this radiance from the kav of the [infinite] Ein Sof-light vests itself first in the light of Atzilut in Asiyah,

מִתְלַבֶּשֶׁת תְּחִלָּה הֶאָרָה זוֹ שֶׁל הַ"קַּו" דְּאוֹר־אֵין־סוֹף בְּאוֹר הָאֲצִילוּת שֶׁבַּעֲשִׂיָּה,

and from there to the Beriah and Yetzirah in Asiyah,

וּמִמֶּנָּה לִבְרִיאָה וִיצִירָה שֶׁבַּעֲשִׂיָּה,

and from them to the category of the light of the neshamah of the malchut of the malchut of Asiyah.

וּמֵהֶן לִבְחִינַת אוֹר הַנְּשָׁמָה דְּמַלְכוּת דְּמַלְכוּת דַּעֲשִׂיָּה,

From this derives the [creative] power and force in the culmination of the keli of the malchut of malchut of Asiyah, i.e., the lowest degree and sefirah of Asiyah, within the element of Earth.

וְעַל־יְדֵי זֶה יֵשׁ כֹּחַ וָעוֹז בְּסִיּוּם הַכְּלִי דְּמַלְכוּת דְּמַלְכוּת דַּעֲשִׂיָּה שֶׁבִּיסוֹד הֶעָפָר,

This is the constant and everlasting effect, throughout the earth, of the creative utterance, “Let the earth bring forth herbs…,”54 this fiat being the source of the power of vegetative growth

וְהוּא מַאֲמַר "תַּדְשֵׁא הָאָרֶץ וְכוּ'", לִהְיוֹת פּוֹעֵל בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ תָּמִיד לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד

(55in a mode of infinitude,

(בְּחִינַת אֵין־סוֹף,

Not only is the capacity for growth an instance of yesh me’ayin and a result of G-d’s infinitude: the same is true of its constant recurrence.

and not only during the Six Days of Creation, as with the fiat, “Let the waters bring forth [an abundance of creeping creatures],”56 and the fiat, “Let the earth bring forth living beings.”57

וְלֹא בִּלְבַד בְּשֵׁשֶׁת יְמֵי בְרֵאשִׁית, כְּמַאֲמַר "יִשְׁרְצוּ הַמַּיִם", וּמַאֲמַר "תּוֹצֵא הָאָרֶץ נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה",

Ever since these one-time creative utterances, every living being derives from another, and not ex nihilo from the earth or water.

[These fiats derive] from the chochmah of the malchut of the malchut of Asiyah.

מֵחָכְמָה דְּמַלְכוּת דְּמַלְכוּת דַּעֲשִׂיָּה,

For during the Seven Days of the Beginning there shone in this world a radiance from the [infinite] Ein Sof-light in a mode of gratuitous kindness,

שֶׁבְּז' יְמֵי בְרֵאשִׁית הֵאִיר בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה הֶאָרָה מֵאוֹר־אֵין־סוֹף בְּ"חֶסֶד חִנָּם",

without any [prior] elevation of mayin nukvin at all.)

בְּלִי הַעֲלָאַת "מַיִּין נוּקְבִין" כְּלָל),

During those days, there was no spontaneous arousal initiated from the world below, in the form of Divine service on the part of the “female” or recipient element, in order to elicit a reciprocal arousal from above. (After these seven days, however, G-d ordained that henceforth, there must first be an arousal initiated from below.) By virtue of the gratuitous and unearned Divine kindness of those first seven days, each of the above-quoted fiats (“Let the water bring forth…” and “Let the earth bring forth…”) effectively brought about an instance of creation ex nihilo, of yesh from ayin.

The fiat “Let the earth sprout forth…,” by contrast, operates constantly:

to make grasses and trees and fruits sprout ex nihilo into substantiality, constantly, year by year.58

לְהַצְמִיחַ עֲשָׂבִים וְאִילָנוֹת וּפֵירוֹת מֵאַיִן לְיֵשׁ תָּמִיד מִדֵּי שָׁנָה בְּשָׁנָה,

This [constancy] is a kind of infinity,

שֶׁהוּא מֵעֵין בְּחִינַת "אֵין־סוֹף",

for if this world were to exist for myriads of myriads of years, they would still sprout forth from year to year.

שֶׁאִם יִתְקַיֵּים עוֹלָם הַזֶּה רִיבּוּי רִבְבוֹת שָׁנִים – יַצְמִיחוּ מִדֵּי שָׁנָה בְּשָׁנָה.

There are, though, some [plants, trees, and fruit] that result from a [prior] “elevation of mayin nukvin,” i.e., whose seeds serve as the abovementioned arousal from below, which calls forth the power of vegetative growth within the earth, namely, those which are sown and planted.

אֶלָּא שֶׁיֵּשׁ מֵהֶן עַל־יְדֵי הַעֲלָאַת "מַיִּין נוּקְבִין", וְהֵם הַזְּרוּעִים וְהַנְּטוּעִים,

Nevertheless, these [too] are like yesh me’ayin,

וְאַף־עַל־פִּי־כֵן, הֵם כְּמוֹ יֵשׁ מֵאַיִן,

for the planted seed is of no estimation whatsoever in relation to the fruit nor in relation to the whole tree with the branches and leaves.

שֶׁהַגַּרְעִין הַנָּטוּעַ אֵין לוֹ עֵרֶךְ כְּלָל לְגַבֵּי הַפְּרִי, וְגַם נֶגֶד כָּל הָאִילָן עִם הָעֲנָפִים וְהֶעָלִין,

Whereas the difference between the fruit and its source in the kernel is mainly qualitative (as in the taste, for example), the difference between the kernel and the resultant tree is more quantitative.

By both of these criteria, then, the growth of a tree from a seed possesses an element of yesh me’ayin.

The same applies to the various species of seeds and vegetables and to the various species of grain: That hundreds of kernels should come into being from a single kernel resembles yesh me’ayin,

וְכֵן בְּמִינֵי זֵרְעוֹנִים וִירָקוֹת, וְגַם בְּמִינֵי תְּבוּאָה לְהִתְהַוּוֹת מֵאוֹת גַּרְעִינִין מִגַּרְעִין אֶחָד, הוּא כְּמוֹ יֵשׁ מֵאַיִן,

and how much more so, with respect to their straw and spikes, which are so much more different from the parent kernel, and thus even more conspicuously come into being as if “from nothing.”

וּמִכָּל שֶׁכֵּן הַקַּשִּׁין וְהַשִּׁבֳּלִים.

Now,59 these fruits that [grow] by means of an “elevation of mayin nukvin,” i.e., by sowing and planting, are far, far superior to those that come up independently, only from the vegetative property in the soil.

וְהִנֵּה, הַפֵּירוֹת שֶׁעַל־יְדֵי הַעֲלָאַת "מַיִּין נוּקְבִין", הִיא הַזְּרִיעָה וְהַנְּטִיעָה – הֵם מְשׁוּבָּחִים מְאֹד מְאֹד מֵהָעוֹלִים מֵאֲלֵיהֶן מִכֹּחַ הַצּוֹמֵחַ לְבַדּוֹ שֶׁבָּאָרֶץ,

And from this, we will be able to understand [the concept of] the elicitation of the supernal orot, the Divine illuminations, [that are drawn down] in the Worlds of Atzilut, Beriah, Yetzirah, and Asiyah,

וּמִזֶּה נַשְׂכִּיל הַמְשָׁכוֹת אוֹרוֹת עֶלְיוֹנִים בַּאֲצִילוּת־בְּרִיאָה־יְצִירָה־עֲשִׂיָּה

The lights that are drawn down to this world in response to man’s Divine service surpass by far the lights that are granted through “an arousal from above” as an unearned gift.

(60which is the ultimate purpose for the creation of man,)

(שֶׁהוּא תַּכְלִית בְּרִיאַת הָאָדָם),

as is explained elsewhere.

כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר.