Ari on all this

Aside from quoting from Ramak’s remarks, Ari offers a more detailed picture of the interrelationship between the Sephirot as a result of their “to and fro” movements in his remarks in Eitz Chaim 6:15. To simplify matters we’ll use numerical values for the Sephirot to illustrate his point, where Keter is represented by 1, Chochma by 2, etc., and Malchut is represented by 10.

He makes the point that in the process Sephira 1 first descends to 2 which then returns to 1; 1 then descends to 3 which then returns to 1; 2 then descends to 3 which then returns to 2; 2 descends to 4 which then ascends to 2, etc. And he makes the point that this process occurs “within each and every Sephira itself, given that each one is comprised of all ten, as is known”. This obviously presents us with an interplay between the parts that encompasses a smaller, more subtle arc.

And Ari explains the fact that while the Sephirot could be assumed to descend rapidly, backward-turning light Sephirot would naturally be assumed to move more slowly by likening “forward” (i.e., descending) light to sunlight and “backward” (i.e., ascending) light to reflected-back light which by definition is weaker than the sunlight itself.

We’ll next see what Ramchal saysabout all this.


(c) 2011 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

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