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                                 HAND OF יְהוָה

 The Zohar further establishes a relationship between Tzaddik and God. Commenting on verses in Exodus 15:2, the Zohar associates the Divine Tzaddik with God's "right hand," and God Himself:

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 55a - MY STRENGTH AND SONG IS KAH [Yah]. R. Jose said: The Yod and the He [the Sephirot of Chokhmah and Binah]  in the Divine Name are mingled, and one is contained in the other and they are never separated, being for ever united in love, being the source whence emanate all those streams and springs of blessing and satisfaction to the universe. The waters of these springs never “deceive” (Isaiah 58:11). Hence: “and He became my salvation”, since for this purpose and unto this end the Holy King reveals His power below, and the Right Hand is moved to perform marvellous deeds.’ THIS IS MY GOD AND I WILL MAKE HIM A HABITATION; THE GOD OF MY FATHER, AND I WILL EXALT HIM. “This is my God” refers to the Zaddik, from whom blessings emanate on the married state; “and I will make him a habitation” in the place where love is found, namely in the Sanctuary. “The God of my father, and I will exalt him” was said by Moses (the Levite) in regard to the supernal sphere whence the Levites derive, so that in this way there should be symmetry and perfection in that place. R. Isaac said that “and he became my salvation” refers to the Holy King, as in Isaiah 12:2.

 The term "Kah" in this portion above, is equivalent to "Yah," one of the names for God.  Also, the phrase, "This is my God," is specifically, "This is my EL." The Zohar quotation regarding the Holy King granting salvation (in Isaiah 12:2), is to God.

The similar names of God (YAH-יְהוָה , EL), are also found in this verse:

Isaiah 12:2 - Behold, EL is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for YAH יְהוָה is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

 

                      יְהוָה , LORD, TREE OF LIFE

 The name given to Messiah by God, is associated with the Righteous Tzaddik, and with the name יְהוָה itself:

Jeremiah 23:5-6 - Behold, the days come, says the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, יְהוָה our Righteousness.

 Midrash Rabbah confirms that the branch (shoot) of David ("יְהוָה our Righteousness"), is speaking of Messiah:

Midrash Rabbah - Numbers XVIII:21 - Behold, a man whose name is the shoot (zemah), and who shall shoot up (yizmah), etc. (Zech. VI, 12). This refers to the Messiah, of whom it also says, I will raise unto David a righteous shoot (zemah zaddik), and he shall reign as king and prosper, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.

 The Messiah is called "the Lord" among other titles, in the following Midrash. Note the reference to the future name of "the city" (Jerusalem) as being "the Lord is there." This is the same prophetic view as seen in Revelation, chapter 21:

Midrash Rabbah - Lamentations I:51 - BECAUSE THE COMFORTER IS FAR FROM ME, EVEN HE THAT SHOULD REFRESH MY SOUL. What is the name of King Messiah? R. Abba b. Kahana said: His name is ‘the Lord’; as it is stated, And this is the name whereby he shall be called, The Lord is our righteousness (Jer. XXIII, 6). For R. Levi said: It is good for a province when its name is identical with that of its king, and the name of its king identical with that of its God. ‘It is good for a province when its name is identical with that of its king,’ as it is written, And the name of the city from that day shall be the Lord is there (Ezek. XLVIII, 35). ‘And the name of its king identical with that of its God,’ as it is stated, ’And this is the name whereby he shall be called, The Lord is our righteousness.’ R. Joshua b. Levi said: His name is ' Shoot‘; as it is stated, Behold, a man whose name is Shoot, and who shall shoot up out of his place, and build the temple of the Lord (Zech. VI, 12). R. Judan said in the name of R. Aibu: His name is ‘Comforter’; as it is said, THE COMFORTER IS FAR FROM ME. R. Hanina said: They do not really differ, because the numerical value of the names is the same, so that 'Comforter' is identical with 'Shoot‘.

Revelation 21:22-23 - And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

 The above text from the Midrash on Lamentations,1 is immediately followed by the following mysterious tale about the Messiah dying around the time of the destruction of the second Temple:

Midrash Rabbah - Lamentations I:51 - The following story supports what R. Judan said in the name of R. Aibu: It happened that a man was ploughing, when one of his oxen lowed. An Arab passed by and asked, ‘What are you?’ He answered, ‘I am a Jew.’ He said to him, ‘Unharness your ox and untie your plough’ [as a mark of mourning]. ' Why? ' he asked. ' Because the Temple of the Jews is destroyed.’ He inquired, ‘From where do you know this?’ He answered, ‘I know it from the lowing of your ox.’ While he was conversing with him, the ox lowed again. The Arab said to him, ‘Harness your ox and tie up your plough, because the deliverer of the Jews is born.’ ‘What is his name?’ he asked; and he answered, ‘His name is "Comforter".’ ‘What is his father's name?’ He answered, ' Hezekiah.’ ' Where do they live? ' He answered, ‘In Birath ‘Arba in Bethlehem of Judah.’ The man sold his oxen and plough and bought felt garments for children. He journeyed from one city to another and from one province to another until he reached that place. All the villagers came to buy garments from him, but the mother of that child made no purchase of him. He asked her, ‘Why do you not buy children's felt garments?’ She answered, ' Because a hard fate is in store for my child.’1 ‘Why?’ he asked; and she answered, ‘Because close on his coming the Temple was destroyed.’ He said to her, ‘We trust in the Lord of the Universe that as close on his coming it was destroyed so close on his coming it will be rebuilt.’ He continued, ‘Take some of these felt garments for your child and after some days I will come to your house to collect the money.’ She took some and departed. After some days the man said, ‘I will go and see how the child is getting on.’ He came to the woman and asked, ' How is the child? ' She answered, ' Did I not tell you that a hard fate is in store for him? Misfortune has dogged him. From the time [you left] there have been strong winds and a whirlwind came and carried him off.’ He said to her, ' Did I not tell you at his coming [the Temple] was destroyed and at his coming it will be rebuilt?’ R. Abun said: Why should I learn this from an Arab when there is an explicit text wherein it is stated, And Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one (Isa. X, 34), which is followed by, And there shall come forth a shoot out of the stock of Jesse, and a twig shall grow forth out of his roots (ib. XI, 1)? The school of R. Shila said: The Messiah's name is ‘Shiloh’, as it is stated, Until Shiloh come (Gen. XLIX, 10), where the word is spelt Shlh. The School of R. Hanina said: His name is ' Haninah ‘, as it is stated, I will not give you Haninah (Jer. XVI, 13). The School of R. Jannai said: His name is ' Yinnon ‘; for it is written, E'er the sun was, his name is Yinnon (Ps. LXXII, 17). R. Biba of Sergunieh said: His name is ' Nehirah ‘, as it is stated, And the light (nehorah) dwelleth with Him (Dan. II, 22), where the word is spelt nehirah. R. Judah b. R. Simon said in the name of R. Samuel b. R. Isaac: King Messiah, whether he be of those still living or of those who are dead, bears the name of David. R. Tanhuma said: I will give his reason, viz. Great salvation giveth He to His king; and showeth mercy to His Messiah (PS. XVIII, 51), and the text continues, not ‘and to David’ but to David and to his seed, for evermore.

 Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, who heads a kabbalah institute in Israel,2 adds some interesting insight to the subject of Messiah, linking the Tree of Life (which as we have seen is the Divine Tzaddik) to the Messiah, and the "righteous shoot" of David. His text follows in blue colored font:

The wicked Bila'am's final statement (Numbers 24:l7) opens with a prophecy concerning two Mashiachs (King David and the ultimate redeemer, King Mashiach, a descendant from King David):

I see it, but not now;
I behold it, but not in the near future.
A star shall go forth from Jacob,
and a staff [shevet] shall arise in Israel.

In the original Hebrew, this statement contains 12 words, hinting at the 12 Jewish months of the year. The eleventh word of the series--shevet ("staff")--parallels and hints at the eleventh month of the Jewish year--Shevat. During this month, we celebrate the "New Year of the Trees," hinting at the New year of the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life symbolizes the Mashiach, the descendent of King David, about whom it is stated, "A man whose name is Tzemach ['growth'], and who shall grow up (Yitzmach) out of his place" (Zechariah 6:l2). (Interestingly, the verse we have been discussing (Numbers 24:l7) continues, "and he will crush" [U'machatz] which contains the same letters as the Hebrew word VeTzamach-- "and he will grow").

The Hebrew letter with which G-d created the month of Shevat--according to the Kabbalistic text, Sefer Yetzira--is the letter tzadik (whose name means "the righteous one") about which it states, "The Tzadik is the foundation of the world" (Proverbs l0:25). Furthermore, "The Tzadik eats to satisfy his soul" (Proverbs l3:25); the sense of "eating" is the special sense of the month of Shevat, and when one eats of the fruits of the Tree of Life, one "lives eternally." (i.e., John 6:54 - YashaNet)

The letter tzadik alludes to the Tree of Life [in that it is the second of the two Hebrew letters that form the word "tree" in Hebrew; its shape represents a tree; and furthermore, it is the 18th letter of the alphabet, 18 being the numerical value of the word for life, (chai)], which is in the midst of the Garden of Eden (the "garden" of the souls of Israel, out of whose midst sprouts the soul of Mashiach, the tree of life).

The Rambam, at the conclusion of the section in the Mishnah Torah entitled "The Laws of Kings" (Chapter ll, Halacha 1), states:

"The King Mashiach will rise forth and return the Kingdom of David to its former state…The Torah testifies [in several places] concerning him [the King Mashiach]…[amongst them,] in the portion of Bila'am whose prophecies concern two messianic figures: the first Mashiach is King David who saved Israel from its oppressors; the final Mashiach will rise forth from his [King David's] descendents and save Israel in the end of days. Bila'am prophesizes: 'I see it, but not now'-- this refers to King David; 'I behold it, but not in the near future'-- this refers to the King Mashiach; 'A star shall go forth from Jacob'-- this refers to King David; 'and a staff shall arise in Israel'-- this refers to the King Mashiach"

Thus, we find that "I behold it" parallels "a staff will arise" (both referring to the King Mashiach) relating to the Kabbalistic idea that the Jewish tribe paralleling the month of Shevat is Asher (cognate to the Hebrew word for "I behold it"--ashurenu).3

             VOICE OF GOD, SUSTAINER, CREATOR

 Speaking of the "seven voices" of God (which we will discuss later in our Revelation text analysis), another modern kabbalistic author supports the notion of Messiah's divinity. Messiah is associated with the pillar of Jacob (also called the "axis mundi"), and defined as an "element of God" (i.e., part of the divine Godhead):

"... the seven voices correspond to the seven lower emanations, and the seventh one is the Shekinah. Having correlated the seventh voice with the Shekinah, it is reasonable to posit that the sixth voice corresponds to Yesod, the divine phallus that overflows to the Shekinah. If the sixth emanation is indeed Yesod, it is significant that the Messiah is mentioned precisely in conjunction with this gradation: the traditional savior (mashiah) is identified as the Righteous (Saddiq) in the divine pleroma, the cosmic pillar or axis mundi. Not only is the redeemer a nationalist, religious, and political hero, he is the element of God that sustains all existence." 4

 The last portion of the above quotation is similar to what we find in the book of Hebrews, which states that YEHOWSHUA, as Son of God, sustains all things:

Hebrews 1:3a - The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.

 Gershom Scholem's, "On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead," cites from the Bahir, which establishes this same "Righteous One" as the God involved with creation:

"... the Righteous One who is the foundation of the world is in the middle (i.e., between Netsah and Hod), and it emerges from the South of the world (i.e., apparently the direction of Hesed, God's grace), and he is the prince (i.e., ruler) of both. And in his hand he holds the souls of all living things, for he is the Life of the World, and every term of Creation spoken about (in Scripture), takes place through him. And of him it is written, "and he ceased from work and rested" (Exod. 31:17), for he is the principle of the Sabbath. 5

 In earlier sections of this study on Yesod, we discussed how at the very beginning of the creation of the world, God first created the "foundation." Kabbalistically, this may be interpreted as Yesod (foundation) emanating from Tipheret (the Holy One, blessed be He), as the latter precedes Yesod in the "Tree of Life" that begins with Keter, Chokhmah, Binah, etc.

 The following section of the Zohar alludes to the various "stages" of creation, including the "creation" of Yesod-Foundation by Tipheret (the Holy One, blessed be He):

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 222a - ‘Observe’, he said, ‘that when the Holy One, blessed be He, [Tipheret] was about to create the world, He detached one precious stone from underneath His Throne of Glory and plunged it into the Abyss, one end of it remaining fastened therein whilst the other end stood out above; and this other and superior head constituted the nucleus of the world, the point out of which the world started, spreading itself to right and left and into all directions, and by which it is sustained. That nucleus, that stone, is called sh'thyiah (foundation) [Yesod], as it was the starting-point of the world. The name sh'thyiah, furthermore, is a compound of shath (founded) and Kah (God), signifying that the Holy One, blessed be He, made it the foundation and starting-point of the world and all that is therein.

 Although creation itself is usually associated with the Sefirah of Chokhmah-Wisdom (Psalm 104:24; 135:5; Proverbs 3:19; 9:1), the Sefirah of Tsaddik Yesod 'Olam is the medium through which creation was "activated."

The entirety of the creation process is said to have come through the path of the Four Worlds:

  • Beginning in Azilut-Emanation - Chokhamah-Wisdom, the Father. Chokhmah is on the level of Ayin ["nothingness," the aspect of Keter, the Sephirah that cannot be known]. From this "nothingness," all things came forth, including the remaining Sephirot. 6
  • to Beriah-Creation - Binah-Understanding, which differentiated the "oneness" of Chokmah, and "gives birth" to lower seven Sephirot, creation, and all souls (i.e., "Jerusalem above, the Mother of all" - Galatians 4:26).
  • to Yezirah-Formation - "Zer Anpin," the six Sephirot that create physical space, represented by Tipheret-Beauty. Once space is defined the final part of creation can take place. 7 Yesod-Foundation is the lowest Sephirah of Zer Anpin, and is the "male counterpart" to the female (Malkut) below, the pillar (axis mundi) descending to earth, and the "starting point of the world" below.
  • to Asiyah-Making - where from Yesod-Foundation above, "the image comes into being and casts shape, life, and will into the materiality of Malkhut." 8
  •  

            ETERNAL LIGHT OF THE WORLD, MEDIATOR

 Gershom Scholem states:

Several Kabbalistic traditions recognize "the Righteous One" as being the first "created being," and associate this with the primordial light made on the first day of creation, which was then "hidden away" for a later time. God saw that the world could not exist without this Foundation, which is called "light." 9

I n his letter to the Colossians, Paul makes the same point as Scholem does, associating the theme of firstborn (being before all things), to the one by whom all things were created and are sustained (in both the heavenly realm of Hesed and the earthly realm of Yesod). Paul speaks of YEHOWSHUA combining elements of Tipheret, (the image of the invisible God), and Yesod-Tzaddik (the firstborn of every creature.)

As mentioned already, Yesod is the image of the image with regard to Tipheret:

Colossians 1:15-17 - Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

 This concept of the divine Tzaddik being associated with the "light" formed at the beginning of creation is also mentioned by John, who alludes to the Messiah's divine pre-existence:

John 1:1-15 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

 As mentioned in the previous section of this Yesod study, Gershom Scholem associates the term "the Eternally Living One" (based on Daniel 12:7), to the divine Tzaddik, who is the "life" to the souls of men (i.e., John 1:4 above):

In Sefer ha-Bahir, the term [Tzaddik] shifts its meaning to "Life of the Universe." We find here for the first time the symbolism of life -- a symbolism that from then on remained associated with the figure of the Tsaddik, life is connected with the master of souls. This, source, from which all souls come, is also the primal ground from which the life of all worlds derives. This "life" is the mediator by which God's strength operates in all things ... 10

 Note the last portion from Scholem above, where he is again in agreement with the "New Testament" writers, this time concerning the role of the divine Tzaddik as mediator between God and all things:

1 Timothy 2:5 - For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Messiah YEHOWSHUA;

 The "life" and blessing that the divine Tzaddik brings, are to his righteous followers. The following passage speaks of the heavenly Tzaddik, and corresponding earthly Tzadikkim, as mutually inheriting the earth:

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 245b - Hence it is written: “The righteous man is the foundation of the world” (Prov. x, 25). Esoterically speaking, the Zaddik is the foundation of the upper world and the foundation of the lower world, and the Community of Israel contains the Zaddik from above and from below. The righteous one from this side and the righteous one from that side inherit her, as it is written: “The righteous shall inherit the earth” (Psalm 37:29).

 The above idea is consistent with YEHOWSHUA's words in chapter 2 of Revelation, where He speaks of both Himself and his righteous followers inheriting the earth and ruling the nations:

Revelation 2:26-28 - and he who is overcoming, and who is keeping unto the end my works, I will give to him authority over the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron -- as the vessels of the potter they shall be broken -- as I also have received from my Father; and I will give to him the morning star.

                     DESCENT FROM HEAVEN

 Throught the various background studies prior to this one on Yesod, we have mentioned the role of the mystical personage of Metatron, including his relationship with Tipheret. In this part of our study we established a connection between Metatron and characteristics of Yesod such as the covenant, Shaddai and mediator. We also mentioned the peculiar theme related to the idea of the Tzaddik "descending to ascend."

The Bahir, offers this following comment, concerning an "aspect" of God descending:

Bahir 33 - They said to him: It is written (Lamentations 2:1), "He threw the beauty of Israel from heaven to the earth." From here we see that it fell. He replied: If you have read, you did not review, and if you reviewed, you did not go over it a third time. What does this resemble? A king had a beautiful crown on his head and a beautiful cloak on his shoulders. When he heard evil tidings he cast the crown from his head and the cloak from his shoulders.

 Commenting on the term "beauty of Israel," in the above Bahir verse, author Aryeh Kaplan explains that the "beauty of Israel" cast down to earth by God, is the Sephirah of Tipheret:

Here it is seen to be identified with the "beauty of Israel," which is the Sefirah of Tiferet-Beauty. This is one of the six Sefirot associated with Zer Anpin, which is usually called "heaven." The answer is that the true meaning of this verse is actually "He cast from heaven to earth the beauty of Israel." 11

 Author Elliot Wolfson, cites a kabbalistic text to show that the beauty of Israel (cast down to earth) is none other than Metatron:

It is found in the midrash that the king said, "are you becoming haughty on account of the diadem that you gave Me? Behold, I will cast the diadem below, as it says, 'He cast down from heaven to earth the majesty [beauty] of Israel.' This is the one creature whose name is Israel, for the Holy One, blessed be He, took it and threw it to the earth. The secret of the matter is as it is found in the Pirqe Hehhalot concerning the diadem that the Holy One, blessed be He, places on the head of Metatron, which is called Israel. And this is the secret of 'Israel in whom I glory' (Isaiah 49:3)." 12

 Kabbalistic literature associates Metatron with both Tipheret and Yesod, and at times, Malkut. Commenting on this "muliple personalities" of Metatron, Elliot Wolfson writes:

One may infer therefore, that there is a blurring of boundaries separating Metatron and the creature that is named Israel. To put the matter in somewhat different terms, the name Israel is an appropriate designation for Jacob, and thus the image of Jacob is applied to Metatron and/or the celestial creature. (of Ezekiel's vision) 13

 As Metatron has already been linked to the Sephirah of Yesod, this association to the beauty of Israel adds additional insight into the mystical connection between Tipheret and Yesod. As we have shown that Yesod is connected to Messiah, we then have a connection between Tipheret and Messiah as well.

 Commenting on the integrated relationship between the Sephirot of Tipheret and Yesod (both represented by Metatron), Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsbergh states:

In Kabbalah, the third day, tiferet ("beauty"), is the origin of the sixth day, yesod ("foundation"). Tiferet and Yesod totally integrate in the secret of the "middle line" - "the body and the brit are considered one." 14

 Metatron is also called the head of the angels of God. It was he that appeared as a man to Joshua, who in turn bowed in worship, calling him "Adon" (sovereign). The presence of Metatron even made the ground Joshua was standing on holy (i.e., Moses and the bush at Mount Sinai).

What we have is an actual case of, "Sephirot (divinity) in the flesh":

Joshua 5:13-15 - Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, "Are you for us or for our enemies?" "Neither," he replied, "but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, "What message does my Lord have for his servant?" The commander of the LORD's army replied, "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so.

 The relationship of Metatron to God (i.e., to the Divine Sephirot of Tipheret, Yesod and also Malkut), is so intimate, it provoked the following discussion in the Talmud, where someone suggested to a rabbi that Metatron was worthy of worship:

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 38b - R. Nahman said: He who is as skilled in refuting the Minim [heretics] as is R. Idith, let him do so; but not otherwise. Once a Min said to R. Idith: It is written, And unto Moses He said, Come up to the Lord. But surely it should have stated, Come up unto me! — It was Metatron [who said that], he replied, whose name is similar to that of his Master, for it is written, For my name is in him. But if so, [he retorted,] we should worship him! The same passage, however, — replied R. Idith says: Be not rebellious against him, i.e., exchange Me not for him. But if so, why is it stated: He will not pardon your transgression? He answered: By our troth we would not accept him even as a messenger, for it is written, And he said unto him, If Thy [personal] presence go not etc.

 Author Moshe Idel describes the connection between Metatron and the Messiah throughout Hebraic historical writings:

A recurrent figure in the apocalyptic literature, whose eshatalogical role has not drawn due attention from scholars, is the archangel Metatron. Though some of its features refelct earleir traditions, its emergence in Jewish angelology as the prince of the divine countenance was a momentous development that was destined to influence some interesting themes in later Messianism.

... The emergence of a median world, mythic in some of its characteristics, facilitated the commerce between man and God as it reformulated many of the earlier divine interventions in human affairs into angelic missions. The divine intervention in history was now attributed to the Messiah as part of a theophanic mode, or myth ...

... The assumption of the existence of a continuum between God and some of the angels is paramount not only for a better understanding of ancient Jewish angelology, but also for the more adequate apprehension of Kabbalistic theories of emanation as an inner divine process. The relation between Metatron and God should be understood against the background this conception. Thus Metatron as the angel of the divine countenance is organically related to this divine limb and as such deserves the theophanic function of the divine face in the Bible. 15

                          ASCENT TO HEAVEN

 The theme of ascending and descending is found in another following section of the Zohar, which speaks of the divine Yesod (called Zion in this text, as explained by the Soncino translators), being taken away from Israel, following the destruction of the second Temple, only to return to her later. (Note that this section is commentary on Isaiah 52:8, within the midst of the "servant song" of Isaiah.)

 Here again, the Zohar refers to Yesod (Tzaddik) being the God of salvation, specifically stating that this salvation is God's own salvation:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2,Page 56a - R. Judah sat one day at the feet of R. Simeon, and he began to expound the following verse: The voice of thy watchmen, they lifted up their voices, they shall sing altogether... when the Lord shall return to Zion (Isaiah 52:8). ‘These “watchmen” ‘, he said, ‘are those who “watch” for the time when the Holy One will build His House once again. The use of the past tense “lifted”, where we should rather have expected the future “shall lift”, conveys the lesson that he who has lifted up his voice in weeping and lamentation over the destruction of the Temple shall be worthy to be numbered among those of whom it says “they shall sing altogether”, and to enjoy the privilege of beholding the Holy One when He shall inhabit His House once more. The words “when the Lord returns (to) Zion” are to be understood as meaning “when the Lord brings back Zion”. For when the earthly Jerusalem was destroyed, and the Community of Israel was scattered over the face of the earth, the Holy King drew Zion [Tr. Note: According to the commentators, in this place Zion=Yesod.] up to Himself and stretched it out before Him, because the Community of Israel was banished. When, however, the Community of Israel shall be restored, the Holy King will restore Zion to its place, to unite itself with her in perfect bliss; and the children of Israel will sing: “He is my God, and I have prepared for Him an habitation.” Concerning this it is written: “This is the Lord, we have waited for him, let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation” (Isa. xxv, 9) - meaning, literally, “in His own salvation”.

 Another interesting text regarding an "ascent" into the heavenlies comes from the book of Proverbs:

Proverbs 30:4 - Who went up to heaven, and came down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has bound waters in a garment? Who established all ends of the earth? What [is] His name? and what His son's name? Surely thou knowest!

C ommenting on the above, the Zohar states that the one who went up and came down can be either Moses (Tzaddik-Yesod), to the Holy One (God/Tipheret) or "the four elements," which is a reference to the Shekinah-Malkut:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 79b - ‘R. Jose applied the verse, “Who hath ascended, etc.”, first to Moses, then to the Holy One, and finally to the four elements, and I saw that thou, Master, didst bless him!’ Said R. Simeon: ‘What he said was perfectly true. All the applications signify one and the same thing, since they all have their root and fulfilment in the Holy One, and they are all practically equivalent.’

The "New Testament" speaks of this one, who decended and ascended, as being YEHOWSHUA:

John 3:13 - And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

Ephesians 4:10 - He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.

 The answer given to the question posed in Proverbs 30, "What is His son's name?", is given as Tipheret, who represents the "Son" of Chokmah-Wisdom (the Father) and Binah-Understanding (the Mother):

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 79b - R. Jesse was deeply impressed by these words and said: ‘Now I see that this is indeed so. And I have also heard it on another occasion from the mouth of the Master. But what is the meaning of the words, “And what is his son's name?” ‘ R. Simeon replied: ‘The inner meaning of this I myself have taught my son, R. Eleazar.’ ‘I pray thee, tell it to me, for I did ask thee concerning it in a dream, but when I awoke I had forgotten thine answer.’ ‘And now, when I tell thee, wilt thou remember it?’ ‘I surely will,’ replied R. Jesse, ‘I always remember what my Mastor tells me.’ Said R. Simeon: ‘The words must be understood in the light of the expression, “My first-born son Israel” (Ex. IV, 22), and “Israel, in whom I am glorified” (Isa. XLIX, 3). “Israel” here refers to the supernal world, and it is this which is called “son”. Whereupon R. Jesse replied: ‘With all due respect to the Master, this is a secret which I already know.’ But yet again he forgot it. He was much perturbed. But when he went into his house and lay down to sleep, he saw in his dream an haggadic book, wherein it was written: “Wisdom (Hokmah) and glory (Tifereth) in His sanctuary.” When he awoke, he straightway went to R. Simeon, kissed his hand, and said: ‘This night I saw in my dream an haggadic book wherein were written the words: “Wisdom and glory in His sanctuary”, “Wisdom” above, “Glory” below, and “in His sanctuary” at the side. This I saw in a dream, and I found it on my lips when I awoke.’ Said R. Simeon to him: ‘Until this time thou wast too young to join the company of the “reapers of the field”, but now everything has been shown unto thee! Thus the meaning is: Wisdom (Hokmah) is His Name and Glory (Tifereth) the name of His son.’

 As we have seen, there is an equivalency between Tipheret and Yesod, the latter being an image of the image, etc. (This is very evident in the figure of Metatron). Therefore, Tipheret, the "Son" above, is reflected in Yesod, the Divine Tzaddik, the "son" who functions in this world.

                                SON OF GOD

 We have also discussed the principle concerning how "things" and "events" in the heavenly realm (outside of time), must play themselves out in the physical realm (in time) in order for them to take their designated effect above. (Which in turn then affect events below, i.e., prayer from below causes action in the heavenly realm, which then effects the circumstances of the one praying.)

 Turning to Matthew's gospel, we see the high priest questioning YEHOWSHUA, during which time he (the High Priest) associates the "Messiah" with being the Son of God, and indirectly, Son of the living God:

Matthew 26:63 - But YEHOWSHUA held his peace, And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Messiah, the Son of God.

 The above "New Testament" verse indicate a deep knowledge of kabbalistic concepts on the part of the High Priest. We have also shown kabbalistic concepts found in the writings of Paul and John, as well as in the words spoken by YEHOWSHUA Himself. The Zohar also makes reference to kabbalistic schools of thought in the early second century, under the maggid, Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai. The evidence at hand indicates that there was a deep understanding of Torah at the Sod-level at the time of the second temple. 16

 In two places, YEHOWSHUA (the divine Tzaddik), is specifically called "Son of the Living God," by His Talmidim:

Matthew 16:16 - And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

John 6:69 - And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

 The Zohar offers a connection between the Tzaddik and title of "son of God," or "son of a living man," associating this with the Divine title of “Zaddik, the life of the universe,” (as discussed above.):

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 6a - He thereupon began to discourse on the verse: And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, etc. (II Sam. XXIII, 20). ‘This verse’, he said, ‘has been well explained-in addition to its literal meaning-to signify high mysteries of the Torah. “Benaiah the son of Jehoiada” (i.e. son of God, son of knowing-God) contains an allusion to wisdom, and is a symbolic appellation which influences its bearer. “The son of a living man” indicates the “Zaddik, the life of the universe”.

The concept of a divine Messiah is firmly grounded in Hebraic writings. As Moshe Idel states:

In a Talmudic text the Messiah is called by the name Tetragrammaton (יְהוָה ), in a Midrash he is called by the divine name "Adonai, My Lord," while elsewhere he is designated "El." On the other hand, God is widely described in Judaism as the Redeemer, go'el, a term sometimes applied to an angel or a human redemmer. These common appellations, as well as the different views on the preexistence of the Messiah, may point to a much more substantial link between the divine and a Messianic personae. 17

In some instances, the Messiah has been conceived also as the representative of the divine in this world. The very fact that the phrase "meshiyah יְהוָה " recurs in the sources shows that special connection between him and God. 18


1. Midrash Rabbah consists of commentaries on the Torah as well as several other texts from the Tenakh.

2. Gal Einai Institute, Kfar Chabad, Israel.

3. Kabbalah and Modern Life - Living with the Times: A Torah Message for the Month of Shevat, "And a Staff Shall Arise in Israel," Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh.

4. Along the Path: Studies in Kabbalistic Myth, Symbolism, and Hermeneutics, Elliot R. Wolfson, State University of New York Press, Albany, 1995, p. 83.

5. On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts in the Kabbalah, Gershom Scholem, Schocken Books, New York, 1991, p.96.

6. Sefer Yitzirah, The Book of Creation, In Theory and Practice, Aryeh Kaplan, Samuel Weiser, Inc., York Beach, Maine, 1990, p.132.

7. ibid, p.143.

8. The Way of Kabbalah, Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi, Samuel Weiser, Inc. York Beach, Maine, 1976, p.32.

9. On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts in the Kabbalah, Gershom Scholem, Schocken Books, New York, 1991, p. 100-101.

10. ibid, p.98

11. The Bahir: Translation, Introduction and Commentary, Aryeh Kaplan, Samuel Weiser, Inc., York Beach Maine, 1979, p.109.

12. Along the Path: Studies in Kabbalistic Myth, Symbolism, and Hermeneutics, Elliot R. Wolfson, State University of New York Press, Albany, 1995, p. 140.

13. ibid, p. 25

14. The Mystical Signficance of the Hebrew Letters: Tzadik, The Faith of the Righteous One, Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh.

15. Messianic Mystics, Moshe Idel, Yale University Press, London, 1998, pp. 46-48.

16. The Way of Kabbalah, Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi, Samuel Weiser, Inc. York Beach, Maine, 1976, p.95.

17. Messianic Mystics, Moshe Idel, Yale University Press, London, 1998, p. 23.

18. ibid, p. 41. 
                     

           

 

 
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