What are The Ten Sefirot?
The word sefirot translates to an “attribute” (emanation) or manifestation of G-d. God himself is difficult for us to comprehend, so the ten sefirot are concerned with the ways in which God is revealed in the physical realm. God’s infinite light manifests on Earth in ten respects; the ten sefirot help us to understand the divine channels through which His light is released on Earth. These are the linked and fundamental concepts, often referred to as the Tree of Life, that underpin all teachings of Kabbalah. The study of the sefirot reveals the relationship between Ei Sof — the unknowable infinite God — and our created will.
The ten sefirot are:
- Keter – the state of nothingness, relating to the infinite void that preceded God’s creation.
- Hokhmah – the impulse to create that occurs before a conscious thought.
- Binah – the transition of the creative impulse into a state of conscious thought.
- Hesed – the unconditional love of the Divine.
- Gevurah – the counterbalance to that unconditional love, judgement and punishment.
- Tiferet – the balancing force that unites the other sefirot.
- Netzah & Hod – the earthly incarnations of Hesed and Gevurah, and how they manifest.
- Yesod – that which connects the male and female embodiments of the Divine.
- Malkhut – the Divine Presence and how it connects with the world.To unlock the secrets of Kabbalah, first you must study these ten all-important facets of God’s power. They explain the source of the soul, which is essential knowledge for students of Kabbalah as they move through their respective spiritual journeys.
Why Study The Ten Sefirot?
To study the ten sefirot is to embark on a quest for truth. The ten sefirot should be considered essential subjects for any spiritual studies in Kabbalah, because studying these concepts will unlock understandings about the very foundation of existence. They share profound insights which directly relate to some of our most poignant and crucial questions as spiritual people.
We know, for example, that God’s light is reflected in our own. However, this often leads to confusion, as we also know that our light is so much dimmer than that of the Divine. Why is it that we do not perfectly enact His will despite being made in His image? The ten sefirot have answers for questions like these. They explain how, although the human soul mirrors that of the Divine, there are understandable reasons for our failure to match His glory.
If you want to understand why human beings do not always act according to His will, the ten sefirot is a good place to start. To understand the origin of the physical and spiritual worlds, as well as how they connect, you must first study the ten emanations. We know that God is in many ways unknowable. He is beyond the limits of our understanding as human beings. However, through the ten sefirot, we can see how he manifests in our physical lives.
In many ways, we can consider the sefirot as the link between the Divine and our material reality. To study the sefirot is to appreciate the power of God and its relationship to us at a deeper level than ever before. It is to fully comprehend how God’s light manifests on Earth.
What Will I Learn Through the Study of the Sefirot?
As human beings, we know that we suffer pain. The sefirot tells us that this suffering has a source: it is a pain at our own unworthiness of receiving the light of God. Through study of the sefirot, you will understand this pain and learn how to alleviate it through your own actions.
The sefirot teaches us that we live with a will to receive, and this is part of why we suffer. Through study, we learn how to change our will into the will to bestow. We learn how to use our gifts in alignment with the Divine, thus avoiding His judgement.
Because the sefirot relates to the connection between the Divine and Earth, you can study it to better understand how to serve the Divine on Earth. By living in harmony with His will in the material world, you will provoke God’s compassion.
Through study of the sefirot, you will learn how to live in unity with the Creator. This is why it is considered an essential subject for all students of Kabbalah who wish to progress on their spiritual journey.