Sephirot: What are they?

The tree of life, the ten Sephirot

A depiction of the relationships between the ten Sephirot called the “Tree of Life”.

The first thing people think of when you mention the word Kabbalah to them is often a chart of the Tree of life, the ten Sephirot. But such charts are misleading.

They take an aspect of consciousness and represent it in a two-dimensional way on paper. Such a chart has the same relationship to the Sephirot as has  a line drawing of a boy  to the real living and breathing child it represents.

In this talk we will be examining the basic terms of the Kabbalah and looking at their real meaning. We will be learning where these consciousnesses first arise in the Ein Sof, the infinite, and how they are integral aspects of our consciousness in our everyday lives and interactions.

Podcast based on the teachings of the Ari, from the Etz Chayim and from the commentaries of Rabbi Yehudah Lev Ashlag’s Talmud Eser HaSephirot.

Listen now

With grateful thanks to Mia Sherwood Landau for the inspiration of this podcast; and to Avraham Lowenthal, for permission to reproduce his relational diagram of the ten Sephirot Tsfat Gallery of Mystical Art

Counting the Omer from the inside

Counting the Omer

Counting the Omer

In the external pattern of counting the days between Pesach and Shavuot there exists a rich inner reality. Each day pertains to a different Sephirah, a vessel for the light of God. How may we experience this richness?

Rabbi Ashlag the great commentator on the Zohar explains the inner meaning of these days and shows how the fulfillment of the mitzvah of counting the Omer provides the outer framework for inner work of building the vessels by working on ourselves and with which we may receive the light of the Torah on Shavuot.

Excerpt from the Zohar Tezaveh (Perush HaSulam 62-64)
Listen to podcast ( 14 minutes)

Coming Back to Ourselves

The term “Teshuvah” is often translated as repentance. However a more accurate translation is  “returning”.  The term Teshuvah is not only used by our Sages to describe a state of mind when we wish to repar some misdeed, but it is also also used to describe a higher state of spiritual consciousness than we had previously attained.  So the question we need to ask is, how is achieving a higher consciousness considered as a “return”?
Listen now (10 minutes)

Succot and the Clouds of Glory

The Zohar teaches us that three gifts were given to the Children of Israel when travelling through the wilderness. One of them was the clouds of glory which led them and protected them from the heat of the sun and hid them from unfriendly eyes. Their essence is the same as that of the succah. Listen to full talk

Two talks on Pesach: the four cups of wine and who knows One

Join Yedidah with two stimulating talks relating to the forthcoming festival of Pesach: Discover the inner meaning of the four cups of wine we drink and find out why the redemption had to be prefaced by the exile. It all boils down to the One…Find both talks on her homepage at
( each talk ten minutes )

Shema Yisrael: Declaring God’s Unity

The third root mitzvah that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai brings in the Zohar is that of declaring God’s unity in the six words that make up the Shema. This declaration of the unity of the Creator is the first thing we learn as little children and the last thing we say when we die. In the morning and in the evening, as the day begins and ends, we affirm with our words this fundamental unity. Why?

Life itself is not uniform. It seems chaotic. We experience all extremes from dreadful to tremendous. Yet we affirm the unity of the Creator and the underlying unity of the acts of the One. These six words transform our lives from meaningless into purposeful. 

Listen now to the whole talk (nine minutes)

Yirat HaShem 2-The beginning and the basis of our relationship with the Divine

Yirat HaShem, actually means the fear of doing anything that will cause me to become separated from the Divine. Both the Divine within and the Divine without. This is not a theoretical issue, but one which actually forms both the beginning, and the ongoing experience of the most important relationship we have. For full talk (ten minutes) listen here

Yirat Hashem, Kabbalah, Zohar, Sephirot
Staying in contact with the Divine