Get the best of content every week!
Find answers to fascinating Jewish questions, enjoy holiday tips and guides, read real-life stories and more!

Samach Vav: Az Yashir

Learning the Maamar אז ישיר ישראל

Ascent of Malchus from Briah to Atzilus
This Maamer “Oz Yashir Yisroel” begins by describing the progressive Alyios of Malchus, culminating in a level just beneath Kesser.
Memutzah between Ohr Ein Sof and Nivraim (Za and Malchus)
Since Ohr Ain Sof and Nivraim are absolutely incomparable, this investiture requires a Memutza (intermediary) enabling 1) Ohr Ain Sof to approach Nivraim and 2) Nivraim to develop the capacity to receive. The former dimension of the Memutzah is Zeir Anpin, and the latter is Malchus.
Ze’ir Anpin: Intermediary between Ohr Ein Sof and Nivraim
Ze’ir Anpin is the upper dimension of the Memutzah between Ohr Ain Sof and Nivraim. Zeir Anpin (Za) comprising Midos, is the lowest, nethermost glimmer of Ain Sof. The word Midah indicates limitation and restriction. ZA, thus extends Ohr Ain Sof in such a way as to be potentially accessible to limited created beings.
Three Tzimzumim within the Mind of the Teacher
In order to teach the Talmid, the Rav must 1) identify and isolate from his own transcendent Sechel a concept that would be suitable for the diminutive status of the Talmid, 2) reduce, condense and simplify the idea such that it is within the range of the intellectual faculties of the Talmid, and 3) further condense the Sechel into language that could be understood by the Talmid.
The 3rd and 4th levels of Tzimtzum involve Dibbur
The third level of Tzimtzum within the Rav is the Hislabshus in Dibbur. It is important to recognize that these intense Tzimtzumim obviously result in no obscurity for the Rav. The impact is exclusively on and for the benefit of the recipient. The 4th level of Tzimtzum characterizing the relationship of the Rav with the Talmid occurs within the Talmid himself, and is reflected in his inability to understand all that the Rav teaches him i.e. the Dibbur of the Rav.
Middos required to produce Dibbur
Thus far, we have dealt with progressive Tzimtzumim designed to bring the Sechel of the Rav into the range of the Talmid. However, in order to actually extend Sechel to the Talmid, actual speech is required. Sechel, itself, no matter how reduced, can not generate speech, because Sechel is private and not-expressive. Speech requires the intermediacy of Middos, the essence of which is to extend the private domain of the “self” to others.
Zeir Anpin and Malchus as a Memutzah between Ohr Ein Sof and Briah
The Maamer now describes how the Yichud of Zachor and Nekeivah (Zeir Anpin and Malchus) serve to unite lower worlds with Ohr Ein Sof.
The Anatomy of a Sefirah
In order to understand how Zeir Anpin and Malchus operate as a Memutza, we need a detailed picture of the structure of the Middos. The following section of the Maamar explains how each Middah, e.g. Chesed, includes all 9 attributes: Chabad (intellet), Chagas (emotions), and Nehi (activation).
The Transition from Sechel to Midos
Although the Sechel that comprehends a subject is essentially objective and detached, it may perceive a particular value of the subject or, perhaps, a possible implication. This tendency of Sechel results in the birth of a Midah within Sechel itself.
Three Tzimtzumim from Sechel to Middos
The recurrent theme of 3-fold Tzimtzum has thus far explained the mode of Hashpah from Rav to Talmid, and from Middos to Dibbur. In this shiur we will apply the same constellation of Tzimtzumin to describe the animation of Middos by Sechel. Following this 3rd iteration, we should have sufficient information to begin to understand the Nimshal.
The System of Tzimtzum for Ohr Ein Sof to become invested in worlds.
The four Tzimtzumim for relating Sechel to Middos, discussed herein at length, describes the function of the Memutza between Ohr Ein Sof and the Worlds as we currently know them. Divinity, although present in creation, is intensely obscured. This pattern of Tzimtzumim is responsible for the present state of affairs that describes Golus.
The Nimshal
Having examined, in depth, the relationship of Sechel to Middos, and Middos to Dibbur using the human paradigm, we now proceed to apply this knowledge to explain the Tzimtzumim that underlie the Memutzah (Za & Malchus) that relates Or Ein Sof to Briah.
Za and Malchus – Panim B’Panim as opposed to Nekudah Tachas Yesod
The Memutzah (ZA and Malchus) between Ohr Ein Sof and worlds is characterized by four major Tzimtzumim, resulting in an intense concealment of Ohr Ein Sof. This process involves Malchus in its lowest state in Atzilus (a mere nekudah). However, Malchus has the capacity to relate to Za in much more expansive ways, e.g. Panim B’Panim, resulting in far greater revelation of Ohr Ein Sof in worlds.
עֲלִי בְאֵר עֱנוּ לָהּ
Ohr Ein Sof, unfiltered and undiminished, as in Panim B’Panim, is brought into the world through the Jewish people and the Torah. The limitless, eternal love of the Jewish people for G-d as expressed through Mesiras Nefesh and Teshuvah is like a wellspring bursting forth from the depths of material constraints and ascending upward to the Creator. The response from G-d is the downward flow of Divinity into the world through the Torah. Thus concludes this Maamar.
Related Topics