He and His vivifications are one, He and His causations are one — in them" ( that is, (in) the ten Sefirot of Atzilut. "His vivifications" — these are the lights [ orot ], and "His causations" — these are the vessels [kelim]. They are all Divinity. But this is not so in Beriah, Yetzirah, and Asiyah; etc.) Now, it needs to be understood well how the En Sof is One with His causations, i.e. the kelim. For, the kelim are in a mode of limitation and finitude, as mentioned in Etz Chayim. However, the intention is to say that they are Divinity with respect to creating something out of nothing (yesh meayin),just like the En Sof, and not merely by way of an evolution from cause to effect. As for the statement of R. Moses Cordovero that the (creative) development is by way of cause and effect [and it is so stated in the sacred Zohar, section Bereishit ], this refers to the evolution of the Sefirot within the Sefirot themselves ( with respect to the kelim). [Thus in Sefer Yetzirah (the Sefirot) are called 'beli-mah' (without anything), because they are not in the category of a substance and apprehensible nature, just like the En Sof "Whom thought cannot grasp at all," and as it is written: "And My Face shall not be seen." As for the prophecy and apprehension of Moses our Master, peace to him, it was of the upper rank of netzach ofz'eyr anpin. ] And in the evolution the effect is encompassed by the cause, in relation to which it is essentially non-existent, just as a ray of the sun is (absorbed) in the sun, as stated in Pardess by R. Moses Cordovero. Thus even numerous contractions will not avail to there being matter as dense as earth, by way of an evolution from the spirituality of the separate intelligences, (not) even (that) of the angels, except to there being the spirit of animal from the "Face of the Ox," as explained elsewhere, see there.

The coming about of substantiality ex nihilo (yesh meayin), is in Hebrew called בריאה (creation).

(Such) created substance, in fact, is also esteemed as naught before Him; that is, it is essentially non-existent in relation to the force and light that effulges in it from the kelim of the ten Sefirot of Atzilut, Beriah, Yetzirah, and Asiyah [in which the gleam (kav) of the light of the blessed En Sof radiates], and just as the ray of the sun in the sun, as explained in Likutei Amarim, part II. However, this is so only "before Him," relating to His blessed knowledge, from above netherwards. But in relation to the knowledge from below upwards, created substance is [in such knowledge and apprehension from below] an altogether separate thing. For the force that effuses in it is not apprehended at all. Also, there is no approximation whatever from the one to the other, neither to the whole nor to part of the relation between the effect and cause. For the effect knows and has some apprehension of its cause and becomes nullified in relation to it through this knowledge and apprehension. Even with respect to their nature and essence there is not such a great distinction (between cause and effect) except that one is a cause and the other is an effect; but nothing whatever of the distinction there is between the nature of a created substance and the nature of the force and light that effuses in it to make it ex nihilo into substantiality. That is why (creation) is called precisely yesh meayin.

Now, the kelim of the ten Sefirot of Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah, and also the orot [nefesh, ruach ] are the first stage and the beginning of created substantiality (yesh). They are created from the category of the neshamah of the ten Sefirot of Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah, which is Divinity. And these are the thirty kelim of malchut of Atzilut It is likewise in Atzilut. From the chitzoniyut of the kelim of the ten Sefirot of Atzilut [which are Divinity] were created the hechalot of Atzilut in which the category of the iggulim of the ten Sefirot vests itself, and also the bodies of the angels of Atzilut— which are a form of substantiality (yesh) [as it is written: "And His angels He charges with deficiency"— because they are not wholly in a state of nullification as the effect is in relation to its cause].

But the souls of the angels that emerged by the zivvug neshikin, and also the souls of man that emerged by the zivvug zu'n of Atzilut, they, prior to their descending to Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah, are not a level of substantiality (yesh) and a distinct entity on its own. On the contrary, they are of the category of Divinity in immense contraction. They are like the kelim of the ten Sefirot of Atzilut which are in a category of limitation on account of the contraction of the light of the En Sof, i.e. the kav is vested in their nefesh-ruach-neshamah, and just like the original tzimtzum to bring about a void etc.

( And even after the nefesh-ruach-neshamah of Atzilut .descended to this world to the erstwhile tzadikim, their essence possibly did not change to become an entity distinct from Divinity. That is why they withdrew when they wanted to sin, before they sinned. It is feasible to assume that also the thousands and myriads of worlds that are in the gulgalta [skull] of arich anpin and zeyr anpin, are not really worlds, like the hechalot of Atzilut, and a category of substantiality, but are like the souls of the angels that emerged from the zivvug neshikin, and are called worlds in relation to the rank of the "skull" and the "beard". )

They are not, however, truly Divinity— able to create something ex nihilo, because they already emerged and became separated from the kelim of the ten Sefirot wherein the kav of the light of the En Sof is vested.

For the light is like its source, i.e. the nature and essence of the blessed Emanator, whose Being is of His essence, and He is not, Heaven forfend, caused by some other cause preceding Himself. He alone, therefore, has it in His power and ability to create something out of an absolute naught and nothingness, without this "something" having any other cause preceding it.

In order that this yesh, created by the power of the En Sof, should have a limit and measure, the light of the En Sof was vested in the kelim of the ten Sefirot of Atzilut, and becomes united in them in so absolute a unity that"He and His causations are one" to create with and through them [especially through their investment in Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah] creatures that have limitation and finitude.

However, it is known that the principal coming to be of the yesh and the totally distinct entity, is through malchut of Atzilut, which becomes the atik of Beriah, for "There is no king without a people ..." The multitude of creatures, and their division, that were created by the force of the One and absolutely Unique En Sof, it, too, is from the multitude of letters that issue from malchut— "The mouth of the Lord" and "All their hosts by the breath of His mouth." The five organs of speech are of the five gevurot of nukva. Thus (malchut) is called alma deitgalya (the manifest world), because through it is manifested the power of the light of the En Sof to create something out of nothing— without recourse to cause and effect. The first nine Sefirot, however, emanated by a causal evolution, while the light of the En Sof is vested in chochmah only. And that is the meaning of "Their beginning is wedged in their end." For keter is the mediator between the Emanator and the emanated, and the lowest level of the En Sof is contained in it. That is why (keter) is called 'keter malchut (crown of sovereignty); for a crown is but for a king, and, also, the lowest level of the En Sof is the malchut of En Sof. Consequently, from below upwards, malchut of Atzilut, too, is called feeter, and especially since through it is the creation of the souls which are yesh, separate entities [in the world of Beriah]. This is referred to as lidah, just as the splitting of the Red Sea— which "depended on atika;" also, the whole growth of the souls, throughout the seven months from the conjunctio of Shmini Atzeret to the Seventh Day of Passover, is like unto the growth of zu'n in the womb of imma ilaah— by means of the Supernal orot of the imma ilaah, and of yet higher, to the En Sof which vests itself in (imma ilaah) throughout the nine or seven months of pregnancy. Thus it is with the creation of the souls and angels in the world of Beriah. Also, the very essence and root of the "(seminal) drop" which she receives and (through which) she is impregnated by the z'eyr anpin, is of the mochin of abba and imma, and issues forth to abba and imma with every conjunctio, from arich anpin and atik yomin, and still higher— up to the En Sof. Everything is concealed, though, in the mochin, until the nukva gives birth to the souls, and the angels and the hechalot for the world of Beriah. Thus it follows that by means of the ibbur and lidah, there is truly a manifestation of the light of the En Sof.

Now it will be clear why the Mitzvot (commandments) are in malchut, the hai of the Tetragrammaton, while the Torah is in zeyr anpin, the vav of the Tetragrammaton. Above, in arich anpin, the Mitzvot are in the "Whiteness of the gulgalta, i.e. the path (formed) by the parting of the hairs which divide into the 613 paths of the Torah as it is in zeyr anpin" The root of the Torah [which derives from the Supreme chochmah ] is in the concealed mochin of arich anpin, which is the wisdom behind the reasons for the commandments. However, it is like a seal in reverse.

Thus "Their beginning is wedged in their end," i.e. the power of the blessed En Sof, in order to create substantiality ex nihilo. (Creation) is not by way of a causal development in which the effect would be encompassed by its cause, and essentially non-subsistent, but (in such a way) that the yesh is an entity distinct from Divinity so that the blessed Emanator can be a King over all separate entities by their fulfilling the commandments which He enjoins upon them, and "The end-result of the act is first in intent." That is why they said in Yerushalmi: "Is then R. Shimon not of the opinion that one interrupts for Lulav, ..." ; and "If one learns with the intention not to practise, it were better for him had his after-birth been turned over his face ...." for the after-birth was formed first, by the (seminal) drop, and until the fortieth day, when the embryo begins to take on form, it alone was the essential substance of the embryo. In like manner, the commandments are the essence and root of the Torah, even though a commandment is corporeal and the Torah is wisdom. Only one is in the chitzoniyut, and the other is in the pnimiyut, and as (will be explained) further on.

Now, in like manner, by the zivvug zun of Beriah, Yetzirah, and Asiyah, are created, ex nihilo into substantiality, all that were created, formed and made by the light of the neshamah within them. For (the neshamah) is Divinity, of the kelim of the ten Sefirot of malchut of Atzilut. In it is also contained the radiation of the kav from the light of the En Sof that is vested in Atzilut as far as the prassa (curtain) This radiation of the kav, that radiated in the kelim of the ten Sefirot of malchut, pierced the prassa along with them, and radiates in them in Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah, just as in Atzilut itself. The same is also with the very kav that is vested in the culmination and end of the nh'y of Adam Kadmon, i.e. the end of the "feet" of its yosher which culminate in the malchut of Asiyah: a radiation from the kav radiates from there and vests itself in the light of the neshamah of the ten Sefirot of Beriah, Yetzirah and Assiyah, which is Divinity. A radiation from (this) radiation vests itself in the nefesh-ruach of the ten Sefirot of Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah, and also in all their kelim, while a radiation of (that) radiation of the (original) radiation is (immanent) in all that were created, formed and made, as it is written: "The seas, and all there is in them, and You animate them all."

Now, all this is by way of an extension of the vital force to animate them.

However, the essence and nature of the light of the En Sof is in no way subject to space and encompasses all worlds equally: "And I fill the heavens and the earth" in one equal fishion, and "There is no place void of Him" even in this physical world. However, this is by way of "encompassing" and "encircling," and as the meaning of this was explained in Likutei Amarim. It is not in a mode of extension and investment of the vital force to vivify them and make them come into being, ex nihilo into substantiality. (This is) only by a radiation from a radiation of the radiation etc. from the kav, as mentioned above. Also, the radiation from the light of the En Sof which encircles and encompasses the four worlds Atzilut, Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah in equal fashion, to the inner gleam (kav), is by way of the kelim of the ten Sefirot of Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah. By its radiation within the kelim it confers unto them the power and force to create substantiality ex nihilo (yesh meayin). Now, because the creation is by means of the kelim, the creatures are in a category of multifariousness and division, limitation and finitude, and especially so by means of the letters, as mentioned above.

Furthermore, [in addition to all that was mentioned above,] the radiation of the radiation [and all that was said above] manifests its power and ability in the element of the physical earth in an immense manifestation, surpassing the elements transcending it, and even the hosts of heaven. For they do not have it in their power and ability constantly to bring forth something out of nothing (yesh meayin), like the element of earth. (The latter) constantly makes sprout something out of nothing (yesh meayin), namely the herbs and trees— from the vegetative property it possesses, which is nonsubstantial (ayin) and spiritual, while (the growths,) are physical. ( As for the mazal that strikes (the herb) and says "grow,"— this takes place after the herb has already sprouted. He does not tell it to sprout ex nihilo into substantiality, but only from small to big, and which kind of fruit, to bear, in all its details. For prior to its sprouting, to whom would every herb's mazal ordain all the details ?) Now all this is so only because the "feet" of Adam Kadmon culminate at the bottom of Asiyah, and "below His feet" radiates the light of the blessed En Sof which encircles all worlds without any great interruption between them, except for the igguliw of Adam Kadmon only. Also, the kav of the light of the En Sof, culminating at the ending of the "feet" of Adam Kadmon, radiates from below upwards, in a mode of or chozer, just as the investment in arich anpin, abba and imma, and zu'n of Atzilut, radiates as an or chozer from malchut of Atzilut, and malchut of Atzilut, from below upwards, is a category of keter, and "Their beginning is wedged in their end." It is likewise at the culmination of the kav of the light of the En Sof, culminating at the ending of the yosher of the "feet" of Adam Kadmon: it radiates from below upwards to the category of the light of the neshamah of the malchut of malchut of Asiyah, which is actual Divinity [(originating in) the chitzoniyut of the kelim of malchut of Atzilut].

According to that which is stated in ch. 20 of Sefer Hagilgulim, cited in Likutei Amarim, this radiation from the kav of the light of the En Sof vests itself first in the light of Atzilut in Asiyah, and from there to the Beriah and Yetzirah in Asiyah, and from these to the category of the light of the neshamah of the malchut of the malchut of Asiyah. And hence is the (creative) power and force in the culmination of the keli of the malchut of malchut of Asiyah within the element of earth.

This is the constant and everlasting effect, throughout the earth, of the fiat "Let the earth bring forth herbs ..."

( in a mode of infinitude, and not during the six days of creation only [as is the case with the flat "Let the waters bring forth an abundance of creeping things," and the fiat "Let the earth bring forth living being"— from the chochmah of the makhut of the makhut of Asiyah]. For during the Seven Days of the Beginning there shone in this worlds radiation from the light of the En Sof in a mode of gratuitous chesed, without any (prior) elevation of mayin nukvin at all. )

To make herbs and trees, and fruits, sprout ex nihilo into substantiality, constantly, from year to year. This is a kind of degree of infinity; for if this world will subsist for myriads of myriads of years, they will still sprout forth from year to year. There are, though, some (plants) which require a (prior) elevation of mayin nukvin [namely those which are sown and implanted]. But these (too, come about) like yesh meayin ; for the implanted kernel is of no estimation whatever in relation to the fruit, nor in relation to the whole tree with the branches and leaves. The same applies to the various sorts of garden-herbs and vegetables, and also to the various sorts of produce: that hundreds of kernels will come about from a single kernel is like unto yesh meayin, and a fortiori, with respect to the chaffs and spikes. Now, these fruits (that come about) by means of an elevation of mayin nukvin, i.e. by sowing and implanting, they are, by far, superior to those that rise independently from the vegetative property in the soil only. And from this we can understand (the notion of) the elicitations of the supernal orot in Atzilut, Beriah, Yetzirah, and Asiyah ( which is the purpose for the creation of man ), as explained elsewhere.

And from this we can understand clearly the subject of the order of levels pertaining to the inorganic, vegetative, animal and articulate [which correspond to the aspects of earth, water, fire, and air]. Though the animal is more sublime than the vegetative, and the articulate is more sublime than the animal, nevertheless, the animal is nurtured and lives by the vegetative, and the articulate receives his vitality from both, even wisdom and knowledge. For "A child does not know how to call 'father' and 'mother' until it has tasted grain;" and "I had not yet eaten the meat of oxen.. ," This is the aspect of the or chozer: from below, from the bottom of Asiyah [where there is an exceedingly strong manifestation of the radiation of the radiation ... from the light of the En Sof which encircles all worlds, and. from the kav from the light of the En Sof at the culmination of the "feet" of the yosher of Adam Kadmon] upwards, in a mode of or chozer, as mentioned above. And it will be clearly understood from this the best of discernment and knowledge, how it is that the supreme angels of the Merkavah— "The Face of the Oxen, and the Face of the Eagle"— derive great enjoyment, and are nurtured and content from the spirit of the cattle and fowl that ascends to them from the sacrifices on the altar, and as the sacred Zohar expresses it subtly: "And they derive enjoyment from their element and essence" Now, after these words and this truth, knowledge comes easy to the discerning to understand from all the above the great advantage of the operational commandments. For they are the purpose for the descent of the souls to this physical world, as it is written: "To practice them this day;" and "Better one hour of repentance and good deeds in this world, than all the life of the world to come." Until here we found of his holy writing.