Chalal HaPanui & Taharat Hamishpacha

This definition comes via lil_tike_oon (thanks!) – Chalal HaPanui @

Kabbalistic and Chassidic texts are full of the image of the Chalal HaPanui (Vacated Space)—the “primordial vacuum” that existed before the Creation. It is the space that left room for Creation to come into being, in which G–d creates the illusion that He is absent. It is from this illusion, this apparent vacuum, that heresy draws its life–force. G–d, however, is indeed in that space, since “there is no place devoid of Him.”[1] The womb is the physical manifestation of that place, and birth becomes the gateway through which we find G–d in all the places where He seems to hide from us.

The chalal hapanui is “a no man’s land” [2]. “No man’s land” fits perfectly with my experience of the “dark completely feminine” force. In other words, the chalal hapanui is completely feminine.

The completely feminine correlates to a woman “unyoked” to a man via pregnancy, marriage, cohabitation, or any other influence which “intimately binds”. This may be one of the reasons men (both religious and nonreligious) historically have liked to keep women “barefoot and pregnant” (so to speak) – to temper the “dark completely feminine” force which is ours alone.

And this is also why, I think, a woman cannot rectify the “dark completely feminine” force except that she be “on her own” for some time, away from the influence of “being yoked” to a man. The Jewish niddah laws (taharat hamishpacha), which limit male-female contact on a monthly basis support this thinking – as niddah time allows opportunity (if such opportunities are seized by the woman) for small tikkunim of the dark feminine in very small manageable doses – for both the woman and the man. Nevertheless, the full power of the dark completely feminine force can only be rectified by an unyoked woman – this is the message of the parah adumah (BaMidbar 19:2).

From experience, I can also say that the womb with child is not a “completely” feminine force. In my memories of being “in the womb”, I am not alone there, and “He” (the one truly bound to me, soul to soul) is perceivably esentially with me (there in the womb).


[1] Sha’arei HaLeshem II:14, “Mishnat Chochmat HaEmet”

[2] R’ Aryeh Kaplan, Inner Space


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