiritual Excellence” and “Ramchal”.

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

Feel free to contact me at feldman@torah.org

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Rabbi Feldman also offers two free e-mail classes on http://www.torah.org entitled “Spiritual Excellence” and “Ramchal”.

No one can understand … other than what’s revealed … in the Partzufim (5)

While we know this all to be true, yet no one can understand or grasp anything other than what’s revealed in the order and rules visible in the Partzufim. Nonetheless the source of the matter actually lies in the combinations of MaH and BaN found in the unfathomable Radlah which are not at all revealed or known.

(c) 2015 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman
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Rabbi Feldman also offers two free e-mail classes on http://www.torah.org entitled “Spiritual Excellence” and “Ramchal”.

No one can understand … other than what’s revealed … in the Partzufim (4)

As such, all of these various combinations of MaH and BaN rule the world’s circumstances all of the time, as opposed to other lights which rule at specific moments. And God’s governance turns, i.e., it involves itself and plays a role in it all, from one thing to the other in all instances, be they identical, contradictory, or opposite — this last point alludes the apparent anomalies in Radlah referred to above.

Since God’s governance functions in every aspect of reality. In addition, the states of the Partzufim shift from one to the other in the mode of “running and returning”, i.e., skipping about and going back and forth instantly as the Chayot-angels did in the verse that reads, “And the Chayot would run and return, like sparks” (Ezekiel 1:14).

 

(c) 2015 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman
Feel free to contact me at feldman@torah.org

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AT LONG LAST! Rabbi Feldman’s translation of Maimonides’ “Eight Chapters” is available here at a discount.

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Rabbi Yaakov Feldman has also translated and commented upon “The Path of the Just” and “The Duties of the Heart” (Jason Aronson Publishers).

Rabbi Feldman also offers two free e-mail classes on http://www.torah.org entitled “Spiritual Excellence” and “Ramchal”.

No one can understand … other than what’s revealed … in the Partzufim (3)

Likewise, everything is to be fixed in eternity in the great Day of Judgment in accordance with what has already been done in this world below as rooted in Radlah and as set-out in the Partzufim, regardless of whether they’re, i.e., whether those actions are, identical, contradictory, or the opposite of each other.

As despite the makeup of things and despite their relationship to each other, everything touches on the interplay of the contents of Radlah and affects the past, present and the ultimate future.

(c) 2015 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman
Feel free to contact me at feldman@torah.org

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Rabbi Yaakov Feldman has also translated and commented upon “The Path of the Just” and “The Duties of the Heart” (Jason Aronson Publishers).

Rabbi Feldman also offers two free e-mail classes on http://www.torah.org entitled “Spiritual Excellence” and “Ramchal”.