Limbs and Lights

The spirit enters into the limbs and body parts, sending forth the radiation through the parts of the face that are related to those bodily limbs and organs.

6 min

Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum

Posted on 21.02.09

Part 61 of "138 Openings of Wisdom" by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato

Opening 34, part 2
The connection between AV, SaG, MaH and BaN and their place of emergence from Adam Kadmon’s sensory organs.
The passages through which the lights pass were chosen because of the way they are linked to the interior with the four Names that are arranged there, and they correspond to the different combinations in which the lights are interconnected. And the route by which the spirit travels through them is such that the place that it touches first is where it emerges.
Part 2: …and they correspond to the different combinations in which the lights are interconnected. For even though we say that the Partzuf as a whole consists of ten Sefirot so that we may understand the governmental order that emerges from it, nevertheless we must examine many different details in the Sefirot, these being the totality of all the six hundred and thirteen lights contained in the Partzuf. Moreover, the main thing is to understand the links whereby these lights are connected to one another and the way they meet so as to connect one end to the other, even though they are far apart from one another in the order in which they stand. This is bound up with the way the lights join up in various different combinations: one light combines with another causing the emergence of a new offspring. This is how the different parts of the body are related one to another, so that if something happens to one part, it will be felt in the other even though the two parts in quesion may be very far from one another and other body parts stand between them. The intervening body parts will not feel it while those at separate ends do feel it.
The root of this matter is that the form of every Partzuf, both in general and in detail, depends upon the name MaH, as it is writen: "And the likeness of their faces was the face of a man (Adam)" (Ezekiel 1:10; the numerical value of the letters of ADaM = 45 = MaH). Now this name contains the specific number of powers that it contains, and it is these powers that divide up into various particulars, thus producing the limbs of the body with all their different properties. In some cases the particular components of the power in question unfolded in stages, one after the other, in a gradual developmental sequence. In other cases, the components of the power in question were separated from one another, with one being placed in one location and another in a different location far away from the first. Afterwards, the circuit of the spirit that circulates around all the different parts was instituted, and everything reaches the overall form, which is based on the underlying secret of the "irrigation of the tree", which is the secret of the name MaH (see Opening 29 Part 3). Thus when something happens to and is felt by one part of the Partzuf, it comes to the root, the name of MaH, and from there it immediately reaches the second part, which is likewise a component of the same power whose other component was affected in the first place.
It is the same in the case of man here below: the soul (neshamah) that builds the body does so through one general power contained within it. This is the "Likeness of Man", and this is the name MaH we have mentioned. For this must also exist in man here below in accordance with the secret of the "irrigation of the tree". It is from this that the entire structure emerges, and this is what experiences all the feelings and sensations of the different parts of the body, and it is from this power that their interrelationship derives. It is the spirit (ru’ach) itself that is affected and activated in the place where it dwells. When the spirit is affected through one of the body parts according to the distinctive nature of that part, this itself has an effect upon the second body part that is the natural partner of the first. When activated in one part, the overall form sends a current to the second part, which is also activated there in its place in the same way through the overall form that connects the two of them, while the intervening parts are not affected. (Thus "the eye muscles depend upon the understanding in the heart" Avodah Zarah 28b). For no other part will be affected in this way except one that is the natural partner of the first and structurally coupled with it. This is comparable to the way water is affected according to the place where it is contained. The influence of the stars also proves this point, for the stars send their influences through the entire atmosphere yet their effects are felt only in the place prepared for them: there alone does the particular influence flash forth to act and nowhere else.
And the route by which the spirit travels through them is such that… In other words, this phenomenon has its own individual law whereby the spirit (ru’ach) circulates in this way. …the place that it touches first is where it emerges. For these names circle around inside, within the body (of Adam Kadmon) in accordance with the laws instituted for them. The spirit finds the limbs it comes to first and enters into these limbs and body parts, sending forth the radiation through the parts of the face that are related to those bodily limbs and organs.
This is what makes it possible to find that the lights of BaN emerged through the Eyes while the lights of SaG emerged through the Ears, Nose and Mouth. For the circuit of SaG is arranged in such a way that it first reaches the organs that are structurally coupled with the Ears, Nose and Mouth, and its radiations passed out from there immediately. The circuit of BaN, on the other hand, reaches the limbs that are structurally coupled with the Eyes, and the same applies to MaH in relation to the Forehead.
An objection could be raised on the basis of our earlier statement that the radiance of the fissures or apertures of the face derives from the fact that the entire soul is included in the face. How it this connected with the fact that it circulates in the body?
The explanation of this matter is as follows. Every action that the spirit brings about in the body must, as we have already said, be revealed in the face. Accordingly, for every action that this spirit performs in the body, it immediately produces a corresponding power in the face which stands ready to reveal it. Simultaneously with the performance of the action through the body, it rises up and is seen in the overall expression of the face. Yet this is still not the end of its circuit. For, as you already know, the face as a whole divides up into the various different sensory apertures. Accordingly, every action of the spirit in the body has a corresponding power that starts in the face and ends in one of the apertures. The general form divided up its powers in such a way that for every action performed by AV or SaG, it brought forth and revealed in the face certain corresponding powers in the Ears, others in the Nose and others in the Mouth. The same applies to SaG of SaG and BaN: it brought forth certain corresponding powers in the Eyes in the way explained above, whereby the general form divides up into the various specific powers contained in the body.
Thus we see that the powers corresponding to AV (i.e. AV of SaG) were placed below, while those of BaN were placed above (in the Eyes) and those of MaH higher still (in the Forehead). However, the parallel is not between the parts of the spirit and the parts of the body (e.g. between BaN and the Eyes) for they are not in the same category. Rather, it is between these parts of the body and those parts of the body. If so, we must say that the limbs and organs where BaN circulates are those corresponding to the Eyes. Accordingly, when BaN reaches those limbs below, it immediately shines forth in the corresponding part of the face, and from there to the Eyes, and the same applies to all of them.
In summary: The circulating spirit — the totality of AV, SaG, MaH and BaN — produces powers in the body. For example, the light of BaN produces the powers of the legs, and there is thus a link between BaN and the legs. Everything that happens in the body is visible in the radiance of the face and produces a fissure, i.e. one of the senses. Thus the power in the leg eventually produces vision, and this is how BaN is connected with the Eyes.
(Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum is the director of Azamra ( The 138 Openings of Wisdom is available for purchase online at

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The Divinite lights that emanate from the respective branches of Adam Kadmon, though initially far from one another, steadily come together and reveal a likeness of man.