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Man is a counterpart of the attributes on high

Man as a Microcosm

Man as a Microcosm

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Man as a Microcosm
Man is a counterpart of the attributes on high

The two feet correspond to the attribute of faith. Faith contains two concepts. One is that one must believe that G‑d is without beginning, but all universes have a beginning and are created by Him. The second thing that one must believe is that G‑d's people Israel are close to Him, and that through prayer, every Israelite can bring about what he desires from G‑d. These two concepts are paralleled by the two feet.Through prayer, every Israelite can bring about what he desires…

The holy sign of circumcision indicates union. A person must bind himself to G‑d through faith.

The body indicates Beauty (tiferet). A person must act so that G‑d is glorified through him, as it is written, "Israel in whom I am glorified" (Isaiah 49:3).

The two hands indicate love (chesed) and fear (gevura). The right hand is love, for one must love G‑d, and the left is fear, since one must also fear G‑d.

The head indicates that a person can probe G‑d's greatness and understand how many angels of all kinds stand before Him in fear and awe. He can then nullify himself completely and thus attain great joy.

When Israel was in Egypt, they only had the attribute of faith, as it is written, "And the people believed" (Exodus 4:31)…They therefore only had the attribute of feet. All the other attributes were in a hidden state, and were only attained when the Torah was given.

The state in which they were in Egypt is alluded to by the Paschal lamb. It had to be prepared, "With its head on its knees, on its insides" (Exodus 12:9). This indicates that all the other attributes were hidden inside the concept of the feet, and that only faith alone was manifest.

[Adapted by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, p. 108
The Chasidic Masters/Moznaim)]

Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev (1740-25 Tishrei 1810) is one of the most popular rebbes in chassidic history. He was a close disciple of the Maggid of Mezritch. He is best known for his love for every Jew and his active efforts to intercede for them against (seemingly) adverse heavenly decrees. Many of his teachings are contained in the posthumously published, Kedushat Levi.
Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan was the Bronx-born renowned author of over 50 books. In addition to his brilliant success as a youthful prodigy in various yeshivas, as a university graduate student, he was described in a scientific "Who's Who" as the most promising young physicist in America. In the field of Kabbala in English, he translated and elucidated two of the oldest and most important texts: Sefer Yetzira and Sefer Habahir, and his Meditation and Kabbala is still the classic in the field. The Jewish people suffered a tragic loss when he passed away suddenly in 1983 at the age of 48.
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