The Firmaments of Assiya

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283) “The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth He has given to the sons of men.” What is “The heavens are the heavens”? There is heaven and there is heaven. There is heaven below, in the world of Assiya, and earth below the heaven, and there is heaven above, in the world of Atzilut, and earth below the heaven. All the degrees, upper and lower, are likewise extended from one another, and all that there is above, there is below. They are similar to each other as a seal and its imprint, where all that there is in the seal exists in its imprint, and each one below receives from its counterpart above.

284) The heaven below, in the world of Assiya, are ten curtains, ten Sefirot, as it is written, “Stretching out heaven like a curtain.” The Creator made them and the camps of angels in them to lead the lower earth of Assiya. And the ninth firmament, Hochma, leads the lower ones, encircling them like a necklace of gems encircles the neck. Nothing in the lower ones is done except by Him, as it is written, “You have made them in wisdom.” The tenth firmament is the primary one among all the firmaments, as it is the Sefira Keter—the root and the essence of all of the bottom nine.

285) In all the firmaments there are appointed angels up to the seventh firmament, Hesed. But there are no appointees in the GAR of the firmaments. From the seventh firmament on, which are GARKHB, a light spreads below the upper throne, Malchut de Atzilut, illuminating to the tenth firmament, Keter de Assiya. The tenth firmament gives to the ninth firmament from that light which it received—Hochma, and the ninth firmament illuminates to the eighth firmament, Bina, and below.

286) The stars are in the eighth firmament. When the armies of stars are counted and it takes them out, that light that it received from the firmament of Hochma stands and gives its strength to each and every one, to be appointed where it should, as it is written, “The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, not one is missing.” “Because of the greatness of His might” is the upper brightness that it received from the firmament of Hochma.

287) In each firmament, an appointee is appointed over the world and over the earth to lead them all, except in the land of Israel, to which there is no leading firmament or any other force, but only the Creator. So how is there a firmament over the land of Israel in vain, if rain and dew come down on it from the firmament, as on every other land?

288) In every firmament there are appointees who govern the world. That appointee rules over that firmament, gives of his strength to that firmament, and that firmament receives from that appointee and gives below to the land. That appointee receives only from the extract of the light of above, since the nations of the world are nourished only by the extract. However, the firmament of the holy land is not governed by another appointee or any other force, but only the Creator, who commands the holy land in that firmament over it.

289) There are certain doors in each firmament, and the governance of each appointee is written from door to door, and from that door on he does not rule even the slightest bit. Also, one does not penetrate the zone of the other door except when one is given permission to rule over another. Then the kings on earth also rule over one another, meaning the kings on earth that are ascribed to those firmaments and appointees.

290) In the middle of all the firmaments—over the land of Israel, in the middle of the world—there is a door called Gvilon. Under this door are 70 other doors below, and 70 appointees keep from a distance of 2,000 cubits, the Sabbath zone, from the door that is called Gvilon. They do not approach it. From that door, a path goes up until it reaches the upper throne, Malchut, and from that door His governance expands to all the sides of the firmament up to the gate door, called Megadon. This is the end of the firmament of the land of Israel.

291) Those 70 doors that are written in the door, Gvilon, are all written in the holy throne, Malchut, and everyone calls them, “gates of justice,” after the Malchut, which is called “justice” [Tzedek], for none other governs them. Also, the Creator commands the land of Israel in the firmament from door to door, from the door, Gvilon, to the door, Megadon, with a proper count and complete bestowal as much as needed. Those 70 appointees take and give from the extract of that count to all the other appointees over the nations of the world.

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