From The Wisdom of the Zohar: An Anthology of Texts by Isaiah Tishby, Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 1982.
“The traditional Jewish view, both biblical and rabbinic, was that religious faith involved the absolute subordination of the world and its inhabitants to the perpetual and all-encompassing direction of God…During the Middle Ages, however, the religious attitude of the Jews were deeply influenced by widespread philosophical ideas that saw God solely as the First Cause, and removed Him from any involvement in the ordinary process of events in animate or inanimate life. Most Jewish philosophers strongly opposed this point of view, and tired to maintain and substantiate the traditional Jewish concept. The Zohar contains a fierce polemic against those who deny divine providence, and who substitute chance as an important factor in the affairs of the world and in the destiny of mankind.” Pg 423.
“I [Isaiah Tishby] have shown in the previous introduction how the Shekhinah is given the character of a personal ruler in her role as the consort or the supernal mother. She is active in the direction and maintenance of the world, distributing reward and punishment by means of her agents and messengers. …This situation continually changes, and the forces come down on the side of punishment or favor, depending on the vagaries of activity in the lower world. These changes, however, are not merely the result of strict justice or exact calculation, nor the simply the manifestations of an autocratic will, as the traditional concept of divine direction would have them; for the influence of the lower worlds is also considered to have a dynamism of its own. The intentions and acts of man also bring certain forces into play. His good deeds form a positive, constructive, beneficent force, and his bad deeds engender a negative, destructive, maleficent force. Those forces flow upward, and as ‘a stimulation from below’ (itarula dilitala) they affect the balance in the interrelationships of the divine powers. The forces of good deeds increases the power of Love [Hesed], and the force of bad deeds increase the power of Judgment [Din]. Therefore man is a partner with God in the conduct of the world, and the actual work of direction is a result of the cross-influence of the upper and lower forces.” P 424
“One may therefore describe her [Shekhinah] as a kind of storehouse of divine powers. In her direction of the world she activates the forces that are stored up within her, and distributes them in the form of life and sustenance to the realms below.” P425
“The chief roles in the dynamic process of activating and using the divine powers are assigned to tow sefirot: Binah (the upper river) and Yesod (the lower river). They work as parallel forces, Binah directing the sefirot that are below it, and Yesod directing the worlds by means of the Shekhinah. The mystery of Yesod’s dynamism is expressed in sexual symbols. …Male and female, Yesod and Malkuth, which are both channel and storehouse of the divine powers, constitute on entity like the unity of the source and the well. This unity is destroyed during exile, when the female is taken away from the male, as a result of the sins of the world. Then the direction of the world is impaired, because the channel of influence is sealed and the dynamic forces cannot act in the lower realms. Only remnants of the influence, which had previously been sown in the garden of the Shekhinah, exist in order to sustain the world. Were it not for these remnants the world would turn into chaos for it is the flow of the divine forces that basically controls and sustains it.” P 426.
“The basic and more frequently occurring idea is that the world of emanation is built up on a threefold pattern, two completely opposite extremes with a force in the middle that holds the balance between them. …The first triad, where existence and intermingling of opposites are beyond the reach of perception, is that of Hokhmah, Binah, and Da’at, and this branches out into the chief central triad of Hesed, Gevurah [Din] and Tiffereth, which comprise the attributes of Love, Judgment, and Mercy. The last triad consists of Netzach, Hod, and Yesod, which are subdivisions of these attributes, while Malkuth, by virtue of its position represents the totality of all the attributes. Love and Judgment are two fiercely hostile forces in this system, each trying to overthrow and annihilate the other. A compromise has to be effected in this struggle by the attribute of Mercy, whose natural role is to moderate extremes and to mix them together in a single whole.” Pp 427-428
“Here in lies the tremendous responsibility of mankind, for it is man that has the wherewithal to harmonize the opposite powers and to effect a balance between them, and it is his actions that can turn the scale toward innocence or guilt. The consequences of man’s actions are not confined to the reward or punishment that might come to him personally, for there is a kind of collective responsibility. The actions of individuals are combined together and it is their total influence that determines the way in which the whole world is governed. …Man’s involvement in the direction of the world, which is one of the basic tenets of kabbalistic doctrine, imposes upon him a very heavy responsibility. He has continually to see himself as part of the complex of the opposing forces in the Godhead and in the cosmos, and it s part of his task to help to moderate the extremes, and so to bring peace to the Godhead and to the world.” Pp 428-429
Garshom Yaron aka Gary Jaron has been exploring the Occult Qabalah and the Rabbinic Kabbalah since he was a teen.