Seven Sections of the Upper and Lower Earth

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35) “And the earth was unformed and void [Heb: Tohu ve Bohu].” “The earth is the upper earth, Nukva de ZA, who has no light of her own. The word “was” indicates that the earth was initially in the full completeness, as it should be, but which now became Tohu ve Bohu and darkness. “Was” tells us that she was in completeness, then diminished herself and diminished the light in her, which went out of her and she became Tohu ve Bohu and darkness, and spirit. These are the four foundations of the world, which were completed in the earth.

36) “And the earth” comes to include the lower earth, who was made in sections, like the upper one. It is written, “And the land was unformed and void [Tohu ve Bohu], and darkness, and spirit,” since those are the sections in the earth, called “earth,” “ground,” “valley,” “oblivion,” “aridity,” Arka [Aramaic: earth], “world.” The biggest of all the lands is “world,” of which it is written, “And He will judge the world in righteousness.” This is not written of the rest of the lands, hence it means that she is the most important.

The Zohar explains how those seven lands divide in the four foundations—Tohu ve Bohu, darkness, and spirit—in a way that the verse, “And the land was unformed” relates to the bottom earth, of Assiya, and not to the upper earth.

37) Rabbi Aba says, “The earth is called ‘aridity’; it is the place of Hell, as it is written, ‘Aridity and the shadow of death.’ As the shadow of death is the name of Hell, so is aridity, which is near it. It is written, ‘And darkness over the face of the deep,’ which is the place of Hell, which is aridity, the place of the angel of death, who darkens people’s faces. It is a place of the upper darkness, as it is written, ‘And the earth was unformed and void, and darkness, and the spirit.’”

38) Tohu is the land of oblivion. It is called so because no sight is seen in it until it is completely forgotten, since oblivion means forgetfulness. No color or sight is seen in TohuBohu is the land Arka, since it is not a forgotten place. It has a depiction and a shape, hence it is not forgotten like Tohu. Rabbi Hiya says, “The land ‘valley’ is Bohu, and not Arka. ‘And the spirit of God’ is the land ‘world,’ nourished by the spirit of God, the spirit of Bina, who is called Elokim [God], and they are all as one degree.”

The words of Rabbi Aba explain the four upper lands, which are Oblivion, Aridity, Arka, and World. Aridity is opposite Tohu, Oblivion opposite darkness, Arka opposite Bohu, and World opposite the spirit of God. These are the four foundations of the world, which were completed in the earth: fire, wind, water, and dust. Oblivion is Tohu, the foundation of dust; Aridity is darkness, the foundation of fire; Arka is Bohu, the foundation of water; World is the spirit of God, the foundation of wind. Why did he explain nothing about the three bottom lands, Earth, Ground, and Valley?

It is so because the seven lands are considered one PartzufRosh and Guf. The upper land, World, corresponds to BinaRosh. The six bottom lands are Toch [interior] and Sof [end] of the PartzufArka, Aridity, and Oblivion are considered the TochHGT through the ChazehArka is the foundation of water and Hesed; Aridity is the foundation of fire, Gevura; Oblivion is the foundation of dust, Tifferet and Malchut together through the Chazeh, and from the Chazeh and below it is Malchut alone. In those four lands there is the entire Behina of the Partzuf, which are BinaHGT, and Malchut. Hence, there is no need to explain the three lower lands.

It is so because although they are three Behinot NHY, they are still only the expansion of Malchut, the expansion of the Tohu from Chazeh and below, in which there is nothing new. We need not ask, “But World is considered Yesod, the Ruach, which is Tifferet, and not Tohu,” since World is Ruach de Bina and regarded as Bina, and Tifferet of the Partzuf is in Oblivion.

39/1) Likewise, in the seven sections that were explained in the lower earth of Assiya there are also such as them in the upper earth, in Malchut de Atzilut, regarded as a land in Malchut of the world of Atzilut.

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