In order to better understand the above discussion of how the kelipah of Midian is the antithesis and antagonist of the Name Havayah, one must first understand the concept of unity inherent in the Name Havayah.

The difference between the Name Havayah and the Name Elokim is well known. The Name Elokim is the source of differentiation [in creation], for which reason it appears in the plural form; for example,1 Elokim kedoshim hu (“He is a Holy G‑d”), and2 niglu eilav HaElokim (“G‑d was revealed to him”). The question then arises, how is it possible to ascribe (heaven forfend) plurality to G‑d?

By way of explanation: The Name Elokim refers to the Divine power and vitality which flows into created things to create and vivify them. There are many such powers from G‑d that create and vivify the many creatures. Within the physical world here below we see an extensive particularization among the created beings. As the Book of Psalms , referring to their immense variety, proclaims:3 “How manifold are Your works, O G‑d.”

The creations can be divided into four broad categories: inanimate, plant, animal and human. More particularly, each of these categories contains many individual elements. [For example,] there are many different types of inanimate objects, ranging from simple stones to precious glittering gems. So too there are diverse types of plants herbs, grasses, grains and fruits. Likewise, there are multitudinous species in the animal kingdom. In the human race as well, there is a great degree of variation. Indeed, each person is different from every other, as in the saying,4 “Their opinions are not the same.” All of these differences exist among the creations of this world.

In the spiritual world above there is even greater multiplicity. The heavenly angels, for example, are numerous beyond measure, each distinguished from another by their individual spiritual qualities and levels. Indeed, if not for their differences in level,5 there would be nothing to distinguish one from another. While the creations of the physical world are separate and distinguishable by virtue of their bodies, which are measurable in terms of space, the bodies of angels bear no relation to the dimension of space. Hence, differentiation between them results solely from variations in their spiritual levels.

(Perhaps we can say that there is a form of “space” in the spiritual worlds too. It is known6 that the spiritual source of space is Malchus of Atzilus. [Malchus of Atzilus is the last Sefirah of the highest World, Atzilus.] Hence there is also a form of space in the [lower] Worlds of Beriah , Yetzirah and Asiyah. Just as “space” in this world is defined in terms of [an object’s boundaries or] limitations, that is, limitation as it is understood in the physical World of Asiyah where it is physical limitation, so too “space” in the spiritual Worlds, as for example in the World of Yetzirah ,7 is determined by the nature of “limitation” in the World of Yetzirah. Accordingly it is possible to say that angels are distinguished from one another by their bodies;8 for although these bodies are composed of the more subtle spiritual elements of Fire and Air, moreover of the [rarefied and abstract] Fire and Air of Yetzirah , they are nevertheless bound by the limitations of space insofar as it exists there.

(Fire and air in this world fall within the definition of “space.” Air occupies space. Similarly fire is bound by space, as is seen, for example, in a lightning flash, in which the fire is seen within the confines of a specific area. Similarly, elemental Fire, i.e., the sphere of Fire, is bound by space.)

[Thus, fire and air, although more refined than other elements, clearly occupy space,] and hence the very “bodies” of the angels differentiate one from another. But at any rate, angels are surely distinguished from each other by their varying spiritual qualities.)

Similarly the creations of the world are distinguished from one another, not only by their bodies, but by the life-force within each of them. Each creation has a unique life-force, distinct from any others. This accounts for the fact that each creature possesses its own individual name. (Even among animals, each individual of a species such as lions or oxen certainly has its own individual combination [of letters] which give it life.) [G‑d created the world through speech, and the particular configuration of letters in the Holy Tongue (i.e., Hebrew) which forms the name of any created being is the means through which it is brought into being and vitalized.] It is known that the name conveys the life-force, being the combination of the letters of the name which is the life-force of that creature.9 Adam, the first man,10 was able to name all of the domestic and wild animals because he knew the root and source of their life-force, i.e., the combination of letters which vitalize them. This matter is discussed elsewhere.11

These different combinations are derived from the Name Elokim , which (as is known) represents the “world of speech.” Accordingly [the multifarious created universe] is called “the city of Elokeinu ,”12 as is discussed elsewhere.13 The many combinations of the letters of speech of the Name Elokim are the multitude of powers which create and vitalize the many creatures. Each creation differs from another because of the differentiated life-force, i.e., the different combinations [of letters which vitalize them]; each creation is brought into being by a unique combination and life-force.

All [of these variations] result from the Name Elokim. By contrast, concerning the Name Havayah (the Tetragrammaton) it is written,14Havayah is One,” signifying a unity which transcends division. The differentiation of letter combinations which create and vitalize can be conceptualized only in regard to the Name Elokim , for that is the source which actually brings the creation into being, as it is written,15 “In the beginning Elokim created.” It is the “activating force upon the thing created” (כח הפועל בנפעל). The Name Havayah , however, is not a [direct] source of the worlds. It is known16 that the actual creation could not take place [directly] from the Name Havayah , but only by means of the Name Elokim. Therefore Havayah is beyond differentiation, as the verse declares:17Havayah is One….”

There is great differentiation among the creations of this world, and even more in the worlds above, based on the creations’ [boundaries within] space and their [spiritual] level. These (differences) are derived from the Name Elokim. [By contrast,] the Name Havayah transcends differentiation.