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Title: The Kabbalah
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Autumn_Heather
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(Date Posted:01/08/2009 05:28 AM)
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The Kabbalah
Early Cosmogonic Speculation

(1) A Mystical System Rooted in Antiquity

Legendary Beginnings

"The Qabalah may be defined as being the esoteric Jewish doctrine. It is called in Hebrew QBLH, Qabalah, which is derived from the root QBL, Qibel, meaning 'to receive'. This appellation refers to the custom of handing down the esoteric tradition by oral transmission, and is nearly allied to 'tradition'."
"The Qabalah was first taught by God himself to a select company of angels, who formed a theosophic school in Paradise. After the Fall the angels most graciously communicated this heavenly doctrine to the disobedient children of earth, they furnish the protoplasts with the means of returning to their pristine nobility and felicity. From Adam it passed over to Noah, and then to Abraham, the friend of God, who emigrated with it to Egypt, where the patriarch allowed a portion of this mysterious doctrine to ooze out. It was in this way that the Egyptians obtained some knowledge of it, and the other Eastern nations could introduce it into their philosophical systems. Moses, who was learned in all the wisdom of Egypt, was first initiated into the Qabalah in the land of his birth, but became most proficient in it during his wanderings in the wilderness, when he not only devoted to it the leisure hours of the whole forty years, but received lessons in it from one of the angels. By the aid of this mysterious science the law-giver was enabled to solve the difficulties which arose during his management of the Israelites, in spite of the pilgrimages, wars, and frequent miseries of the nation. He covertly laid down the principles of this secret doctrine in the first four books of the Pentateuch, but withheld them from Deuteronomy. Moses also initiated the seventy elders into the secrets of this doctrine, and they again transmitted them from hand to hand."
- McGregor Mathers, Introduction to The Kabbalah Unveiled

"In exactly the same way, when the true interpretation of the Law according to the command of God, divinely handed down to Moses, was revealed, it was called the Kabbalah, a word which is the same among the Hebrews as 'reception' among ourselves; for this reason, of course, that one man from another, by a sort of hereditary right, received that doctrine not through written records but through a regular succession of revelations....In these books principally resides, as Esdras with a clear voice justly declared, the spring of understanding, that is, the ineffable theology of the supersubstantial deity; the fountain of wisdom, that is, the exact metaphysic of the intellectual and angelic forms; and the stream of knowledge, that is, the most steadfast philosophy of natural things."
- Pico della Mirandola

"The goal of the Kabbalah is to obtain a complete understanding of God, the universe and their inter-relationships. It strives to achieve this understanding through the use of symbols and analogies, particularly the Jewish holy books."
- Simcha Kuritzky, "Kabbalistic Magic" Part IV

To Jewish mystics, every letter in the Hebrew alphabet was a channel to the life force of God and possessed of sacred meaning. Hebrew numbers were also represented by letters so that names and words had numerical values. Finding associations of words with the same value revealed a complex series of hidden meanings beneath the text of the Torah, the book of law attributed to Moses. In fact, the entire Torah can be considered to be a single long word spelling out one of the names of God. The significance of the name of God goes back to ancient Egypt where knowing the name of a god allowed one to gain power over that god.

"Strange and sometimes obscure are the names given to God, the King who thrones in His glory. We find names such as Zoharariel, Adiriron, Akhtaricl,' and Totrossiyah (or Tetrassiyah, i. e. the Tetras or fourfoldness of the letters of God's name YHWH?), names which to the mystics may have signified various aspects of God's glory. In this context it is well to remember that the chief peculiarity of this form of mysticism, its emphasis on God's might and magnificence, opens the door to the transformation of mysticism into theurgy; there the master of the secret 'names' himself takes on the exercise of power in the way described in the various magical and theurgical procedures of which this literature is full. The language of the theurgist conforms to that of the Merkabah mystic. Both are dominated by the attributes of power and sublimity, not love or tenderness. It is entirely characteristic of the out-look of these believers that the theurgist, in adjuring the 'Prince of Divine Presence,' summons the archons as 'Princes of Majesty, Fear and Trembling.' Majesty, Fear and Trembling are indeed the key-words to this Open Sesame of religion."
- Gershom G. Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (1941/1961) pp. 56-57

The Kabbalah "uncovers many of the infinite layers of the secrets of life, of Creation, of the soul, of the heavenly spheres.
It penetrates beyond the garments and the body of the Torah.
It is the very core and soul of Torah, the ultimate revelation of Divinity - exposing the inner meaning, effects and purpose of Torah and mitzvot.
The illumination emanating from the Kabbalah ignites the soul of man, setting it on fire in the awareness of a deeper and higher reality. Its study and insights are themselves mystical experiences.
The Kabbalah is all this - but always and exclusively within the context of Torah."
- "The Authenticity of Kabbalah"

Prophets and Visions
The early plebeian Israelites were Canaanites and Phoenicians, with the same worship of the Phallic gods - Bacchus, Baal or Adon, Iacchos - Iao or Jehovah'; but even among them there had always been a class of initiated adepts. Later, the character of this plebe was modified by Assyrian conquests; and, finally, the Persian colonizations superimposed the Pharisean and Eastern ideas and usages, from which the Old Testament and Mosaic institutes were derived. The Asmonean priest-kings promulgated the canon of the Old Testament in contradistinction to the Apocrypha or Secret Books of the Alexandrian Jews - kabbalists."
- H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled

"Early Hebrew prophecy and Bacchism are similar in some aspects. The Qabbalists called the Holy Spirit, the mother, and the Church of Israel, the daughter. Solomon engraved on the walls of his Temple, likenesses of the male and female principles, to adumbrate this mystery; such it is said, were the figures of the cherubim. This was, however, not in obedience to the words of the Torah. They were symbolical of the Upper, the spiritual, the former or maker, positive or male, and the Lower, the passive, the negative or female, formed or made by the first."
- Isaac Myer, The Qabbalah

"Each soul and spirit prior to its entering into this world, consists of a male and female united into one being. When it descends on this earth the two parts separate and animate two different bodies. At the time of marriage, the Holy One, blessed be He, who knows all souls and spirits, unites them again as they were before, and they again constitute one body and one soul, forming as it were the right and left of one individual."
- The Hebrew Zohar

"'And when They are conjoined together, They appear to be only one body.'
"Hence we learn that the Masculine, taken alone appeareth to be only half the body, so that all the mercies are half; and thus also is it with the Feminine.
"'But when They are joined together, the (two together) appear to form only one whole body. And it is so.'
"So also here. When the Male is joined with the Female, They both constitute one complete body, and all the Universe is in a state of happiness, because all things receive blessing from Their perfect body. And this is an Arcanum."
- The Kabbalah Unveiled

"...The earliest Jewish mystics who formed an organized fraternity in Talmudic times and later, describe their experience in terms derived from the diction characteristic of their age. They speak of the ascent of the soul to the Celestial Throne where it obtains an ecstatic view of the majesty of God and the secrets of His Realm. A great distance separates these old Jewish Gnostics from the Hasidic mystics one of whom said:' 'There are those who serve God with their human intellect, and others whose gaze is fixed on Nothing.... He who is granted this supreme experience loses the reality of his intellect, but when he returns from such contemplation to the intellect, he finds it full of divine and inflowing splendor.' And yet it is the same experience which both are trying to express in different ways."
- Gershom G. Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (1941/1961) p. 5

The earliest visionary experiences centered on the throne-chariot of God (merkabah).

"The Rabbis of the Talmud speculated on these mysteries, particularly when they were commenting on Genesis and the visions of Ezekiel. [See 'References in Pharisaic Circles'.] The speculations were later embroidered by new ideas that entered Jewish thought from the Syriac Greeks, the Zoroastrian Babylonians, and the Gnostic sect of the Byzantium Christians. From these foreign and domestic concepts and myths, the Jews wove into their mysticism ideas of upper and neither worlds, angels, and demons, ghosts and spirits - ideas that had been unknown or of little importance to the Jews until then."
"By the first century it had become a proper subject for scholarly study. Philo Judaeus speculated on the Platonic idea of emanations as intermediaries between God and the physical world. The Roman philosopher Plotinus (205-270) traveled in the East and returned to combine Indian, Persian, Greek, and Jewish mystic theories into a systematic structure of these emanations."
- Harry Gersh, The Sacred Books of the Jews

According to Plotinus (205-270 AD), "there are stages in the soul's ladder of ascent. The first includes purification, the freezing of the soul from the body, and the practice of the cardinal virtues. In the second the soul rises above sense-perception to Nous through contemplation. A third and higher stage, already ineffable, leads to union with Nous. Finally there is the climax of the whole ascent in mystical and ecstatic union with the One."
- John Ferguson, An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Mysticism and the Mystery Religions

"He will lapse again from the vision: but let him again awaken the virtue which is in him, again know himself made perfect in splendor; and he shall be again lightened of his burden, ascending through virtue to Nous, and then through wisdom to the Supreme."
- Plotinus

"As the Kabbalah evolved, it came to share certain ideas with other ancient mystical systems, including those of the Gnostics and Pythagoreans. The Kabbalah did not restrict itself solely to instruction on the apprehension of God but included teachings on cosmology, angelology, and magic."
- Ancient Wisdom and Secret Sects

"Many of the basic ideas and principles found in the Kabbalah are also found in Gnosticism because both were in the Eastern Mediterranean near the time of Christ. Both attach an importance to knowledge, called the 'gnosis' or the knowledge of God. This knowledge does not come from rational thinking but is inspired by God. As in Gnosticism, sin is not considered to be wrong doing but ignorance which separates humankind from God. The knowledge, specifically the 'gnosis', unites humankind to God - to know God is to be God. Those sharing this 'gnosis' are the elect; they are the enlightened ones who share the knowledge of God, although they may not lead perfect lives."
- Alan G. Hefner, "Kabbalah"

"Thou shalt have no business with secret things."
- Apocryphal Book of Ben Sirach 3:22 (2nd century BC)

Kabbalism "is distinguished by renewed interest in purely cosmogonic speculation, whose spirit often enough is entirely Gnostic. In the earlier literature - certainly during the phase represented by the Hekhaloth -theoretical questions have no place; its spirit is descriptive, not speculative, and this is particularly true of the best examples of this genre. Nevertheless it is possible that there was a speculative phase in the very beginning and that the famous passage in the Mishnah which forbids the questions: 'What is above and what is below? What was before and what will be after?' refers to theoretical speculation in the manner of the Gnostics who strove after 'the knowledge of who we were, and what we have become, where we were or where we are placed, whither we hasten, from what we are redeemed.'
- Gershom G. Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (1941/1961) p. 74

(2) Documents from the Talmudic Era

Spelling and Pronunciation Conventions

Hechalot / Hekhaloth ends with a "t" as there is no "th" sound in modern Hebrew.

Merkavah / Merkabah is written with the letter Bet (without a dot inside) and is pronounced as the English letter "v".

Sfirot / Sphirot is written with the letter Peh (without a dot inside) and pronounced as an "f". The letter is often written as "ph" because there is no "f" in Hebrew.

Both Merkavah and Hekhalot contain the letter Khet which has no equivalent in English. (It is not pronounced as it is written "kh" but has a guttural sound.)
(Thanks to Liora Bernstein)

The Origins of Hekhalot Literature
"Not only have the seers perceived the celestial hosts, heaven with its angels, but the whole of this apocalyptic and pseudepigraphic literature is shot through with a chain of new revelations concerning the hidden glory of the great Majesty, its throne, its palace...the celestial spheres towering up one over the other, paradise, hell, and the containers of the souls."
- Baldensperger, Die messianisch-apokalyptischen Hoffnungen des Judentums, p. 68

"The Hekhaloth were different 'chambers' or 'halls' through which mystics advanced during meditation."
- Alan G. Hefner, "Hekhaloth"

A reference to imagery of the Hekhalot can be found in the apocryphal Fourth Book of Ezra, written around the end of the 1st c. CE.

"O Lord who inhabitest eternity, whose eyes are exalted and whose upper chambers [hekhaloth] are in the air, whose throne [merkavah] is beyond measure and whose glory is beyond comprehension, before whom the hosts of angels stand trembling and at whose command they are changed to wind and fire..."
- 4 Ezra 8:21-22a

"The Hekhalot literature is a bizarre conglomeration of Jewish esoteric and revelatory texts produced sometime between late antiquity and the early Middle Ages. The documents have strong connections with earlier apocalyptic and gnostic literature and claim to describe the self-induced spiritual experiences of the 'descenders to the chariot' that permitted these men to view Ezekiel's chariot vision [the Merkavah] for themselves, as well as to gain control of angels and a perfect mastery of Torah through theurgy."
"This material is of particular interest for the study of divine mediation and mystical/revelatory experiences, because the Hekhalot documents claim to detail actual practices used to reach trance states, gain revelations, and interact with divine mediators."
- James R. Davila, "Hekhalot Literature and Mysticism"

Baruch Halperin "observes that, by reciting given texts from the hekhalot literature, the student was able to achieve the same results as those who actually experienced the ascent."
- Dr. Steven S. Tuell, "Deus absconditus in Ezekiel's Prophecy"

According to Sitrey Tefila ve-Hekhalot (Mysteries of Jewish Prayer and Heavenly Palaces) Hekhalot literature frequently served as the inspiration for liturgical texts of the Talmudic period

"The outstanding documents of the movement appear to have been edited in the fifth and sixth centuries when its spirit was still alive and vigorous. It is difficult to establish exact dates for the various writings, but everything points to the period before the expansion of Islam. The world reflected in this literature has evoked in the mind of more than one scholar comparisons with the pattern of Byzantine society. But there is no reason for assuming that the descriptions of the celestial throne and the heavenly court simply reflect the mundane reality of the Byzantine or Sassanid court, if only because the roots of their central theme go much too far back for such an hypothesis. At the same time there can be no reasonable doubt that the atmosphere of these writings is in harmony with contemporary political and social conditions.
"All our material is in the form of brief tracts, or scattered fragments of varying length from what may have been voluminous works; in addition there is a good deal of almost shapeless literary."
- Gershom G. Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (1941/74) p. 44

The Scribes
"The only sustained effort to locate the community behind the Hekhalot literature has been made by David Halperin [Faces of the Chariot: Early Jewish Responses to Ezekiel's Vision, 1988]. He argues, on the basis of a passage found in some manuscripts of the Sar Torah text (paras. 304-305), that the 'people of the land,' the uneducated people who were held in contempt by the rabbis, made theurgic use of the myth of the ascent of Moses to seize the Torah from heaven, and that the result was the Hekhalot literature."
"I propose then, that the composers of the Hekhalot literature were a group of professional scribes who lacked formal rabbinic training and whose socio-economic position probably suffered as a result. They envied the superior station of the rabbis and defied them with another skill common in their own profession -- magic. The 'descenders to the chariot' (the only self-designation they have given us) were familiar with and no doubt transmitted, augmented, and used the Jewish magical literature. But they also developed a strain of magical praxis that from an anthropological perspective is closer to shamanism than anything else. They were, to paraphrase Hultkrantz ['A Definition of Shamanism', Temenos 9 (1973) 25-37], social functionaries who, with the help of guardian spirits, attained ecstasy in order to create a rapport with the supernatural world on behalf of the members of their group. According to their beliefs they used theurgy to compel angels to take them to the otherworld and to give them an infallible knowlege of Torah. They in turn passed on the power from their experiences to their community (which on various levels seems to have been as narrow as a circle of adepts and as broad as the human race)."
- James R. Davila, "Hekhalot Literature and Mysticism"

"Hekhalot texts do tend to summon angels (never God, I believe) in a very premptory way, and they ask for various types of esoteric wisdom and theurgic power."
- James R. Davila, "Ancient Magic (The Prayer of Jacob)"

"According to an account given in the 'Greater Hekhaloth', which one is tempted to correlate with a similar passage at the end of the Fourth Book of Ezra, it was even the custom to place scribes or stenographers to the right and left of the visionary who wrote down his ecstatic description of the throne and its occupants."
- Gershom G. Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (1941/1961) p. 63

"He [the Lord] answered me and said, 'Go and gather the people, and tell them not to seek you for forty days. But prepare for yourself many writing tablets, and take with you Sarea, Dabria, Selemia, Ethanus, and Asiel -- these five, because they are trained to write rapidly; and you shall come here, and I will light in your heart the lamp of understanding, which shall not be put out until what you are about to write is finished. And when you have finished, some things you shall make public, and some you shall deliver in secret to the wise; tomorrow at this hour you shall begin to write.'"

"And on the next day, behold, a voice called me, saying, 'Ezra, open your mouth and drink what I give you to drink.' Then I opened my mouth, and behold, a full cup was offered to me; it was full of something like water, but its color was like fire. And I took it and drank; and when I had drunk it, my heart poured forth understanding, and wisdom increased in my breast, for my spirit retained its memory; and my mouth was opened, and was no longer closed. And the Most High gave understanding to the five men, and by turns they wrote what was dictated, in characters which they did not know. They sat forty days, and wrote during the daytime, and ate their bread at night."
- 4 Ezra 14:23-26, 36-42

The End of a a Living Movement
The unedited texts of the oldest documents, the "Lesser Hekhaloth" are full of voces mysticae. "Every secret name seemed to provide a further piece of protective armour against the demons-up to the point where the magical energy was no longer sufficient to overcome the obstacles which blocked the way to the Merkabah [throne-chariot of God]. This point is really the end of the movement as a living force; from then on it degenerates into mere literature."
- Gershom G. Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (1941/1961) p. 51

"For my friend [Rabbi Akiba], who endures the suffering of ascending and descending to the merkabah, I have fixed a blessing [to be recited] three times a day in the heavenly court and in the earthly court. I will love and I will redeem any household where it is repeated"
- Hekhalot Zutarti

"The implication seems to be: Akiba made the hazardous journey; stay-at-homes who recite the appropriate formula can share, vicariously, in its benefits."
- Baruch Halperin, 'A New Edition of the Hekhalot Literature,' JAOS 104 (1984): 550

"...In the Merkabah mysticism with which we are dealing here, the idea of the Shekhinah ['light of God'] and of God's immanence plays practically no part at all. The one passage in the 'Greater Hekhaloth' which has been adduced as proof of the existence of such conceptions is based on an obviously corrupt text. The fact is that the true and spontaneous feeling of the Merkabah mystic knows nothing of divine immanence; the infinite gulf between the soul and God the King on His throne is not even bridged at the climax of mystical ecstasy.
"Not only is there for the mystic no divine immanence, there is also almost no love of God. What there is of love in the relationship between the Jewish mystic and his God belongs to a much later period and has nothing to do with our present subject. Ecstasy there was and this fundamental experience must have been a source of religious inspiration, but we find no trace of a mystical union between the soul and God. Throughout there remained an almost exaggerated consciousness of God's other, nor does the identity and individuality of the mystic become blurred even at the height of ecstatic passion. The Creator and His creature remain apart, and nowhere is an attempt made to bridge the gulf between them or to blur the distinction. The mystic who in his ecstasy has passed through all the gates, braved all the dangers, now stands before the throne; he sees and hears - but that is all. All the emphasis is laid on the kingly aspect of God, not his creative one..."
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RE:The Kabbalah
(Date Posted:01/08/2009 05:29 AM)

Qabbalah - Kabbalah
Tree of Life

Many people are studying the Kabbalah now as they search for their roots - the origins and greater understaning of creation - and the messages of God. Kabbalah can be spelled several different ways - each seemingly correct. The energies of the letters in the Hebrew alphabet move beyond the physical. The information in the Kabbalah follows the patterns of the sacred geometry that forms our reality. Sacred geometry - the star tetrahedron - which is the Star of David - counter rotating fields linked to the spirals of movement of consciousness from one level of reality to another.

This is part of Merkaba - rotation and movement of consciousness. Our consciousness is shifting into - or returning to - a higher harmonic - see Slinky Effect. In our dreams and meditations - we see this symbolically or metaphorically - as the creation of a new Torah - Scroll - Book of Life - etc.

Humanity will shed the physical body as it evolves into a state of higher faster moving consciousness - that of higher light. The physical experience is about duality played out through the alchemy of thought to experience two things: Linear Time and Emotion - neither of which exist beyond the physical realms. Your soul should be gearing you for these changes. Your 'inner voice' should be telling you to go on a quest to get answers that will help you understand this transition of consciousness - alchemy of mind. We are close.

Kabala is one of many tools that are helping people understand the current transition.

Key words: Kabbalah - Tree of Life - Merkabah - Star of David - Sacred Geometry = SG = StarGate = Wheel of Karma - Wheels Wihtin Wheels - Alchemy Wheel which spirals cosciousenss back to source - Hub - spirals - twins - twins - encoded DNA

A reader sent a message stating....

According to Jewish texts, the tablets were not arc shaped. They were either believed to be cube shaped or rectangular. That perception of them being omphalos shaped came much later, most probably a misconception in the Christian text and/or art. The most agreed upon image of the tablets are two sapphire cubes with the words engraved straight through the cube. According to Midrash, what was interesting about the lettering was that it was able to be read correctly from both sides. In addition, the inner parts of the letters (for example, the center of the Samech, which is O shaped) remained in place, even though nothing held it in place.

In my soul - this feel correct. It's about the Cube - and the Blue - and 0 = Zero Point
 
The word Qabbalah finds its root in the Hebrew word Qibel meaning 'to receive by oral tradition'.

Qabbalah refers to an oral tradition of esoteric or secret knowledge concerning 'essentially' the mysteries of Nature, and more overtly, the hidden teachings concerning the Hebrew Torah. The Torah is, of course, the first five books of what Christians call the Old Testament, and the oldest surviving of the Judaic liturgical texts.

The Kabala is an ancient Hebrew mystical system of thought. It is a symbolic representation of the path the Divine followed in the creation of the universe, including man. It is, by definition, humanity's process of returning to divinity along the same path.

Kabbala, also spelled KABALA, KABBALAH, CABALA, CABBALA, OR CABBALAH, is an esoteric Jewish mysticism as it appeared in the 12th and following centuries. Kabbala has always been essentially an oral tradition in that initiation into its doctrines and practices is conducted by a personal guide to avoid the dangers inherent in mystical experiences.

Esoteric Kabbala is also "tradition" inasmuch as it lays claim to secret knowledge of the unwritten Torah (divine revelation) that was communicated by God to Moses and Adam. Though observance of the Law of Moses remained the basic tenet of Judaism, Kabbala provided a means of approaching God directly.

It thus gave Judaism a religious dimension whose mystical approaches to God were viewed by some as dangerously pantheistic and heretical.

The earliest roots of Kabbala are traced to Merkava mysticism. It began to flourish in Palestine in the 1st century AD and had as its main concern ecstatic and mystical contemplation of the divine throne, or "chariot" (merkava), seen in a vision by Ezekiel, the prophet (Ezekiel 1).

The earliest known Jewish text on magic and cosmology, Sefer Yetzira ("Book of Creation"), appeared sometime between the 3rd and the 6th century. It explained creation as a process involving the 10 divine numbers (sefirot; see sefira) of God the Creator and the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

Taken together, they were said to constitute the "32 paths of secret wisdom."

A major text of early Kabbala was the 12th-century Sefer ha-bahir ("Book of Brightness"), whose influence on the development of Jewish esoteric mysticism and on Judaism in general was profound and lasting.

The Bahir not only interpreted the sefirot as instrumental in creating and sustaining the universe but also introduced into Judaism such notions as the transmigration of souls (gilgul) and strengthened the foundations of Kabbala by providing it with an extensive mystical symbolism.

Spanish Kabbala

In the following century, the Sefer ha-temuna ("Book of the Image") appeared in Spain and advanced the notion of cosmic cycles, each of which provides an interpretation of the Torah according to a divine attribute.

Judaism, consequently, was presented not as a religion of immutable truths but as one for which each cycle, or eon, was said to have a different Torah.

Spain also produced the famous Sefer ha-zohar ("Book of Splendour"), a book that in some circles was invested with a sanctity rivaling that of the Torah itself. It dealt with the mystery of creation and the functions of the sefirot, and it offered mystical speculations about evil, salvation, and the soul.

Following their expulsion from Spain in 1492, the Jews were more than ever taken up with messianic hopes and eschatology, and Kabbala found wide favour.

Lurianic Kabbala. By the mid-16th century the unchallenged centre of Kabbala was Safed, Galilee, where one of the greatest of all Kabbalists, Isaac ben Solomon Luria, spent the last years of his life. According to Gershom Gerhard Scholem, a modern Jewish scholar of Kabbala, Luria's influence was surpassed only by that of the Sefer ha-zohar.

Lurianic Kabbala developed several basic doctrines: the "withdrawal" (tzimtzum) of the divine light, thereby creating primordial space; the sinking of luminous particles into matter (qellipot: "shells"); and a "cosmic restoration" (tiqqun) that is achieved by the Jew through an intense mystical life and unceasing struggle against evil. Lurianic Kabbalism was used to justify Shabbetaianism, a Jewish messianic movement of the 17th century.

Lurianic Kabbala also profoundly influenced the doctrines of modern Hasidism, a social and religious movement that began in the 18th century and still flourishes today in small but significant Jewish communities.

The Sefer Zohar or "Book of Splendour" is supposed to be the most authoritative Kabbalistic work, but this massive series of books is so obscure and symbolic as to be practically incom-prehensible.

Although traditionally said to date back to the first century C.E., in its present form the Zohar is most likely of 13th Century Spanish vintage, compiled by the Kabbalistic writer Moses de Leon (c.1240-1305) from a combination of his own ideas and contemporary Kabbalistic elements [Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, chapter 5].

Moses de Leon was a brilliant homilectical rather than a systematic thinker. He was concerned not with formulating a coherent metaphysical system, but with the elaboration and interpretation of verses of scripture from the Torah, often in the form of obscure mystical allegorizations.

It was this rich mass of imagery and allegory that the Zohar contains that served as the inspiration for all subsequent generations of Kabbalists
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RE:The Kabbalah
(Date Posted:01/08/2009 05:29 AM)

The Tree contains ten centers called sephiroth, individually sephira, which are connected by 22 paths.

THE SEPHIROTH

THE SPHERES

Sphere 1:
KETER ....CROWN, GOD, INFINITE LIGHT & WISDOM, TOTAL & SUPREME CONSCIOUSNESS

Sphere 2:
CHOHMAN ...MALE YANG ENERGIES, PURE ENERGY, SPIRITUAL FORCE, COSMIC FATHER

Sphere 3:
BINAH...YIN ENERGY, COMPASSION, PURE LOVE & UNDERSTANDING, THE COSMIC MOTHER

Sphere 4:
CHESED...THE RULER, MAJESTY, POWER & AUTHORITY, CONSOLIDATOR OF THINGS

Sphere 5:
GEBURAH...THE WARRIOR, SPSERER OF MARS, STRENGTH, JUSTICE, PHYSICAL POWER

Sphere 6:
TIPERETH...THE SUN, HARMONY, BEAUTY, PERFECTION, UNITY, CREATION

Sphere 7:
NEDZACH...THE LOVER, VENUS, ART, CREATIVITY INSPIRATION & EROTIC SPIRITUALITY

Sphere 8:
HOD...THE INTELLECT, MERCURY, COMMUNICATION

Sphere 9:
YESOD...THE MOON, VISION & DEEP MEMORY, THE CYCLES IN & AROUND US, ILLUSION

Sphere10:
MALKUTH... PHYSICAL REALITY, DEATH, PAIN, HEALING

Sphere11:
DAATH... THE ABYSS, RANDOM CHAOS OF THOUGHT & CONCEPTION
 
The Four Worlds:

Atziluth:
Representing the archetypal world, pure Divinity, and Yod of the Hebrew Name of God.
It corresponds to the Suit of Wands in the Tarot.

Briah:
Representing the creative world, the Archangelic, and thee in the Hebrew Name of God.
It corresponds to the Suit of Cups.

Yetzirah:
Represents the formative world, the Angelic, and Vau is the Hebrew name of God.
It corresponds to the Suit of Swords.

Assiah:
Representing the material world, man, and the final He in the Hebrew Name of God.
It corresponds to the Suit of Coins.
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RE:The Kabbalah
(Date Posted:01/08/2009 05:30 AM)

The Essene Brotherhood
By Joshua David Stone

 
The Essene brotherhood had its inception at the time of Melchizedek, the great spiritual master who lived on this planet around 1973 B. C. and was the incarnation of Jesus. Thus Jesus actually began the Essene's movement, as well as facilitating the start of the Jewish religion through Abraham and beginning the Christian religion himself with the help of Lord maitreya.

The development of the Essene brotherhood over the next two thousand years is embodied in the develkopment of the jewish religion. The Essenes werer a Jewish sect representing an esoteric aspect of Jusaism, or Jewish mysticism. The jewihs mystics studied the Kabbalah, which taught belief in reincarnation, astrology, channeling, prophecy, soul travel, psychic development, and angels, and which organized itself around the Tree of Life.

The history of the Essene brotherhood can be traced by looking at the development of the Jewish religion. It begins at the time of Melchizedek and the establishment of the Order of Melchizedek. It combines with Abraham (El Morya). It continues through Jacob (the story of Jacob's ladder and of his wrestling with the angel). It continues through Joseph, an incarnation of Jesus, and his coat of many colors, his jealous brothers, and his eventually becoming the dream interpreter of the Pharaoh.

It continues through the great spiritual master Moses, who led the Jewish people out of bondage in Egypt and spoke to God in the burning bush at Mount sanai, which was a direct revelation of the Godhead.

Moses was given the Ten Commandments--which are very similar to the teachings that Melchizedek (Jesus) gave to Abraham. Upon Moses' death when he ascended, Joshua, an incarnation of Jesus, took over and led the Jewish people into the Promised Land.

The Essene, Jewish, Melchizedek, and Christian lineages are, in truth, one lineage which sets the stage for spiritual teachings for humankind.

Moses brought forth the law. Buddha, five hundred years earlier had brought forth the wisdom of God. Jesus and Lord Maitreya carried forth the law of Moses and the wisdom of Buddha and added the love principle.

Jesus was a Jewish rabbi who had purposely incarnated into a Jewish family that was involved with the Essenes. Jesus was the Messiah the Jewish people were waiting for, but it was only the Essenes who recognized that.

The Essenes were opposed to taking oaths. They simply said "yes" or "no" in common conversation.

They had a great understanding of Astrology. One of the scrolls describes the influence of the heavenly bodies on the physical and spiritual characteristics of those in certain sections of the zodiac.

The Essenes were somethimes referred to as the "silent ones" because of their silence during morning rituals.

The Essenes believed in Baptism.

They believed in tithing.

Some were celibate, others were householders with families.

The principle teacher for the Essenes was the rabban, or rabboni, which means master. The rabban's assistant was the rabbi, or teacher. The rabbi was assisted by the rab, or assistant teacher.

The Dead Sea Scrolls established the fact that they revered The Book of Enoch (as differientiated from the Keys of Enoch).

In order to preserve their sacred records from the Romans and other profane groups, the Essenes hid such records in caves and crypts, and inside pottery jars especially made for this purpose.

It is scrolls such as these that were found in 1947 near the Dead Sea. Two of these scrolls were called, The Manual of Discipline and The War of the Sons of Light with the Sons of Darkness.

One called The Copper Scroll listed the material possessions of the Essenes.

The Essenes were loosely divided into two groups:

1. Practicai: Practitioners--focused on physical survival--pottery, clothing, pottery, carpentry

2. Therapeutici: the healers--three categories: Master Herbalists--herbs, roots, leaves, bark Stone healings--clay Spiritual energy--using spiritual energies of the soul, monad, God

The Essenes taught that the physical body was the temple of the soul.

The Essenes were attuned to the angels. They developed the field of Angelology. They developed a sort of tree of life that represented fourteen positive angelic forces. They were expert Kabbalists.

Seven of the angels were of a heavenly nature:
Heavenly Father
Angel of Eternal Life
Angel of Peace
Angel of Love
Angel of Wisodm
Angel of Power
Angels of Creative Work

Seven of a more Earthly nature:
Earthly Mother
Angel of Earth
Angel of Life
Angel of Joy
Angel of Sun
Angel of Life
Angel of Air

The tree of life had seven branches reaching toward the heaven and seven roots reaching into the earth. Man was seen sitting in a sort of lotus posture half way between Heaven and earth. The esoteric significance of the number seven was acknowledged clearly.

Their tree of life seems to follow the premise:
"As is above, So is below".


Emerald Tablets of Thoth

In recognition of the inherent value of The Dead Sea Scrolls as cultural and religious artifacts that Johnson Reprint Corporation, in collaboration with Kodansha Ltd., has undertaken a unique publishing project: To make the Scrolls, now visible only under glass in the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem, available in their original format to people the world over, and to afford those who wish to read and study them the opportunity to do so in their own homes. In light of this, Johnson Reprint Corporation determined to reproduce the Scrolls as faithfully and accurately as the technology available to us now permits.

THE WRITINGS OF PHILO

In 20 A.D., Philo, the Jewish philosopher wrote of a Jewish sect numbering about 4,000 whom he called Essaie because of their saintliness. He wrote that they were worshippers of god who did not practice animalistic sacrifices. They had no slaves as all humans were equal. Moral philosophy and ethics were their chief preoccupations. The seventh day was their sabbath. They taught piety, holiness, justice, and the art of regulating home and city, but the essence of their teachings was love of God, virtue, and love of humankind. They were indifferent to money, wordly possesions and pleasure.

THE WORDS OF JOSEPHUS

Josephus writing around 80 A.D. said that the Essenes were Jews by birth but semed to have a greater affection for one another than they did for the Pharisees and Sadducees. Their piety toward God was extraordinary. They wore chitw garments. They used no profanity. They were ministers of peace. They spend a great deal of time studying the writings of the ancients.

To become an Essene there was a period of preparation and purification that extended over three years. First the candidate (male or female) was required to turn over all property to the common treasury. The candidate was then the ordinances and rules, a spade, an apron, and a white robe. After year of probation the candidate was allowed to enter the second stage during which he enjoyed loser fellowship with the other candidates and was involved in more of the ceremonies and closed rites. At this stage he could not hold office or sit at the common table.

The candidate entering the third stage was required to take an oath never to reveal the secrets of the Essene order and to practice piety toward God, and charity toward his fellow humans. He could do no harm to his fellow man, either of his own accord or at the command of others. hw ould at no time abuse his authority or put himself above the others. Any Essene caught commiting a crime would be cast out of the society. He could now attend the secret meetings called hadoth.

The live long lives-often beyond 100 years. When captured or tortured by the Romans they could not be made to shed a tear or flatter their tormentors. Their doctrine was that their physical bodies were corruptible, but their souls were immortal.

Many of the Essenes were great prophets of the future and were seldom wrong in their predictions.

They were a happy, industrious, and an optimistic people.

They were very clean, rarely argued, and were very loving.

They had their own panel of judges if they disobeyed the rules.
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RE:The Kabbalah
(Date Posted:01/08/2009 05:32 AM)

SCROLLS
 
When we think of scrolls we often think about messages of great importance placed on bits of rolled-up papyrus to be found as humanity needs the information - as if it were part of their initiation into awareness. Just as all ancient artifacts are uncovered - their information revealed - as if by design - so too are scrolls found - telling the story of humanity's search to find the truth of its creation.

Scrolls usually are not found alone. They are found in groups.

Since the 4th millennium B.C., scribes have created books from within scriptoria. Before the invention of moveable type, all books were written by hand, and any copies, likewise were generated manually. The book itself has seen radical metamorphosis.

The first writings that can be called books were made on clay tablets. The scribe, using a stylus, wrote in the soft clay, and errors could be easily smoothed over and corrected. After the clay dried, it was an indelible book. Waxed boards were an improvement over clay tablets as regards to ease of handling and storage. As with clay, errors in wax could be smoothed over and corrected, and in addition, the waxed boards could be reused later if necessary. Papyrus, parchment, and paper were the next successive developments which facilitated the creation of books closer to the form we know today.

Papyrus books were in the form of scrolls or rolls. Later, (c. 4th century) the parchment codex, a loose-leaf manuscript, ultimately replaced the papyrus scroll. There seems to have always been a need to reuse writing materials, and during the 7th through the 9th centuries, many parchment manuscripts from the 5th through the 7th centuries were shaved, scrubbed and scoured to be ready for rewriting. These recycled parchments are called palimpsests. Then in the 13th century, paper began displacing parchment.

All of this evolution in the book was accompanied by one constant, the scriptorium. Scribes in Hebrew history transcribed the books of the Law, and the very earliest Christian cenobites copied Biblical books, and other Christian writings. St. Pachomius (292-346), founder of the first cenobitic Christian community, does not mention scribes in his Rule, however, other documents of the period or shortly after his death confirm their presence in his monasteries. St. Jerome (331-420) saw the scriptorium as a source of revenue for the monasteries - and for the monks, a stimulus for reading.

The director of the scriptorium, the armarius, gave necessary instructions, assigned tasks, distributed writing materials, and managed all writing, art work, and collating. Copying text was the scribe's primary task. Rubrics, ornate initials, and other decorative flourishes were added to the pages by therubricators and/or miniators. Very rarely was the scribe, rubricator, and miniator the same monk.

The scribe, before writing, however, cut the parchment into the desired size, which varied greatly depending upon the client's instruction, the purpose of the book, and the style of the period and locale. Some books were pocket-size prayerbooks, while others were large choir books to be used in the monastery church. For cutting the parchment, the scribe was given a sharp, curved knife (novacula or rasorium) and a ruler (regula,linula, norma, canon, or præductale). If the parchment was torn or damaged, the scribe would effect repair with glue or often sewing artistic designs with needle and thread of varicolored silk.

The work of the scribes, miniators, and rubricators was meticulous and painstaking, and the armarii took great care to insure the absence of errors. During the Middle Ages, to certify copy fidelity, formulae tracing back to the ancient Orient were often appended to manuscripts. St. Jerome, who maintained his own personal scriptorium and staff of scribes, has transmitted such a formula of St. Irenaeus (d.202): "You who will transcribe this book, I charge you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and of His glorious Second Coming, in which He will come to judge the living and dead, compare what you have copied against the original and correct it carefully. Furthermore, transcribe this adjuration and place it in the copy." (De Viris illustribus 35)

It should be comforting for us to know that in the face of such a weighty admonition, the scribes had the liberty of some personal expression (by permission, of course) within the manuscripts they copied. Hebrew scribes would often add at the ends of books the words Amen, Sela, or Salom, meaning, respectively, "So be it!", "Pause!" and "Peace!" Latin monks, in addition to using the now Christianized word Amen, added functional terms such as Explicuit, "The End", or Explicuit feliciter, "Thank goodness it's finished!", or other expressions of relief.

As today, the basic unit of the book was the double sheet, diploma, plicatura, or rarely arcus. Once folded, these diplomae were gathered inside one another, just as books are gathered today. Unlike today, it was a difficult task coordinating a large number of diplomae so that facing folia (individual pages) were in proper numerical order, hence, the largest mediæval book was usually a sexternion, or six diplomae. Naturally smaller books were also made: five diplomae or quinternion, four diplomae or quaternion, and likewise ternion, and binion. On the European continent until the 12th century quaternions were the most popular book, with binions, ternions, and quinternions not too far behind in popularity.

Curiously, the preference of the Irish, as well as that of the ancients, was the quinternion. In the 13th century, possibly as a result of the benefits of the paper codex, sexternions became plentiful, and even books of ten diplomae, decaternion were made.

As mentioned above, St. Jerome maintained his own personal scriptorium, as did other influential men of the time such as Origen and St. Augustine of Hippo. According to St. Clement of Alexandria (d.c. 215), as early as the 5th century B.C. Anaxagoras employed his private scriptorium, as did Atticus in the time of Cicero.

The scriptoria were producing their last parchment books in the 14th and on into the 15th century. The paper codex was having its sway. However, even as late as the 17th century, parchment was used for precious liturgical volumes and collectors' books (nostalgia is nothing new). The 15th century invention of the printing press cast an ominous shadow on the monks' scriptoria.

As with so many things, if we look to the East we find centuries-old prototypes of technology. In 11th century China, printing was accomplished with moveable wooden characters; and in 14th century Korea, cast metal characters were used.

It was not until 15th century Europe, however, that Laurens Jansoon Coster from Haarlem, the Netherlands, and Procopius Waldfoghel from Avignon, southern France first used moveable type. It was Johann Gutenberg of Mainz, Germany, however, who is remembered for devising the most satisfactory printing method of his time. As early as 1439, Gutenberg was experimenting with his method of printing. The earliest dated specimen of printing, dated 1454, is a collection of indulgences by Pope Nicholas V, and the Gutenberg or Forty-two-Line Bible, completed in 1456, has the honor of being the first, complete, printed book.

Even after the triumph of printing, the manuscripts of the scriptoria had their influence. The style of script and its position on the page, the artistic rubrication, the flourish of initial lettering, and the intricate marginal designs provided a model for the printed page. In fact, in the early development of printing, these illuminations were added by hand. Later when the woodcut, metal-cut, and type form served the purpose, printers would employ artists to create woodcut illustrations copying the illuminations of manuscripts.

One prominent illustrator was Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528). Another illustrator, Erhard Reuwich, journeyed with the author ostensibly to draw scenes as he and the author witnessed them. His innovative method falls into question, however, with the presence in one book of his representation of a unicorn.

In what can be considered an upgrade to the scriptorium, Cardinal Juan de Torquemada in 1476, persuaded Conrad Sweyenheym and Arnold Pannartz of Mainz to operate a printing studio in the protocenobium of Santa Scholastica at Subiaco, Italy - the site of St. Benedict's original monasteries. This venture was the first printing house in Italy.

The Brethren of the Common Life (14th-16th century, Netherlands and Germany) continued their work in the classic scriptorium about 100 years longer than all other monasteries. Their manuscripts, which included vitae of the saints, theological works, and liturgical books, were beautifully illuminated and bound. They were dependent upon the scriptorium work and simple arts and crafts for their revenue, and they found a healthy market of commissions.

A passage from their customary, or house rules, reflects the significance they placed on scriptorium work: "Concerning the work of copying, note that you should order the work of your hands to the end that it may lead you to purity of heart, because you are weak and cannot be always at spiritual exercises and for this reason was handiwork instituted. Wherefore you ought to attend in your copying to three things, to wit, that you make the letters properly and perfectly, that you copy without error, that you understand the sense of what you are copying, and that you concentrate your wandering mind on the task."

Elsewhere in the customary is found this instruction for the brethren: "Twice a week they write for one hour in the evening for the poor, to wit from six to seven." This attitude of the efficacy of the scriptorium was likewise pervasive in the monastery of St. Martin of Tours where copying was the only skill allowed the monks.

Since the close of the 16th century, when the Brethren of the Common Life and their revered scriptoria faded away, calligraphic copying and illumination by hand have served the purpose merely of artistic interest, while the practical rôle of producing books fell to the printing press.

In history's ageless manuscript, however, the names of monk, scribe, and scriptorium are ornately and indelibly transcribed
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RE:The Kabbalah
(Date Posted:01/08/2009 05:32 AM)

While excavating a burial tomb near Jerusalem in 1979, Gabriel Barkay uncovered the oldest known copy of Old Testament scripture. The priestly blessing, recorded in Numbers 6:24-26, was discovered on two small silver scrolls dated to the 7th century B.C.

"This was a discovery of utmost importance," said Barkay, professor of archaeology at Bar Ilan University near Tel Aviv. ?These verses pre-date the famous Dead Sea Scrolls by approximately four centuries. They are the only biblical verses we have from the time of the First Temple [period].?

Barkay spoke of the discovery at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Feb. 18 ? one of only two lectures during a trip to America. His was the inaugural lecture offered the seminary?s new Center for Archaeological Research.

Steven Ortiz, assistant professor of archaeology and biblical studies and director of the Center for Archaeological Research at NOBTS, served as field archaeologist at the Ketef Hinnom site where the scrolls were found. When Ortiz heard that Barkay was coming to America to lecture at Emory University, he convinced his archaeology mentor to come to New Orleans to speak as well. Asking Barkay to deliver the center?s first lecture was an easy decision, Ortiz said.

"He is an excellent and engaging lecturer," Ortiz said. "I wanted our students to be exposed to one of the top scholars in the field of biblical archaeology.?"

"The importance of the Ketef Hinnom inscriptions tends to be overlooked among students and pastors," Ortiz said. "These scrolls are significant for the dating of the Old Testament. They provide evidence of the antiquity of the Bible."

The two silver scrolls were discovered by Barkay's team in a rock-hewn burial cave southwest of the ancient city of Jerusalem. The structure of the tomb was of interest to Barkay because it dated to the First Temple period, but it appeared that over centuries looters had taken all the artifacts. The tomb had last been used for storing Turkish army rifles during the Ottoman period.

However, Barkay and his team discovered that some artifacts had been preserved in a bone repository in the tomb. When a family member died, he or she was placed on a burial bench in the tomb along with personal items such as vases and jewelry, Barkay explained. After the dead body decayed, the bones were collected and placed in a bone repository located in a separate area of the tomb. The practice is referred to in the Old Testament as being gathered unto his fathers.

At some point a layer of the repository?s ceiling broke lose and covered the collected bones and personal items. Barkay said that the piece of ceiling appeared to be nothing more than the repository floor. An Israeli schoolboy helping clean the repository during excavations accidentally broke through the layer, revealing many bones and artifacts below.

As the team sifted through the items in repository, they discovered the two scrolls. After the initial discovery in 1979, scholars had the daunting task of unrolling and deciphering the text. They had no idea how important the find would be.

"It took us three years to unroll it [the larger scroll]," Barkay said. "When unrolled, it was covered with very delicately scratched characters. The first word we could decipher was the 'YHWH' ? sometimes anglicized as Jehovah. This is the name of the Lord in the Hebrew Bible."

Until this time no inscriptions with the name of God had been found in Jerusalem.

The larger of the two scrolls was only about three inches long when it was unrolled. The smaller one was just over two inches long. Barkay said the thin fragile silver of each scroll was etched with 19 lines of tiny, Hebrew script. It was years before researchers realized that the inscription was an almost exact representation of the priestly blessing found in Numbers. Careful study revealed that the Hebrew characters used were distinctive of the 7th century B.C.

In English the verses read: "The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace."

The find is significant because it helps establish the historicity and the age of Old Testament scripture. In the late 1800s German higher critics began questioning the date the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament) was composed in written form. Many of these critics argued that this section of scripture was written some time after the Babylonian exile.

According to Barkay, the discovery of this early biblical inscription is an important part of the argument for an early dating of the Old Testament. He acknowledges that the find does not prove that the Pentateuch was written by the 7th century. However, it is strong evidence for that position.

"I can at least say that these verses existed in the 7th century ... the time of the prophet Jeremiah and the time of King Josiah,? Barkay said.

Barkay published a book about the find in 1986, but recent advances in computer technology have helped researchers discover additional verses on the silver scrolls. The new research technique revealed that the scroll contains other verses from the Pentateuch. Barkay has written a manuscript about these other finds and plans to publish it in the near future.

While the silver scrolls were discovered more than 20 years ago, little information about the discovery has been available to the general public. Lectures like this are important because most of the articles about finds like those at Ketef Hinnom are published only in scholarly journals, Ortiz said.

He said he hopes to hold a number of archaeology lectures each year as funding becomes available, and that those lectures will help educate ministerial students and others about important finds that uphold the historicity of the Bible.

Qualified lecturers such as Barkay also bring credibility to the Center of Archaeology Research, Ortiz said, noting that lectures in the field show that NOBTS is serious about biblical archaeology and could help the school secure a site to excavate and research in the future.

Oldest Scrolls Ever Found Bestow High Blessing!
Solomon's Temple contain Holy Name of Jehovah.

by Benjamin Hartman

Jerusalem, Israel - Who wore this silver object, so finely crafted and painstakingly rolled up into a tiny, pure silver scroll? Designed with a hole through the center to be threaded with string, this was undoubtedly someone's sacred treasure.

Did it belong to a daughter of Jerusalem, a beautiful maiden with the silver scroll adorning her left arm? Or was it a strapping soldier from the king's court, a leather cord tied across his brow, binding the precious scroll close to his thoughts?

We will probably never know; but what we do known is that one of the greatest archaeological finds - containing the oldest known biblical texts ever found - was once worn almost three-thousand years ago, and the ancient writings it contains once again substantiates the antiquity of the Holy Scriptures.

In obedience to the teachings of Mosses, which instructed his people to keep the Word of the Lord close to their hearts and minds, ancient Jews traditionally wore small cases containing scriptures on their left arm or brow. Known as "tephillin" in Hebrew, they are called "phylacteries" in the New Testament.

Under the remains of a fourth century church, the Church of St. George in Jerusalem, recent excavations discovered numerous catacombs which were in use from the time of King Solomon's Temple. It was in these catacombs that two small cylindrical objects, rolled up into tiny silver scrolls and dated to the time of the Kingdom of the House of David were found.

The larger scroll is 1.1 inches long (2.75 cm), with a diameter of 0.43 inches (1.1 cm), while the smaller scroll is only 0.45 inches long (1.12 cm), with a diameter of 0.2 inches (0.5 cm). The experts at the Israel Museum Laboratories succeeded, after much difficulty, in developing a special technique for unrolling the tiny, delicate scrolls. Unrolled, the two scrolls, which were made of almost pure sheet-silver (ninty-nine percent silver, one percent copper), contained inscriptions in the ancient Hebrew alphabet. The inscriptions were written prior to the mid-seventh century BC and were delicately incised with a sharp instrument, probably as Jeremiah says, "with a pen of iron, with the point of a diamond." (17:1).

Deciphering the tiny letters are difficult, and not all the inscription can be clearly read. However, what can be deciphered reveals the oldest biblical text ever found.

First, the end of the owner's name "... yahu" appears to be preserved on the first line. This was a common form of name during the Kingdom of David. Names like "Ye'sha'aiahu" ("Isaiah") and "Yi'rmi'iahu" (Jeremiah) end similarly.

Even more interesting is the fact that the name is followed by legible Hebrew text, which, while fragmentary, contains the well-known and beloved Priestly High Blessing, included in which are the oldest inscriptions of the Divine Name of God, "Y'H'W'H" - "Jehovah." The words of the blessing are almost identical to the verses in Numbers 6:24-26 in which God gave Mosses the blessing to be used by the priesthood for the children of Israel. The lines of the silver scroll read:

"The Lord bless thee and keep thee; the Lord make His face shine upon thee and be gracious unot thee; The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee and give thee peace." The inscription on the smaller scroll, not as well preserved, also contained 19 lines. The letters are up to 0.14 inches high (0.35 cm). The name of the owner, "Benayahu" or "Sh'banyahu" appears on the first line. The next three lines are undecipherable, but from the fifth line on, the following can be read:

This is a slightly different version of the Priestly High Blessing, containing only ten words compared to the fifteen words in Numbers 6. They are reminiscent, however, of another version which appears in the Bible in Psalms 67:2: "May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face to shine upon us, Selah."

The silver scrolls, dating as they do from the time of the Kings of the House of David, are the most ancient amulets yet found. The expression "prayer object of silver" is mentioned in an Egyptian papyrus from about 300 B.C. (Cowley, papyrus 81), which may refer to an object similar to these silver scrolls.

The custom of wearing inscribed amulets containing biblical blessings was widespread in ancient Israel and continued during the time of Christ and throughout the Roman and Byzantine periods.

The tradition was based on the biblical injunction: "And it shall be a sign to you and your hand and as a memorial between your eyes." (Exodus 13:9).

The amulets were worn around the neck, tied to the fingers, arms or worn close to the heart. In speaking of the law of God, the writer of Proverbs declared: "For they shall be graceful ornaments on your head and chains about you neck" (1:9). Isaiahs' list of trinkets (Isaiah 3:20) owned by the daughters of Jerusalem is also evidence that such amulets were worn as ornaments.

These small, silver scrolls, so fragile and precious, small enough to hold in the palm of a hand, carry a powerful message from ancient times to the world today. They signify the value of God's Word to His people, then - and now. The High Priestly Blessing, given so long ago to God's chosen, still blesses us and is a part of our worship today.
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RE:The Kabbalah
(Date Posted:01/08/2009 05:34 AM)

Kabbalah
 
There seems to be a pull for people to study Kabbalah - Qabbalah - which is the study of the Tree of Life or Creation.

There are Kabbalah Centers in different cities for those who wish to journey on this path.

Often the journey creates new friendships with those of like mind.

Once again - it is all about healing ----> balancing ----> conscious awakening.

A reader sent a message stating....

According to Jewish texts, the tablets were not arc shaped. They were either believed to be cube shaped or rectangular. That perception of them being omphalos shaped came much later, most probably a misconception in the Christian text and/or art. The most agreed upon image of the tablets are two sapphire cubes with the words engraved straight through the cube.

According to Midrash, what was interesting about the lettering was that it was able to be read correctly from both sides. In addition, the inner parts of the letters (for example, the center of the Samech, which is O shaped) remained in place, even though nothing held it in place.

In my soul - this feel correct. It's about the Cube - the Blue frequency [blueprint of our reality] - and the 0 - Zero Point merge.

Kabbalah students seek 'light' - and how to unplug the Matrix July 2003 - Miami Herald
Kabbalah has become an international craze. It is all about ''the light.'' The light is many things: the illusion of material reality, the source of genuine energy, freedom from fear, misery and doubt and the key to connecting with the universe.

No business like Kabbalah business
Kabbalah is all the rage among celebs these days, but some critics are raising serious questions about the new vogue for the ancient branch of Jewish mysticism. Madonna, Liz Taylor, Mick Jagger, Gwyneth Paltrow, Courtney Love, Sandra Bernhard and Barbra Streisand are among the stars who have been linked to Kabbalah

What Is Kabbalah, Anyway? June 2003 - MSNBC
 
kabala wisdom
Wisdom 1

Phonetic: " Eem ein a'nee lee mee lee? U'kshe'a'nee le'atz'mee ma a'nee? Ve'eem lo ach'shav, ei'ma'tai?"

Translation:If I am not to my self - who is? And when I am for my self - what am I? And if not now, then when?

Meaning:

* If a person does not have his/her own self - or in other words the self he/she has is a false one (resulting in not being tuned to his/her true needs and feelings) - what kind of role does he/she is having in this world?

* This phrase emphasizes our responsibility over finding our self, our true and deep inner self, the one that is uniquely and solely ours. We always have the option to choose - things that are either true or false to us - and our fate is the consequence of the choices we make. One must realize there is no in-between phase in spiritual growth en-route being your self - you either go downhill or uphill!

* Once we are tuned to our true self our choices will become apparent and would take us the right way (this is a process, though...).

* Most important, we must do the work now, this minute. If this moment seems inappropriate it is only because we are afraid of the difficulties to come. Our line of reasoning is deriving from our old school of thoughts but once we realize it we can embark on the road towards the true and better self we aspire to be.

Wisdom 2
Phonetic: "Ei'ze'hu cha'cham? Ha'ro'eh et Ha'no'lad."

Translation: Who is a wise person? The one who sees things to come (or 'to be born').

Meaning:

* Being wise is being able to process information and knowledge, resulting in conclusions and proper action. The wise one, by drawing conclusions based on his experience and knowledge has the ability to see into the future. Hence his actions will have the awareness of the past, understanding of the present, and assurance of the future result.

* In addition, the word "nolad" in Hebrew means the baby born. Most people, when looking at the newborn baby, although he/she may look helpless and capable of nothing at the present time, know that soon a human being will evolve.

* The same is true with other matters. Our past experience and wisdom should teach us how to assess the present situation, draw conclusions and anticipate the future consequences of our actions.

* The 'thing to be born' is the purest form (the essence) of the entity, like the baby born which is pure. By realizing the essence of the matter the wise one can assess the variables and find the truth.
Wisdom 3

Phonetic: "So'ne ma'ta'not yeech'ye. "

Translation: The one who hates gifts shall live.

Meaning:

* Wisdom we gain through life helps us focus and accomplish our goals the right way, which is not always easy. Still, some people may present us with offers and gifts along the way, seemingly with no effort required on our side. By realizing a gift is something received without working or paying for it we can stop them from gaining control over our mind, flattering materialistically and creating a certain unconscious dependency.
* Materialistic possession is constantly advocated via various media channels resulting in excessive likeness of gifts. To protect oneself one should consider rejecting gifts when possible. More so, the habit of receiving gifts may create anticipation, leading to frustration and disappointment. If rejecting a gift will hurt the giver's feeling we should accept it and express our gratitude.

* The meaning of the word 'hate' is not a negative feeling towards the giver, but negating the idea of possessing something without work, energy, money or other form of payment that will establish our true ownership. A true spiritual process of growth in life should teach us when and how to avoid free gifts, as it was said: "There is no such thing as a free lunch!”.

* In addition, rejecting a materialistic gift will only enforce our spiritual growth and being, hence the use of the wonderful phrase 'shall live' here - as in spiritual life!
Wisdom 4
 
Phonetic: "Ein Om'reen Sheev'cho Shel A'dam Be'fa'nav."

Translation: One should not praise a person facing him/her.

Meanings:

* Humility is one of the most evasive virtues in our society. Thus creating a situation where false pride would flourish is not advisable. A true sense of pride should derive from actions and from recognizing the virtues of these actions by the person himself. This practice should be exercised over a long period of time.


* Praising one while present has the characteristics of flattering and manipulation. As a result, a true assessment of words and actions could be overlooked and humility avoided.

* Giving praise, like all giving, is best done without the recipient knowledge of it. This eliminates the need for expressing gratitude, thus the action of giving remains in its purity. When done this way the positive energy that was created will influence both the person being praised and the one who praised.

* The word 'Befanav' In Hebrew (facing him/her) has the same root as the word 'inner'. Praising the inner of a person interferes with the self and one would feel embarrassment in many cases. If we further look at the root of the word 'embarrassment' in Hebrew we find it to mean 'Maze' or 'Labyrinth'. Hence praising someone 'in his presence' may interfere with the person's self in an unwelcome way, creating a sense of maze and resulting in embarrassment.
Wisdom 5

Phonetic: "Ein Om'reen Sheev'cho Shel A'dam Be'fa'nav."

Translation: One should not praise a person facing him/her.

Meanings:

* Humility is one of the most evasive virtues in our society. Thus creating a situation where false pride would flourish is not advisable. A true sense of pride should derive from actions and from recognizing the virtues of these actions by the person himself. This practice should be exercised over a long period of time.


* Praising one while present has the characteristics of flattering and manipulation. As a result, a true assessment of words and actions could be overlooked and humility avoided.

* Giving praise, like all giving, is best done without the recipient knowledge of it. This eliminates the need for expressing gratitude, thus the action of giving remains in its purity. When done this way the positive energy that was created will influence both the person being praised and the one who praised.

* The word 'Befanav' In Hebrew (facing him/her) has the same root as the word 'inner'. Praising the inner of a person interferes with the self and one would feel embarrassment in many cases. If we further look at the root of the word 'embarrassment' in Hebrew we find it to mean 'Maze' or 'Labyrinth'. Hence praising someone 'in his presence' may interfere with the person's self in an unwelcome way, creating a sense of maze and resulting in embarrassment.
 
Wisdom 6
 
Phonetic: "Ein Ha'brac'ha Me'tzu'ya ela Be'da'var Ha'sa'muy Meen Ha'a'yeen."

Translation: Blessed is only what's hidden from the eye.

Meanings:

* In order to succeed in one's work, plans and actions one must learn how to do things in a modest way, without exposition.

* Many are the people who look negatively upon their friend's success. This sort of "looking" may have the power to project negative energy in a way that will disrupt the project.

* Acting and creating without exposing it to the public eye is recommended. Reporting or publishing it is not advisable either, unless publicity is a key ingredient of its success.

* As long as the success of the project means more than it's publicity, it's best to keep it quiet, if only until it's successful ending - and then publish it!
 
Wisdom 7
 
Phonetic: "Yesh bo'te ke'mad'ke'rot che'rev ul'shon cha'cha'meem mar'pe."

Translation: Some harsh as the stabbing of a sword, and the words of wise men heal.

Meanings:

* Some expressions from certain people can hurt us like stabs of swords.

* Words of hope and encouragement from a wise person can heal that pain inside us.

* The harshest of words, when said by a wise person, would eventually help, since these words have a positive quality that will overcome the sharp edge of criticism.

* In addition, the wise person would be aware of the capacity of the listener to accept criticism, hence choosing his words with the utmost care, knowing each and every one will reach the other person's heart.
 
Wisdom 8
 
Phonetic: "Ein tov she'ein bo ra."

Translation: There is no good with no evil in it.

Meanings:

* Behind each and every decision we take are two major forces - good and bad. When we choose the good option and the action taken is positive accordingly - the 'bad' side still exists and need to be observed and guarded constantly.
* The Rule of Confinement should always be observed. If we don't confine the 'good' in order to allow for its existence and we continue to aspire for endless 'good' - we may arrive at the 'bad' which resides on the flip side of the 'good', like a heroin addict aspiring for heavenly sensations but ending in misery and pain.
* Confining the 'good' within us gives it energy and power, enabling it to resist and fight 'bad' advice when it's decision time. Once Evil is cut-off of it's 'life support' - the energy our 'Good' side is using, it can and should be integrated and embraced making it a part of us.

* The opposite is true (as always with words of Wisdom): There's no evil with no Good in it. Realizing evil is a part of us and integrating it is a condition for reaching out for the good spark which lies within evil and bring it 'up', metamorphosing our evil from bad to Good.

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RE:The Kabbalah
(Date Posted:01/08/2009 05:35 AM)

The Four Worlds

Tree of Life Tree of Life Tree of Life Tree of Life
 
The sefirot, introduced in our discussion of the Tree of Life, can usefully be considered on their own, but Kabbalists further refine the system by viewing them as acting on or through four different levels or worlds which form a hierarchy of their own. Just as from Kether to Malkuth there is a successive movement from the abstract to the manifest, so there is in the Kabbalistic worlds from Atziluth to Assiah:
Atziluth Archetypal World (World of Emanations) or Divine World
Briah Creative World or World of Thrones
Yetsirah Formative World
Assiah Manifest World

These four worlds can be considered as a linear hierarchy, each containing its own full Tree, in which Malkuth in one world becomes Kether of the world below, and Kether of one world becomes Malkuth of the world above. Malkuth is seen as the complementary fulfillment of Kether: the first is Divine Immanence, the latter Divine Transcendence.

An alternative is to view the four worlds as being expressed through a single Tree. Atziluth is expressed through the sefira Kether; Briah through Chokmah and Binah; Yetsirah through the six sefirot Chesed to Yesod; and Assiah through Malkuth. (Some prefer to view Atziluth as acting through both Kether and Chokmah, and Briah as acting through Binah alone.)

Both systems of either one or four Trees are equally valid and are used according to context, rather like the physicist viewing light as a wave of energy or a stream of particles depending on circumstance. A further outlook is that each sefira can be viewed as a whole Tree itself, giving ten Trees and one hundred sefirot. Kabbalistically these numbers can be considered equivalent as, using techniques similar to numerology, 100, 10 and 1 are fundamentally one (1+0+0 = 1+0 = 1).

The fourfold aspect given to each sefira by its existence in each of the four worlds allows application of the Kabbalah to fourfold systems such as the western elements (Fire, Air, Water and Earth), the letters of the Tetragrammaton (Hebrew Name of God: Yod, He, Vau, final He), the Jungian functions and the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. The latter is very important in the Western Kabbalah: each of the four Tarot suits contains precisely ten numbered cards (as do our modern playing cards which are derived from the Tarot), and so a Tarot deck contains a representation of the Tree in each of four worlds. The four court cards in each suit offer a further fourfold correspondence, and each of the twenty-two Major Arcana cards corresponds to one of the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and to one of the twenty-two paths joining the sefirot on the Tree of Life.

For use in prayer, meditation or magic, each sefira is assigned a Name of God to represent its essence in Atziluth, an Archangel for Briah, an Angelic Host for Yetsirah, and a Mundane Chakra (generally expressed through planetary forces) for Assiah.
Sefira Divine Name Archangel Angelic Host Mundane Chakra
Kether Eheieh
("I am") Metatron Chioth Ha Qodesh Rashith ha-Gilgalim,
Primum Mobile
Chokmah Yah
("Lord") Ratziel Auphanium Mazloth,
Zodiac
Binah Yhvh Elohim
("Lord God") Tzaphkiel Aralim Shabbathai,
Saturn
Chesed El
("God") Tzadkiel Chasmalim Tzedek,
Jupiter
Geburah Elohim Gibor
("Almighty God") Khamael Seraphim Madim,
Mars
Tifereth Yhvh Eloah ve-Daath
("Lord God of Knowledge") Mikael Malakim Shemesh,
Sun
Netsach Yhvh Tzabaoth
("Lord of Hosts") Auriel Elohim Nogah,
Venus
Hod Elohim Tzaboath
("God of Hosts") Raphael Beni Elohim Kokab,
Mercury
Yesod Shaddai El Chai
("Almighty Living God") Gabriel Ashim Levanah,
Moon
Malkuth Adonai ha-Aretz
("Lord of Earth") Sandalphon Kerubim Cholam Yesodoth,
Elements

Tree of Life
 
Otz Chiim or the Tree of Life (shown above) is discussed in The Tree of Life. Though the tree may be drawn with differing locations of paths - particularly in pure, Judaic Kabbalah - esoteric tradition is consistent in presenting the tree as above, with 32 paths in the positions shown.

The 22 paths numbered 32 to 11 (shown as lines but not numbered on the diagram) correspond to the 22 cards in the Major Arcana of the Tarot, and to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The 10 paths numbered 10 to 1 are the sefirot themselves (shown and numbered above), corresponding to the Minor Arcana of the Tarot when the Tree is considered in the Four Worlds. The Tarot and the Kabbalah discusses the relationship between the 78 cards of the Tarot and the Tree of Life, and includes a diagram showing the attributions of the paths.

The sefirot are discussed in The Tree of Life, so here we provide correspondences for the paths (32 to 11). A reminder of the names of the sefirot is given below:

1 Kether (Crown)

2 Chokmah (Wisdom)

3 Binah (Understanding)

4 Chesed (Mercy)

5 Geburah (Severity)

6 Tifereth (Beauty)

7 Netsach (Victory)

8 Hod (Glory)

9 Yesod (Foundation)

10 Malkuth (Kingdom)

It is up to serious seekers to explore for themselves the values, characteristics, uses and implications of the paths. A good understanding of the sefirot is required before any path may be usefully meditated upon and followed. A path is understood through study, visualization, empathy and guided meditation. A consideration of the sefirot linked by the path and the correspondences given below are a vital part of this process. For each path, the following information is given:

* The pair of sefirot joined by the path and its number
* The Hebrew letter associated with the path
* The Yetsiratic attribution of the path
* The Tarot trump corresponding to the path
* The astrological planet associated with the path
* The element corresponding to the path
* The color of the path (Queen Scale)


Path joining Yesod and Malkuth - 32

Tav
Tav

Administrative Intelligence | The World | Saturn | Earth | Black
Path joining Hod and Malkuth - 31

Shin
Shin

Perpetual Intelligence | Judgement | Pluto | Fire | Vermillion
Path joining Hod and Yesod - 30

Resh
Resh

Collecting Intelligence | The Sun | Sun | Air / Fire | Golden yellow
Path joining Netsach and Malkuth - 29

Qoph
Qoph

Corporeal Intelligence | The Moon | Moon | Water | Buff
Path joining Netsach and Yesod - 28

Tzaddi
Tzaddi

Constituting Intelligence | The Star | Uranus / Saturn | Air | Red
Path joining Netsach and Hod - 27

Peh
Peh

Exciting Intelligence | The Tower | Mars | Fire | Bright red
Path joining Tifereth and Hod - 26

Ayin
Ayin

Renovating Intelligence | The Devil | Saturn | Earth | Black
Path joining Tifereth and Yesod - 25

Samekh
Samekh

Tentative Intelligence | Temperance | Jupiter | Fire | Yellow
Path joining Tifereth and Netsach - 24

Nun
Nun

Imaginative Intelligence | Death | Mars | Fire | Brown
Path joining Geburah and Hod - 23

Mem
Mem

Stable Intelligence | The Hanged Man | Neptune | Water | Sea green
Path joining Geburah and Tifereth - 22

Lamed
Lamed

Faithful Intelligence | Justice | Venus | Air | Blue
Path joining Chesed and Netsach - 21

Kaph
Kaph

Conciliating Intelligence | Fortune | Jupiter | Water | Dark blue
Path joining Chesed and Tifereth - 20

Yod
Yod

Willful Intelligence | The Hermit | Mercury | Air | Slate gray
Path joining Chesed and Geburah - 19

Teth
Teth

Spiritual Intelligence | Strength | Sun | Air | Deep purple
Path joining Binah and Geburah - 18

Cheth
Cheth

Influencing Intelligence | The Chariot | Moon | Water | Maroon
Path joining Binah and Tifereth - 17

Zayin
Zayin

Disposing Intelligence | The Lovers | Mercury | Air | Mauve
Path joining Chokmah and Chesed - 16

Vav
Vav

Triumphal Intelligence | The Hierophant | Venus | Earth | Indigo
Path joining Chokmah and Tifereth - 15

Heh
Heh

Natural Intelligence | The Emperor | Mars | Fire | Light blue
Path joining Chokmah and Binah - 14

Daleth
Daleth

Illuminating Intelligence | The Empress | Venus | Earth | Mid blue
Path joining Kether and Tifereth - 13

Gimel
Gimel

Uniting Intelligence | The High Priestess | Moon | Water | Silver
Path joining Kether and Binah - 12

Beth
Beth

Transparent Intelligence | The Magus | Mercury | Air | Purple
Path joining Kether and Chokmah - 11

Aleph
Aleph

Scintillating Intelligence | The Fool | Uranus | Air | Sky blue
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RE:The Kabbalah
(Date Posted:01/08/2009 05:36 AM)

Central to modern Kabbalistic study is the diagram Otz Chiim, the Tree of Life. This is a representation of the thirty-two "paths" comprised of the ten sefirot and the twenty-two paths through which they interrelate (introduced in our Introduction to the Kabbalah). Though the tree may be drawn with variations in the location of paths - particularly in pure, Judaic Kabbalah - esoteric tradition is consistent in presenting the tree as above, with the paths in the positions shown.

The Tree of Life describes the descent of the divine into the manifest world, and methods by which divine union may be attained in this life. It can be viewed as a map of the human psyche, and of the workings of creation, both manifest and unmanifest. Indeed, any system can be more fully understood both in itself and relative to any other system by viewing it in relation to the Tree. The Tree allows and requires a more holistic understanding of any topic to which it is applied - reason, spiritual perception and intuition are all needed, as is clear from the structure of the Tree itself.

It is important to realize that the pure nature of divinity is unity, and that the seemingly separate aspects or emanations exist only in view of the emanated, living in a state of illusory separation. This is expressed in the Zohar: "in creating this world below, the world above lost nothing. It is the same for each sefira: if one is illuminated, the next loses none of its brilliance". The absolute divine light can be said to be refracted through the prism of the sefirot into the apparently multifarious world of creation.

The Tree may be viewed in many different ways by grouping the sefirot together depending on circumstance. The most important views are the three pillars of severity (sefirot 3, 5 and 8), equilibrium (sefirot 1, 6, 9 and 10) and mercy (sefirot 2, 4 and 7); and the three major triangles: the supernal triangle (sefirot 1, 2 and 3), the ethical triangle (sefirot 4, 5 and 6) and the astral triangle (sefirot 7, 8 and 9). Also worthy of note are the seven planes of the tree and the correspondence between the sefirot and the chakras of eastern mysticism.
The Structure of the Tree

The names and numbers of the ten sefirot are given in order below. The most usual name for each sefira is given first, followed by some alternatives.

1 Kether (Crown) or Kether Elyon (Supreme Crown)

2 Chokmah (Wisdom)

3 Binah (Understanding or Intelligence)

4 Chesed (Mercy or Grace) or Gedullah (Greatness)

5 Geburah (Severity or Power), Din (Judgement) or Pahad (Fear)

6 Tifereth (Beauty) or Rahamim (Mercy)

7 Netsach (Victory or Constancy)

8 Hod (Glory or Majesty)

9 Yesod (Foundation) or Tsedek (Justice)

10 Malkuth (Kingdom) or Shekhinah (Divine Immanence)

In viewing the Tree as comprised of the three pillars of severity, equilibrium (or mildness) and mercy, each sefira can be classed as either negative (restrictive, passive and destructive), balancing, or positive (expansive, active and constructive) depending upon whether it lies on the pillar of severity, equilibrium or mercy respectively. It is important to realize that no value judgement is implied in the terms 'positive or masculine' and 'negative or feminine'; each is neither better nor worse than the other. Indeed, it can be said that evil is a synonym for imbalance, highlighting the vital, complementary natures of the pillars.

Each sefira in itself has a dual aspect of negative and positive: namely, it is negative or receptive in relation to the preceding sefira and positive or transmissive in relation to the succeeding sefira. So, for example, Tifereth is negative to Geburah and positive to Netsach. This has the consequence that, taking the Tree in isolation, Kether may be considered as entirely positive (masculine) and Malkuth entirely negative (feminine), in that they have no preceding or succeeding sefira respectively. However, as will be seen from the discussion of the Four Worlds below, "Malkuth in one world is Kether of the next": even these sefirot can be viewed in their dual aspect.

Other positive-negative relationships of the sefirot may be considered too. For example, sefirot in the same pillar can be viewed in relation to each other. Thus Chesed may be seen as negative to Chokmah and positive to Netsach. Sefirot on the middle pillar also have a strong sense of balance, each being a balance or resolving point of one or more of the three dualities (Chokmah-Binah, Chesed-Geburah, and Netsach-Hod) found between the outer pillars.

Before leaving the pillars, let us reiterate their use as a means to synthesize the Kabbalah with threefold systems. Examples of analogies between the pillars of severity, equilibrium and mercy and other trinities include Taoist concepts (yin, Tao and yang); tantric energy channels (ida, sushumna and pingala); Hindu (Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu) and Christian (Holy Spirit, Father and Son) trinities; alchemical concepts (Sulfur, Mercury and Salt); aspects of the Goddess (Crone, Mother and Maiden); phases of the moon (waning, full and waxing); and the Hebrew "Mother" letters (Mem, Aleph and Shin). Knowledge of any of these can help enrich your knowledge of the Kabbalah through association with the Tree, and vice versa. This method of analogy can be applied to each sefira individually, to the pillars or triangles of the Tree, to the planes, the Worlds or any other way the Tree can be conceived. The balance of structure and flexibility in the Tree gives it its great strength as a means of assimilation, understanding and interconnectivity.

One final attribution of the pillars that is well worth reflecting upon is that of the three precepts to Enlightenment, which can correspond to the pillars of severity, mercy and mildness respectively: Self-control, Self-knowledge and Self-realization.
Da'ath

In addition to the ten sefirot, the diagram of the Tree of Life above shows the dark and unlabeled "sefira which is not a sefira", Da'ath. This "sefira" has no number and no position on the Tree in relation to the other sefirot, though when it is shown it is located centrally in the Abyss (between the planes of Binah-Chokmah and Geburah-Chesed) with no explicit connection to any other sefira. Da'ath is Knowledge, and is sometimes considered as being an expression of Binah and Chokmah combined. It is a place of balanced power.

Other articles of interest:
Introduction to the Kabbalah An introduction to the Kabbalah, with particular consideration of its history and development.
The Four Worlds A look at the four worlds of the Kabbalah, and how they relate to the Tree of Life.
The Qelippot An overview of the qelippot, the unbalanced counterparts to the sefirot, and the infernal tree they form.
Paths on the Tree A collection of correspondences with each of the paths on the Tree of Life.
The Negative Veils A hint of the Kabbalah's ineffable triad, the Veils of Negative Existence.
Sefirotic Meditation A customizable meditation aid for those already familiar with the attributes of the sefirot on the Tree of Life.
The Menorah and the Tree A discussion of the ancient Jewish symbol of the menorah and how it relates to the Tree of Life and the sefirot that constitute it.
The Tarot and the Kabbalah A look at the links between the Tarot and the Kabbalah, with particular reference to the Kabbalistic Tree of Life.
Hebrew Alphabet An introduction to the Hebrew alphabet and its importance to esoteric studies. Includes written forms, pronunciations, meanings, English transliterations and numerical equivalents.
http://www.byzant.com/kabbalah/treeoflife.asp
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