In continuing our study of the third mishnah in Sefer Yetzirah, we find that it comprises twenty-two elements:
- ten fingers, corresponding to the ten sefirot of the world of Atzilut, the world whose consciousness is exclusively that of da'at elyon;
- ten toes, corresponding to the ten sefirot of the world of Beriah (and the lower worlds), whose consciousness is that of da'at tachton; and
- two balance-points–the tongue and the procreative organ.
We can associate the above twenty-two elements of the physical body with the twenty-two Hebrew letters by drawing the following representation (the tongue above the ten fingers and the procreative organ above the ten toes):
We see from this diagram that the two letters that correspond to the "single covenant" (manifest at its two levels)–alef and lamed–combine to form the Divine Name Kel . This is the Divine Name that appears in the verse:
God [Havayah] is a God [Kel] of two [levels of] knowledge.
This verse (in the thanksgiving song Chanah sang after the birth of Samuel) is the Biblical source for the existence of two levels of da'at, as described in chapter 8. Thus, the two levels of da'at are alluded to in the two letters of God’s Name: Kel, the two letters that appear in the places of the two manifestations of the "single covenant" as pictured above:
- Alef corresponds to the intuitive wisdom and insight of the mind, as is said: "I will teach [alef] you wisdom";
- Lamed corresponds to the emotive power of the heart, for the letter lamed throughout the Torah represents the "heart" (lev).
Thus we learn that the inner insight of the mind (the consciousness of da'at elyon) finds its external expression in the tongue, whereas the inner emotion (love) of the heart (da'at tachton) finds its external expression in the procreative organ.
When the hands are raised (as the hands of the priests when blessing the people), the tongue (that blesses) is between the ten fingers. But, when the hands are lowered, it is the procreative organ that is between the ten fingers. Conversely, we find in the Bible the idiom of the tongue "walking," like the feet.
Though it was explained above that the higher da'at of the alef serves to balance the ten fingers–the ten sefirot of the world of Atzilut–and the lower da'at of the lamed serves to balance the ten toes–the ten sefirot of the world of Beriah (and the lower worlds)–we see here that there is also a relation between the higher da'at (the tongue) and the lower worlds (the toes), and the lower da'at (the procreative organ) and the higher worlds (the fingers).
The union of the supernal sefirot of Atzilut gives birth to the consciousness of the lower da'at in Beriah and below. The service of the souls in the lower worlds reveals, ultimately, the higher da'at on earth.
Moreover, the alef and the lamed–the higher da'at and the lower da'at–of the tongue and the procreative organ themselves, at times invert. The emotions of the heart find their expression in the words of the tongue. The seminal essence of the mind "contracts" into the seed of the procreative organ.
We can now understand why the order of the two manifestations of the "single covenant" as quoted in our mishnah is first "the word of the tongue" and thereafter "the circumcision of the procreative organ" (though following the order of the Divine service of chash-mal-mal described above "the word of the tongue" follows "the circumcision of the procreative organ"). Ultimately, the revelation of the Divine essence (on earth) depends upon the rectification and sanctification of "the circumcision of the procreative organ."
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