Tag Archives: Kabbalah

Kaballah {14} ~ Ten Sephirot As Process Of Ethics

Divine creation by means of the Ten Sephirot is an ethical process. They represent the different aspects of Morality. Loving-Kindness is a possible moral justification found in Chessed, and Gevurah is the Moral Justification of Justice and both are mediated by Mercy which is Rachamim. However, these pillars of morality become immoral once they become extremes. When Loving-Kindness becomes extreme it can lead to sexual depravity and lack of Justice to the wicked. When Justice becomes extreme, it can lead to torture and the Murder of innocents and unfair punishment.

“Righteous” humans (tzadikim) ascend these ethical qualities of the ten sephirot by doing righteous actions. If there were no righteous humans, the blessings of God would become completely hidden, and creation would cease to exist. While real human actions are the “Foundation” (Yesod) of this universe (Malchut), these actions must accompany the conscious intention of compassion. Compassionate actions are often impossible without faith (Emunah), meaning to trust that God always supports compassionate actions even when God seems hidden. Ultimately, it is necessary to show compassion toward oneself too in order to share compassion toward others. This “selfish” enjoyment of God’s blessings but only in order to empower oneself to assist others is an important aspect of “Restriction”, and is considered a kind of golden mean in kabbalah, corresponding to the sefirah of Adornment (Tiferet) being part of the “Middle Column”.

Moses ben Jacob Cordovero, wrote Tomer Devorah (Palm Tree of Deborah), in which he presents an ethical teaching of Judaism in the kabbalistic context of the ten sephirot. Tomer Devorah has become also a foundational Musar text.

Kaballah {11} ~ The Sefirot ~ The Ten Fundamental Essences Of Kaballah

A fundamental notion in Kabbalah is the belief that the world is created and sustained by ten channels (sefirot) of divine plenty. The sefirot are complex, each with many different meanings and gradation. Two of them, Keter and Da’at, are interchangeable depending on whether the sefirot are seen from God’s viewpoint or from the human perspective. The lower seven sefirot directly act on the world (while those sefirot above them are abstract aspects of consciousness) and they each have a biblical personality associated with them. These associations work in two ways: One can understand more about the biblical figures through the sefirot connected with them, and one can learn more about the nature of each sefirah when seeing its corresponding biblical figure.

  • Keter (crown): Keter is Divine Will and the source of all delight and pleasure. Keter contains all the powers that activate the soul.
  • Chochmah (wisdom): Chochmah is intuitive grasp and intuitive knowledge. It’s also that which distinguishes and creates.
  • Binah (understanding): Binah is the analytical and synthetic power of the mind. It’s the source of logical analysis.
  • Da’at (knowledge): Da’at is the accumulation of that which is known. It’s the abstract ascertaining of facts and the crystallization of awareness in terms of conclusions.
  • Chesed (loving kindness): Chesed is the irrepressible impulse to expand. It’s the source of love, the inclination toward things, and that which gives of itself. The biblical personality associated with Chesed is Abraham.
  • Gevurah (strength): Gevurah is restraint and concentration. It’s the inward withdrawal of forces and the energy source of hate, fear, terror, justice, restraint, and control. The biblical personality associated with Gevurah is Isaac.
  • Tiferet (beauty): Tiferet is harmony, truth, compassion, and beauty. It’s the balance of the powers of attraction and repulsion. The biblical personality associated with Tiferet is Jacob.
  • Netzach (victory): Netzach is the source of conquest and the capacity for overcoming. It’s the urge to get things done. The biblical personality associated with Netzach is Moses.
  • Hod (splendor): Hod is persistence or holding on. It’s the power to repudiate obstacles and to persevere; it’s also the source of humility. The biblical personality associated with Hod is Aaron.
  • Yesod (foundation): Yesod is the vehicle or the carrier from one thing or condition to another. It’s the power of connection and the capacity or will to build bridges, to make connections, and to relate to others. The biblical personality associated with Yesod is Joseph.
  • Malkhut (kingdom): Malkhut is sovereignty, rule, and the ultimate receptacle. It’s the realization of potential and the Divine Presence. The biblical personality associated with Malkhut is David

Kaballah {7} ~ The Ego/ False Sense Of Self, As The Source Of All Negative Emotions

“Kabbalist, deposits that there are three primary negative traits, which may be considered the ‘principal traits’ from which all further dissention occurs. They are: haughtiness, stubbornness, and anger, all of which claim origin in the same source, that is, the ego. Ego is the fountainhead from which all negativity stems. The core of all corruption is that false sense of self/ego, which lives in an incessant state of what it thinks will cause its survival.

It is the ego which give rise to all negative emotions. For example, when a person becomes angry, it is the ego’s way of showing its objection that it is not happy. The ego, when it feels it is threatened, is the one who protests: ‘how can you do this to me,’ which arouses the anger. The fear of annihilation is the constant condition with regards to the ego. Anger is but a manifestation of a persons preoccupation with his imaginary presumptions of survival. The total involvement with the illusory ‘self’ is the root of all negative emotions.

By overcoming this false sense of self, which stems from one’s false estimation of survival, one’s negative emotions is conquered. Through the study of the Kabbalah, we come to the realization that the false sense of self/ego is but a masquerade of our true and inner dynamics, our transcendent soul. The feeling tone we get when contemplating Kabbalah is that all that exists is Ein Sof. We ought to feel this on a cosmic level, and then understand it on our own level. Consequently, the illusion of separateness/ego, and as a result, the preservation of this mirage will slowly begin to fade, and with it will fade the negative emotions which is the ego’s manifestation.

In the place of seeing the ego as a real enemy who needs to be engaged in battle in order to be overcome, we begin to realize that there is nothing besides the Light, and everything else is simply a concealment of that truth. Such is the Kabbalistic approach for self-perfection. It does not deal with the negative head-on, nor does it deal with it at all. Rather it goes to the source of all problems, the I/ego, and by extension, the entire physical reality, and it demonstrates how, in fact, these seemingly independent realities are but a camouflage. By realizing this, our negativity is more easily overcome.”

Source ~ https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/170308/jewish/What-is-Kabbalah.htm

Kaballah {1} ~ What Is Kaballah? {1}

“Kabbalah (also spelled Kabalah, Cabala, Qabala)—sometimes translated as “mysticism” or “occult knowledge—is a part of Jewish tradition that deals with the essence of God. Whether it entails a sacred text, an experience, or the way things work, Kabbalists believe that God moves in mysterious ways. However, Kabbalists also believe that true knowledge and understanding of that inner, mysterious process is obtainable, and through that knowledge, the greatest intimacy with God can be attained.

The Zohar, a collection of written, mystical commentaries on the Torah, is considered to be the underpinning of Kabbalah.  Written in medieval Aramaic and medieval Hebrew, the Zohar is intended to guide Kabbalists in their spiritual journey, helping them attain the greater levels of connectedness with God that they desire. 

Kabbalistic thought often is considered Jewish mysticism.  Its practitioners tend to view the Creator and the Creation as a continuum, rather than as discrete entities, and they desire to experience intimacy with God.  This desire is especially intense because of the powerful mystical sense of kinship that Kabbalists believe exists between God and humanity. Within the soul of every individual is a hidden part of God that is wait­ing to be revealed. Even mystics who refuse to describe such a fusion of God and man so boldly, still find the whole of Creation suffused in divinity, breaking down distinctions between God and the universe. Thus, the Kabbalist Moses Cordovero writes, “The essence of divin­ity is found in every single thing, nothing but It exists….It exists in each existent.””

Source ~ https://reformjudaism.org/beliefs-practices/spirituality/what-kabbalah