Archive for September, 2006

B’Yad Ram-He

September 30, 2006

B’Hesech HaDa’at, Signs Part 2

In my previous entry, I wrote regarding the physical “sign”, the chatima tova, that occurred throughout my right leg erev rosh hashanah, relating the significance of this experience to the word בשחקים in verse 1 of Sefer HaBahir, which I am currently studying. R’ Aryeh Kaplan, in his commentary on the verse, teaches that בשחקים, traditionally translated as skies, corresponds to the sefirot of Netzach and Hod, pertaining to prophecy and mystical vision, respectively. I correlated the flowing energy of the physical sign to Netzach and prophetic awareness.

Necessarily, given that בשחקים is associated with both Netzach and Hod (justice, justice), I wondered where was evidence of Hod, other than in the capacity “to learn”? Was I – chas v’shalom! – unbalanced?

Well, this morning, as I was resting in my bed before arising, the “mystical vision” of an answer came to me. Suddenly, I “heard” in my mind the reverberating sound like one hears when one strikes the surface of a thin sheet of pliable metal. Immediately following that, the vision came into my mind of a sheet of beaten silver [1] metal. I immediately “knew” that the sound and vision pertained in some manner to Hod, given the reverberating nature of the “sound” in my mind.

In another earlier entry, I had written regarding the word בשחקים:

“in the skies” = “with (laughs of) laughter” = בשחקים

This word from Sefer HaBahir is not from the shoresh shin-chet-kuf שׁחק, meaning “pound to a fine dust”. Rather, it is from the shoresh sin-chet-kuf שׂחק, meaning laughter and overcoming difficulties. They look the same, almost.

Now, it is becoming clearer why I could not relate to the idea that, in Sefer HaBahir, בשחקים referred to the shin-root meaning “pound to a fine dust”, but rather to the sin-root meaning laughter. I am not like “a fine pound dust”. I am more like “pounded metal”.

What is “pound metal” kabbalistically? Dave at Balashon writes regarding asimon:

What’s the origin of the word? Well it originally meant uncoined metal. The first mishna of the fourth chapter of Bava Metzia states that “uncoined metal (אסימון) acquires coined metal (מטבע)”. The gemara (47b) goes on to ask: What IS ASIMON? … According to Klein, the root is the Greek word asemos. A= not, without, and sema = sign, token (as in Hebrew siman and the english semantics.) So while originally the difference between a coin and an asimon was the token had no sign (symbol) at all, it was later used to indicate a token that could not be used as money.

From this, we can see that “pound metal” is metal that has gone from being “without a sign” to being “with a sign”. In other words, it has been transformed from worthless token to redemption money. Bava metzia 47b states:

UNCOINED METAL [ASIMON] ACQUIRES COINED. What IS ASIMON? — Said Rab: Coins that are presented as tokens at the baths. An objection is raised: The second tithe may not be redeemed by asimon, nor by coins that are presented as tokens at the baths; proving that ASIMON is not coins that are presented as tokens at the baths. And should you answer that it is a definition,11 surely the Tanna does not teach thus; [for we learnt:] The second tithe may be redeemed by ‘asimon’, this is R. Dosa’s view. The Sages maintain: It may not. Yet both agree that it may not be redeemed with coins that are presented as tokens at the baths.

Taken together, one could suggest that metal pertains in some manner to “redemption money”. In other words, “unbeaten metal” (one without a sign, a token of uncoined metal, אסימון) is that which cannot fully redeem. On the other hand, “beaten metal” (one with a sign, coined metal like money, מטבע) is that which can fully redeem.

Consequently, my Bahir “learning” (where the ability to learn experientially [2] is a function of Hod) is like beaten-pound metal. It is like “redemption money”, redeeming my nefesh-soul, and capable of initiating redemptive consciousness.This morning’s experience of “sound and sight” (hearing and seeing experientally synthesized into pei [3], expressive learning) was an appropriate “mystical vision” frontside (chazah) of upcoming Yom Kippur.

Moreover, my learning is balanced. Regarding the “beaten silver” symbolism, Yishayahu 46:6, states: “and weigh out silver on the beam [of the balance]”. With respect to verse 1 of Sefer HaBahir, which explicitly mentions the name ר’ נחוניא בן הקנה to whom authorship of Sefer HaBahir is attributed, I can link the word kenah קנה in terms of balance, to the name הקנה HaKana, noting at Balashon, Dave writes:

According to Klein, kaneh קנה has many meanings: stalk, reed, cane, beam of scales, shaft of lampstand, arm of lampstand, length of a reed, and in later Hebrew – windpipe.

One of the interesting meanings is “beam of scales”. In Yechezkel 40:3 we read of וקנה המדה – a “measuring rod” — knei mida has the meaning in modern Hebrew of “criterion” or “scale”.

The “silver beam” is centrally balanced between the right and left “arms” of the scales, like the alef (my chosimah) represents synthesis (Sefer Yetzirah 2:1), the center, the tongue of decree, and the fulcrum of a scale. Importantly, the symbolism here represents the ability to exercise righteous justice (as opposed to exercising unfair-blemished judgment) unswayed by either either pain or pleasure. Seems, Baruch Hashem! my question is answered.


[1] Regarding the symbolism of silver and its relationship to the serpent energy, Dave at Balashon writes: “According to Ibn Ezra and others, serafim is an adjective for the nahashim (snakes). As Rashi explains, they burn שורף – soref – with their venom.” — “The root שרף has a number of related roots … צרף to smelt, to refine, and later to attach, to join and to change money. Klein says that the word literally means ‘to purify by burning.’ From here we get the word tzrif צריף – meaning according to Klein ‘a cone shaped hut’, literally ‘that which is joined together’.” — “Also from צרף we get the English word ‘silver’.”

[2] see Tehiru for the significance of “experiential” redemptive vision

[3] see the hebrew letter “pei” and the “silver”-finger pointer, see silver-finger pointer & Hesech HaDa’at, see yad ramah

[4] see tet ט, choshen mishpat and tikun of the nachash

Signs Of Things To Come

September 29, 2006

Dave at Balashon writes regarding the phrase gmar chatima tova גמר חתימה טובה:

The root גמר also means “to learn”, and from here we get the word Gemara גמרא (also גמרה) … Chatimah is also talmudic and can mean a signature or a sealing (Pessachim 104) … Of course “tova” means good.

Interesting. This has played out for real in my life this New Year.

גמר. I started my study of Sefer HaBahir 10 days prior to Rosh Hashanah (for 10 days of selichot). As of this moment, I have 11 “entries” already on the first verse alone!!!! => my Oral Torah (Gemara), so to speak.

חתימה טובה. Erev Rosh Hashanah, my right leg flowed strongly (such that I became consciously aware of it) with a subtle energy all night long. It felt so good. A few days later, I found out via two sources (one being R’ Aryeh Kaplan’s commentary on Sefer HaBahir) that the word “shechakim” (בשחקים in verse 1 of Sefer HaBahir) pertains kabbalistically to Netzach and Hod, the sefirot signifcant to prophecy and mystical vision. Consequently, the awareness of the energy flowing through my right leg was a prophetic awareness and a physical chatimah tova for the New Year.

Reconciliation Of Darkness & Light

September 29, 2006

יאיר כחשיכה כאורה
Sefer HaBahir, verse 1, excerpt of last line

“light and darkness are the same”

“the earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep …” Bereshit 1:2

Darkness (choshech, חשך) was born from the separation of some original unified state (veha-aretz hay’tah, והארץ היתה) into the lights of tohu (תהו) and bohu (בהו), which are chaos and uncertainty, respectively. In other words, from the unity called “veha-aretz hay’tah”, 2 lights and darkness were born.

The 2 lights of tohu and bohu, represent thesis and antithesis. When clarified, darkness represents the “place” of potential synthesis.

Reunification of rectified choshech, tohu and bohu brings into existence the lights (ben Yosef and ben David) of moshiach known as the brightness (reunified choshech va-bohu => tehiru tata’ah) and the brilliance (reunified brightness va-tohu => tehiru ela’ah).

Tohu, from the root תהה is a reaction to uncertainty (bohu, where bohu is from the root בהה); the result of that reaction creates darkness in awareness. The original unified state (veha-aretz hay’tah) is a forward projection (hay’tah from the root יתא) of one inmost essential (ateret hayesod, ט) element of ha-aretz (stable elements of existence, from the root ארץ); where this essential element focuses the blessings of life and “peace between the elements” into certain existence, malchut.

Taking all this together, we can see that “the place” where darkness and light “are the same” (i.e., reconciled in a unified state of peaceful existence) is in malchut, ha-aretz.

This new unified state of malchut, wherein darkness has been clarified and reunited with tohu va-bohu, is called יאיר. From the shoresh יאר (meaning irrigating body of water), it irrigates the earth with brilliance.

“for the earth is filled with the knowledge of G-d like waters cover the sea” … The Laws Of Kings, Yishayahu 11:9

Ark Sparks From The Dark

September 29, 2006

הוא בשחקים וכא”א ישת חשך סתרו
Sefer HaBahir, verse 1, excerpt from lines 2-3

“in the skies [round about G-d in terrible majesty], another verse states, He made darkness His hiding place …” (traditional interpretation)

“Hua, with laughter, and as one alef exists darkly, protects the connection …” (Liorah’s interpretation)

“in the skies” = “with (laughs of) laughter” = בשחקים

This word from Sefer HaBahir is not from the shoresh shin-chet-kuf שׁחק, meaning “pound to a fine dust”. Rather, it is from the shoresh sin-chet-kuf שׂחק, meaning laughter and overcoming difficulties. They look the same, almost.

That in the skies (with a shin, where the dot is on the right) is not on the earth. It isn’t “real” yet.

Laughter (with a sin, where the dot is on the left) makes it real. I wrote a poem many years ago, Ark Sparks, about this kind of “crazy laughter” of the “left emanation”.

strange and curious, maybe even insane
a misfit mind, a holy madness
what can I say
without excuse and
absolutely true
deep and darkly iconoclastic, living on the cutting edge
tottering everywhichway in bitty bytes zapping happily
chaos into a confounded matrix offering up numbers
irrational against the laughing lightning bug
dancing through the brain
stringing wavelets of funny disequilibrium

strange and curious, maybe even insane
a misfit mind, a holy madness
what can you say
without excuse and
absolutely true
deep and darkly iconoclastic, living on the cutting edge
tottering everywhichway in bitty bytes zapping happily
chaos into a confounded matrix offering up numbers
irrational against the laughing lightning bug
dancing through the brain
stringing wavelets of funny disequilibrium

You may right, I may be crazy … but it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for. (Billy Joel, You May Be Right)

She, Revealing The Sacred Feminine

September 29, 2006

הוא בשחקים וכא”א ישת חשך סתרו
Sefer HaBahir, verse 1, excerpt from lines 2-3

“in the skies [round about G-d in terrible majesty], another verse states, He made darkness His hiding place …” (traditional interpretation)

“Hua, in the skies, and as one alef exists darkly, protecting the connection …” (Liorah’s interpretation)

Hua, הוא

the one (Bereshit 2:11)
she (Bereshit 3:12)
true and upright is she (Devarim 32:4)
she is merciful, atones and does not destroy (Tehilim 78:38)
look now, for I, I am she (Devarim 32:39)
ראו atah ki ani ani הוא (Devarim 32:39)

Note the construct ראו הוא (see Hua) in this phrase from Devarim 32::39. I propose that the entire phrase is significant to bringing the brilliance of the tehiru into, and extracting holy sparks from, the white space between the words ra’o aur ראו אור as written previously regarding the first portion of line 2 from Sefer HaBahir.

The words atah ki ani ani עתה כי אני אני have a total gematria of 577. This value reduces (5 + 7 + 7) to 19. Nineteen is the value of Chavah חוה, Eve, the mother of all life and whose name was reduced to Chavah from Chayah following prematurely eating from the tree of knowledge in Gan Eden.

Is there any evidence linking Chavah to הוא as a construct for the pronoun she? Yes, there is – in Bereshit 3:12:

The man said, the woman you put at my side, she הוא gave me of the tree, and I ate.

Humble Hua, עניו הוא

Chayah is she הוא, where both the name Chayah חיה and the pronoun she in the form הוא, represent femininity prior to “the fall”. The name Chavah חוה and the normative pronoun she in the form היא, represent blemished femininity.

Note, the opposite exchanges going on here: between the yod י and the vav ו of Chavah-היא and Chayah-הוא, and between the alef א of ani אני with the ayin ע of anav עניו. The yod-vav exchange pertains to she, and the tikun of the sacred feminine principle through the Divine Name Hua. The alef-ayin exchange pertains to her elevation and restoration to an image of the Divine, through the Divine Name Atah, אתה.

Geut Atah, ראו עתה כי אני אני הוא

Atoning for Chavah’s error and returning to Gan Eden with shabbat consciousness born of suffering, הוא is the name HaEchad, harvesting (פישון from the shoresh פשת) through the whole land of Havilah, where the gold is (Bereshit 2:11).

The first ani, 19 is further reduced to the second ani => 1 + 9 = 10, the yod of chayah => which is further reduced to HaEchad, 1 + 0 = 1


Revealing The Torah Of Mashiach
The Humble One – Sham Anav


September 27, 2006

ועתהלא ראו אור בהיר
“and they do not behold the light, brilliance …”
Sefer HaBahir, line 2 excerpt

The two hebrew words denoting “behold light” ראו אור (ra’o aur), are letter permutations of one another. Ra’o is from the shoresh (root) ראה meaning to look, see and understand.

“Seeing” in terms of building understanding is typically an attribute associated with Binah and its shorashim (roots): bin בין (to understand), and banah בנה (to build). Significantly, neither of these “Binah” roots are used here in this sentence fragment introducing “the brilliance” (ba-hir, see tehiru ela’ah of Ein Sof and tehiru tata’ah of Kadmon).

The word used here in Sefer HaBahir – preceding, concealing yet revealing the brilliance (given “they do not see” [1] but those who see experientially, will see) – is ra’o ראו, derived through the root ra’oh ראה. To elaborate on the connection between experiential vision and the ability to behold this brilliance, I offer the following from the teachings of R’ Yitzchak Ginsburgh of The Inner Dimension on the Aramaic word, ra’oh:

Though Moses longed to see G-d and know His ways directly he was told that he would only be able to see His “back.” This sense of indirect sight is represented by “vision.” In Aramaic, a language considered the reverse side of Hebrew, the word for “sight” (ra’oh) is translated as “vision” (chazah). Until we actually experience the redemption we can only “see” it indirectly in our deeply hidden consciousness of heart and soul.

The word ra’o is our indirect “backside” link into experiential bahir. Given this experiential link through the word ra’o, we can unfold direct experience of “the brilliance” from the white space between the two “mirror” words ra’o and aur – bringing into that “empty space” a surge of infinite energy, light and chazah – redemptive vision.

It takes a human being to behold the light called brilliance.


[1] “they do not” ועתהלא – Traditionally, it is taught that malachim (angels) cannot understand Aramaic. The word ראו following “they do not” is an Aramaic-Hebrew construct for “see, understand”. The “they” who do not understand are the angels.

Origin Of Evil

September 27, 2006

יוצר אור ובורא חשך, עשה שלום ובורה רע; אני יהוה, עשה כל-אלה
Form light and create darkness, make peace and create evil; I Hashem, do all these.
Yishayahu 45:7

This verse makes it clear that evil cannot exist independent of human beings, endowed with free will, and made in the image of the Divine. Human beings are responsible for all evil.

The word used for “I’, in this verse is ani אני – the same word a human being uses to say “I”. Consequently, evil is only created within the context of an “I”; that is, a human being. Further, evil does not exist except within the context of an “I”, who as a human being made in the image of the Divine, misuses his or her free will (bechirah chofshit בחירה חופשית) as an agent of the Divine.

Supporting the idea that misuse of human free will constitutes the origin of evil is also the fact that the word used for “I” in this verse is ani אני in contradistinction to another word for “I” which could have been used, anochi אנכי. Anochi contains the letter kaf כ, symbolic of keter and the soul power ratzon, will. Ani lacks the כ, and thus, lacks “the sign” indicating an ability to properly exercise free will (which the presence of the letter would suggest as it does for anochi).

Taking all this together, I propose that evil was not created to give humankind the ability to make freewill choices. On the contrary, I think that evil was and is still created in direct consequence to the failure of humankind to exercise freewill properly.

The existence of evil is not required for freewill to exist. On the other hand, the existence of freewill is required for evil to exist.


[1] Also, “ani” is the I-form from which evil can be created. “Anochi” is the I-form which creates “all good”. Interestingly, “anochi” is an Egyptian word.

Revealing Messianic Consciousness

September 27, 2006

During interfaith discussions with members of a Kabbalah Study group I participate in, I was asked to elaborate on the following from my essay, A Journey Into Redemptive Consciousness:

Additionally, we note that, while the first word אמר does not, the last word אומר does contain the Divine Name associated with messianic consciousness [1] – that is, the configuration אום.

To elaborate, אמר is associated with ה malchut/nukvah. The letter vav ו is associated with tiferet/zer anpin. Consequently, the configuration אומר refers to the unification of zer anpin with nukvah, and to a unification of וה within the Divine Name (the tetragrammaton).

Also, in the kabbalisitic writings of Avraham Abulafia, it is taught that the וה half of the Divine Name is associated with the messiah (messianic consciousness), while the יה half is associated with “haSatan” (i.e., the force which tests an individual for spiritual fitness). The messiah’s job is to unify the whole Divine Name and to bring the light of that unification into awareness. This unification is able to be implemented and achieved through וה. In other words, the same fitness which enables zer anpin and nukvah to become unified, enables the entire Divine Name to become unified and messianic consciousness to become revealed.


[1] The Hebrew Letters, R’ Yitzchak Ginsburgh, on the letter נ nun: “נאמן (faithful) begins with נ, just as the full spelling of the letter נ itself, נון . When the middle letter of נון, vav ו, enters between the two middle letters (אם) of נאמן, the secret of the Divine Name אום, related to the coming of the mashiach, is formed.”

Secret Of Pi & Aur Tov

September 27, 2006

אמר ר’ נחוניא בן הקנה כתוב אחד אומר
“Rabbi Nehuniah ben HaKana said: One verse states … “
Sefer HaBahir, line 1

The first word, אמר (amar, said) is written seemingly using past tense.

However, I propose that the word tense used here is not indicating something “past tense” in terms of “finished and done”, but rather, is hinting at the “initial condition” creating time. In other words, the word אמר hints to the original light of awareness hidden away for the righteous which could see from one end of existence to the other.

Consequently, the first אמר here in line (kav) 1 refers to “one end” of this hidden light, while אומר at the “other end” of kav 1 is “the other end” enwedgened into “the beginning end” of the kav.

The end enwedgened with the beginning is a kabbalistic secret of the letter samekh (ס), representing circle-point (feminine) consciousness. The kav is associated with the letter vav (ו), the initial ray of light, and line (masculine) consciousness.

The situation where masculine line consciousness and feminine circle-point consciousness are unified is represented by the mathematical symbol pi (π), the yichud of zer anpin (Havayah) and nukvah (Adnut), and area consciousness. It also figures significantly to the divine names Shakai and the Shem HaMeforash.

So here we can see in line 1 of Sefer HaBahir, we also have a “line” that is really “a circle”. Or a circle that is really a line. Or a paradoxical entity which is both a circle and a line, yet is neither as well.

What we have here, in kav 1 of Sefer HaBahir, is an example of a perfect paradoxical synthesis of opposites. Like tohu and tikkun into a third order of existence [1] greater than either of them alone. Like chocolate and vanilla into a sundae delight (v’haricha).


[1] In The Beginning, Discourses On Chassidic Thought, R’ Adin Steinsaltz

Mystical Magen

September 21, 2006