The Body’s Radiant Splendor

Man is made up of a soul clothed within a body built of apertures and cavities: the cavities are container vessels while the apertures are vessels of exit.

3 min

Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum

Posted on 10.01.09

Part 57 of "138 Openings of Wisdom" by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato

Opening 32, part 3
We said earlier that the government lies in the Residue while the Line is concealed within it (see Opening 27). But from our present discussion it appears that on the contrary, the entire government derives from the Line, for we see that the government comes about only through what emerges from these apertures, which is from the interior, which is the Line. If so, surely the government is from the Line.
This may be answered as follows. What is revealed cannot be said to be revealed in accordance with the level of the soul. On the contrary, we must say that it is revealed according to the level of the body. This is because man is made up of a soul clothed within a body built of apertures and cavities: the cavities are container vessels while the apertures are vessels of exit. The soul fills the container vessels when emitting light through the exit vessels. All this is in accordance with the way the body works and the nature of its vessels. When the soul goes out through these exit vessels, it makes a radiant splendor around the body. The soul adds nothing to the body, which remains what it is. For even when the soul brings forth its lights, it brings them forth only in accordance with the nature of the body. This is the implication of the above-quoted passage from Otzrot Chaim stating that "the light of the brain is called AV while the light of the ear is called SaG". However, the vessels that bring forth the light exist only to reveal what takes place inside the container vessels. Thus the root of the government lies in the interconnection of the soul and the body inside, but the government is revealed in the face, and then an even greater revelation comes in the radiant splendor emerging from the fissures with all that is revealed there.
Accordingly, the Line governs on its own level, which is different from that of the Residue, whose government is subject to it. For I have already stated that the soul brings forth its lights in accordance with the body. Thus when we consider the overall order of government — the entire structure of Adam Kadmon — we find that the full cycle of the government as it is revealed to us consists only of what is revealed after the Line has already clothed itself within the Residue through the surrounding radiant splendor. Besides what is revealed through this radiant splendor, everything the Line does in clothing itself in the Residue is unknown to us.
…that which is arranged within, inside the body… What is revealed is the actual order that exists within. Accordingly there is a direct parallel between what is revealed and that which exists within. Indeed, we can tell in detail which part of the interior is revealed in one place in the face and which part in a different place.
…and emissions of this radiance emerge from each of the sense organs… This is as we have said above, that what radiates initially in the face in a general way emerges in a more revealed manner in the sensory faculties. Accordingly, four worlds emerge: the worlds of Vision, Hearing, Smell and Speech. Since there are four faculties, four things therefore emerge and are revealed from them. Indeed, all that is fit to be revealed will be revealed through these four. For this reason there are four and no more: the worlds of Vision, Hearing, Smell and Speech. These are not the actual vision, hearing, smell and speech themselves, but their worlds — what emerges from them.
The forehead also emits its own radiance. This too is something that is not seen now, but if the radiant splendor of the forehead were visible like the radiant splendor of the other senses, it would be visible. For there is a very subtle fissure, and this is the secret of the Tefilin which stand on the forehead. Of the Tefilin, it is written: "And all the peoples of the earth will see that the Name of HaVaYaH is called upon you" (Deuteronomy 28:10).
To be continued.
(Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum is the director of Azamra ( The 138 Openings of Wisdom is available for purchase online at

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