Partsuf – Configuration

The light of G-od is of a perfect unicity, without any variables or difference. Once this energy enters a particular Sephira, its outcome or effect is transformed into a particular force or attribute by which the Creator guides the worlds. A Partsuf is a configuration of one or more Sephirot acting in coordination. Partsuf in Aramaic means face, visage or countenance. A face is composed of many and various elements as eyes, nose, mouth, forehead and so on, but all are coordinated as one single unit. A face is also unique; it shows the particular identity of a person and is the main vehicle of communication.

Some Partsufim – configurations are masculine and bestow kindness, while others are feminine and bestow rigor. The masculine corresponds to kindness – ‘Hesed and is of the aspect of the name of MaH (45). The feminine corresponds to rigor – Gevurah and is of the aspect of the name of BaN (52). By their unions, different equilibriums of these two forces (Kindness and rigor), make the guidance. Complete rigor would be the destruction of anything not perfect, while complete kindness would permit everything without restrictions. However, these two aspects are necessary for the guidance of justice, and to give man the possibility of free choice.

The Partsufim – configurations are in a constant state of action, illuminations and inter-relations between them. This dynamism of exchange and influence of energies is called Tikunim of the Partsufim. These Tikunim result in various illuminations of different intensities, depending on time and the actions of man. They translate the upper will into particular influences and effects, for the guidance of the worlds.

The construction of a Partsuf – configuration is achieved by way of a Zivug (union) of two higher masculine and feminine Partsufim, followed by a period called gestation inside the higher feminine configuration, and birth, when it is revealed. There is afterwards the suckling, where it is nursing energies from the higher Partsufim, and finally the growth when it is now fully independent.

There are five main Partsufim – configurations:

  • Arikh Anpin – :Long countenance
  • Abah – Father
  • Imah – Mother
  • Zeir Anpin – Small countenance
  • Nukva – Feminine

And one above them: ‘Atik Yomin (clothed inside Arikh Anpin).

From these five main configurations emerge seven more. They all emanate from the ten Sephirot as follows:

From כתר:

‘Atik Yomin and his נוקבה

אריך אנפין and his נוקבה

From חכמה:


From מלכות of אבה – Israel Saba

From מלכות of Israel Saba – Israel Saba 2

From בינה:


– From מלכות of אימה-Tevunah

– From מלכות of Tevunah – Tevunah 2

Israel Saba and Tevunah are also called by their initials ISOT or ISOT 2.

From חסד, גבורה, תיפארת, Netsa’h, הוד, and יסוד:

זעיר אנפין also called Israel

From זעיר אנפין – Ya’acov

From מלכות:

נוקבה, divided in two Partsufim: Ra’hel and Leah

Configuration ‘Atik Yomin

The configuration ‘Atik Yomin is superior to all the configurations. It has ten Sephirot. His aspect of the name of MaH (45) corresponds to the masculine principle; his aspect of the name of BaN (52) corresponds to the feminine. He is called ‘Atik and his נוקבה. His נוקבה – feminine is attached to him, her back to his back. ‘Atik is thus all face, facing to the back, his feminine configuration, facing to the front, his masculine configuration. Each one of these aspects – masculine and feminine – is comprised of ten Sephirot.

‘Atik’s masculine aspect is not clothed inside the first world of אצילות. The first three of the ten Sephirot of his נוקבה – feminine aspect – are above אצילות and together make the Radl’a – רישה דלא אתידע (the unknown head). [1]

His seven lower feminine Sephirot attach to the world below and dress inside configuration אריך אנפין in the following manner:  חסד of ‘Atik in כתר of אריך, גבורה in חכמה, תיפארת in בינה. His three Sephirot of NHY (נצח, הוד, יסוד) have three parts each: the first part of NHY in חסד, גבורה and תיפארת, the second part of NHY in Netsa’h, הוד and יסוד, the third part of NH (נצח, הוד), and מלכות of ‘Atik in מלכות of אריך אנפין.

The lower Sephira of a world makes the connection with the world below it and becomes its configuration ‘Atik[2].  In אצילות, it is the מלכות of Adam Kadmon that becomes its configuration ‘Atik. It is the same in the three other worlds of בריה, יצירה and עשיה, the מלכות of the world above becomes the configuration ‘Atik of the world below.

Configuration אריך אנפין

אריך אנפין is the main configuration in each world; all the other configurations are his “branches”. He and his feminine make one configuration; called אריך אנפין and his נוקבה. His masculine is his right side, his feminine, his left. אריך אנפין is the first configuration in אצילות and the root of all the others.

אריך אנפין is different from the other configurations, his first three Sephirot, which are called his three heads, are not in the three column arrangement; his Sephira בינה is under כתר and חכמה, which are in a straight line.

אריך אנפין reaches from the top to the bottom of a world. אבה and אימה dress his right and left arm (his Sephira חסד and גבורה); their כתר reach his Sephira בינה and their מלכות his Sephira תיפארת.

אריך אנפין has three heads, which are the roots of the direction of kindness, rigor and mercy. The first is כתר, the second is in the space between his כתר and חכמה, the third one is his חכמה. Their names are:

1- Gulgolta – his כתר

2- Avirah – in the space between his כתר and חכמה 

3- Mo’ha – his חכמה

These three heads emanate from אריך אנפין to the configurations אבה and אימה, and from there, to configuration ז׳א[3]. The emanations and actions of configuration אריך אנפין are called his Tikunim 

Other Tikunim – emanations of energies and actions – come out from the face of Sephira חכמה of אריך אנפין and spread downward; they are called allegorically his hair, or beard. They divide into thirteen and are called the thirteen Tikunim of the Dikna – the beard of אריך אנפין. These emanations are called hair and beard because they spread out in individual conduits.

The other Tikunim, emanations of lights from אריך אנפין, are for the attainment and abundance. However, the guidance itself is from the Dikna, lights of the beard, and it is through it that the abundance flows.

Configurations אבה and אימה

These two Partsufim (configurations) are essential for the guidance of the worlds; they are the link between configuration אריך אנפין, which is the highest configuration, and configuration זעיר אנפין who communicates these emanations to the worlds by his Zivug (union) with the configuration נוקבה. אבה is the Sephira חכמה, and אימה  the Sephira בינה.

They emanated by the Zivug (union) of configuration אריך אנפין with his נוקבה (feminine). אבה is the masculine aspect and אימה the feminine. They are influenced and built by the lights of configuration אריך and are at the level of his arms – Sephirot חסד and גבורה. אבה is on the right – Sephira חסד, and אימה on the left – Sephira גבורה. See fig. 10

To communicate their emanations, אבה and אימה unite to emanate their influence. There are for אבה and אימה two types of Zivug (unions): the constant Zivug is called exterior and is for the subsistence of the worlds[4], while the second is called interior and is for the renewing of the Mo’hin – guiding force of Z”uN (זעיר אנפין and נוקבה).

The Sephira מלכות of אבה becomes another configuration called Israel Saba. Similarly, מלכות of אימה becomes another configuration called Tevunah. These two secondary configurations act as an extension of אבה and אימה to transmit a reduced intensity of their emanations. They are mostly called by their initials ISoT. They themselves have their own secondary configurations called Israel Saba 2 and Tevunah 2 – ISoT 2. They transmit an even more reduced intensity of the emanations of אבה and אימה. See fig. 10

The main role of אבה and אימה is to give to configuration ז׳א, his Mo’hin – guiding force[5]. There are different states of growth for configuration ז׳א. In its first growth, he receives his Mo’hin – guiding force from the configurations ISOT (Israel Saba and Tevunah), and in his second more important growth, he receives them directly from אבה and אימה.

Configuration זעיר אנפין 

Configuration זעיר אנפין is most often called by his initials; ז׳א. He is composed of the six lower Sephirot: חסד, גבורה, תיפארת, נצח, הוד, and יסוד.[6] For the created, ז׳א with configuration נוקבה are the main configurations for the guidance. All our relationships with the above are first directed to Z’uN (זעיר אנפין and נוקבה).

זעיר אנפין is a dynamic configuration, constantly in a process of getting from a weaker state to one of growth to renew its forces and influence. At first, ז׳א is incomplete having only seven Sephirot, and in a state of Tardema (somnolence). Inside of אימה, ז׳א goes through a period of gestation, followed by a first period of infancy and a first growth. To act, he needs to get his Mo’hin – directive force, which are his three first Sephirot of “Hokhma, בינה and דעת, and get to a stage of growth. They are given to him in a specific order from the configurations above him; ISOT or אבה and אימה.

During the time of the gestation, ז׳א is not really acting for it is being built. At the time of suckling it starts to act, and at the growth stage it is ready to act and influence.

When the three Sephirot of NHY (נצח, הוד, יסוד) of ISOT 2 are the directive force of ז׳א, it is at the stage of the first growth. But when NHY of ISOT 1 are clothed in him, it is considered as if אבה and אימה were clothed in him directly as his Mo’hin – directive force, and this stage is the second growth. It is only after the second growth that ז׳א reaches its full potential. This is called Gadlut 2.

[1] The outcomes of its actions are above our understanding

[2] There is continuity of attachment and communication in all the worlds

[3] From ז׳א to נוקבה and then to the world

[4] Not influenced by the actions of men

[5] Their three Sephirot- נצח, הוד and יסוד

[6] Becomes ten Sephirot when he gets his guiding force