The root of actual evil lies in Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah
Evil was rooted only in the mystery of the garments of Atzilut, these being Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah. Therefore, in order to complete them, they had to be differentiated into all their detailed aspects in such a way that they would first provide a plafor evil in accordance with what was prepared in them, and then eventually come back to repair all the damage.
The full explanation of the world of Nekudim must follow the order of what happened to these vessels. This is what we must now discuss in greater detail, with our main focus being on how evil was rooted in them.
The proposition contains two parts. Part 1: Evil was rooted only in... This explains where the root of evil lay. Part 2: Therefore, in order to complete them... This explains what these vessels had to contain in order to carry out their function.
Part 1: Evil was rooted... For Atzilut itself consists of nothing but the laws and measures of the divine Mind (המחשבה, hamachshavah), these being the Sefirot. However, the production of the branches (i.e. the separate creatures) depends on Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah. As explained earlier (in Opening 39, Part 2) there are two roots. The first is a root that produces branches of the same kind as the root itself (i.e. the branches of Atzilut itself, which are all on the level of Godliness). The second is a root that produces branches that are not of the same kind as the root itself -- i.e. the separate creatures. (This second root is the power of Tzur TaK which brings forth its "branches" in the form of the separate creatures in each world in accordance with the root of that world in Atzilut. The roots of Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah in Atzilut are respectively Imma, Zeir Anpin and Nukva of Atzilut.)
Since there are two roots, Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah must in each case first come forth on the level of its root in Atzilut, and only afterwards, through the second root, the power of Tzur Tak, as a realm of separate creations. We may thus infer that actual evil itself exists only in the branches of Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah -- the separate creations -- and not in the branches of Atzilut, which are on the level Godliness itself, where evil is not applicable.
...only in the mystery of the garments of Atzilut, these being Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah. This comes to tell us two things:
(1) In the human form -- the Likeness of Man -- the thing that is most external is the clothing. The same applies up above. Morever, the clothing is not a part of the person's intrinsic essence but merely what he wishes to dress himself in. Similarly up above, the essence of the lights lies in Atzilut, whereas Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah are the garments in which the light wants to clothe itself, and the garb is considered incidental to the actual lights, which are the essence. Evil exists only on account of the garments and does not derive from the essence of the lights themselves but only from the garments in which the lights want to be clothed. Aside from these garments, they contain no darkness or flaw at all.
(2) Even though evil derives only from Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah, it is nonetheless considered to relate to Atzilut itself inasmuch as these worlds are the garments of Atzilut. If they were simply independent worlds in their own right lower down the scale, Atzilut would be exalted high above them and would not be considered to have any relation with them. However, inasmuch as they are the garments of Atzilut and subsidiary to it in order to complete it, the production of evil is also considered to have some relation to Atzilut.
Part 2: Therefore, in order to complete them... As explained above, in order for the vessels to carry out their purpose in full, all these things were required: ...they had to be differentiated... It was not enough that they should remain in the category of garments to Atzilut, for as such they are merely subsidiary and their specific purpose would not be accomplished in the proper way. The production of evil comes about through their functioning individually when they are given control, since everything is only from their side, as stated above. If so, it is necessary for them to stop being mere garments and take control, for this is when they carry out their functions and produce evil.
...into all their detailed aspects... It was necessary for them to bring forth all the different kinds of detailed particulars contained in them, and everything that now exists in the worlds depends on this, as it goes on to say.
...in such a way that they would first provide a place for evil... This was the whole purpose of their being broken. ...in accordance with what was prepared in them... In other words, everything that happened when the vessels broke came to reveal what those garments contained in order to fulfil their function of producing evil. ...and then eventually come back to repair all the damage. This refers to everything that is directed towards the repair, i.e. the entry of the light into the vessels, for this too relates to the vessels themselves.
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138 OPENINGS OF WISDOM INDEX PAGE
by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
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