Yet, since "The Torah employs human language," the "word" of G‑d, blessed be He, is actually called "speech," like the speech of a human being, for in truth it is so, by virtue of the descent and flow of the life-force to the lower planes, by means of many and powerful contractions of various kinds, in order that many diverse creatures be created from them.

Indeed, so great and powerful are the contractions and concealment of the Countenance, that even unclean things, kelipot and sitra achra, can come into being and be created, receiving their life and existence from the Divine word and the breath of His blessed mouth, in concealment of His Countenance and by virtue of the downward gradations.

Therefore are [the kelipot] called "other gods" (אלוהים אחרים ), for their nurture and life are not of the so-called "Countenance" but of the so-called "hinder part" (אחוריים ) of holiness; "hinder" exemplifying the act of a person giving something unwillingly to an enemy, when he throws it to him over his shoulder, as it were, having turned away his face from him since he hates him.

So, on high, the term "Countenance" exemplifies the inner quality of the Supernal Will and true desire, in which G‑d delights to dispense life from the realm of holiness to everyone who is near to Him.

But the sitra achra, and unholiness, is "An abomination unto G‑d which He hates," and He does not give it life from His inner will and true desire as if He delighted in it, Heaven forbid, but in the manner of one who reluctantly throws something over his shoulder to his enemy; [He does so] only to punish the wicked and to give a goodly reward to the righteous who subjugate the sitra achra. This is [why it is] called the "hinder-part" of the Supernal Will.

Now, the Supernal Will, of the quality of "Countenance," is the source of life which animates all worlds. But since it is in no way bestowed on the sitra achra, and even the so-called "hinder-part" of the Supernal Will is not actually clothed in it, but merely hovers over it from above, therefore it is the abode of death and defilement— may G‑d preserve us! For the tiny amount of light and life that it derives and absorbs into itself from the so-called "hinder-part" of the supernal holiness is, as it were, in a state of actual exile in it, as an aspect of the esoteric doctrine of the exile of the Shechinah, referred to above.

Therefore, also, it is termed "other gods," since it constitutes actual idolatry and denial of the unity of the Supreme King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He. For inasmuch as the light and life of holiness are, as it Were, in a state of exile, within it, it does not surrender itself in any degree to the holiness of the Holy One, blessed be He. On the contrary, it surges upward like an eagle, saying, "I am, and there is nothing beside me,' or, as the utterance, "My river is mine own, and I have made myself." That is why the Rabbis, of blessed memory, said that arrogance truly compares with idolatry, for the essence and root of idolatry is that it is regarded as a thing in itself, sundered from the Divine holiness; it does not imply an outright denial of G‑d, as is stated in the Gemara that they [the heathens] call Him "The G‑d of gods," thus only presuming themselves also to be entities and independent beings. But thereby they separate themselves from the blessed Divine holiness, since they do not surrender themselves to Him. For the supernal holiness rests only on what is surrendered to Him, as is explained above. Therefore they are called in the holy Zohar "Peaks of separation" But this constitutes a denial of His true unity, where everything is as nothing compared with Him and truly nullified before Him and before His will which animates them all and constantly gives them existence out of nothing.