Ta’amim, Nekudot [points], and Otiot [letters]

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14) And the educated will shine like the Taamim that play [music], and the letters and the points follow their tune. The ten Sefirot divide into three mains: TaamimNekudotOtiotTaamim are KeterNekudot are Hochma, and Otiot are YESHSUT and ZON. But this is only regarding the Kelim. In regard to the MochinTaamim are considered HochmaNekudot are Bina, and Otiot are ZON.

The difference between the Mochin and the Kelim extends from the two Partzufim of AK, since the Kelim extend from Partzuf Keter de AK, where the lights are properly clothed in their Kelim. However, the Mochin extend only from Partzuf AB de AK, where their lights are inverted in the order of their clothing in the Kelim because it is lacking Malchut de Kelim and Keter of lights. For this reason, the light of Hochma clothed there in his Kli de Keter, the light of Bina in the Kli of Hochma, and the light of ZA in the Kli of Bina.

For this reason, regarding the Partzufim and the Kelim that extend from Partzuf Keter de AK, Taamim are discerned in Keter, Nekudot in Hochma, and Otiot in Bina. However, it only relates to the Mochin, which extend only from AB de AK, that the light of Hochma is clothed in his Keterthe light of Bina in his Hochma, and the light of ZA in his Bina. Thus, Taamim are from light of Hochma, Nekudot are from light of Bina, and Otiot are in ZON.

Taamim are the brightness of the firmament, Nekudot are Holam, Shuruk, and Hirik in Bina, and Otiot are in the two Partzufim of ZON, which are as it is written, “The heaven and the earth.” The Taamim, Nekudot, and Otiot divide into Taamim, Nekudot, and Otiot themselves: Taamim, Nekudot, and Otiot in Taamim, in Nekudot, and in Otiot, and they are three Behinot RTS [Rosh, Toch, Sof] in each of the Taamim, the Nekudot, and the Otiot.

RTS de Taamim are upper Taamim, middle Taamim, and lower Taamim, meaning Taamim above the letters, like Pshat and Revi’i, inside the letters, comma and dash, and below the letters, like Mercha and Tipcha. It is similar in the Nekudot above the letters, like Holam, and inside the letters, like Shuruk, Melafom, where the point is inside the letter Vav, like this, , and below the letters, like the Hirik. It is also likewise in the letters, which are ZON.

First, The Zohar brought three discernments in the Taamim, which are the three kinds of brightness: 1) Brightness that is more hidden than all that is hidden, the brightness of Atik. This is so because Atik is Keter de Atzilut, and therefore he is Taamim de Taamim. 2) The brightness of Beresheet, AA, the middle Taamim, Nekudot de Taamim. 3) The hidden brightness, YESHSUT, lower Taamim, Otiot de Taamim.

Here it begins with Atik, Keter, as it speaks of Partzufim and Kelim that extend from Partzuf Keter de AK. Afterwards it brought the three kinds of brightness once more, which it interprets over the names EKYEH Asher EKYEH [I will be that which I will be], Mochin HBD, in regard to “In the beginning God created.”

He changes the order there:

The first brightness is brightness of Beresheet, AA, and not Atik. This is so because the Mochin extend from AB de AK, in which there is light of Hochma in Kli de Keter. It follows that the Taamim are Hochma, AA, and upper AVI are Taamim de Taamim, the first EKYEH.

The second brightness is a hidden brightness, YESHSUT and Bina, which are Nekudot de Taamim, and middle Taamim.

The third brightness is a brightness that includes all the letters and colors, ZON, the Daat, the last EKYEHOtiot de Taamim.

The NekudotYESHSUT, which are Asher, which came out of Resheet, divide into upper ones, middle ones, and lower ones, RTSTaamimNekudotOtiot de Nekudot. This is because the HolamMI, is the upper NekudotTaamim de Nekudot, the ShurukELEH, is the middle NekudotNekudot de Nekudot, and the HirikZON that are attached to ELEH, the bottom Nekudot, are Otiot de Nekudot. All those are included in the word “created.”

The OtiotZON, divide into two Behinot ZON, as it is written, “The heaven and the earth.” The Otiot, too, divide into three BehinotRTS, which are Taamim NekudotOtiot in Otiot. Since the great ZON—included in the “The heaven”—are Taamim de Otiot, great Otiot, the great VAK, the small ZA, Jacob, is the middle OtiotNekudot de Otiot, and the small Nukva, Rachel, is small OtiotOtiot de Otiot.

It follows that the word Beresheet is Taamim, which are AA and upper AVI, and there are three brightnesses in them: TaamimNekudotOtiot de Taamim. Their own essence is Taamim de Taamim; what they illuminate to YESHSUT in a hidden brightness are Nekudot de Taamim; and what they illuminate to ZON in the brightness that includes all the letters and colors are Otiot de Taamim.

The word “created” is NekudotYESHSUT, themselves divided into three BehinotTaamimNekudotOtiot, and in Nekudot. What they receive from AVI is regarded as upper NekudotHolamTaamim de Nekudot, and their own Behina is the middle NekudotShurukNekudot de Nekudot. What they illuminate to ZON are Otiot de NekudotHirik.

The words, “The heaven and the earth,” considered Otiot, divide into TaamimNekudotOtiot de OtiotRTS de Otiot. The great ZON is “the heaven,” Taamim de Otiot, which receive from AVI, and the small ZA, Jacob, is Nekudot de Otiot, which receive from YESHSUTVav, in the verse, “And the earth.” The small Nukva, Rachel, is Otiot de Otiot, the essence of the Otiot themselves.

This is why it was said, “The educated,” the Otiot, “Will shine,” with their points, “Like the Taamim that play.” And according to the tune of the Taamim, the Otiot and their Nekudot follow them like armies after their king. Taamim are upper AVINekudot are YESHSUT, and Otiot are ZON. He says that ZON are called “educated,” shining with the Mochin that they receive from YESHSUT, which are called Nekudot, according to the light of Taamim, which are upper AVI, where YESHSUT and ZON are drawn and follow AVI like armies after their king. This is in general.

Otiot are Guf, and Nekudot are Ruach to them. They all travel in their journeys after the Taamim, and receive their sustenance, since Nekudot and Otiot are similar to a body with the vital spirit in it. Otiot without Nekudot are like a body without a spirit. Likewise, ZONOtiot, all the vital spirit in them extends from YESHSUT, for were it not for YESHSUT who illuminates in them, there would be no vital spirit in them at all. However, YESHSUT—the vital spirit of ZON—also receive their sustenance and vitality from upper AVI, which are the Taamim, while the Otiot and the Nekudot travel in their journeys after the melody of the Taamim, receiving from them their entire vitality and the height of their level.

When the tune of Taamim travels, the Otiot and Nekudot travel after it. When the tune of Taamim stops, they do not travel, as it is written, “By the word of the Lord they camp; by the word of the Lord they journey.” If the Taamim journey, giving their lights to the Nekudot and Otiot, they journey. If the Taamim camp, arresting their bestowal upon the Nekudot and Otiot, the Nekudot and Otiot camp.

It is as we find in the tune of the Taamim that turn the words, which are the punctuated letters, from one end to the next. It is likewise with the bestowal of AVI, the Taamim, they govern the Mochin de YESHSUT and ZON to turn them from one end to the next. For example, when a person tells his friend, “I will give you an important book,” this could have a context of giving and expansion from him to his friend, if they are in a tune of contentment, but it could have the opposite meaning, negation and arrest of giving, if he said it in a tune of surprise.

Thus, the words have no meaning in themselves, but only according to the tune and their Taamim. So is the impact of the Mochin de AVI on YESHSUT and ZON. There is no meaning to the Mochin, neither positive nor negative, but only according to the illumination of AVI to them.

15) “And the educated will shine as the brightness of the firmament, and those who lead the many to righteousness are as stars.” “And the educated will shine” are the illuminating Otiot and Nekudot. “As the brightness” is the tune of the Taamim. “The firmament” is the expansion in the sound of the melody—all those Taamim that spread in the expansion of the tune. “Those who lead the many to righteousness are Taamim that stop, ceasing the journeying of the melodies of the Taamim, for which the meaning of the word is clearly heard.

“And the educated will shine” are Otiot and Nekudot. The educated are OtiotZON, whose brightness and vitality are entirely from the NekudotYESHSUT. The brightness of the NekudotYESHSUT, is according to the brightness that they receive from the TaamimAVI.

Also, there are two tenets in the melody of the Taamim. There are Taamim that indicate existence and giving, or indicate negation and cessation of giving. The firmament indicates the Taamim that indicate expansion and giving, when he says the phrase in a melody of contentment, when they go in a tune of expansion to the receiver.

The name, “Those who lead the many to righteousness” points to those tunes of Taamim, which indicate negation and cessation of the abundance, which stops the expansion of abundance to the receivers in a melody of surprise. It follows that those are the Taamim that stop the journeying of the Nekudot and the Otiot, since they arrest their abundance and vitality.

Hence, on the whole there are two Behinot of Taamim: The first is called “expansion of the melody,” which indicates giving and expansion of the abundance. This is called “The brightness of the firmament.” The second is called “cessation of the Taamim,” indicating cessation of the abundance and negation. They are called “Those who lead the many to righteousness.”

He says that those Taamim that stop are as necessary as the expansion of the melody, since through the Taamim that stop, the words are heard, like the comma and the dash in the Taamim, which are placed between words. Without them, the world would be mixed and would not be understood.

“Will shine” means the Otiot and the Nekudot that illuminate as one in the journeys in concealment, in a journey through those hidden paths. Otiot are ZONNekudot are YESHSUT, and journeys are the ways of the expansion of the abundance. In concealment, YESHSUT is called “a hidden brightness.” “Hidden paths” are three sowings—HolamShuruk, and Hirik.

We have already explained the three Behinot of brightness:

  1. The brightness of BeresheetAA and upper AVI, to which the word Beresheet implies, and which are called Taamim.
  2. The hidden and concealed brightness, which is the Asher that came out of Beresheet, the three Nekudot [points]—HolamShurukHirik—three sowings and concealments. Holam is Bina that came out of Rosh de Bina de AA into VAK without a RoshAsher went out of Beresheet, leaving only MI in her, and the three letters ELEH descended to ZON.

Shuruk is the return of the letters ELEH to her degree with the ZON attached to them. It is her return to Hochma, to Rosh de AA, where she obtains concealment, for lack of light of Hassadim because AA is entirely Hochma. Even the Hochma cannot receive from him, for lack of clothing of Hassadim. Hence, Bina is considered a hidden and concealed ElokimHirik is the diminution of Bina by the force of ZON, which are attached to her letters ELEH, as they are of inferior value compared to Bina and diminish her. Because of those three sowings, that BinaYESHSUT, is regarded as a hidden brightness and Nekudot.

  1. A brightness that contains all the Otiot and colors. It is the level of Zivug that extends from upper AVI to Bina on her Masach de Nekudot Hirik, at which time a voice came out, the Daat, complementing with it the three Nekudot in full. It is so because through the level of Hassadim that emerged on the Masach de Hirik, the light of Hochma clothed in that illuminating clothing, and now YESHSUT can receive the light from AA, completing the name Elokim.

Daat is regarded as a voice because before the Zivug on the point of Hirik of ZA is done, the Mochin are not heard. They were not known to the lower ones and were concealed in the HolamShurukHirik of Bina in a hidden brightness, deep and concealed in his name. However, after the Zivug on the concealment of HirikMasach de ZON, was made, and the level of Hassadim appeared, Hochma clothed in Hassadim, and the Mochin of the three points appeared in full. This is considered that the voice was heard.

This is why the ZON are called “sound,” since were it not for their Masach, which clung to the letters ELEH of Bina, all the Mochin de Bina would remain in a whisper, unknown to the worlds. This is why this brightness of the Daat is regarded as brightness that contains all the letters and colors, since after the Hochma dresses in the level of Hassadim of Daat, four colors are made in her, HB HG.

Tifferet is called Hassadim, as it is considered light of HassadimMalchut is called Gevurot, as she is the Masach. Thus, the voice, ZON and Daat, include all the colors, for without him these four colors would not be. He also includes all the letters, since ZON himself is called “letters.” And because he complemented the four colors to Bina, he takes into his letters all those four colors HB HG. It follows that the ZON includes all the letters and colors. Afterwards ZON come out of the palace of Bina and come to their own place.

Thus, the three kinds of brightness have been clarified: the brightness of BeresheetTaamim, the hidden brightness, Nekudot, the brightness that includes Otiot.

Those three kinds of brightness are HBD, as it is written, “I will be that which I will be,” “The Lord our God, the Lord,” and “In the beginning God created,” since AA and upper AVI are the brightness of BeresheetTaamim, from whom all the Mochin of Hochma and Hassadim are extended. They are also the first EKYEH [I will be], Hochma, the first HaVaYaHBinaYESHSUT, is a hidden brightness, “created,” Asher, “Our God,” and the three points—HolamShuruk, and Hirik. The ZON is brightness that includes all the Otiot and colors, the last EKYEHDaat, the last HaVaYaHElokim in “In the beginning God created.” It is so because through the third brightness, the name Elokim was completed in Bina, and when the ZON exit Bina and come to their own place, they are called “The heaven and the earth,” Otiot.

Know that all the Mochin are included in the Taamim, which are the first brightness of BeresheetAA and upper AVI, since they take the Bina out in a hidden brightness in the three points—HolamShurukHirik. Also, the Zivug that is done on the point of HirikMasach de ZON extends from the level of Hassadim of upper AVITaamim. Hence, the Taamim consist of three Behinot, called “upper,” “middle,” and “lower.”

Upper Taamim, like Pashta Revi’i which is above the letters are considered AVI themselves.

The middle Taamimcomma and dash, which come inside the letters, are Hitkalelut of YESHSUT in AVI, the elicitation of Bina in three sowings. A comma is Hitkalelut with the point of Holam, the taking out of Bina, who remains in MI, and the letters ELEH descend to ZON, which is why it is called Psik [comma], for it Posek [spreads] the degree of Bina into two halves, MI and ELEH.

A dash is Hitkalelut with the point of Shuruk, when the Taamim illuminate and return ELEH to Bina, by which the point of Shuruk in Bina is made.

The lower Taamim, below the letters, such as Tvir and Etnachta, are Hitkalelut with the Hirik, through the ZON that were drawn with ELEH upon their return to Bina. The Zivug, too, done on the Masach de ZON, extends from the lower Taamim.

This is why “The educated will shine” are Otiot and NekudotZON and YESHSUT, and illuminate with all three Behinot Taamim—upper, middle, and lower:

  1. As the brightness, the melodies of the Taamim, the upper Taamim above the letters.
  2. The firmament is the Taamim that expand in the expansion of the melody. They are lower Taamim, below the letters, the level of Hassadim for clothing of Hochma, at which time the Mochin spread to the lower ones in their entire wholeness.
  3. “Those who lead the many to righteousness” are those ceasing Taamimcomma and dash, which stop the melody as they journey. These are the middle Taamim inside the letters, since the comma and dash are inside the line, which is Hitkalelut of the three sowings in them. This is why the word is heard, when the Mochin are heard and dispensed upon the lower ones.

Once he has clarified the three kinds of Taamim in the verse, “As the brightness of the firmament, and those who lead the many to righteousness,” who give the Mochin de YESHSUT and ZON to all their Behinot, he explains once more the essence of the Mochin of YESHSUT and ZON. He says that the Otiot and the NekudotZON and YESHSUT, illuminate as one in their journeys in concealment, since out of the act of concealing of the middle Taamimcomma and dash, the ZON acquire the power to illuminate with YESHSUT as one.

It is so because through the comma, the letters ELEH of YESHSUT descend to ZON and cling to them in their place into a single degree. Therefore, when the dash returns the letters ELEH to the degree of YESHSUT, the ZON rise with them to the place of YESHSUT and illuminate with them as one. This is why it was said, “Will shine,” the letters and the points that illuminate as one in the journeys in concealment, in the journey in those hidden paths. It is so because all those great Mochin come out in the three sowings of HolamShurukHirik, which are hidden paths, for were it not for those three sowings, it is inconceivable that ZON and the lower ones would obtain Mochin.

Everything expanded from all the Mochin in the ZON and the worlds emerging in the three paths. But know that these three parts of the brightness that we said in the TaamimAVI—the brightness, the firmament, and those who lead the many to righteousness—are only transference in AVI, and bestowal upon YESHSUT and ZON, and not at all for themselves, since AVI are always in pure Avir, called light, or Avir, but not “brightness.”

“The educated will shine” for the pillars and foundations of that palanquin. The educated themselves are the upper pillars and foundations, who observe with wisdom to bestow all that the palanquin needs, and what it’s foundations need. Pillars are HGT, and the foundations are NHY, since the brightness is the illumination of Hochma. That brightness is received only in the pillars and foundations of the Nukva de ZA, who is called “palanquin,” and not at all the degrees above her.

The educated themselves are the upper pillars and foundations, the Sefirot from Chazeh de ZA and above, which themselves do not receive anything from that brightness, which is Hochma, since they receive only light of Hassadim to give all that is needed to the Nukva, who is called a “palanquin.” She needs illumination of Hochma, and they receive that brightness for her needs, although they do not need it.

This is why they look with wisdom to give all that the palanquin needs, for although they themselves do not need that brightness, they still receive it for the palanquin, since the palanquin is completed only in that light of Hochma. This is implied in the verse, “Happy is he who educates the poor.” The one who educates is ZA, the poor is his Nukva. He receives the brightness for the poor who needs it.

“Will shine” are the upper VAK de ZA, since if they do not shine or illuminate, then they will not be able to examine and look upon that palanquin, to correct it in all that is needed. If they did not have the need to correct the palanquin, they would not receive that shining light at all because for themselves, they receive only light of Hassadim, like GAR de Bina.

16) They illuminate like the brightness of that firmament that stands over those educated ones, of which it is written, “And an image over the heads of the animal, a firmament such as the terrible ice.” This is the firmament of YESHSUT, where that brightness of the firmament illuminates to ZA in general, called Torah. It also illuminates to the heads of that animal, called “palanquin,” meaning illuminates to the pillars and foundations from Chazeh de ZA and above, which are the heads that give illumination of Hochma, called “brightness,” to the palanquin.

Those heads—which are the pillars and foundations, upper AVI, called “educated”—always shine, incessantly. They look toward that firmament to receive the light that comes out of there.

There are two kinds of light in that firmament: 1) illumination of Hochma, called “brightness,” 2) light of Hassadim in the form of pure Avir of upper AVI, whose Zivug never stops.

But the first light, called “brightness,” is a Zivug that stops and does not always illuminate. And although the educated receive illumination of Hochma from the firmament to give to the palanquin, and their Zivug had to be intermittent, so they do not always illuminate, it is still not so. Rather, they always illuminate in a never ending Zivug because they receive the light of the pure Avir, whose Zivug never stops. In respect to that light, they always illuminate.

He says that they look toward that firmament to receive the light that comes out of there. But he is not saying, “That brightness that comes out of there,” indicating the second light, included in the firmament, which is called “light” and not “brightness.” This, too, is a light of ZA in general, called Torah, who always illuminates, incessantly. That is, ZA in general does not receive the brightness for himself, but only that light which does not stop.

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