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1 Introduction

This work summarizes a three-year study on developing mystical awareness.[5] The purpose of this work is to provide the keys for developing a mystical relationship with G-d. Each of us has our own pathway to follow. Nevertheless, Israelite mystics throughout the ages have recorded an authentic map. Those who follow this map will find the greatest of mystical experiences! This is reassuring and a validation of the authenticity of the teachings of our prophets and sages.

Text 1-1: Midrash Rabbah Genesis 13:2

All the trees, as it were, conversed with each other
All the trees, as it were, conversed with mankind
All the trees were created for man’s companionship.
(Midrash Rabbah Genesis 13:2)

The word used for tree in Genesis 13:2 is ‘siah’ which also means conversation and grass. We need never feel lonely in this world if we go out and talk to the trees and pray amongst the grasses like Isaac. The Tree of Life is sometimes identified with the Torah and also the mystical tree of 32 paths containing the 10 sefirot. If we cling to this tree in this world we will find eternal life in the world to come. The key is discovering the eternal life while yet in this world, as King David said,

I will dwell in the House of the Lord while I yet live...

David danced before the Ark as the priests carried it up to Jerusalem. Simchas Torah is celebrated by dancing with the Torah. Lighting candles symbolizes freedom on Chanukah. In the end the candlelight of our souls will ascend to heaven to dance with the angels of G-d who will bring us to a new home in a new world.

The Torah was given in the wilderness,
and like the wilderness, it is free and open to all comers
without formalities or introductions:
all that wish to do so can enter into it.
(Midrash Tanhuma)

There are three authentic principals to come close to G-d. They are to become aware of the stars that brings humbleness before God, to become like a child aware of the sphere or womb of creation, and to develop a heart that hears others and knows the paths of wisdom.[6]

The 1st connects us with the beauty of creation. The 2nd connects us with the souls that came before us. The 3rd connects us with the world around us.

The Hebrew title for this work is Cavod – כבוד that means glory,[7],[8],[9],[10] the light of tiferet, the heart of Jacob, honor, Torah and truth. The gematria of Kavod is Thirty-two. The Thirty-two Paths of Wisdom or the Tree of Life are ten sefirot: Keter – crown, Hochmah – wisdom, Binah – understanding, Hesed – kindness, Gevurah – discipline, Tiferet – beauty, Netzah – victory, Hod – acceptance, Yesod – righteousness, and Malchut – spirituality. There are twenty-two Hebrew letter paths: Aleph – energy, Bet – house, Gimel – fertility, Dalet – knowledge, Heh – feminine spirit, Vav – children, Zayin – tools, Het – fences of protection, Tet – creativity, Yod – divine spark, Caph – helping hand, Lamed – learning, Mem – wisdom, Nun – falling to climb once more, Samech – rest and contentment, Ayin – seeing and cleansing, Peh – opening up, Tzaddik – commandments to holiness, Koof – laughter, Resh – war and peace, Shin – intelligence, and Tav – goodness. To learn God’s commandments for all people see the Garden of Eden and Noahide Laws. To understand the spirit of patriotism: see euphoria and spiritual similarity. To dissolve the paradox of Deuteronomy’s authorship see Chronicles 2:34.

Nutrition, herbs, diet and exercise help us take care of our aging, back, teeth, digestion (Vit.B, Zinc, MSM), hair, head, heart, joints, mind, muscles, skin, and vision so that we may take care of others. Studying the night sky, music, seeking the names of God, numbers, writing and prophecy are keys for opening spiritual doors. Spending time with children, in nature, walking in Israel, and observing holidays brings us to joy and happiness. Studying astronomy, biology, chemistry, cosmology, geology, quantum physics, time and space, etc. increases appreciation. History, philosophy and religion help separate the silver from the dross of cabala. Within Kavod, one will find the soul of Christianity. The Nefesh – body relates to physical health and work as the Ruach – spirit relates to mental health. The Neshamah – soul relates to moral health. The Chaya – community is the [11]. Finally, Yechidah is divine connection, which gives us hope and faith that everything will work out for the best. Improving our conversations and conflict approaches improves our abi[12]ty to relate with each other and involves all seven qualities of the image of G-d.11 The use of the Hebrew language is a remedy for the tongue as Saadia states, “In the year 101 after the destruction of the city of our God (485 B.C.E.), we began to abandon the Holy Tongue and to employ the languages of alien nations.... Our heart breaks because of all this; for the Holy Speech, our source of strength, was removed from our mouth, and the vision of all its prophecies and messages became to us like the words of a sealed book ...”12

Conversion today “involves a lot of politics.”[13] The law (halakhah) on conversion is simple. There must be three witnesses, immersion (tevilah mikvah), and an assertion to accept the Torah. Since orthodox Jewish courts (bet dins) are not available in almost all remote places, then we broaden the legitimacy of witnesses. The use of a natural body of water or constructed mikvah is sufficient as this is the spiritual component of conversion. The acceptance of the Torah is sufficient. Overall, we err on the part of leniency in order not to embarrass those who dell amongst us.[14]

‘When the rabbis were in doubt about the legality of certain rituals and practices, they would say:
“Go and see how the people conduct themselves.” (Eruvim 14b)
The conduct of the people in a normal traditional environment served as a guide for establishing and
codifying certain laws and rituals; indeed “a custom may nullify a law.” (J. Baba Metzia 7a)’[15]

ג קוֹל קוֹרֵא--בַּמִּדְבָּר, פַּנּוּ דֶּרֶךְ יְהוָה; יַשְּׁרוּ, בָּעֲרָבָה, מְסִלָּה, לֵאלֹהֵינוּ. Isaiah 40:3 A voice cries in the wilderness, prepare the way for the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway to our God...

By conducting yourselves as follows:

[Isa. 56.3] Neither let the child of a foreigner that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying: ‘The LORD will surely separate me from His people’ ...
[Isa. 56:6] Also the children of foreigners (non-Jews) that join themselves to the LORD, to minister unto Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from profaning it, and holdeth fast by My covenant:
[Isa. 56:7] Even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer;
their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices shall be acceptable upon Mine altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
[Isa. 56:8] Saith the Lord GOD who gathereth the dispersed of Israel: Yet I will gather others to him, beside those of him that are gathered...[16]

ז מַה-נָּאווּ עַל-הֶהָרִים רַגְלֵי מְבַשֵּׂר, מַשְׁמִיעַ שָׁלוֹם מְבַשֵּׂר טוֹב--מַשְׁמִיעַ יְשׁוּעָה; אֹמֵר לְצִיּוֹן, מָלַךְ אֱלֹהָיִךְ. Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger of good tidings, that announceth peace, the harbinger of good tidings, that announceth salvation; that saith unto Zion: ‘Thy God reigneth!’

Psalm 29 presents the word ‘Kavod’ four times, twice as honor and twice as glory. Kavod associates with the sefira of Tiferet.[17] Tiferet has the color of violet when it represents the honor of G-d, violet being the color of royalty. Tiferet has the color yellow when it represents the glory of God, yellow being the color of sunlight. The four Kavods correspond to the four temples in the worlds of Asiyah, Yetzirah, Beriyah, and Atzulut.

Text 1-2: Psalm 29
A Psalm by David. Render to the Lord, children of the mighty, render to the Lord honor and strength. Render to the Lord honor due to His Name; bow down to the Lord in resplendent holiness. The VOICE of the Lord is over the waters, the God of glory thunders; the Lord is over mighty waters. The VOICE of the Lord resounds with might; the VOICE of the Lord resounds with majesty. The VOICE of the Lord breaks cedars; the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon. He makes them leap like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox. The VOICE of the Lord strikes flames of fire. The VOICE of the Lord makes the desert tremble; the Lord causes the desert of Kadesh to tremble. The VOICE of the Lord causes does to calve, and strips the forests bare; and in His Sanctuary all proclaim His glory. The Lord sat at the Flood; the Lord will sit as King forever. The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.[18]

The psalm mentions seven voices, each day a voice goes forth and proclaims His glory.[19]

Table 1-1: The Seven Voices of Psalm 29
Sefira (Bahir/Kaplan)
Passages from Psalm 29 in Verse Order
(Zohar sefirot ordering)
Hesed – love and water
The Voice of the Lord is over the waters, the God of glory thunders; the Lord is over mighty waters
This is the right pillar of the tree of life, whose water is with thunder that is the awe of God.
The Voice of the Lord resounds with might – כח
This is strength
Hod – splendor
The Voice of the Lord resounds with splendor – הדר [20]
This is beauty
Yesod – Joseph’s bow
The Voice of the Lord breaks cedars; the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon.
This is victory over the northern enemies.
Tiferet – makes peace between fire and water
The Voice of the Lord strikes flames of fire.
This is the left pillar of the tree of life whose fire purifies one of sin.
(Tzaddik – Righteous One)
Netzah – alluded to in the word “eternity”
The Voice of the Lord makes the desert tremble; the Lord causes the desert of Kadesh to tremble
This is the holy desert (Kadesh), the mystical foundation of the Tree of Life. Trembling is the meditative ascent.
Malchut – alluded to by “Glory” of kingship
The Voice of the Lord causes does to calve, and strips the forests bare
The flow of energy leads to reproduction. Even as the forests lose their leaves in winter, the seed awaits to be born in the spring.

Text 1-3: Zohar on the Seven Voices
In Psalm XXIX, the “Voice of the Lord” is mentioned seven times, and R. Jose explained them thus: “The voice of the Lord is on the waters”; this is Abraham. “The voice of the Lord is in strength”; this is Isaac. “The voice of the Lord is in beauty”; this is Jacob. “The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars”; this is Netzah (Victory). “The voice of the Lord heweth flames of fire”; this is Hod (Majesty). “The voice of the Lord causeth the wilderness to tremble”; this is Zaddik (Righteous One). And all bring blessings on to the world from the replenishment, which they themselves receive. On all other days of the year these Seven are roused to activity by the prayer of men's mouth, but on this day it depends on action, and we require action, because at this season the whole year is blessed.[21]

The season is Sukkot, the seventh day is Hoshana Rabbah as the Zohar discusses further:[22]

Text 1-4: Seventh Day of Sukkot
On the seventh day of Tabernacles the judgment of the world is finally sealed and the edicts are sent forth from the King, and God's might is aroused, and the “willows of the brook” [Tr. note: Nezah and Hod] depend on it, and we require to awaken the might which sends the rain and to go round the altar seven times and sate it with the water of Isaac, because the well of Isaac is filled with water, and then all the world is blessed with water. We therefore pray that the rain-giving power may be manifested, and afterwards destroy willow twigs, since judgment is closed on this day.

Text 1-5: Bahir on the Seven Voices
He (Rabbi Amorai) said: What is the meaning of the verse (Exodus 20:15), “And all the people saw the voices.” These are the voices regarding which King David spoke. It is thus written (Psalm 29:3), “The voice of God is upon the waters, the God of glory thunders.” [This is the first voice.] [The second voice is] (Psalm 29:4), “The voice of God comes in strength.” Regarding this it is written (Isaiah 10:13), “By the strength of my hand have I done it.” It is likewise written (Isaiah 48:13), “Also My Hand has founded the earth.” [The third voice is] (Psalm 29:4), “The voice of God is with majesty.” It is also written (Psalm 111:3), “Splendor and majesty are His works, His righteousness stands forever.” [The fourth voice is] (Psalm 29:5), “God's voice breaks the cedars.” This is the bow that breaks the cypress and cedar trees. [The fifth voice is] (Psalm 29:7), “God’s voice draws out flames of fire.” This is what makes peace between water and fire. It draws out the power of the fire and prevents it from evaporating the water. It also prevents [the water] from extinguishing it. [The sixth voice is] (Psalm 29:8), “God’s voice shakes the desert.” It is thus written (Psalm 18:51) “He does kindness to his Messiah, to David and his descendants until eternity” more than [when Israel was] in the desert. [The seventh voice is] (Psalm 29:9), “God's voice makes hinds to calf, strips the forests bare, and in His Temple, all say Glory.” It is thus written (Song of Songs 2:7) “I bind you with an oath, O daughters of Jerusalem, with the hosts, or with the hinds of the field.” This teaches us that the Torah was given with seven voices. In each of them the Master of the Universe revealed Himself to them, and they saw Him. It is thus written, “And all the people saw the voices.”[23]

The second verse of the Shema alludes to the eighth voice, which will usher in the World to Come.

Text 1-6: The Voice of the World to Come
May his Name be blessed forever and ever.
Blessed be the name of the glory of His kingdom forever and ever.[24]

The mystery of ‘forever and ever’ alludes to the eighth voice for the day that will last forever, the day of immor[25]lity. Where is this day?25 It is located in the fifth glory, the fifth world, O[26]m Habah – the World to Come.26 The second verse of the Shema contains the word for glory; He is the light of the World to Come. There, Ribono shel Olam brings about the resurrection of the dead[27] The eighth voice is the voice of song as the Zohar teaches:27

Text 1-7: Zohar on the Voice of Song
In another place the waves of the sea roar and descend a certain number of degrees,
and there other hosts proclaim with the voice of song:
“Blessed be the glory of the Lord from his place”
(Ezekiel 3:12)

“His place” is Olam Habah – the World to Come. The Zohar teaches that Torah learning has the level of Tiferet while prophecy is lower at Netzah and Hod.[28] The spirit of holiness is lower still, at Malchut with the Shechinah. Thus, the higher level is accessible to us all. In the final analysis by studying Torah lishmah – ‘for its own sake’ all things are [29]ssible.29

Text 1-8: Zohar on Torah, Prophecy, and Holiness
What, now, is the difference between those who study the Torah and the faithful prophets? The former are ever superior, since they stand on a higher level. Those who study the Torah stand in a place called Tiferet (Beauty), which is the pillar of all faith, whereas the prophets stand lower in the place called Netzah (Victory) and Hod (Majesty); and those who merely speak in the spirit of holiness stand lower still. He who studies the Torah needs neither peace offerings nor burnt offerings, since the Torah is superior to all and the bond of faith; wherefore it is written “Her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace” (Prov. III, 17), and also, “Great peace have they which love thy law and they have no occasion for stumbling” (Ps. CXIX, 165).’

From Mishnah Avot 6, we learn the power of lishmah to raise one out of the dust and ashes to walk upon the clouds of glory:

Text 1-9: Perkei Avot 6 on Learning Torah for its own Sake

The principle of lishmah is defined in Talmud Pesachim 50b:

Text 1-10: Pesachim 50b
Raba contrasted [two verses]. It is written, “For thy mercy is great unto the heavens”; whereas it is also written, “For thy mercy is great above the heavens”? How is this [to be explained]? Here it refers to those who perform [God's behest] for its own sake; there it refers to those who perform [it] with an ulterior motive. And [this is] in accordance with Rab Judah. For Rab Judah said in Rab’s name: “A man should always occupy himself with Torah and good deeds, though it is not for their own sake, for out of [doing good] with an ulterior motive there comes [doing good] for its own sake.”

Text 1-11: Work, Character, and Home

1) Tiferet represents Torah study. Yet above, we find Hesed and Gevurah. This teaches that a person by acts of loving-kindness and self-discipline arrives at a level even above Torah study. One rises to Hesed by charity and helping others where women often excel. Gevurah requires one to have reached the level of stoicism that is a detachment from praise and insult. Gevurah associates with work that is also above Tiferet. True Torah study is not efficient without work. This includes ones job, house cleaning, cooking, raising children, repairing, improving, gardening, military service, other services, and home improvements. There are those who believe that Torah study precludes all else. They praise the accomplishments of the tzaddikim, not realizing that anyone who spends all his time in Torah would become a tzaddik. This is an important point. Is it so amazing that someone who becomes an ascetic to the world, and heightens his spiritual powers would become a tzaddik? Is there greater honor in the service to G-d than one who makes the world a better place to raise a family? The mason who lays brick, the carpenter, the street worker, the manufacturer, the gardener—are their forms of work any less of a service than the work of a tzaddik? Working and caring for ones responsibilities is essential. Some would say their Torah study is work. Does Torah study take care of household chores? Does it feed a wife and kids? Does it help one acquire a home? Does it keep one from living on charity? Learn from your wife and one will put Torah study into proper proportion. Greater than the tzaddik is the mench, the man who can handle all of life’s matters. Nevertheless, Torah study inspires one to acts of kindness and discipline, while the lack of Torah study leads to apathy, has vshalom.

2) “If we had not been given the Torah, we could have learned cleanliness and modesty from the cat that prefers to clean in privacy and runs away when embarrassed. We could have learned not to steal from the ant, which if one should drop a kernel of wheat another will not pick up until he returns. We could have learned the principle of loyalty from the dove, which only marries one for life. We could have learned courtesy from the chicken whose rooster comes to the hen and bows first. If animals have these qualities than all the more so should humans. Because it is speech that makes man the highest form of creation, he must guard his tongue carefully that he should speak with wisdom and not with guile and not with impurity. Keep your tongue clean.”[31]

3) “The Gemara says, that this is one of Rav’s statements before, ‘It is better to take a small pot from the ground rather than a bushel full from the top floor.’ The meaning is, it is better to earn a little bit of money close by which means, you don’t have to leave home or leave your home town, rather than earn a lot if you have to go a far distance for it. If you can earn a little satisfactory living in your own hometown do that rather than the prospects of making a lot of money by leaving town, going away from home. There is nothing that makes it worthwhile to leave home, go out of town to earn more money. This is the advice of the Gemara. A lot of people would do well to take heed of this advice.”[32] If one moves to an area desolate in ones own culture, posterity will be lost for prosperity. However if one moves to an area with a greater density of ones own people, posterity will be increased.

Ironically, moving to an area with a greater density of ones own people does not guarantee that one will marry a good spouse who will allow you to raise your children as Jews even if Jewish. Furthermore living in desolation may allow you to marry a good spouse who will raise your children as a Jews. Better is to stay in the place of your family then to exile yourself to a place of Torah whether in ones home area or in a remote place. Remember the spark of the messiah arose from Ruth in Moab through Boaz to King David.

Finally when a tzaddik (messiah figure), prophet, kabbalist, or mystic speaks of his own greatness, he is only doing so to encourage his followers to pursue similar ways so that they too may become close to God.[33] For the enlightened, there is no boasting, but instead a desire to share a path to happiness.[34] No one bears sole privilege to greatness, nor is anyone an idol. The light of messiah radiates from all eyes bestowing a blessing upon the entire world.

1.1 Who do you say Torah is?

The validity of Torah cannot rest solely on a testimonial chain to Mt. Sinai. Torah maintains theories until disproved. It teaches a way of life tested by thousands of years and still able to adapt. Torah evolves with continuous discovery; today this is predominantly in the sciences. Religion is often a testimony of approximate knowledge without science and math. For example in an un-quantified manner, we can understand the power of joy to extend life. Our challenge is to apply rigor to religious ideas and reexamine the validity of their paradigms.

The Oral Torah includes the Talmud, which has sections on health, astronomy and other areas of science. Ironically these sections are often not translated because of the fear that they may not be up to date with the latest understanding. In actuality, the fact that these sections exist suggest that the scholars of the Talmudic era sought scientific understanding and thought that this type of knowledge was part and parcel of the Torah. To not translate sections of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch that deal with health is to exclude the pursuit of this knowledge. In fact, there should be a new Shulchan Aruch that includes further advancement to this knowledge.

The Torah must adapt to cosmological theories. If there is a question on the validity of a pasuk in Bereshit – Genesis vs. a theory in science that has not been disproved, then the pasuk cannot rest the validity of Torah on a scientific disagreement. The Torah is as much a theory whose interpretive validity continues as long as it is not disproven. The Oral Torah has adapted the interpretation of the Written Torah for thousands of years and this is a foundation of Judaism.

Torah is often personified. It takes upon itself a life of its own. Who do you say Torah is?

[5] Study from 1993-2006.
[6] Is this the meaning of the Teli, Wheel, and Heart discussed in Sefer Yetzira and the Bahir?
[7] The four names of this book parallel the four worlds: ‘Glory’ in Atzulut, ‘Sabbath Holiness Israel’ in Beriyah, ‘Dancing with Angels’ in Yetzirah, ‘Jewish Kabbalah Meditation from Torah to Self-improvement to Prophecy’ in Asiyah. In the 4th world we are reminded to T’skelet Mitzvot – to look at (keep) the commandments. Btzelal Roth haCohen taught we attend synagogue in the morning to remind us each day to keep commandments – Rosh Hodesh Elul 5766.
[8] Jacob is the visitor at ones table on the 3rd night of Sukkot.
[9] Tiferet is center of the Tree of Life is the place of Torah academies in heaven the place of Truth balanced between mercy and judgment.
[10] Shabbas Kodesh, Shabbas Kodesh, Shabbas Kodesh l’Yisrael” – Holy Sabbath, Holy Sabbath, Holy Sabbath to Israel. A Hassidic rabbi from Israel brought his wife to Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto with an incurable disease. Each Shabbas he said these words over and over while he walked on his way. Even after his wife died he would not let his joy for the Shabbas diminish. He would also recite what seemed to be the entire book of psalms each Shabbas. He did everything to try to save her, even beyond his means, how he loved her. In the same way, the King of kings whose throne is in the World of Creation loves us.
[11] Crucial Conversations, Patterson, Grenny, McMillan & Switzler, 2002
[12] Hebrew: The Eternal Language, William Chomsky, Ch.11 Did Hebrew Ever Die, The Status of Hebrew Until the Maccabean Period, p.206, 1957.
[13] See 15.12.5 and 2.2.3 Parsha Yitro p.86 on how Moshe honored his non-Jewish father-in-law.
[14] See 15.12.5
[15] Hebrew: The External Language, William Chomsky, 1957, p.9
[16] See 2.10.6 Isaiah 56 and God’s Strangers p.197
[17] See Table 17-6: Sefirot and Colors—explaining that Kavod is the light of Tiferet
[18] Psalm 29 representing Kavod amongst the Psalms of David. Translation from Siddur Tehillat Hashem, Nusach Ha-Ari Zal according to the Text of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi by Rabbi Nissen Mangel, p.131.
[19] The Bahir describes the seven voices and their relation to the seven sefirot: Kaplan Bahir #45,#49 pp. 17-18; pp. 117-119.
[20] Hadar is ornament, splendor, honor, or glory. Tiferet alludes to beauty and adornment with ornaments. Honor which is Kavod is found in Tiferet.
[21] Zohar 3:31b, Soncino 4:386
[22] Ibid. through Zohar 3:32a
[23] Bahir, Kaplan trans. #45, pp. 15-16, 117
[24] Pesachim 56a, Midrash Deuteronomy Rabbah 2:31,35,36
[25] Immortality is not a time that we should wait for to arrive, but a place that we are destined to see.
[26] See Text 1-2: Psalm 29.
[27] Zohar 3:30a, Soncino 4:382
[28] Zohar 3:35a, Soncino 4:392
[29] Zohar 3:35a
[30] Alluding to the kabbalah and Psalm 25:14, “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him” Amos 3:7 “He hath revealed his secret to his servants the prophets.”
[31] Pesachim 1:
[32] Rabbi Aryeh Rosenfeld, Eyn Yaacov Pesachim #4, 51 minutes.
[33] See
[34] There is no monopoly on greatness. Kabbalah leads to humility, a gateway to revelation. Even Jesus thought nothing more of himself than others might achieve and any personal acclimations were only intended to inspire one through loving thy neighbor as thyself. “Son of Man” became the ideal model, similar to “Great Man” in Confucianism.

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