In regard to the Holy One, blessed be He, however, the level of wisdom—which [in all created beings] is the beginning of thought and its genesis—is to Him the final stage of action;

אֲבָל לְגַבֵּי הַקָּדוֹשׁ־בָּרוּךְ־הוּא, מַדְרֵגַת הַחָכְמָה, שֶׁהִיא תְּחִלַּת מַחֲשָׁבָה וְרֵאשִׁיתָהּ – הִיא סוֹף מַעֲשֶׂה אֶצְלוֹ,

i.e., in relation to the Holy One, blessed be He, [wisdom] is considered as if it were the quality and level of action,

דְּהַיְינוּ, שֶׁנֶּחְשֶׁבֶת כְּאִילּוּ הִיא בְּחִינַת וּמַדְרֵגַת עֲשִׂיָּיה לְגַבֵּי הַקָּדוֹשׁ־בָּרוּךְ־הוּא,

as it is written, “You have made them all with wisdom.”1

כְּדִכְתִיב: "כּוּלָּם בְּחָכְמָה עָשִׂיתָ".

At first glance, it would seem more appropriate for the verse to have said something such as “You have ‘intellected’ them all.” Why instead does it state, “You have made…” when speaking of wisdom?

That is to say that [wisdom relative to Him is] as the quality of the life-force in physical and material action is in relation to the quality of the life-force of wisdom,

וְהַיְינוּ לוֹמַר, שֶׁכְּעֵרֶךְ הַחַיּוּת שֶׁבַּעֲשִׂיָּה גוּפָנִית וְגַשְׁמִיִּית לְעֵרֶךְ חַיּוּת הַחָכְמָה,

[wisdom being] the beginning and source of the life-force in man and all the physical creatures.

שֶׁהִיא רֵאשִׁית וּמְקוֹר הַחַיּוּת בָּאָדָם וְכָל הַבְּרוּאִים גַּשְׁמִיִּים,

I.e., the life-force of physicality is incomparably lower than wisdom, which is the source of all life-force.

[For the life-force of physicality] is as nothing in comparison with the life-force in the letters of speech, which [in turn] is as nothing compared to the life-force in the letters of thought,

שֶׁהוּא כְּאַיִן לְגַבֵּי חַיּוּת שֶׁבְּאוֹתִיּוֹת הַדִּבּוּר, שֶׁהוּא כְּאַיִן לְגַבֵּי הַחַיּוּת שֶׁבְּאוֹתִיּוֹת הַמַּחֲשָׁבָה,

which [in turn] is as nothing in comparison to the life-force and level of the emotive attributes from which this thought is derived,

שֶׁהוּא כְּאַיִן לְגַבֵּי חַיּוּת וּמַעֲלַת הַמִּדּוֹת שֶׁמֵּהֶן נִמְשְׁכָה מַחֲשָׁבָה זוֹ,

For, as explained earlier, all letters of thought emanate from some emotion which brings them into being so that the individual concerned should think these particular letters. Clearly, the life-force of these letters of thought bears no comparison to the life-force of the emotions from whence these letters emanate.

which [in turn] is as nothing in comparison to the life-force and level and degree of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, the source of the emotive attributes.

שֶׁהוּא כְּאַיִן לְגַבֵּי חַיּוּת וּמַעֲלַת וּמַדְרֵגַת הַחָכְמָה בִּינָה וָדַעַת מְקוֹר הַמִּדּוֹת,

Thus, from the level of action to the lofty level of wisdom in the World of Atzilut, there are but five levels, each of which is of no account in comparison to the level above it. Clearly, then, the lowest level of action is surely of absolutely no account in comparison to the highest level, which is the level of wisdom in the World of Atzilut. And just as action is infinitely distant from the wisdom of Atzilut

Exactly so is the quality and level of wisdom, the beginning and source of the life-force in all the worlds,

כֵּן מַמָּשׁ, עֵרֶךְ מַדְרֵגַת וּמַעֲלַת הַחָכְמָה, שֶׁהִיא רֵאשִׁית וּמְקוֹר הַחַיּוּת שֶׁבְּכָל הָעוֹלָמוֹת –

For we are speaking here of the sefirah of chochmah of the World of Atzilut, which is the source of the entire World of Atzilut, the highest of all the worlds. As such, it is also the source of all the worlds below it. Now this level of wisdom is as nothing—

in relation to the Holy One, blessed be He, in His Glory and Essence,

לְגַבֵּי הַקָּדוֹשׁ־בָּרוּךְ־הוּא בִּכְבוֹדוֹ וּבְעַצְמוֹ,

Who is elevated and exalted by myriads of degrees of elevation more than the quality of wisdom is elevated over the quality of the life-force in action,

הַמְרוֹמָם וְהַמִּתְנַשֵּׂא רִיבּוֹא רִבְבוֹת מַדְרֵגוֹת רוֹמְמוּת, יוֹתֵר מֵרוֹמְמוּת מַדְרֵגַת הַחָכְמָה עַל בְּחִינַת חַיּוּת שֶׁבָּעֲשִׂיָּיה,

for this is an elevation of only five degrees, namely, the levels of action, speech, thought, the emotive attributes, and intellect.

שֶׁהִיא רוֹמְמוּת חָמֵשׁ מַדְרֵגוֹת לְבַד, שֶׁהֵן מַדְרֵגוֹת בְחִינוֹת עֲשִׂיָּיה וְדִבּוּר וּמַחֲשָׁבָה וּמִדּוֹת וְשֵׂכֶל.

The Holy One, blessed be He, however, is “high and exalted” above the level of wisdom by infinite myriads of such degrees.

אֲבָל הַקָּדוֹשׁ־בָּרוּךְ־הוּא, רָם וּמִתְנַשֵּׂא מִמַּדְרֵגַת הַחָכְמָה – רִבְבוֹת מַדְרֵגוֹת כָּאֵלּוּ עַד אֵין קֵץ.

This being so, why do we compare the distance of wisdom from G-d to the distance of action from wisdom, when in actuality, wisdom is infinitely more distant from Him?