The Book of Zohar. Chapter “The Letters by Rabbi Amnon Saba” (abridged)
Letters (forces and properties that the Creator governs) come to the Creator (reveal themselves). Each letter (property) tries to prove that it is the most fitting to achieving the goal of creation (merging with the Creator). But the Creator replies (reveals) to each letter its deficiency (its corresponding impure, egoistic force, which impedes the analysis of man’s properties and their correction).
22. Rabbi Amnon Saba said: “When the Creator thought to create the world (the system of governance of the souls), all of the letters (properties of the future creation – man) were still concealed.
The Letter Tav
23. All the letters of the alphabet (the forces that govern the world) began approaching the Creator in reverse order (because this is the order of the souls’ ascent from below upwards). The last letter of the alphabet, Tav, entered first and said, “Master of the world! It is good, and also seemly of You, to create the world with me, with my properties, for the word EmeT (truth), which is Your property, ends with the letter Tav. That is why it is fitting to begin the universe with me.” But the Creator answered that it also ends the word MaveT (death), because before the end of correction the world cannot stand on truth alone, but on its connection to other properties.
The Letter Shin
24. The letter Shin appeared before the Creator and said: “Maker of the world, it befits the world to be created with me, for Your own name Shadday begins with me.” The Creator replied: “You are fine, handsome, and truthful, but since the letters (properties) of the word Sheker (falsehood) took you to be with them, I cannot create the world with your properties.
The Letters Kuf and Reish
25. From the aforesaid, it follows that whoever wishes to tell a lie will succeed if he first tells the truth as a base on which the lie will then grow and start to act. And so it is in the word Sheker: although the letter Shin is a letter of truth, the other letters – K and R – are falsehood.
The Letter Tzadik
26. The letter Tzadik appeared before the Creator and said: “Master of the world, You should create the world with me, for Tzadikim (the righteous) are marked by me. And You are called a Tzadik (righteous one).” But the Creator replied, “But the impure, egoistic forces cling to you.”
The Letter Peh
27. The letter Peh entered and said: “Master of the world, it would be good to create the world with me, for the future liberation of the world is inscribed in me, as the word Pedut (liberation, redemption from egoism, from evil) begins with me. The Creator answered her: “Though you are fine, the word Peshah (transgression) begins with you and is secretly denoted by you, like a serpent that strikes and hides its head in its body (such is the shape of the letter Peh). So a sinner bows his head, hiding from others’ eyes, but stretches out his hands to sin.
The Letter Ayin
And the Creator also said to the letter Ayin that it would be unfitting to create the world with its properties, for within it lies the property of Avon (crime, sin), although Ayin tried to object, saying that its properties are contained in the word Anavah (humility).
The Letter Samech
28. The letter Samech appeared before the Creator and said: “Creator of the world, it would be good to create the world with my properties, for within me is Smicha (support) for the fallen, as it is written: ‘The Creator supports (Somech) all who fall.’” The Creator replied: “That is why you are needed in your place; do not move from it.” In other words, you must only act as support for the fallen.
The Letter Nun
29. The letter Nun entered and said to the Creator: “It would be good for You to create the world with me, for Norah Tehilot (great praises) is written with me. The Creator replied: “Return to your place, for you are the reason that the letter Samech returned to its place. And rely on it for support. For the letter Nun exists in the word Nefilah (fall), which must be corrected by the letter Samech. This is the reason why it needed to return to its place – so as to strengthen the lower ones, instead of being the basis of the world.
The Letter Mem
30. The letter Mem entered and said: “Master of the world, it would be good for You to create the world by me, for You – Melech (King) are called by me.” The Creator replied: “That is so, but I shall not create the world by you, for the world needs a King. Also, for the same reason I shall not create the world with the letters Lamed and Chaf that form the word MeLeCH.”
The Letter Chaf
31. The letter Chaf descended from the Kisseh: “Creator of the world, with my properties I merit to become the basis of the world, for I am Kavod – Your Glory.” The Creator answered: “I will not create the world by you, for your properties exist in the word Kelayah (destruction) and in the word Kalah (bride).”
The Letter Yod
32. The letter Yod entered and said: “Maker of the world! It would be good to create the world by me, for Your Holy name HaVaYaH begins with me.” The Creator replied: “It is sufficient that you are inscribed in My Name, in Me, and all of your aspirations are to Me, and you should not be uprooted from it all.”
The Letter Tet
33. The letter Tet entered and said: “Maker of the world, it would be good to create the world with me, for it is by me that You are called Tov (Good).” The Creator replied: “I will not create the world by you, for your goodness is concealed from the world. Your goodness has no part in the world that I wish to create, and will only be revealed in the world to come. And since your goodness is concealed within you, the letter Chet is opposite from you, and when you join together, the word CHeT (sin) is formed. This is why these two letters are not recorded in the names of the holy tribes.”
The Letter Zayin
34. The letter Zayin entered and said: “Maker of the world, it would be good to create the world by me, as Shabbat is preserved with me, for it is written: ‘Remember (Zachor) the day of Shabbat, so as to keep it.’” The Creator replied: “But weaponry (Klei Zayin) is made by you.” Having heard that, the letter Zayin left Him.
The Letters Vav and Hey
35. The letter Vav entered and said: “It would be good to create the world with me, for I am a letter from Your Name HaVaYaH (Yod–Hey–Vav–Hey).” The Creator replied: “Vav, both you and the letter Hey should be content to be contained within My Name. This is why I will not create the world with your properties.”
The Letters Dalet and Gimel
36. The letters Dalet and Gimel appeared before the Creator. However, the Creator told them right away: “Both of you help Dalim – the poor, and for as long as they exist on earth, there is a need for Gomel Hesed – to treat them with mercy.” Therefore, you cannot part, and it is enough for you to aid one another in this way.
The Letter Bet
37. The letter Bet entered and said to the Creator: “Maker of the world, it would be good to create the world by me, as by me You are blessed. For Bet is Berachah (blessing).” The Creator replied to Bet: “Of course, I will create the world by you, and you shall be the basis of the world!”
The Letter Aleph
38. The letter Aleph stood outside and did not enter to appear before the Creator. The Creator said to it: “Why do you not come to me like all the other letters?” Aleph replied: “Because I saw all the letters leaving your presence without the desired answer. And besides, I saw You giving this answer to the letter Bet. And You cannot take back his gift and give it to me!” The Creator replied: “Although I will create the world by the letter Bet, it is you who will stand at the head of all the letters, and all of My Unity shall be through you alone.”
39. The Creator made the Upper Letters, which refer to the Bina, large, and the lower letters that refer to Malchut – small. Therefore it is said: “Beresheet Barah” (in the beginning He created) – two words that begin with Bet, and then Elokim Et (the Creator Himself) – two words that begin with Aleph. The first set of Aleph and Bet are letters of Bina, and the second set of Aleph and Bet are letters of Malchut. And they mutually affect one another with their properties.
“The Letters by Rabbi Amnon Saba” – full commentary
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