Now, it is known to the students of the Kabbalah23

וְהִנֵּה, נוֹדָע לְיוֹדְעֵי חֵן,

that the “word of G-d” is referred to as the Shechinah, in the terminology of the [Talmudic and Midrashic] Sages, of blessed memory, and as Imma Tataah (the “nether mother”) and Matronita (the “Queen”) in the terminology of the Zohar,

כִּי "דְבַר ה'" נִקְרָא בְּשֵׁם "שְׁכִינָה" בִּלְשׁוֹן רַבּוֹתֵינוּ־זִכְרוֹנָם־לִבְרָכָה, וְ"אִימָּא תַּתָּאָה" וּ"מַטְרוֹנִיתָא" בִּלְשׁוֹן הַזֹּהַר,

especially at the beginning of Parashat Va’eira, where an analogy is drawn to G-d’s speech from a princess,

וּבִפְרָט בְּרֵישׁ פָּרָשַׁת וָאֵרָא,

because [the “word of G-d”] dwells and vests itself in created beings to give them life.

לְפִי שֶׁשּׁוֹכֵן וּמִתְלַבֵּשׁ בַּנִּבְרָאִים לְהַחֲיוֹתָם.

The word Shechinah (שְׁכִינָה) derives from the root שֹׁכֵן—“to dwell.” The titles of “mother” and “queen” relate to their functions of caring for the lives of their children and subjects, respectively.

In the terminology of the Kabbalists, [the “word of G-d”] is called malchut, for24 “the word of a king rules”—a king rules his kingdom through his speech and also for other reasons known to the students of the Kabbalah.

וּבִלְשׁוֹן הַמְקוּבָּלִים – נִקְרָא בְּשֵׁם "מַלְכוּת", עַל שֵׁם "דְּבַר מֶלֶךְ שִׁלְטוֹן", כִּי הַמֶּלֶךְ, מַנְהִיג מַלְכוּתוֹ בְּדִיבּוּרוֹ, וְעוֹד טְעָמִים אֲחֵרִים יְדוּעִים לְיוֹדְעֵי חֵן.

Now, it is known that there is a rank and level of [the sefirah of] malchut of [the World of] Atzilut, and a rank of [the sefirah of] malchut of [the World of] Beriah, and so on. There are thus many degrees of “G-d’s speech.”

וּמוּדַעַת זֹאת, כִּי יֵשׁ בְּחִינַת וּמַדְרֵיגַת "מַלְכוּת דַּאֲצִילוּת" וּבְחִינַת "מַלְכוּת דִּבְרִיאָה" וְכוּ'.

Malchut of Atzilut means the “word of G-d” which animates and brings into being the great souls that are of the rank of Atzilut,

וּפֵירוּשׁ "מַלְכוּת דַּאֲצִילוּת", הוּא – "דְּבַר ה'" הַמְחַיֶּה וּמְהַוֶּה נְשָׁמוֹת הַגְּדוֹלוֹת שֶׁהֵן מִבְּחִינַת אֲצִילוּת,

such as the soul of Adam, of whom it is said, “And He blew into his nostrils the soul of life…”25 (i.e., a soul from the level of Atzilut); and such as the souls of the patriarchs and the prophets and the like

כְּמוֹ נִשְׁמַת אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בּוֹ "וַיִּפַּח בְּאַפָּיו נִשְׁמַת חַיִים כוּ'", וּכְמוֹ נִשְׁמוֹת הָאָבוֹת וְהַנְּבִיאִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָהֶן

(26who were truly a “chariot” unto G-d27 and in a state of total self-abnegation in relation to Him;

(שֶׁהָיוּ מֶרְכָּבָה לַה' מַמָּשׁ, וּבְטֵלִים מַמָּשׁ בִּמְצִיאוּת אֵלָיו,

as our Sages, of blessed memory, said, “The Shechinah speaks from the throat of Moses”28;

כְּמַאֲמַר רַבּוֹתֵינוּ־זִכְרוֹנָם־לִבְרָכָה: "שְׁכִינָה מְדַבֶּרֶת מִתּוֹךְ גְּרוֹנוֹ שֶׁל מֹשֶׁה",

Moses had so nullified himself to G-d that when he prophesied, he did not relay what G-d told him to say; rather, the Shechinah itself spoke directly through his mouth.

and likewise with all the prophets and those possessed of the Holy Spirit: the supernal voice and speech vested itself in their actual voice and speech, as Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, of blessed memory, stated).

וְכֵן כָּל הַנְּבִיאִים וּבַעֲלֵי רוּחַ הַקּוֹדֶשׁ, הָיָה קוֹל וְדִבּוּר הָעֶלְיוֹן מִתְלַבֵּשׁ בְּקוֹלָם וְדִבּוּרָם מַמָּשׁ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָמַר הָאֲרִיזַ"ל).

Malchut of Beriah is the ‘‘word of G-d” which animates and brings into being the souls and angels in the World of Beriah,

וּ"מַלְכוּת דִּבְרִיאָה" הוּא – "דְּבַר ה'" הַמְחַיֶּה וּמְהַוֶּה הַנְּשָׁמוֹת וְהַמַּלְאָכִים שֶׁבְּעוֹלַם הַבְּרִיאָה,

whose level is not like the level of Atzilut, and so on; i.e., malchut of Yetzirah is the level of Divine speech that brings into being and animates the souls and angels in the World of Yetzirah.

שֶׁאֵין מַעֲלָתָם כְּמַעֲלַת הָאֲצִילוּת וְכוּ'.

And malchut of Asiyah is the “word of G-d” which animates and creates this world in its entirety,

וּ"מַלְכוּת דַּעֲשִׂיָּה" הוּא – "דְּבַר ה'" הַמְחַיֶּה וּמְהַוֶּה אֶת עוֹלָם הַזֶּה בִּכְלָלוֹ,

up to and including the Element of Earth and “the water that is below the earth.”29

עַד יְסוֹד הֶעָפָר וְהַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר מִתַּחַת לָאָרֶץ.

Now, if the creation of all things derives from the Shechinah, from the revelation of Divine power, how do we account for those things that derive from kelipot, entities that “oppose” G-dliness and holiness?