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PART ONE:
Contents
Section One
Section Two
Section Three
Section Four
Section Five
Section Six
Section Seven
Section Eight
Section Nine
Section Ten

PART TWO:
Contents
Section One

PART THREE:
Contents
Section One
Section Two

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THE KNOWLEDGE OF G-D
PART SIX

Zeir Anpin – The Emotions

 

Now that we have understood all of the above, we must return to the explanation of the emotions of Atzilut (Emanation) which are born out of the unification of NeHi”Y of Abba and Imma (The gut emotions of Insight and Comprehension),which are the lowest level of the emotions of the intellect of Atzilut, as explained earlier.  The emotions of Atzilut, on the other hand, are called Zeir Anpin (The Small Face).  Now, as is known, Zeir Anpin is still considered to be part of the Infinite, as stated, “He and His organs and life force are one”.  This will now be explained in greater detail.

As mentioned above, the upper two levels of the soul, the Chaya & Yechidah, are encompassing lights which do not become limited within the vessels.  The Yechidah is the aspect of the simple essential pleasure and desire whereas the Chaya is the aspect of the source of the intellect itself, (Maskil).  These two levels of the soul are not (usually) enclothed and limited within vessels at all.  It is only Chochmah and the sefirot below it, that are drawn into vessels and limited by them.  As mentioned above, the Neshamah is the intellect in the brain and the Ruach is the emotions of the heart while the Nefesh is the life force in the liver.

Now, although these two encompassing lights of the soul, the Chaya and Yechidah, do not become enclothed or limited within the vessels, nonetheless, light shines forth from them into the intellect and below. For example, the desire is revealed within the intellect, in the brain of Chochmah and from there is drawn down into the comprehension of Binah. from Binah it is drawn down even further to stimulate the actual heartfelt emotions.

 

The Thirty Two Pathways

           

Now, the way the influence comes from the comprehension of Binah to the heart, to arouse heartfelt emotions is through the “Thirty two pathways of Binah (Lamed Beit Shvilin D’Binah). There are four main chambers in the brain: Chochmah, Binah, Chesed of Da’at and Gevurah of Da’at.  (The reason Da’at is divided into two chambers is because it is specifically Da’at that causes the intellect to lean either towards kindness or severity.)  These four chambers each have eight chambers within them: Chochmah, Binah, Chesed and Gevurah going up into the self, and Chochmah, Binah, Chesed and Gevurah going down toward the outside.  All in all, there are thirty two main chambers in the brain. These are called the “Thirty two pathways of Binah”.  These thirty two pathways are the source of the emotions of the heart.  It is for this reason that the Hebrew word for heart is “Lev” (לב) which has the numerical value of 32. It must be noted that these thirty two chambers contain smaller and smaller chambers ad infinitum.

The explanation of the above is as follows.  When one is given a piece of information, his brain immediately processes it and places it in one of the four main chambers. It processes by asking such questions as, “Do I need to analyze this information?” “Should I become excited and happy about it?” “Should I be angry and upset about it?” Etc.  His brain registers the information and places it in one of the four main chambers.  Each of these four chambers is made up of eight smaller chambers. As soon as the information is categorized in one of the four chambers, it immediately undergoes further processing and is channeled to one of the eight sub-chambers of that main chamber. This is done by asking such questions as, “Does this information relate upward, into the self or does it relate downward toward the emotions?” “Does it relate to me or does it relate to others?” Etc.

Now, in order for the emotions to come down from the comprehension and understanding of Binah and give rise to the actual heartfelt emotions of Zeir Anpin, there must be a tzimtzum (Restraint) and withdrawal of the intellect.  This brings about a qualitative change of existence from the emotions of intellect (which are still intellect and not actual emotions at all) to actual revealed heartfelt emotions.  Nonetheless, the heartfelt emotions are exactly patterned after the emotions of the intellect. The only difference is that they are now actual heartfelt emotions rather than intellectual leanings. Nonetheless, the heartfelt emotion is the same as the emotion of the intellect. This is to say that when the brain leans a certain way, the heart will also lean that way.

 

The Unity of Zeir Anpin to the Self

 

Now, as mentioned before the three levels of ChaBa”D, ChaGa”T and NeHi”Y also exist in Zeir Anpin (Emotions). They correspond to the intellect of the emotions, the heartfelt emotions of the emotions, and the natural gut emotions of the emotions. (An example of a natural external consequence of the emotions is that one may begin to hyperventilate as a result of strong emotions, etc.) As mentioned earlier, each of these levels in turn, has three vessels: its internal vessel, its middle vessel and its outer vessel.  Now, even in regard to the “External vessels of NeHi”Y of Zeir Anpin, which corresponds to the arousal of an emotion as it is about to be expressed outwardly, it is stated, “He and His organs are one”. This is to say that even the external vessels of Zeir Anpin, are still completely unified with G-d Himself, and are, therefore, unlimited.  This is similar to how it is in a human being. There is an entire process, which takes place instantaneously, of the “Chaining down” of his desire from the very beginning, in the original desire in the Yechidah of his soul until the final external emotional reaction, such as hyperventilating or rapid heartbeat. The beginning and the end are so profoundly connected with each other that they literally are as one. Even the automatic physical responses to the gut emotions, such as hyperventilation, rapid heart beat or the release of adrenalin into the blood system are connected to the essence of the soul to such a degree that, as one is experiencing them, it is difficult to differentiate them from it.

Now, as it is in Man, so it is above in the quintessential Self of the Infinite Light of G-d before Tzimtzum, the source of all existence. The “Chaining down” process is as follows:

 

1)      In the same way that the essential nature in the soul of a kind person is to desire kindness, so too, in Ohr Ein Sof there is an essential heyulie desire for kindness. This exist on the level of Yachid

2)      A desire for a specific kindness arose and became “highlighted” in the simple will of Ohr Ein Sof. This is the level of Echad. 

3)      He estimated within Himself what would be necessary to bring about this kindness. This is the level of Kadmon and includes within itself the heyulie estimation for the entire Creation. 

4)      The Tzimtzum and Reshimu (Restraint and Impression) within Himself, as explained above, which brought about the possibility to give Divine influence according to the capacity of the recipients. 

5)      The Kav HaMidah (Measuring Line), which is the source of all measure and definition, as explained above.

6)      The desire descended from the Kav HaMidah (Measuring Line) to the ten sefirot of Igullim (The Sefirot of Circles (Desires). 

7)      The desire descended from the last level of the sefirot of Igullim to Keter of Adam Kadmon (Desire of Primal Man). 

8)      The light of the essential desire descended from hidden desire to revealed desire. This is to say that the desire descended from the Ratzon L’Ratzon (Desire for the Desire) which are the sefirot of Adam Kadmon, to Atik Yomin (Pleasure for Emanation) and Arich Anpin (Desire for Emanation). 

9)       From the revealed “Pleasure” (Atik) and “Desire” (Arich), the simple desire for kindness descended to “Insight” (Chochmah) and “Comprehension” (Binah), which are called Abba and Imma (Father and Mother). 

10)  From NeHi’Y of Abba (The gut emotions of insight) and the NeHi”Y of Imma (The gut emotions of comprehension) which are the lowest emotive levels of Chochmah and Binah, the light of the simple desire for kindness descended to the ChaBa”D of Zeir Anpin ( The intellect of  Emotions). 

11)  From the intellect of the emotions (ChaBa”D of Zeir Anpin) the light of the simple desire descended to the emotions of the emotions (ChaGa”T of Zeir Anpin),

12)   From the emotions of the emotions (ChaGa”T of Zeir Anpin) the light of the simple desire descended to the gut emotions of the emotions (NeHi”Y of Zeir Anpin),

13)   From the gut emotions of the emotions (NeHi”Y of Zeir Anpin) the light of the simple desire descended to the most external vessels of NeHi”Y of Zeir Anpin. This is called the “Breath of the Heart” (Hevel HaLev) or “The Breath of the Chest” (Hevel HaChazeh). 

Nevertheless, here too, in the “Breath of the heart or chest” the light of the simple desire of the essential self itself shines.  Furthermore, the entire process is instantaneous, from “The desire which arose in the quintessential Self” (Ratzon HaPashoot Sheba’Atzmut), until the heartfelt emotions and even the external vessels of the gut emotions of Zeir Anpin. It is literally as if they are one thing, just as it is in the allegory of a human being.  The desire does not become diminished whatsoever throughout the entire chaining down process (Seder Hishshtalshelut).

From this we see that the external emotions of the heart of Zeir Anpin are still totally bound up and unified with the Simple Essential desire as it exists in the essence of the Infinite Light before the Tzimtzum.  This being the case, even the externality of the heart of Zeir Anpin is still considered to be part and parcel of the Infinite because, “He and His life force and organs are one”. This is similar to how it is in a human being, whose essential desires as they exist in the soul, heartfelt desires, gut desires, and even physical reactions, are totally bound up with each other to the point that it is difficult to differentiate between them.

Now although the vessels of Zeir Anpin are totally limited and tiny, in comparison to the way the emotions exist in the quintessential Self, nonetheless, Zeir Anpin is still considered to be the, “End of the beginning”, so to speak. 

It is because of this that the emotions are called Zeir Anpin (The Little Face), because compared to Arich Anpin (The Long Face) which is analogous to an adult who has acquired wisdom, Zeir Anpin is like a small child. The one is completely mature while, in comparison, the other is the quite immature.  Nonetheless, they are still of the same category, that of human beings.  Although the emotions of a child are “small” in comparison to a wise adult, nonetheless, they are still the same exact emotions. Love is love and hate is hate, etc. The only difference is that one is like a small child and the other is like a mature adult. 

 

As stated, Zeir Anpin (Emotions) is completely small and immature relative to Arich Anpin (Revealed Desires), who is compared to “A sage who has acquired wisdom”.  However, even Arich Anpin (Revealed Desires) is considered to be completely immature relative to the greater “Man” of Adam Kadmon (Hidden Desires).  Nonetheless, as mentioned above, the desires and emotions are exactly the same. The only exception is that one is tiny and the other is incomparably greater. An example for this is a map. A short line on a map may represent a river that flows for five hundred miles.  Another example is that when one observes an eclipse through the use of a pinhole, he will be able to see every detail of the sun in the tiny ray that passes through the pinhole, even though the ray is infinitesimal relative to the greatness of the sun and is not at all comparable to it.  Nonetheless, it is all there. Not a single detail of the surface of the sun is missing.

 

The Birth of the Emotions

           

Now, within Zeir Anpin there are different aspects and levels.  For example, there is the external expression of the emotions, the internal felt emotions, and the intellect of the emotions, such as the fleeting thoughts of the heart. Furthermore, there is how the emotions come out into speech or how the emotions relate inward, into thought.  An example of the emotions relating inward is when one is worried. The heartfelt emotion of worry will bubble up from the level of emotions into his thoughts and he will think, “Man, am I nervous!” This will bring to mind everything he is worried about.  An example of the emotions relating outward and coming into his speech, is that when he speaks, his nervousness and worry become invested and heard in his voice, even though he might articulate the opposite, saying, “I’m not nervous or worried at all”,  etc. 

As explained earlier, in order for there to be emotions, there must be the unification of the NeHi”Y of Chochmah and of Binah.  Now, with the actual birth of the emotions, the NeHi”Y of Binah recedes, but the NeHi”Y of Chochmah remains.  What does this mean?  An example of this is that when one has an arousal of the emotion of anger, all that remains of the intellect which brought about the anger, is a holistic overview (Chochmah) of what he is angry about.  He cannot analyze the details of the matter (Binah) until his emotions recede and he calms down. However, the strength of his position in the general overview of why he is angry (NeHi”Y of Chochmah), remains. Thus, NeHi”Y of Chochmah remains and is passed over to the emotions.  In contrast, NeHi”Y of Binah, cannot coexist with the arousal of the emotions and recedes.  Only when he calms down and the emotions die down, can he once again analyze the details. We see clearly that when the emotions are greatly aroused and excited, objective reasoning ceases.

It is for this reason that Chochmah and Binah are called Abba and Imma. This is because at first the emotions are included in Imma (Binah) like a fetus in its mother’ womb.  Just as a fetus is concealed in its mother’s womb where it develops, so too, the emotions are included and concealed in Binah where they grow and develop. When the emotions are born as actual emotions, on the other hand, the intellect recedes.  When someone is told, “You know what so and so said about you...”  It will first be processed in her mind. The more she thinks about it, the more the intellectual emotions develop, but it is still totally in her mind. It has not yet come into actual emotions. Nevertheless, she keeps thinking and churning it over and over in her mind.  Finally, she explodes with rage.  Now the intellect is gone.  The emotions are “born”, so to speak. This is similar to a newborn infant who now has an identity separate and apart from his mother.  Nonetheless, the holistic overview and strength of position of her anger (NeHi”Y of Abba), remain and transfer to the emotions.  This is similar to the fact that a child develops from the seminal drop of the father. Although the drop developed into a fully developed child in the mother’s womb, its essence is still there.

 

The Maturation of Zeir Anpin

           

Continuing the example of a child, after the child is born, it goes through a process of maturation, in which its faculties develop. Likewise above, Zeir Anpin too goes through a maturation process, until its faculties, the sefirot of Zeir Anpin, become fully developed.

As mentioned before, each of the ten sefirot contains ten sefirot within it. It is, therefore, understood that ChaBa”D has ChaBa”D, ChaGa”T and NeHi”Y within it.  Likewise ChaGa”T has ChaBa”D, ChaGa”T and NeHi”Y within it, and NeHi”Y has ChaBa”D, ChaGa”T and NeHi”Y within it.

The explanation of the maturation process is as follows:

1) When a child is newly born, all that is revealed is NeHi”Y, which is the most external aspect of its being. Actually, at this point only NeHi”Y of NeHi”Y is revealed.  A newborn infant only has instinctive behavior and conduct.  This is the first stage, immediately at birth.  Afterwards, when he receives influence from his mother by suckling her milk, the child grows and matures. This initial maturation during the suckling period is called “Gadlut D’Yenikah (The maturation of suckling).  The influence from the mother continues until age 6 when his NeHi”Y become fully developed. This is to say that now, not only are NeHi”Y of NeHi”Y revealed, but ChaGa”T and ChaBa”D of NeHi”Y also become revealed.  The child now has intellect and emotions. Nonetheless, they are still totally external and instinctive, somewhat like that of an animal.  For example, an animal can come up with all sorts of means and ways to get food. In the same way, a child of this age possesses intellect. However, his intellect is controlled by his instinctive emotions.  As stated above, the first maturation takes place between the ages 0 through 6.

2) At age six, the child’s NeHi”Y becomes fully developed.  He now has all three categories of ChaBa”D, ChaG”aT and NeHi”Y, but only of NeHi”Y.  Beginning from age 6 through 9 a second maturation takes place, in which his ChaGa”T becomes developed.  At this point, his intellect is developed to the point where he can distinguish between proper and improper behavior.  He does not merely behave instinctively, but rather, can conform his behavior to the intellect.  For example, if another child hits him, he can control himself and not hit him back, even though his emotions tell him to do so. Rather, he will deal with the problem differently, by asking a responsible adult to intervene.  Nonetheless, even at this point, His intellect only relates to the action level. He is not yet contemplating the, “Purpose of life” or any other intellectual investigations into truth and reality etc.  This stage of maturation continues to age 9, at which point his ChaGa”T become fully developed. This includes ChaBa”D, ChaGa”T and NeHi”Y of ChaGa”T.  This second level of maturation is called Gadlut Rishon D’Imma (The first maturation from the mother.)

 

3) At age 9 the next stage of maturation begins. This is the maturation of ChaBa”D.  He now has more intellect than what is necessary to guide the emotions alone.  His intellect can now be developed so that the intellect can control the emotions.  This is to say that now the emotions can be directed by the intellect. This maturation continues until his emotions entirely follow the intellect.  In contrast, before age 9, his emotions were not in accordance to intellect at all. However, in this stage though he may act in accordance to his intellect, nonetheless, the emotions themselves have not changed. Rather, he is now capable of overpowering and overturning his emotions and behavior to comply completely with the intellect.  This is the third stage in the maturation process, whereupon each sefirah of Zeir Anpin now has ChaBa”D, ChaGa”T and NeHi”Y. However, the ChaBa”D on this level of maturation is only the externality of ChaBa”D. 

4) The next stage of maturity comes at age 13.  This is the level of a Beinoni.  At this point he is in complete control of his very desires and nature. He has not transformed them, but he is in complete control. It is for this reason that according to Torah law, a child may sell movable property at the age of 13.

5) The next stage takes place at age 20.  This is the level of a Tzaddik.  At this point not only can he overpower and control his desires, but he has actually transformed his very nature.  An example of this is what took place during the binding of Yitzchak. The verse states, “Abraham sent his hand, and took the knife etc.”  Why did it not simply state, “Abraham took the knife”?  The reason is because Abraham had so transformed his nature to be sublimated to G-d’s desire that his hand refused to respond. This is because the binding of Yitzchack was just to test Avraham. G-d never actually intended for Yitzchak to be sacrificed, therefore Avraham had to force his hand to go against its nature. It is for this reason that according to the Torah a 20 year old may sell his father’s real estate. Before this level of maturity, he could sell it irresponsibly, for the wrong reasons. He could handle the proceeds of the sale irresponsibly and regret it later.  But at this age, because he is the master over his desires, he may now sell real estate.

 

Yisrael

 

The first aspect of the emotions is called Yisrael.  Through understanding why it is called by this name we may understand what this aspect of the emotions is.  In the Torah, when Yaakov successfully wrestled with the angel of Esav, the angel said, “from now on you shall be named Yisrael, because you have ruled over Elokim.” (The letters of the word Yisrael [ישראל] may be rearranged to spell Yasar E-l [א־ל ישר] meaning “Ruled over E-l.”)  This corresponds to the age of 20 as mentioned above, where a person masters his very nature and desires.  (Note: The name Elokim has the same numerical value as the word HaTeva which means, nature.)

Now, there are different levels in Yisrael:

1. There are the emotions of Chochmah. This is called Yisrael Saba (The Elder Yisrael). 

 

2. The Intellect of the emotions of Zeir Anpin.  This is called Yisrael Zuta (The Small Yisrael). 

 

In general though, the concept of Yisrael is either the emotions of the intellect or the intellect of the emotions.  The level of Yisrael in the intellect (Chochmah), is called Yisrael Saba, whereas, the intellect of the emotions is called Yisrael Zuta. It must be noted that in contrast to the other aspects of the emotions, such as the actual physical response to the emotions, as in the release of adrenaline etc, this aspect of the emotions is the most internal.

 

Yaakov

The second aspect of the emotions is called Yaakov.  As is known each of the forefathers represents one of the sefirot of Zeir Anpin:

1. Avraham represents Chesed as stated, “Chesed to Avraham”.

2. Yitzchak represents Gevurah as in the verse, “The fear of Yitzchak”. 

3. Yaakov represents Tiferet as in the verse, “Yaakov was a pure man who dwelt in tents – that is, between the tent of Avraham and the tent of Yitzcack. 

Furthermore, as is known Yaakov represents the aspect of Truth, as stated, “Give truth to Yaakov”. Truth endures and remains true from the beginning to end.  This is evident in the Hebrew word for truth, “Emet” [אמת].  The first letter of this word (Aleph) is the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet.  The second letter (Mem) is the middle letter of the alphabet and the third letter (Tav) is the last letter of the alphabet. This means that truth stays true from the beginning, throughout the middle, and to the end.  In contrast to the sefirot of Chesed and Gevurah, which are in the right and left lines, there is no reduction in the middle line of Tiferet whatsoever.  It remains true, all the way from Keter to Yesod. 

As mentioned before, Chesed branches out from Chochmah and Netzach branches out from Chesed.  For example, in a human being, there is a great reduction from the intellectual power of Chochmah in the brain, until it reaches the right hand which represents the emotion of Chesed.  There is an even greater reduction from the right hand (Chesed) to the right thigh (Netzach).  Likewise, in the left line, there is a great reduction from Binah to Gevurah to Hod. 

Now, as is known, Binah (Understanding) only goes down to Hod (Acknowledgement). An example of this is that it is possible for one to analyze the smoking of tobacco and come to the intellectual conclusion that it is extremely damaging to ones health, yet, in and of itself, this will not be sufficient motivation to cause him to quit smoking.  One may be overweight and will come to the conclusion that she needs to go on a diet, but this will not be sufficient to stop her from eating that chocolate bar.  In contrast, in the middle line, there is no reduction whatsoever from Da’at to Tiferet to Yesod to Malchut. 

Furthermore, the connection between the sefirot of the middle line is instantaneous, for it is as if they are one thing.  For example, it says, “Adam knew Eve.”  Of course, this does not mean that he simply knew her. Rather, there was a physical connection between them.  This being the case, why did the Torah use the terminology of Da’at (Knowledge)?  The reason is because there cannot be a physical connection between a man and a woman without a mental connection and interest. Another reason is because the connection of the mental with the physical is instantaneous. Physical arousal occurs simultaneous to the mental arousal, as if they are one thing.  Another factor is that all the sefirot of the middle line are essentially one matter, that of attachment, connection and interest.  Da’at is the mental attachment and connection.  Tiferet is the heartfelt emotional attachment and connection, and Yesod is the actual or physical attachment and connection. 

Another factor in the connection that exists between the sefirot of the middle line is that the intensity of Tiferet (Compassion) is directly determined by the intensity of Daat (Mental Connection). For example, a child, who’s Da’at (Attention Span and mental connection) is short, will not tend to be very compassionate. Because he does not have a strong mental bond, he cannot have a strong emotional bond. This is because the internal mental connection of Da’at shines forth into the heartfelt connection of Tiferet of the heart.  The main point, is that the light of the middle line does not diminish from the beginning of the process to the end. On the contrary, according to the mental connection, (Da’at), will be the heartfelt connection of Tiferet.  This is not true of the right and left lines, in which the light diminishes between Chochmah and Chesed, etc.  This explains the statement in Talmud, “Our father Yaakov did not die.”  This is because death has no grip or foothold on truth, for truth endures forever.

Everything that was stated above about Yaakov being the attribute of Truth, actually refers to the “Inner” source of Yaakov. This inner aspect is called Yisrael and represents the middle line.  On the other hand the “External” aspect of Yaakov are the gut emotions (Netzach and Hod) which represent the right and left lines and stem from the heartfelt emotions (Chesed and Gevurah) which also represent the right and left lines.  About this external aspect of Yaakov it states that the angel of Esav “hit him on his thigh” thus dislocating his hip and causing him to limp. A person who limps cannot walk straight. This is to say that the external gut emotions can become separated from the original intellect and reasoning. This may occur in the external aspect as they stem from Chesed and Gevurah, rather than the internal aspect in which they are connected to Da’at. They can therefore become separated from the original intellect and reasoning.

Yosef

The next aspect of Zeir Anpin to be understood is the aspect of Yosef (Yesod).  As is known, Yosef is called Yosef HaTzaddik (Joseph the Righteous).  Likewise, the sefirah of Yesod is called Tzaddik (Righteous) as in the verse, “Tzaddik Yesod Olam– “The Righteous is the foundation of the world”.

Psalms, states, “Hashem, yours is the greatness (Chesed), the might (Gevurah), the beauty (Tiferet), the conquest (Netzach), the majesty (Hod), for all (Yesod) is in the heavens and the earth.  To you Hashem is the kingship (Malchut) etc.”  Now, in the Aramaic translation of Onkolos the verse, “All is in the heavens and the earth” is translated as, “He unites the heavens and the earth”.  From this it is understood that the function of Yesod is to unite the heavens and the earth. This is similar to the connection between teacher and student etc. Because of this, Yesod is also called “Good” (Tov), because it is the nature of the good to bestow goodness upon others.

The aspect of Yesod is the capability of uniting the giver with the recipient by bringing the influence out from the giver to the recipient. A teacher who himself understands a deep concept, but is incapable of tailoring it to the capacity of his students with explanations and examples which they can understand, has clearly not reached the aspect of Yesod.  In contrast, one who possesses the ability to bring out even the loftiest concept in a manner that the student understands is called Yesod for he is uniting the “heavens” and the “earth”- the giver and the recipient, so to speak.

Now, all the influence from Yaakov (The emotions), gathers in Yesod before it actually comes out into revelation.  This is the meaning of the verse, “These are the offspring of Yaakov, Yosef ect.” This means that all the influence of the emotions first gathers in Yesod, which is the ability to bring the influence out into revelation. 

Furthermore, this ability of Yesod, to bring the influence down according to the recipients, is specifically because it is rooted even higher than the intellect and influence itself.  This is because it is specifically one who understands a concept at its very essence and source, who is capable of bringing it down to the comprehension of a child. One who does not understand the concept at its essence and source will have difficulty understanding it himself, let alone explaining it to someone else. He will certainly be incapable of bringing it down so that a child could understand it.

(In the Torah Yosef is also known as “The Interpreter of Dreams”.  This will be explained later.)

 

The Voice of Yaakov (Fire, Water and Vapor)

           

Before we can explain the letters of thought (Leah) and the letters of speech (Rachel), we must first explain “The voice of Yaakov”.  There is an inner, unheard voice and an outer, heard voice. The voice is made up of three elements, Aish (fire), Mayim (water) and Ruach (air or vapor). Water corresponds to Chesed (Kindness), fire corresponds to Gevurah (Sternness), and vapor corresponds to Tiferet (Compassion).  Just as the voice is made up of these three physical elements, likewise the “breath of the heart” (Hevel HaLev) itself includes these three elements, but in a more refined and spiritual form. These are the heartfelt emotions of kindness (Chesed), sternness (Gevurah) and compassion (Tiferet).  This can be understood as follows.  When a person is happy, the light and influence of the kindness of his heart (Chesed) spreads forth.  In contrast, when he is sad, he becomes introverted and reserved. This is Gevurah, which is the lack of the spreading forth of light and influence. Tiferet, on the other hand, is an intermediary conduct which includes both Chesed and Gevurah. Now, the physical composition of the voice is affected by the emotional composition in the heart.  If there is an excess of Gevurah, his voice will have much fire in it and will be dry and raspy.  If there is an excess of Chesed, his voice will have much water in it and will be clear and bell like.  Tiferet, which is the intermediary between Chesed and Gevurah, will produce a voice which is a mixture of fire and water. According to the composition of the emotions will be the composition of the voice.

It is also clear that a person’s voice reveals the admixture of his or her inner emotions.  From the sound of the voice itself, it is possible for one to hear if one is happy, sad, angry, hurt, joyful, or nervous etc. For example, a husband comes home from work and realizes that his wife is upset. He asks her, “What’s wrong, Honey?” She replies, “Nothing!”  Now, even though according to her words, nothing is wrong, he can, nonetheless, hear the emotions in her voice which bespeak otherwise. This matter of being able to discern a person’s emotions from his or her voice is true even if the hearer does not understand the language of the speaker. All this is in regard to the “external voice” (The emotions) which may be heard in the voice.  (This unification of the emotions with the letters of speech is called, “The unification of Yaakov and Rachel”, as will be explained shortly.)

Now, there is also an inner voice which cannot be heard in the speech. This is the aspect of the “Intellect of the emotions”.  The intellect of the emotions is not made up of “audible” fire (Sternness), water (Kindness) and air (Compassion). In other words, one may be able to hear the anger in someone’s voice but not the reason for the anger.  Now although it is true that the “Intellect of the emotions” is also a composite of Chesed, Gevurah and Tiferet, nonetheless, they exist in the innerness of the heart (rather than its externality, as mentioned above).  These emotions of the inner heart are influenced by the inner voice of Binah (Comprehension and Understanding), which is drawn from the brain to the heart.  As we said above, the reasoning for the emotions, which gives rise to the emotions, is not heard in the voice itself, as in the case of the husband who can hear that something is wrong in his wife’s voice. Nonetheless, he is incapable of hearing what it is that is bothering her. This is the “inner voice” which cannot be heard in the audible voice.

 

Leah and Rachel – Thought and Speech

           

As stated before, Yaakov married two sisters whose names were Leah and Rachel. These two sisters represent the two Heh’s in the tetragrameton, the four letter name of G-d.  As mentioned previously, the first Heh represents Binah, which is thought, and the second Heh represents Malchut, which is speech.  Actually, Leah represents the letters of thought of Binah, which is the last and most external level of thought, while Rachel represents the letters of speech.  Leah and Rachel are also referred to as, “The Concealed World” and “The Revealed World”.  This is because a person’s thoughts are internal and hidden from other people. Speech, on the other hand, reveals his thoughts and emotions to others. The details of thought, speech and their letters, will be discussed at length later.  At this point it is sufficient to understand that Leah represents thought and Rachel represents speech.

 

 

The Unifications of Zeir Anpin

           

We will now discuss the unification of Yaakov with Rachel and the unification of Yisrael with Leah, etc. which represent the relationships between the components of the emotions. These unifications are as follows:

1) As mentioned above, when the “Externality of the emotions” (Yaakov), which is the composition of the fire (Sternness), water (Kindness) and vapor (Compassion) of the breath of the lungs, come out into speech (Rachel), this is called the unification of Yaakov and Rachel.  The example for this was given above, in the case of the husband and wife.

2) An additional unification is that of Yisrael and Leah.  This is when the “Innerness of the emotions” (Yisrael), which is the intellect of the emotions, rises up into the letters of thought. For example, when one is worried in his heart, the worry will rise into his thoughts. The reasons for his worry (The innerness of the emotions) will come up in his thoughts (Leah).  This is called the unification of Yisrael and Leah.

3) A further unification is that of Yisrael and Rachel.  This is when the “Innerness of the emotions” (Yisrael), which is the intellect of the emotions, is expressed in speech.  (An example of this is when one expresses the reasons why he is worried in his speech.)

4) There can also be a unification of Yaakov and Leah.  This is when the externality of the emotions (Yaakov) rise up to the letters of thought (Leah).  This is also called “The fleeting thoughts of the heart” (Hirhoorei Leeba).  An example of this is when one is strolling down the street and thoughts are just popping into his head, like “what a nice day” or “I sure like chocolate” etc.

At times the unification can be as follows;

1) The inner emotions of the heart (Yisrael) rise up and unify with thought (Leah), and then the thought creates an external excitement of the emotions of the breath of the heart (Yaakov).  Then, the external emotions of the heart (Yaakov) come out into speech (Rachel).  The order of this unification would thus be Yisrael > Leah > Yaakov > Rachel.

Or sometimes the unification may be as follows;

2) The external emotions of the heart (Yaakov) rise up to thought (Leah), for there cannot be thought without emotional involvement and desire. He then speaks (Rachel) what he thinks.  This is known as “The heels of Leah enter the head of Rachel” (Ikvei Leah Nichnaseem Toch Rosh Rachel) The order of this unification would thus be Yaakov > Leah > Rachel.

 

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