Joseph Gikatilla, Sha‘arei ’Orah


We have already explained that from Keter and below there is no simple attribute (middah peshutah) that is not mixed with its counterpart, for the emanation of Hokhmah, which derives from Keter, necessitates all opposites, all of the mixtures, and all of the way of emanation and the bond of the chariots. For Hokhmah is adjacent to Keter and Binah, and since it is placed between these two emanations it has a front and back, the front turned toward Keter and the back toward Binah. And since it has a front and back, it is the cause of all opposites, differences, and mixtures in the world, and from here is generated every front and back, white and black, right and left, above and below. This is one of the deep secrets in the bonds of the chariot and the emanations of the essences. The one who comprehends this secret will understand all of the chariots and all of the levels of emanation, for they are in the form of that which receives and that which overflows, and this is the secret of the androgyne.

Translated by Elliot Wolfson, “Beyond Good and Evil- Hypernomianism, Transmorality, and Kabbalistic Ethics.” In, Crossing Boundaries- Ethics, Antinomianism and the History of Mysticism, pp. 103-56. Edited by J. J. Kripal and W. Barnard. New York and London- Seven Bridges Press, 2002, from Joseph Gikatilla, Sha‘arei ’Orah, 1-237 Edited by Joseph Ben-Shlomo (Jerusalem- Mosad Bialik, 3rd edition, 1996).

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