The Kabbalists speak of God in two ways which in no wise impair the unity of their thought. When they attempt to define God, when they distinguish His attributes, and wish to give us a precise idea of His nature, they speak in the language of metaphysics, with all the lucidity permissible in matters of such nature and by the idiom in which they are expressed. But sometimes they represent the divinity as a being which can not be comprehended at all, a being that lives always above all the forms with which our imagination may clothe it. In the latter case all their expressions are poetical and figurative, and then they combat, as it were, imagination with the weapons of imagination; then all their efforts tend to destroy anthropomorphism by giving it such gigantic proportions, that the frightened mind can find no term of comparison, and is compelled to rest in the idea of the Infinite.
The Book of the Mystery is written entirely in this style; but as the allegories it employs are all too often puzzling, we shall rather cite a passage of the Idra Rabba 1 in confirmation of what
we have said. "Simeon ben Yohai had just assembled his disciples. He told them that the time had come to work for the Lord, that is to say, to make known the real meaning of the law; that his days were numbered, that the laborers were few and the voice of the creditor, the voice of the Lord, became more and more urgent. 2 He made them swear that they would not profane the mysteries he was about to confide to them. 3 They repaired to a field and sat down in the shadows of the trees. Simeon was about to interrupt the silence by his speech, when a voice was heard and their knees knocked one against another 4 with fear. What was that voice? It was the voice of the celestial assembly which assembled to listen. Rabbi Simeon exclaimed joyfully: Lord, I have heard Thy voice, (Habakkuk, III, 1) but I shall not add like that prophet did--'I fear,' for this is not the time of fear, it is the time of love, as it is written: Thou shalt love the Eternal Lord, thy God." (Zohar, pt. III, fol. 128a.)
After this introduction, which lacks neither pomp nor interest, follows a long, entirely allegorical, description of the divine greatness. Here are some outlines: "He is the Ancient of the Ancients, the Mystery of the Mysteries, the Unknown of the Unknown. He has a form peculiar to Him, since He appears to us preferably as the Aged, as the Ancient of Ancients, as the Unknown among the Unknown. But under the form that we
know Him, He still remains unknown to us. His vestment is white, and His appearance is that of a brilliant visage." 5
"He is seated on a throne of fiery sparks which He subjects to His will. The white light emitted by His head illumines four hundred thousand worlds. This white light becomes the inheritance of the just in the world to come. 6 Each day sees thirteen myriads of worlds come to light from His skull, which receive from Him their subsistence, and the weight of which He alone supports. From His skull springs a dew which fills His head, and which will awaken the dead to a new life. For therefore it was written (Isaiah, XXVI, 19): For a dew of light is Thy dew. It is this dew which is the nourishment of the greatest saints. It is the manna which is prepared for the just in the life to come. It falls in the fields of the sacred fruits. 7 The aspect of that dew is white as the diamond whose color contains all colors. . . . The length of that face, from the summit of the skull, is three hundred and seventy thousand myriad worlds, and it is called the long face, for such is the name of the Ancient of the Ancients." 8
But we should fail in the truth were we to give the impression that the rest be judged by this example. Oddness, affectation and habit, which in the Orient so often abuse allegory even to subtlety, hold a larger place in it than nobility and grandeur. That head, dazzling with light, used to represent the eternal hearth of existence and of science, becomes, so to speak, the subject of an anatomical study; neither the forehead, nor the face, nor the
eyes, nor the brain, nor the hair, nor the beard, nothing is forgotten; everything gives an opportunity of enunciating numbers and propositions which point out the Infinite. 9 This evidently is what provoked the reproach of anthropomorphism and even of materialism which some modern writers have directed against the Kabbalists. But neither that accusation nor the form which called it forth are worthy of further consideration. We shall rather make an attempt to translate some of the fragments in which the same subject is treated in a manner more interesting to philosophy and to human intelligence.
The first one we shall cite forms a complete total of great extent, and by that fact alone it recommends itself to our attention. Under pretence of making known the true meaning of the words of Isaiah (Ch. XL, 25): "To whom then will ye liken me that I shall be equal to? saith the Holy One," it explains the genesis of the ten Sefiroth, or chief attributes of God, and the nature of God Himself while yet concealing Himself in His own substance. "Before having created any form in the world, before He produced any image, He was alone, without form, without resembling anything, and who could conceive Him as He was then, before the creation, since He was formless? It is therefore forbidden to represent Him by any image, by any form whatever, even by His holy name, even by a letter or by a point. That is the meaning of the words (Deut. IV, 15): 'For ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake unto you.' That is to say, you saw nothing that you can represent under any form or by any image. But after having produced the form of the Heavenly Man, אדמ עלאה (Adam E-to-oh) He used it as a chariot, מרכבה Merkabah, to descend; He wished to be called by that form which is the holy name of Jehovah; He wished to be known by His attributes, by each attribute separately, and let Himself be called the God of Mercy, the God of Justice,
the All Powerful God, the God of Hosts, and the One Who Is. His intention was to make known His qualities, and how His justice and His mercy embrace the world as well as the work of man. Had He not shed His light over all creatures, how could we have known Him? How would. it be true to say that the world is full of His glory? (Isaiah VI, 2.) Woe to the man who dares compare Him even to one of His own attributes! Much less is He to be likened to man, born of earth and destined to death. He must be conceived as above all creatures and above all attributes.
"When all those things have been taken away, there is neither attribute, nor image, nor figure; that which remains is like a sea, for the waters of the sea are in themselves limitless and without form; but when they spread over the earth they produce an image, דמיון (Dimyon), and we can make the following calculation: The source of the waters of the sea and the jet springing from it to spread over the ground, make two. Then an immense basin forms, as a basin is formed when a pit of vast depth is dug; that basin is occupied by the waters which have sprung from the source, and that is the sea itself, which should be counted as the third. And this vast depth divides itself into seven canals which resemble seven long vessels. The source, the jet, the sea and the seven canals together make the number ten. And if the master who constructed those vessels breaks them, the waters return to their source, and only the fragments of the vessels, dry, without water, remain. Thus, the cause of the causes produced the ten Sefiroth. The Crown is the source from which an unending light springs forth, and therefore the name 'Infinite' אין סוף (Ayn Sof), to designate the Supreme Cause for in that state it has neither form nor countenance; therefore, there is no means of comprehending it, and no way of knowing it; and it is in this sense that it is said: 'Meditate not upon the thing that is too far above thee, and investigate not what is covered from
thee.' 10 Then a vessel comes into existence, as restricted in dimensions as a point--as the letter י (Yod)--in which, nevertheless, the divine light penetrates. This is the source of wisdom, it is wisdom, by virtue of which the supreme cause takes the name of the all-wise God. After which it constructs a great vessel like the sea, called the intelligence, whence the name of God the 'Intelligent.' We must know, however, that God is good and wise by virtue of Himself; for wisdom does not deserve its name because of itself, but because of Him Who is wise, and Who produces wisdom from the light emanated from Him. Neither is intelligence conceivable by itself, but through Him Who is the Intelligent One, and Who replenishes it from His own substance. He need only to withdraw to let it dry out entirely. In this sense we should also understand the following words (Job XIV, 11): 'The waters run off from the sea and the river faileth and drieth up.'
"Finally, the sea is divided into seven branches, and from these result the seven precious vessels called Mercy or Grandeur, Justice or Strength, Beauty, Triumph, Glory, Kingdom and the Foundation or Basis. 11 For that reason He is called the Great or the Merciful, the Strong, the Magnificent, the God of Victory, the Creator to whom belongs all glory, and the foundation of all things. This last attribute sustains all the others, as well as all the worlds. Last of all, He is also the king of the universe; for all things are in His power. He can diminish the number of the vessels, and He can increase the light which breaks forth from them, or the contrary if He deems preferable." 12 All that the Kabbalists have thought of the nature of God is summed up
nearly in this text. But even in the minds most familiar with metaphysical systems and questions, this text must leave some confusion. On the one hand it should be followed by quite wide developments; on the other hand, it would be well to present each one of the principles confined therein under a more substantial and more precise form. In order to attain this double aim without compromising historical truth, and without fear of substituting our own thoughts for those whose spokesman we wish to be, we shall reduce the foregoing passage to a small number of fundamental propositions, each one of which will be elucidated, and at the same time justified by other extracts from the Zohar.
1. God is, before all else, the Infinite Being; He can therefore not be considered as the totality of the beings, nor as the sum of His own attributes. But without these attributes and without the effects which result from them, that is to say, without a definite form, it is never possible either to comprehend or to know Him. This principle is quite clearly expressed when it is said that "before the creation God was without form, resembling nothing; and that in this state no intelligence could conceive Him." But as we do not wish to confine ourselves to this one testimony, we hope that it will not be difficult to recognize the same thought in the following words:
"Before God manifested Himself, when all things were still hidden in Him, He was the least known among all the unknown. In that state He had no name other than the name that expresses interrogation. He began by forming an imperceptible point; that was His own thought. He then began to construct with this thought a mysterious and holy form; finally He covered it with a rich and radiant garment; we mean the universe whose name necessarily enters into the name of God." 13 We read also in
the Idra Zutah (the lesser assembly), whose importance we have noted more than once: "The Ancient of Ancients is at the same time the Unknown of the Unknown; He separates Himself from all, and He is not separated; for all unites with Him, as He again unites with all; there is nothing that is not in Him. He has a form, and it may be said He has no form. By taking a form He gave existence to all that is; 14 first, He caused His form to send out ten lights 15 which shine by virtue of the form they borrowed of Him, diffusing a dazzling effulgence to all sides, just as a beam sends out its luminous rays to all sides. The Ancient of Ancients, the Unknown of the Unknown is a high beacon which is recognized only by the rays that glare our eyes with such brilliancy and abundance. This light is called His holy name." 16
2. The ten Sefiroth, by which the Infinite Being first manifested Himself, are nothing but attributes which, by themselves, have no substantial reality. In each of those attributes the divine substance is present in its entirety, and, taken all together, they constitute the first, the most complete and highest of all the divine manifestations. It is called the "archetypal or celestial man" אדם קדמון, אדם עלאה 17 This is the figure which dominates the mysterious chariot of Ezekiel, and of which the terrestrial man, as we shall soon see, is but a faint copy. "The form of man," says Simeon ben Yohai to his disciples, "contains all that is in heaven above and upon earth below, the superior as well as the inferior beings; it is for that reason that the Ancient
of the Ancients has chosen it for His own. 18 No form, no world could subsist before the human form, for it contains all things, and all that is, subsists only by virtue of it: without it there would be no world, for thus it is written (Prov. III, 19): 'The Lord has through wisdom founded the earth.'
But it is necessary to distinguish the higher man (Adam d’leeloh) אדם דלעילא from the lower man: אדם דלתתא (Adam d’letâtoh), for one could not exist without the other. On that form of man rests the perfection of faith in all things, and it is that form that is spoken of when it is said that they saw above the chariot like the form of a man; and it is of that form that Daniel spoke in the following words (Daniel VII, 13): 'I saw in the nightly vision and behold, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and he came even to the Ancient of days, and he was brought near before Him.'" 19 Thus, what is called the Celestial Man, or the first divine manifestation, is nothing else than the absolute form of all that exists; the source of all the other forms, or rather of all ideas, the supreme thought, otherwise called also the λόγος or the Word. We do not pretend to express here a simple conjecture but an historical fact, the accuracy of which will be the more appreciated the more extensive the knowledge of the system will become. However, before proceeding, we may cite yet these words: "The form of the Ancient (Whose name be sanctified!) is an unique form which embraces all forms. It is the supreme and mysterious wisdom which contains all the rest." 20
3. The ten Sefiroth, if we may believe the authors of the Zohar, are already indicated in the Old Testament by as many
special names consecrated to God, the same ten mystical names, as we have already remarked, spoken of by St. Jerome in his letter to Marcella 21 An attempt has been made to find them also in the Mishnah, since it says there that God created the world with ten words, (בעשרה מאמרות נברא העולם) 22 or by as many orders issued from His sovereign word. 23 Although all are equally necessary, yet the attributes and the distinctions expressed by them do not give us the same sublime conception of the divine nature, but represent it to us under different aspects which are called in the language of the Kabbalists "faces," (אנפין--Anfin, פרצופין--Partzufin) 24
Simeon ben Yohai and his disciples make frequent use of that metaphorical expression, but they do not abuse it as their modern successors have done. We shall linger upon this point which is, unquestionably, the most important point of the entire Kabbalistic science; and before determining the particular character of each one of the Sefiroth, we shall cast a glance at the general question of their essence; and set forth in a few words the different opinions to which they gave rise among the adepts of the doctrine of the Kabbalah.
All Kabbalists have raised these two questions: first, why are there Sefiroth? then, what are the Sefiroth considered as a whole, whether in relation to themselves, or in relation to God? As to the first question, the texts of the Zohar are too positive to give room to the least doubt. There are Sefiroth as there are names of God, since the two things are confounded in the mind, and since the Sefiroth are but the ideas and the things expressed by the names. Now, if God could not be named, or if all the
names given to Him did not designate a real thing, not only would we not know Him, but He would not exist even for Himself; for without intelligence He could not comprehend Himself, neither could He be wise without wisdom, nor could He act without power. 25
The second question, though, has not been solved by all in the same manner. Some, standing on the principle that God is immutable, see in the Sefiroth nothing but instruments of the divine power, creatures of a superior nature, but differing entirely from the first Being. These are they who would reconcile the language of the Kabbalah with the letter of the law. 26 Others, carrying to its last consequences the old principle that nothing can come from nothing, fully identify the ten Sefiroth with the divine substance. That which the Zohar calls Ayn-Sof, i.e., the Infinite Himself, is in their opinion, the totality of the Sefiroth, no more, no less, and each one of the Sefiroth is but a different point of view of the same, thus understood, Infinite. 27
Between these two extremes enters a system much more profound and more in accord with the spirit of the original Kabbalistic monuments, a system which neither considers the Sefiroth as instruments, as creatures, and, consequently, as beings distinct from God, nor is it willing to identify them with God. Here is a summary of the ideas upon which it rests: God is present in the Sefiroth, otherwise He could not reveal Himself through them; but He does not dwell in them in His eternity; He is more than what is found in the sublime forms of thought and of existence. In fact, the Sefiroth can never comprise the Ayn-Sof which is the very source of every form, and which, in
this capacity, has no form; or, to use the ordinary expression, while each one of the Sefiroth has a well known name, the Infinite alone has not and can not have any name. God remains, therefore, the Ineffable, the Incomprehensible, the Infinite Being, high above all the worlds that reveal to us His presence, even the world of Emanation.
By this reasoning they believe to escape the reproach of disregarding the divine immutability. For the ten Sefiroth may be compared to ten vessels of different forms, or to glasses of different colors. Whatever vessel we wish to measure with the absolute essence of things it remains always the same; and the divine light, like the light of the sun, does not change its nature with the medium through which it passes. Let us add that these vessels and these mediums have in themselves no positive reality; they have no existence of their own; they simply represent the limits within which the supreme essence of things has confined itself, the different degrees of obscurity with which the divine light desired to veil its infinite brightness, so it may be viewed. Whence the desire to recognize in the Sefiroth two elements, or rather, two different aspects: one, purely external and negative, representing the body, the so-called vessel (כלי--Kalee); the other internal, positive, which represents the spirit and the light.
Thus they could speak of broken vessels 28 which let the divine light escape. This point of view adopted by Isaac Luria, 29 as well as by Moses Cordovera, 30 and presented with much logic and precision by the latter, is the one, to say it again, which we
regard as the most exact historically, and we shall rest thenceforth upon it with entire confidence as the basis of all the metaphysical
part of the Kabbalah. Having established this general principle on the authority of the texts and of the most valued commentaries, we must indicate now the particular role of every Sefiroh and the different manners of the grouping of all the Sefiroth by trinities and by persons.
The first of the highest of all the divine manifestations, in a word, the first Sefiroh, is the Crown כתר (Kether), so named by the very reason of the place assigned to it above all the others. "It is," says the text, "the principle of all principles, the mysterious wisdom, the highest of all crowns with which all diadems and crowns are adorned." 31 It is not the confused totality, formless, nameless; that mysterious unknown that preceded all things, even the attributes; that אין סף (Ayn Sof). It represents the Infinite as distinguished from the finite; its name in Holy Writ signifies I Am, אהיה (Ay-Yeh), because it is the absolute being; the being considered from a point of view where analysis cannot penetrate, where qualifications are not possible, but where they are all united in the indivisible point.
On that ground the first Sefiroh is also called the "primitive point," or simply the "point, נקודה ראשונה (N’kudoh R’shonoh) or נקודה פשוטה (N’kudoh P’shutoh). "When the Unknown of the Unknown wished to manifest Himself, He first produced one point;" 32 as long as this luminous point did not depart from His bosom, the Infinite was as yet completely unknown, and shed no light at all. 33 It is that which the later Kabbalists have explained as an absolute concentration of God in His own substance, צמצום (Tsimtsum). It is this concentration which has brought forth space, the primitive air אויר קדמון (Ahveer Kadmon), which is
not a true void, but a certain degree of light inferior to the creation. But for the very reason that God retired within Himself, He is distinct from all that is finite, 34 limited and determined, and for the very reason that it can not be told yet what He is, He is designated by a word which signifies: Naught, No-Thing, Non-Being, אין (Ayn).
"They name Him thus," says the Idra Zutah, "because we do not know, and because it can not be known what was in that principle (beginning); because it is unattainable for our limitations, yes, even for wisdom." 35, 36 We must remark that we find again the same idea, even the same expression, in one of the greatest and most famous systems of metaphysics of which our epoch can boast to posterity. "Everything begins," says Hegel, "by the pure state of being, a wholly indeterminate, simple and immediate thought, for the true beginning can be nothing else. . . But that pure being is only the purest abstraction; it is an absolute negative term which may be called the non-existent 37 if conceived in an immediate manner."
Finally, to return to our Kabbalists, the mere idea of being, or of the Absolute, considered from the point of view which we take, constituted a complete form, or to use the usual term, a head, a face; they call it the white head רישא חוורא--Reeshoh Havroh, because all colors, that is to say, all ideas, all determined modes are blended in that form, or the "Ancient" (עתיקא--Ahteekah), because it is the first of the Sefiroth. But, in the last case, we must take care not to confound it with the "Ancient
of Ancients (Ahteekah D’ahteekin--עתיקא דעתקין), that is to say, with the Ayn-Sof Himself, before whom the most dazzling light is but a shadow. But it is most generally designated with the singular name of "long face" אריך אנפין (Ahrich Anfin), undoubtedly because it contains all the other qualifications and all the intellectual and moral attributes of which, by the same reasoning, the "small face" is formed זעיר אנפין (Z’ere Anfin). 38
"The first," says the text, "is the Ancient, seen face to face. It is the supreme head, the source of all light, the principle of all wisdom, and can be defined only by unity." 39
From the bosom of this absolute Unity, distinct from the various forms and from all relative unity, go forth, as parallels, two principles, opposite in appearance but inseparable in reality; one, male or active, which is called "Wisdom," חכמה (Chachmah), the other passive, or female, is designated by a word which it is customary to translate by "Intelligence" בינה (Beenah). "All that exists," says the text, "all that has been formed by the Ancient (Whose name be sanctified!), can exist only by a male and a female." 40 We shall not insist upon this general form which we shall meet frequently as we proceed; we believe, though, that in this instance it applies to the subject and to the object of intelligence which was not possible to express more clearly in an eminently poetical language.
Wisdom is also named the "father"; for it is said, Wisdom engenders all things. By means of thirty-two marvellous ways by which it is diffused through the universe, it imposes a form and measure on all that is. 41 Intelligence is the "mother," as is written: Thou shalt call intelligence by the name of mother
[paragraph continues] (Prov. II, 3). 42 Without destroying the antithesis established as the general condition of existence, they, nevertheless, cause often the female or passive principle to spring forth from the male principle. 43 From their mysterious and eternal union comes forth a son, who according to the original expression, takes at one and the same time the features of his father and of his mother, bearing witness to both of them. This son of Wisdom and Intelligence, called also, because of double inheritance, the "first-born" is Knowledge or Science, דעת (Da-ath).
These three persons contain and unite all that was, is and will be; but they are, in their turn, reunited in the white head, in the Ancient of Ancients, for all is He, and He is all and in all. 44 At times he is represented with three heads which form but one head, and at times he is compared to the brain which, without losing its unity, is divided into three parts, and by means of thirty-two pairs of nerves spreads into the entire body, as Divinity spreads into the universe by means of the thirty-two ways of wisdom. "The Ancient (Whose name be sanctified!) exists with three heads which form but one head only, and that head is the most exalted among the most exalted things. And because the Ancient (Whose name be blessed!) is represented by the number three (ובנין דעתיקא קדישא אתרשם בתלת), all the other lights (the other Sefiroth) which receive light from Him, are also comprised in the number three." 45
In the following passage the terms of that trinity are somewhat different; we see there the Ayn-Sof himself, but, on the other hand, we do not find there "Intelligence," no doubt because it is but a reflex, a certain expansion or dimension of the Logos which is
called here "Wisdom." "There are three heads sculptured one in the other, and one above the other. One head is the secret, hidden wisdom which is never unveiled. The mysterious wisdom is the supreme principle of all other wisdom. Above that first head is the Ancient (Whose name be sanctified!), the most mysterious of all the mysteries. Finally, comes the head which dominates all the other heads, a head which is not a head. No one knows nor can know what that head contains, for it joins neither science nor our understanding. Because of that, the Ancient (Whose name be sanctified!) is called the No-Thing (אין--Eye-in)" 46 Thus, unity in being, and trinity in intellectual manifestations or in thought--this is the exact summing up of what we have just said.
Sometimes the terms, or, if we wish, the persons of this trinity, are represented as three successive and absolutely necessary phases in existence as well as in thought, or to use an expression accepted in Germany, as a logical process showing at the same time the generation of the world. Whatever astonishment that fact may excite, it will not be doubted when the following lines have been read: "Come and see that thought is the principle of all that is; as such it is at first ignored and confined within itself. When thought begins to diffuse, it arrives at the degree where it becomes spirit; 47 arrived at that point, it takes the name of intelligence, and is not, as before, confined within itself. The spirit or mind itself develops from the very bosom of the mysteries by which it
is surrounded, and a voice goes forth which is the union of all the heavenly choirs; a voice that speaks distinctly and in articulate words; for it comes from the spirit. But in reflecting upon all these degrees, you will find that the thought, the intelligence, this voice and this word are one and the same thing; that the thought is the beginning of all that is, and that there can be no interruption in it. True thought is bound to Naught (אין--Eye-in), and is never parted from it. That is the meaning of the words: Jehovah is One and His name is One." 48
Here is another passage where the same idea is easily recognized under a more original and, as it seems to us, a more ancient form: "The name which signifies I Am אהיה (A-yeh), shows the union of all that is, the degree where all the ways of wisdom are as yet hidden and united at one place, and can as yet not be distinguished one from another. But when a line of demarkation is established, when it is intended to designate the mother bearing in her bosom all things and about to bring them forth in order to reveal the supreme name, then, speaking of Himself, God says: I Who אשר אהיה (Asher A-yeh). 49 Finally, when all has been well formed and has departed from the maternal bosom, when everything is in its place, and when it is intended to designate the particular as well as the existence, God calls Himself Jehovah, or, I Am that I Am, אהיה אשר אהיה (A-yeh asher A-yeh). These are the mysteries of the holy name revealed to Moses, and of which no other man shared the knowledge with him." 50
The system of the Kabbalah does not, therefore, rest solely on the principle of emanation or upon the unity of substance.
[paragraph continues] As we see, the Kabbalists went further. They taught a doctrine very similar to the doctrine which the metaphysicians of Germany now regard as the greatest glory of our time. They, the Kabbalists, believed in the absolute identity of thought and of existence; and consequently, the world, as we shall see later, could be to them nothing else than the expression of ideas, or of absolute forms of intelligence; in short, they give us a glimpse into the union of Plato and Spinoza. To clear this important fact of all doubt, and to show at the same time that the most learned of the modern Kabbalists have remained true to the traditions of their predecessors, we will add to the texts we have translated from the Zohar a very remarkable passage from the commentaries of Cordovera:
"The three first Sefiroth, to wit: the Crown, Wisdom and Intelligence, should be regarded as one and the same thing. The first represents knowledge or science, the second represents the knower, and the third represents the known. To explain this identity we must know that the knowledge of the Creator is not like the knowledge of the created, for with the latter knowledge is distinct from the subject of knowledge, and bears upon objects which, in their turn, are distinct from the subject. This is designated by the following three terms: the thought, that which thinks, and the thing thought of. The Creator, on the other hand, is in Himself the knowledge, the knower and the known. In fact, His manner of knowing does not consist in applying His thought to things outside of Him, for it is by understanding and knowing Himself that He knows and perceives all that is. Nothing exists that is not one with Him and that He does not find in His own substance. He is the type (--typus) of all being, and all things exist in Him under their purest and most accomplished forms; so that the perfection of the creatures is inherent in this very existence by which they were united to the source of their being, 51 and in measure as they recede from that source,
they fall away from that perfect and sublime state. It is thus that all sorts of existence in this world have their form in the Sefiroth, and the Sefiroth have their form in the source from which they emanate." 52
The seven attributes which we still have to speak of, and which are called by the modern Kabbalists the Sefiroth of the Construction (ספירות הבנין--Sefiroth Habinyon), undoubtedly because they are of more immediate service for the edification of the world, develop, like the preceding attributes, in the form of trinities, in each one of which two extremes are united by a middle term. 53 From the bosom of divine thought, which alone attained its fullest manifestation, proceed first two opposite principles, one active or male, the other female or passive.
In "grace" or "mercy," חסד (Hessed) we find the principle of the first, the second is represented by "judgment, דין (Din)." 54 But it is easily seen from the part held by the two principles in the whole of the system, that this grace and this judgment are not to be taken literally; we treat here of what we could call the expansion and the contraction of the will. In fact, it is from the first one that the male souls spring, and from the second spring the female souls. These two attributes are called also the "two arms of God"; one gives life, the other gives death. Were they separated the world could not subsist; it is even impossible for them to act separately, for according to the original expression, there is no judgment without mercy; 55 they also combine in a
common centre "Beauty" 56 whose gross symbol is the breast or the heart. 57
It is remarkable that the beautiful is considered here as the expression and as the result of all moral qualities, or as the sum of all that is good. But the three following attributes are purely dynamic, that is to say, they represent the Deity as the Cause, as the universal force, as the generative principle of all beings. The first two, which represent in this new sphere, the male and the female principle, are called, conformably to a text of the Holy Scriptures, "Triumph" נצח (Netsach), and "Glory," הוד (Hode). It would be difficult to find the meaning of the two words were they not followed by this definition: "By the words 'Triumph' and 'Glory' we understand extension, 58 multiplication and force; for all the forces that spring up in the universe start from their bosom, and for this reason these two Sefiroth are called the hosts of the Eternal." 59
They united in a common principle, ordinarily represented by the organs of generation which can not denote anything but the generative element, or the source, the root of all that is. For this reason it is called the "foundation" or basis, יסוד (Y’sod). "All things," reads the text, "will re-enter the basis from which they issued forth. All the marrow, all the sap, all the power is gathered in that place. All existing forces issue from it by the organ of generation." These three attributes also form but one single face, one single aspect of the divine nature, represented in the Bible by the "God of Hosts." 60 As to the last of the Sefiroth,
or "Kingdom, מלכות (Malkuth)," all Kabbalists agree that it does not express any new attribute; but simply the harmony which exists between all the other attributes and their absolute rule over the world.
Thus the ten Sefiroth which, in their entirety, form the Heavenly or Ideal Man, called by the modern Kabbalists the "world of emanation," עולם אצילות (Olam Atzilus), is divided into three classes, each one of which shows us the deity in a different aspect, but always in the form of an indivisible trinity. The first three Sefiroth are purely intellectual or metaphysical. They express the absolute identity of existence and thought, and form, what modern Kabbalists have called, the "intelligible world," עולם מושכל (Olam Muskol). The three Sefiroth following have a moral character; on the one hand they make us conceive God as the identity of kindness and wisdom, on the other hand they show us that the source of beauty and magnificence is in kindness or rather in the supreme good. They have therefore been named the "virtues," מדות (Midoth), or the "world of feeling," עולם מורגש (Olam Murgosh), in the loftiest meaning of the word. Finally, we learn by the last of these attributes that the universal providence, the supreme architect, is also the absolute force, the all-powerful cause, and that this cause is at the same time the generating element of all that is. These last Sefiroth constitute the "natural world," or nature in its essence and in its principle, natura naturans, עולם המוטבע (Olam Hamutbah). 61
How and in what terms these different aspects are brought back to unity, and consequently to a supreme trinity, the following passage will show: "In order to acquire the knowledge of a holy unity, we must examine the flame which rises from a fire-place or from a lighted lamp; we see then, at first, two kinds of light, a glistening white one and a black or blue one; the white light is above and rises in a straight line, the black or blue light is
beneath, and appears to be the seat of the first; yet the two lights are so closely united that they form one single flame only. But the seat formed by the blue or black light is, in its turn, attached to the wick which is still under it. The white light never changes, it always remains white; but several shades are distinguished in the lower light. The lower light takes, moreover, two opposite directions; above it is attached to the white light, and below it is attached to the burning matter, but this matter continually consumes itself, and constantly rises towards the upper light. It is thus that all that is joins again to the one unity, וכלא אתקשר ביחודה אחד." 62 To dispel all doubt as to the meaning of this allegory, we may add that is it found, almost literally reproduced, in another part 63 of the Zohar, to explain the nature of the human soul which also forms a trinity, a feeble image of the supreme trinity.
This last species of trinity which explicitly comprises all the others, and which sums up the entire theory of the Sefiroth, plays also the most important part in the Zohar. Like the preceding trinities, it is represented by three terms only, each one of which has already been represented as the highest manifestation of one of the lower trinities. Among the metaphysical attributes it is the "Crown;" among the moral attributes it is "Beauty;" among the inferior attributes it is "Kingdom." But what is meant by the "Crown" in the allegorical language of the Kabbalists? It is the substance, the one and absolute being. What is "Beauty?" It is, as the Idra Zuta expressly says, "the highest expression of moral life and of moral perfection." As an emanation from intelligence and mercy, it is often compared to the orient, to the sun whose light is reflected equally by all earthly objects, and without which all would return to darkness; in a word it is the ideal.
Finally, what is "Kingdom?" It is the permanent and imminent
action of all the Sefiroth combined, the actual presence of God in the creation. This idea is fully expressed by the word Shekinah (שכינה), one of the surnames of the "Kingdom." The true terms of this new trinity are, accordingly, the absolute, the ideal and the immanent face; or also, the substance, the thought and the life; that is, the uniting of the thought with the object. They constitute what is called "the middle column" עמודא דאמצעיתא (Amudah D’amtzissoh), because in all the figures customarily used to represent the Sefiroth they are placed in the centre, one above another, in the form of a vertical line or column. As may be expected of what we already know, these three terms also become so many "faces" or symbolical manifestations. The "Crown" does not change its name, it is always the "long face," the "Ancient of days," "the Ancient Whose name be sanctified"; עתיקא קדישא (Ateekah K’deeshah). "Beauty" is the "holy king," or simply the "King" מלכא (Malko), מלכא קדישא, (Malko K’deeshah), and the "Shekinah," the divine presence in things, is the "Matrona," or "Queen" מטרוניתא (Matrooneitha) .
When the one is compared to the sun, the other is compared to the moon; because the moon borrows all the light by which it shines from a higher place, from a degree immediately above her. In other words, real existence is only a reflection or image of ideal beauty. The "Matrona" is also called "Eve," "for," says the text, "Eve is the mother of all things, and everything that exists here below, nurses from her breast and is blessed through her." 64 The "King" and the "Queen," commonly called also the "two faces" דו פרצופין (Doo Partsufin), 65 form together a pair whose task is to pour forth constantly upon the world new grace, and through their union to continue the work of the creation, or, what is more, to perpetuate the work of the creation.
[paragraph continues] But the mutual love which impels them to this work, bursts forth in two ways, and produces consequently fruits of two kinds.
Sometimes it comes from above, going from the husband to the wife, and from there to the entire universe; that is to say, existence and life, starting from the depths of the intelligible world, tend to multiply more and more in the objects of nature. Sometimes, on the contrary, it comes from below, going from the wife to the husband, from the real world to the ideal world, from earth to heaven, and brings back to the bosom of God the beings capable of demanding their return.
The Zohar itself offers us an example of these two modes of generation in the circular course run by the holy souls. The soul, considered in its purest essence, has its root in intelligence, I mean the Supreme intelligence where the forms of the beings begin to differentiate themselves one from another, and which is really the universal soul. From there it passes, if it is to be a male soul, by the principle of grace or expansion; if it is to be a female soul, it impregnates itself with the principle of judgment or concentration. Finally, it is brought forth into the world where we live by the union of the King and the Queen, "who," as the text reads, "are to the generation of the soul, what man and woman are to the physical generation--the generation of the body." 66 By this road the soul descends to earth.
Now, here is the way the soul returns to the bosom of God: When adorned with all the virtues, it has fulfilled its mission and is mature for heaven, it rises of its own impulse, by the love it inspires as well as by the love it experiences, and with it rises also the last degree of emanation or real existence, which is thus brought in harmony with the ideal form. The King and the Queen unite anew, impelled by another cause and for another purpose than the first one. 67 "In this manner," says the Zohar,
[paragraph continues] "life is drawn simultaneously from above and from below. The source is renewed and the sea, always refilled, distributes its waters to every place." 68
The union may take place accidentally while the soul is still chained to the body. But there we touch upon ecstasy, mystic rapture and the dogma of reversibility, of which we have decided to speak elsewhere.
We believe, however, that our exposition of the Sefiroth would be incomplete without the mention of the figures which have been used to depict them to the eye. There are three principal figures, of which two at least are sanctioned by the Zohar. One shows the Sefiroth in the form of ten concentric circles, or rather of nine circles traced around a point which is their common centre. The other represents the Sefiroth as the human body. The "crown" is the head; "wisdom" the brain; "intelligence" the heart; the trunk and the breast, in short, the middle column, is the symbol of "beauty"; the arms are the symbols of "grace" and "judgment"; the lower parts of the body express the remaining attributes.
It is upon these wholly arbitrary tales, carried to their last exaggeration in the "Tikkunim" (the supplements to the Zohar), that the practical Kabbalah and the claim to combat bodily ills with the different names of God 69 are mostly founded. Besides, this is not the first time that ideas have been gradually smothered even by the grossest symbols, and thoughts replaced by forms at the decadence of a doctrine. Finally, the last manner of representing the ten Sefiroth is to divide them into three groups. To the right, on a vertical line, we see represented the attributes which may be called expansive; namely: the Logos or Wisdom, Mercy and Strength; 70 to the left we find placed in the same
manner, on a parallel line, those which designate resistance or concentration: Intelligence, i.e., the consciousness of the Logos,
Judgment and so-called resistance. In the centre finally are the substantial attributes which we have included in the supreme trinity. At the top, above the common level, we read the name of the crown, and at the base we read the name of kingdom. 71
The Zohar often alludes to this figure, which it compares to a tree of which the Ayn-Sof is its life and sap, and which was later called the "Kabbalistic tree." At each step we are reminded there of the "column of mercy" (עמודא דחסד--Amoodah D’hessed, סטרא ימינא--Sitra Y’meenah--the "right column"), of the "column of judgment" (עמודא דדינא--Amoodah D’dinah, סטרא דאמלא--Sitra D’smolah--"the left column") and of the "centre column" (עמודא דאמציעתא--Amoodah D’amtsee-othoh). This does not prevent this same diagram from representing to us, in another plan, by horizontal lines, the three secondary trinities of which we have previously spoken. Besides these diagrams, modern Kabbalists have conceived also "canals" (צנורות--Tsnooroth) which indicate in a material form all possible relations and combinations between the Sefiroth. Moses Cordovera tells of an author who could make six hundred thousand of such combinations. These subtleties may interest to a certain degree the science of calculus, but we search there in vain for a metaphysical idea.
A strange idea, in a still stranger form, mingles in the Zohar with the doctrine of the Sefiroth which we have just explained. It is the idea of a fall and a rehabilitation, even in the sphere of
the divine attributes; of a creation that failed because God did not descend with it to dwell in it; because He has yet not assumed that intermediary form between Himself and the creature of which man here below is the most perfect expression. These, apparently different conceptions, have been united into a single thought which is found, now more developed, now less developed, in the Book of Mystery in the two Idras and in some fragments of less importance. It is presented in the following strange manner: in the Book of Genesis 72 mention is made of seven kings of Edom who preceded the kings of Israel, and enumerating them it mentions their successive deaths to show the order in which they succeeded one another. The authors of the Zohar took hold of this text, which in itself is foreign to such an order of ideas, to fasten to it their belief in a kind of revolution in the invisible world of the divine emanation. By the "kings of Israel" they understand the two forms of absolute existence which are personified in the "King" and the "Queen," who, by dividing absolute existence for the sake of our feeble intelligence, represent the true essence of being. The "Kings of Edom" or, as they are also called, the "ancient kings," are worlds which could neither subsist nor be realized before those forms were established which serve as intermediaries between the creation and the divine essence as considered in its entire purity.
However, we believe that the better way of expounding without impairing this obscure portion of the system, would be to cite some fragments that refer to it and which explain themselves reciprocally. "Before the Ancient of Ancients, the most hidden among the hidden, had prepared the forms of the kings and the first diadems, there was neither limitation nor end. He, therefore, took to sculpturing and tracing these forms in His own substance. He stretched before Him a veil, and in that veil He sculptured the kings, and traced their limits and their forms; but they could not subsist. Therefore it is written: these are the kings that reigned in
the land of Edom before a king reigned over the children of Israel. Here are dealt with the primitive kings and primitive Israel. 73 All the kings thus formed had their names, but they could not subsist until He (the Ancient) descended to them and veiled Himself for them." 74
There can be no doubt that these lines refer to a creation which anteceded ours, and to worlds that preceded ours. The Zohar itself tells us so in the most positive terms further on, 75 and this is also the unanimous belief of all the modern Kabbalists. But why did the ancient worlds disappear? Because God did not dwell in their midst regularly and constantly, or, as the text reads, because God had not come down to them; because He had as yet not shown Himself in a form that permitted Him to be present in the creation, and to perpetuate it by this very union. The worlds which He then produced by a spontaneous emanation from His own substance, are compared to sparks which escape in disorder from a common hearth and which die out in proportion to their distance from it. "Ancient worlds there were which had been destroyed, formless worlds which have been called "sparks" (זיקין עולם ניצוצין); for thus it is when striking the iron the blacksmith causes sparks to burst forth on all sides. These sparks are the ancient worlds, and these worlds were destroyed and could not exist because the Ancient (Whose name be sanctified!) has as yet not assumed His form, and the workman was not as yet at his work." 76
Now then, what is that form without which neither duration nor organization in the finite beings is possible, which, properly speaking, represents the artisan in the divine works, and by
which, finally, God communicates, and in some sort reproduces Himself outside of Himself? It is the human form conceived in its highest generality, which comprises the moral and intellectual attributes of our nature as well as the conditions of its development and perpetuation, in a word, sexual differentiation, which the Zohar admits for the soul as well as for the body. This conception of sexual differentiation, or rather, the division and reproduction of the human form, is to them the symbol of universal life, of a regular and infinite development of existence, of a regular and continuous creation not alone through duration, but also through successive realization of all the possible forms of existence.
We have met before with the root of this idea; but here is something more. The gradual expansion of life, existence, and of divine thought did not begin immediately below the substance; it was preceded by that tumultuous disorderly and, if I may say, inorganic emanation of which we have just spoken. "Why were the old worlds destroyed? Because man was not yet formed. The form of man contains all things, and all things can be maintained by it. As this form did not exist yet, the worlds that preceded it could neither subsist nor maintain themselves. They fell in ruins, until the form of man was established. They were then reborn with it, but under other names." 77
We do not wish to prove by new passages the sexual distinction either in the ideal man or in the divine attributes; we only wish to note here that this distinction, which is repeated under so many different forms in the Zohar, is also given the characteristic name of the balance (מתקלא--Maskaloh). "Before the balance was established," says the Book of Mystery, "they (the King and the Queen, the ideal world and the real world) did not see one another face to face, the first kings died because they could find no subsistence, and the earth was ruined . . . the balance is suspended in a place that is not (the primitive naught); they who
were to be weighed do not exist as yet. It is an entirely inward balance that has no other support but itself, and it is invisible. This balance carries and will carry everything that is not, that is and will be." 78
The previous citation taught us that the kings of Edom, the ancient worlds, did not entirely disappear. For in the Kabbalistic system nothing comes into existence and nothing perishes in an absolute manner. They only lost their place, which was the actual universe; and when God stepped out of Himself to show Himself again in the form of Man, they were resuscitated, came to life again, in some sort, to enter under other names into the general system of the creation. "When it is said 'the kings of Edom are dead,' it is not meant that they really died, or that they were totally destroyed; for every sinking down from a previous degree is called death." 79 They really did sink quite low, or rather they rose but little above the nihility; for they were placed on the last step of the universe. They represent the purely passive existence, or, to use the expression of the Zohar, judgment without mercy, a place where all is sternness and judgment (באתר דדינן מתאחדין תמן), 80 or where all is feminine without any masculine principle (אתר דנקבא), that is, a place where everything is resistance and inertia as in matter.
For that reason also they were called the Kings of Edom, because Edom was the opposite of Israel who represents mercy, life, spiritual and active existence. Taking most of these expressions literally, we may say with the modern Kabbalists, that the ancient worlds became a place of chastisement for crime, and that from their ruins came forth those malevolent beings who serve as instruments for divine justice. The idea would remain unchanged thereby, for, as we may convince ourselves further on, the punishment of guilty souls consists, according to the Zohar,
where metempsychosis plays such a great part, precisely in a rebirth into the lowest degree of the creation, and in submitting more and more to the bondage of matter.
As to the demons, who are always called by the significant name of the "shells" (קליפּות--Klippoth), 81 they are nothing more than matter itself, and the passions that depend on it. Thus, every form of existence, from matter to eternal wisdom, is a manifestation, or rather, an emanation of the Infinite Being. That all things may have reality and continuance, it is not sufficient for them to come from God; it is also necessary that God be in their midst at all times, that He live, expand and reappear eternally and infinitely in their own appearance; for should He choose to leave them to themselves, they would vanish like a shadow. Better still! this shadow is a part of the chain of divine manifestations; it is the shadow which is the matter, it is the shadow that marks the boundary where life and spirit disappear from our sight. It is the end, as ideal man is the beginning. Upon this principle, then, the Kabbalistic cosmology and psychology are founded.
145:1 These two words signify the "Great Assembly," because the fragment bearing this title comprises the discourses held by Simeon ben Yohai amidst all his disciples assembled to the number of ten. At a later time when death had reduced them to the number of seven, they formed the "Little Assembly" (אדרא זוטא--Idra Zutah) to which ben Yohai spoke before he died.
146:2 In the text: יומין זעירין ומארי׳ דהובא דהיק כרוזא מארי כל יומא זמהצדי הקלא זעירין אינון. Compare R. Tarfon's saying in Pirke Abot (Chapters of the Fathers) היום קצר והמלאכה מרובה והפוצלים עצלים ובעל הבית דוחק "The day is short, the work aplenty, the laborers are lazy and the master urges."--Jellinek.
146:3 The passage: פתח ואמר (ר׳ שמעון בן יוחאי) ארור האיש אשר יעשה פסל ומסכה מעשי ידי חרש ושם בסתר וענו כל העם ואמדו אמן. "(R. Simeon ben Yohai) opened (the discourse) and said: Cursed be the man who maketh a graven or molten image, the abomination of the Lord, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place; and all the people shall answer, and say, Amen (Deut. XXVII, 15)," points out very clearly that the description of God was not to be taken in a material way.--Jellinek.
146:4 According to Daniel V, 6. וארכובתן דא לדא נקשן--and his knees knocked one against the other.--Jellinek.
147:5 I can not find any other meaning in the two words: בוצינא דאנפוי
147:6 The French text has: "Quatre cent mille mondes né de cette blanche lumière."--; Four hundred thousand worlds begotten by this white light. This translation of the original text is incorrect, and is based upon a misconception of the haphazard punctuation of the Zohar. The author has read together לעלמז דאתי with the following די מאה עלמין, which is really the beginning of a new sentence, and is an introduction to the explanatory phrase הה״ד--Transl.
147:7 The adepts of the Kabbalah are so called.
147:8 This "long" or "great face" is nothing else, as we shall soon see, but the divine substance, the first Sefiroh.
148:9 Zohar, part III, fol. 129a and b. The description of the beard and of the hair alone takes up a considerable place in the Idra Rabba.
150:10 Ben Sira; Babyl. Talmud, tract. Haggiga 15. Bereshith Rabba, 8.
150:11 Ordinarily "Foundation" (יסוד--Y’sod) is taken as the one before the last and "Kingdom" (מלכות--Malchus) as the last Sefiroh. a--Jellinek.
150:a And it is so given in the original text of the Zohar. The author is also mistaken in translating the last Sefiroh מלכות (Malchus) with "royauté" (royalty). He probably meant to render it by "royaumé" (kingdom) .--Transl.
150:12 Zohar, part II, fol. 42b, 43a, sec. בא אל פרעה..
151:13 Zohar, part I, fol. 1 and 2; part II, fol. 105a. In this text there is a play upon words that can not be rendered faithfully. It is proposed to explain the following verse: "Lift up your eyes toward the heavens and see who has created these." (Isaiah, XL, 6). Now, by joining the two Hebrew words מי (Me--Who) and אלה (Ayleh--these), we get p. 152 the name of God אלהים (Elohim). The author of the verse wished to designate the universe, and therefore it has been concluded that the universe and God are inseparable, since both have one and the same name.
152:14 In the Zohar really follows ולא אתתקן בגין דלא שבית (He took no form because of the unordinary).--Jellinek
152:15 The original text before me says: ט נהורין--nine lights.--Transl.
152:16 לא שכיה אלא אינון נהורין דמתפשמין ואינון אקרון שמא קדיאש. Part III, fol. 288a, Idra Zutah.
152:17 אדם קדמן--Adam Kadmon, literally: First or original man; אדם עלאה--Adam E-to-oh, literally: High man.--Transl.
153:18 דיוקנא דאדם הוי דיוקנא דעלאין ותתאין דאתכללו ביה ובנין דהאי דיוקנא כליל עלאין ותתאין אתקין עתיקא קדישא תקונוי בהאי דיוקנא ותקונא.--Part III, Idra Rabba, fol. 141b.
153:19 לאפקא אדם דלעילא ואיתימא אדם דלתתא בלחודוי לאו משים דלא קאים דא בלא דא ואלסלא האי תקונא דאדם לא קאים עלמא דכתיב ה׳ בחכמה יסד ארץ . . .--Ibid, fol. 144a.
153:20 הקונא דעתיקא קדישא אתתקן בתקונא חד כללא דכל תקונין והיא הכמא עלאה בתימאה כללא דכל שאר.--Part III, Idra Zutah, fol. 288a.
154:21 Zohar, Part III, fol. 11b.
154:22 But the sense of the Mishnah is no other than that the root (Omar--to speak) with reference to God in the story of the creation is met with ten times. Compare Maimonides' commentary on this Mishnah.--Jellinek.
154:23 Pirke Aboth, Sec. 5, Mishnah 1.
154:24 פרצופין (Partzufin) is identical with אנפין (Anfin) in its meaning; only that the one is of Greek origin (πρώσοτιος), while the other is a real Aramean word.--Jellinek
155:25 Note that Intelligence, Wisdom and Power are names of three Sefiroth.--Transl.
155:26 At the head of their party stands the author of the book entitled: "The Motives of the Commandments" (טעמי מעות), Menahem Recante who flourished in the beginning of the fourteenth century. *
155:* Should read the thirteenth century, as he died in 1290.--Jellinek
155:27 This opinion is represented by the author of in מגן דוד (Mogan David--The Shield of David).
156:28 שברי כלים (Shivra Kaylim--Broken Vessels). It is said that the light of the last three upper Sefiroth gushed forth with such fullness into the first Sefiroth of the seven lower ones and so on into the others, that they broke.--Jellinek
156:29 See Issac Luria, Sefer Drushim (ספר דרושים), ad init.--a work translated by Knorr von Rosenroth and made part of the Kabbalah Unveiled.
156:30 See Pardes Rimonim (The Garden of Pomegranates), fol. 21-24. Besides the lucidity which we must credit with Cordovera, he also deserves praise for reporting correctly, and profoundly discussing the opinions of his predecessors and of his adversaries.
157:31 בתרא עלאה לעילא דמתעמרין ביה כל עמרין וכתרין.--Zohar, part II, fol. 288b.
157:32 בשעתא דסתימא דכל סתימין בעא לאתנלייא עבד ברישא נקודה חדא.--Zohar, part I, fol. 2a.
157:33 לא אתירע בלל עד דמנו דהיקו דבקיעותיה נהיר נקודא חדא.--Zohar, part I, fol. 15a.
158:34 We can not help thinking here of Spinoza's axiom in the fiftieth epistle: Determinatio negatio est.--Jellinek
158:35 לא ידע ולא אתידע מה דהוי ברישא דא דלא אתרבק בהכמתא ולא במיבלתנו ובגין כךּ אקרי אין.--Zohar, part III, fol. 288b.
158:36 I must again follow here Dr. Jellinek's translation as nearer to the original text.--Transl.
158:37 Das reine Sein macht den Anfang, weil es sowohl reiner Gedanke, als das unbestimmte einfache Unmittelbare ist, der erste Anfang aber nichts Vermitteltes and weiter Bestimmtes sein kann. Dieses reine Sein ist nun die reine Abstraction, damit das Absolut-Negative, welches, gleichfalls unmittelbar genommen, das Nichts ist.
(Encyclopaedia der philosophischen Wissenschaften, par. 86, u. 87.)
159:38 אצילות הכתר נקרא אריך אנפין והוא העולם הראשין והיולם השני הוא זעיר אנפין והוא כולל כל ח׳ ספירות שהם מחכמה עד היסור.--Pardes Rimonim, by Moses Cordovera, Ch. III fol. 8.
159:39 וכךּ אסתכלו אנפוי באנפין דעתיקא קדישא כלא ארך אפיים אקרי.--Zohar, part III, fol. 2926, 289b.
159:40 בשעתא דעתיקא קדישא בעא לאתקנא כלא אתקין בעין דבר ונוקבא כלא אתקיים בדבר ונוקבא.--Ib., part III, fol. 290a.
159:41 הכמה אב לאבהנ האי אב נפיק מעתיקא קדישא דכתיב והחכמה מאין תמעא . . . . מניה אתפשטין תלתין ותרין שבילין.--Ib. supr.
160:42 חכמה אם בינה אם דכחיב כי אם לבינה תקרא.--Ib. supr.
160:43 דהאי חכמה אתפשט ואפיק מניה בינה ואשתכח דכר ונוקבא הוא--lb. supr.
160:44 והאי אב ואם ובן אקרין חכמה בינה ודעת בגין דהא בן נטל מימנין דאבוי ואמיה דהוי סהדותא דתרווייהו והא אקרי בוכרא בנין דנטל הולקין . . . . ואינון סתימין במולא קדישא עתיקא׃ דכל עתיקין ביה סתימין ביה כלילין כלא הוא כלא הוי כלא יהא.--Zohar, part III, fol. 291a and b.
160:45 Idra Zutah, book III, fol. 288b.
161:46 As I have digressed here from both the original French text and the German translation in my endeavor to keep to the text of the Zohar, I deem it my duty to give the text as it is printed in the Zohar, part III, fol. 288a and b.
תלת רישין אתנלפן דא לגו מן דא׃ ודא לעילא מן דא רישא חדא הכמתא סתימאה דאתכסייא ולאו מתפתחה וחמתא דא סתימאה רישא לכל רישיה דשאר חכמית. רישא עלאה עתיקא קרישא סתימא דכל סתימין. רישא דכל רישא רישא דלאו רישא ולא ידע ולא אתידע מה דהוי ברישא דא דלע אתרבק בחכמתא ולא בסובלתנו. . . . ובנים כךּ עתיקא קדישא אקרי אין.--Transl.
161:47 In the Zohar--אתר לאתר דרוהא שריא, which is translated more correctly with "where the spirits rest"; otherwise the entire passage is unintelligible.--Jellinek
162:48 Part I, fol. 2466, Sect. ויחי. As this passage is too long to be quoted entire, we shall cite here the last words only. והוא חיא מחשבה דאשידא דכלא ולא הוי פרודא אלא סלא חד בקשודא הד דאיהי מתשבה ססא אתקשר באין דלא אתפרש לעלמין ודא תוא ײ״ אתד ושמו אחד
162:49 The word אשר (Asher) is a sign of determination.
162:50 אהיה דא כללא דכלא . . . לבתד אפיק ההוא נהרא דאיהו איסא עלאה זאתעברת אמר אשר אהיה . . . בתר דנפיק כלא ואתתקן כל חד וחד באתריה אמר יהות. אחרי מות--Part III, fol. 55b, sect.
163:51 שלימותם במציאות הנבחר ההוא הסתיחד בממציאם.
164:52 Pardes Rimonim, fol. 55a.
164:53 Is it not entirely according to the Hegelian method?--Jellinek
164:54 "Judgment" as translated by Jellinek is more correct and has been followed here. "Justice," as used by the author, would be (Tsedek). According to Gesenius "Din" has the meaning of "to judge (and thus to reign)." I would say that "Din" represents justice untempered by mercy.--Transl.
164:55 אחקשרו דינא ורחמי ובניני כד לא סלקא דא בלא דא ולית דינא דלא תוי ביה דהמי.--Zohar, part III, fol. 143b.
165:56 בכללא חדא אתעבדין בהאי תפארת הא תפארת כליל ברחמי וסליל ברינא.--Part III, fol. 269a.
165:57 And yet the heart is taken as the symbol of understanding. a--Jellinek
165:a Based on Isaiah VI, 10; XXXII, 4; Daniel V, 12; Proverbs II, 2.--Transl.
165:58 משחא (Mesh-cha) really means the measure.--Jellinek
165:59 וסל משחא ורבות והילא בהו אתכנש דכל חיילין דנפקין מנהון נפקין ובנין בן אקרון עבאות ואיגין נצח והוד--Zohar, part III, fol. 296a.
165:60 אמא דרבורא סיומא דבל גופא ואקרי יסוד . . . יי צבאות אקרי יסוד.--Ib. supr.
166:61 See Pardes Rimonim, fol. 66b, 1st col.
167:62 Zohar, part I, fol. 51a, sect. בראשית (Breshith).
167:63 Part II, sect. פקודי (Pekudah).--Jellinek
168:64 כל איגון רלתתא מנה ינקין ובה מתבדכין והיא אתקרי אם לכלהו.--Idra Zutah, ad fin.
168:65 Zohar, part III, fol. 10b, sect. ויקרא (Vah-yikrah).
169:66 נשמתא קדישא מזוונא דמלכא ומטרוניתא נפקת כמה גופא דלתתא מדכר נוקבא.--Zohar, part III, fol. 7.
169:67 To avoid the piling up of citations, I refer to Cordovera's Pardes Rimonim, pgs. 60-64, where all the citations are collected.
170:68 כדין אתיסף היים מעילא ומתתא ובירא אתמליא וימא אשתלים וכדין
יהב לכלא.--Zohar, part I, fol. 60-70.
170:69 We must remember that the names of God correspond also to the Sefiroth.--Jellinek
170:70 In order to make the figure usually called also אילן (Eelon--p. 171 tree) plain to the reader, and in order to point out some inconsistencies in the rendition of the names of which the author is guilty, I refer to the diagram. a--Jellinek.
170:a The diagram here shown is not copied from Dr. Jellinek's book, but is taken from Cordovera's "Pardes Rimonim." I have chosen this diagram because it also makes clear the interrelations of the Sefiroth.--Transl.
171:71 See Pardes Rimonim, fol. 34-39, (שער סדר עמידתן) for all these figures.
172:72 Genesis, ch. XXXVI, 31-40.
173:73 The word "primitive" קדמון--; Kadmon in the Zohar is always a synonym of ideal, celestial and intelligible.
173:74 Idra Rabba, part III, 148a, Amsterdam Ed.
173:75 עד לא ברא הקב״ה האי עלמא הוה בארי עלמין וחדיב לון.--Zohar, part III, fol. 61a.
173:76 Idra Zutah, part III of the Zohar, fol. 292, Amsterdam ed. עלמין קדמאי בלא תקונא אתעבידו וההיא דלא הוה בתיקונא אקרי זיקין ניצוצין ונו״.
174:77 Idra Rabba, ib. 135a, b.
175:78 ספרא דצניעותא, ch. ad init.
175:79 Idra Rabba, part III of Zohar, fol. 135b.
175:80 Idra Rabba, ib., fol. 142a--Idra Zutah, ad finem.
176:81 The root of the word קליפּות "Klippoth" is קלף (Kolauf or Kalof)--to pare, unshell, peel. I have therefore chosen "shells" as the most appropriate. The author's rendition of this word by "envelopes"--wrapper, cover, envelope, casing--does not seem to me to be correct etymologically, at least. Dr. Jellinek translates it by "Schalen," and gives the Latin word "cortices" as explanatory.--Transl.