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(Last updated 12/3/01)

As mentioned in the previous section of this study, there is a restorative aspect to God's plan of salvation that precedes the return of Messiah (where peace finally comes to the world and Israel is made supreme among the nations).

Referring back to an earlier quotation from Yehuda Liebes, there exists in Kabbalah:

"... a messianic figure who is actively engaged in the process of the world's tikkun [restoration]. While he is not the Messiah himself -- the latter will come only after the tikkun -- it is he who paves the way for redemption and makes it possible." 1

As we discussed in an earlier section of this study, Judaism teaches that this figure is a messiah, specifically Messiah ben Joseph, the first of "two messiahs" to come. He is the one who suffers, is "pierced," and dies in order to bring tikkun in advance of Messiah ben David.

If we keep in mind what was shown in the previous section on time acting as a "cloak" that obscures our vision of God, we can see that the figure providing tikkun prior to the Messiah who brings in the Kingdom (the Divine Tzaddik), can also be the very "same" Messiah.

Just as God revealed Himself as El Shaddai to some people at one time in history, and as YHWH to others at another time, so too does He reveal Himself to humanity as the Divine Tzaddik at one time, and Messiah as the other, all the while being both Tzaddik and Messiah at all times.

There are multiple facets to the Messiah, regarding sin, salvation, tikkun and unification. All of these are linked to the "middle pillar of the Godhead" and its comparable Sephirot.

Thus, Messiah is associated with:

  • Malkut - with regard to the coming judgment and establishment of the kingdom
  • Yesod - as Divine Tzaddik, who suffers and dies to bring atonement and tikkun
  • Tipheret - who brings unification to the Name of God
  • Da'at - through whom the Ruach haHodesh comes
  • Keter - as the image of the invisible God


The concept of tikkun is defined by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh as follows:

  • A tikun is a state of perfection and order.
  • "The world of Tikun," (olam hatikkun, "the world of rectified order") is the world that first manifests this state, which is synonymous with the world of Atzilut.
  • Tikun is the spiritual process of liberating and retrieving the fragments of Divine light trapped within the material realm, unconscious of G-d's presence, thereby restoring the world to its initially intended state of perfection. This is accomplished through the performance of mitzvot.
  • Tikun is a remedy prescribed against the effects of committing a sin.2

Paul wrote of this return to a state of "perfection and order" in his letter to the Messianic congregation in Rome:

Romans 8:18-23 -For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

As we will discuss in this portion of the study, due to the sin of Adam, and subesequent sins of man (including the more famous ones such as the golden calf at Mount Sinai), both the world and heavenly realms are in a state of "disunity" and in need of rectification. As such, the "name of God" is also said to be in need of  tikkun, something that will occur at a point in our future, according to the prophet Zechariah:

Zechariah 14:9 - And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.

All that has been "tainted" by the sin of man, is in need of tikkun.

This includes:

  • The Godhead (the Sephirot)
  • The Torah, transcending both spiritual and earthly realms
  • Man/Creation

Although this unification will not become "permanent" until a future time (from our point of view within time), God has established means by which we can effect aspects of this tikkun in this world. These are not fruitless excercises, as these actions bring benefit to mankind, are pleasing to God and even enhance the coming of the Kingdom (See comments on 2 Chronicles 7:8-9 in the next section of this study.)

Man, through his actions in the physical realm, is involved in the process of bringing tikkun.

This includes his involvment in:

  • The sacrificial system
  • The Feasts of the Lord
  • The study and practice of Torah, including prayer and meditation

These will be addressed further in this study. We will first examine the idea of tikkun at the "highest" level, that being a restoration of the Godhead (Sephirot).


As author Chayim J. Henoch, states that the sin of Adam had a cosmic effect -- one that "fractured the Godhead," and would ultimately be rectified. This tikkun would be crowned by the arrival of the Messiah:

The chief cause for the existence of evil in the upper and lower worlds, which necessitates a universal catharsis, is the mystical sin of Adam. This sin effected an abysmal fissure in the Divine harmony of all being and interrupted the flow of Divine energy into the arteries of the universe.

... The purpose of this sefiric, cosmo-historical catharsis is thus directed toward the renewal of the shining of the Divine light in all phases and branches of the universe, piercing and making the veil of opaqueness and darkness disappear. Ultimately, this sublime purpose expresses the realization of fixing of the mystical-universal split, symbolized by the arrival of the Messiah, which represents the climactic completeness of man, who is created in the image of God. 3

Kabbalistically, it is taught that the tree from which Adam and Eve took the fruit represents Yesod/Tipheret. The fruit picked from the tree (and thus "separated" from it) is associated with Malkut (the Shekinah).

Here we have the serious sin of "separating the bride from the bridegroom," causing the disunification of the name of God. As discussed earlier, the Sephirah of Malkut (the bride) is associated with the last (lesser) "H" (the letter "heh") in the name Y-H-V-H. Malkut is also linked to the Shekinah, which is in exile with Israel during this time.

As Rabbi Henoch explains:

By taking and eating of the forbidden "fruit" from the Tree of Knowledge -- from the sefiroth of Yesod and Tifereth, which are represented by the wood of the Tree and the Tree itself, respectively -- Adam disturbed the harmony in the Divine world of Atziluth. 4

Adam and Chavah (Eve) were thus themselves separated from their intimate existence with God. Now living in the physical world, still linked to the Shekinah, but separated from the rest of the Godhead, they were given "garments" to wear. Kabbalistically, what are said to be "animal skins" in the Torah, represent the actual flesh that our bodies are since made of. Just as we will be given new bodies in order to exist in the heavenly realm (1 Corinthians chapter 15), so were Adam and Chavah given the fleshy bodies we now have in order to exist in this physical realm.

The difficulty we face in understanding how "all of this works," lies in the fact that events take place in two realms -- "outside of time," and "within time." The Eyn Sof, as we have discussed, is "outside of time" and eternal. "Time" is part of His creation.

As discussed in the previous section of this study, we are (barring occasional miraculous interventions as seen in Scripture), restricted in our view of reality by the dimension of "time."

For example, we know that God is "One" and His name is "One." This is a profound truth of the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4), which is considered the Bible's "great statement of faith," as it proclaims the unity of God.

As discussed in an earlier section, the daily recitation of the Shema consists of two statements:

Hear, O Israel: YHWH our ELOHIM is one YHWH,
Blessed be His glorious name, whose Kingdom is forever and ever.

The Shema transends time, by declaring two statements of fact:

  1. YHWH and ELOHIM are one (i.e., "yesterday, today and always").
  2. YHWH and ELOHIM will be one (when His Kingdom is established).

This interpretation is supported by the prophet Zechariah, who makes it clear that "within the realm of time," God's name is not presently "One" (due to the sin of Adam, as described above).

It is in the "future" (which exists only when speaking of "time"), that God's name will be One:

Zechariah 14:9 - And YHWH shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one YHWH, and His name one.

Rabbi Chayim Henoch explains the relationship between events within time, and outside of time, as follows:

But it must be emphasized that these two processes, the cosmic and the historical, are intrinsically two sides of the same dynamic coin, called "Divine revelation," which penetrates the upper and the lower realms, and no creature is able to exist outside of its perimeters. 5

This concept of how events can "occur" both outside of time, as well as within our historical reality, explains how Deuteronomy 6:4 and Zechariah 14:9 can both be true (even though they seem to "contradict" on the surface).

Another example of similar things being different within time and outside of time, concerns the upper Sephirot of Chokhmah and Binah, the "father" and "mother." These two Sephirot are said to never be separated (unlike Tipheret and Malkut, the son and bride which are apart). Yet, a tikkun is said to come to the upper Sephirot themselves.

This seeming contradiction is caused by the effect of "time" in our realm, and is explained as follows:

This flaw is only possible in the lower realms and cannot reach the upper plane. Thus the two lights of Yud and heh (the first two letters of the Tetragrammaton) are always perfectly connected, with the cusp of the Yud above them. All three (the cusp of the yud, alludingto Keter, the Crown and the Yud itself, alluding to Chochmah, Wisdom, and the Heh, alluding to Binah, Understanding) are bound together with a strong, firm bond. But in the lower realms we do find separation as a result of men's sins. The Yud separates from the Heh, the Heh from the Vav, and the Vav from the (second ) Heh. 6

(Note: In the above text, Tetragrammaton is the four-letter name of God (YHVH). The lower realms are those "within time," the upper realms are "outside of time." The "cusp" is the very top part of the letter Yud, likened to a crown. i.e., Keter = crown).

Returning to the Shema, the second line of the Shema prayer is not found in Scripture, but was spoken by the children of Jacob, back to their father as a confirmation of their faith.

The Zohar offers the following insight on the role of faith with Jacob and his sons, mentioning the role of the "two-edged" sword (the Torah):

Soncino Zohar, Vayikra, Section 3, Page 62a-b - R. Simeon then spoke on the verse: "Let the saints exult in glory, let them sing for joy upon their beds" (Ps. CXLIX, 5). ‘We have learnt’, he said, ‘that the knot of faith is tied with thirteen attributes, and in addition the Torah is crowned with thirteen "measures", [rules of interpretation] and the holy name is crowned therewith. Similarly, when Jacob desired to bless his sons, he said that his sons should be blessed with the bond of faith; it is written, "all these are the tribes of Israel, twelve, and this (zoth)", etc. (Gen. XLIX, 28); thus there were thirteen, the Shekinah being joined with them. We have learnt that all those "measures" ascend and rest upon a certain head, and the pious inherit all that glory from above, as it is written, "Let the saints exult in glory", in this world, "and let them sing for joy upon their beds"-in the next world. "The high praises of God are in their mouths", to tie the bond of faith in fitting manner; and so "a two-edged sword is in their hand", to wit, the sword of the Holy One, blessed be He, which flashes with two judgements.

Rabbi Pinchas Winston gives the following insight into the relationship between the Shema, God's Kingdom, Sabbath, as well as "how the end is tied to the beginning":

Malchus [Kingdom] corresponds to Shabbos [the Sabbath], which indicates that it is the completion of physical existence. Logically, it also corresponds to King David, who is the ancestor of Moshiach, whose kingdom will come at the end of history, when G-d's mandate for creation has been fulfilled. Hence, Malchus represents the time in history when G-d's kingdom is firmly established on earth, as well as in Heaven. All that was ever accomplished for good during the previous six millennia will be synergized into a completed whole, just as Shabbos allows an individual to integrate all that was spiritually achieved during the previous six days of the week.

Thus Malchus and Shabbos are considered feminine in nature. It is a feminine trait to receive, gestate, and give back a completed whole. The previous six days of the week are considered masculine, full of energy expended in many directions, often simultaneously. It is Shabbos that brings "peace-and-quiet" to creation, allowing the person to re-focus on his or her relationship with G-d, and to enjoy the fruits of the previous days' labor. In other words, whereas the previous six days efforts are considered to be in a horizontal direction, Shabbos moves a person in a vertical direction, closer to G-d. Shabbos is the time to absorb new levels of spiritual realization into one's consciousness, so that Motzei Shabbos, one emerges as a "briah chadashah"- a "new creation."

Kabbalah points out that Malchus is really just the revelation on the lowest level of what exists on the highest level. The uppermost sefirah is called "Keser,"
[Keter] which means "Crown." Since this sefirah is so sublime, it is completely beyond man's ability to grasp, and is therefore referred to as "Ayin," which means "Nothing." Compared to what comes after it, which is far more "physical," it is as if it does not exist. Malchus is called "Ani," which means "I" - the ultimate expression of individuality and existence.

It is the same letters as the word "ayin," except that they arranged differently:

Ayin - Ani
(aleph-yud-nun) - (aleph, nun-yud)

What this expresses is that the light that makes up our physical world, and gives life to all that exists, is really the light of Keser, after it has been filtered and "splintered" through the eight sefiros between Keser and Malchus. However, it is in Malchus that the light becomes unified once again, with the important exception that it has also been revealed and realized along the way. It has gone from "Ayin" to "Ani," which was the whole point of creation in the first place-and of a person's life.

This is also expressed in the last word of the Shema: Echad. The word Echad is made up of three letters: aleph, ches, dalet. The rabbis explains that the aleph refers to the sefirah Keser, because the letter aleph represents the number "one," and G-d is One. The ches, corresponds to the number eight, and hence, the eight sefiros that follow Keser. The dalet always symbolizes Malchus, because it corresponds to the number four, which emphasizes G-d's kingship over all four directions of physical existence.

In a Sefer Torah (a book of Torah), the dalet is written larger than the previous two letters, to emphasize that it represents the fulfillment of creation: the revelation of G-d to all mankind, and the permanent establishment of His Kingdom throughout all of existence. 7

Another section of the Zohar, speaking on the subject of the (future) unification of the name of God, shows how through the study of the Torah (the two-edged sword), we can understand the deepest aspects of God. It states that the great mystery of faith is knowing that God as YHWH is one with God as ELOHIM (the mystery of the Shema).

This concept is associated with an understanding that there is a "Supernal Torah," associated with YHWH and the heavenly realm, and a historical Torah associated with ELOHIM and the earthly realm. (This will be discussed in detail later in this study.):

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 160b-161b - The whole mystery of the Faith depends upon this; from this comes the knowledge of the mystery of mysteries, the secret of secrets. YHWH ELOHIM is a full Name, and the whole is one. Herein is a mystery of mysteries to the masters of the esoteric knowledge. And, indeed, blessed are they who endeavour to comprehend the Torah. When the Holy One resolved to create the world, He guided Himself by the Torah as by a plan, as has been pointed out [Tr. note: v. Zohar, Gen., 134a in connection with the words "Then I was by him as amon" (Prov. VIII, 30), where the word amon (nursling) may also be read uman (architect). Was the Torah, then, an architect? Yes; for if a King resolves to build him a palace, without an architect and a plan how can he proceed?

Nevertheless, when the palace has been built, it is attributed to the King: "here is the palace which the King has built", because his was the thought that thus has been realized. Similarly, when the Holy One, blessed be He, resolved to create the world, He looked into His plan, and, although, in a sense, it was the plan which brought the palace into being, it is not called by its name, but by that of the King. The Torah proclaims: "I was by Him an architect, through me He created the world!"-for the Torah preceded the creation of the world by two thousand years; and so, when He resolved to create the world He looked into the Torah, into its every creative word, and fashioned the world correspondingly; for all the words and all the actions of all the worlds are contained in the Torah.

Therefore did the Holy One, blessed be He, look into it and create the world. That is why it says not merely "I was an architect", but "I was, alongside of Him, an architect". It may be asked, How can one be an architect with Him? God looked at His plan in this way. It is written in the Torah: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth"; He looked at this expression and created heaven and earth. In the Torah it is written: "Let there be light"; He looked at these words and created light; and in this manner was the whole world created. When the world was all thus created, nothing was yet established properly, until He had resolved to create man, in order that he might study the Torah, and, for his sake, the world should be firmly and properly established. Thus it is that he who concentrates his mind on, and deeply penetrates into, the Torah, sustains the world; for, as the Holy One looked into the Torah and created the world, so man looks into the Torah and keeps the world alive. Hence the Torah is the cause of the world's creation, and also the power that maintains its existence. Therefore blessed is he who is devoted to the Torah, for he is the preserver of the world.

‘When the Holy One resolved to create man, there appeared before His Mind potential man, in form and condition as he was to be in this world; and not he alone, but all human beings, before they enter this world, stand before Him in the same way, in that treasure-house of souls where, dressed in a semblance of their earthly forms, they await their entry into this world. When their time has arrived to descend to this world, the Holy One calls upon a certain emissary appointed over all the souls to go down, and says to him: "Go, bring hither to Me such and such a spirit", and on the instant that soul appears, clad in the form of this world, and is led forward by the angel that the Holy King may look upon it. Then does the Holy One warn that soul, when it shall have reached the earthly regions, to remember the Torah, and devote itself thereto, so that it may know Him and the mystery of Faith; for better were it for a man that he should never be born than not to know Him.

Therefore is it presented before the Holy King, that afterwards it may know Him in this world, and be devoted to the Holy One in the mystery of the Faith. Concerning this it is written: "Thou hast been shown to know", that is, shown by the angel to the Holy One, in order to know, to understand, to penetrate in this world to the mystery of the Faith, the mystery of the Torah. And he who, having come into this world, does not study the Torah to know Him-better were it for him that he had never been born; since the only aim and object of the Holy One in sending man into this world is that he may know and understand that YHWH is Elohim.

This is the sum of the whole mystery of the Faith, of the whole Torah, of all that is above and below, of the Written and Oral Torah, all together forming one unity. The essence of the mystery of Faith is to know that this is a complete Name. This knowledge that YHWH is One with Elohim is indeed the synthesis of the whole Torah, both of the Written and of the Oral, for "Torah" stands for both, the former being symbolic of YHWH and the latter of Elohim. The Torah being the mystery of the Holy Name, it is therefore called by two names, one of which is general, and the other particular. The general is complemented by the particular, also the particular by the general, both combining to form one synthesis. In the Torah we find, therefore, the synthesis of the Above and the Below, for the one Name, YHWH, is above, while the other, Elohim, is below, one indicating the higher world and the other the lower. And therefore is it written: "Thou hast been shown to know that YHWH is Elohim."

This principle that reconciles verses which proclaim both a current and future unification of the Godhead, also provides the harmonizing of other verses, such as Revelation 13:8, which speaks of Yeshua's work "already being done" (outside of time), and Galatians 4:4, where it says His work was done when He came to the physical realm (within time):

Revelation 13:8 - And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Galatians 4:4 - But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.

As Rabbi Pinchas Winston says of the view of God as found in the Shema:

From the very top of creation until the very bottom of creation, even in the darkest, most physical parts of existence, you must know and be real with G-d's Oneness. There is never a place that G-d isn't, just places where it is not proper to think about Him. There is never a time when G-d isn't, just times when He doesn't seem apparent to us. 8


Beyond the separation of Malkut from Tipheret/Yesod, Adam's sin caused a disruption of the harmony among all of the Sephirot. Of particular importance is that the three "upper Sephirot" (Keter, Chokhmah, Binah), were separated from the remaining "lower" seven.

These upper three Sephirot are known as Arikh Anpin, the "long face," also called the "infinitely patient one." As discussed earlier in this study, these three Sephirot are associated with the highest heaven of Azilut, existing above our level of time and space.

The configuration of the "lower" seven Sephirot, is called Ze'er Anpin, the "small face," also called the "impatient one." (Ze'er Anpin is technically made up of six of the lower seven Sephirot while Malkut-Shekinah is in exile.) As also discussed earlier Ze'er Anpin is associated with the dimensions of physical space that exist within the dimension of time.

The result of this split between the upper and lower groupings, is that Divine light from Arikh Anpin does not shine upon Ze'er Anpin. This cessation of light from above causes Ze'er Anpin to pour out (unmitigated) judgment. In addition to this, the split among the Sephirot (causing a lack of intimacy among them), makes a full dekevut (cleaving/communion) for man with the Godhead impossible.9

Thus, the full/permanent measure of forgiveness of sin, that comes via repentance (which is associated with the Sephirah of Binah/Understanding) is not in place until Binah, (along with Chokhmah and Keter), is re-united with the lower Sephirot of Ze'er Anpin.

In order for the full/permanent measure of forgivenss to be in effect, tikkun must first come to Arikh Anpin (the Supernal Sephirot of Keter-Chokhmah-Binah). This is in actuality a tikkun of the entire cosmos, which kabalistically is called the "Messianic tikkun." Once this is done, Arikh Anpin will effect tikkun upon Ze'er Anpin. This occurs when the flow of illumination from above is reconnected.

The Zohar likens this "connection" metaphorically, as a "part in hair" (on the head) of Arikh Anpin which, when tikkun has taken place, is aligned with a part on the head of Ze'er Anpin. From the latter branches out the 613 commandments of the Torah.10

With regard to the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, the three Supernal Sephirot of Arikh Anpin are the "Holy of Holies," of the heavenly realm.11

The only one allowed to enter into this heavenly Holy of Holies is "the King" - Tipheret:

When the last of the ten lights (Shekinah) was complete with all its lights shining and everything fixed and functioning properly, there appeared at the end a certain place that is most awesome (the Holy of Holies of the Heavenly Temple). This is the place of great desire, the place of love and peace. This place is hidden and secret. Only the King may come there. No one may enter except for Him. This place contains all the beauty of this light and all its radiance and perfection. In it are found all the pleasantness and delight. When the King enters, who can express His great beauty and goodness? None can compare to Him in all His glory and holiness. Being so hidden, the light is all the greater and more intense. 12

Our own view of events within time (in the "secular" world) and that which occurs outside of time (in the "holy" world) is in need of tikkun as well. This is said to occur at the level of the heavenly Holy of Holies.

As stated by kabbalistic author Daniel Matt:

"There is a secular world and a holy world, secular worlds and holy worlds. These worlds contradict one another. The contradiction, of course, is subjective. In our limited perception we cannot reconcile the sacred and the secular, we cannot harmonize their contradictions. Yet at the pinnacle of the universe they are reconciled, at the site of the holy of holies." 13

The understanding of Ze'er Anpin (Tipheret) being associated with judgment until tikkun is effected upon it is mentioned in the Zohar. The topic of this section is the "heave offering" which is shown to represent the "elevation" of the Shekinah upward toward the heavens, specifically toward the bridegroom, Tipheret (Ze'er Anpin). As discussed, Ze'er Anpin is made up of six of the lower seven Sephirot, with Malkut (the Shekinah) being the seventh.

In this text we have Ze'er Anpin associated with someone named Bo'el, meaning "God is in Him." Boel is also called the "throne of the power of judgment." which is said to be mitigated when men repent. (See also the subsequent section on the role of man in the process of heavenly tikkun.)

This merging of judgment and mercy is also seen in the union of the angels Michael (associated with Tipheret), and Gabriel (associated with Yesod). We thus have another connection between these two Sephirot, as discussed in an earlier section.

This section of the Zohar follows:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 147a-b - AND THIS IS THE HEAVE-OFFERING WHICH YE SHALL TAKE FROM THEM. Said R. Eleazar: This verse has been interpreted and the inner mystery thereof explained. But there is evidently a contradiction between the above verse (where it says "That they take Me a heave-offering") and this. First it says, "take Me"; then "take My heaveoffering"; then "take from them". However, the whole meaning amounts to this: "Take Me (as) a heave-offering"- but who should take? The children of Israel. And from whom should they take? "From every man whose heart impells him", namely from the supernal angels above, upon whom this "Heave" (the Shekinah) is raised, those who do perpetually raise Her up to the Supernal King; and when Israel is worthy, they take Her from them and bring Her down. Who are those angels? The four who raise Her, and in whom the Heart (God) takes delight. Yet, though this "heave- offering" is borne aloft by them, "ye shall take" from them, in order to bring Her down to earth. How are they to do so, even in this dispensation? By the power of good works, prayer, and the keeping of the Law. But at the time when the Temple yet stood, it was by means of the colours that were manifested below, after the pattern of the colours above, through the sacrificial worship. Those colours drew down the Terumah (the Shekinah) to the lower spheres; that is to say, the colours which were below prevailed over those that were above, the former bringing down the latter, one entering into the other, the former becoming "bodies" for the latter. Therefore it says, "which ye shall take from them".

GOLD, AND SILVER, ETC. Gold is included in Gabriel. The supernal gold is carried below by Gabriel, and seven kinds of gold separate themselves from it. "Silver" above is united with Michael below, and one rests on the other. "Brass" is also above; it originates from gold, because gold and five have the same symbolism. It is fire which brings forth brass, and from this power emanate supernal mysterious serpents (nehashim = nehosheth = brass) and Seraphim brought forth by fire (from saraph, to burn). Therefore brass is golden, lit with orange and red, like fire. It is contained in Noriel (Fire of God) and forms his body. Techeleth (purple blue) is contained in both brass and gold, and derives energy from both sides. It possesses great strength and nothing can obtain dominion over it. It forms the throne of the power of judgement, and is therefore called "Boel" ("In him is El", i.e. God as Power), as it is written: "And El (God) is angry every day" (Ps. VII, 12). But when men turn back to God with perfect repentance, his name is changed into Raphael (God heals): for he brings healing to assuage the pains of that bitter judgement.

In "purple-red" (Argaman) gold and silver are fused: Michael and Gabriel are intertwined with each other, and of this it is written: "He maketh peace among the dwellers on high" (Job xxv, 2). The two, being joined one with the other, become one body. There is "crimson" also above, contained in Urie1, like the former, to combine purple-blue and purple-red. Byssus also is above, contained, like the former, in the mystery of Raphael, in order that silver and gold may be united. So much for the mystery of the seven pillars [Tr. note: i.e. the seven angels symbolized by the seven colours.] above which are contained in the seven that are below.

Boel is mentioned only one other place in the Zohar, where he is seen as being the one to unite the letters of the name YHVH at the end of days, referred to as "keys" (i.e., the "Key of David" which we will discuss in our text analysis):

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 133b - At the time when the Spouse is united with the Matrona a herald comes forth from the south, crying: "Awaken, O ye supernal hosts, and unfurl the banners of love in honour of your Lord!" Then one of the leaders of the celestial array-he whose name is Boel (God is in him)- stands forth, and in his hands are four keys which he obtained one from each of the four corners of the earth. One key has upon it the sign of the letter Yod engraved; the second the letter He’; and the third the letter Vau; and these three keys he lays beneath the boughs of the Tree of Life. Then these three become one. Then the fourth and last key, which bears upon it the second letter He’, joins the three which have become one. And all the angelic hosts enter by means of those keys into the Garden of Eden, where with one voice they proclaim the Divine unity at the selfsame moment as it is proclaimed here below. Then the Shekinah, the Bride, is conducted to the Palace of the King, Her Bridegroom, for now He stands complete in all His supernal goodness and can supply Her with all that She needs.

(This last reference comes from a larger section of the Zohar, which we have made available in Appendix I.)

As the Zohar notes (above), tikkun comes in stages. Here we see Bo'el first uniting the Y-H-V, (Father, Mother and Son), which is representative of bringing tikkun to Arikh Anpin (the Y-H) and Ze'er Anpin (the V). Only after this has been accomplished, is the final "H," representative of Malkut-Shekinha (the bride) brought in unity with the rest of the Godhead.

Yehuda Liebes explains the stages of heavenly tikkun as such:

It begins with the highest configuration (attika Kaddisha), continues to the male configuration of the Godhead (Ze'er Anpin), and culminates in the Shekinah. This order is necessary, for it is the absence of tikkun at a higher level that causes disturbance at the level below it, and it is the higher level, once it has undergone tikkun, that brings about the tikkun of that below it. 14

Following the tikkun of the heavenlies, comes that of the earthly realm:

... The tikkun then is completed with that of Jerusalem and the Sanctuary. 15


The concept of tikkun is present throughout the texts of the "New Testament," but perhaps no more so than in the book of Hebrews. This text is one of the more Kabbalistic (and thereby misunderstood) books of the entire Bible.

Even at the time the book was written, the ability to understand its concepts had faded:

Hebrews 5:11-14 -  ... of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

After this mild rebuke, the author prepares his audience for a deeper (Sod) level of understanding:

Hebrews 6:1-3 - Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Messiah, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits.

Hebrews, chapter 9 is of key importance in understanding the work of Yeshua in the heavenly realms, with relation to bringing tikkun to the heavenly Holy of Holies, which brought tikkun to Ze'er Anpin, and also opened the door for the forgiveness of sin.

There are several points usually missed when Hebrews is studied outside of its Kabbalistic context, such as:

  1. Yeshua's sacrifice is in the context of the Yom Kippur sacrifice. Hebrews does NOT teach that the sacrificial system in its entirety in now forever done away with -- only that there was a change ("pre-ordained" as part of the heavenly Supernal Torah), to the Yom Kippur sacrifice and thus the priesthood.
  2. The "Melkizadek priesthood" is the "Supernal priesthood" of which the Levitical one is patterned, in the same fashion that the heavenly Temple (shown to Moses) is the one after which the earthly Tabernacle/Temple was patterned.
  3. The earthly representations of what is found in the heavenlies, include not only the priesthood and temple articles, but also the actions/processes regarding redemption, atonement, salvation, etc. What is to be done in the heavenlies is "played out in time" in the earthly realm.
  4. The "New Covenant" is NOT in effect at this time. Hebrews 8:6-13 reiterates this by its citation of the Tenakh's terms for this covenant (i.e., there will be no need for "evangelism" as all will know the Lord). Yeshua (as the Divine Tzaddik) has prepared the way for this (by effecting tikkun to Ze'er Anpin), but the New Covenant does not come into reality ("in time") until His work (the union of Malkut-Shekinah and Tipheret), is finished and is crowned by His arrival as Messiah. Certain "aspects" of the New Covenant may be experienced now, just as aspects of our salvation may be experienced, but is not yet complete until He returns. (See the article by James Trimm on this subject in the YashaNet library.)
  5. This "unfinished work" of Messiah will be completed when (as the book of Hebrews states), He "appears a second time for salvation."
  6. As noted earlier in this study, there exists a mystical relationship (outside of time) between Pesakh (Passover) and Yom Kippur. This sheds light on how Yeshua can be the Yom Kippur sacrifice, yet die on Pesakh. Yom Kippur deals with salvation and establishment of the New Covenant. Pesakh deals with sin and defeat of the demonic realm. (See subsequent section on the role of the Feasts regarding tikkun.)

These points must be kept in mind to properly understand the book of Hebrews. Here we offer a sod-level interpretation, with comments interjected in bold:

Hebrews chapter 9:

Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary.

"Covenant" is linked to the Sephirah of Yesod. As we have discussed Yesod is in the role of the Tzaddik - who has the free will to follow his role or turn away from it. This first covenant was thus dependent on the behavior of the earthly tzaddikim (the people) who failed - i.e., Hebrews 4:2-6, 8:7-9.

The first covenant had aspects of divine service within the earthly sanctuary, as Yesod is the Sephirah that connects the earthly and heavenly realms.

... For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All,

The "Holiest of All" is equivalent to the Holy of Holies and is Arikh Anpin in the heavenly realm.

... which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat.

In the Ark we see a microcosm of the three pillars of the Godhead.

  • The manna, given abundantly to the people is from the right side of Hesed-Mercy.
  • Aaron's rod represents the Sephirot of the central pillar and as we have discussed earlier, is associated with Metatron.
  • The tablets of the covenant represent the restrictiveness and judgment of the Torah and of the left side of Gevurah-Judgment.

... Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.

This reprieve is consistent with the schools of Kabbalistic thought through the ages, which kept the deeper mysteries within tight circles of people, and did not make them available for general consumption. Within the teachings of Kabbalah however, it is said that there would come a time just prior to the arrival of Messiah that these secrets would be made more accessible to the world. This is exactly what is happening in recent years with many ancient Kabbalistic texts being translated into English.

... Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people's sins committed in ignorance;

Note that this discussion is focused on Yom Kippur, when the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies.

... the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing.

The author states that the restrictions placed on the Holy of Holies in the earthly Temple, was a representation of the fracture between Arikh Anpin and Ze'er Anpin in the heavenly realm. (Again, recall the principle that what is seen below is an image of what exists above.)

Repentance was of course available through the yearly Yom Kippur service, but not in a permanent fashion. The heavenly Holy of Holies, Arikh Anpin, which includes Binah (repentance), was "cut off" from the lower Sephirot, interrupting the flow of God's mercy.

This teaching is consistent with Jewish commentary on the "Tent of Meeting" as being a "time of meeting," reflecting a defect in the relationship between man and God, who could only meet at appointed times (unlike Adam and Chava who walked with God all of the time.)

... It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience--concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation. But Messiah came as High Priest of the good things to come,

Messiah as High Priest includes aspects of both Tipheret and Yesod. (Note: When Yeshua returns to judge the earth and establish His kingdom He will include aspects of Yesod and Malkut.)

The "good things to come" will achieve their realization in the "Jubilee," which is associated with Binah, called the "hidden source of freedom." (i.e., "When that which is perfect comes" - 1 Corinthians 13:10.)

... with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

His work in the heavenly Holy of Holies effected the tikkun of Arikh Anpin.

... For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

This is a kal v'chomer argument (If the lesser results in something, then this applies more so to the greater.) Yeshua thus effected the required tikkun that brought a full/permanent solution to what the annual Yom Kippur sacrifice could effect only partially.

The "living God" we serve is El Hai and is associated with the Sephirah of Yesod.

... And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called  may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

As "mediator" we see the aspect of Yesod as Tzaddik.  In turn, the earthly tzaddikim benefit from His actions. The "New Covenant" is associated with Binah, which is "freedom" (redemption) and "mother" of creation, specifically the tzadikkim in this context (i.e., Galatians 4:26).

The inheritance is the Kingdom (Malkut) which will be rectified and joined to the rest of the Godhead upon Yeshua's return.

... For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.

Inheritance comes upon the death of the one bequething it. As discussed earlier in this study, the Divine Tzaddik, kinsman redeemer to the earthly tzaddikim, must shed his blood for his brethren, possibly having to die for them.

... Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, "This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you." Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

Moses was the Tzaddik and Maggid (teacher) of his day.

Divine "purification" requires a Divine tikkun (by God's "right arm"), not something done by man alone.

... For Messiah has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another--He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world;  -but now, once at the end of the ages, - He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Messiah was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time apart from sin, for salvation.

This final passage shows the work of Messiah "through time":

  • The High Priest enters on Yom Kippur
  • Yeshua was slain once since the Foundation of the world
  • The "end of the ages" is the 2000-year period known as the "days of Messiah" (see the subsequent section on "Tikkun of the Torah")
  • Messiah died at Pesakh for sin (bringing tikkun to the heavenly realms of Arikh Anpin and Ze'er Anpin)
  • Messiah returns at Yom Kippur for salvation (unifying the Godhead and creation)

The above heavenly action had a physical representation on earth:

Matthew 27:51 - And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom ...

The harmony (Tipheret) brough to the heavenly realms is reflected in the following prayer recited at Pesakh, at the time that the third cup of the Seder - the cup associated with the New Covenant:

May He who establishes harmony in the universe bestow His peace upon us, upon Israel, and upon all mankind. 16

Note that at the Passover Seder conducted by Yeshua prior to His death, He defers from drinking of this third cup of the New Covenant, until He returns to establish the Kingdom:

Matthew 26:27-29 - And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.

As followers of Yeshua and the Torah, we are welcomed into the "New Covenant" in the present time, based on His promise. We will experience the reality of this when He returns and drinks of this cup with us in the Kingdom, upon establishment of the New Covenant.

There is more concerning the tikkun of the Godhead than what we have discussed thus far. There is still an element that concerns the actions of man himself "within time." As Yehuda Liebes stated in the quotation at the beginning of this section, concerning the role of the Tzaddik:

"... it is he who paves the way for redemption and makes it possible."

Thus, although Yeshua's actions make possible this flow of light from Arikh Anpin to Ze'er Anpin and subsequently to the world, the drawing down of this light from Ze'er Anpin to Malkut (the earthly realm), is dependent on the actions of the earthly tzaddik. (See previous section on Yesod for more on this function of the tzaddik.)

Due to the actions of Yeshua, man himself can now "approach" (dekevut - "cleaving") the Heavenly of Holies and effect continual tikkun on Arikh Anpin, thus bringing God's blessings to the world and hastening the coming of the Messiah.

The book of Hebrews states explains this. We offer the following commentary:

Hebrews 10:19-22:

Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest

Not the earthly Holy of Holies, but rather approaching the heavenly Arikh Anpin.

... by the blood of Yeshua,

Yesod as the Divine Tzaddik (see previous section on the blood of the Tzaddik being shed for the atonement of his brethren).

... by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,

The "veil" is what separated us from the place where God made his presence in the Holy of Holies. Thus, there is a "negative" connotation to the veil, as it "keeps us away from God." The Temple walls themselves are said to have this same "undesirable" yet necessary effect. Following the Millennial Shabbat, this will be rectified as God will no longer be contained within the walls of a Temple (Revelation 21:22).

The author compares the "flesh" of Yeshua to the veil in the same sense. It can be said that the physical body of Yeshua (a tabernacle for God, i.e., Yesod) continues to act as a "veil," that keeps many people from seeing who He is.

... and having a High Priest over the house of God,

This is a function of Yeshua as Tipheret in the heavenly realm, as discussed in our studies on Tipheret.

... let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

The washing with water is an allusion to the mikvah, with "water" in this context being the River of Eden, or the Torah, which sanctifies us to God.

Rabbi Pinchas Winston, in a current (December, 2001) Torah commentary, offers the following insight concerning the role of the suffering Messiah and his effect on heavenly tikkun. This idea will come into play when we analyze events occuring in the heavenly realms, beginning in chapter 5:

In hindsight, it is clear that Yosef ended up in jail as a stepping stone to become second-in-command of Egypt. Certainly, there are other more pleasant ways to promote a person in life. However, Divine Providence chose this route for Yosef for reasons that may be known only to Heaven. On the other hand, the fact that Yosef was able to succeed and remain spiritually unscathed even in the lowest part of the lowly Egypt, was a tremendous comment about Yosef's spiritual stature. Furthermore, he did not lose his ability to reveal the unknown even while he was there, evident by his ability to correctly interpret the dreams of Paroah's servants who "happened" to be in prison at the same time he was there. This, perhaps, is the basis of Yosef's ability to play such an important role in the Final Redemption of the Jewish people, when they seem to be at their spiritual lowest. If the first Moshiach to come - Moshiach ben Yosef - is a spiritual heir to his illustrious ancestor, then a major part of his success will be his ability to reveal the hidden ONLY FOR THE SAKE OF HEAVEN, (many can do it for their own gain and glory), to act as a pure and successful channel for the Light of G-d.

... That is Moshiach ben Yosef, someone from whom the unadulterated truth will flow like a stream of clear, refreshing, life-giving water. He will be a person so pure, so devoted to the will of G-d, that the Light of G-d will be drawn to him like metal filings to a magnet, and all that he does will be successful. His truth will be like fire that will burn up the straw - the lie - of Eisav. If so, why must he die in the process of bringing redemption (Succah 53a), only to be revived again by Moshiach ben Dovid, the final Moshiach? 17

1. Studies in the Zohar, Yehuda Liebes, SUNY Press, Albany, 1993, pp. 1-2.

2. Glossary of Kabbalah and Chassidut,

3. Ramban, Philosopher and Kabbalist, Chayim J. Henoch, Jason Aronson Inc, Jerusalem, 1998, p. 366.

4. ibid, p. 201.

5. ibid, p. 365.

6. Secrets of the Future Temple (Mishkney Elyon), by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzazatto, translated by Avraham Yehoshua ben Yakov Greenbaum, The Temple Institute and Azamra Institute, Jerusalem, 1999, p. 62.

7. Parshas Emor - Eighth Parshah and Counting, Rabbi Pinchas Winston (

8. Parshas VaEschanan - Nachamu: Pleading In Comfort, Rabbi Pinchas Winston (

9. Studies in the Zohar, Yehuda Liebes, SUNY Press, Albany, 1993, p. 13.

10. ibid, p. 45

11. The Way of Kabbalah, Z'ev Ben Halevi, Samuel Weiser, Inc., York Beach, Maine, 1976, p. 28.

12. Secrets of the Future Temple (Mishkney Elyon), by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzazatto, translated by Avraham Yehoshua ben Yakov Greenbaum, The Temple Institute and Azamra Institute, Jerusalem, 1999, p. 60.

13. The Essential Kabbalah: The Heart of Jewish Mysticism, Daniel C. Matt, Harper Collins, San Francisco, 1996, p.153.

14. Studies in the Zohar, Yehuda Liebes, SUNY Press, Albany, 1993, p. 61.

15. ibid, p. 65

16. The Concise Family Seder, Rabbi Alfred J. Kolatch, Jonathan David Publishers, Inc. Middle Village, NY, 1987, p. 41.

17. Parshas Vayaishev - Yesod HaOlam, Rabbi Pinchas Winston (