MESSIAH - PART 5
(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."
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 NEED FOR TIKKUN
The concept of tikkun is defined by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh as follows:
- A tikun is a state of perfection and
- "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
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.
- The Godhead (the Sephirot)
- The Torah, transcending both spiritual and earthly realms
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
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).
TIKKUN OF THE GODHEAD
(AND RELATIONSHIP TO THE SHEMA)
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
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
As discussed in an earlier section, the daily recitation of the Shema consists of two
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:
- YHWH and ELOHIM are one (i.e., "yesterday, today and always").
- 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
THE PROCESS OF HEAVENLY TIKKUN
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
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"
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
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
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
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
TIKKUN AS SEEN IN THE "NEW
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
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
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.
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.
There are several points usually missed when Hebrews is studied outside of its
Kabbalistic context, such as:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- This "unfinished work" of Messiah will be completed when (as the book of Hebrews
states), He "appears a second time for salvation."
- 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
"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
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
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
... 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
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
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
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
The book of Hebrews states explains this. We offer the following commentary:
Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest
Not the earthly Holy of Holies, but rather approaching the heavenly Arikh
... 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,
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.
2. Glossary of Kabbalah and Chassidut, http://www.inner.org/glossary/gloss_t.htm
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.
Emor - Eighth Parshah and Counting, Rabbi Pinchas Winston (torah.org)
8. Parshas VaEschanan -
Nachamu: Pleading In Comfort, Rabbi Pinchas Winston (torah.org)
9. Studies in the Zohar, Yehuda Liebes, SUNY Press, Albany, 1993, p.
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.
Vayaishev - Yesod HaOlam, Rabbi Pinchas Winston (torah.org)