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5 Kabbalah Texts

5.1 Bahir*

Rabbi Nehunya ben Hakanah, author of the Bahir, achieved his high mystical state by separating from worldly concerns:[708]

Text 5-1: Perkei Avot of Nehunya ben Hakanah
Rabbi Nehunya ben Hakanah said: Whoever takes upon himself the yoke of Torah, from him are removed the yoke of government and the yoke of worldly care; but whoever casts off the yoke of the Torah, upon him are placed the yoke of government and the yoke of worldly care.

The Bahir discusses that there are 70 nations in the world each having a guardian angel. This is the gematria of Gog vMagog – גוג ומגוג. In that time all the nations of the world rose up against Israel.[709]

Text 5-2: Berachot 7b on Gog and Magog
R. Johanan further said in the name of R. Simeon b. Yohai: A bad person in a man's house is worse than the war of Gog and Magog. For it is said: A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son, and it is written after that: Lord, how many are mine adversaries become! Many are they that rise up against me.

But in regard to the war of Gog and Magog it is written: Why are the nations in an uproar? And why do the peoples mutter in vain, but it is not written: ‘How many are mine adversaries become!’

Canaanite tradition held to a pantheon of 70 gods who served under El Elyon, G-d Most High. Judaism purified the dross from the silver and saw that these gods were no more than the angels who served the Lord Most High.[710]

Text 5-3: Seventy Date Palms, Seventy Angels, and the Mighty Nation of Israel
(the teacher says) What is the meaning of the verse (Exodus 15:27), “And they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy date palms, and they encamped there by the water?” (the student asks) What is so special about seventy date palms? In one small place there can be a thousand. (the teacher responds) But [this teaches us that] they were worthy of their counterpart. They are likened to date palms.

Elim in Hebrew is Elimah – אילמה, which contains the same letters as the name of G-d, Elohim – אלהים.[711] At this point the children of Israel are heavenly counterparts. They are a reflection or correspondence of the heavenly world. There is an element of parallelism here.

Israel passes the test of judgment to be elevated to the level of a counterpart. In Exodus 15:26, G-d tells the children of Israel to hearken to him, which they do and arrive at the place of Elim:[712]

Text 5-4: Hearkening to the Lord
And [Moses] said, If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and will do that which is right in his sight, and will give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, [transitioning to the voice of G-d] I will put none of these diseases upon you, which I have brought upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord that heals you.

The Bahir is the major source text specifying the structure of the kabbalistic tree of life. For the first time the ten sefirot are described in detailed symbolism explaining the biblical source text for each quality. The juxtaposition of the sefirot Keter (will or (thought?[713])) and Daat (knowledge) where only one exists at a time has its source in the Bahir. Furthermore the Bahir provides the source explanation for the descent that precedes the ascent in advanced Kabbalah meditation:[714]

Text 5-5: Ascending Thought and Descending Vision
What is the meaning of the expression, “It rose in thought”? Why do we not say that “it descended [in thought]”? Indeed we have said, “One who gazes into the vision of the Chariot first descends and then ascends.” We use the expression [of descent] there because we say, “one who gazes into the vision (Tzafiyat) of the Chariot.” The Aramaic translation of “vision” (Tzafiyat) is Sechuta [meaning a covering, and alluding to the fact that one is looking down from above]. It is also written, “And he called as a lion: ‘Upon the watchtower (MiTzPeh), O God.’” Here, however we are speaking of thought, [and therefore only speak of ascent]. For thought does not include any vision and has no ending whatsoever. And anything that has no end or limit does not have any descent. People therefore say, “Someone descended to the limit of his friend’s knowledge.” One can arrive at the limit of a person’s knowledge, but not at the limit of his thought.

In the realm of Keter there is no vision, no floor, no sky above. There is only suspension in blackness where the will of G-d waits, waits for what? The will of G-d awaits the thought that will manifest reality.

The Bahir teaches in two genres. The first is a didactic conversation between a teacher and a student. The second is by parable most often that of a king and his daughter.

5.2 Sefer Yetzirah

There are about as many versions of Sefer Yetzirah (SY) as there are scribes. Basically the kabbalistic scribal process was never simply about copying the text, but the scribe’s motivation was prophetic and hence, if so inspired in transcribing he would add either comments or corrections. Hence, correspondences vary significantly in versions. Moreover the length varies as the text develops from the Short, Long, and the Saadyan rescension.[715] Distillation is part of the process of improving symbol association and enhancement of meaning in all religious texts. It is not surprising that scribes would desire to preserve their own discoveries found while transcribing.

5.2.1 Gates of Creation

Sefer Yetzirah 2:4 describes 231 gates that are the Gates of Creation. The number of combinations (ignoring order) of all Hebrew letters, taken two at a time, is 231. The procedure is to visual each pair in ones mind using the alphabetical order as a mnemonic device. Like a family tree the largest number of gates is at the top where we start and at the bottom there is one gate, that of our self.

Text 5-6: The 231 Gates In Meditative Visualization

אב אג אד אה או אז אח אט אי אכ אל אם אן אס אע אף אץ אק אר אש את
בג בד בה בו בז בח בט בי בכ בל בם בן בס בע בף בץ בק בר בש בת
גד גה גו גז גח גט גי גכ גל גם גן גס גע גף גץ גק גר גש גת
דה דו דז דח דט די דכ דל דם דן דס דע דף דץ דק דר דש דת
הו הז הח הט הי הכ הל הם הן הס הע הף הץ הק הר הש הת
וז וח וט וי וכ ול ום ון וס וע וף וץ וק ור וש ות
זח זט זי זכ זל זם זן זס זע זף זץ זק זר זש זת
חט חי חכ חל חם חן חס חע חף חץ חק חר חש חת
טי טכ טל טם טן טס טע טף טץ טק טר טש טת
יכ יל ים ין יס יע יף יץ יק יר יש ית
כל כם כן כס כע כף כץ כק כר כש כת
לם לן לס לע לף לץ לק לר לש לת
מן מס מע מף מץ מק מר מש מת
נס נע נף נץ נק נר נש נת
סע סף סץ סק סר סש סת
עף עץ עק ער עש עת
פץ פק פר פש פת
צק צר צש צת
קר קש קת
רש רת
שת

Eloah created all by these Gates of Creation. For us the Gates of Creation illuminate forms with a light of
their essence. This is the creation of a calf for food or a man for service.[716]

The process of creation is to ascend in prayer with the Name of God from the upright triangle and return with the creative flow – Shefa releasing from the inverted triangle.

Figure 5-1: Creative Process
אב אג אד אה או אז אח אט אי אכ אל אם אן אס אע אף אץ אק אר אש את
בג בד בה בו בז בח בט בי בכ בל בם בן בס בע בף בץ בק בר בש בת
גד גה גו גז גח גט גי גכ גל גם גן גס גע גף גץ גק גר גש גת
דה דו דז דח דט די דכ דל דם דן דס דע דף דץ דק דר דש דת
הו הז הח הט הי הכ הל הם הן הס הע הף הץ הק הר הש הת
וז וח וט וי וכ ול ום ון וס וע וף וץ וק ור וש ות
זח זט זי זכ זל זם זן זס זע זף זץ זק זר זש זת
חט חי חכ חל חם חן חס חע חף חץ חק חר חש חת
טי טכ טל טם טן טס טע טף טץ טק טר טש טת
יכ יל ים ין יס יע יף יץ יק יר יש ית
כל כם כן כס כע כף כץ כק כר כש כת
לם לן לס לע לף לץ לק לר לש לת
מן מס מע מף מץ מק מר מש מת
נס נע נף נץ נק נר נש נת
סע סף סץ סק סר סש סת
עף עץ עק ער עש עת
פץ פק פר פש פת
צק צר צש צת
קר קש קת
רש רת
שת
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‘Ascend with the Name of God
and return with the Shefa of the Divine image
of the form one seeks to illuminate’[717]

5.2.2 Gates of Reward

An alternative, but equally old reading of Sefer Yetzirah, records that there are 221 gates:[718]

Text 5-7: Yoma 76a on the 221 Gates
It was taught: Issi b. Judah says: The manna which fell down for Israel rose so high that all the kings of the east and the west could see it, as it is said: [Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies. . .] my cup runneth over. (Abaye said: It is evident from this that the cup of King David in the future world will hold two hundred and twenty-one ‘logs’[719], as it is said: My cup is rewayah [overflowing], and this is the numerical value of rewayah).

In the psalm, the gematria of רויה is 221:[720]

You placed oil upon my head and my cup overflows - דשנת בשמן ראשי כוסי רויה

The shin and mem of oil relate to fire and water, and the feeling of mystical consciousness in the head. These are the 221 Gates of Reward.

5.2.3 Golem

To understand the Golem, we first turn to the source text from Talmud Tractate Sanhedrin 65a-66a. The Golem subject is inserted in the midst of superstition to distinguish that there is some supernatural reward for those who serve the Almighty in purity.

Text 5-8: Sanhedrin on the Golem
MISHNAH. A BA'AL OB[721] IS THE PITHOM[722] WHO SPEAKS FROM HIS ARMPIT. THE YIDDE'ONI [‘A WIZARD’] IS ONE WHO SPEAKS FROM HIS MOUTH. THESE TWO ARE STONED; WHILST HE WHO ENQUIRES OF THEM TRANSGRESSES A FORMAL PROHIBITION.

... But what action is done by a Ba'al ob? — The knocking of his arms.[723] ...

Our Rabbis taught: A Ba'al ob is one who speaks from between the joints of his body and his elbow joints. A yidde'oni is one who places the bone of a yidoa’ in his mouth and it speaks of itself. An objection is raised: And thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground: surely that means that it speaks naturally? — No. It ascends and seats itself between his joints and speaks. Come and hear: And the woman said unto Saul, I saw a god-like form ascending out of the earth: [And Samuel said to Saul . . .] surely that means that it spoke naturally? — No. It settled itself between her joints and spoke.

Our Rabbis taught: Ba'al ob denotes both him who conjures up the dead by means of soothsaying11 and one who consults a skull. What is the difference between them? — The dead conjured up by soothsaying does not ascend naturally [but feet first], nor on the Sabbath; whilst if consulted by its skull it ascends naturally and on the Sabbath too. [You say,] it ascends: but whither — does not the skull lie before him? — But say thus: It answers naturally, and on the Sabbath too. And this question was asked by Turnusrufus of R. Akiba: ‘Wherein does this day [the Sabbath] differ from any other?’ — He replied: Wherein does one man differ from another?’ — ‘Because my Lord [the Emperor] wishes it.’ ‘The Sabbath too,’ R. Akiba rejoined, ‘then, is distinguished because the Lord wishes so.’ He replied: ‘I ask this: Who tells you that this day is the Sabbath?’ — He answered: ‘Let the river Sabbation prove it; let the Ba'al ob prove it; let thy father's grave, whence no smoke ascends on the Sabbath, prove it.’ He said to him: ‘You have shamed, disgraced, and reviled him [by this proof].’

He who enquireth of an ob — is that not the same as one that consulteth the dead? — As has been taught: Or that consulteth the dead: this means one who starves himself and spends the night in a cemetery, so that an unclean spirit [of a demon] may rest upon him [to enable him to foretell the future]. And when R. Akiba reached this verse, he wept: If one who starves himself that an unclean spirit may rest upon him has his wish granted, he who fasts that the pure spirit [the Divine Presence] may rest upon him — how much more should his desire be fulfilled! But alas! our sins have driven it away from us, as it is written, But your iniquities have separated between you and your God.[724]

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save;
nor is his ear heavy, that it cannot hear;
But your iniquities have separated - מבדלים between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you, that he will not hear.
(Isaiah 59:1-2)

Raba said: If the righteous desired it, they could [by living a life of absolute purity] be creators,[725] for it is written, But your iniquities have distinguished between etc. Rabbah created a man, and sent him to R. Zera. R. Zera spoke to him, but received no answer. Thereupon he said unto him: ‘Thou art a creature of the magicians. Return to thy dust.’

R. Hanina and R. Oshaia spent every Sabbath eve in studying the ‘Book of Creation’, by means of which they created a third-grown calf and ate it.[726]

Our Rabbis taught: Me'onen — R. Simeon said: That is one who applies the semen of seven male species to his eyes [in order to perform witchcraft]. The Sages say: It is one who holds people's eyes. R. Akiba said: It is one who calculates the times and hours, saying, Today is propitious for setting forth; tomorrow for making purchases; the wheat ripening on the eve of the seventh year is generally sound; let the beans be pulled up [instead of being harvested in the usual manner] to save them from becoming worthy.

Our Rabbis taught: A Menahesh is one who says: So and so's bread has fallen out of his hand; his staff has fallen out of his hand; his son called after him; a raven screamed after him, a deer has crossed his path; a serpent came at his right hand or a fox at his left; do not commence with me; it is morning; it is new moon; it is the conclusion of the Sabbath.

Our Rabbis taught: Ye shall not use enchantments nor observe times. This refers to those who practice enchantment by means of weasels, birds, and fish.


The Maharal describes the following characteristics of the Golem.

The practice of making a golem is the meditative exercise of drawing down a pure soul or creating a pure soul within oneself. In order to do this one must purify oneself of impure thoughts or emotions. Removing hametz or leaven on Passover from one’s possessions is the same.

Rabbi Isaac of Acco wrote the following on the subject:[727]

Text 5-9: Rabbi Isaac of Acco on the Golem
Once ... I, the young, was sitting in the company of advanced students, lovers of wisdom. One of them (one of the students) opened his mouth and asked me as follows: “What is the difference between the Creation (Beriyah) and Formation (Yetzirah)?”

I told him, “Why don’t you also ask why Abraham, our ancestor, called his book “Yetzirah”, which consists of wondrous deeds:

Why didn’t he (Abraham) call it the book of Beriyah?

And he (the student) was not able (to answer me) and none of them answered me, since they did not know what it was. But I, the young,[728] while I was speaking it, I saw the correct reason, which is as follows:[729]

You already know the secret of the Yod of the ‘ABYa’ – אביע[730] and the secret of the Bet. Since the majority of men have no power to endow a speaking soul,[731] let alone an intellective soul,[732] upon the matter shaped either in the form of an animal or a beast or a bird or a fish or a reptile, nor in the form of man with the Sefer Yetzirah.[733]

Instead they endow the form with an animal and appetitive soul,[734] as our sages said, “Rava created a man and he sent it to R. Zeira” etc. The book was called Sefer Yetzirah but not the ‘Book of Beriyah’ for the reason that the animal and appetitive soul, which perishes with the death of the body when the combination of the four elements is undone, stems from the intermediary world, which is the Yod of ‘ABYetziraha’.[735]

But the secret of the speaking intellective soul is from the supernal world, which is Bet in ‘ABeriyahYa’.[736]

By saying the majority and not all, I intended to exclude Jeremiah the Prophet, the disciple of Moses our master, peace on him, and Ben Sira and all those similar to them, few in number, who attained a divine perfection, to create an animal, speaking, intellective (being).

And if you shall argue that all the prophets ... were the disciples of Moses, our master, peace on him, so why did you mention Jeremiah in particular a disciple of Moses? The answer is that you must pursue the Kabbalists so that they may explain to you the secret of the verse, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet from among your own people, like myself; him you shall heed,” and then you will certainly understand my intention.[737]

However, concerning Jeremiah and Ben Sira alone have I received (a tradition)
that they have drawn downward a speaking soul
from their root of Bet of ‘ABYa’ that is the Aleph of ‘AtzulutBYa’,[738]
out of their great degree and the perfection of their soul,
being able to (perform) this wondrous deed.

The reason is that their degree attained to Metatron, the Prince of the Face, and San(dalfon), about whom we say in the blessing of the Ancestors, “And You bring a deliverer on the sons of their sons”, and the wise will understand.

The “Light of the Eyes” interprets the creation story showing the analogy with the creation of a golem.[739] The span of existence of ‘formation – Yetzirah’ is not forever while that of ‘emanation – Atzulut’ and ‘creation – Beriyah’ have a spiritual length to their existence.[740]

Text 5-10: Meirat Enayim on Span of Existence of Life of Creation
The secret of creation of man (refers to) the speculative soul [haneshamah ha-hakhamah], which stands forever. And the secret of his formation (refers to) the animal soul, which does not stand forever ... And emanation (Atzulut) and creation (Beriyah) are more spiritual than formation (Yetzirah).
The Lower Golem is that of Asiyah and Yetzirah versus the higher Golem who is drawn from Beriyah and Atzulut. Isaac of Acco’s very address to the ‘Advanced Students’ may have been an exercise in the creation of a Higher Golem. He attempts to draw from Beriyah a higher speaking soul and implant that spiritual understanding within the bodies of the ‘Advanced Students’. What is the nature of that soul? This is a soul that seeks after the Kabbalists, the prophets of their generation to draw close to G-d, to pursue the word of G-d and to express the word of G-d. Let us conclude that the creation of Higher Golems is the process of drawing higher souls into human bodies.

The mystery remains on the creation of Lower Golems. They are the product of a meditation to draw down animal and appetitive souls from Yetzirah and Asiyah. This is the cow that R. Hanina and R. Oshaia made that fed them dinner or filled their appetites.[741]

Text 5-11: Sanhedren 65b
“R. Hanina and R. Oshaia spent every Sabbath eve in studying the ‘Book of Creation’,24 by means of which they created a third-grown calf,25 and ate it.[742]

(24) The Book of Creation, Heb. Sefer Yeziroh, is the title of two esoteric books. The older, referred to here, was a thaumaturgical work popular in the Talmudic period. It was also known as Hilkoth Yezirah (Laws of Creation), and is so called in the same story quoted on 67b. Rashi there states that the creation was performed by means of mystic combinations of the Divine Name, which does not come under the ban of witchcraft. Its basic idea is that the Creation was accomplished by means of the power inherent in those letters (Cf. Rab's saying: ‘Bezalel knew how to combine the letters by which heaven and earth were created’. Ber. 55a. Cf. also Enoch LXI, 3 et seq.; Prayer of Manasseh: Ecc. R. III, 11 on the magic power of the letters of the Divine Name), and that this same power could be utilised in further creation. The work was ascribed to Abraham, which fact indicates an old tradition, and the possible antiquity of the book itself. It has affinities with Babylonian, Egyptian, and Hellenic mysticism and its origin has been placed in the second century B.C.E., when such a combination of influences might be expected. It is noteworthy that Raba's statement above, though not mentioning the Sefer Yezirah, insists on freedom from sin as a prerequisite of creation by man, v. J.E., XII, 602.
(25) (I.e., a calf that has reached one third of its full growth; others interpret: (i) in its third year; (ii) third born, fat].

The Genesis creation story is an analogy for the creation of a human golem by God forming man from the earth.[743] Golem making endows the physical with the spiritual, as Hashem breathed life into man. The maker reforms the world around according to the ideal images that once existed in the Garden of Eden. Hence, to make a Golem is the process of drawing down souls and binding them in the same manner as G-d, our Creator did ‘In the Beginning’—as He does every day with the birth of each new living thing.

While Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev would draw a person to the side of good by seeing the good spark within, a Golem maker would place that spark within by reshaping the form of his being.[744]

Text 5-12: Ascensions on High on the Golem
I propose interpreting some of the Heikhalot discussions, in a sort of astral body.[745] In other words, in Heikhalot literature the concomitant presence of the samer person in two places seems to be a crucial issue. So, for example, Rabbi Nehuniyah ben ha-Kanah is described as sitting in the special posture of Elijah in the lower world, surrounded by his disciples, apparently in a lethargic state. At the same time, he is portrayed as sitting and gazing upon the divine chariot on high. I would like to emphasize the use of the verb sit—Yoshev: the Rabbi is reprsened as sitting in two different places as the same time. This observation of the double presence of the mystic in Heikhalot literature may be a clue to understanding the whole phenomenon of the ascent to the Merkavah. It is neither an ascent of the soul nor a corporeal ascent (It is an ascent of the soul while also a corporeal presence); it combines both by the assumption that the spiritual body of the mystic is the entity that undertakes the celestial journey, while the corporeal body remains in a special posgture in the terrestrial world. I cannot elaborate here upon the possi ble implications of such a proposal for the understanding of Heikhalot literature. For the time being, it is sufficient to remark that the assumption of a double presence in a Heikhalot text connected to the term Golem—which in many cases since the Middle Ages means “an artificial anthropoid”—may have something to do with the concept of a spiritual body (—may have something to do with the corporeal body remaining after the astral ascension).

During astral projection, a mystic’s corporeal body becomes an automaton that moves by the spiritual will of its master while in a trance stance. While the Golem usually does not talk, the mystic may bring a voice down into the body although the body is detached from the soul. The speaking voice is connected on high and directed by the spirit.

Similar to the Golem is the concept of the Teraphim – תרפים, which has a gematria of 730. The 7 represents the 7 Midos while the 3 denotes the crowns, so the 10 sefirot or the tzelem of G-d are represented. The x10 factor provides the potential for living manifestation. This is why the Teraphim were so enticing. But like all living creatures, their voices were often false.[746]

The Golem bears the seal of G-d that is emet - truth.[747] The world could not exist without Truth. Nevertheless, one is permitted to hide the truth to avoid others from taking advantage of another or committing lashon harah – slander. Since emet contains the suffix, ‘death’, we know that death is ultimately the truth of our existence. In this regard, death is given significance, even as life seems to continue unchanged. The Golem is like the mais – the body of a deceased before it is buried. He rises to defend the people of Israel as our avot – fathers are defending us from their graves. As a king has a seal to confirm his decree, God’s seal is emet – truth. We do not despair even in mourning as we recite the Kaddish, a prayer of lauding and a testimony of His truth even in death. The will of the deceased is to care for their loved ones left behind.

5.2.4 The Seven Double Letters

The Twelve Elemental Letters correspond with the Twelve Monthly Constellations. The associations in the Sefer Yetzirah with the Seven Double Letters vary between the Gra and Raavad versions. Dissolving the paradox, there are not only seven planets and they were all fashioned on Wednesday, but the qualities that associate are in order of their spiritual distance that is also their sidereal period:[748]

Table 5-1: Corrected order of the Seven Planets formed by the Seven Double Letters
Letter
Planet
Day
Sefira
Combined Qualities
Sefer Yetzira
Bet
Moon
Sunday
Hesed
Kindness, path to wisdom
Wisdom ↔ Folly
Gimmel
Mercury
Monday
Gevurah
Gadabout, wealth
Wealth ↔ Poverty
Dalet
Venus
Tuesday
Tiferet
Beauty, seed
Seed ↔ Desolation
Caph
Sun
Wednesday
Netzah
Healing, life, victory
Life ↔ Death
Peh
Mars
Thursday
Hod
Dominance, violence
Rulership ↔ Subjugation
Resh
Jupiter
Friday
Yesod
Righteousness, Peace, War
Peace ↔ War
Tav
Saturn
Saturday
Malchut
Rest, Grace, cessation
Grace ↔ Ugliness

The BeGeD CaPaRoT – בגד כפרת – the Garment of Atonement is Creation. Ultimately we are born to improve in the physical world for eternal life in the World to Come. Creation is the gift and means of Atonement. While in the microcosm described above, the qualities of the seven planets have a strong influence upon the Earth; in the macrocosm described below; the Seven Double Letters are the creative force behind the Seven Garments of Atonement.[749]

Table 5-2: The Seven Garments of Atonement
Letter
Creation
Day
Sefira
Quality
Bet
Light, darkness and the Angel of Death
Sunday
Hesed
“In the beginning – בראשית”, he is the Garment of Light and Darkness upon us.
Gimmel
Sky, clouds, oceans Gehenom and higher angels
Monday
Gevurah
Gimmel extends the abundance of space and oceans and Gevurah draws their boundaries. She is the Garment of the Sky and Clouds over us, and the Oceans beside and below us.
Dalet
Land, trees, herbs, and the Garden of Eden
Tuesday
Tiferet
The land, trees, and herbs are the Splendor of creation and the center of beauty, knowledge and the seed of reproduction. He is the Garment of the Land, Trees, and Herbs around us.
Caph
Sun, Moon, and Stars
Wednesday
Netzah
The colors of Netzah are the upper heavens, the placement of the Sun, Moon, and Stars. He is the source of healing, life, and victory. The letter Caph is the macrocosmic creative force of all planets. In the microcosm Caph forms the Sun in particular, the source of the other planets. He is the Garment of the Sun, Moon, and Stars that illuminate and inspire us.
Peh
Sea creatures, birds Leviathan and lower angels
Thursday
Hod
Hod has the colors of the lower heavens. She is the Garment of the Sea Creatures, Leviathan, Birds and Lower Angels that bring us to an accounting of our lives.

Resh
Land animals, insects, man harmful spirits – the ghosts and demons
Friday
Yesod
Resh created the Garment of the Land, Animals, Insects, and Man. She is the source of righteousness, peace, and war.
Tav
Shabbat – day of rest
Saturday
Malchut
Tav created the Garment of Shabbat that is a place of Grace. She brings rest and spiritual reward.


5.3 Sefer Raziel

The Sefer Raziel provides some of the keys to unlock the Sefer Yetzirah.

Figure 5-2: Twelve Constellations

jkm008.png


The Seven Planets of major influence upon the Earth are depicted in their spiritual distances below with the order from closest to furthest being, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.[750]

Figure 5-3: Seven Planets and Earth
jkm009.png

The OaKYaNoS – אוקיינוס – the ‘ocean’ is also understood as the Sea of (covering) the dead – וקיינוס ים המת. This word seems to be from the Greek.[751] The position of the planets was based on the sidereal period of the planet around the Earth. The sidereal period is the time a planet takes to return to the same background of stars. From this perspective, the order of planets with lengthening periods is the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.[752]

5.4 Zohar

The Zohar, illustrious light, is a work of Kabbalah. The major core is a commentary on the Five Books of Moses similar to the Midrash but instead, with an emphasis on mystical interpretations of the text. Three other works of the Zohar describe the G-dhead, and the physical form that corresponds to the crown of behavior of man in the image of G-d.[753] The following example text traces the meaning of the ‘beard’ of G-d from its physical form to the thirteen gates of repentance.

5.4.1 Thirteen Springs of Forgiveness

The following translations are difficult to follow.

Text 5-13: Book of Concealed Mystery

Through thirteen springs are the fountains distributed. Four are separate but joined together, nine flow upon the body and encircle the garden. The ornamentation begins at the gate of the ears. It descends in beauty to the beginning of the lips; from the beginning of the ears to the beginning of the lips. There exists a path beneath the nostrils, in order that He may seek to pass over transgression; Proverbs 19:11 “And it is his glory to pass over a transgression.”

Beneath the lips the beard goes into another beginning ...

The lips are free on every side. Blessed is he who shall become the receiver of their kisses. In that influence, stream down thirteen drops of pure balm. In this influence, all things exist and are concealed.

At that time, when the seventh month draweth nigh, those months shall be found to be thirteen (for in the Codex, so often said to be correct, the word twelve is expunged to show it to be a year of thirteen months, according to the number of those thirteen divisions of influence) in the supernal world, and the thirteen gates of mercy are opened. At that time: Isaiah, 40:6 “Seek ye the Lord while He can be found.”[754]

The leap year of the Hebrew calendar includes a 2nd month of Adar called Adar Sheni. In this particular year there are thirteen months and they afford and extra month to understand the concepts of the Idra.[755]

Text 5-14: Idra Rabba Kaddisha

It is said in the ‘Book of Concealed Mystery’: That beard, the truth of all (truths), proceeds from the place of the ears, and descends around the mouth of the Holy One; and descends and ascends covering the place of fragrance (the cheeks); white with ornament and it descends in equilibrium and furnishes a covering even unto the midst of the breast.

That is the beard of adornment, true and perfect, from which flow down thirteen fountains, scattering the most precious balm of splendor.[756]

The thirteen parts of the beard are thirteen aspects in the sefira of Keter in the world of Atzilut. They correspond to the primal ratzon, will or desire of G-d.

Mathers writes in his commentary on this passage,[757]

The “thirteen divisions of the influence in the supernal world” are of course those thirteen parts of the beard of Macroprosopus considered in the sense of Atziloth, the archetypal world, the habitation of the pure Sephiroth alone: “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found.”

I would like for a moment to trace the origins of this Zohar text to the prophet Micah. Moshe Cordovero writes in his Tomer Devorah:[758]

It is proper for man to emulate his Creator, for then he will attain the secret of the Supernal Form in both image (tzelem) and likeness (demut). For if a person’s physical form reflects the Supernal Form, yet his actions do not, he falsifies his stature. People will say of him, “A handsome form whose deeds are ugly.” For the essential aspect of the Supernal ‘Form’ and ‘Likeness’ is that they are the deeds of the Holy one, Blessed Be He. Therefore, what good is it for a person to reflect the Supernal Form in physical form only if his deeds do not imitate those of his Creator? Thus, it is proper that man’s actions imitate the Thirteen Supernal Attributes of Mercy – the functions of the sefirah of keter – hinted at in these verses:

Who is G-d like Thee, who pardons iniquity and forgives the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not maintain His anger forever, for He delights in kindness. He will again show us compassion, He will vanquish our iniquities, and Thou will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Show faithfulness to Yaakov, kindness to Avraham, which You have sworn to our fathers from days of old.
(Micah 7:18-20)

Consequently, it is proper that these Thirteen Attributes, which we will now explain, should also be found in man.

These Thirteen Attributes reveal the absolute desire of Hashem to forgive even above wisdom (Hochmah), understanding (Binah), and knowledge (Daat). Why is forgiveness in the highest of all places? Because all heavenly doors are opened after a person chooses to return to G-d and G-d accepts the repentance and forgives. How do we now that G-d will accept the repentance? Hence we learn that forgiveness is the highest of all G-d’s desires (Keter). What are the doors that are opened? These are the Gates of Repentance, which reveal all the heavens as we learn from Moshe Rabbeinu:

Repentance
For how shall it be known that thy people have found grace in thy sight? By going with us (Lord) we are distinguished.

Forgiveness
And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for you have found grace in my sight, and I know you by name.

Opening the Gates of Repentance
And he said, I beseech thee, show me thy glory. And He said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy.
...

The Thirteen Attributes of Forgiveness
And the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed,

O G-d, my G-d, mighty, merciful and gracious,
long suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
keeping mercy for thousands (of generations),
forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin,
and that will by no means clear the guilty;
visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children,
and upon the children’s children
unto the third and to the fourth generation.

And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped. And he said, if now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stubborn people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance.
(Exodus 33:13 – 34:7)

The Hebrew word for stubborn is Akshanit – עקשנית, stubbornness has kept the Jewish people and will bring her back to Israel.[759] Because of stubbornness, we will never forget Jerusalem, because of stubbornness, we will never forget G-d, because of stubbornness we will never forget our family and the land that we love.

Furthermore, the thirteen attributes from Exodus overlap the thirteen attributes from Micah. The Tashlich service for Rosh Hashanah contains these passages.[760] Tashlich is a service for cleansing of sins recited before a living body of water.[761]

Daniel describes his vision of the G-dhead. This vision is the basis for the G-dhead and the River of Fire that descends from the beard. The River of Fire that descends from absolute mercy eradicates sin above and beyond even repentance. The River of Fire reveals the sovereignty of G-d’s mercy to purge sin from the repentant.

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

A fiery stream (Nahar DiNar) issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.[762]

As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like a son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

And there was given him dominion and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
(Daniel 7:9-14)

And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the holy ones of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

Hitherto is the end of the matter. ...
(Daniel 7:27:28)

The Zohar Great Holy Assembly says:[763]

And it is said that a man can be known by his hair after the age of forty years, whether he is dominated by rigor or mercy, some even maintaining that the character of a youth can be told by his hair, his beard and eyebrows. The curls of the hair of the Ancient One hang in pure order, like pure wool,...

After Rabbi Moshe de Leon discovered the Zohar in the 13th century, the Arizal contemplated its ideas in the 16th century. The Arizal’s concepts of the sparks of creation were elaborated from the Zohar.

Zohar on the Nahar Dinar:

The third celestial sphere is pervaded and filled with fire and flames. In it the fiery river Nahar dinur takes its rise and flows into Gehenna, overwhelming and engulphing in its course those mortals whose lives on earth were given up and addicted to evil and wrongdoing. Over these are placed destroying and tormenting angels, also accusing angels who, however, have no power or influence over Israel when it repents and does what is just and right. The abode of their chief is on the left side of this sphere in which darkness prevails, as it is written, 'and darkness was upon the face of the waters.' It is also the abode of Samael, the angel of darkness, the great transgressor.



י  נְהַר דִּי-נוּר, נָגֵד וְנָפֵק מִן-קֳדָמוֹהִי, אֶלֶף אלפים (אַלְפִין) יְשַׁמְּשׁוּנֵּהּ, וְרִבּוֹ רבון (רִבְבָן) קָדָמוֹהִי יְקוּמוּן; דִּינָא יְתִב, וְסִפְרִין פְּתִיחוּ.
10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him; thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

Dinar means fiery and associates with the judgement from Din. The sefira of Gevurah has both as a metaphor. Daniel 7:10 can also be read, “A stream of judgement came forth from before him; thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the judgment was set, and the books were opened.”

5.4.2 Veracity of the Author


Text 5-15: Aryeh Kaplan on the Veracity of the Zohar
"Rabbi Shimon's school survived for many years, during which minor additions were made to the Zoharic literature.  For over a thousand years, this body of literature consisted of volumes of notes, restricted to a very small secret society.  With the final disbandment of this society, the manuscripts were hidden in a vault, and were not uncovered until the Thirteenth Century.  They finally came to the hands of Rabbi Moshe de Leon, one of the most prominent Kabbalists of that time, and he finally edited and published them in the 1290's.  Enough was known of the Zoharic literature by the Kabbalists of that generation to recognize it as being authentic, and it was accepted by them with virtually no controversy.
There has always been some question as to the authenticity of the Zohar, especially among secular historians and opponents of the Kabbalah.  Some even claim that Rabbi Moshe de Leon was its actual author.  The main basis of this allegation is an account by another prominent Kabbalist of the time, Rabbi Isaac of Acco.  He writes that he went to visit Rabbi Moshe to see the original manuscripts of the Zohar, but by the time he arrived, he found that Rabbi Moshe had passed away.  He was informed that the manuscripts had never existed, and that Rabbi Moshe himself was the actual author of the Zohar.  It is upon this account that most of the speculation regarding medieval authorship of the Zohar is based.
There are, however, strong questions regarding the veracity of the story told to Rabbi Isaac.  It is well known that the ignorant often destroyed manuscripts, or on occasion, sold them so that the parchment could be used.  It is quite possible that the wife did this, and then embarrassed at not having them, claimed that they never existed.  What is most important, however, is the fact that Rabbi Isaac of Acco investigated the matter, determined to ascertain the truth.  Although the exact results of his investigation are not known, it is obvious that he eventually accepted the authenticity of the Zohar"—Meditation and Kabbalah pp. 28-29

Quoting the Zohar, Rabbi Isaac of Acco wrote:  M&K p.149
These are the words of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, and it is forbidden to depart from them.  They are the living words of God ... sweeter than honey.
Also in Otzar Chaim:
Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai clearly realized that the supernal spiritual Forces are very jealous of those who engage in the Workings of Creation, which is natural wisdom, and in the Workings of the Merkavah, which is divine wisdom.  Together with his son Rabbi Eliezer and the ten sages who were with them in the cave (!) he therefore wrote the Zohar in Aramai rather than in Hebrew [since these forces do not understand Aramaic"]

5.4.3 Job atoning for the world


Text 5-16: Soncino Zohar, Bemidbar, Section 3, Page 23la
R. Judah said: ‘Pray tell us some of your fine ideas on the New Year.’ R. Simeon thereupon discoursed on the verse: “And it fell on a day, and the sons of God came”, etc. (Job I, 6). ‘The expression, “And it fell on a day”,’ he said, ‘always refers to a day on which there is trouble, here, the New Year. The “sons of God” are the great Beth Din, the seventy Chieftains who always surround the King. “To stand before the Lord”: this indicates that sentence is first passed on those who do not heed the honor of the Holy Name to save it from being profaned in the world. The ancient pillars of the world were divided in opinion in regard to Job, some holding that he was of the saints of the Gentiles, and some that he was of the saints of Israel, and that he was smitten to make atonement for the sins of the world. On that day of New Year seventy seats are set for hearing the judgment of the world, some inclining to the right to acquit and some to the left to condemn.

From the Zohar we see that G-d can turn a person’s suffering into atonement for others and without death.
Specifically, Zohar III 231a, comments on Job as a living atonement: 
 
“The early pillars of the world were divided.
 One maintained that Job belonged to the righteous Gentiles.
 Another said that he was one of the pious of Israel
 and he suffered in order to atone for the sins of the world.”
 
While this theology is not directly stated in the Tanach, God’s mercy for the sufferer to find meaning in his/her suffering is an explanation.  This explanation cannot apply to Christianity because Christianity’s focus is that Jesus had to die for the sins of humanity while here G-d acquiesces to the sufferer for the sufferer’s sake and not humanity.   There is no requirement of death/sacrifice/blood letting and yet there is atonement!
 
But is the Zohar really authentic to the Torah here.  Self-sacrifice/vicarious atonement seems to be struck down in the Torah.  In the major case of Moses, G-d did not accept a similar offer:  (Exodus 32)
 
31. And Moses returned to the Lord, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.
32. Yet now, if you will forgive their sin; and if not, blot me, I beg you, from your book, which you have written.
33. And the Lord said to Moses, Whoever has sinned against me, him will I blot from my book.
34. Therefore now go, lead the people to the place about which I have spoken to you; behold, my Angel shall go before you; nevertheless in the day when I punish I will punish their sin upon them.
35. And the Lord plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.
 
The Torah in numerous places does not allow vicarious atonement, even when Moses offers to be blotted or punished in the place of the people!  Moreover the Christian idea that we are all sinners needing grace is pushed aside here as G-d can see the true station of everyone and the relative significance of sin, “Whoever has sinned against me, him will I blot from my book.”  G-d is not referring to everyone here.
 
As for Isaiah 53 these passages are not about self-sacrifice, but one who suffered while being taken into captivity for the sins of the whole nation though he was innocent.  Isaiah 53 is more about inspiring the guilty to repentance – Tshuvah by seeing the suffering of the innocent!  This is also the Holocaust effect that led to the creation of the State of Israel.  The Jews have been the suffering servant of the world on too numerous an occasion.
 
Nevertheless, returning to the singular account in the Zohar of Job atoning for the world, a few mystics and Hasidic groups adopted the principle of vicarious atonement through suffering.  Suffering is another form of living atonement.
 
Returning to the subject of messiah, I recall:  Isaiah 45, which shows the relationship between the prophet and the messiah.  Before the messiah can be recognized, there must be a prophet to announce him.
 
Thus says the Lord to His Messiah to Coresh (Cyrus) whose right hand I have strengthened.
to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him doors and gates;
and the gates shall not be closed;  I will go before you, and make the hilly places level;
I will break in pieces the gates of bronze, and cut in sunder the bars of iron;
And I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places,
that you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel.
For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel my elect, I have called you by your name;
I have surnamed you, though you have not known me.
I am the Lord, and there is no one else, there is no God beside me;
I girded you, though you have not known me;
That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me.
I am the Lord, and there is no one else.
I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I the Lord do all these things.
 Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness; let the earth open,
and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up also; I, the Lord, have created it.
Woe to him who strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth.
Shall the clay say to him who fashions it, What do you make? or your work, He has no hands?
Woe to him who says to his father, What are you begetting? or to the woman, With what are you in labor?
Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons,
and concerning the work of my hands command me.
I have made the earth, and created man upon it; I, my own hands, have stretched out the heavens,
 and all their host have I commanded.
I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways; he shall build my city,
and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, says the Lord of hosts.
Thus says the Lord, The labor of Egypt, and the merchandise of Kush and of the Sebaim, men of stature,
 shall come over to you, and they shall be yours; they shall come after you; in chains they shall come over,
 and they shall fall down to you, they shall make supplication to you, saying, surely God is in you;  
and there is no one else zero gods – ואין עוד אפס אלהים.
Truly you are a God who hides yourself, O God of Israel, who saves them.
They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them;
they shall go to confusion together those who are makers of idols.
But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation;
you shall not be ashamed nor confounded to all eternity.
For thus says the Lord who created the heavens; God himself who formed the earth and made it;
he has established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited;
I am the Lord; and there is no one else.
I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I do not say to the seed of Jacob,
Seek me in vain; I, the Lord, speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.
Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, you of the nations who have escaped;
they have no knowledge those who carry the wood of their carved idols,
and pray to a god who cannot save.
Declare, and bring them near; yes, let them take counsel together;
Who has declared this from ancient time? Who has told it from that time? Did not I the Lord?
And there is no other God beside me; a just God and a savior; there is none beside me.
Look to me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no one else.
I have sworn by myself, a word of righteousness is gone out of my mouth, and shall not be reversed,
That to me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
Surely, he said to me, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength; to him shall men come;
and all who are incensed against him shall be ashamed.
In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.
 
G-d is our savior, our only True savior.  If he should send Cyrus to help the Israelites return to Israel, this does not make Cyrus a deity to be worshipped, although some made this error as Isaiah points out above in the boldface.  Is this not the error that Christians make, compounded by misunderstanding the word ‘moshia’?  Savior in Hebrew is ‘moshia’, which refers to being saved from physical oppression.  Hebrew doesn’t really have a word for salvation, because in the Torah salvation is not by grace, but by hard work and responsibility.  This is not to say that G-d isn’t merciful, but one makes an effort to change to be better.
 
The messiah’s role is quite different then G-d’s.  A messiah enables the Israelites to return to their homeland, to rebuild the temple, to keep all the commandments, and to worship G-d.  Some Jewish groups are very messiah centric.   I believe there is some merit here if folks don’t become ethnocentric requiring a messiah come from their own brand of Judaism, their own yeshiva, or their own dynasty.   
 
This is the great point of Isaiah who showed us how the messiah could even come from another people, but that we should be ready to follow his proclamations.

5.4.4 Bread of Healing

The Zohar holds a secret to healing that is related to the month of Nissan and Passover:

There are two types of matza. One, called the "bread of affliction", (or the "food of faith", by the Zohar), is from the verse (exodus 12:18) enjoining us to eat matza on the first night of Pesach. The other, called the "bread of abundance" ("food of healing", by the Zohar) is from the verse (Deut 16:3) commanding us to eat matza during the entire week of Pesach.[764]

Text 5-17: Zohar 157a: Bread of Affliction
R. Hiya then opened with the verse: In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening, ye shall eat unleavened bread (Ex. XII, 18). ‘This unleavened bread’, he said, ‘is called in another place “bread of affliction” (Deut. XVI, 3), an expression on which the companions have commented as follows. When Israel were in Egypt they were under an alien power; and when God desired to bring them near unto Himself, He assigned them the region of the bread of ’oni (affliction), the term ’oni admitting also of the reading ’ani (poor), and thus pointing to King David, who said of himself: “for I am poor (’ani) and needy” (Ps. LXXXVI, 1). Now this bread of affliction is called mazzah (unleavened bread), symbolic of the female principle, which without the male principle is, so to speak, in poverty. Thus Israel were first brought near the grade symbolised by mazzah. But afterwards God caused them to enter other grades, until the male principle joined the female principle, and so mazzah received the addition of the letter vau, symbolic of the male principle, and became converted into mizvah (command, precept). So Scripture says: “For this commandment” (Deut. XXX, 7): first mazzah (unleavened bread), then mizvah (commandment).’

Text 5-18: Zohar 183b: Bread of Healing
‘Now one has to consider: On the Passover the Israelites emerged from their subsistence on the [spiritual] bread called “leaven” to be nourished by the more honourable bread called Mazzah (unleavened). Now, when the Israelites were worthy (on the Day of Pentecost) to eat a more excellent bread, would it not have been more appropriate that the “leaven” should have been abolished altogether and not been in evidence at all? Why, then, was that sacrifice based chiefly on leavened bread, as it is written: “They (the two loaves) shall be baked with leaven” (Lev. XXIII, I7)? Moreover, on that day (Pentecost) the “evil inclination” (leaven) came to naught, and the Torah, called “Freedom”, was then given. We may, however, explain by the following parable. A king had an only son who fell seriously ill. After a time the prince expressed a desire to eat, but he was forbidden to eat any food other than that prescribed by the physicians, and orders were given that for the set term of that diet no other viands should be found in the palace. All was carried out accordingly. But when the prince was come to the end of the period of his special diet the ban was lifted, and it was intimated that now he was free to eat whatsoever he fancied, since it would not harm him. Similarly, when the Israelites came out from Egypt they knew not the essence and mystery of the Faith. Said the Holy One: “Let them taste only the medicinal food, and before they have finished it be shown no other food soever.” But when the mazzoth were finished, which was the medicine by means of which they were to enter and to comprehend the mystery of the Faith, then the Holy One proclaimed: “From now on they may see and eat leavened bread, because it cannot harm them”- especially on the Day of Pentecost, when the supernal bread, which is a cure of all ills, was prepared for them. Therefore leaven was offered to be burnt on the altar, [Tr. note: According to the Talmud, the two loaves of leaven were to be eaten by the priests.] and two other loaves were offered with it, and the leaven was burnt by the fire of the altar, and it could not reign over and do harm to Israel. Therefore holy Israel cleaves to the Holy One, blessed be He, on this day (Pentecost), and if the Israelites had but preserved the two sides (symbols) of the two loaves they would never have been subjected to chastisement.

‘New Year's Day is a day of judgment for those who have not accepted the healing food, and have neglected the “medicine” of the Torah for the sake of another food, which is leaven. For on this day that “leaven” ascends and accuses mankind and speaks evil against all whom it can malign in any wise. And at that time the Holy One, blessed be He, sits in judgment over all and pronounces His decrees in regard to all the spheres. Therefore, when He gave the Torah to Israel He gave them to taste of that supernal bread of the celestial realm, namely, the manna, by means of which they were enabled to perceive and penetrate into the mysteries of the Torah and to walk in the straight path. However, this subject has been elucidated by the Companions, in connection with the mysteries to which we have already referred.’


After consuming the bread of faith, one partakes of the bread of healing. The cessation of eating breads and raw sugar is beneficial as well preventing celiac disease.

5.4.5 Reincarnation

The Zohar discusses reincarnation with an absolute conviction.

All souls are subject to reincarnation; and people do not know the ways of the Holy One, blessed be He! They do not know that they are brought before the tribunal both before they enter into this world and after they leave it; they are ignorant of the many reincarnations and secret works which they have to undergo, and of the number of naked souls, and how many naked spirits roam about in the other world without being able to enter within the veil of the King's Palace. Men do not know how the souls revolve like a stone that is thrown from a sling. But the time is at hand when these mysteries will be disclosed. (Zohar II 99b)

5.4.6 Zohar Prolog

There are a few good resources here.[765] Probably Daniel Matt’s translation and commentary is best. The B’nai Baruch translation online is very authentic. Berg’s translation includes source texts. Here is the B’nai Baruch translation and my modified version:

Text 5-19: Zohar beginning
1. Rabbi Chizkiyah opened by saying, “It is written, as the rose amongst the thorns”. What is the rose? It is the Community of Israel. Because there is a rose; and there is a rose. Just as the rose among the thorns is tinged with red and white, so is the Community of Israel is affected by the qualities of judgment and mercy. Just as the rose has thirteen petals, so the Community of Israel is surrounded by the thirteen attributes of mercy. However, Elokim thought here to reveal 13 words that surround the Community of Israel and guard it.

2. After this, in order to bring out the five rigid leaves that surround the rose, it is mentioned another time in the passage. These five mean salvation. These are 5 gates. And this secret is written about, “I will raise the cup of salvation.” This is the ‘cup of benediction.’ The cup of benediction must rest on five fingers, and no more, just as the rose rests on five rigid leaves that represent the five fingers. This rose is the cup of benediction. From the second to the third mention of the name Elokim, there are five words. From this point the Light was created and concealed and enclosed within that covenant that entered the rose and fructified it. This is referred to as a tree bearing fruit whose seed is within it and this seed really exists in the letter of the covenant.

3. And just as the covenant is sown by forty-two conceptions from that same seed, so is the holy name of the creation sown.

Text 5-20: Commentary on the Zohar first page of the prologue with source texts
Rabbi Hizkiah opened, it is written, “Like a rose amongst the thorns”. From where is the rose?

Song of Songs 2:1-4
1. I am the lily of Sharon, a rose of the valleys.
2. Like a rose amongst thorns, so is my beloved amongst the maidens – בנות.
3. Like the apple tree in the forest so is my friend amongst young men – בנים, I sat down in his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
4. He brought me to the banqueting – היין house, and his banner – ודגלו over me was love.

This is the assembly of Israel. Because there is a rose (physical) and there is a rose (Israel). As this rose is between thorns, the other is between red and white. So the community of Israel is between judgment and mercy. Just as the rose is between thorns, this is to be between red and white, so is the community of Israel between judgment and mercy. Just as a rose has 13 תליסר petals עלין, also – אוף the community of Israel has 13 attributes מכילין of mercy that are protecting (like a magic amulet)[766]דסחרין her from all – מכל harm (the other side – sitrahah – סטרהא).

Adonay, Adonay, El Rahum vHanoon, Erech Apayim vRav Hesed vEmet, Notzar Hesed Lalaphim, Notzar Avon vPesha vHataah vNakei – G-d, G-d, the Merciful and Gracious, Long Faced and abundant in Kindness and Truth, extending kindness to the thousands, reaching for sin and transgression and error and cleansing.

Exodus 34:2-8
2. And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning to mount Sinai, and present yourself there to me in the top of the mount.
3. And no man shall come up with you, nor let any man be seen throughout all the mount; nor let the flocks nor herds feed before that mount.
4. And he cut two tablets of stone like to the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up to Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tablets of stone.
5. And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord.
6. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
7. Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin and cleansing, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, to the third and to the fourth generation.
8. And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.

Also – אוף , from Elohim until – משעתא (meanwhile, sha’a - hour) are 13 words that surround the community of Israel and guard her.[767]

After this, in order to bring out the five rigid leaves that surround the rose, it is mentioned another time in the passage. The principle of five is the essence of salvation and the principle of five ‘shielding gates’ – תרעין.[768] And this secret is written about, “I will raise the cup of salvation.” This is the ‘cup of blessing.’ The cup of blessing must rest on five fingers, and no more, just as the rose rests on five rigid leaves that represent the five fingers.[769] This rose is the cup of blessing. From the second to the third mention of the name Elohim, there are five words.[770] From this point, the Light was created and concealed and enclosed within that covenant that entered the rose and fructified it. This is referred to as a tree bearing fruit whose seed is within it and this seed really exists in the letter of the covenant.

And exactly – דדיוקנא like – כמה the covenant is sown – אזדרע with forty-two copulations for this one seed, so is sown the revealed and expounded Name with forty-two letters about the working of Creation.

The right hand blesses, the left takes and restrains. Hence there are five gates of salvation or blessing referring to the shefa or bounty from the five sefirot that lean to the right. Salvation refers to G-d’s protection, a physical salvation from harm. This is why they are rigid leaves protecting the flower.[771] The Hebrew word ‘sha-ar’ – gate denotes the stronghold of protection in this case as opposed to an entryway.

There are 13 and 5 and 5 and 5 words between the usages of Elohim at the beginning of Genesis. The first 13 allude to the Thirteen Attributes of G-d’s mercy that reside at the supernal Root of the Tree of Life. The first 5 words allude to the male leaning Sefirot. The second 5 words allude to the female leaning Sefirot of the Tree of Life. At the end of the Second Five is the creation of light and the seed that is the placement of the Torah in the center of the Rose, which is the community of Israel.

Text 5-21: 42 intercourses into the rose for one seed
There are 42 intercourses – emissions of light into the rose for one seed, the covenant of Torah to be born. The forty-two letters divide into 7 groups of 6 letters describing the creative forces on each day of creation including the seventh when Rest was created.[772] Hence, the seed parallels the Name of G-d and the forty-two acts of intercourse are the forty-two composing letters.

5.5 Shaarei Teshuvah

Rabbeinu Yonah of Gerona is the author of Shaarei Teshuvah – שערי תשובה, the Gates of Repentance:

XXVIII. The penitent is further obliged to humble himself and to undertake to conduct himself in the manner prescribed by our Sages of blessed memory: “And be lowly of spirit before all men” (Avoth 4:10 Rabbi Levitas Ish Yavne). So doing, he will not be angered by his neighbors nor take offense at them; nor will he take to heart all the things that he hears, overlooking injustices against himself in order to atone for his transgressions, as Hazal have said, “If one overlooks injustices against himself, all of his sins will be forgiven” (Rosh Hashanah 17a), G-d’s relationship with him corresponding to his relationship with others. This concept constitutes a highly significant opening for hope, as it is said, “Let him put his mouth in the dust; perhaps there may be hope. Let him give his cheek to him that smiteth him; let him be satiated with shame” (Lamentations 3:29).[773]

5.6 Tomar Devorah [TABLES]

5.6.1 Introduction

Moshe Cordovero, the author of “The Palm Tree of Devorah,” provides training on improving one’s midos – character traits by learning to behave in the image of G-d. In summary, the book presents the following associations:[774]

Table 5-3: Mastering the Midos According to the Palm Tree of Devorah
Sefirot
Midos
Keter
crown,
infinite mercy

(The eight good qualities under the banner of humility —›
These parallel the head in the following features:
  1. Head
  2. Mind
  3. Forehead
  4. Ears
  5. Eyes
  6. Nose
  7. Face
  8. Mouth)
  1. A person must be humble. Humility derives from Keter. Keter is associated with the human head.
  2. The wisdom (Hochmah) of Keter is to think good thoughts and to hold to a path of compassion.
  3. A person’s forehead should have no harshness. Even though certain people may arouse anger, one should conciliate them and placate them with good will for this is what G-d does. One should behave with pleasantness towards all creatures, for a harsh person is repaid in kind.
  4. A person’s ears should always turn to hear good, while falsehood or despicable things should be denied entry. Just as we expect Hashem to hear our good reports, we should behave in the same manner with our fellow.
  5. A person’s eyes should not gaze at anything despicable. Rather, one’s eyes should watch over unfortunates and display compassion. One should distance oneself from noticing evil just as we hope that Hashem sees mostly our good.
  6. The nose should never hold the breath of anger. Rather it should contain the breath of life, good will, and patience, even toward those who are unworthy. One should always exhale forgiveness of sin and pardon of iniquity.
  7. A person’s face should always shine and one should receive all people with a cheerful countenance. All who gaze upon it should find joy and cheerfulness. “Like in water one’s face is reflected back, also the heart of a man is to a man” – Proverbs 27:19.
  8. The mouth should express only good and the content of his words should be Torah and constant good will. No ugly words, curses, anger, frivolous talk should escape it. Rather, it should resemble the supernal ‘Mouth,’ which is uttering good at all times. Thus, one must speak well of everything, expressing benevolence and blessings constantly.

Hochmah
wisdom

First, a person should commune with G-d in solitude in order to perfect his wisdom. Second a person should teach others what he has learned. A person should act as a father to all creatures showing mercy and helping them.
Binah
understanding
Repentance and return to G-d. “Calling repentance to mind all the days of his life causes binah -understanding to illuminate all his days, the result being that all his days are spent in repentance. That is, he merges himself with binah, which is repentance, so that all the days of his life are crowned with the secret of the higher level of repentance.”[775]
Hesed
kindness
Love of G-d, which leads to love of people who are in the image of G-d. Practice Nachum Ish Gamzu’s saying, “this too is for the good.”
Gevurah
might,
power,
severity
Buying clothes and providing a house for one’s wife is the proper expression of might and power, sweetening severity. The desires of the Yetzer Hara, bad inclination, are intended for satisfaction of the wife by providing her with clothes, a house, and physical satisfaction. Afterwards one has brought gevurah to a good use and satisfied the Yetzer Tov, good inclination. The fine clothes and house model after the Temple. The satisfied wife brings the Shechinah, the divine presence of G-d into the home.
Tiferets
beauty,
truth
Obtained by studying Torah. This grants an understanding of the truth and provides a countenance of beauty. “One who teaches the Torah is on the level of Tiferets. When a man sits and learns for this purpose, Tiferets flows into Netzach and Hod and he actually attains their level.”[776]
Netzah
victory,
eternity
Encourage students of Torah. Scripture comes from the right and associates with Netzah.
Netzah and Hod are called ‘those who adhere to it and support it.’
Hod
gratitude
Financially assist and physically help students of Torah. Mishnah comes from the left and associates with hod. Talmud includes both Scripture and Mishnah.
Yesod
righteousness
Be careful in speech. Avoid anger.
ECC 5:6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should G-d be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?
Malchuts
kingship
Apply ones wealth for the sake of Heaven. Behave humbly.


Moshe Cordovero revealed that each sefira has a leaning. Even the sefirot along the central trunk lean to either the left or the right and this leaning can be corrected. Cordovero teaches that we must strive to bring all the sefirot to lean to the right side.[777]

Table 5-4: Sefirot Leanings
Sefira
Leaning
Keter
Right
Hochmah
Right
Binah
Left
Hesed
Right
Gevurah
Left
Tiferet
Right
Netzah
Right
Hod
Left
Yesod
Left
Malchut
Left

Sefirot that lean to the left have emotions easily applied in negative, destructive manners. It is our duty to find the positive in these sefirot and harness the emotions in service to Hashem. Moshe Cordovero describes this process:

5.6.2 Binah

The chapter begins:

Text 5-22: Cordovero on Binah and Repentance
How does man train himself in the quality of binah – understanding. He returns in complete repentance, for there is nothing like her, because she repairs all flaws – פגם. And just as binah sweetens all severities and neutralizes their bitterness, one should repent and rectify all flaws. A person who calls repentance to mind all the days of this life causes binah to illuminate all his days, the result being that all his days are spent in repentance. That is, he merges himself with binah, which is repentance, so that all the days of his life are crowned with the secret of the higher level of repentance.

Note that all existence is rooted in repentance, according to the secret of the Jubilee. In addition, the root of the external forces — expounded in the mystical teachings as the secret of the River Dinur — is also rooted therein and flows therefrom. (However, the River Dinur itself is included in Holiness, according to the mystical teachings regarding the severities.) This is called ‘the outflow of Divine Anger.’ But by means of the mystical teaching regarding the verse, “G-d smelled the pleasing scent of the sacrifices...” (Gen8:21), that ‘outflow’ returns to its source, the severities become sweetened, the anger ceases, and “G-d refrains from the evil...” (Ex32:14). Likewise, by means of the mystery of repentance, say that repentance benefits only the aspects of holiness in man. For his evil aspects are rectified as well, just as the severities are sweetened by this attribute.

Know that Kayin himself was evil, and he derived from evil, yet he was told, “If you do good, will you not be uplifted...?” (Genesis 4:7), meaning, “Do not think that, because you derive from evil, you have no hope. This is false. For ‘if you do good,’ anchoring yourself firmly in the good implanted there, via the root of your soul, and do yourself good.” For everything bitter has a sweet Supernal root, as the mystical teachings explain. Thus, a person’s evil actions may be turned into good, and his deliberate transgressions may be turned into merits. For when one returns in complete repentance, these selfsame evil deeds from the ‘Left Side,’ which were accusers enter the higher worlds and become rooted in holiness there, transforming themselves into good rather than becoming nullified. This is what G-d told Kayin regarding his own self-betterment.

Thus, had Kayin repented, thereby becoming rectified, then the state of Adam’s sin—in which Kayin was conceived (the name Kayin deriving from the phrase "kina demisavuta", meaning ‘contaminated nest’)—would have been to his credit, according to the mystical interpretation of the concept of ‘the Son brings Merit to His Father.’ However, Kayin did not desire to repent, and therefore the entire Left Side derives from there, but all its branches will eventually become sweetened, returning to perfection. The reason for this is exactly as we have explained—a person who caused evil to become rooted in himself can sweeten it and restore it to good.

Therefore, when a person purifies his evil inclination and transforms it into good, it becomes rooted in holiness. This is the elevated level of repentance that a person who wishes to conduct himself in this manner should contemplate every day, and he should also repent in some way, so that all his days will be spent in repentance.[778]

Understanding is symbolized by motherhood here. A mother corrects her child, sweetens the judgment, nullifies the bitterness, and helps the child fix any flaws.

5.6.3 Hesed

Cordovero explains that hesed can only be achieved by placing the love of God before all other loves:

Text 5-23: Cordovero on Kindness and the Love of God
How should a person train himself in the attribute of hesed (kindness)? The main way to enter into the secret of hesed is to love G-d so absolutely that one will never forsake His service for any reason; for, compared with the love of God, Blessed Be He, no other love has any worth. Therefore, he should first attend to the requirements of his Divine service; then, the remainder of his time may be used for other needs.[779]

The wants of ones family may distract from an opportunity for hesed. Combine hesed with the family activity and all will be blessed from Hashem. Plan a kindness activity with ones spouse and carry it out with the whole family involved.

Difficult events are also for the good.[780] This is a binding of malchuts to hesed. Cordovero presents eight principles of mastering hesed. As they are between man and man they are between man and G-d. A person who loves G-d loves man.

Text 5-24: Love thy Neighbor
One who loves man greatly loves G-d truly.

Table 5-5: Hesed for G-d
Principle/Binding
Leaning
One
Tiferets and Binah
Providing the necessities of a child’s sustenance from birth. This is the birth of Tiferet from Binah. An easy birth leans the child to the right and Tiferet leans to the right. A rigorous birth leans Tiferet to the left descent of Binah.
Two
Yesod
Circumcising the child. “One should pursue all those who cause the foreskin to grow on Yesod, bringing them back in repentance in such a way that, by circumcising the foreskins of their hearts, he renders the Supernal Tzaddik (G-d’s reflection to us) without a foreskin.
Three
Malchuts and Tiferet
Visiting the sick and healing them. The Shechinah is lovesick with desire for Tiferets. Tiferets in the world to come is lovesick for Malchuts, the Shechinah in this world. As one treats ill people well one must also treat Malchuts and Tiferets well being saddened by their isolation from each other. Tzedakah, tikkun, holiness, blessings, Torah practice and study heal the union of Malchuts and Tiferets above.
Four
Binah and Tiferet
Malchuts and Yesod
Malchuts and Tiferet
Giving charity to the poor. The צדקה for G-d is to say amen 90 times a day, the Kedushah 4 times a day, 100 blessings a day, and to read from the 5 books of Torah each day.[781] For Tiferets we must draw down from Binah a supernal sheaf for it says, “we must leave them for the poor and the stranger”, and Tiferet is as stranger to Malchut below. For Malchuts, we should draw down tzedakah (maser ani – the tithe to the poor) from Tiferets and this is given to Yesod, who is called poor, which raises Malchut. If one binds Malchut to Tiferet, he gives the tithe to the stranger.
Five
Tiferets and Malchuts
Yesod and Malchuts
Offering hospitality to strangers. This is to give Tiferet and Yesod a guest house to rest which is Malchuts. For Tiferets and Yesod are in exile. They are searching for what they have lost, the Shechinah. Fixing times for Torah study unifies Tiferets and Malchuts.
Six
Keter and Malchuts-Hesed
Attending to the dead. Clothing the dead in white is cleansing the body of sin which elevates the sefirot one by one, limb by limb raising them to the level of Eden on high which is Hochmah of keter. The upper Eden is in tiferets so Cordovero is referring to even higher aspect of Eden. This is a mitzvah of faith.
Seven
Right. Making peace between peers from Hochmah to Binah, from Hesed to Gevurah, or from Netzah to Hod.
Eight
Left. Similarly making peace between peers from Binah to Hochmah, from Gevurah to Hesed, or from Hod to Netzah.


I am certain that all of the sefirot really exist for the sake of Malchuts (reuniting the Shechinah) and Binah (repentance). In the same way man exists for the sake of women.[782]

5.6.4 Malchut


Traveling leads to becoming a “vehicle for the exiled Shechinah.”[783]

Text 5-25: Cordovero on Being a Vehicle for the Shechinah
A man should exile himself, wandering from place to place for the sake of Heaven, thereby becoming a vehicle for the exiled Shechinah. He should think to himself: “Behold, I am in exile, but I have all my implements with me. But what about the honor of the Supreme One, for the Shechinah is exiled without any implements, for they have gotten lost as a result of the exile?” For this reason, he should manage with as little as possible – as the verse states: “make yourself implements for exile (Yechezkel 12:3) – and let the exile humble his heart, while he binds himself to Torah. Then the Shechinah will be with him.

He should also impose an ‘expulsion order’ upon himself, always banishing himself from the comforts of home, just as Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his comrades banished themselves to toil in Torah. Better still, he should weary his legs by trudging from place to place without horse or wagon. Concerning such a person, it is stated: “...his hope shevaro – שברו is with the Lord, his G-d” (Psalm 146:5), deriving from the word shevar – שבר, meaning ‘breaking,’ for he breaks his body for the honor of the Supreme One. [784]

5.7 Shaarey Orah*

The ‘Gates of Light’ by Joseph Gikatilla, is monumental for showing the source passages in the Torah for the principle ideas of Kabbalah. These source passages are also fundamental to Midrashic understanding, since the Midrash includes kabbalah.[785]

Text 5-26: Shaarey Orah on Kol (all)
Sometimes the tenth attribute which is AdoNaY is known as KoL in the name of this quality, hence by virtue of this understanding the essential meaning of the verse:

I am the Lord, who made Kol who alone stretched out the heavens. (Isaiah 44:24)

For with the force of this attribute the heavens and earth were created as well as all the hosts of heaven and down below. The essence of this is contained in the verse:

vayeKhuLu (And He finished...) the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 2:1)

The essence of vayeKhuLu is the root KoL. Here is the grand design of this essential understanding: the ShaBaT is the essence of KoL and it contains the two attributes, which are the essence of ShaMoR and ZaCHoR and that is the essence of “vayeKhuLu (And He finished) the heavens and the earth, vayeKhaL (and he finished) ELoHIM on the seventh day.” These three forefathers inherited this attribute, KoL, which contains the essence ZaCHoR and ShaMoR (remember and protect):


Table 5-6: Three Fathers and the Daughter
Fathers
Verse
In reference to Abraham it is written:
“And God blessed Abraham with KoL. (Gen 24:1)
Concerning Isaac, it is written:
“...that I ate from Kol.” (Gen 27:33)
Concerning Jacob, it is written:
(Tiferet)
“... for God has favored me and I have Kol.” (Gen 33:11)
Thus David wrote about them, peace be with him:
(Malchut)
“Thus KoL (all) of your precepts are KoL straight. (Psalm 119:128)

To understand these verses is parametric to understanding the daughter:

Text 5-27: Abraham—Genesis 24:1-4
1. And Abraham was old, and well advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.
2. And Abraham said to the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had, Put, I beg you, your hand under my thigh;
3. And I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live;
4. But you shall go to my country, and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.

From Abraham we learn that “all” is a daughter-in-law, a wife for his son. The ‘daughter’ quality manifests in the sefira of Malchut, also known as the daughter, feminine one – Nukvah, and the feminine presence of G-d – Shechinah. Abraham’s father quality derives from the energy of Hochmah, since Hesed is just below. In the stories of the Partzufim, the daughter energy often unites with the father on Shabbat.

Text 5-28: Isaac—Genesis 27:32-34
And Isaac his father said to him, “Who are you?” And he said, “I am your son, your firstborn Esau.” And Isaac trembled very much, and said, “Who then is he who hunted venison, and brought it to me, and I have eaten of all before you came, and have blessed him? Moreover, he shall be blessed.” And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and very bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me, me also, O my father.”
“All” is the food that Rebekah, daughter in law of Abraham prepared. All is a euphemism for Rebekah for “All” that Isaac had was because of Rebekah.

Text 5-29: Jacob—Genesis 33:8-11
And he said, “What do you mean by all this drove which I met?” And he said, “These are to find grace in the sight of my lord.” And Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have to yourself.” And Jacob said, “No, I beg you, if now I have found grace in your sight, then receive my present from my hand; for therefore I have seen your face, as though I had seen the face of God, and you were pleased with me. Take, I beg you, my blessing that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.” And he urged him, and he took it.

For Jacob, “all” is that which he needs to live and serve G-d—“all” is “enough”. Here there is an allusion to the Name, Shaddai (Sha – that is dai – enough), which holds back the shefa or sustenance of G-d just above Malchut.

Text 5-30: The House of Esau
Who is the daughter?
She makes peace between brothers.
She is all and nothing.
She is grace from heaven above, our only true blessing.

Where is the house of Esau? Where is he hidden?
Some say Rome, but I say in Israel, a dormant spirit who has not yet risen to his greatness.
He waits for Leah to cling to him and to rise as the righteous moshiach of his generation.
His emotions betray him, but his love is strong, his deeds are noble, his heart is gold.
Where is Esau? His sparks lie in the house of Israel waiting to lead us to overcome our enemies,
Waiting to lead us to overcome ourselves.

Text 5-31: David—Psalms 119:127-130
Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold.
Therefore all your precepts all are straight; and I hate every false way.
Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them.
The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

The Strength of the daughter’s energy comes from Truth that is Tiferet above. Here is the final secret of Kol, namely that all is of Truth.

Also see: Text 8-39: The Lord blessed Abraham with a daughter.

5.8 Apocrypha

The Apocrypha are a collection of post biblical books that contain numerous kabbalistic allusions, especially in the area of apocalyptic thought. Some of these ideas parallel those found in the Zohar such as the 6000 years of creation followed by the 1000 years of messianic bliss.

Nevertheless, the Masorites did not canonize the Apocrypha because the theology showed the influence of Greek and Persian influences to too great an extent. Some of them like the Book of Zerubabel created powers in the darkness where before stood only dark servants of Hashem.[786] Here, the Satan wages war against the Messiah. There is also discussion of the power of the Messianic mother vs. the Mother of Stone of the Satan’s child. Some of these books show the transition to Christian ideology. Some are written after the canonization of the New Testament.

The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs exhibits the pattern of seven angels, which may have been seven demigods in the Manichean system of Iran.[787]

5.9 Dead Sea Scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls are an earlier collection of post biblical and biblical writings. The messianic scrolls reveal the source of different messianic Jewish traditions.[788] The Essenes practiced a very ritualist life style that may have enabled their ecstatic experiences and visions.




[708] Perkei Avot 3:5
[709] Berachot 7b. Also Rabbi Aryeh Rosenfeld on Samuel 2:1-11B.
[710] Bahir 161, Kaplan, p.59.
[711] Harris Lenowitz’s class in Kabbalah, 10/15/2002.
[712] Exodus 15:26, which the Bahir quotes in Kaplan, 163 on p.61.
[713] University of Utah, Kabbalah, Professor Harris Lenowitz, 10/8/2002. Harris pointed out that the crown is thought in the following Bahir quote.
[714] Bahir 88, Kaplan trans.
[715] Sefer Yesira Edition, Translation and Text-Critical Commentary, A. Peter Hayman, 2004. Based on PhD research in Edingburgh from 1968 and newly published by Mohr Siebeck.
[716] See 5.2.3 Golem for a description of the creation of a calf and a man in the blue text.
[717] See 10.11 p. 315
[718] Talmud Yoma 76a
[719] A ‘log’ is a liquid unit measure of a small bottle probably the size of full cup or glass or the volume of six eggs of that time: loogah or logah - לוגא
[720] Psalm 23:5
[721] Master of a Familiar Spirit
[722] “Ventriloquist or necromancer” -- Soncino
[723] To produce sounds making it appear that the dead are speaking through them.
[724] Isaiah 59:2
[725] “Raba understands mabadilim in the sense of ‘draw a distinction’. But for their iniquities, their power would equal God's, and they could create a world.” --- Soncino
[726] The Soncino Talmud comments, “The Book of Creation, Heb. Sefer Yeziroh, is the title of two esoteric books. The older, referred to here, was a thaumaturgical work popular in the Talmudic period. It was also known as Hilkoth Yezirah (Laws of Creation), and is so called in the same story quoted on 67b. Rashi, there states that the creation was performed by means of mystic combinations of the Divine Name, which does not come under the ban of witchcraft. Its basic idea is that the Creation was accomplished by means of the power inherent in those letters (Cf. Rab's saying: ‘Bezalel knew how to combine the letters by which heaven and earth were created’. Ber. 55a. Cf. also Enoch LXI, 3 et seq.; Prayer of Manasseh: Ecc. R. III, 11 on the magic power of the letters of the Divine Name), and that this same power could be utilized in further creation. The work was ascribed to Abraham, which fact indicates an old tradition, and the possible antiquity of the book itself. It has affinities with Babylonian, Egyptian, and Hellenic mysticism and its origin has been placed in the second century B.C.E., when such a combination of influences might be expected. It is noteworthy that Raba's statement above, though not mentioning the Sefer Yezirah, insists on freedom from sin as a prerequisite of creation by man, v. J.E., XII, 602.”
[727] Golem, Moshe Idel, p.108.
[728] Isaac of Acco refers to himself as “the young” in manner places. This is like the phrase ‘son of man’, a phrase of humility. The kabbalist acknowledges how with all he knows, he is yet like a child. Similarly Metatron was called, ‘Na’ar’ which means youth by the other angels. Yet the young is superior in knowledge than the others around suggesting that sometimes a child knows more. As Isaiah says, “a child shall lead them”. [Isaiah 11:6-9]

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
and a little child shall lead them.

And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together:
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain:
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

[729] This is a kabbalistic technique whereby at higher levels an outer source (even if within the kabbalist’s mind) asks the question and the kabbalist prophesies the answer. At lower levels, the kabbalist asks questions and receives inspiration on the answers or an outer source answers them (within the kabbalist’s mind). See Meditation 2-2: Back to the Beginning on page 60.
[730] This is the acrostic for the four worlds: Atzulut Beriyah Yetzirah Asiyah.
[731] From the world of Beriyah
[732] From the world of Atzulut
[733] This is the great mystery of whether the golem is a magical entity or a meditative being.
[734] From the world of Yetzirah
[735] The intermediary world here, source of the animal and appetite soul, is Yetzirah, the World of Formation. Above this is the supernal world representing the intellect, Beriyah, the World of Creation. (Though Yetzirah is a lower world one ascends into it with meditation)
[736] An interesting deduction is that a created Beriyah soul would not perish with the death of the body. (Though Beriyah is a higher world, one descends into it with meditation)
[737] Kabbalah is the study of prophecy as well. Also Kabbalists inherit the prophetic tradition.
[738] This Aleph refers to Atzulut the highest world. They drew a soul down from the world of Atzulut by their own soul reaching to the apex that is the root of Beriyah that is the leaves of Atzulut.
[739] “Golem Jewish Magical Mystical Traditions on the Artificial Anthropoid”, Moshe Idel, p.110.
[740] Golem, Moshe Idel trans., p.110.
[741] Sanhedren 65b and see http://chaburas.org/magic.html
[742] Commentary from the Soncino Talmud
[743] Some magical tomes contain procedures involving different elements of earth to make a Golem.
[744] See Meditation 31-2: Meditation for the Deaf
[745] Acensions on High, Moshe Idel, 2005, pp.31-32.
[746] See Text 2-252: Zechariah 10
[747] Rabbi Aryeh Rosenfeld, Audio Gemara Baba Metziah 1 : 7th minute refers to Emet – Truth as the seal of G-d. See 7.19 Truth and the end of 26.4 Canaanite Religion.
[748] See Figure 5-3: Seven Planets and Earth to understand the correct order. Also an online version is available from http://www.yarzheit.org/antiquesefer/raziel.pdf also shown in Sepher Rezial Hemelach, The Book of the Angel Rezial, Steve Savedow, p. 107, Fig. 4. Also See Table 8-4: The Sevens of Creation and Sefer Yetzirah 4:3
[749] See Table 2-4: Seven Days of Creation
[750] See Table 5-1: Corrected order of the Seven Planets formed by the Seven Double Letters, Table 5-2: The Seven Garments of Atonement, Table 5-4: Sefirot Leanings, and Table 8-4: The Sevens of Creation.
[751] See Jastrow.
[752] See Table 2-4: Seven Days of Creation, Table 8-4: The Sevens of Creation, 5.2.4 The Seven Double Letters
[753] Genesis describes G-d walking in the Garden. Song of songs describes G-d as a young husband. Shiur Komah describes G-d in mystical terms like the Zohar.
[754] The Kabbalah Unveiled, The Book of Concealed Mystery, pages 67-69.
[755] In fact I am writing this text on Rosh Hodesh Adar Sheni which is also the Hebrew day of my birth.
[756] The Kabbalah Unveiled, The Idra Rabba Kaddisha, the Great Sanctified Idra, page 134.
[757] Ibid. page 69.
[758] The Palm Tree of Devorah, Chapter 1.
[759] Einat Talmon, Kibbutznik from Maale Hamisha, daughter of Sima Talmon, my cousin.
[760] Art Scroll Siddur, page 771.
[761] A body containing fish.
[762] The horn is the shofar calling our soul back to Hashem in the trembling that proceeds a complete tshuvah or return. The beast is the yetzer hara or evil inclination which is separated from our soul and slain by Hashem.
[763] The Anatomy of God The Book of Concealment, The Great Holy Assembly, and The Lesser Holy Assembly of the Zohar with The Assembly of the Tabernacle, trans. Roy A. Rosenberg, Ktav Publishing, New York, 1973.
[764] http://www.jerusalemconnection.org/monthlynews-nissan.php
[765] http://www.kabbalah.info/engkab/zohar/the_book_of_zohar/introduction.htm http://www.kabbalah.com/k/index.php/p=zohar/zohar http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/zdm/zdm002.htm
[766] Sahar – traveling about, commerce, ‘minding about’ is better based on Arabic meaning of ‘practicing magic’ or an ‘amulet’, but this is not really Hebrew, but how would ‘traveling about her from all harm’ make sense?
[767] Since Tohu vVohu are included in these 13 words, one would wonder how they could guard her? Instead they allude to the passage in Exodus 34:6-7.
[768] The right hand blesses, the left takes away or restrains. Hence there are five gates of salvation or blessing referring to the shefa or bounty from the five sefirot that lean to the right. Salvation refers to G-d’s protection, a physical salvation from harm. This is why they are rigid protecting the flower. There is no other concept in Torah about ‘Five Gates of Salvation’.
[769] These are the five fingers of the right hand that represent the five positive sefirot of the tzelem of Hashem, namely Keter Hochmah, Hesed, Tiferet, and Netzah. See Table 5-4: Sefirot Leanings
[770] These are the five sefirot leaning to the left side alluding to the feminine and the procreative source.
[771] Text 5-19 (2)
[772] See 10.10 The 42 Letter Name of God on p.315
[773] Gates of Repentance, Rabbeinu Yonah of Gerona, Feldheim, page 39.
[774] The Palm Tree of Devorah – Tomer Devorah, Moshe Cordovero, trans. Rabbi Moshe Miller, Targum Press, page 48.
[775] The Palm Tree of Devorah, Moshe Cordovero, Targum Press, Chapter 4, page 78.
[776] Ibid, page 118.
[777] Sefer Yetzirah, Aryeh Kaplan, p.34
[778] Ibid, pp. 78-82.
[779] The Palm Tree of Devorah, Moshe Cordovero, Targum Press, Chapter 5, page 84.
[780] Ibid, page 86.
[781] Tikkunim.
[782] see For Women – 31, 32, 70, 72, 124
[783] Hazal teach that one should remove oneself to a place of Torah learning. This teaches one to travel to live where there are more Jews involved in Torah.
[784] Palm Tree of Devorah, Moshe Cordovera.
[785] Gates of Light, Sha’are Orah, translated by Avi Weinstein, Sacred Literature Series, Harper Collins, pp. 101-102
[786] See 31.18 Sefer Zerubabel
[787] See 31.21 The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs p.315
[788] See 26.9 Essenes and the Dead Sea Scrolls

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