Idra Raba: Chapter 24

The formation of Zeir Anpin


Here we read about the Corrections (formations) of Zeir Anpin as derived from those of Atik Yomin. Rabbi Shimon talks about His Corrections (formations) unfurling like the countenance of man, since man encompasses Zeir Anpin and Malchut. We are told how the most Ancient of ancients designed the kings that did not endure, and how He rejected them and stored them in hiding for a later period - this refers to the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, the place where all judgments exist. When the white head was formed it prepared all the Corrections (formations) above and below. All the worlds had been destroyed because man had not been established and the seven kings were unable to rise and take their place; thus they ceased to exist. Rabbi Shimon says that anyone who descends from a higher level in which he first existed is considered to have died. When the seven kings had the likeness of a man installed in them they were called by other names and endured.