The Separating and Connecting Firmament

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365) “And God said, ‘Let there be a firmament in the midst of the water, and let it divide between water and water.’” There are seven firmaments above, which is the Parsa in the place of Peh de AA, eliciting Bina outside of its head, and all stand in the upper Kedusha of Rosh de AA. The holy name Elokim is completed in them, returning the letters ELEH to MI, and completing the name Elokim. That firmament that is written here stands in the middle of the water, in Chazeh de AA, parting between HGT de AA above the Chazeh, and NHY de AA below the Chazeh.

Explanation: A firmament means Parsa, the Sium of Tzimtzum Bet, taking Bina and ZON of each degree outside of the degree. During Gadlut, it returns to Sium of Tzimtzum Aleph and returns the Bina and ZON to the degree.

Two firmaments are included in Atzilut: 1) the upper firmament in Peh de AA, taking AVI out from Rosh to HGT through the Chazeh; 2) the middle firmament, which stands at Chazeh de AA taking YESHSUT from the Rosh to Chazeh de AA through his Tabur.

There is also the bottom firmament, which ends the world of Atzilut, and of whom he is not speaking here.

And since the upper firmament in Peh de AA above ZAT de AAHGT NHYM, includes them, it is regarded as seven firmaments, as HGT NHYM. The seven firmaments are above—the upper firmament in Peh de AA, which elicits AVI outside the Rosh and includes seven firmaments, and all stand in upper Kedusha because although that firmament takes AVI outside the Rosh, it still does not diminish them into VAK without a Rosh. Rather, they are regarded as still being in the upper Kedusha of Rosh AA, and the holy name is completed in them because that firmament returns the letters ELEH of Bina to Rosh de AA and complements the holy name Elokim.

That firmament in the verse, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the water,” stands in the middle of the water. That firmament is not the upper firmament, but the middle firmament, standing in the middle of ZAT de AA, at his Chazeh, taking YESHSUT from Rosh de AA out to the place from Chazeh to Tabur de AA.

366) That firmament, the upper firmament in Peh de Rosh AA, stands over other animals and divides between the upper water and lower water.

There are two kinds of animals: 1) HGT, big animals; 2) NHY, small animals.

The upper firmament stands over the big animals because it stands at Peh de AA above HGT, but the middle firmament stands over the small animals, NHY, for it stands at the Chazeh, below HGT and above NHY.

The lower waters call upon the upper waters to raise them to them. They drink from that firmament, which raises them to the upper waters, and receive from there the Mochin of illumination of Hochma, which are called “drinking.” That firmament is also the one who divides between them. That is, there are two operations to the firmament, dividing and connecting. In Katnut, it separates between upper and lower waters, and in Gadlut it reunites the lower waters with the upper ones.

All the water, all the degrees, are included in the upper firmament. There are three firmaments, the new Siumim [pl. of Sium (end)] by the force of Tzimtzum Bet, called Parsaot [pl. of Parsa]. The upper one is in Peh de AA, the middle one is in Chazeh de AA, and the bottom one is at the Sium of Atzilut. During Gadlut, the illumination of AB SAG de AK temporarily cancels the Siumim of Tzimtzum Bet and restores the Siumim of Tzimtzum Aleph, thus canceling the boundary of the Sium de Atzilut. At that time the bottom firmament descends once more from Sium de Atzilut to the point of this world, and raises the three separated worlds BYA to the world of Atzilut, to Chazeh de AA and below, where YESHSUT and ZON stand clothing over them.

Afterwards the middle firmament descends from Chazeh de AA to the Sium of Atzilut and raises YESHSUT and ZON—on which the three worlds BYA clothe—to AVI de Atzilut, since the boundary at the Chazeh has already been cancelled and they all clothe over AVI.

Finally, the upper firmament in Peh de AA descends to the Chazeh, and the boundary between the Rosh de AA and his HGT—where there are AVI, on which YESHSUT and ZON clothe, and on whom there are the three worlds BYA—is cancelled.

All rise to Rosh AA and receive there light of Hochma, hence the upper firmament includes all the degrees of ABYAAVIYESHSUT, and ZON de Atzilut, and the three worlds BYA. Upon descending from Peh de AA to the Chazeh, it raises all the degrees to Rosh de AA, which is why it was said that because all the water is included in the upper firmament, all the degrees of ABYA are included in it.

And once it imparted the Mochin to the upper animals, HGT, it lowers them to the animals from Chazeh and below, small animals, who suckle the Mochin of illumination of Hochma from there. Suckling indicates reception of Mochin of illumination of Hochma.

367) It is written, “A locked garden is my sister and bride, a locked rock, a spring sealed up.” “A locked garden” is the Nukva when all the lights are blocked in her, and all the lights are included in her. She is called “A locked garden” when the river that comes out of Eden stretches out of Eden and enters the Nukva to water her from Eden. “A river comes out of Eden” is Bina who came out of Rosh AA, called Eden, to water the garden.

When the upper firmament descends from his place to the Chazeh and raises all the degrees to the Rosh de AA, the Nukva receives Mochin of drinking and includes all the Mochin. However, it does not elicit their illumination because the water, Mochin, congeal and stand in it.

They congeal because the North wind blows in those waters, hence they congeal and do not come out until they become ice. The North wind is the left line extending from the point of Shuruk de Bina from the time when she rose to Rosh de AA, when she has Hochma without Hassadim. This is why the lights froze in her, since Hochma cannot illuminate without Hassadim. The lights froze in her and did not extend from her to illuminate outside, thus forming ice and freezing.

Were it not for the South side, the right line, who trampled the power of that ice, water would never have come out of it. Were it not for the Zivug that was made on the Masach de Hirik, which extends the level of Hassadim from the South, the right line, in which Hochma clothes and illuminates, the lights would never have been able to illuminate there, since even the Hochma in her wouldn’t be able to illuminate without Hassadim.

368) The appearance of the upper firmament is as the appearance of the ice that has congealed, gathering within it all those waters that are poured over it. Thus the upper firmament gathers over it all those waters and divides between the upper water and the lower water, as it is written, “And over the heads of the animal was an image of a firmament like the terrible ice.” This is the upper firmament, which as it descends from Peh de AA and raises all the lights of ABYA to Rosh AA, it becomes like the terrible ice, unable to illuminate for lack of Hassadim, which are in the Rosh of AA. By that it divides there between upper water and lower water because the GAR, upper water, can receive Hochma without Hassadim, but the ZAT, the lower water, cannot illuminate without Hassadim, they freeze, and they become ice.

That firmament gathers all the degrees, which are AVIYESHSUT, and ZON de Atzilut, and raises them to Rosh AA. Then all the Behinot of ZAT, which cannot receive Hochma without Hassadim, freeze and it divides between the upper water and the lower water, dividing between GAR—upper water, which can illuminate in Hochma without Hassadim—and ZAT—bottom water, which cannot illuminate without Hassadim.

It is written, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the water.” The firmament in the middle of the water is the middle firmament in Chazeh de AA. This seemingly means that the first firmament is that middle firmament. However, he says that it is not so. Rather, “Let there be” is written before the firmament here, since it is written, “Let there be a firmament,” indicating that the firmament that was made of the first firmament is the one standing in the middle of the water, but the first firmament stands over the heads of the animals, over HGT de AA, and not in the middle of the water, which is between HGT and NHY.

The words, “Let there be,” said in the work of creation, always indicate a Yod that entered the light YodHeyAVI, becoming Avir. It is so because a Sium was made under KH de AVI, and that Sium is called the middle firmament, standing at Chazeh de AA, and their Bina and ZON fell below that firmament. Thus, that middle firmament is an offshoot that was made of the first firmament that stands at Peh de AA above AVI, on which the word “Let there be” revolves.

Indeed, the primary difference between the upper and lower water—that it took the bottom water outside the GAR, upper water—was made in the upper firmament in Peh de AA, for it elicited Bina and ZON from Rosh de AA, and AA remained with only KH, which is the upper water, and Bina and ZON de Rosh became the bottom water and his Guf.

However, up to the Chazeh, where upper AVI stand, no diminution is apparent there, and AVI is regarded as not having left the Rosh de AA, and they are considered GAR. The full force of diminution of eliciting Bina from Rosh AA, to be considered a Guf without a Rosh, begins only below AVI, in the middle firmament at the place of Chazeh de AA. Thus, the force of diminution of the upper firmament appears only in the middle firmament.

The firmament that was made of the first firmament is the one standing in the middle of the water, for this is the force of diminution in the middle firmament, which elicited the bottom water into being VAK without a Rosh. This extends and was made from the upper firmament, which could not be revealed in the firmament itself because it is above AVI, hence it appeared in the middle firmament.

Two principles are clarified here: 1) The force that divides water from water that is in the firmament, which is made during Katnut of the degrees, is made only through the middle firmament at the place of Chazeh. 2) The force that unites the bottom water with the upper one, which extends GAR to all the degrees, was made only by the upper firmament, standing at Peh de AA, raising them to Rosh AA.

369/1) There is a membrane in the middle of man’s intestines, which stops between them from below upward, stopping between the intestines, the feeding organs, and the vital organs, the heart and the lungs, which is called “the liver’s court.” The membrane begins opposite a person’s Tabur [navel] and stretches from below upward diagonally through his Chazeh [chest], drawing vitality from the vital organs above the Chazeh, and giving to the feeding organs below the Chazeh. Likewise, that membrane in the middle of the Guf [body] de AA extends from opposite the Tabur de AA through his Chazeh, and stands above the animals below, above the Sefirot NHYM, lower animals, dividing between upper water, HGT, and lower water, NHY.

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