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