Hayim Vital, Sha‘ar ha-Haqdamot, 1:2, 29c


The aspect of male and female does not signify the complete unity as when there is one male alone. Thus we find in the Zohar, in the ’Idra’ of Naso’ and of Ha’azinu, that the aspect of the male and female is only from ’Abba’ and ’Imma’ and below, but above in ‘Atiq Yomin and ’Arikh ’Anpin there is no aspect of male and female. … Therefore, within it there is no aspect of male and female as two complete and distinct configurations (parsufin gemurim nifradim). Indeed, the masculine and feminine within it are contained in one configuration alone, for the aspect of the masculine, which is the Tetragrammaton in the numerical value of forty-five, stands on the right side of ’Arikh, and the Tetragrammaton with the numerical value of fifty-two that is within it is the aspect of the feminine that stands on the left. … The entire right side of ’Arikh is called masculine and the entire left side is called feminine. However, since everything is one configuration alone, it thus says in the book of the Zohar that regarding Keter it is said “See, then, that I, I am he; there is no god beside me” (Deut. 32-39), for he is one without a second with him, and he has no feminine.

Translated by Elliot Wolfson in “Divine Suffering and the Hermeneutics of Reading- Philosophical Reflections on Lurianic Mythology,” in Suffering Religion, 101-162, Edited by R. Gibbs and E. R. Wolfson. New York and London- Routledge, 2002.

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