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.

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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

Receiving the Torah through faith

prayer in faith

prayer in faith

The light of the Torah is one. The vessels with which we receive the light of the Torah are called the garments of the Torah. However, to access the light of the Torah we need to add in the ingredient of faith. Faith that the Torah itself can bring us back to the good way.

From an article by Rabbi Baruch Shalom Halevi Ashlag from his Sefer HaMa’amarim

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(13 minutes)

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)

Rejecting the Light and Maintaining our connection with the Creator

 Click to listen to full podcast (about ten minutes)

Rejecting the Light;Maintaining our connection with the Creator

The Light is God’s bounty the Goodness of the One that the One wants to give all the created beings.It is dynamic, conscious, loving.  Why is it when the vessel for the light first receives it it rejects it according to Rabbi Ashlag, the Master Kabbalist. Do we reject light too? Why do we do that? Learn with Yedidah why initially rejecting the light is a positive step for the vessel and leads to something new. Click on audio link above

The eternal dance of the male and the female in Kabbalah

In the language of Kabbalah the male and the female represent the forces of giving and receiving; the dynamic dance beween the light and the vessel. In the union of opposites a new entity is formed, the possibility of receiving the light with the intention of giving. This represents the ultimate purpose of Creation. This dance is represented within each man and woman, between each other and in our relationship with the Divine. Rabbi Yehudah Lev Ashlag teaches us the spiritual roots of the entities in this world according to the language of the Kabbalah, the “language of the branches”

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