Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi The Alter Rebbe Parshat Ki-Teze 5565-1805 (1) first version
Indented text by the translator
The entirety of creation—from the most exalted realms of Emanation to the “feet” of the world of Action—was seen in that single glance, encompassed in perfect equivalence; higher domains didn’t precede lower ones. Nor were individual worlds given individual thoughts; a single thought included them all. And of course, God saw every generation until the end of time.
Afterwards, they left His comprehensive thought to emerge into revelation. But at first, all was a single whole. Consequently the Zohar calls Primordial Man “antecedent of all antecedents.” And Primordial Man, teaches the Kabbalah, “is a single, simple light.” It’s termed “simple” because of its generalized state; only “one light” since it’s only one thought.
Then, each detail exited from Primordial Man’s generality. At first the world of Emanation sprang out of Primordial Man’s attribute of Wisdom. Emanation shone into revelation from its hitherto concealed condition. Afterwards, the second detail emerged. It’s called a detail relative to Emanation—which is now viewed as a generality.
The second detail—the world of Creation—departed from Primordial Man’s attribute of Understanding. Next, the world of Formation emerged from Primordial Man’s attribute of Splendor. And finally, the world of Action came out of Primordial Man’s attribute of Kingship.
Now we can comprehend Isaiah’s verse, “He Who called out the generations from the beginning.” “The beginning” refers to Primordial Man. “Generations” allude to the entire system of worlds—Emanation, Creation, Formation, and Action. And “called” indicates the worlds were beckoned from their concealed condition within the comprehensive thought. They emerged into a state of revelation, just as details are derived from the whole.
The entirety of creation—from the most exalted realms of Emanation to the
The Third Book of the Zohar, page 117, side a.
Primordial Man, teaches the Kabbalah, “is a single, simple light.”
Tikunei Zohar, chapter 70, page 120, side a;
Avodat HaKodesh, volume 4, chapter 3.
Emanation shone into revelation from its hitherto concealed condition.
Avodat HaKodesh, volume 1, chapter 2;
Pardess Rimmonim, portal 3, chapter 1; ibid., portal 4, chapter 10; ibid., portal 11, chapter 2.
“He Who called out the generations from the beginning.”
The Book of Isaiah, chapter 41, verse 4.
“The beginning” refers to Primordial Man. “Generations” allude to the entire
Tosafot, The Second Book of the Zohar, page 275, side b.