At first glance this classification might appear to be a peripheral and secondary one.

In truth, however, this is not so.

Locality of residence, whether a small town or a large city, is a primary and fundamental factor affecting the daily conduct of people.

Where a person lives influences every aspect of his life.

It affects the person himself: his general attitude, the development of his skills, the expression of his soul-powers, and his conduct. It also affects the lives of one's family members: their education and guidance, and their conduct.

The aforementioned can be inferred a fortiori.

If the life of a man and his family is affected in every respect by the conduct and prevalent attitudes that characterize their wider environment, how much more so is it affected in every respect by the norms and prevalent spirit that characterize their immediate community.

Moreover, the quality of life in a small town is different from the quality of life in a large city, being more tranquil.

G‑d created man with a unique nature, different not only from the [nature of] terrestrial and celestial hosts, but also from the [nature of] the supernal Sefiros.

All these beings possess a single nature, this nature constituting what they are.

Terrestrial creatures have coarse corporeal bodies and are capable of acting [in accordance] with their [one] emotive character in a single way, whether through kindness or mercy, or severity and cruelty.

Celestial hosts have bodies as well, though their bodies are composed of a subtle substance.

Therefore, they too can act [only] in a single way, except that their actions have several beneficial properties.

The action of the sun, for example, is to illuminate. Its beneficial properties are that it heals, improves the growth of vegetation, ripens fruits and crops, and so on.

The supernal creatures - including both the angels which are divisible into ten categories, as the Maimonides states, and the ten Sefiros, from Chochmah [Wisdom] to Malchus [Majesty] - all perform singular actions.

Man, however, is different.

He is comprised of both the essential advantages of the supernal [creatures] and the baseness of the lower [earthly creatures], and his actions are many [and diverse].

This capacity of man - implanted in him by G‑d - to act in many [diverse] ways is in harmony with both the composition of his body and the propensities of his soul.

Although terrestrial and celestial creatures possess different types of bodies - the bodies of the former are composed of coarse material, the bodies of the latter are composed of ethereal matter - nevertheless, the actions of both [types of creatures] stem from [and are attributable to] their [respective] bodies.

The actions of the supernal Sefiros, on the other hand, stem from [and are attributable to] their souls.

Man containing as he does elements of both the supernal and the non-supernal, acts in a dual manner: he performs actions that stem from his body, and actions that stem from his soul.

Among the various traits G‑d infused in man is not only the capacity to influence and to affect that which is external to him, but also the ability to be himself influenced and affected by that which is outside of him.

For example, man is affected by his food: to refine his understanding and intellect, he must eat refined foods.

Similarly, [he should dress with care since donning] fine clothing broadens mental perceptiveness. [Man is likewise influenced by his surroundings.

To illustrate:] Those who dwell in small cities enjoy longevity.


Man differs from terrestrial and supernal creatures. His place of residence, whether a small or large city, affects all aspects of his life.