Talmud Eser HaSefirot – insights

tesIt has been awhile since I started to learn intensively Talmud Eser HaSefirot, and I wanted to share my personal experiences from the student perspective that might be beneficial for others.

  1. Foundation – the first chapters are the key to understanding the wisdom of Kabbalah. You’ll find that Baal-HaSulam constantly repeats himself – going over and over the fundamentals. This is where he tries to get the physical perception and connection to terminology out of student’s head and focuses his mind on spiritual. As RABASH used to say “throw away the words” – don’t let physical associations confuse you, and this is what is being achieved in the first parts of Talmud Eser HaSefirot. Misunderstanding of this basic concepts will lead you far away from what he is actually trying to convey to you.
  2. Terminology – the whole Kabbalistic dictionary consists of only 10 words: from Keter to Malchut. Therefore, you must have very clear understanding of axillary words that Baal-HaSulam uses to explain ARIZAL. Each time you read words like kli, sfira, olam, ohr, masach, etc you must have clear comprehension to what they allude to outside of your physical associations with these words.
  3. Perspective – when you read a paragraph, always ask yourself from which perspective the author talks? Is is Malchut De-Elyon, is it a parzuf, olam, sefira? Baal-HaSulam shifts from macro to micro even within the same paragraph and therefore you always must keep track from what perspective he talks know
  4. ARIZAL – I found it very useful to study ARIZAL first, then Ohr Pnimi of Sulam and then re-studying ARIZAL – you’ll see how differently you understand ARIZAL text once you go through Sulam’s commentaries. Don’t be lazy – it worth it!
  5. Malchut – you always have to keep in mind that everything is written from the perspective of Malchut, as we can’t grasp the Ohr (Light). Until Malchut comes to the picture you can’t talk of preceding sefirot. When they’re being described, they’re always described from the perspective Malchut and how Malchut perceives them.
  6. Time/Space/Change – there is no time, space and change in spiritual – these are only concepts of our world. Therefore, when you read about something that “changed”  it means that another object in new state is created, yet the previous state always remains and Light goes through it to get to the new state. Example: in our world when we look at the table we understand that a tree was cut, then processed, then shaped. Thus, the tree nor intermediate processes to get to the table don’t exist anymore. This is not the case in spiritual – the tree, all its intermediately states along with the final table exist and connected to each other. Understand this well.
  7. Where are we in the spiritual map? It’s common misunderstanding to assume that we’re in the world of Asiya – this is not the case, as the world of Asiya (the lowest of the five worlds) is already Divine domain separated from our physical world. Below world of Asiya there are three layers of Klipot that separate us from it.
  8. Light is constant. This is a tough concept to grasp as ARIZAL uses words like Masach and Levushim to describe how Light changes from one stage to another. This is only done to communicate to us the key concepts, however Light is exactly the same on all stages, after all Masachim, after all Levushim, even in our world! What changes is the KLI and how it receives the Divine Light around it.

And a small math if you got bored.

HaVaYa (yod, key, vav, key) – numerical value is 26.

  1. 1 x Havaya = 26; 2+ 6 = 8
  2. 2 x Havaya = 52; 5 + 2 = 7
  3. 3 x Havaya = 78;  7 + 8 = 15; 1 + 5 = 6
  4. 4 x Havaya = 104;  1 + 4 = 5
  5. 5 x Havaya = 130;  1 + 3 = 4
  6. 6 x Havaya = 156;  1 + 5 + 6 = 12 = 1 + 2 = 3
  7. 7 x Havaya = 182;  1 + 8 + 2 = 11 = 1 + 1 = 2
  8. 8 x Havaya = 208; 2 + 8 = 10 = 1

The bottom line: the more HaShem you allow in, the thinner (zach) your KLI becomes.

Heard from Rabbi Mansour.

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2 Responses to Talmud Eser HaSefirot – insights

  1. I would like to tell that TES is really very tough, and that is why it is recommended to get some preporation to study it.

    Again needless to say that , if you don’t observe Mitzvot, you may read about Kabbalah whatever is abailable in your language, but to study kabbalah without being observant jew is impossible, becuase it is written in such a way that even with the help of a real kabbalaist,which will never take a non-jewish or non-observing jew as a student, you have to make a lot of effort to understand the kabbalaistic way of seeing the world.

    TES is an “anatomy and physiology” of spiritual worlds, but as we know when the doctor first sees the real paitant, there is nothing that resembles the pictures from the textbook. So we 1. have to study the theory and then 2. to learn to use it in every day activity, and we need a real Kabbalist to help us on every stage of our spiritual development.

    To begin with, if you are fit to the previous creteria, you have to study all the Introductions, especially, “Ptikha leHokhmat haKabbalah” which takes about a year of intense study, but it gives you a general idea, what Kabbalah is about, and later while studing TES, you will know more or less what point of the Kabbalist map you are in, because TES has so many details to explain, and it is still minimum one have to know about the construction and functioning of the spiritual worlds, that you may be lost in details.Knowing “Ptikha” will help you to remember the “place ” you are in, and TES will tell you all you need to Know about this “plase”=level, for you to know amount of work to be done to progress to the next stage.

    Now other Introductions( such as Intr. to TES, and Intr. to Zohar) are very helpful to understand what we wnat to gain through Kabbalistic way of life, because if you study only TES, the question will be, so what do I need it all for?

    Now to get the detailed understanding of how Kabbalistic way of life and world viewing works, we have to read constantly the articles of Rabash, and Baal HaSulam, and then little by little we will be abale to understand how we approuch TaNaKh, and Zohar.
    Together with it we have to develop a Dialogue with the Creator, and this is the most important part of all the study. because the most interesting and chalanging part of Jewdaism is the dialogue with the Creator, we have to learn to discuss with him the problems of understanding this or that part, we have to be able to discuss the understanding of the purpose of the Creation, of the ways of the governing, and YES we are able to get into aguements with the Creator, we are not supposed to accept everything as an unchangable, or predetermint, we have to express our will and our demands to the Creator, but to do it right way= the grown up way and not the childish one, we have first of all to get Kabbalistic world vision, and then we will be able to see what we can ask and change, and what we have to expirience, no matter whether we like it or not.

    Next very important thing is to learn to see the models Kabbalah presents us with, in dayly situations, because we have to decide a lot of things during the day and we are expected to do it according to the jewish way of world seeing, which is the reasinable combination of Hessed and Gvurra, and it moves us to the next very important stage of Tikkun Middot-correcting our qualities, it is the most difficult part, because when it comes to change something we are very excited to do that, but when it comes to change ourselves it is the least kind of work we would like to do, and it is acctually the purpose of Correction, for that purpose we have a lot of litreture written by our Sages on this topic, a lot of Lectures to listen to, and it is the obligation of each of us to do it all the time.

    Another important side of the inner work is integration into still “uncorrected” socity, and sometimes even your family, which doesn’t still see the way of life the way you do. Anyway you have to establish a kind of relationship where you don’t impose your way on the others, but they DO respect your way, and don’t bother you with all kind of trying to get you to the old road, this can be done only through the positive improvment of your role in their life, when they see that you are constantly becoming a better person, pleasant to deal with, something intresting to learn from, and some original ways to deal with everyday problems, in a long run we should be seen as more organized, more relible, more careing and loving people, that will pull the positive attention to our way of life and be a good example for others to beging with.

    But there may be another kind of behaviore directed to humilate you, just because you have choisen this way, and we have to be alert to it and to cut it at the begining, the general understanding of the people is, when they see that somebody change their way of life, that there must be some profites for the person to be interested, and when they hear that the profits are of the spiritual nature, and it takes years to get the first visable fruits, people may try to make fun of your way, and it is important not to get angree with them, but at the same time to make limits for their intervention into your inner world, and it can be learned through the Sages’ books. Only Constant brain- washing through reading their books, will help you to start to think properly.

    We have to change all our meaning of the reality and it takes time and should be done as a complex work, and the study of TES gives you the solid construction you may build around your new world understanding.

    You learn to think on several levels at the same time, you learn to see the situations from diffirent points of view, and slowly you become the Co- Creator of your life and then of your nearest socity, and last of all the creation, it take tens of years and sometimes several lives to get these levels, but it is worth to begin, because it is the only reality which will exist forever, all the rest are just the pictures, that will disapear one day and we may be easely be left with nothing.Matirial world has the means to get us to the Eternity, but is time limited in its Nature and we may never know when it will end, so don’t think of TES and Zohar and Torah as something we have to find time for, see them as the only worth things we came to this world to study and implement, and all the rest will be organised around this study, and read and learned even if you don’t understand much at the biginning because your efforts are counted no less then the understanding.
    Good Luck to all of us.

  2. yehudith says:

    As we have done some explorations on the sites which write on kabbalah, we want to adress the visitors of this site and say, that even the sites which are held by the observing jews and ravs are not good enough for the regular study of kabbalah.

    Many of them are of the previous melenium be it jewish of other counting of time.

    Today’s kabbalah knowledge should give a person a clear understanding of the world around us, a clear understanding of the spiritual laws ruling this reallity and the possibility of combining everyday life with the observing these laws.

    The shortest way to this purpose is the study of TES, and as difficult as it may be but today there is no alternative for this study!

    So we wish each and every visitor a possibility to find a real group of students which observe the Mitzvot and study TES on regular bases, remember that without group and experienced teacher the study of TES will come to the end very soon, but if you try and orginize the group and find a person to lead and teach you, you will win the lottery of your life- the connection to the spiritual reality, the only one which exists and rules all around us.

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