more about the Ten Sefirot of the Kabbalah
KETER Keter Elyon
Translation The Supreme Crown
Description Keter is the uppermost aspect of the Sefirot that can
be contemplated by humans. Even so, this Sefirah is rarely discussed
by the Kabbalists. Later traditions speak of it radiating 620 "pillars
Human Imagery (Primordial Man) Crown The hoary head. The hairs of
Names of God The point at the tip of the letter "yod"
in the Tetragrammaton (the four-letter name of God). Ehveh (a form
of "I shall be").
Other Symbols and Images
Primordial Ether "Nothingness," the negation of all thought.
"He." Arikh Anpin--the Longsuffering (literally: the Long-faced)
One. The Ancient Holy One. Before. Supernal East. The origin of
Will, The dew of Hermon.
Translation Understanding, Discernment
Description Binah refers to the analytic, distinguishing aspects
of God's thought. It is the uppermost feminine element in the Godhead,
and is symbolized as the mother of the Shekhinah. Many of the symbols
associated with Binah are therefore identicalto those of the Shekhinah.
Having received the seed from Hokhmah, Binah conceived and gave
birth to the seven lower Sefirot. There are fifty "Gates of
Understanding." Human Imagery (Primordial Man) Forehead.
Biblical Figure The Matriarch Leah. Names of God Elohim. The Hebrew
letter "he" in the four-letter name of God (The "Tetragrammaton").
The Tegtragrammaton when vocalized as the word "Elohim"
Other Symbols and Images
Supernal Mother, Supernal Shekhinah. Palace. Womb. "Who."
Palace, Building. Repentance ("Return," Teshuvah). A river
branching out into seven streams. Supernal Jubilee. The Hebrew Alphabet.
Supernal Justice. Beersheba. Lebanon (identified in Jewish tradition
with Jerusalem). Redemption. Vows.
Description Hokhmah represents the contemplative, synthetic aspects
of God's thought. It is the primordial point of creation from which
all knowable reality originates. There are 32 ways of Wisdom.
Human Imagery (Primordial Man) Right brain Biblical Figures King
Solomon Names of God Yah The letter "yod" of the four-letter
name of God (the Tetragrammaton)
Other Symbols and Images
"There is" (Yesh), Being, as in "Being out of 'Nothingness'").
Beginning. Eden. The origin of Thought. Seed. Fountain. Will. Depth.
Translation Judgment, Might, Power
Description This Sefirah represents the fearsome powers of divine
punishment and wrath in the world. This power is needed to maintain
control over the universe. However the destructive forces necessary
to keep order and exact punishment also contain the seeds of demonic
Evil: the "Other Side" (Sitra Ahra). Human Imagery (Primordial
Man) Left arm Biblical Figure Isaac.
Name of God Elohim.
Other Symbols and Images The Heavenly Court. North. Fear (of Isaac;
see Genesis 31:53). Great fire; consuming fire. The severe attribute
of justice. Gold. Bread, salt, wine, meat. Serpent. Darkness, night,
cloud, mist. The bronze altar.
Translation Love, Lovingkindness, Compassion, Greatness, Grace
Description Hesed represents the generous, benevolent (masculine)
side of God. There are 72 "bridges" of Hesed. Human Imagery
(Primordial Man) Right arm. Biblical Figure Abraham Names of God
El. Supreme God (El 'Elyon).
Other Symbols and Images Upper waters. Lion.
Translation Glory, beauty
Description Tiferet represents the ideal balance of Justice and
Mercy needed for proper running of the universe. This Sefirah unites
all the upper nine powers. Tif'eret is the offspring of Hokhmah
and Binah. Human Imagery (Primordial Man) Spine, torso. Biblical
Figures Jacob/Israel. Moses. Adam.
Names of God The Tetragrammaton (the four-letter name of God: YHVH)
The Lord The letter "Vav" of the Tetragrammaton The Holy
One, Blessed be He (the common epithet for God in Rabbinic literature)
Colours Green Purple
Other Symbols and Images Compassion (Rahamim). Truth. Judgment (Mishpat).
Humility Heaven. The sun, day. Harmony. King. It is often symbolized
as a bridegroom or prince who strives to be united with the Shekhinah.
Their union produces the human soul. "Thou" ('attah);
"'Anokhi" (a rarer form of "I"). The Tree of
Life. The Written Torah, Torah scroll. Ze'ir Anpin--the Impatient
(literally: Short-faced) One. Milk and honey. The candelabrum (menorah).
The golden altar.
Description Hod represents the lower channel through which God's
judgment comes down to the world. It is also associated with the
power of prophecy. Hod and Nezah are often treated as a complementary
pair. Human Imagery (Primordial Man) Left leg Biblical Figures Aaron
Name of God Elohim Zeva'ot (God of Hosts) Other Symbols and Images
The left pillar "Boaz" in the Temple (1 Kings 7:21).
Translation Eternity, Endurance, Victory Description This Sefirah
represents God's active grace in the world. Human Imagery (Primordial
Man) Right leg Biblical Figure Moses
Name of God YHVH Zeva'ot (The Lord of Hosts)
Other Symbols and Images The righ pillar "Jachin" in the
Temple (1 Kings
Description Yesod is the channel through which Tiferet strives to
unite with the Shekhinah and pass on the creative and benevolent
divine forces. Human Imagery (Primordial Man) This Sefirah is symbolized
as the male phallus, sanctified through the covenant of circumcision.
Biblical Figures Joseph Names of God El Hay or Elohim Hayyim (The
Living God), Eternal Life. El Shaddai (God Almighty). Adon (Master).
The point at the bottom tip of the Vav in the Tetragrammaton
Other Symbols and Images The Tree of Life. The Source of Living
Waters. The Righteous One. Good Peace Covenant, rainbow. Sign. Statute
(Hoq), commandment (mitzvah). Remembrance. The Holy Mountain, the
good mountain, Mount Zion. Redeemer, Redemption "This"
(masc.). Oath. Lower Hesed.
Translation God's Presence, Kingdom Description The Shekhinah is
a Talmudic concept representing God's dwelling and immanence in
the created world. It was equated with the "Keneset Yisrael,"
the personified spirit of the People of Israel. According to a Rabbinic
tradition, the Shekhinah shares in the exiles of the Jewish people.
Therefore, the redemption of the people of Israel is inextricably
linked to the remedying of an alienation within God him/herself,
introducing a bold new element into traditional Jewish Messianic
eschatology. It is through the Shekhinah that humans can experience
the Divine. The passivity of the Shekhinah is often emphasized (equated
with its femininity), as the recipient of forces from the higher
Sefirot. Human Imagery (Primordial Man) Mouth The Shekhinah is often
portrayed as a bride or princess whose male lover is the composite
of the nine upper sefirot, represented by the prince/bridegroom
Tiferet. Biblical Figures King David The Matriarch Rachel Name of
God Adonai (Lord) The last letter "he" in the four-letter
name of God ("the Tetragrammaton"). Elohim (when it receives
more influences from the Left side).
Colours Blue black
Other Symbols and Images Pool, sea, wellspring, gathering of the
waters, Beersheba (literally: "The Well of the Seven")
Earth, dry land (when deprived of nourishment from Hesed). Bedrock.
The Moon, which is the passive reflector of light from the sun.
In a manner appropriate to the redemption of God and Israel, the
moon renews itself each month. Queen Bride Daughter / Princess The
Royal House of David Matron The erotic and romantic phrases of the
Song of Songs and Prophetic imagery is evoked to represent the longing
of the male and female elements of the Godhead. Temple, Tent of
Meeting, Mount Moriah. The Land of Israel "I" "This"
(fem.). Mirror Rose Throne of Glory Justice Garden of Eden The Tree
of Knowledge The poor one Apple Orchard The Oral Torah Blessing
Freedom Sabbath, Sabbatical year (in some systems), Jubilee The
End of Thought All Eagle.