Sunday, November 23, 2008

Kelipos: Forces of impurity

Everything that exists receives its entire vitality from G–d.[1] However, He created two possible avenues for this vitality:
·      Kedushah, holiness, represents a level that consciously submits to G–d[2] and actively reveals His presence.
·      The opposite of holiness is Kelipah, literally a shell. The kabbalists employ the analogy to a shell in order to describe the force that hides the G–dly vitality and purpose that lies within everything, which is akin to the fruit. Instead of submitting to G–d, Kelipah is self-focused and driven.
There are two general categories of Kelipah:
       1. Kelipas Nogah: lit., “The shining shell.” This force is characterized by pursuit of self-interest.
Both good and evil types of self-interest are included in this shell. These aspects are referred to as the tov shebeNogah (the good aspect of Kelipas Nogah) and the rah shebeNogah (the bad aspect of Kelipas Nogah).
The relative proportions of good and evil in Kelipas Nogah depends upon the level in which it is found (note: there is no Kelipah in the world of Atzilus):
  •          the Kelipas Nogah of Beriah is majority good, minority evil;
  •          the Kelipas Nogah of Yetzirah is half evil, half good;
  •          the Kelipas Nogah of Asiyah is majority evil, minority good;
  •          the vast majority of the Kelipas Nogah of the physical world of Asiyah is evil.
For example, the Animal Soul is the source of emotions, and since the Jew’s Animal Soul stems from Kelipas Nogah, it contains good and evil emotions by its very nature.[3]
       2. Sholosh Kelipos HaTemei’os: literally, “The three impure Kelipos.” Aside from a minute spark of holiness hidden very deep down, this level represents total evil and selfishness, without any positive aspect.
Kelipas Nogah also acts as the intermediary between Sholosh Kelipos HaTemei’os and Kedushah.[4]
[1] Tanya p. 74.
[2] ibid. p. 20.
[3] See ibid. ch. 1.
[4] ibid. ch. 37.

2 comments:

Crawling Axe said...

Are you differentiating the fourth and the third?

Rabbi Yehoishophot Oliver said...

I'm not sure that I understand your question.