Male and Female

By Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David (Greg Killian)

 


In human beings: 1

In a building: 2

In the Hebrew alefbet: 2

In Speech: 5

In The Months. 5

 

In this study I would like to examine some of the aspects of male and female, which are manifest in the physical world. The fusion of opposites is the goal of the union of male and female. These two opposites have no power alone, but, when united they have the power to create in this world.

 

All male and female, or abstract-plan and concrete-building pairs, consist of the same basic elements.

 

The process of the transformation of a potential into a reality has two distinct elements. First, you must have an understanding of what it is that you desire to actualize (desire is the key to a creation), this is the male component. Second, you must have an understanding of how to fit the proposed object of your desire into the actual reality of the outside world, this is the female aspect.

 

The male brings the multi-potential spiritual into the physical. The multi-potential spiritual is manifest in the physical with millions of possibilities. Thus the male aspect, of any thing, consists of millions of possibilities, all of which have a only potential form in the physical world. In the physical world this is manifested by millions of sperm (seed). The power to bring down any type of spiritual potential into physical reality, is described by the Torah as male.

 

The female selects one of the millions of potential possibilities and builds it into the reality of one form in the physical world. Thus the female aspect, of anything, consists of the selecting and building one final, real, form in the physical world. The form is complete with all of its details. This is manifested in the physical world by the one female egg. The power to build any type of potential, in its minimalist physical form, into reality, is described by the Torah as female.

 

The male and female aspects are mainfest in many things. We see it in human beings at it’s most tangible and understandable form, a baby. We also see these two aspects in the building of a building. Finally, we see it in the Hebrew alefbet which was used to build this world. Thus we understand that male and female are the two roles that HaShem uses to build this world.

 

In human beings:

 

In the interaction between an Ish - אּישׁ, a noble man, and an Ishah - אשה, a noble woman, we see two completely different, and complementary, views:

 

Maximal

MALE

Maximal

FEMALE

The inspiration -

The ecstatic

moment[1]

The birth -

The ecstatic

moment

Sperm launched

The sperm enters

Minimal

MALE

Minimal

FEMALE

 

The interaction of the male and the female in Marriage is a pretty bizarre concept. It must have been HaShem’s idea. Who else could think of such an odd plan to bring together two opposites and unite them under one roof to share and create a life, a baby, wherein HaShem dwells? This body is the pattern for the Temple!

 

An Ish (a noble man), in an ecstatic moment, takes a multi-potential soul and brings it into the physical in the form of millions of multi-potential sperm. The sperm are just an infinitesimal speck of physicality. They have just enough form and shape to exist in the physical world, and no more.

 

The ecstatic moment takes all of the memories of the Ish, plus the soul given by HaShem, and in a moment of time, brings them from the intangible spiritual world, and gives them the most imperceptible form in the physical world. An Ish, a noble man, gives.

 

An Ishah (a noble woman) takes the multi-potential, infinitesimal speck of physicality, which was given to her, and selects just one sperm and rejects all others. She takes that one sperm and nurtures and cherishes it for a long time, a total of forty weeks. She carefully fans the spark of her husband. She builds it step by step into a complete human being, the perfect fusion of the spiritual and the physical. The birth of her child is the ecstatic moment for the Ishah.

 

The Ishah can not reach into the spiritual world, but, she excels at taking the barely perceptible and patiently building it into reality in the physical world. An Ishah, a noble woman, receives and builds.

 

In the physical realm, the man earns the income and provides the woman with the raw materials from which she feeds and clothes her family. So, too, in the spiritual realm, the man learns Torah, deriving the truths. He transmits these abstract truths to his wife who applies them to build into the home and into the children.

 

These male and female ideas affect even our mind. It is the bonding of inner (daat) and outer wisdom (logic and reason) and their harmony which is the beauty of the mind; that inner marriage which is the core of our being. When the two bond correctly, the outer wisdom remaining under control, subjecting its input to the grasp of the daat, and the daat understanding all of the outer wisdom appropriately, then thought is fruitful. Only when the male and female elements of thought blend can fertile, creative thought-energy be generated. This is the secret of the bar-mitzva: the child acquires daat when his body becomes fertile.

 

In a building:

 

A building = Plan vs. Construction

 

Maximal

Male

Maximal

FEMALE

The flash of

inspiration

The building is

completed

The beginning

of understanding

The interior is

constructed

The details

of the plan begin

The exterior is

constructed

The conceptual

plan is complete

The foundation

is laid

The blueprints are

written

The parts are

collected

Minimal

MALE

Minimal

FEMALE

 

In the Hebrew alefbet:

 

ATBASH[2] = Male vs. Female letters

 

ATBASH is a letter substitution cipher. In this form of Gematria, we take, for example, a male letter and substitute it for the corresponding female letter, and vice versa.

 

In ATBASH, if a word contains a ת tav, we substitute it for the corresponding male letter so that the ת tav becomes an א aleph.

 

Similarly, a ב beit becomes a ש shin.

Lets take a look at an example from the Tanach:

 

This ATBASH device is to be found in the Book of Yiremiyahu (Jeremiah) where in verses 25:26 and 51:41 the word “Sheshach” is an ATBASH for “Bavel”, and in 51:1 “Lebkamai” is an ATBASH for “Kasdim” (Chaldea). It appears that the Psalmist of chapters 25 and 34, having omitted the “vav”, now compensate for this omission by concluding with a “peh” — which is, of course, a vav in the language of ATBASH!

 

ATBASH is a letter substitution cipher. In this form of Gematria, we take, for example, a male letter and substitute it for the corresponding female letter, and vice versa.

 

Male    = The letters of genesis or beginning.

Female            = The letters of building or construction.

 


The following chart shows this relationship in ATBaSH:

 

Maximal

MALE

Maximal

FEMALE

א - Alef

ת - tav

ב - Beit

ש - shin

ג - Gimmel

ר - reish

ד - Dalet

ק - kuf

ה - Hei

צ - tzadik

ו - Vav

פ - pei

ז - Zayin

ע - ayin

ח - Chet

ס - samech

ט - Tet

נ - nun

י - Yud

מ - mem

כ - Kaf

ל - lamed

Minimal

MALE

Minimal

FEMALE

 


The following chart shows this relationship in ALBaM - אלב"ם:[3]

 

Maximal

MALE

Minimal

FEMALE

א - Alef

ל - lamed

ב - Beit

מ - mem

ג - Gimmel

נ - nun

ד - Dalet

ס - samech

ה - Hei

ע - ayin

ו - Vav

פ - pei

ז - Zayin

צ - tzadi

ח - Chet

ק - kuf

ט - Tet

ר - reish

י - Yud

ש - shin

כ - Kaf

ת - tav

Minimal

MALE

Maximal

FEMALE

 

נפש (nephesh - soul) is an ATBASH of  תוב (tov - good). So, in HaShem’s world, the male world of creation, you have tov, good. This intangible male word is given concrete, female, reality in the nephesh, the soul of man. A nephesh, a soul, is the ability to connect, as we have seen before. That nephesh which connects with HaShem is tov, is good. That soul which burns and makes the connection, is tov, is good. This נר, this ner – this flame, this nephesh[4] and ruach,[5] when it becomes lit up, it becomes tov, good. Where does the flame of connection between us and HaShem burn? It burns in the Beit HaMikdash, HaMakom, The Place of connection. Thus our nephesh connects with HaShem in The Place of Daat, the place of connection, the place of knowledge. That is what the menorah signifies!

 

The western lamp of the menorah miraculously burned continuously:

 

Shabbath 22b  Said Rab: That was the western branch [of the candelabrum ] in which the same quantity of oil was poured as into the rest, and yet he kindled [the others] from it and ended therewith.

 

Aleph is the most male of the letters. It is the most potent letter of creation. It is so high that it is silent, it has not yet condensed into this world. Aleph in Hebrew means to teach, to raise to a higher spiritual level. Elef means 1000, the highest letter of the number system. Aluf is the highest rank. All of the aleph words are words of elevation. Aleph is two yuds with a vav, which is equal to 10 + 10 + 6 = 26 = yud (10) hay (5) vav(6) hay(5), the tetragrammaton, the name of HaShem. An aleph is the ultimate letter of connection. A yud coming down from the higher world, a yud going up from the lower world, and a vav, a hook, connecting them. These three pieces form a connection, as we have spoken about earlier. Aleph also has a Gematria of one, it is a unity, a total unity. When HaShem came down on har Sinai, His first word was anoki, I am, which begins with an aleph.

 

The Beit, the number two, means fragmentation. That is why creation begins with a Beit. Then the letters break down into more detail.

 

The female starts with detail and builds to unity, just the opposite of the male letters. The female brings reality into the world. She catches the male spark and produces real fruit in the world.

 

Male and female are always opposites. The female always starts with detail and works towards totality. The male always starts with totality and works down to detail.

 

In Speech:

 

There are male and female aspects of speech.

 

The male aspect is purposeful communication. The female aspect is talk. The soul needs to express itself, using both.

 

In The Months

 

The Jewish months are twelve in number but in Torah reality they are viewed as a structure of six pairs that are back to back with each other. This pairing is seen in many aspects, but is most vivid in the bi-modality (see also BIMODAL) of the festivals and of the shmita, or septennial, Torah cycle lectionary when viewed as two triennial Torah cycles.

 

Physical - Female

Spiritual – Male

Nisan

Tishre

Iyar

Heshvan

Sivan

Kislev

Tammuz

Tevet

Av

Shevat

Elul

Adar

 

Each of the festivals in their respective month, also has the male and female nature. Consider the following examples:

 

Pesach (masculine) – is the Nisan festival of the firstborn because the firstborn male was spared from destruction when HaShem passed over the houses with the blood on the lintel and doorposts. Because of the we always redeem the firstborn male who opens the womb. Now, Israel is called HaShem’s firstborn. It is this firstborn that HaShem demanded of the Egyptians. Since they would not let His firstborn go, then the Egyptian firstborn were destroyed. Thus we see the masculine aspects of this festival.

 

Shavuot (masculine) – is the Sivan festival of the giving of the Torah. Giving is a masculine trait.

 

Yom Teruah - Rosh HaShanah  (feminine) – is the Tishre festival where the primary mitzva is the blowing of the shofar. The shofar is the shape of the birth canal, a feminine characteristic.

 

Succoth (feminine) – is the Tishre festival where we dwell in a temporary dwelling, a succah, for seven days. We “dwell” in a succah much as a man “dwells” in his wife during the act of marriage. Further a child “dwells” in his mother until he is born. Thus the nature of Succah shows a feminine characteristic with the masculine dwellers. Succoth is a plural feminine noun.

The etrog is also considered to be feminine, while the lulav is masculine.[6] The mitzvah is fulfilled only when the two are put together.

 

One of the major ceremonies, for Succoth, involved the hakafot, the circuits around the altar in the Temple. Today these hakafot are used to circle the bima in the esnoga. These seven circuits remind us of the seven circuits that a bride makes around her husband at their wedding. The purpose of her circuits is to make herself into her husbands house.

 

Chanukah (feminine) – is the second chance to celebrate Succoth and is essentially feminine. On Chanukah, many women have the custom not to work during the thirty minutes that the Chanukiah's candles are obligated to burn. The Chanukiah is a part of a house (which is feminine) and is on the side of the door opposite the mezuzah. The multiplicity of candles also hints to the woman who is able to duplicate herself.

 

Purim -  There is a Kabbalistic concept that the spiritual is the "male" element of creation while the physical is its "female" aspect. Thus, in the book of Esther, Mordechai related to the spiritual or "masculine" constituent of Purim, while Esther identified with its physical or "feminine" dimension.

 

Purim is the festival of the Jewish body. Mordechai, too, recognized this when, together with Esther, he instituted a series of decidedly physical observances for Purim: gifts of food and money, and the joy achieved through feasting and drinking.

 

Related Essay

 

“Consider Her Ways”

by Rabbi Noson Weisz

 

One of the most problematic areas of Jewish law for the modern mind to comprehend is the law of niddah, “menstruation”.

 

Although a normal part of the female cycle, menstrual bleeding renders a woman tamey, “spiritually impure”.  Whatever and whomever a woman who is niddah touches become somehow spiritually impure as well, and all relations with her are strictly forbidden.

      

The law of niddah is not a rabbinic law, as its basics are clearly delineated in our Torah portion among other places in the Torah and, therefore, cannot be dismissed as the invention of later chauvinistic rabbis.

      

Yet to the modern mind all this smacks of sexism, and seems to be indicative of the worst sort of male chauvinism.

      

However, we must start from the assumption, as we always do, that HaShem exists, that the Torah is true, and that it was given to us by HaShem as instructions for living.  It should be immediately self-evident that the attribution of these laws, which come from HaShem, to sexism or chauvinism is absurd. HaShem, being incorporeal, is neither male or female in the human sense, and has absolutely no reason to favor men over women. So, beginning with a fresh slate, abandoning any a priori assumptions, how do we begin to rationally understand the niddah laws

 

STARTING POINT: HEAVEN AND EARTH

      

A logical place to begin, is to attempt to comprehend the concept of male and female from a Torah perspective.

      

The very first verse in the Torah reads:

 

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

      

In Hebrew, the word for heavens is shamayim, and the word for earth is aretz. These are both very peculiar words to describe the things that they are meant to describe.

      

The root of the word aretz (earth) is ratz which means “to run”.  Thus the earth, the aretz, is apparently running somewhere. Shamayim (heaven) is a composite word: sham mayim, literally meaning “there is the water”.

      

If we put these ideas together conceptually, the Torah is telling us at the outset that the earth runs to the heavens because they are the source of water and energy. Without water and energy, the earth is incapable of producing life.

 

Thus the very first verse in Genesis introduces the idea that the universe is a composite of two things, the heavens - shamayim, the giver, and the earth - aretz, the recipient. The purpose of the universe is hinted at as well.  The heavens supply the earth with water and energy, which the earth takes into itself and transforms into the new life that springs forth out of its depths.

      

The character trait associated with giving for its own sake is chesed, “benevolence”. The character trait associated with receiving is gevurah, or “strength”, for the recipient must remain passively expectant patiently awaiting the input supplied by the donor, without becoming fidgety or distracted. This requires self-control and discipline, which in turn requires force and strength.

      

When the union between donor and recipient has an intended outcome, knowledge and planning are required in addition. The donor must locate precisely the proper recipient at the right place and the right time, and the recipient must patiently await the arrival of this particular donor at the designated place and time and avoid accepting input from less than the ideal source.

 

MALE AND FEMALE

      

Armed with this information, we can now explain the Torah concept of male and female and the bond between the two.

      

The male or zachor in Hebrew is the donor. He provides the seed of life, called chesed, and pours it into the female, called nekevah in Hebrew, a word that literally means “opening”, who is the recipient. She takes the chesed and transforms it into life.

      

In a curious twist, the word zachor in Hebrew also means to remember. The role of the male in the production of life is only a memory; the actual appearance of life is totally associated with the female. There is a long gestation period between the union and the birth, so that by the time a child is born, the father is only a memory.

      

The union between male and female is referred to as daat, literally “knowledge”. As in:

 

Genesis 4:1 Adam knew his wife Eve.

      

Daat is the combination of chesed and gevurah in the proper proportions. Life requires planning. It is based on an explosive outburst of creative energy, but this energy must be carefully organized and controlled. Explosion and control are diametric opposites. The proper combination of the forces of giver and receiver requires the understanding and knowledge to balance the extremes and make the union possible.

      

We have only to think of the hydrogen bomb to clearly see this. As a destructive force, we can exploit the explosive energy contained in atoms by building bombs that can be encased in a simple shell that is roughly the size of a suitcase. To harness this same energy in a constructive controlled way, we have to build nuclear reactors, large structures that occupy acres of territory and are equipped with masses of complex machinery and staffed with hundreds of technicians. The control of explosive energy requires a great deal of knowledge, planning, and organization. 

      

Without new knowledge the world would be a static place. All progress and growth, including progress and growth in the physical world has its origins in new knowledge and understanding,  both of which are spiritual forces. The world feeds many more people than it could a hundred years ago without having become any larger or richer in natural resources. The difference in potential is due to new knowledge and technology, both products of the human spirit. The importance of new human life is in the fresh soul that enters the world, not the new body which is merely the envelope in which it is wrapped.

      

Spiritual birth requires spiritual union. Thus the most significant aspect of the union between male and female is spiritual rather than physical. The physical union is merely representative of the spiritual oneness that can be attained. To bring a soul down from heaven to earth that is capable of “watering the earth” and supplying fresh energy to the world, the couple must aim for a spiritual union rather than a physical one.

 

MAKING SOULS

      

Genesis 12:5 Abram took his wife Sarai and Lot, his brother’s son, and all their wealth that they had amassed, and the souls they made in Haran and they set out to go to the land of Canaan.

      

The Ohr HaChaim Hakodash, one of the most important Kabbalistic commentators on the Torah, notes that although at this point in their lives Abraham and Sarah were still childless, that does not mean that their union was without issue. Whenever they “knew” each other through their many barren years, they brought souls down from heaven to earth. As yet these souls lacked corresponding physical envelopes. Nevertheless, these souls were already part of the spiritual Jewish family, and went along with them when they left Haran to be later inserted into bodies born to them or their offspring.

      

But not only is the spiritual union of male and female the source of all new human souls, this union is the chief repository of the Divine presence on earth.

      

In Hebrew, a man is an ish, while a woman is an ishah.  His name contains the letter yud - י, hers the letter hey - ה, in all else they are identical. Between them they contain yud heh - יה, the name of HaShem.

      

Because the male-female union is the very crux of all spiritual existence in the universe, the spiritual lives of males and females is shaped around it. 

      

The male, the repository of chesed, representing the heavens in the first verse quoted above, is expected to spend his active spiritual life clinging to the heavens. To do so, he has to  study the Torah and observe the commandments that he is required to perform at specific times. He must develop self-discipline to do this properly, and this, in turn, requires mastering the character trait of gevurah.

      

Divine wisdom decided that the life of the male, the repository of chesed should center around the acquisition and perfection of gevurah. Another word that means male in Hebrew is gever. The negative trait of aggression, the outward expression of this character trait is associated primarily with males. 

      

The female is the recipient, and is therefore the chief repository of gevurah.  As the caregiver and nurturer, she is expected to master the character trait of chesed. The chief distinction of the Jewish woman throughout history has been her dedication to chesed.

      

Through the spiritual activities imposed on them by the Torah, both male and female become a perfect blend of chesed and gevurah in their individual selves, and thus become capable of perfect union as a couple.

 

GIVER OF LIFE

 

Genesis 3:20 Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she had become the mother of all the living.

      

Rashi explains that her name Eve, Chava in Hebrew, is a derivation of chaya, meaning “giver of life”, except that in turning the verb into the noun the yud - י becomes transformed into a vav - ו.  (As we pointed out earlier, the name of HaShem yud hey - יה, emerges from combining the Hebrew words for man and woman.)

      

We are finally ready to return to the laws of niddah. Life makes its appearance in the world through the woman.  It is also through her that life departs.

      

Man’s first contact with the snake was through Chava. It was she who initiated the first sin,  eating from The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, that ushered death into the world.  The Ohr Hachaim points out that this is also hinted to in the name of Chava. One of the names of snake in Hebrew is chivya, which is spelled almost identically with Chava.

      

The flux of life dominates the being of the woman, who is the basic receptacle of life. The menstrual cycle, which is the physical manifestation of her power to give life, oscillates between life and death. It delivers the eggs which are intended to receive the new life, and it flushes them out and discards them when they die and are no longer suitable for this purpose.

      

But why should this process be considered tamey, “spiritually impure”?

      

As only the woman can serve as the recipient for the input of new life, the negative forces in the universe are more interested in pursuing her than pursuing males.

      

The snake, a parable for this negative force which is impenetrable to Divine light and therefore the source of tamey, also wants to express himself spiritually. As all such expression is through the human spirit, and he wants his own input into fresh human life. The address for attaining such expression is at the gate where life enters, the woman. This is why the snake was initially interested in Chava not Adam.

      

Jewish souls come into the world through mothers according to Jewish law. The non-Jewish mother gives birth to a non-Jewish child even if the father is a Jew. The father is only a memory at birth. He does not have sufficient power to force the entry of a Jewish spirit through a non-Jewish gate. The Jewish mother always gives birth to a Jewish spirit, no matter who is the father of her child. Being the true repository of gevurah, she does have the spiritual power to force her own stamp on any source of life and insist on expressing it only through her own way.

 

THE POSITIVE SIDE OF NIDDAH

      

But enough of the negative. There is a very positive side to the laws of niddah as well.

      

Genesis 24:67 And Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother.  He married Rebecca, she became his wife, and he loved her.  And thus was Isaac consoled after his mother.

      

Rashi explains that as long as Sarah was alive, the lamp stayed lit in her tent from one Sabbath eve to the next, her dough was blessed and the cloud of HaShem’s presence hung over the tent. When Sarah died these blessings ceased, but when Rebecca entered the tent they resumed.

      

The Maharal explains that the phenomena described by Rashi represent the Divine response to the performance of the Torah commandments that are the special province of the Jewish woman.

      

As she rolls the dough it is her task to separate a part of the dough that is presented to the Kohen, and HaShem’s response to her diligence is to bless the household bread. She is the one who ushers in the holiness of the Sabbath by lighting the Sabbath candles, and this keeps the light of spirituality and happiness flowing in the Jewish home through the week that follows. Greatest of all, she creates the purity and sanctity of the Jewish home by the observation of the niddah laws, and it is her efforts that allow HaShem’s presence to find a comfortable resting place in the Jewish family.

      

The holiness of the union between male and female that is the goal of the Jewish marriage is entirely dependent on the spiritual purity maintained in the sexual relationship. Sexuality can easily become the simple expression of physical romance and can even descend to lasciviousness. The sexual organs were the ones that Adam and Eve felt compelled to conceal as soon as they established their connection to the tamey force in the universe by partaking of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

      

The sexual union was intended to be a graphic expression of the spiritual oneness that can be attained in marriage through the love between the partners.  This is true when the love is based on mutual respect and admiration for each other’s spiritual qualities. Without extreme care and vigilance, the love is more likely to turn into a means of gratifying romantic fantasies or the simple satisfaction of physical desire.

      

It takes great wisdom and understanding to attain holiness in this aspect of life. The maintenance of the spiritual purity of sexuality was entrusted to the Jewish woman and is guarded by her through her observance of the laws of niddah. These laws are a constant reminder that there is a tamey aspect to sexuality and allowing it freedom will result in women being regarded as sexual objects rather than repositories of daat.

      

The need to purify oneself spiritually in mikveh, the ritual bath, before engaging in the sexual act at the beginning of each new menstrual cycle serves as a constant reminder to the Jewish couple.  It reinforces the Torah teaching that the physical aspect of their union has so much holiness that it requires an act of spiritual purification before it can be renewed. This transforms an act of potential self indulgence into a quest for holiness.

      

Our society regards sexuality as a force that separates men and women. Their sexual difference places them into competition with each other. Each one is programmed to pursue identical goals and therefore society is struggling to arrive at fair rules of engagement, so that they can coexist in a state of friendly rivalry rather than hostility.

      

The Torah aims for more. HaShem enters the world only through the human spirit. Only a male and female joined together in the serene harmony comprises an entire human spirit. Neither the man nor the woman can be spiritually complete in themselves.

      

Thus only a couple can serve as the gateway through which the Divine presence can enter the world. The woman, being the chief repository of the trait of gevurah in the world was the logical choice to be the one selected to guard the purity of this precious resource. The niddah laws and their observance help her do that, and in so doing serve as the foundation of the sanctity and purity of the Jewish family.

 

 

* * *

 

This study was written by

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

(Greg Killian).

Comments may be submitted to:

 

Rabbi Dr. Greg Killian

4544 Highline Drive SE

Olympia, WA 98501

 

Internet address:  gkilli@aol.com

Web page:  http://www.betemunah.org/

 

(360) 918-2905

 

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Send comments to Greg Killian at his email address: gkilli@aol.com



[1] The ecstatic moment is a sharp sense of arrival, of being there. (The Hebrew word for heaven is ‘shamayim’. The root of shamayim is sham, which means ‘there’.)

[2] At-bash (אתב"ש) is a basic "reflective" transformation pattern, wherein the first and last letters of the alef-beit transform into one another, as do the second and second-to-last, and so on. The name At-bash is a reference to the first two of these transformation pairs: alef-tav and beit-shin. At-bash is the alphabetic transformation whose elements correspond to the sefirot within the partzuf of Imma or the sefirah of understanding. - Innerpedia

[3] Albam (אלב"ם) is the name of the letter transformation corresponding to partzuf Abba, or the sefirah of wisdom. It is one of eleven possible transformations that divide the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet into two groups, pairing them according to a particular method. In the case of Albam, the first letters in each group are paired (alef with lamed); the second letters each group are paired (beit with lamed), and so on. Hence, the name Albam is composed of the letters of the first two pairings in this transformation. The Albam transformation forms a transformation ring with the At-bash and Ach-bi transformations. The Albam transformation is considered essential in the process of creation. Various commentaries (See Targum Yerushalmi to Genesis 1:1)  explain that the first letter of Genesis, usually translated as "In the beginning" (בְּרֵאשִׁית) also means "With wisdom...," indicating the dependence of creation on wisdom. Using the Albam transformation, "wisdom" (חָכְמָה) transforms to the four letters אלבם, the letters that spell Albam! (Megaleh Amukot Va'etchanan 196) - Innerpedia

 

[4] This is the externally oriented part of the human being, the senses and drives which connect him with the world around him. The survival drives for foodsex, shelter, and the like, which sustain the human race, have their origin in the nefeshwhich supports the body. When the nefesh is able to function properly, the human being has good health. An allusion to the mitzva to take care of our health is found in the following words: "Only take heed, and guard your nefesh exceedingly" [Devarim (Deuteronomy) 4:9].

[5] The feeling and emotions of the heart. This spirit is the internally oriented part of the human being, which enables him to think and feel, and gives rise to his sense of self. It is the origin of all intellectual, emotional, and social activity. When the ruach is able to function properly, the human being has self-confidence and self-respect.

[6] cf. Sefer Sefat Emet, the comment on Succoth.