In likutei torah, parshas re'ah page 21b, the Alther Rebbe maps out the three different "holy's" that the angels say. The first two correspond to 1) inner layer of "sovev kol almin" which is totally removed from the worlds, and 2) the outer layer of "sovev kol almin" which is a general energy that sustains the worlds every instant. So far it's been going pregressively down. However, I don't understand the placement of the 3rd level, which the Alter Rebbe, quoting the Arizal, lists as"mochin steemin," here:

אמנם מ"ש הג' למו"ס אף דמו"ס הוא בחי' חכמה שבכתר בחי' סוכ"ע היינו לפי שהוא דיבר בשרש בחי' ממכ"ע שבעולם האצי'. והנה כמו שבי"ע ממש התהוותם יש מאין מבחי' מל' דאצילות שהוא מקור בחי' ממכ"ע דבי"ע כמ"כ באצי' יש ג"כ בי"ע היינו או"א הם בריאה דאצילות וכמ"ש והחכמה מאין תמצא שהיא נק' בריאה יש מאין וזהו ענין בורא קדושים ישתבח שמך כמ"ש במ"א וגם קנה חכמה קנה בינה ב"פ קנה בגימט' יש והאין שממנו תמצא החכמה הוא בחי' כתר והוא ג"כ ע"י ב' המשכות ממלא וסובב א"פ וא"מ וח"ס הוא מקור לבחי' הא"פ וכמ"ש בע"ח שער א"א פ"ד translation: however, what [the arizal] wrote that the third is mochin steemin, even though that mochin steemin is the level of chochmah of keser in the level of sovev kol almin, that is according to that it is in the source in the level of memale kol almin that's in the world of atzilus. And behold like that Bria Yetzira Asiya literally is created something from nothing from the level of malchul of atiluz that is the source of the level of memale kol almin of bria yetira asiya, like so in atzilus there's also bi'a, that is abba and imma (chochmah and binah), theybria of atzilus, and like it says, "and chochah comes from nothing", that it's called "a creation" something from nothing, and this is the idea of "he creates holy ones who praise his name", like it says in another place. ANd also "acquire bina acquire chochmah", the gematria of "acquire" 2 times in "yesh [something]," and "nothing" that's from it is found the chochmah, which is the level of keser and it is also through the two flows of "memale" and "sovev", "or pnimi" and "or makif", and chocha stima is the source to the level of the or pnimi and like it's written in aytz chaim shar a"a p"d.

(so now you can see why it wasn't translated earlier)

If someone can help explain this quote for me on if mochin steemin is above or below the two levels mentioned before, and where exactly is it (it seems to say chochmah of keser but I'm not totally sure).

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    @sabb, a translation wouldn't do anything for that passage, it is full of technical kabbalistic terms that don't have meaningful direct translations. – Yishai Sep 2 '16 at 11:47
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    מוחא סתימאה is one of the the תלת רישין, which are mentioned in the אדרא זוטא. – paquda Sep 2 '16 at 14:35
  • It seems strange that translating is not possible if understanding is! – kouty Sep 3 '16 at 21:15

The confusion is that you are getting lost between the language of Chassidut and the language from Ari z"l, meaning Chassidic nomenclature and kabbalistic nomenclature. The Alter Rebbe also flips perspective, meaning whether one is observing from above to below or from below to above.

The Alter Rebbe starts by quoting Pri Etz Chaim (language of the Ari z"l) and says that the three kedushot of the melachim correspond to the three levels from lowest to highest of RDL"A, Keter Ila'ah and Chochmah Stimah.

He takes a break in that statement to explain that even though Chochmah Stimah is the aspect of Chochmah of Keter, Chochmah Stimah is the 'head' or 'beginning' of the heads for all the other Chochmot'. He says that this corresponds to the third and highest aspect of 'Kadosh' (if looking from below to above) because it corresponds to the aspect of the hairs above the head (and not the brains within the head). [The first two levels, meaning the first two times 'Kadosh' is said by the Melachim, are associated with the brains within the head and the skull itself.]

It should be noted in this allegory that 'hairs' are compared to 'tzinorot', meaning 'tubes' or 'conduits'. 'Tzinor' (צנור) is associated with 'Ratzon' (רצון), which transcends intellect. The hairs of the beard flow from above to below, the idea of 'brachah' and 'kedushah'. The hairs on the top of the head remain above.

This distinction relates to what the Alter Rebbe discusses earlier in the chapter concerning the distinction between 'Kedusha' and the 'Sitra Achra'. The one receives vitality voluntarily and with will and the other involuntarily, 'tossed over the shoulder'. Additionally, the hairs of the beard are 'tahor', while those on top of the head are 'tameh' in the lower, physical world. This relates to the idea that on the level of 'Ratzon' there is no 'expressed' aspect of the left. All is from the aspect of the right. Expression of the aspect of 'left', meaning where you have something separate and in opposition to HaKadosh, Baruch Hu, only happens on the level of worlds.

He then recaps in order, from above to below, saying Chochmah Stimah is called 'Kadosh v'Muvdal'. Then Keter Ila'ah is called Makif v'Sovev. This is because the aspect of 'Keter' also has within itself the qualities of 'Sovev' and 'Memaleh' from the expression 'koteret'. [There is an inner side to a ring and and outer side to a ring.] And finally the third and lowest level is 'Atik' which is called 'Makif to Makif'. And this corresponds to the concept of the three times of saying 'Kadosh.

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