I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Partzufim: A Hebrew Catholic Understanding

Partzufim is a term found often in discussions of Jewish Mysticism. Partzuf means the face (anpin/ panim)or persona. The Jewish term for panim (face) includes not just the outer appearance of the face but represents the inner person who reveals himself through the face. The three highest partzufim are associated with the three heads of the Divine Will and the three Tzachtzachot (sparkling lights) within the Godhead. They are called in Judaism Arich Anpin (or Atika Kaddisha); Atik Yomim;and Zeir Anpin. These partzufim are uncreated and of one Divine essence (atzmut).

Arich Anpin (the Long Face)is also referred to as the uncreated Abba and the source of the Divine Will. Atik Yomim (the Ancient of Days)is associated with the uncreated Mother (Holy Spirit) and Zeir Anpin (Short Face) with the uncreated Son. Adam Kadmon is the uncreated form of the Godhead who is the uncreated Son. Adam Kadmon as Zeir Anpin represents the interface between the uncreated Sefirot and partzufim with the created partzufim and sefirot.

Rebbe Dov Ber of Lubavitch states in Shaar haYichud:-"This is the meaning of the verse [Proverbs 30:4] “What is his name, what is his son’s name – Mah Shmo, Mah Shem Bno”. “What is his name – Mah Shmo” [refers to the aspect of] Ma”H of Adam Kadmon, and “What is his son’s name – Mah Shem Bno” is the aspect of Zeir Anpin..." Zeir Anpin is the son of Arich Anpin (God the Father) according to Kabbalah. The Midrash on Proverbs explains these two questions refer to two different persons. It explains them as follows: "Mah shemo -- Ha-Shem shemo" (Ex. 15:3): This refers to G-d, since the Torah uses the phrase "Ha-Shem shemo -- G-d is his name". "U-mah shem b'no - eilu yisroel, she-ne'emar beni bechori yisroel (Ex. 4:22): Since the "He" in the question "mah shemo" refers to G-d, "His son" refers to the nation of Israel, which is called His son in the Torah: "My first-born son is Israel" (Ex. 4:22)." Thus this reveals that Adam Kadmon is God himself and that Zeir Anpin is the Beauty (tiferet) of Israel. Tiferet is associated with the nose in the Jewish devotion to the Divine Face. The nose and its nostrils are also linked to the Mashiach of Israel through the verse "The breath of our nostrils is the Mashiach of God" [Lamentations 4:20]. Jewish tradition also refers to the soul of the Mashiach as Adam Kadmon.

The created partzuf Abba is the image of the uncreated partzuf Abba- he is Joseph ben Jacob/Israel. The created partzuf of the higher Imma (Mother) is the image of the uncreated partzuf Imma- she is Miriam ha Kedosha. The partzuf Nukvah (female) is the created lower Imma- she is the very little one (Piccarreta). These six are the mystery of Bereshit and the six days. Zeir Anpin also represents the union of the wills of the six that is the mystery of the Sabbath - when God rests in man and man rests in God. This alludes to the mystery of the six-petaled Rose (shoshan). By rearranging the letters of bereshit we get Shir Taeb (Song of Desire)which is the Divine Song of the One Act in which all acts are contained.

Judith Racz's The Creation Story

At the hidden mystical levels the mystery of Arich Anpin as the Eternal Abba is contained in the first day and his virginal nuptial union with Abba Joseph. This is a deep mystery of the Divine Will represented as the Divine Sun. The second day the mysteries of the Holy Spirit and his virginal nuptial union with Miriam are hidden and alludes to the concept of the Mystical Moon and Waters. In the third day the mysteries of the fruitfulness and generating power of the Divine Word (Logos/Memra/Dabar) are concealed. The fourth day is the Day of Joseph as the Viceregent or governor of the Universe (Space/Place /makom). The fifth Day hides the Mysteries of the Divine Man and the mystery of Divine Lives and the Sea of the Divine Will. The sixth Day is the day of 'the face over all the earth' who is 'the very little one' who reveals the mysteries of the Divine will and the rounds. The Sabbath is the Day of the Queen who is God's pure and perfect rest.

Many later Kabbalists became confused about the partzufim due to not seeing them as persons in which one enters into Divine Intimacy (virginal nuptial union) but rather as a machine-like concept that one merely comprehends with the intellect. The solution to the disagreement of Maimonides (Rambam)and Nachmanides (Ramban)about the Sefirot is only made clear in the God-Man Yeshua ha Mashiach. Rambam taught that the Sefirot were created lights and the Ramban that they were uncreated of one essence with the Godhead. Yeshua ha Mashiach in his Divinity is the uncreated Sefirot of one essence (atzmut) with the Deity and in his humanity he has the perfect created lights of the Sefirot. The template (umanuta) or model of the created male sefirot is the concept of Abba Joseph in Eternity and the template or model of the created female sefirot is Imma Miriam in Eternity.

Judith Racz's Song of Songs

Two other parztufim are called Yisrael Saba and Tevunah (Savta/ Safta) who are seem as lower Abba and Imma. They are the spiritual concepts of Joachim (Yoakhim/ Eliakhim/ Jachin) and Anne (Chana) (the Celestial Grandparents) in the mystery of the Immaculate Conception.

In the soul, Tevunah is the power to “assimilate” into one’s heart that which he has “grasped” in his mind. In the terminology of Chassidut, Imma Ila’ah (the higher partzuf of Imma) is referred to as koach ha’tfisa, “the power to grasp” (symbolized as “catching” an arrow in mid-air), whereas Tevunah (the lower partzuf of Imma) is referred to as koach ha’klita, “the power to assimilate” (symbolized by the power of the female womb to assimilate the male seed).

Koach ha’klita, the power of Tevunah, is activated by Yisrael Sabba. Tevunah receives its power to assimilate intellectual comprehension in order that it become experienced in the heart from the inclination inherent within the seminal insight of the mind to impregnate the heart (Yisrael Sabba).

Tevunah is identified in Chassidut with the archetypal soul of Rebecca, the second matriarch, the wife of Isaac. Based upon the deep level of understanding experienced in her heart, she is the one to decide which of her two sons is truly worthy to receive the blessing of his father.
Tevunah arouses love and fear in the heart (it is the mental life-force of love and fear). The word Tevunah possesses the letters ben u’bat, “son and daughter,” which refer to the two emotions of love and fear born from the womb of Tevunah, as explained in Chassidut.

The union of Yisrael Saba and Tevunah is described in the idiom from Sefer Yetzirah: “Be wise (at the level of) understanding.” Our Sages describe this union figuratively (in reference to the Divine revelation at Sinai) as “seeing the heard.” [from Rabbi Yitzach Ginsburgh]