And Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood: it was two and a half cubits long, one and a half cubits wide, and one and a half cubits tall." (Ex. 37:1)

The name Elokim is manifest in three places in Atzilut: in bina, in gevura, and in malchut. The numerical values of these three names Elokim [together] is [258] the same as the numerical value of the word "Haran". Bezalel made three arks corresponding to these three names, in order to conceal within them the Torah, which is [a manifestation of] the name Havayah.

The relationship between the names Havayah and Elokim is that of "light" and "vessel", or "message" and "medium". Elokim (alef-lamed-hei-yud-mem, 1 + 30 + 5 + 10 + 40 = 86) shares the same numerical value with the word for "nature" ("ha-teva", spelled hei-tet-beit-ayin, 5 + 9 + 2 + 70 = 86), reflecting the fact that nature or the natural order that pervades Creation conceals the divine energy behind and within it.

The gateway to divine consciousness in this world… is the Torah…

The gateway to divine consciousness in this world, which contravenes the facade of nature, is the Torah. Thus, just as the physical ark(s) of the Tabernacle housed the Tablets of the Covenant, which encapsulated the entire Written and Oral Torah, the spiritual ark(s), the three names Elokim of Atzilut, conceal within them - and thereby channel into the world - the divine consciousness of the name Havayah.

Since the root of the [sefira] tree from above is bina and from below is malchut, the inner and outer arks were made of gold, while the inner ark was made of wood. This is because gold expresses the full intensity of holy gevura.

The sefirot function both as channels through which divine beneficence is transmitted to the world and as levels of consciousness through which man may ascend. When the schema of sefirot is viewed as beginning above and extending down below, the "root" is bina, the source of its "branches", the attributes of the heart. When it is viewed as beginning below and ascending, the "root" is malchut. These two sefirot thus define the borders of the matrix of divine energy/consciousness within which divine energy is funneled earthward. They are thus the inner and outer "arks" (Elokim) in which the divine energy itself (Havayah) is sheathed.

Red is usually the color associated with gevura. Gold is a reddish color but also possesses a brilliance and shine. It therefore is seen as the idealized, or holy, red.

Now, the numerical value of the word for ark [in Hebrew, "aron"] plus the kolel equals the numerical value of the word "Haran".

Furthermore, if we take the alef of "aron" to equal 1000, the numerical value of "aron" is the same as the combined numerical values of Akatriel, Metatron, and Sandalfon.

These three names are names of angels. It is customary not to pronounce names of angels, unless these names are also used for people, e.g. Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, etc.

"Aron" is spelled: alef, reish, vav, nun, 1000 + 200 + 6 + 50 = 1256.

"Akatriel" = 662, "Metatron" = 314, "Sandalfon" = 280; 662 + 314 + 280 = 1256.

As mentioned previously, these three angels are the personifications of the consciousnesses of the worlds of Atzilut, Beriya, and Yetzira, respectively.

The Tablets inside the three arks were [a manifestation of] the name Havayah of the world of Atzilut…

I.e. the open divine consciousness manifest throughout the entire world of Atzilut.

…which becomes enclothed in the worlds of Beriya, Yetzira, and Asiya.

[This is alluded to by the fact that] the numerical value of these three names Elokim together with the square-value of the name Ado-nai, plus the kolel, equal the numerical value of the word Shechina.

The consciousness of the world of Atzilut is constricted…in order to function as the lower consciousness of the three lower worlds….

The name Ado-nai is associated with the sefira of malchut (in general, and of Atzilut in particular), and represents the way the contracted divine energy of one world descends to the next lower world and "rules" it, i.e. becomes its dominant consciousness. In the present context, we are talking about how the consciousness of the world of Atzilut is constricted and contracted in order to function as the lower consciousness of the three lower worlds. Although the three lower worlds differ from each other with regard to their relative intensity of divine consciousness, they have in common the fact that divine consciousness is sufficiently screened and dimmed to allow self-consciousness as well. In this respect, they may be grouped together in order to contrast with the world of Atzilut, in which divine consciousness is so pervading that there is simply no "room" for self-awareness at all.

The numerical value of the three names Elokim (3 x 86) is 258, as we have said.

The square-value (ribu'a) is the same as the "posterior" (achorayim) or "diminishing" value. For the name Ado-nai, this is alef, alef-dalet, alef-dalet-nun, alef-dalet-nun-yud =

(1) + (1 + 4) + (1 + 4 + 50) + (1 + 4 + 50 + 10) = 126.

258 + 126 + 1 = 385.

The Divine Presence, or indwelling, is called the "Shechina"(from the root shin-chaf-nun, meaning "to dwell"). The numerical value of this word is shin-chaf-yud-nun-hei, 300 + 20 + 10 + 50 + 5 = 385.

Thus, the three processes (names Elokim) through which the name Havayah of the world of Atzilut is packaged in order to be manifest in the lower worlds occurs via G‑d's attribute of rulership (or malchut, represented here by the square-value of the name Ado-nai). When we add 1 to indicate that the whole process is one totality, we arrive at the numerical equivalent to the result of this process - the Divine Presence as it is manifest throughout the lower three worlds.

The name Elokim is comprised of 5 letters; it is spelled out using 13 letters; and the process of spelling-out its spelling-out uses an additional 34 letters. The total number of letters used thusly is 52.

alef

alef

alef-lamed-dalet

 

lamed

lamed-mem-dalet

 

dalet

dalet-lamed-tav

lamed

lamed

lamed-mem-dalet

 

mem

mem-final mem

 

dalet

dalet-lamed-tav

hei

hei

hei-yud

 

yud

yud-vav-dalet

yud

yud

yud-vav-dalet

 

vav

vav-vav

 

dalet

dalet-lamed-tav

mem

mem

mem-final mem

 

final mem

mem-final mem

3 x 52 is the numerical value of the word for "and a tunic" [in Hebrew, "umei'il", =156].

3 x 52 = 156; "umei'il" (spelled vav-mem-ayin-yud-lamed, 6 + 40 + 70 + 10 + 30) = 156.

When we add 3 to this number, for the three iterations of the name Elokim [simple, spelled-out once, and spelled-out again], we have [159,] the numerical value of the word for "small" [in Hebrew, "katan"].

    "Katan" is spelled: kuf-tet-nun = 100 + 9 + 50 = 159.

This is an allusion to the verse referring to Samuel: "And his mother made him a small robe." (Samuel I 2:19)

Samuel's mother, Hannah, was childless for many years. She prayed to G‑d to bless her with a son, promising to consecrate him to the service of G‑d. When Samuel was weaned, she took him to Shiloh (where the Tabernacle was located) and entrusted him into the care of the High Priest, Eli. "His mother would make him a small tunic and bring it up to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to slaughter the annual offering." (Ibid.)

The numerical value of "Samuel" [plus the kolel] is the same as that of "chashmal", indicating how Zeir Anpin comprises the eight sefirot from chochma to yesod, and is crowned with the 370 lights of Arich Anpin.

The chashmal is a 'force-field' that protects Zeir Anpin and Nukva from the forces of evil…

"Samuel" (in Hebrew, "Shemu'el") is spelled: shin-mem-vav-alef-lamed = 300 + 40 + 6 + 1 + 30 = 377.

"Chashmal" is spelled: chet-shin-mem-lamed = 8 + 300 + 40 + 70 = 378.

Samuel, personifying Zeir Anpin, is robed in a "small tunic", i.e. a protective garment. This protective garment around Zeir Anpin is known as chashmal, the "glow", known to us from the vision of Ezekiel. (Ezekiel 1:4-28) (In modern Hebrew, "chashmal" means "electricity.") The chashmal is a "force-field" that protects Zeir Anpin and Nukva from the forces of evil. The fact that the "small tunic" of chashmal is numerically "equivalent" to the three iterations of the name Elokim indicates that this garment is derived from them.

Although the full partzuf of Zeir Anpin possesses ten sub-sefirot, as does any partzuf, the keter and malchut of Zeir Anpin can be considered external to the "body" of the partzuf proper. The keter is, after all, a crown placed on top of the head, and malchut of any partzuf is the expression of the partzuf.

Arich Anpin is the partzuf of the super-rational will, the desire that motivates the bringing into being of a particular world. The 370 lights of Arich Anpin, the will to create the world of Atzilut, are the presence of the motivating good will in the emotions. When the 370 lights of Arich Anpin shine on the partzuf of Zeir Anpin, it means that G‑d's motivating will in creating the world is present within the Creation itself; i.e. that G‑d is happy with His world - or at least focusing on the aspect of its origin that transcends its behavior. (Thus, the Aramaic term "Arich Anpin", translated into Hebrew is "Erech Apaim", the idiom for "patience").

His mother is Hannah; the numerical value of her name [in Hebrew, "Chanah"] is 63, referring to the eighth sefira [bina], which possesses 50 gates included in [its] 5 emotional attributes.

Hannah here thus personifies Imma, the origin of Zeir Anpin, personified by her son, Samuel…

"Chanah" is spelled: chet-nun-hei = 8 + 50 + 5 = 63.

Zeir Anpin derives from Imma, the partzuf of bina. Of the four spellings-out of the name Havayah (giving numerical values of 72, 63, 45, and 52), the one whose numerical value is 63 is associated with bina, as we know. Hannah here thus personifies Imma, the origin of Zeir Anpin, personified by her son, Samuel.

According to the sages, there are fifty "gates" of understanding, i.e. fifty levels of understanding how Divinity is manifest in created reality. The simplest way of comprehending this is as a reference to the fact that bina / Imma produces the seven emotions, each of which is inter-inclusive of the other, giving 49; bina itself would then be the fiftieth "gate".

Here, however, the fifty "gates" are seen as 5 x 10 rather than (7 x 7) + 1. The five principle emotions are chesed to hod; the latter two, yesod and malchut, are just the drive for expression and power of expressing the "content" of the preceding five. These five principle emotions, as they exist within their source, the intellect, are in an "expanded" state, indicated by their self-inter-inclusion of all ten sub-sefirot. This idea contrasts with how these emotions exist outside their source, on their own; in this "contracted" state they are not inter-inclusive of all ten, but only of each other, 7 x 7.

This [idea is] further [alluded to by the fact that] when the name Elokim is spelled out with yud's and again with alef's, this requires 104 letters. Spelling out [this name] with hei's requires 51 letters.

As we have mentioned previously, the three manifestations of the name Elokim in Atzilut, specifically, in bina, gevura, and malchut of Atzilut, correspond to the three methods of spelling out this name. When Elokim is spelled out with yud's, it corresponds to bina; with alef's, to gevura; with hei's, to malchut.

Elokim spelled
with the letter yud
(Elokim of bina)

 

Elokim spelled
with the letter alef
(Elokim of gevura)

 

Elokim spelled
with the letter hei
(Elokim of malchut)

alef

alef

alef-
lamed-
dalet

alef

alef

alef-
lamed-
dalet

alef

alef

alef-
lamed-
dalet

.

lamed

lamed-
mem-
dalet

.

lamed

lamed-
mem-
dalet

.

lamed

lamed-
mem-
dalet

pei

pei-
yud

.

pei

pei-
yud

.

pei

pei-yud

lamed

lamed

lamed-
mem-
dalet

lamed

lamed

lamed-
mem-
dalet

lamed

lamed

lamed-
mem-
dalet

mem

mem-
mem

.

mem

mem-
mem

.

mem

mem-
mem

dalet

dalet-
lamed-
tav

.

dalet

dalet-
lamed-
tav

.

dalet

dalet-
lamed-
tav

hei

hei

hei-yud

hei

hei

hei-alef

hei

hei

hei-yud

.

yud

yud-vav
-dalet

.

alef

alef-
lamed-
pei

hei

hei-yud

yud

yud

yud-
vav-
dalet

yud

yud

yud-vav
-dalet

yud

yud

yud-vav
-dalet

.

vav

vav-
yud-vav

.

vav

vav-
yud-vav

.

vav

vav-
yud-vav

.

dalet

dalet-
lamed-
tav

.

dalet

dalet-
lamed-
tav

.

dalet

dalet-
lamed-
tav

mem

mem

mem-
mem

mem

mem

mem-
mem

mem

mem

mem-
mem

.

mem

mem-
mem

.

mem

mem-
mem

.

mem

mem-
mem

These numbers, when added together with 3 for the three names and the kolel, equal the numerical value of the word for "small" [in Hebrew, "katan"], referring back to the "small tunic" mentioned above.

104 + 51 + 3 + 1 = 158.

"Katan" is spelled: kuf, tet, nun = 100 + 9 + 50

Strive to understand all this.

Understand that the name Elokim of Imma diminishes the power of the name Havayah of Abba so that Zeir Anpin may receive its intelligence [mochin] in stages. In the same way, the three names Elokim [of bina, gevura, and malchut] serve to diminish the power of the name Havayah of chochma. The three worlds [Beriya, Yetzira, and Asiya] serve to diminish the power of Atzilut. Finally, the three arks that Bezalel made all serve to diminish the power of the Written Torah [a manifestation of Zeir Anpin] so that Israel can participate in its revelation via the Oral Torah [a manifestation of the Shechina, Malchut]. All of this is alluded to in the concept of the "small tunic" ["mei'il katan"] that Samuel received from his mother Hannah.


Translated and adapted by Moshe-Yaakov Wisnefsky from Sefer HaLikutim; subsequently published in "Apples From the Orchard", editorial thanks also to Rabbi Avraham Sutton.

Reprinted with permission from Chabad of California. Copyright 2004 by Chabad of California, Inc. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work or portions thereof, in any form, without permission, in writing, from Chabad of California, Inc.