Four Elements: Fire, Wind, Water, Dust

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32) “And I appeared unto Abraham.” “Happy is the man for whom the Lord does not count iniquity.” How dense are people for not knowing and not observing why they are in the world. After all, when the Creator created the world, He made man in His image and established him with His corrections, to engage in Torah and to walk in His ways.

33) When Adam ha Rishon was created, he was established out of the dust of the Temple below, Malchut, which is called “dust,” but Malchut that is mitigated in Bina, called “the dust of the Temple below.” And the four directions of the world, HG TM, connected in that place, called “The Temple,” in Malchut that was mitigated in Bina.

And those four directions of the world conjoined in four sides, the foundations of the world—fire, wind, water, and dust—the internality of HG TM. The four directions of the world conjoined in the four foundations of the world and the Creator established out of them a single body in the upper correction, which is Bina, in which the Malchut was mitigated in Bina. It turns out that that body was made of two worlds from this bottom world, Malchut, and from the upper world, Bina. This is the meaning of the two points that were joined together.

34) The first four, which are the four directions of the world, are faith. This is the Nukva that was established in them, and they are the patriarchs of all the worlds. This is because all the worlds—BinaZA, and Malchut in Atzilut, and the three worlds BYA—were established by these HG TM, which are the three lines, and the Malchut that receives from them. Also, they are the upper, holy Merkava [assembly], the Bina, which is a Merkava for the Hochma.

And the four foundations—fire, wind, water, and dust—are the upper meaning of the four directions of the world; they are the internality in the HG TM. Of those four foundations—fire, wind, water, and dust—gold, silver, copper, and iron come out. The gold comes from the Zivug of ZA and Malchut that are dominated by the fire from the left line. Silver comes from the Zivug of ZA and Malchut dominated by the water from the right line. Copper comes from the domination of the middle line, and iron comes from Malchut when she is without Zivug with ZA. Beneath those four are other metals that are similar to them. From the metal of gold, green waste comes, and from the metal of silver—lead.

35) Fire, wind, water, and dust are the first and the roots of above and below. Lower and upper stand on them because they are the three points—HolamShurukHirik—with the Malchut that receives them. Thus, the four foundations, fire, wind, water, and dust are the roots of everything.

And those four foundations, fire, wind, water, and dust are four for the four directions of the world because they are related as externality and internality. Hence, they stand in those four—north, south, east, and west. These are the four directions of the world and the four foundations—fire, wind, water, and dust—stand in them. Fire stands in the north, which is Shuruk, left, Gevura. Wind is to the east, Hirik, middle line, Tifferet. Water is to the south, Holam, right, Hesed. And dust is to the west, which is Malchut that receives fire, wind, and water within her.

And those four foundations—fire, wind, water, and dust—are tied to the four directions—north, south, east, and west—and they are all one, although they clothe each other by way of externality and internality. And those—fire, wind, water, and dust—create four metals—gold, silver, copper, and iron—by a Zivug with the Malchut. Together they are twelve discernments, and they are all one, three lines and the Malchut that receives them. And they are three times four because the first eight are internality and externality, and the four metals are offspring born from them.

36) Fire is on the left line, north, Gevura, since there is forceful heat and dryness in fire. Its opposite is the north—cold and moist. They merge in one another and they are one. The water is on the right line, south, Hesed, warm and dry. And the Creator made their tempers opposite from each other to merge them together.

37) The north, which is cold and damp, is where fire is placed, which is hot and dry. Also, He exchanged them in the south: water, which is cold and moist, was placed in the south, which is warm and dry. And now he explains the meaning of the merging that He had merged them together. The Creator merged them as one because water comes out of the south and comes into the north, and water extends from the north. Fire, too, comes out of the north and arrives at the force of the south, and the force of the heat comes to the world from the south. Thus, the north educes the water, which belongs to the south, and the south emits the heat, which belongs to the north, since the Creator wishes for them to lend from each other, and each lends of his own to his friend as it should be.

Similarly, wind and east, which are warm and moist, have two opposites in them, since the warmth extends from the fire in the north, and the moisture extends from the water in the south, so they would each lend to one’s friend and they would be mingled in each other and join together.

38) Now he explains the oppositeness in wind and east. The fire is from the south and the water is from the north. They are in dispute—the fire wishes to burn the water, and the water to quench the fire. The wind comes between them and grips both sides together, meaning sustains both, as it is written, “And the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters,” since fire stands above, in the south, the water is in the north, and the wind comes between them and grips both sides, revoking the dispute. The water, wind, and fire stand on the dust, and by those three that stand in her she receives from all of them.

39) The wind stands on the east. The east is warm and moist, and the wind is warm and moist, as well. This is why it grips to both sides—since the fire is hot and dry and the water is cool and moist. It turns out that the warm side of the wind, which is warm and moist, grips to the fire and its cold side grips to the water. Hence, it makes peace between them and cancels the dispute between fire and water.

40) Dust is cold and dry, which is why it receives everyone atop it—fire, water, and wind. And they all do their work in it and it receives from all of them to produce food for the world through them. This is so because dust clings to the west, which is cold and dry. The cold in the dust clings to the north, which is cold and moist, since cold grips cold; hence, the north grips to the west on that side. The south is warm and dry, and the dry in it grips to the dry in the west, on the other side of the west. Thus, the west grips both sides.

41) Also, the south grips to the east because the warmth in the south grips to the warmth in the east. And the east grips also to the north because its moisture grips to the moisture in the north. It turns out that south and east are tied to each other through the warmth in both; the east and north—through the moisture in them; north and west—through the cold in both; west and south through the dry in both; and all are included in one another, hanging down in one another.

Thus, three kinds of names of these four discernments HG TM are presented here, and they are the three lines that extend from the three points—HolamShurukHirik—and the Malchut that receives them. The first is south, north, east, and west; the second is fire, water, wind, and dust; and the third is hot and dry, cold and moist, warm and moist, cool and dry. We must understand their meaning and the differences between them.

The south is considered Hesed, water, and the north is considered Gevura, fire. The east is TifferetRuach, and the west is dust, Malchut. Fire is Gevura and Dinim; water is HesedRuach that is merged of Hesed and Din; and dust is Malchut. He adds that there are two discernments in each of the fire, wind, water, and dust: 1. Torah in its quality of Din, and 2. Torah in its manner of bestowal.

Also, it is known that there are two discernments in Dinim: 1. Dinim de Nukva, which come from the Masach in Malchut and are called “heat”; 2. Dinim de Dechura, which come from extension of illumination of Hochma from the left from above downwards. Those freeze the lights and do not extend below. They are called “cold,” as it is written, “Out of whose womb came the ice?”

There are also two discernments in the manner of bestowal: 1. From below upwards, regarded as abundance of VAK without GAR. This is called “dry,” not being drawn below. 2. From above downwards, considered abundance of GAR, which is called “moist,” meaning liquids that extend from above downwards.

This is so because the fire, which has the force of the heat, is Dinim de Nukva that come because of the Masach. Its dryness is firm since the abundance in it, which goes from below upwards and does not pour down, is seemingly dry in relation to below. Water is cool and moist, since the Dinim in them are only Dinim de Dechura, called “ice” and “freeze.” But when they are corrected, they shine from above downwards like liquids. This is called “moist.” The wind is warm and moist because it contains Dinim de Nukva, called “heat,” and yet, its abundance is considered GAR and pours from above downwards, which is called “moist,” meaning liquid. The dust is cold and dry since it contains Dinim de Dechura, called “cold.” It shines only from below upwards and does not pour down at all, hence it is called “dry,” which is illumination of VAK. Thus, he explains two discernments: the Din and the abundance in the four discernments—fire, water, wind, and dust.

Who caused the division of the Dinim and the abundance in these measures among the four discernments? The four discernments—south, north, east, and west—or their internality—fire, water, wind, and dust—extend from the three points—HolamShurukHirik, and the Malchut that receives them. Also, four discernments come out in Bina, from which the whole of the Mochin de ZON de Atzilut and BYA come. First, Malchut should be mitigated in BinaMalchut is raised to the place of Bina and then the VAKKatnut [infancy] come out there. This is so because then the degree is split into two halves: Keter and Hochma remain in the degree, and the Malchut that rose beneath them ends the degree, and Bina and ZON of the degree fall outside the degree to the degree below it.

This is the HolamKelim de Panim [anterior Kelim], right side, which contains two KelimKeter and Hochma—and two lights—Ruach Nefesh—and lacks GAR because of the absence of the three KelimBina and ZON—that fell from the degree. At that time, it is considered fire, which is hot, meaning Dinim de Nukva that extend from the Masach de Malchut that split the degree. It is also considered dry, meaning the lights extend in it from below upwards, where with respect to below it is considered dry. And it has been explained why the fire, which extends from the Holam, is hot, dry, and south.

Now we will explain the point of ShurukMAN draws illumination of AB SAG de AK, which are governed by Malchut de Tzimtzum Aleph [first restriction], which stands in her place after the Sium [end] of ZA. This illumination brings down the ending Malchut that rose to the place of Bina, too, and brings her back to Malchut. Then those Bina and ZON that fell from the degree because of her ascent return to the degree as before. And since the five Kelim KHB ZON are now present in the degree, the five lights NRNHY clothe in them and the degree returns to the state of GAR.

However, the point of Holam remains as it was prior to Malchut’s descent to her place. It does not change due to the extension of GAR, and the whole of this new extension is received by Bina and ZON that returned to the degree after their fall. However, they become two lines within the degree: The point of Holam, containing Keter and Hochma, becomes the right line, and the point of Shuruk, containing Bina and ZON that returned to being GAR through Malchut’s descent to her place become the left line.

Also, there are two extensions at the point of Shuruk—one that serves to enhance the Hassadim that it receives from the Hochma, and then there is great peace between them, and two that extends light of Hochma from above downwards, and then there is dispute between them. This is so because the point of Shuruk wishes to annul the point of Holam, and vice versa, the point of Holam wishes to annul the point of Shuruk, and then the lights in the Shuruk freeze.

And those two extensions at the point of Shuruk are in the degrees of Abraham—approaching Egypt and descending to Egypt.

North, the point of Shuruk, is water, whose nature is cool and moist. This is said about the extension of the first kind. At that time it is moist, meaning extending from above downwards like liquids. And then it is cold, the root of the Dinim de Dechura, where if it were to continue the extension of the second kind, the coolness would intensify and the water would freeze. However, as long as it is in the first kind of extension, they do not freeze but flow. They are only cold, which is the root of the freeze, and this explains why the water that extends from the point of Shuruk is cool and moist.

So why does The Zohar differ here from other places, saying that south is fire and north is water? It is because the south extends from the Holam, fire, meaning hot and dry, while the north extends from the Shuruk, water, cool and moist. And what is written, that south is Hesed and water, and north is Din and fire will be explained below.

Once the Shuruk completes the first kind of extension, it draws the second kind of extension, which brings it into a dispute with the Holam, at which time the lights in it freeze and block. And then ZA rises for MAN to Bina, which has a Masach of Behina Aleph, called Masach de Hirik. This Masach diminishes the point of Shuruk from GAR to VAK, by which the point of Shuruk surrenders under the point of Holam, and peace is made between them, sustaining the illumination of both of them. However, the right, which is south, will shine from above downwards, and the left, which is north, will shine only from below upwards.

It turns out that the Mochin have swapped, since the water that were cold and moist in the north have now come to the south, where they are imparted upon from above downwards. And the fire that was in the south has come to the north because of the Masach de Hirik that diminished it from GAR to VAK, and contains Dinim de Masach, and the Mochin in it do not pour from above downwards. Hence, it is hot because of the Dinim de Nukva in the Masach de Hirik, and it is dry for it no longer bestows from above downwards, but only from below upwards. Thus, because of the decision in the middle line, the Mochin have been replaced—the fire, which was in the south, came to the north, and the water, which was in the north, came to the south.

This swap is only in the interior, in Mochin, which are called “fire” and “water.” But the exterior, which are the Kelim, called “north south,” do not change at all and remain as they were in the place where they came out, prior to the decision in the middle line. The south was and remained hot and dry, and the north was and remained cool and moist. And because of that, oppositeness was created between the Mochin and the Kelim: the Kli of the right, south, is always hot and dry, while the Mochin in it—after the decision in the middle line—are cold and moist. And the Kli of the left, north, is always cool and moist, but the Mochin in it—after the decision in the right line—are hot and dry.

After the decision in the middle line, when the Mochin have already been swapped, fire is on the left, to the north. This is so because after the decision in the middle line, the force of the heat is in the fire, meaning Dinim de Nukva, which are called “heat.” And its dryness is firm, meaning bestows nothing below but only from below upwards. Its opposite is the north, since the Kli called “north” does not change at all because of the decision in the middle line and remains as cool and as moist as before. Thus, it is opposite from the Mochin that are clothed in it because the Mochin were changed by the decision of the middle line, when the water came in the south and the fire in the north, which is warm and dry.

But the north, which is the Kli, still remains in the form of water, which is cool and moist, as prior to the decision. Thus, the north is opposite from the Mochin that are clothed in it, which are the fire. Water is to the right, and this is to the south, since the Kli is hot and dry and the Mochin, which are water, are cool and moist. Also, they are opposite to one another: The north is cool and moist while fire, which is hot and dry, is clothed in it. It is similar in the south: The south is hot and dry because the Kli does not change, and water, which is cool and moist, clothed in it, for they came from the north to the south.

Because of their oppositeness, the Mochin are completed only through the Kli, which they had had prior to the decision in the middle line. And the water from the south returns to the north because the Kli, meaning the south, cannot complement the GAR in the Mochin of the water and they return back to their Kli—the north. And water extends from the north because it is in the north that it receives its completeness.

It is likewise in the Mochin of the fire in the Kli of the north. The fire comes out of the north and comes into the force of the south to be complemented there. This is because the Dinim de Nukva are not revealed in the Kli of the south, since the Masach there is below the Kelim of Keter and Hochma, the Kelim of the right and the south, and the Aviut [thickness] of the Masach cannot blemish anything above its place. Thus, the force of the heat goes out to the world from the south, for because they come from the south, there is no flaw in them because the Creator, which is the middle line, borrows one from the other. This means that He borrows from the completeness of the south and gives to the north, and borrows from the completeness of the north and gives to the south.

Indeed, in wind and east, and dust and west, there is no oppositeness in them between the light and the Kli because they both come after the determining of the middle line. Hence, the inversion of Mochin does not apply in them, and there is no reason that there will be a difference between the light and the Kli. Hence, both wind and east are warm and moist, since being a middle line, it carries the Masach de Hirik in which there are Dinim de Nukva, which are called “hot.” Also, there is illumination of GAR in it, imparted from above downwards, and they are called “moist” because it complements the GAR in the right and the left of Bina, where three come out of one and one is rewarded with three.

Dust and west are both cool and dry. This is because Malchut, called “dust” and “west,” is built of the left line of Bina, with respect to the Kli in it, called “north,” “cold.” And because she is a female and has Dinim de Nukva, she must receive mitigation from the Kli in the right of Bina, called “south,” “dry.” And here in the dust and west, there is no difference between Mochin and Kli because both receive from the south and the north, which are Kelim.

This is so because Malchut is only a Kli and her light is not her own but from ZA. However, in wind and east there is a difference between Mochin and Kli, since the Mochin in it, called “wind,” receives from the right and from the left, which are called “fire” and “water,” which are Mochin. And the Kli in it is called “east,” receiving from the right and left of the Kelim that are called “north” and “south,” which are Kelim.

42) Similarly, the north makes the gold because the gold is made by the force of the fire, as it is written, “Out of the north comes gold,” since the fire grips the dust and becomes gold. It is written about that, “And it has dust of gold,” and this is the two golden Cherubim.

Fire is Dinim de Katnut de Bina. When this fire connects with the dust, the Masach comes down from Bina and back to its place, and the Hochma appears in the dust, in Malchut. This is the gold. It is written, “Out of the north comes gold” because this is where the fire is clothed. And this is the two golden Cherubim in which the Mochin de Hochma, called “gold,” extend. However, there is no gold without dust, since Hochma appears only in Malchut, as it is written, “And it has dust of gold.”

43) Water grips to dust. The cool of the dust in the moisture of the water makes the silver, which is the light of Hassadim in the south, poured from above downwards. When it connects with the cold and dry in the dust, the dryness in the dust is cancelled and becomes moist, meaning liquids from above downwards. This degree of the dust is called “silver.”

Now the dust grips to both sides, the gold and the sliver, and is placed between them. The wind grips to the water and to the fire because it is the middle line, and educes both as one. It is called, “like burnished bronze.” And when dust is in and of itself, in its coolness and dryness, iron comes out of it. The sign is that the iron is blunt. And the dust, Malchut, is called “the weaker hand,” since the Malchut is the hand Tefillin.

44) This dust grips to all of them—the fire, the wind, and the water—and they create in it what is similar to them. The fire brings gold out of it, which is similar to it. The water brings silver out of it, which is similar to it, and without dust there is no gold or silver or copper, since each lends to his friend of his own, to connect with one another.

And the dust grips to all of them because both sides, fire and water, cling to it: the cold in it grips to the water and the dry in it grips to the fire. And the wind, ZA, comes closer to it because it contains fire and water, and does its thing in it. This is so because the wind, too, contains fire and water, where the warmth in it is from fire and the moist in it is from water.

45) It turns out that when dust connects to them, to fire, water, and wind—which bring out of it gold, silver, and copper—the dust creates and begets other metals, like the gold, silver, and copper. Like the gold, the dust begets the waste of gold, as green as the actual gold. Like the silver, it begets lead, and like the copper, it begets tin. And like the iron, it begets iron in iron together, which means that there are two kinds of iron.

46) Fire, wind, water, and dust are gripped to each other, tied to one another and there is no separation between them. Hence, gold, silver, and copper that come out of them have no separation between them. But when dust later begets the waste of gold, the lead, the tin, and the iron, they do not connect with each other like the gold, silver, and copper that came out of the fire, water, and wind that are connected to the dust. Rather, it is written, “And from there it parted and became four heads,” and in those there is separation.

47) When the dust begot by the force of the three upper ones, it educed four rivers where there are precious gems. And they are in one place, in the river Pishon, which came out by the force of the fire in the dust. And those four gems are twelve, and they are to the four directions of the world, three to each side because when they are included in one another, there are only three to each side in them, from fire, water, wind, and dust, and not four to each side, since the dust does not shine in itself but only receives.

Also, they correspond to the twelve tribes, as it is written, “And the stones shall be according to the names of the children of Israel,” twelve after their names, while they are twelve oxen standing under the sea that Solomon made.

48) Even though all four discernments are connected to one another and they are the sustenance of the world, the sustenance of the world is still primarily the Ruach because everything exists for it. Also, the Nefesh exists in Ruach because if the Ruach is absent from it for even a moment, the Nefesh will not persist, as it is written, “Also, that the soul be without knowledge is not good,” and Daat is the middle line, called Ruach.

49) These twelve stones are twelve oxen under the sea that Solomon made. This is so because the Nukva is called “sea” and stands on the twelve oxen, which are four oxen that each comprises three in the world of Beria. They are called “oxen” because they are dominated by the left, the face of an ox. This is why the twelve presidents took them, as it is written, “All the oxen for the burnt-offering twelve bulls.”

50) When the Creator created man, meaning his body, he was created out of the dust of the Temple below, Malchut. The soul was placed within him out of the dust of the Temple above, Bina. As he was created from the dust below, the three foundations of the world were joined in him—fire, wind, and water below. Similarly, when he was created from the dust above, the three foundations of the world were connected to that dust, fire, wind, and water above, and man was completed with a body and a soul.

51) Moses was more complete than the patriarchs because the Creator spoke to him from a higher degree than all of them, meaning the degrees of the patriarchs. Moses was inside the King’s house, ZA, the Daat, which is the interior of ZA.

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