214. This is the reason it says, "'To whom then will you liken Me, that I should be his equal,' says the Holy One" (Yeshayah 40:25). There is no creature that is equal to Me, and even though I created it in the form of My letters, I can erase this form and form it AGAIN many times. There is no other deity that can erase My form.' Therefore it says, "For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies being judges" (Devarim 32:31).
215. One may ask, is it not written, "For you saw no manner of form" (Devarim 4:15)? HOW CAN WE ATTRIBUTE TO HIM LETTERS AND NAMES? He will answer that this image that I saw is analogous to the meaning of, "And the similitude of Hashem does he behold" (Bemidbar 12:8), WHICH REFERS TO THE SFIRAH OF MALCHUT, and to no other image that He created and formed with letters. Therefore He said, "'To whom then will you like Me, that I should be his equal,' says the Holy One," and "To whom then will you liken El, or what likeness will you compare to Him" (Yeshayah 40:18)?
216. Even this image, WHICH IS IN MALCHUT, does not belong in the place OF MALCHUT, but rather only when THE LIGHT OF MALCHUT descends and spreads to the creatures, TO RULE OVER THEM. Then it appears to them, to every individual, according to their vision and imagination, MEANING ONLY IN THE RECIPIENTS THEMSELVES, BUT NOT THE ESSENCE OF MALCHUT. And this is, "and used similes by the means of the prophets" (Hoshea 12:11).
217. Therefore THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, says to them, 'Even though I am like you in your forms,' MEANING IN VISION AND LIKENESS, 'still in all: "To whom then will you liken Me, that I should be his equal." Before the Holy One, blessed be He, created an image in the world and BEFORE He formed a form, the Holy One, blessed be He, was alone in the world, without a form or likeness. For one who conceives Him before the grade of Briyah, WHICH IS BINAH when He is without any form, must not make any form or image in the world - neither with the letter Hei nor with the letter Yud, or even to call Him by the Holy Name or any letter or dot. This is why the Torah says, "For you saw no manner of form," MEANING you did not see anything with a form or likeness.
218. After He made that image of the Chariot of supernal man, He descended AND WAS ATTIRED there. In him, He is named by the form of THE FOUR LETTERS Yud Hei Vav Hei, NAMELY THE TEN SFIROT - KETER, CHOCHMAH, BINAH, TIFERET AND MALCHUT-so people could grasp Him by way of His attributes, WHICH ARE THE SFIROT in each and every attribute. He was called El, Elohim, Shadai, Tzva'ot, Eheyeh, in order that they could recognize Him in each and every attribute, and how He rules the world with Chesed and Judgment according to the actions of the people. If His Light had not spread over all the creatures, how would they recognize Him and how would this be fulfilled, "The whole earth is full of His glory" (Yeshayah 6:3)?
219. Woe to anyone who compares Him to any attribute, even to one of His own attributes, and certainly not to humans "whose foundation is in the dust" (Iyov 4:19), who are perishable and worthless. But the likening THAT WE EMPLOY is only according to His power over that aspect, or even ACCORDING TO HIS DOMINATION over all the creatures. There is no LIKENING above that attribute, and when HIS POWER goes up from THAT ATTRIBUTE, there is no attribute, likeness or form to Him.
220. This is like the sea. For the water of the sea that flow from it has no conceivable shape or form. But by the expansion of the sea water over the vessel, which is the earth, it gains a form, and we can then calculate - NAMELY the source of the sea is one. A spring emerges from it, according to its expansion in a round vessel, which is a Yud. SO WE HAVE TWO FORMS, the source is one, and the spring that emerges from it is second. THE SOURCE IS THE SECRET OF KETER, AND THE SPRING IS THE SECRET OF CHOCHMAH.
221. Afterwards He made a large vessel, similar to a large excavation, which was filled with the water that flowed from the spring. This vessel is called 'sea.' It is the third vessel, NAMELY BINAH, and that large vessel divides into seven streams. The water spread from the sea to the seven streams as into long receptacles. And so there is a source, a spring, a sea and seven streams, which amount to ten. If the Craftsman will break these vessels that He has fashioned, the water will return to the source and the broken vessels will remain dry without water.
222. So the Cause of Causes made ten Sfirot and called Keter the source, and there is no end to the welling of its light. Therefore, He called Himself "endlessness," and He has no likeness or image. There is no vessel there able to conceive Him or have any knowledge of Him at all. Therefore, it has been said of Him, 'Do not seek that which is inconceivable to you nor search that which is hidden from you.'
223. Afterwards He made a small vessel that is the Yud. It was filled from THE SOURCE, and He called it 'a spring welling wisdom. He called himself in it Wise, and the vessel He called Chochmah ('Wisdom'). Then, He made a large vessel and called it 'sea.' He called it Binah ('Understanding') and He called Himself an Understanding One.