157. Rabbi Elazar was sitting before Rabbi Shimon, his father. He said to him: We have learned that THE NAME Elohim always denotes Judgment. The name Yud Hei Vav Hei is sometimes pronounced Elohim, MEANING WHEN IT IS WITH THE VOWELS OF ELOHIM, such as "Adonai Yud Hei Vav Hei" (Beresheet 15:8), PRONOUNCED WITH THE PUNCTUATION OF ELOHIM. HE QUESTIONS: Why pronounce it "Elohim" when its letters, NAMELY YUD HEI VAV HEI, always denote Mercy?
158. He said to him that it is written in the scripture, "Know therefore this day, and consider it in your heart, that Hashem He is Elohim" (Devarim 4:39). It is also written, "Hashem He is the Elohim" (I Melachim 18:39). He said to him: I know that where there is Judgment, there can be Mercy and sometimes where there is Mercy, there may be Judgment. THEREFORE, THE VERSE STATES "HASHEM HE IS THE ELOHIM." He continued: See that it is so, Yud Hei Vav Hei always stands for Mercy. But when the wicked convert Mercy to Judgment, the verse is written, "Yud Hei Vav Hei," but it is read "Elohim."
159. Come and analyze the secret of the matter. There are three degrees, yet each degree is independent even though they are one, connected into one and do not separate one from the other. Come and see: All the plants - NAMELY THE SFIROT - and all these candles - NAMELY THE SFIROT OF MALCHUT KNOWN AS THE FIERY LIGHTS - shine and blaze. All are watered and blessed from that river that continually flows, NAMELY BINAH, in which everything is included, AS ALL MOCHIN STEM FROM IT, and the sum of everything is within it.
160. This river is called the mother of the Garden of Eden, DENOTING MALCHUT, AS BINAH IS REFERRED TO AS MOTHER (HEB. EM, ALEPH MEM), AS IT IS WRITTEN, "IF (HEB. IM, ALEPH MEM) YOU CRY AFTER BINAH" (MISHLEI 2:3), being higher than the Garden. IT IS CALLED MOTHER, because Eden, DENOTING CHOCHMAH, joins with it and does not leave it. For this reason, all the springs OF MOCHIN come out, draw FROM IT and water all sides, BOTH TO THE RIGHT OR TO THE LEFT, and open doors within it. Hence, there is Mercy coming from it, DENOTING THE CENTRAL COLUMN and Mercy opened in it AS THE BEGINNING OF THE OPENING OF THE CENTRAL COLUMN, WHICH RECONCILES AND JOINS RIGHT WITH LEFT BEING THE PERFECTION OF EVERYTHING, STARTS AT BINAH.
161. For this reason, they call BINAH mother, DENOTING Nukva and Gvurah, and Judgment comes forth from it. HENCE, it is referred to as Mercy on its own, ITS OWN QUALITY. However, from its aspect, the Judgments are aroused and THE NAME BINAH is written with Mercy, MEANING WITH THE LETTERS YUD HEI VAV HEI, WHICH INDICATES MERCY. Its vowels are of Judgment, MEANING THAT HER FOUR LETTERS OF YUD HEI VAV HEI ARE VOWELED AS IN THE NAME OF ELOHIM. THUS, the letters OF THE NAME ARE of Mercy, yet Judgments are drawn from its aspect, AS HINTED IN THE VOWELIZATION OF THE NAME as YeHeVoH. This is one grade.
162. The second grade: From the aspect of the first GRADE, WHICH IS BINAH, another grade named Gvurah, WHICH IS THE LEFT COLUMN OF ZEIR ANPIN, comes out and is stirred. It is pronounced Elohim, NOT MERELY IN ITS VOWELS, AS IN BINAH, BUT with its actual letters. Its origin is Zeir Anpin, MEANING CHESED OF ZEIR ANPIN, WHENCE STEMS GVURAH that is included in it, AS THE LEFT COLUMN OF ZEIR ANPIN IS INCLUDED IN THE RIGHT COLUMN OF ZEIR ANPIN, WHICH IS CHESED. Since it is included in CHESED, it is THEREFORE written, "Hashem He is the Elohim" as Yud Hei Vav Hei - DENOTING CHESED - is the Elohim - DENOTING GVURAH. And here, IT DOES NOT MERELY HAVE THE VOWELS OF ELOHIM, AS IN BINAH, BUT IT IS INCLUDED in the letters OF ELOHIM, and they become one, JOINED ONE WITH THE OTHER. This is the second grade.
163. The third grade is righteousness, DENOTING MALCHUT, which is the last Sfirah. This becomes the court of the King, OF ZEIR ANPIN. We have learned THAT THE NAME Adonai is thus spelled and thus pronounced. The Congregation of Yisrael, REFERRING TO MALCHUT, is called by this name. HOWEVER, THE NAME OF ZEIR ANPIN IS WRITTEN YUD HEI VAV HEI AND IS PRONOUNCED ADONAI. This name is completed in this place, MALCHUT. These are three levels called with names of Judgment, AS THE LEVEL OF BINAH IS CALLED YUD HEI VAV HEI WITH THE VOWELIZATION OF ELOHIM. THE LEVEL OF GVURAH IS PRONOUNCED ALSO WITH THE LETTERING OF ELOHIM AND THE LEVEL OF MALCHUT IS PRONOUNCED ADONAI. THESE ARE THE THREE NAMES OF JUDGMENT, AS WE DISCUSS HERE THE LEFT COLUMN, WHICH IS JUDGMENT, WHOSE SOURCE IS BINAH. THEREFORE, IT IS ONLY HINTED AT WITH THE VOWELIZATION OF ELOHIM, AND FROM THERE, IT IS DRAWN TO THE LEFT COLUMN OF ZEIR ANPIN. THERE IT IS ACTUAL YET INCLUDED IN THE RIGHT; HENCE, THE SECRET OF ELOHIM IS ALSO IN ITS LETTERING. FROM HERE IT MOVES TO MALCHUT, WHICH IS ENTIRELY BUILT FROM THE LEFT COLUMN AND IS THEREFORE PRONOUNCED ADONAI (ALEPH DALET NUN YUD), WHICH CONTAINS THE LETTERS OF JUDGMENT (DIN, DALET YUD NUN) EXPLICITLY. All join one with the other without separation as we have established.