As Above So Below – The Amazing Principle Of The Masculine And Feminine Waters

At its core, Kabbalah is the study of the effects of the masculine and feminine waters at every level

Understanding Kabbalah is like discovering the hidden threads that weave the fabric of Creation.

Imagine distilling the entire essence of Kabbalah into a single concept—one that resonates with the deep teachings of Rabbi Shalom Sharabi, the Rashash Zt’l. This is the interplay between Mayin Dukhrin, the Male Waters, and Mayin Nukvin, the Female Waters.

This principle is the heartbeat of Kabbalah, the pulsating core from which everything else unfolds.

Mayin Nukvin is the desire that shoots up from below to above, representing our earnest yearning to align with the will of Hashem. In contrast, Mayin Dukhrin flows from above to below, embodying the blessings that are bestowed down here. The beauty lies in the realization that the entirety of Kabbalah is encapsulated in this dynamic interplay—everything either descends from above or ascends from below.

In essence the principle of masculine and feminine waters dictate that what we do below generates a response above.

Now, here’s the thrilling part we’re delving into: it’s all an interconnected and seamless unity beneath the surface. As we peel off the layers, we discover that the interplay of wills, the ebb and flow between above and below, culminates in a harmonious oneness, the unity of Hashem.

In the following sections, we’ll delve deeper into this profound concept, unlocking more insights that illuminate the path of understanding within the fascinating realm of Kabbalah.

masculine and feminine waters uniting

Why everything happens the way it happens

One who sets off on the holy journey of Avodat Hashem is basically elevating the broken parts of the vessels that fell from the world of Nekudim, back to their place in the spiritual world of Atzilut.

Since the pivotal moment of Adam HaRishon’s fall, the responsibility to repair the shattered vessels and reconnect them to their source in the higher realms has rested upon us. Picture it as a grand tapestry waiting to be woven, where the unification of the waters holds the key. This union is what brings the flow of abundance, a flow from above to below.

Now, imagine this: by mastering the art of generating more Mayin Nukvin (remember: our will for holiness), we unlock the door to progress in serving the Creator. It’s as if Hashem himself is awaiting our harmonious participation in being partners.

And the secret to boosting this flow: walking in Hashem’s ways. This isn’t just a matter of adhering to a set of rules through Teshuva (though that is certainly vital); it’s about actively creating a current of Mayin Nukvin. The fascinating twist is that, retroactively, as we traverse the path of holiness into the Malkhut of Kedusha as Rebbe Nachman sets out in Likutey Moharan, we are guided to the Mitzvot we need to perform.

Now, we might encounter skeptics who say, “I tried it all, but my bank account didn’t mirror my efforts. Where are the blessings?”, and that’s a valid concern.

But hold on, it’s not so simple.

To understand the mystery of masculine and feminine waters, we need to consider a few variables that shape the equation. It’s not a mere transaction; it’s also a complicated process that takes time.

The analogy of the unification of the masculine and feminine waters

We said this many times, but delving into the depths of Kabbalah reveals a complexity that defies simplicity. Nothing is as simple as it sounds, and so, initiating a spiritual cause may not yield immediate or automatic effects, much like the intricate workings of a global water supply system.

Let’s draw a parallel to the vastness of the world’s water cycle. Picture the grandeur of the ocean—an immense reservoir of potential. The sun’s rays touch its surface, setting in motion the phenomenon of evaporation, transforming water into ethereal clouds that traverse the skies with the wind. These clouds, laden with the essence of the ocean, journey to lofty mountains, releasing their bounty as rain. The rain, in turn, finds its way back to rivers and, ultimately, rejoins the vast ocean.

Seems straightforward, doesn’t it?

Well, this is a metaphorical glimpse into the workings of the spiritual system.

Now, let’s take a microscopic view. Imagine marking a single drop of water in the ocean with a bold violet hue. Watch as this marked drop undergoes the mesmerizing journey of evaporation, ascending to the clouds that enshroud the entire ocean. It becomes part of a larger narrative, an intricate tale that unfolds over time.

But here’s the catch—it’s not a swift process. Certainly not on the same day, probably not in the same week, and perhaps even spanning a measure of months. Consider the drop that descends from the mountaintop; the journey back to the ocean is an endeavor that takes time, and this doesn’t even account for the complexities of clouds and other elements at play.

In the realm of Kabbalah, patience becomes the companion of understanding as we navigate the intricate cycles of spiritual cause and effect. It is also present in the study of the many (apparent) contradictions that seem to go against the most fundamental principles of the Torah. It’s only when we are patient while gathering these difficulties that we can, after a long time, sort them out and paint a mental “picture” of Hashem, which is nothing less than the spiritual system behind Creation.

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The parallel between the physical world and the spiritual worlds

The spiritual worlds contain sets of rules, principles and ideas that are often confusing because they sometimes don’t parallel the physical world. As mentioned, when we embark on the journey of Avodat Hashem, the intent is clear: to return the fallen sparks from their terrestrial dwelling all the way up to the loftiest spiritual dimensions.

Now, let’s unravel this concept further with an analogy.

Picture a remarkably successful businessman, a maestro of prosperity in every endeavor. Each investment he touches blossoms into magnificent success. Yet, amid this consistent triumph, a subtle anxiety begins to creep in. He scrutinizes his achievements, comparing them to friends engaged in similar pursuits.

Puzzled, he wonders, “Am I really doing anything extraordinary? I’m not inherently smarter than my peers, and yet, every venture of mine flourishes.” Doubt seeps in—perhaps he’s reaping all his merits in this worldly realm, leaving nothing for the World to Come.

Our friend finds himself on the edge of uncertainty, nervous about the implications of his success. This poignant scenario mirrors the complexities we face in our spiritual journey.

How long does it take for the circles we generate in the spiritual worlds to complete?

Sometimes Hashem withholds a person’s blessings as a form of kapara (atonement). Sometimes it’s a form of suffering out of love. The sages in the Talmud teach that if a person does not experience pain of any sort, he should be concerned lest he’s getting all his Olam HaBah here.

The uncertainty adds a layer of intrigue to our Avodat Hashem, urging us to contemplate the long-term interplay between our actions in this world and their repercussions in the world to come. As I once listened to a Rabbi teaching Etz Chaim: “We are not going to ‘receive’ anything in Olam HaBah: we are simply revealing everything we worked for our entire lives.

I don’t know how accurate that is, but it’s an interesting view.

Using the merit of our forefathers

A certain student approached Rav David Pinto Shli’ta with a question that echoed in the chambers of his thoughts: Why is success gracing him (the student) so abundantly? The reply was a revelation that echoed through generations: “It’s not solely your merits; it’s the merits of your grandfather.”

So the story goes back to a time when the guy’s grandfather, may he rest in peace, performed an act of noble generosity. Long before this seeker’s current pursuits, the grandfather possessed a substantial sum, enough to secure a life of comfort for himself and his family. The logical path was to invest in a venture that promised financial ease for the future.

However, destiny took a different turn.

One day, the grandfather witnessed someone seeking money for his wedding without the means for a proper celebration. In an extraordinary act of Tzedakah, the grandfather chose compassion over comfort. He generously parted with half of his wealth, ensuring that the newlywed had the means to build a future for his family.

This selfless gesture redirected the grandfather’s course. Instead of a leisurely life, he had to navigate a more challenging path. The initial investment was modest, but the seeds of kindness planted by that act of Tzedakah began to sprout.

Now, as the seeker stands in the glow of his own success, he is reminded that the bountiful fruits he enjoys are not just a result of his efforts. They are the harvest of his grandfather’s benevolence, a testament to the enduring impact of a single, compassionate choice made years ago.

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In the end it all falls down to Emunah

In Kabbalah we may ask questions up to a certain point. After that, it all hinges on real Emunah, which transcends everything. I am, however, against the position of “leaving everything to Emunah”. There is plenty we can learn and wisen up, and indeed, Hashem expects this from us. Rebbe Nachman teaches in Likutey Moharan that a Jew cannot be good unless he learns a lot. Until we reach the point of “no answers”, we must do our utmost to try to understand as much Torah as we can.

In the realm of true Emuna, belief transcends the mere acknowledgment of Hashem’s omniscience—it extends to a profound understanding that Hashem is intimately aware of every facet of our being.

This holy awareness isn’t confined to the grand gestures or consciously performed good deeds. It extends to every action, even those carried out without deliberate consideration. Hashem not only recognizes these deeds, but He bestows rewards upon you that far surpass what might seem deserved.

Yet, the essence of this relationship is far from transactional. It transcends the immediate cause and effect that one might expect from their actions. The key lies in cultivating a consciousness that every endeavor is undertaken for the sake of Hashem.

It’s not just about receiving; it’s about aligning one’s intentions with a higher purpose. This is probably the highest and most powerful form of masculine and feminine waters. And, again, the fault lies with us, Hashem is always willing to bless us, is we only exert proper Mesirut Nefesh (effort).

Here lies a mystery—a profound source of abundance in spiritual, emotional, and physical realms. This source, shrouded in mystery, is truly understood only by the most accomplished tzaddikim.

But the core of it all is Emunah.

It starts and finishes with an unwavering belief in Hashem’s ever-present compassion and willfulness to reciprocate all good intentions from our end. This is masculine and feminine waters, Mayim Nukvin and Mayim Dukhrin.

Take a moment to meditate on this. Close your eyes and reflect on the myriad blessings in your life. In this contemplation, you may come to realize that the drop with the red mark, symbolic of divine recognition and reward, was never really far away from you.

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Chaim Apsan

Chaim is a teacher and Kabbalah enthusiast. He loves helping Jews connect with true Torah teaching and enhancing their spiritual growth. With a focus on meditation, he guides individuals on transformative journeys of prayer, contemplation, and connection with Hashem. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and kids, and is committed to sharing the wisdom and power of Kabbalah in a genuine way.

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