From the teachings of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria; translated and edited by Moshe Yaakov Wisnefsky
Kabbalah teaches that even the Patriarchs' connection to G-d wasn't on Moses' level.
G‑d spoke to Moses, and said, "I am Havayah. But I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as 'El Shadi - G‑d Almighty', and did not make known to them My Name Havayah." (Ex. 6:2)
It is true that what we say - that Abraham -personified - chesed and Isaac [personified] gevura - does not refer to the arms of Zeir Anpin, as most of the earlier authorities of Kabbalah think. For if this were so, they could not couple, for how can two arms - - of the same partzuf couple?
One of the innovations of the teachings of the Arizal is the description of the sefirot as partzufim that couple, etc.
Rather, Abraham personified the states of chesed within Imma, which descend into Zeir Anpin, while Isaac -personified- the states of gevura within Imma. In this way, each is an independent partzuf.
chanoch adds: Remember a Partzuf are faces that are composed of 10 complete Sefirot and thus move relative to each other. This is similar to tubes within tubes as spoken about frequently.
Since they are both within Imma, it is difficult to understand how they can be considered independent partzufim. As Rabbi Shalom Sharabi writes on this passage, "I did not merit to understand the question or the answer."
Jacob [personified both] the states of gevura and the states of chesed within Abba that are present within Imma and descend into Zeir Anpin. Moses [personified] the exact same phenomenon. But whereas Jacob personified Imma, which acts as an external garment around Abba, Moses expressed the internal aspects of Abba himself.
The Patriarchs achieved only a superficial consciousness of G‑d relative to what Moses achieved….
As will be developed further, the Patriarchs achieved only a superficial consciousness of G‑d relative to what Moses achieved. This is because the Patriarchs perceived G‑d as He is revealed in the world, which is only a superficial revelation compared with the way G‑d is revealed in the Torah, which is what Moses was able to comprehend.
chanoch adds: I recommend to contemplate this paragraph prior to contemplating the next paragraph which is also recommended.
Notwithstanding, [Moses personified] the back of [the internal aspects of] Abba, inasmuch as all -aspects of Abba and Imma- that enter inside Zeir Anpin are their backs, and the -way the supernal partzufim- conduct weekday affairs is only derived from their backs.
G‑d runs the world (during the workweek) by infusing the seminal divine consciousness of Abba, through its development in Imma, into the source of human consciousness, Zeir Anpin. Only a diminished version of the divine insight of Abba can be transferred into the lower partzufim; this is referred to as its "back".
chanoch adds: It is recommended to contemplate the sound of your friends voice when heard facing your face; then when he - she faces your back; then whn your friend faces away from your front; finally when your friend faces away from you while your turn and face away from your friend.
On Shabbat, the world's divine consciousness ascends and is not processed through the lower partzufim.
Thus, you will note that the sum of the numerical value of the back [achorayim] of the name Ab [Havayah spelled out with yuds, =72] is 184, plus 161, the numerical value of the front of the name Eh-yeh [spelled out with yuds], is equal to the numerical value of "Moses" [in Hebrew, "Moshe" =345].
The four ways the name Havayah is spelled out are associated with the four principle partzufim. The name referred to as "Ab" [= 72] is associated with the partzuf of Abba.
Yud-vav-dalet hei-yud vav-yud-vav hei-yud = (10 + 6 + 4) + (5 + 10) + (6 + 10 + 6) + (5 + 10) = 72.
The "back" of this name is the following, "disappearing" iteration:
yud-vav-dalet hei-yud vav-yud-vav hei-yud
(10 + 6 + 4) + (5 + 10) + (6 + 10 + 6) + (5 + 10) = 72
yud-vav-dalet hei-yud vav-yud-vav
(10 + 6 + 4) + (5 + 10) + (6 + 10 + 6) = 57
(10 + 6 + 4) + (5 + 10) = 35
(10 + 6 + 4) = 20
total = 72 + 57 + 35 + 20 = 184
The "front" of the name Eh-yeh (alef-hei-yud-hei) spelled out with yuds is the simple spelling out of this name, as follows:
1 + 30 + 80 = 111
5 + 10 = 15
10 + 6 + 4 = 20
5 + 10 = 15
total = 111 + 15 + 20 + 15 = 161
Moses is the sum of the back of Abba as present in Imma….
The name Eh-yeh is associated with Imma. Thus, Moses is the sum of the back of Abba as present in Imma.
All of this applies during the weekdays, but on Shabbat, [Moses] reaches [the consciousness of] the shining of the face [of the partzufim].
This is the significance of the numerical value of the name "Moshe". For all that the forefathers reached was [the consciousness of] the name E-l Sha-dai ["G‑d Almighty"], referring to the yesod of Abba or Imma, but "My Name [Havayah]"- as it was revealed to Moses - "I did not make known to them".
The name Havayah is G‑d's "proper" name, or as it is called further on, His "explicit" name. It thus indicates His real presence, His interest, focus, and purpose in creating the world, His "inner" desire. In contrast, the name E-l Sha-dai ("G‑d Almighty") refers to G‑d the Creator of the world. The Sages note that the word "shadai" can be interpreted to mean "He who ['sha-'] said 'enough' ['-dai'] to the expansion of the world [at the end of the creation week]."
You will note that the initials [of the forefathers' names] also indicate that they only reached [the consciousness of] E-l Sha-dai, in two ways:
First: The sum of the numerical values of the initials of the names Abraham [alef, 1], Isaac [yud, 10], Jacob [yud, 10], and Israel [yud, 10] is the same as the numerical value of the name E-l [= 31]
1 + 10 + 10 + 10 = 31.
"E-l" is spelled: alef-lamed = 1 + 30 = 31.
- and the final letters of the names Abraham [mem], Isaac [kuf], and Jacob [beit], transform via atbash into Sha-dai.
"Sha-dai" is spelled: shin-dalet-yud.
Using Atbash - Mem becomes yud; kuf becomes dalet; beit becomes shin.
The Patriarchs perceived G‑d's presence in the world….
Second: If you add the numerical values of the alef from Abraham, the lamed from Israel, the hei that was added [to "Abram"] to form "Abraham" (Gen. 17:5), the shin [which is substituted in the book of Psalms for the tzadik] of Isaac (Psalms 105:9), which is written [there as] "Yischak", the vav that is added [on occasion] to Jacob (Lev. 26:42; Jeremiah 30:18, 33:26, 46:27, and 51:19), together with the three unit values of the three names [of the patriarchs], the total is the numerical value of E-l Sha-dai .
alef + lamed + hei + shin + vav + 3 = 1 + 30 + 5 + 300 + 6 + 3 = 345.
"E-l Sha-dai" is spelled: Alef-lamed Shin-dalet-yud = (1 + 30) + (300 + 4 + 10) = 345.
chanoch adds: The inconsistency of these letter choices gives rise, as one example, to the criticism that you can make gematria support anything truth and non truth. It is also an example of intuition at work. To most people to arrive at thee results requires multiplr iterations and guesses. To a Tzadik thir intuition works and duringna meditation these inconsistencies are revealed.
Thus, you have in these two calculations two allusions to E-l Sha-dai, referring to yesod of Abba and yesod of Imma. It was to these levels [that the forefathers] reached. But as to the inner aspect of "My Name, Havayah, I did not make [it] known to them."
Furthermore, you will note that the numerical value of the initials of Abraham [alef, 1], Isaac [yud, 10], and Jacob [yud, 10] is 21, the numerical value of the name Eh-yeh, which is associated with Imma. This further indicates that they did not reach [consciousness of] the inner dimension [of these partzufim,] i.e. the name Havayah. Only Moses did this.
"Eh-yeh" is spelled: alef-hei-yud-hei = 1 + 5 + 10 + 5 = 21.
If you consider [the Patriarchs' four] names - Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Israel - stripped of their first and final letters, the numerical value of the remaining letters is 976, the value of the phrase "the explicit Name" [in Hebrew, literally, "hashem hameforash"].
"The explicit Name" is one of the ways the Talmudic sages refer to the name Havayah.
"Abraham" (in Hebrew, "Avraham") is spelled: alef-beit-reish-hei-mem which becomes beit-reish-hei = 2 + 200 + 5 = 207.
Isaac (in Hebrew, "Yitzchak") is spelled: yud-tzadik-chet-kuf which becomes tzadik-chet = 90 + 8 = 98.
"Jacob" (in Hebrew, "Yaakov") is spelled: yud-ayin-kuf-beit which becomes ayin-kuf = 70 + 100 = 170.
"Israel" (in Hebrew, "Yisrael") is spelled: yud-shin-reish-alef-lamed which becomes shin-reish-alef = 300 + 200 + 1 = 501.
207 + 98 + 170 + 501 = 976.
"Hashem hameforash" is spelled: hei-shin-mem hei-mem-pei-vav-reish-shin = (5 + 300 + 40) + (5 + 40 + 80 + 6 + 200 + 300) = 976.
This indicates that the inner dimension of what the Patriarchs perceived - G‑d's presence in the world - was what Moses perceived - G‑d's revelation in the Torah.
chanoch adds: It is important to Note that Abraham at 207 = the Hebrew word for “Light - Ohr” - “Secret - Sod” - “Master of the Universe – Adon Olam”; Issac at 98 represents “cleansing” which is appropriate for the left column moving to become “purified”; Jacob at 170 = 10 x 17 = a complete partzuf of the energy of “good – Tov”; Israel at 506 = 501 plus a colel for each of the revealed ande concealed letters in the Name Israel represents the phrase “Unconditional Love” – Ahavat Hinom”.
It is this [explicit name of G‑d] that Moses reached in all its aspects, which are [indeed] alluded to by the name Havayah, [as follows.] You will note that in this name, the sum of its front and its back is 976, which alludes to the levels [of divine consciousness] that Moses achieved. This level is called "the explicit name". To wit:
The yud [of the name Havayah] is associated with the name Ab [=72], the hei with the name Sag [=63], the vav with the name Mah [=45], and the final hei with the name Ban [=52]. The sum of the numerical values of the "fronts" [simple values] of these names is 232.
72 + 63 + 45 + 52 = 232.
The numerical values of the "backs" of these names are yud - 184, hei - 166, vav - 130, and hei – 144.
We saw above that the numerical value of the "back" of the name Sag is 184. If we perform the same calculation on the other spellings-out of the name Havayah, we have:
yud-vav-dalet hei-yud vav-alef-vav hei-yud
(10 + 6 + 4) + (5 + 10) + (6 + 1 + 6) + (5 + 10) = 63
yud-vav-dalet hei-yud vav-alef-vav
(10 + 6 + 4) + (5 + 10) + (6 + 1 + 6) = 48
(10 + 6 + 4) + (5 + 10) = 35
(10 + 6 + 4) = 20
total = 63 + 48 + 35 + 20 = 166
yud-vav-dalet hei-alef vav-alef-vav hei-alef
(10 + 6 + 4) + (5 + 1) + (6 + 1 + 6) + (5 + 1) = 45
yud-vav-dalet hei-alef vav-alef-vav
(10 + 6 + 4) + (5 + 1) + (6 + 1 + 6) = 39
(10 + 6 + 4) + (5 + 1) = 26
(10 + 6 + 4) = 20
total = 45 + 39 + 26 + 20 = 130
yud-vav-dalet hei-hei vav-vav hei-hei
(10 + 6 + 4) + (5 + 5) + (6 + 6) + (5 + 5) = 52
yud-vav-dalet hei-hei vav-vav
(10 + 6 + 4) + (5 + 5) + (6 + 6) = 42
(10 + 6 + 4) + (5 + 5) = 30
(10 + 6 + 4) = 20
total = 52 + 42 + 30 + 20 = 144
letter of Name Havayah-corresponding spelling-out - value of "back"
yud – 72 – 184
hei – 63 – 166
vav – 45 – 130
hei – 52 – 144
total = 624
The total numerical of these "backs" is the same as that of the word for "will tread" [in Hebrew, "tidroch"], as in the verse "Every place upon which your feet will tread" (Joshua 1:3).
"Tidroch" is spelled: tav-dalet-reish-kaf = 400 + 4 + 200 + 20 = 624.
Yesod is oriented outward, toward expressing its content to the lower levels….
Thus, the sum of [the front and back of these names,] 232 and 624, is 856. But, as is known, if we count these names, which correspond to the four letters [of the name Havayah], together with the ten letters used to spell [each of] them out, plus the kolel, we have [an additional] 15.
As we have seen, 3 letters are always used to spell out the yud of the name Havayah, 2 letters to spell out the hei, up to 3 letters to spell out the vav, and 2 letters to spell out the final hei. 3 + 2 + 3 + 2 = 10.
We thus can add 15 for each of the four names, or 60, to 856.
The same applies to the backs of these names [meaning that we can add another 15 for each of the four names, totaling 60] such that the 8 names give 8 x 15, or 120. When this is added to 856, we have 976, the numerical value of "the explicit Name" ["hashem hameforash"], of which Moses achieved divine consciousness in all its aspects, that is, its inner aspects.
In contrast, [as we said,] the forefathers only reached [consciousness of] the name E-l Sha-dai, referring to yesod [of Abba and Ima]. The custom [of this name] is to extend outward.
Yesod is oriented outward, toward expressing its content to the lower levels.
[They did not achieve consciousness of] the name Havayah, which is hidden inside, as G‑d said, "This is My Name forever." (Ex. 3:15)
The Sages point out that the Hebrew word for "forever", "le'olam", is spelled so that it can be read "to hide" (in Hebrew, "le'aleim"), meaning that the name Havayah is hidden
Translated and adapted by Moshe-Yaakov Wisnefsky from Sefer HaLikutim; subsequently published in "Apples From the Orchard."
From the teachings of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria; translated and edited by Moshe Yaakov Wisnefsky
In Kabbalah, each of the Ten Plagues responds to a related emanation of wickedness
We must now explain briefly the order of these ten plagues that the Holy One, blessed be He, visited upon the Egyptians in Egypt. The plagues were: blood, frogs, lice, the horde of animals, pestilence, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and slaying the firstborn. They correspond, in ascending order, to the ten [sub-] sefirot of Nukva, otherwise known as Malchut.
1. Blood. As I have told you, the numerical value of the simple progressive iteration of the name Eh-yeh is 44, that of the word for "blood" [in Hebrew, "dam"].
Eh-yeh: alef-hei-yud-hei. The simple progressive iteration [achorayim] of this name is:
Alef, alef-hei, alef-hei-yud, alef-hei-yud-hei:
1 + (1 + 5) + (1 + 5 + 10) + (1 + 5 + 10 + 5) = 44.
Dam: dalet-mem = 4 + 40 = 44.
This plague issued from the Malchut of the holy feminine principle [i.e., the partzuf of Nukva] and smote the evil Malchut, i.e., Nukva of Zeir Anpin in the realm of evil. [Specifically,] this plague attacked her outside her head.
Meaning her skull [in Hebrew, "gulgalta"], signifying keter of the evil Nukva.
2. Frogs. The sum of 320, the number of states of strict judgment, as is known, plus the numerical value of the simple progressive iteration of the name Ado-nai, which is 126, plus the kolel for both of them, is the numerical value of the word for "frog" [in Hebrew, "tzefardei'a", which equals 444].
According to Rabbi Shalom Sharabi, the kolels here should be added to the numerical value of the word "frog" (444), giving 446, the sum of 320 and 126. [This is also implied in the parallel passage in Pri Etz Chaim.]
Ado-nai: alef-dalet-nun-yud. The progressive iteration of this name is:
alef alef-dalet alef-dalet-nun alef-dalet-nun-yud:
1 + (1 + 4) + (1 + 4 + 50) + (1 + 4 + 50 + 10) = 126.
90 + 80 + 200 + 4 + 70 = 444.
This plague issued from the yesod of the holy feminine principle and smote the brains of the evil Nukva.
This is the mystical meaning of the word for "frog" [tzefardei'a], which can be seen as a combination of the words for "bird" [in Hebrew, "tzipor"] and "knowledge" ["dei'a"], referring to the daat [of this Nukva]. As you know, the brains of [this Nukva] are manifest as two birds, as mentioned in the Zohar (I:218) and as we have explained elsewhere (Sha'ar Ma'amarei Rashbi, VaYechi; Etz Chaim 48:2; Mevo Shearim 6:2:5:6).
This plague… smote the highest part of the skull…the location of the hair on the head
3. Lice. The numerical value of the word for "lice" [in Hebrew, "kinim"] is 120. This is the numerical value of the name Elo-him, 86, plus the number of letters in the second iteration of the name Ado-nai, 34.
Kinim: kaf-nun-yud-mem = 20 + 50 + 10 + 40 = 120.
Elo-him: alef-lamed-hei-yud-mem = 1 + 30 + 5 + 10 + 40 = 86.
The second iteration of the name Ado-nai:
simple spelling - spelling-out of - expansion of the spelling-out of
alef – alef-lamed-pei
lamed – lamed-mem-dalet
pei – pei-alef
dalet – dalet-lamed-tav
lamed – lamed-mem-dalet
tav – tav-vav
nun – nun-vav-nun
vav – vav-alef-vav
nun – nun-vav-nun
yud – yud-vav-dalet
vav – vav-alef-vav
dalet – dalet-lamed-tav
This plague issued from the hod of the holy feminine principle - for, as you know, Imma's influence extends until hod - and smote the highest part of the skull encompassing the head of the evil Nukva, the location of the hair on the head. [This plague] also [smote] the malchut - the final [sub-]sefira of the evil Zeir Anpin, otherwise known as Samael, the husband [of the evil Nukva]. As is known, lice nest in the hair of the head.
chanoch adds: By this time, one can realize that the negative tree is upside down relative to the Tree of Life. Most people visualize the positive tree as a mirror image of the negative tree – feet to feet – hip to hip – head to head. If that is the case, then these plaques, described by the Ari, do not make sense. Only an upside down tree makes the Ari correct. Learn the true meaning nof relativity. Be open to change your view of reality, your agenda, to fit the facts.
Imma, intellectual inspiration, extends its influence as far as hod, the last of the midot with original content. Yesod and malchut are just the coalescence and expression of all that has preceded them. Thus, this plague, although issuing from hod, is primarily a "head" plague.
It appears to me, Chaim [Vital], that this is also the mystical meaning of the verse, "And G‑d will smite the skull of the [wayward] daughters of Zion with lesions" (Isaiah 3:17), that He infested their heads with families of lice, as our sages explain (Yalkut Shimoni, Isaiah, 247, 267.)
The homily is based on the fact that the word for "smite with lesions" [sin-pei-chet] is also the root of the Hebrew word for "family" ["mishpacha", shin-pei-chet].
4. Horde. In Hebrew, this word [in Hebrew, "arov"] is written without the [expected] vav. It thus expresses the simple progressive iteration of the name Havayah, whose numerical value is 72, plus the simple progressive iteration of the name Elo-him, whose numerical value is 200. Their sum is the numerical value of the word for "hoard" .
Havayah: yud-hei-vav-hei. The progressive iteration of this name is:
yud, yud-hei, yud-hei-vav, yud-hei-vav-hei =
10 + (10 + 5) + (10 + 5 + 6) + (10 + 5 + 6 + 5) = 72.
Elo-him: alef-lamed-hei-yud-mem. The progressive iteration of this name is:
alef, alef-lamed, alef-lamed-hei, alef-lamed-hei-yud, alef-lamed-hei-yud-mem
= 1 + (1 + 30) + (1 + 30 + 5) + (1 + 30 + 5 + 10) + (1 + 30 + 5 + 10 + 40) = 40 + 2(10) + 3(5) + 4(30) + 5(1) = 40 + 20 + 15 + 120 + 5 = 200.
Arov: ayin-reish-beit = 70 + 200 + 2 = 272.
This plague issued from the forehead [i.e. netzach] of the holy feminine principle and smote the yesod of the evil Zeir Anpin, i.e., Samael.
The Hebrew word for "forehead" is "metzach", etymologically related to "netzach". Also, "netzach" ["victory"] signifies resolve, which we express by contracting the skin on the forehead.
chanoch adds: contracting the skin of the forehead creates lines that allows us to read the meaning.
5. Pestilence. The numerical value of the word for "pestilence" [in Hebrew, "dever"] is equivalent to the combined numerical values of two names Elo-him, 172 - the numerical value of the word for "heel" [in Hebrew, "eikev"] - plus the number of letters in the second spelling-out of the name Ado-nai, 34. 172 plus 34 equals 206, the numerical equivalent of the word for "pestilence".
Dever: dalet-beit-reish = 4 + 2 + 200 = 206.
As above, the numerical value of Elo-him is 86. 2 x 86 = 172.
Eikev = ayin-kuf-beit = 70 + 100 + 2 = 172.
We saw above that the number of letters in the second spelling out of Ado-nai is 34.
Evil behavior changes G‑d's natural mercy into judgment…
This plague issued from the tiferet of the holy Nukva and smote the hod of the evil Zeir Anpin.
This is the mystical meaning of the verse, said in connection with this plague, "behold, the hand of G‑d is…", indicating how the name Havayah written in its natural sequence [yud-hei-vav-hei] - which signifies tiferet, the inner motivation of which is mercy - is inverted to hei-vav-yud-hei, signifying strict judgment.
In this verse, we first see the name Havayah spelled in its natural order of letters, followed immediately by the word "is" - which is usually left out in Hebrew. This word is spelled hei-vav-yud-hei, which of course is a rearrangement of the letters that spell the name Havayah. Thus, evil behavior changes G‑d's natural mercy into judgment.
6. Boils. This plague issued from the gevura of the holy feminine principle. Now, the numerical value of gevura is 216. From gevura on down to malchut are manifest five more [sub-]sefirot, each comprised of ten [sub-sub-sefirot], giving a total of 50 [sub-sub-sefirot]. 216 plus 50 equals 266. When 102 is added to this number, we have 368, the numerical value of the word for "boils" [in Hebrew, "shechin"]. 102 is the sum of the numerical values of the three expansions of the three names Havayah whose total numerical values are 72, 63, and 45, these being 46, 37, and 19, respectively. 46 plus 37 plus 19 equals 102. They signify the states of judgment that extend to the realm of evil, as we have explained elsewhere (Etz Chaim 19:2) in our explanation of the passage of the Mishna (Shabbat 6:8) that begins, "an amputee may go out with his wooden leg".
Gevura: gimel-beit-vav-reish-hei = 3 + 2 + 6 + 200 + 5 = 216.
Shechin: shin-chet-yud-nun = 300 + 8 + 10 + 50 = 368.
As we have learned previously, there are four principle ways in which the name Havayah is spelled out [based on how we spell out the letters hei and vav], which produce four separate numerical values. The first three of these are 72, 63, and 45. When we consider only the letters used in the process of spelling out [the milui], we have:
chanoch adds: we have explained these milui aspects in other classes. 72 – 26 = 46; 63 – 26 = 37; 45 – 26 = 19.
The passage of the Mishna cited states that a person with a wooden-leg is allowed to walk in the public domain on the Shabbat, and this is not considered carrying for him (which would be forbidden). The numerical value of the word for "wooden-leg", in Hebrew, "kav", is 102.
[As stated,] these states of judgment issued from the gevura of the holy Nukva and smote the netzach of the evil Zeir Anpin.
[As for these states of judgment], the letter shin of "shechin" [boils] signifies the 300 states of judgment and severity. To these, add the numerical value of the name Havayah spelled out to equal 52 [i.e., with the letter hei], plus the number of letters in the name Ado-nai  and the number of letters used to spell it out . This gives 368, the numerical value of the word for "boils."
According to Rabbi Shalom Sharabi, the 300 states of severity are the three sefirot on the left axis of the sefira tree [bina, gevura, and hod], each sub-divided into ten sub-sefirot, which themselves are then subdivided into 100 sub-sub-sefirot, giving 300.
The name Havayah spelled out to equal 52:
yud-vav-dalet hei-hei vav-vav hei-hei = (10 + 6 + 4) + (5 + 5) + (6 + 6) + (5 + 5) = 52.
The name Ado-nai is spelled out with 12 letters:
alef-lamed-pei dalet-lamed-tav nun-vav-nun yud-vav-dalet
300 + 52 + 4 + 12 = 368.
7. Hail. The numerical value of the progressive iteration of the name Elo-him is 200. Adding to this the number of letters in the name Elo-him  plus the kolel gives 206. This is the numerical value of the word for "hail" [in Hebrew, "barad"].
Barad: beit-reish-dalet = 2 + 200 + 4 = 206.
Hail is made of water, which…expresses chesed. But it was commingled with flaming fire…
This plague issued from the chesed of the holy feminine principle, for hail is made of water, which derives from and expresses chesed. But it was commingled with flaming fire, originating in gevura. It smote the tiferet of the evil Zeir Anpin.
8. Locusts. This plague manifests four names Elo-him spelled out. This name spelled out in two iterations uses 52 letters. These four expanded spellings are called the four "sons of G‑d." There are two that originate in chochma and two that originate in bina. Their combined number of letters is the same as that of the word for "locust" [in Hebrew, "arbeh"].
These locusts were an impure species, signifying strict judgment, as opposed to the pure species of locusts [permitted by the Torah]. "The Torah spoke of four sons"; these are the four names Havayah spelled out with the letter hei. [Ref. the Passover Haggada, referring to the four times in the Torah where G‑d describes how we are to teach our children about the exodus from Egypt.]
As we see, the name itself is 5 letters, the first iteration uses 13 letters, and the second iteration uses 34 letters. 5 + 13 + 34 = 52. This number is the numerical value of the word for "son" (ben: beit-nun = 2 + 50); thus, the double spelling-out of the name Elo-him is, so to speak, the "son" of Elo-him.
4 x 52 = 208.
Arbeh: alef-reish-beit-hei = 1 + 200 + 2 + 5 = 208.
As we have seen, the numerical value of the name Havayah when spelled out with the letter hei is also 52. This spelling out of this name can thus alos be considered a "son" of Havayah. Since the name Elo-him signifies judgment, the "sons" of this name are the forbidden, non-kosher locusts. The four "sons of Havayah" are the kosher species of locusts.
They issued from the bina of the holy feminine principle, and smote the gevura of the evil Zeir Anpin.
9. Darkness. This is alluded to by the well-known 325 states of judgment, which we explained elsewhere. These states of judgment are the 320 powerful sparks, the states of judgment of the Egyptians. The additional 5 are actually states of mercy that sweeten the said 320 states of judgment, this giving a total of 325. These 5 [states of mercy] were the light that shone for Israel during the days of the Egyptian darkness, as it is written, "and there was light for all the Children of Israel in their habitations." (Ex. 10:23) And thus, "light" is mentioned five times in Torah's description of the first day of Creation. The alef of the word for "light" alludes to the three alefs that complete the calculation to get 328, the numerical value of the word for "darkness" [in Hebrew, "choshech"].
Choshech: chet-shin-chaf = 8 + 300 + 20 = 328.
[Amended according to other versions cited by Rabbi Shalom Sharabi.]
Each plague expressed a different combination of divine power channeled by Nukva to destroy its evil opponents…
It will be recalled that in the plague of frogs, the 320 states of judgment operated without any such mitigation [from the 5 states of mercy].
The 3 necessary to bring the calculation from 325 to 328 are derived from the letter alef when graphically split into two down the middle of its middle stroke. When drawn this way, the alef splits into two combinations of the letters yud and vav. The combined numerical values of these four letters is 32, corresponding to the 32 pathways of wisdom, i.e. Abba. As is known, the 320 states of judgment are rectified through thought, i.e. Abba.
The split alef: yud-vav-vav-yud = 10 + 6 + 6 + 10 = 32.
These [states of judgment] issued from the chochma of the holy feminine principle and smote the chesed of the evil Zeir Anpin.
10. Killing the Firstborn. This plague issued from the keter of the holy Nukva and smote the three highest [sub-]sefirot of the evil Zeir Anpin. The initials of these three sefirot - keter, reishit chochma, bina - spell the word for "firstborn" [in Hebrew, "bechor"]. This is similar to what is explained in the Zohar (Tikunei Zohar 70, pg. 119b) regarding the word for "blessed" [in Hebrew, "baruch"] and the name of the River Kevar.
Chochma is referred to as "reishit chochma" ["the beginning of wisdom"] based on the verse: "The beginning of wisdom is the fear of G‑d." (Psalms 111:10) Also, chochma is the first conscious sefira, and is therefore known as "the beginning".
plague - smiting sub-sefira in the holy Nukva - evil sub-sefira smitten
1. - blood – malchut - keter of Nukva
2. - frogs – yesod - brains of Nukva
3. - lice – hod - skull hair of Nukva and malchut of Zeir Anpin
4. - horde – netzach - yesod of Zeir Anpin
5. - pestilence – tiferet - hod of Zeir Anpin
6. Boils – gevura - netzach of Zeir Anpin
7. - hail – chesed - tiferet of Zeir Anpin
8. - locusts – bina - gevura of Zeir Anpin
9. - darkness – chochma - chesed of Zeir Anpin
10. - firstborn – keter - keter-chochma-bina of Zeir Anpin
If we consider all this, we see here yet another overturning of Victorian stereotypes. Here, the female is the attacking warrior, and she attacks not only her opposing female principle but also - and chiefly - the evil male.
The female is the attacking warrior, and she attacks …the evil male…
In this tour de force of feminine power, Nukva seems to be mustering all her possible sources of divine energy, based on various combinations of divine names. Thus, we see why the Ten Plagues first of all had to be ten, and secondly, why they took the specific forms they did: each plague expressed a different combination of divine power channeled by Nukva to destroy its evil opponents.
According to how we have defined the male and female components of consciousness previously, this makes sense: if the female is the drive to concretize divinity in the world, it should specifically be the female that gets incensed over the forces that oppose this drive, namely evil.
Translated and adapted by Moshe-Yaakov Wisnefsky from Shaar HaPesukim and Pri Etz Chaim;
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