The beauty of the Torah and of a life of Torah adds to the beauty of creation, Rabbi Ashlag on the Ari

The Torah as a Jewel

by yedidah on June 8, 2015


One of the qualities of Torah is its beauty; and its wonders, the inner beauty of a life led according to Torah.

Sometimes we hear a teaching and we feel, ” Wow, that is beautiful,” and this fills us with joy. This is not a superficial feeling or something we should ignore, but a real appreciation of the beauty of the Torah.

The holy Zohar teaches that the Torah, the Holy Blessed One and the soul are all of the same essence  and thus it has inherent beauty.

The Sages in the Mishnah, indeed relate to the  Torah as a very precious jewel.

Great is Torah, for it gives life to  those who practise it in this world, and in the World to Come. As the Scripture states, “For the words of the Torah are life to he who finds them, and a healing to all his flesh” (Proverbs 4:22)….., “She shall give to your head a garland of grace, a crown of glory she shall grant you” (4:9). Ethics of the Fathers

Yet this is not the only sense in which the Torah is seen as an element of beauty , as a jewel. Our whole purpose in being here on this planet is to add an additional element to the Creation. To perfect what is already perfect. Thus the Ari z’l states:

Yet it arose, in his simple will, to create the worlds, and to bring forth the created beings, to bring to  light the perfection of His works, His Names and His attributes, which was the reason for the creation of the worlds. Etz Chayim 

Rabbi Ashlag teaches  that the unfolding of the worlds is a parallel reality to the perfection that already exists. The beautification of the creation through our good deeds and Torah was so important, that for this the world was created.This idea is stunning in its implications, giving us a basis for true joy in our learning and our practice of the Torah and the mizvot.


Tree of life ( Ten Sephirot) Avraham Lowenthal

What is the Light, a vessel, and a Sephirah?

by yedidah on January 24, 2014


A friend of mine sent me a chart this week of the ten Sephirot that she had received over the internet. Although this chart wasn’t exactly wrong, the image it invoked for me, was as if one were to reduce a statue carved by Michelangelo to a line drawing, without shading, omitting the play of light and shadow.

To avoid such a representation it is necessary to go back to the definitions of the basic components of the Kabbalah: the light of the Ein Sof, which  is the prime force of creation; the vessel of the Ein Sof, which is the essence of creation itself, and the very first dynamic of their interaction that  gave rise to the Sephirot. This is described by the Holy Ari, and explained by the great Kabbalist of the twentieth century Rabbi Yehudah Lev Ashlag.

In this podcast we will be learning these basic definitions and understand, more deeply, their meaning.

With grateful thanks to Mia Sherwood Landau for the inspiration of this podcast; and to Avraham Lowenthal, for permission to reproduce his relational diagram of the ten Sephirot Tsfat Gallery of Mystical Art


What the books of the Kabbalah are really about

by yedidah June 4, 2013
Thumbnail image for What the books of  the Kabbalah are really about

Rabbi Ashlag wrote both technical and discursive works, which seem easier to understand. Yet it is through his technical works that we learn the underlying processes of the souls. Actually all the works point to one thing. How to fulfill the purpose of our lives.

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