Rabbi Azriel of Gerona's Text

QUESTION: Should the questioner persist: You have now informed me as to their names, rank, and order. You have further informed me as to the position of Justice [i.e., Malkuth], which receives from all their power. Now tell me whether there is bestowing and receiving in each one.

ANSWER: Know that no emanation is radiated forth except to proclaim the unity within Eyn-Sof. If the receptor did not unite with the bestower into one power, then it would not be possible to recognize that the two are really one. In their unity one knows that power of union. Upon seeing the uniting force made manifest, how much more so one should not ruminate upon it in secret. Thus, everything is both receptor and bestower.

Reb Yakov Leib's Commentary

R. Azriel concludes his great work by stating, "Know that no emanation is radiated forth except to proclaim the unity within Eyn-Sof" and in doing so alludes to the condition of disunity into which God has fallen by the act of creation. That is, notice that the "unity" of which he speaks is "within" Eyn-Sof and not the array of Sefirot emanating from it. Moreover, when he speaks of "the receptor uniting with the bestower" in order to become "one power" he further alludes to the constant dynamic of separation and unification taking place among the Sefirot themselves:

That is, Keter "separates" into Hochma and Binah which "unify" into Da'at, which separates into Chesed and Gevurah, which come together in Tipheret, which separates into Netzah and Hod, which finally re-unite as Yesod and Malkhut. It is in this pulsing of the Sefirot -- their coming together and moving apart -- that we see the dynamic of God's striving towards the unity from which He has fallen. As Buber puts it:

"God has fallen into duality through the created world and its deed: into the essence of God, Elohim, which is withdrawn from the creatures and the presence of God, the Shekina, which dwells in things, wandering, straying, scattered. Only redemption will reunite the two in eternity. But it is given to the human spirit, through its service [of Tikkun] to be able to bring the Shekina near to its source, to help it [re]enter it." (Martin Buber, Hasidism and Modern Man, Horizon Press, 1958, p. 88)

It is in this that we see the "work for which man was created to perform upon the world," as Buber puts it elsewhere -- his "service" to God which is the "restoration of His Name" and the "repair of His Face" -- to which the Prophet points when he declares: "The Lord shall be King over all the earth; on that day the Lord shall be One, and his name One." (Zechariah 14:9)

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