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Basics in Kabbalah and Chassidut: Tevunah

The Stages of the Creative Process
from God’s Infinite Light to Our Physical World

 Introduction
 Or Ein Sof (“God’s Infinite Light”)
Sod Ha’Tzimtzum (“The Secret of ‘Contraction'”)
 Adam Kadmon (“Primordial Man”)
Akudim, Nekudim, Brudim (“Binding, Points, Connection”)
Keter D’Atzilut (“The ‘Crown’ of Emanation”)
 Olam Ha’Atzilut (“The World of Emanation”)
 ABiYA (The Four Worlds: Atzilut, Beriah, Yetzirah, Asiyah)

Olam Ha’Atzilut (“The World of Emanation”)
Ten stages (partzufim–figures) of the world of Atzilut–exclusive consciousness of Divine unity.

 

Abba Imma Abba
Ila’ah
Imma
Ila’ah
Yisrael
Sabba
 Tevunah Ze’ir
Anpin
Nukvah
D’Ze’ir Anpin
Leah Rachel

Tevunah
“Comprehension”

Tevunah is the lower of the two primary partzufim which develop from the sefirah of binah (which together are referred to as the general partzuf of Imma), as described above.

In the soul, Tevunah is the power to “assimilate” into one’s heart that which he has “grasped” in his mind. In the terminology of Chassidut, Imma Ila’ah (the higher partzuf of Imma) is referred to as koach ha’tfisa, “the power to grasp” (symbolized as “catching” an arrow in mid-air), whereas Tevunah (the lower partzuf of Imma) is referred to as koach ha’klita, “the power to assimilate” (symbolized by the power of the female womb to assimilate the male seed).

Koach ha’klita, the power of Tevunah, is activated by Yisrael Sabba. Tevunah receives its power to assimilate intellectual comprehension in order that it become experienced in the heart from the inclination inherent within the seminal insight of the mind to impregnate the heart (Yisrael Sabba).

Tevunah is identified in Chassidut with the archetypal soul of Rebecca, the second matriarch, the wife of Isaac. Based upon the deep level of understanding experienced in her heart, she is the one to decide which of her two sons is truly worthy to receive the blessing of his father.

Tevunah arouses love and fear in the heart (it is the mental life-force of love and fear). The word Tevunah possesses the letters ben u’bat, “son and daughter,” which refer to the two emotions of love and fear born from the womb of Tevunah, as explained in Chassidut.

The union of Yisrael Saba and Tevunah is described in the idiom from Sefer Yetzirah: “Be wise (at the level of) understanding.” Our Sages describe this union figuratively (in reference to the Divine revelation at Sinai) as “seeing the heard.”


 

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