We learned that when G‑d looks down and supervises this world and sees that people have rectified their deeds below, this causes Atika Kadisha to be revealed, shining into Zeir Anpin [Atika Kadisha gazes and illuminates Zeir Anpin]. All these faces [of Abba and Imma and Zeir Anpin] look at the concealed face [of Arich Anpin, and through this gazing make a holy union] and everyone [all the partzufim] is blessed. Why are they blessed? Because they look directly at each other, their gaze turning neither to the right or to the left [to receive the supernal light]. Hence, "G‑d is righteous, He loves righteousness the upright shall behold His face." (Ps. 11:7) [Our good deeds cause all the partzufim to come into alignment and shine to each other in unity.] Then everyone [all the lower partzufim and the worlds of Beriya Yetzira and Asiya] is blessed as though rivers of blessings flow from one to another, until all the worlds are blessed and their spiritual essence is united as one. This is what the verse refers to [concerning Zeir Anpin and Nukva] "G‑d [Zeir Anpin]shall be one, and His name[malchut] One" [together with all the servants of the sefira of malchut which are the angels of the worlds of Beriya Yetzira and Asiya].(Zachariah 14:9)

But when transgressions increase in the world, Atika Kadisha reverts to being hidden
[from the gaze of Abba and Imma and Zeir Anpin and Nukva] and they do not look at each other face-to-face. Then judgments stir in the world, thrones [Abba and Imma and Zeir Anpin and Nukva that are like thrones waiting to receive the light from Arich Anpin – each at their level] are displaced and the Ancient One is closed and not revealed [and does not illuminate the lower partzufim]. This is the meaning of: "As I looked, thrones were placed, and an ancient of days did sit." (Daniel 7:9) "Thrones are placed" are the supernal crowns [of Arich Anpin] that water [gives supernal flow to] all others to sustain them. Who are they [the supernal crowns]? The Patriarchs [Abba and Imma]. "And an Ancient of Days [Arich Anpin] did sit": He is not revealed. [He sits alone and does not illuminate all the lower faces that gaze at Him.]Then, the wicked in the world turn mercy in to judgment.

We learned that from the side of
[the yesod of] Imma [the source of all judgments] kelipot come out and grasp the rod of judgment from her and then rule over mercy, as written, "Gathered together against 'Above' [G‑d]" (Num. 27:3), truly above G‑d [who represents mercy]. Then the worlds [of Beriya Yetzira and Asiya] are found wanting and lack completion, and dissension arises in them all. [There is no unity as the light of Atzilut no longer extends to them. Since it is wanting, the gevurot are greatly strengthened, and dissension arises among creation]

When the inhabitants of the world better their deeds below, judgments are mitigated and removed, and mercy stirs and overpowers that evil
[of the kelipot] which arose from the judgment. When mercy stirs, joy and consolation abide, because they overpower evil [of the kelipot]. Hence, "G‑d repented of (literally "above") the evil," (Ex. 32:14) for the judgment is subdued and mercy reigns [in the world].

We learned that when judgments are mitigated and mercy reigns, each sefira prevails again
[each of the partzufim illuminates the lower as proper: Arich to Abba, Abba to Imma, Imma to Zeir Anpin , and Zeir Anpin to Nukva] and all of them are blessed together. When they do so, Imma [and the 5 gevurot in the yesod of Imma which is their source] is sweetened by the engraved keyways. [Imma is sweetened in her netzach, hod, and yesod that connect her consciousness with the 6 extremities of Zeir Anpin, which open to receive them like a key fitting into a lock] Then repentance is considered complete and the world is atoned for. Imma sits completely joyful, as written, "the mother of the children is happy." (Ps. 113:9) She is then called Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), of which it is written, "That you may be clean from all your sins." (Lev. 16:30) Then fifty gates [of Bina, which are the 5 chassadim which each include 10 which are in Imma and which are given to Zeir Anpin] are opened in all of those engraved pathways. [The 5 chassadim extend from yesod of Imma in the chesed, gevura, tiferet, netzach and hod of Zeir Anpin, and after all these are included in his yesod, he understands the full depth of his repentance]

BeRahamim LeHayyim: Why did the Ari and Chida include this section? What do they want us to learn?

Wow, that was a mouthful! Or should we say a soulful?! When the Zohar emphasizes that what is below is above, and vice versa, it is not kidding. For what we do in this earth plane has a concomitant effect on supernal realms. No, that does not mean that we can control G‑d, Heaven forefend! Rather it means that if we manifest a desire to return and to center our actions, speech, and deed, we are granted a corresponding assistance from our Friend above.

" Open up for me an opening like the eye of a needle and in turn, I will enlarge it to be an opening through which wagons can enter ." (Shir Hashirim Raba 5:2)

G‑d is waiting for our repentance—especially during Elul! This is good news for us, for it means that we are never wasting our time. His right hand is extended for those who return. Period. If we turn our face toward the Source in sincerity, "He will shine His face toward you and be gracious to you".

What does the above mean for your teshuva, and why is it being revealed to you right now?

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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