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(Last updated 9/11/01)

We present this section on the role of man in bringing tikkun, as supplement to our study on Messiah's work. As we will see man has not only a continual role in the restoration of the physical realm, but also the heavenly realms.

Rabbi Pinchas Winston, in a recent Parsha commentary, presents the following understanding of how Creation, including the mineral, vegetable, animal and human levels of existence, were all affected by the sin of Adam and Eve, and in need of tikkun:

One of the principle effects of Adam's and Chava's interaction with the snake was that they became the recipient's of an kind of indelible spiritual impurity called "zuhama" (Shabbos 146a). Spiritual impurity is a tricky concept to begin with, since it is of the spiritual realm, though it will eventually manifest itself physically.

... Now, the first thing to know is that creation consists of four levels of existence, which, in Hebrew, are: Domaim, Tzomayach, Chai, and, Medabehr -- Silent, Vegetation, Animal, and, Speaking. The middle two of the list are self-explanatory, whereas the first one refers to the non-animate (mineral) world, as "Medabehr" refers to the level of man.

... That's what zuhama did, does. It was a spiritual infiltration of the negative spiritual forces ("Chitzonios" or "K'lipos") that had been embodied in the First Snake, and which colored the way we related to the spiritual world, and, by extension, the physical world. It was a partial deadening of our spiritual senses, and therefore, ability to relate to G-d. Thus, zuhama is the true source of sin.

... the "infection" of zuhama was only on the first three levels of existence. However, this still affects man, since he, too, possesses all FOUR aspects of creation within him, either directly in him or through interaction with them (such as eating vegetables or animals). And, it certainly affects the animals world, since that is what they are made of and what sustains them. 1

As Rabbi Winston points out later in this same teaching (see below), the sacrificial system offers a limited effectiveness. The coming of Messiah will provide a permanent rectification.

The "New Testament" states that Yeshua came to rectify this entry of sin caused by Adam:

Romans 5:11-17 - And not only so, but we are also boasting in God, through our Lord Yeshua Messiah, through whom now we did receive the reconciliation; because of this, even as through one man the sin did enter into the world, and through the sin the death; and thus to all men the death did pass through, for that all did sin; for till law sin was in the world: and sin is not reckoned when there is not law; but the death did reign from Adam till Moses, even upon those not having sinned in the likeness of Adam's transgression, who is a type of him who is coming. But, not as the offence so also is the free gift; for if by the offence of the one the many did die, much more did the grace of God, and the free gift in grace of the one man Yeshua Messiah, abound to the many; and not as through one who did sin is the free gift, for the judgment indeed is of one to condemnation, but the gift is of many offences to a declaration of `Righteous,' for if by the offence of the one the death did reign through the one, much more those, who the abundance of the grace and of the free gift of the righteousness are receiving, in life shall reign through the one -- Yeshua Messiah.


Rabbi Winston offers the following insight into the sacrificial system with regard to the tikkun it provided for creation and man:

Thus, says Kabbalah, when an animal is burned on the altar, tremendous "tikun" occurs. The wood that is burned is the spiritual representative of the Vegetation World, while the salt, which is mandatory for all animal sacrifices, is the "Domaim" stand-in. The animal, of course, is the "Chai," and, when all three are consumed on the altar, then, the zuhama itself in creation is weakened, along the way to its eventual and complete obliteration in the time of Moshiach.

... Thus, a second reason for sacrifices is that they come to "sweeten" (i.e., rectify and elevate) the judgment and change it from the "Trait of Judgment" to that of Mercy. For, Domaim and Tzomayach -- the essence of physical creation -- are the result of the "Strong Judgment" and physicality. That is, the physical world is a "projection" of the reality of the distancing of the lower spiritual worlds from the Light of G-d, which is why they are SO physical, and, hide the hand of G-d SO well. Hence, when they -- the wood, the salt, and the animal -- are offered to G-d they became "sweetened" and "fragranced" (i.e., pleasing to G-d) when they are consumed by the fire on the altar, for, they ascend upwards. And, this does not simply mean that particular animal, wood, and salt, but, the entire categories of Chai, Tzomayach, and Domaim for all of creation. 2

The Zohar shows how the earthly sacrifices also effected a tikkun of the heavenly realm. The following passage comments on a particular sacrifice at the time of the dedication of the Tabernacle (showing how it unified the name of God), linking this to the meaning behind the Yom Kippur sacrifice.

The passage concludes by associating the Holy One blessed be He (Tipheret), directly with the "Ineffable Name" of YHWH:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 219b - Similarly do we read: “Take thee a bull calf for a sin offering” (Lev. IX, 2), an ordinance meant personally for Aaron to atone for the sin of the golden calf which he brought upon Israel. So here Moses was bidden “Take unto thee”, that is, “take for thy benefit and use” the incense (q'toreth), which is potent to bind together (qatar), to illumine and to remove the evil taint. The Daleth is linked to the He’, the He to the Vau, the Vau ascends and is adorned with the He, the He, is illumined by the Yod, and the whole ascends, reaching out to the En-sof (Infinite, Illimitable), so that there results one organic whole, interrelated under one principle, the most exalted of all. From thence and upward the whole is adorned as with a crown by the ineffableness of the En-sof; and the Divine Name in its mysteriousness is illumined and is adorned on all sides, and the worlds are all wrapt in joy, the lamps radiate their lights, and sustenance and blessing pour down on all the worlds. All this follows the hidden virtue of the incense, without which the evil taint would not be removed. All thus depends on it. Observe that the offering of the incense used to precede all other services, and hence its recital should be a prelude to our service of hymns and praises, as these latter do not ascend, nor is the required readjustment and unity achieved until the evil taint is removed.

So Scripture says: “And he shall make atonement for the holy place... and because of their transgressions, even all their sins” (Lev. XVI, 16), first “atonement for the holy place” and then for “their transgressions”. We, too, thus have first to remove the evil taint and purge the holy place, and then engage in song and hymn and prayer,’as already said. Happy are Israel in this world and in the world to come, inasmuch as they know how to effect adjustment on high and below; to achieve adjustment from the lower world upwards until the whole is bound together in the most sublime union. The process of adjustment performed in the lower world is by means of the impressed letters of the Ineffable Name by which the Holy One, blessed be He, is named.’

The following section illustrates the process by which the sacrifices and prayers effect tikkun in the heavenly realms. The smoke of the sacrifice is said to reach the highest levels (Arikh Anpin), which blesses the "other lamps" below it (Ze'er Anpin), and then the world (Malkut-Shekinah).

The process actually begins by uniting the lower waters to the upper waters, symbolic of unifying Malkut-Shekinah (the bride) with Tipheret (the groom). Those involved in this process (i.e., the priests) are in the role of the Tzaddik (symbolic of Yesod) which, as discussed earlier in this study, makes the connection between Tipheret and Malkut:

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 244a - It is written: “The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning, and the second lamb shalt thou offer at even” (Num. XXVIII, 4). Prayers have been ordained to correspond to the daily offerings. Through the impulse from below there is a stirring above, and through the impulse from above there is a stirring higher up still, until the impulse reaches the place where the lamp is to be lit and it is lit. Thus by the impulse of the smoke (of the sacrifice) from below, the lamp is kindled above, and when this is kindled all the other lamps are kindled and all the worlds are blessed from it. Thus the impulse of the sacrifice is the mainstay of the world and the blessing of all worlds.

When the smoke commences to rise, the holy forms in charge of the world derive satisfaction, and are disposed thereby to stir the grades above them; and so the impulse rises until the King desires to associate with the Matron. Through the yearning of the lower world the lower waters flow forth to meet the upper waters, for the upper waters do not flow save from the impulse of the desire from below. Thus mutual desire is kindled and the lower waters flow to meet the upper waters, and worlds are blest, and all lamps are kindled, and upper and lower are endowed with blessings.

Observe that the function of the priests and Levites is to unite the Left with the Right. Said R. Hizkiah: ‘That is so, but I have been told that one rouses the Left and the other the Right, because the union of male and female is only brought about by Left and Right, as it says: “O that his left hand were under my head, and his right hand should embrace me” (S. S. II, 6). Then male and female are united, and there is mutual desire and worlds are blessed and upper and lower rejoice. Hence we see that the sacrifice is the support and the mainstay of the world, and the joy of upper and lower.’ Said R. Jose: ‘You are certainly right, and I had heard this before but had forgotten it. This, too, I have learnt, that nowadays prayer takes the place of sacrifice, and a man should fittingly pronounce the praise of his Master, and if not, his prayer is no prayer. The most perfect form of praising God is to unify the Holy Name in the fitting manner, for through this upper and lower are set in motion, and blessings flow to all worlds.’

In the following section of the Zohar, the "heave offering" is explained to represent the "lifting up" of the bride to the groom (Malkut to Tipheret). All "thoughts and desires" are said to properly be focused on the "Heavenly King," which is Tipheret, (i.e., Yeshua in the heavenlies). Thus the Zohar promotes the idea of sacrifice and prayer being directed to God through "the Son":

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 133b - "They shall take Me a heave offering." Here we have displayed an inclusive union of the above with the below, for it does not say "They shall take a heave offering", but "They shall take Me a heave offering", which denotes a fusion of the upper with the lower spheres. [Tr. note: i.e. Tifereth with Malkuth.] "On the part of everyone whose heart is willing ye should take my heave offering." The words "on the part of" seem at first sight to be superfluous, but in reality they contain a deep lesson for the masters of the esoteric lore. Blessed are the righteous who have learnt how to centre all their thoughts and desires on the Heavenly King, and whose aspirations are directed, not towards the vain and foolish toys of this world and its lusts, but to attaching themselves wholeheartedly to the world above in order to draw down the favour of the Lord Himself from heaven to earth.


As we have commented earlier in this study, there are many aspects of God that seem separate and dissimilar to us, due to our relationship with time. Beyond the restriction of time however, these distinctions vanish. This seeming disparateness is also true of the Feasts of the Lord. 3

Examining the major feasts of; Rosh haShanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Pesakh and Shavuot, we find that our participation in these is part of restoring harmony to the Godhead, particularly that of uniting Tipheret and Malkut:

Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 119a - In every ritual action, let your effort be directed toward uniting the Holy One, Blessed be He, and his Shekinah through all camps above and below.

This final time of complete harmony is symbolized by the weekly Shabbat, (which we comment on below). As we saw earlier in our study, the Zohar indicates that the Feasts all point to the same thing -- the eternal Shabbat, which is associated with Malkut:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 135b - The six [Feast] Days are but a preparation for her [the great Sabbath]. As they are united above in "One", so she is unified below in the mystery of "one", to correspond to them above. The Holy One, blessed be He, who is One above, does not take His seat upon the Throne of Glory, until She has entered within the mystery of the One in accordance with His very essence of Oneness, to be the One in One. This, as we have said, is the significance of the words: "The Lord is One, and His Name is One." It is the mystery of the Sabbath, which is united with the mystery of the One so that it may be the organ of this Oneness.


Rosh haShana is different that the other Feasts, as it is not tied to a specific event in Jewish history. Rather, it is the "anniversary" of the creation of Adam and Eve, and the beginning of their realization of mankind's role in God's world. It is called Yom Harat Olam - the Birthday of the World.

Rosh haShana (literally, "Head of the Year"), is the Hebrew "New Year" according to the civil calendar. It is also the New year for Sabbatical years, Jubilee years, planting trees, and for tithing vegetables. Rosh haShana is the beginning of what is called, Yamin Noraim, the "Days of Awe," or the Aseret Yemai Teshuvah, the "Ten Days of Repentance." This is a time of judgment, said to be caused by predominance of the Sefirah of Gevurah-Judgement. Rosh haShana is thus also called Yom haDin, the Day of Judgment.

Because judgment is "awakened" above, it is imperative that the people seek repentance (associated with the Sephirah of Binah) in order to restore balance, by "awakening" the Sephirah of Hesed-Mercy. (Recall that Hesed and Gevurah are opposite each other in the Kabbalistic Tree of Life.) Rosh haShana is also called Yom Teruah - the day of sounding the Shofar. The shofar blast is a call to repentance, and, as with prayer, "causes things to happen in the heavenlies." It is therefore to be taken quite seriously, especially by the person blowing the horn. (See the Zohar section just below.)

The shofar (which is symbolic of Binah), plays a representative role here. It is blown one hundred times during the Rosh haShana service. This is reflective of the ten Sephirot having aspects of all ten within each one. It was for this reason that Solomon placed ten menorahs in the Temple. (This is a subject we will deal with later.) The blowing of the Shofar symbolizes the prevalence of Hesed-Mercy over Gevurah-Judgment. These 100 blasts are divided into four groups:

  • Tekiah, a single unbroken note
  • Shevarim, three short individual blasts rising in tone
  • Teruah, nine short staccato notes

Following these three groups, there comes:

  • Tekiah Gedolah - "big tekiah" - is sounded. This is one long sustained blast

A custom at Rosh haShana is Tashlikh (literally: "casting off"), where people gather around a body of flowing water empty their pockets or thrown stones into the water, symbolically casting off their sins.

This practice is inspired by the words of the Prophet Micah:

Micah 7:18-20 - Who, O God, is like You? You forgive sins and overlook transgressions. For the survivors of Your people; He does not retain His anger forever, for He loves kindness; He will return and show us mercy, and overcome our sins, And You will cast into the depths of the sea all their sins; You will show kindness to Jacob and mercy to Abraham, As You did promise to our fathers of old.

The above passage is associated with a Kabbalistic principle called the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy, (which are "hidden" in the text of the above verses from Micah). Note that there are a total of thirteen shofar blasts in either the first three groups of the blowing of the shofar (1-3-9), or the last three groups (3-9-1), as shown above.

The Shofar is also said to connect the Akeidah, the binding of Isaac, with Mount Sinai. Jewish teachings says that the shofar sounded at Sinai (by God) was the left horn of the ram (supplied by God), offered by Abraham at the Akeidah. The right horn of that ram will be the shofar that will herald the coming of Messiah.4

The following section of the Zohar offers insight into the relationship between the Shofar, judgment and Isaac (who is associated with the Sephirah of Gevurah-Judgment). We present this with minimal commentary in bold type.

Soncino Zohar, Vayikra, Section 3, Page 18a-b - Once as R. Eleazar and R. Abba were sitting together, the former said: ‘I observe that my father will not listen to any man reading the prayers on New Year and the Day of Atonement unless he has watched him three days previously to purify him; for R. Simeon used to say, "Through the prayer of the man whom I have purified the world receives atonement." He was still more particular not to accept the shofar [Tr. note: The ram's horn blown on New Year.] blowing of any man who was not well acquainted with the rules of the shofar and their inner significance. ‘On this day (of New Year) Isaac is crowned, and becomes the head of the patriarchs.’

The Sephirah of Gevurah-Judgment is represented by Isaac. As judgment is dominant on Rosh haShana, Isaac is said to be "head of the Patriarchs" at that moment.

Said R. Abba: ‘We read the portion of Isaac (Gen. XXI, XXII) on this day, because on this day he was bound below and was also united to the One above. R. Eleazar said: ‘On this day Isaac crowned Abraham with glory, as it says, "And the Lord exalted (nissah, lit. proved) Abraham" (Gen. XXII, 1), because the Right Hand was completed and perfected.’

Abraham, linked to the Sephirah of Hesed-Mercy, was brought into balance ("completed and perfected"), by being brought toward the side of Gevurah-Judgment via Isaac.

... R. Abba said: ‘Had not the judgement of Isaac been passed through the place where Jacob abides and annulled there, it would have gone ill with the world. But when it entered into the place of Jacob, and Jacob laid hold on it, then the fire sank and the heat was cooled. It is as if a man in a great passion seizes his weapons and goes out to kill someone, but a certain wise man meets him at the door and detains him, and while they are arguing with one another his anger cools down, and instead of going out to kill, he only goes out to reprove.

Isaac, on the side of judgment, was in turn brought into balance via Jacob, who (as discussed earlier), is representative of Tipheret.

Who was it on whom the man vented his passion? Surely the man who stood at the door! So the Holy One, blessed be He, said to Israel: "My sons, fear not, for I stand at the door; only brace yourselves up on this day and give Me strength.

The Holy One, blessed be He, is Tipheret, who says He is "standing at the door." This language is similar to that found in Revelation chapter 3, where Yeshua speaks of repentance in the face of judgment.

... And through what? Through the shofar. For if the sound of the shofar is properly produced and listened to with devotion, then it mounts aloft and the patriarchs crown themselves with it and stand in the tent of Jacob. Hence strict attention should be paid to the sound of the shofar. Every sound of the shofar ascends to a different firmament, all the denizens of which give place to the sound, saying, "And the Lord uttereth his voice before his army" (Joel II, 11). And that voice remains in the firmament until another voice comes and joins it, and then they both ascend together to another firmament. And when all the voices from below are collected and ascend to the highest firmament where the Holy King is, they stand before the Holy King and then the thrones are set and another throne, that of Jacob, is firmly established. In the Book of Rab Hamnuna the Elder we find: Prayer and the sound of the shofar which are produced by a virtuous man with his heart and soul mount above, and the accusers above are thrust away before it and cannot face it. Happy are the righteous who know how to be truly devout before their Master and to establish the world on this day with the sound of the shofar; hence it is written, "Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound (of the shofar)" (Ps. LXXXIX, 15). On this day the congregation must look out for a man without blame who knows the ways of the King and how to honour Him, that he may pray for them and transmit the sound of the shofar to all worlds with concentration of thought, with wisdom, and with devotion, that through him chastisement may be removed from the world. Alas for those whose minister is not fitting, for through him their sins will be called to mind.

The above section speaks of a man "without blame," who represents his people. In the final paragraph (below), this man is said to bring atonement to them.

... But if he is truly virtuous, then the people are justified through him, and punishment is removed from them through him.’ Said R. Eleazar: ‘For this reason the priest and Levite were examined as to their character, and if they were not found satisfactory they were not allowed to minister. And so, too, with the members of the Sanhedrin before they were allowed to judge.’

(The Zohar offers additional commentary on the Shofar, which we present in Appendix II.)


One of the themes of Yom Kippur is that of "afflicting the soul," a means of achieving reverence and repentance (associated with Binah). Yom Kippur is closely associated with the events on Mount Sinai. Jewish history says that it is on Yom Kippur that Moses received the second set of tablets (after smashing the first set).

The rituals of Yom Kippur are a reenactment of how Moses prepared himself for Sinai. For instance, only the High Priest was permitted to approach God, having to remove his sandals beforehand.

Another interesting custom is associated with the Shema which is recited as such:

Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one.
Blessed be His glorious name whose kingdom is forever and ever.

Throughout the year, the second line of the Shema is spoken in a whisper, as the name of God is not yet unified and His kingdom not yet established. At Yom Kippur however, this response is said aloud, indicative of this representing the time when these events will occur. (See the previous section regarding the names of YHWH and ELOHIM being united within the Shema.)

(The relationship of the "Days of Awe" between Rosh haShana and Yom Kippur will be discussed in our Revelation text study.)

The Holiday of Yom Kippur concludes with a final shofar blast. This is the "last trumpet" referred to in the "New Testament," and is associated with the ingathering of the elect of Israel from the "four corners of the earth." This is the time of the great wedding between Tipheret and Shekinah-Malkut, the latter of which includes His elect.


Sukkot (the feast of booths/tabernacles) is the last of the "fall feasts" and takes place over seven days in Israel and eight days outside the land. At the end of the feast, the holiday of Simhat Torah ("Joy of Torah") takes place, where the last portion of the year's Torah cycle is read, along with the first portion of the subsequent year's cycle.

Sukkot offers a multitude of insights. For instance:

  1. The eight days, and specifically the eighth day, are symbolic of eternity.  For example, the time cycle for the earth being 6,000 years, is followed by the 1,000 year Shabbat/Kingdom, which is followed by the Olam Haba - the "eighth day" - eternity with a new heaven and earth.
  2. Both the last and first Torah portions are read. This is significant, as it symbolizes the concept that "the beginning is the end, and the end is the beginning." (i.e., Keter is in Malkut, and Malkut is in Keter.) See our previous studies on time and reference to the "Mobius strip."
  3. The building of the Sukkah (a temporary outdoor dwelling) has many meanings. One that is less known regards the making of a thatched roof for the dwelling, and its association with prophecy. However, rather than "looking up and out" through the roof, it is taught that one goes "above and beyond" the dimension in which we exist (to Binah), in order to "look back down" through the roof at the realm of Ze'er Anpin/Malkut.
  4. The waving of the four species of vegetation is a deeply mystical practice. In one hand is held a palm branch, three myrtle branches and two willow branches. The palm branch, a phallic symbol is associated with the Sephirah of Yesod. (See previous studies on Yesod for more on this imagery.) The three myrtle branches represent Hesed, Gevurah and Tipheret. The two willows are Netzah and Hod. In the other hand is held an etrog (citron), symbolizing the (feminine) Sephirah of Malkut. All of these are waved in six directions, (east, west, north, south, up and down), representing the six directions of space, or Ze'er Anpin. (See previous studies on this subject matter), and symbolizing a union between Ze'er Anpin and Malkut.
  5. Another interesting concept is that of welcoming one of the Patriarchs as an honored guest, on each of the seven days of the feast. As seen earlier in our study, each of the seven lower Sephirot is associated with one of these Biblical persons. Beginning with Abraham on the first day (representing Hesed-Mercy), through David on the 7th day, (representing Malkut-Kingdom).

Part of a Sukkot prayer, involving these seven Patriarchs, found in the Siddur goes as follows:

"Be seated, be seated, exalted guests, be seated, be seated, holy guests, be seated, be seated, guests of faithfulness, be seated in the shade of the Holy One, Blessed be He. Worthy is our portion, worthy is the portion of Israel, as it is written: For Hashem's portion is His people, Jacob the lot of His heritage. For the sake of the unification of the Holy One, Blessed be He, and His Presence, to unify the Name Yud-Hey with Vav-Hey, in perfect unity through Him Who is hidden and inscrutable -- I pray in the name of all Israel." 5

The theme of the "eight day" as associated with the rectification of the heavenly realm (thereby reconnecting Arikh Anpin and Ze'er Anpin), had its "earthly image" depicted in the dedication and events surrounding both the Tabernacle and First Temple.

In the Torah, we see a process of seven days, leading up to the establishment of the Tabernacle:

Leviticus 8:33-36 - And ye shall not go out of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation in seven days, until the days of your consecration be at an end: for seven days shall he consecrate you. As he hath done this day, so the LORD hath commanded to do, to make an atonement for you. Therefore shall ye abide at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation day and night seven days, and keep the charge of the LORD, that ye die not: for so I am commanded. So Aaron and his sons did all things which the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.

Upon the completion of this "seven days" comes the day of completion, the "eighth day." The eighth day parallels the eighth Sephirah of Binah (starting from our vantage point at Malkut and ascending). This parallels the "seven thousand years" of earthly existence which is followed by the descent of heavenly New Jerusalem, in the "eighth" day.

Leviticus 9:1 - And it came to pass on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel.

Turning to the dedication of the First Temple (Solomon's Temple), we see a number of similarities, including the seven days of preparation leading to the eighth day:

2 Chronicles 7:8-9 - Also at the same time Solomon kept the feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt. And in the eighth day they made a solemn assembly: for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days.


As mentioned earlier, Pesakh (Passover) is a time of deliverance, through the defeat of the evil realm (which have their way in the world due to the separation of Malkut and Tipheret). The Exodus from Egypt also represents the deliverance of the Shekinah from exile (and its association with the evil realm), and the beginning of her reunion with Tipheret. (Consequently, Pesakh must precede Yom Kippur, the latter being representative of the end of this process of reunion.)

Pesakh and Yom Kippur have a mystical connection, having to do with the offering of an animal as a substitution that would "take power away from the evil realm," for a period of time. According to the Zohar, the tenth day of the month is significant, linking the lamb of Passover with the goat of Yom Kippur:

 Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 39b - ON THE TENTH DAY OF THIS MONTH THEY SHALL TAKE TO THEM A LAMB. According to R. Abba, the tenth day was chosen because on this day the Jubilee illumines the Moon (i.e. Binah communicates light to Malkuth); for of the Jubilee it is written: “On the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement” (Lev. XXIII, 27). “They shall take a lamb.” Why a lamb? Because it symbolized the power of the lowest “crown”, which the Holy One broke, the “crown” to which all the other inferior “crowns “ cling, forming the unholy triad signified by the phrase, “lambs, menservants, and womenservants”, sent by Jacob to Esau, as a sop, as it were, to the evil powers which the latter represented. The Holy One said: “Do ye perform this act of slaughtering the Passover lamb, and I myself will nullify its power above. Do ye let it pass through fire (v. 8) here below, and I shall lead the impure principality which it represents through the fiery Stream.” And why was the lamb to be tied up on the tenth day and slaughtered on the fourteenth? Because, according to R. Abba, the four days corresponded to the four hundred years that Israel was subjected to the power of Egypt.

Kabbalistically, the Passover Seder (festive meal), is a ritual designed to reunite the Shekinah (Malkut) with Tipheret.

For example, during the meal:

  • People lean to the left, the side of freedom. The "left" is the side of Binah, which is associated with freedom.
  • The three matzoh represent Tipheret, Malkut and Yesod, with Malkut (the "female" Sephirah), in the middle, broken in half to symbolize her being "divided" between the two "males," until she is finally united with Tipheret.
  • The Afikomen is hidden, again, symbolizing Binah, the hidden source of freedom.
  • The four cups of wine consumed during the meal are linked to the Sephirot of Chokhmah (the father), Binah (the mother), Tipheret (the son/groom), and Malkut (the bride). The stages of their consumption represent the process of unifying Tipheret and Malkut.
  • The Seder ends with a temporary reunion of Tipheret and Malkut, and a degree of freedom from the evil realm.


Shavuot is one of the three "pilgrimage" feasts, along with Pesakh and Sukkot. Unlike the other two, which are each seven-day events, Shavuot lasts but one day. The other two feasts have a sense of leading up to the "eighth day" which denotes eternity (beyond this physical realm, i.e., Binah). Shavuot however, does not have the same seven-day period. This is explained as Shavuot being the day of complete unity, whereas Pesakh and Sukkot anticipate that unity.

Shavuot is associated with the revelation of the Torah at Mount Sinai, and in the "New Testament" with the giving of the Ruach haKodesh (Acts 2). In both of these cases Shavuot gives the sense of "being there" in one powerful, concise day of unity with God. Also in common between the two is that the "source" of the Torah and of the Ruach haKodesh is the same, that being Tipheret.

Shavuot is preceded by a period of seven weeks, (beginning after Pesakh), known as the counting of the Omer. These days correspond to the cycle of years culminating in the Jubilee or Yovel year. (See previous study on the Shemita and Yovel Year.) It was during the seven weeks following the Exodus that Israel prepared themselves for receiving the Torah and Mount Sinai. Thus, the period of the Omer is one of spiritual preparation.

Shavuot and Yom Kippur share a mystical connection regarding the Jubilee Year, as the celebration of that event began on Yom Kippur with the blowing of trumpets throughout the land.

There is a tradition of reciting the following kabbalistic prayer before the counting of the Omer begins. Compare the language and intent of this prayer to the one for Sukkot seen above. Aside from this similarity, is also that of the "waving" of the branches at Sukkot, and the "wave offering" of Shavuot. Both represent the unification of Tipheret and Malkut.

"For the sake of the unification of the Holy One, Blessed be He, and His presence, in fear and love to unify the name Yod-Hey with Vav-Hey in perfect unity, in the counting of the Omer, as is written in the Torah: You are to count from the morrow of the rest day, from the day you brought the Omer-offering that is waved -- they are to be seven complete weeks -- until the morrow of the seventh week you are to count fifty days, and then offer a new meal-offering to hashem. May the pleasantless of my Lord, our God, be upon us -- may He establish our handiwork for us; our handiwork, may He establish." 6

These 50 days of the Omer are also related to something called the "Fifty Gates of Understanding." This mystical concept is based on the idea that each of the Sephirot has its own aspect as well as the aspects of the others within it. (The term "gates" is another designation for the Sephirot as discussed earlier.)

(Click here for additional information on the "Fifty Gates of Understanding.")

Thus, when looking at all ten Sephirot, each one has within it, an aspect of itself and the other nine. Thus, there would be 100 total "combinations" or "gates" to consider. (As mentioned, Solomon had ten Menorah in His Temple for this reason. The Menorah has an aspect of "ten" in its design. This will be shown in a later study.)

However, when considering only the "lower" seven Sephirot that are connected to our present existence, there are a total of 49 aspects or "gates" to consider. (Each of the seven has itself and the other six within it.) These 49 gates lead to the eighth Sephirah (gate) of Binah-Understanding. Hence, the time of counting the Omer is associated with the "Fifty Gates of Understanding."

The following text from the Zohar shows how the Sephirah of Chokhmah-Wisdom has all the other Sephirot "within it." The first Sephirah to emanate from Chokhah is Binah-Understanding. Within this Sephirah are the "Fifty Gates":

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 175b - When Wisdom began to cause the shaping of Crowns, [Tr. note: * i.e. Sefiroth.] with which Crown did it commence? With that which is called “Understanding” (Binah), for in Understanding all is contained; and therefore fifty gates are opened in its name, and thus it is found that all the letters and all the crowns are engraved in Wisdom. Therefore it is written: “Thou hast made them all in Wisdom” (Ps. CIV, 24). It is written: “Who hath measured the water in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?” (Isa. XL, 12). “The water” here symbolizes “Understanding”.’ R. Eleazar referred it to “Grace”, whereupon R. Simeon said to him: ‘The two views are equivalent. “Heaven” symbolizes “Beauty” (Tifereth), and “dust” refers to “Power” (Geburah). “Mountains” refers to the other crowns which are called “Mountains of pure balsam”, and “hills” alludes to somewhat lower chariots.’

As the fifty gates run from Malkut to Binah, is should not be surprising to find some interesting connections between the fifty gates and the Sephirot from Malkut to Binah.

For instance:

  • The mystical interpretation of Proverbs 32:23, "Her husband is known in the gates," is that the husband (Tipheret) of the woman (Malkut) may be known by means of these gates (Sephirot).
  • God posed fifty queries into the nature of Creation to Job, upon which Job finds repentance (Binah).
  • King David bought the site of the threshing floor (associated with Malkut) from the Jebusites, for a peculiar sum of money: "David bought the threshing-floor ... for fifty pieces of silver." (II Samuel 24:24) Here the Temple (representative of Binah) would be built.

In the study of Gemmatria (Hebrew numerology), the  "higher wisdom" of the Godhead is associated with the letter "yud" (with a value of 10, relating to the entirety of the Godhead), and the "lower wisdom" with the letter "nun" (with a value of 50, related to the 50 gates associated with the lower seven leading to Binah). The letter "nun" is also closely associated with the Messiah, as "Heir to the Throne" 7


One of the more interesting ideas surrounding the feasts is how they are divided into the "spring" and "fall." As such, there are two "calendars," in Judaism, one highlighting a "religious year," beginning/ending in the spring, and the other a "civil year," beginning/ending in the fall.

Notable is that when we regard Ezekiel's Temple (the Millennial Temple), it is the religious calendar being followed. Also consider that in Ezekiel's Temple (among the many other differences to the previous Temples/Tabernacle), is that the feast of Yom Kippur is no longer carried out as in times past. Rather, the adornment of the priests and their actions serving in Ezekiel's Temple, show a state of "perpetual Yom Kippur."

From what we have discussed in our studies, we also see a parallel between the two sets of feasts. The spring feasts begin with a sacrifice for sin at Passover. The fall feasts begin with the sacrifice for salvation at Yom Kippur. As we have shown there is a mystical connection between these two feasts, regarding; the animals involved, the effect on the evil realm, and the date of the 10th of the month being significant.

Also, the spring feasts end with a period of time (the Omer) leading up to a "final day" (Shavuot) representative of the "eighth day" when all becomes united once again. In the fall, we have a similar concept with the last feast of Sukkot, having the Days leading up to Simhat Torah. As mentioned however, Shavuot does not have quite the same "time element" leading to it as Shavuot. The Omer count of Shavuot is purely one of gaining spiritual insight, whereas the seven days of Sukkot are physically (as well as spiritually) preparing for the eighth.

What can we deduce from all this?

The spring feasts are representative of what is going on "outside of time" in the heavenly realm, as effected by Yesod-Tipheret. The fall feasts, being time-related, relate to events on this earth, as effected by Yesod-Malkut. This corresponds to the heavenly and earthly aspects of Yeshua's work as Divine Tzaddik and Messiah.

His first appearance, dealing with sin and effecting tikkun in the heavenlies, is linked to the spring feasts. (i.e., the timing of His death through the appearance of the Ruach haKodesh [signifying the heavenly tikkun had been accomplished] took place in the spring, from Passover to Shavuot.) This tikkun of the heavenlies must take place before the reuniting of Tipheret and Malkut (son and bride), and subsequent tikkun to the earth, as discussed earlier in this study.

Yeshua's concluding actions, dealing with salvation, judgment and re-unification of Tipheret and Malkut, is linked to the fall feasts. The time from Rosh haShana to Yom Kippur is the period of judgment on the earth, Yom Kippur (the last trump) being linked to the restoration of Israel to her Messiah, and Sukkot being the initiation of Olam Haba - the world to come - the "eighth day" of eternity.


Shabbat is the culmination of what the other annual Feasts point to and is associated with multiple themes including; the Kingdom, the coming of Messiah, the wedding between Tipheret and the Shekinah-Malkut. Many of these have already been discussed in previous sections of this study.

The Zohar speaks of the Sabbath (both the weekly one we now have as well as the coming Supernal Sabbath), as a time when the blessings of God flow abundantly:

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 136b-138b - For upon this day (Sabbath) the heavens are crowned and ascend in the power of the Holy Name more than on any other day. "His handiwork" is the supernal Dew which streams forth from all the hidden regions; it is "the work of His hands", and His self-fulfilment wherein He completes and perfects Himself on this day more than upon any other. This dew "streams down" from the Head of the King, with an abundance of blessing, the "firmament" here signifying the stream issuing from the Cistern, the "River which went out of Eden", which flows earthwards, as the stream of the Supernal Dew which gleams and flashes from all sides. This "firmament" draws it downward upon a current of love and desire, in order that it may water the field of bliss and joy at the entrance of the Sabbath

This section of the Zohar later goes on to speak of the "Sun" (i.e., Tipheret, the "Son" as well as the "Sun," as discussed earlier), and the Moon (the Shekinah) being united, with the latter then compared to the "upper Mother" (Binah) with mention of the "fifty gates" (of Binah-Understanding).

... When all are thus completed and vivified by the Sun, then the Moon is crowned in the likeness of the supernal perfect Mother in fifty gates.

(The above reference from the Zohar comes from a larger section of that work, which we present in Appendix III.)

One of the more mystical songs associated with Shabbat is called Lekhah Dodi (meaning, "Come My Beloved"). This song transforms the Sabbath into a heavenly wedding between Tipheret and Malkut (who, by the way, are the two "lovers" in the Biblical book of Song of Songs [Song of Solomon]).

The language of Lekhah Dodi is drawn from several sources including Isaiah, Psalms and Song of Songs. The song (in italics below), is full of hidden references to the Sephirot, which we will offer commentary on:


Come my Beloved, to meet the Bride, Let us welcome the Sabbath

The greeting is from Song of Songs 7:12. The Beloved is Tipheret, the Bride and Sabbath are both Shekinah-Malkut.

"Keep" and "Remember" in one divine word. Thus, the unified God to us made heard.
God is one, His name is one. As is His name, His splendor, and His praise.

The combined commands to "keep" and "remember" from Deuteronomy 5:12 and Exodus 20:8 are considered distinct, with "keep" (shamor) associated with Malkut, and "remember" (zakhor) with Yesod. The voice "heard" (at Sinai) is Tipheret. Zechariah 14:9, speaking of a future unification is mentioned.

Toward the Sabbath, let us now go. For she is the source of blessing,
Appointed since the earliest time, the beginning. Last in creation but first in thought.

The Sabbath is Malkut (with a close tie to Yesod), drawing blessing from Binah. Malkut was the last Sephirah emanated, but was appointed by and conceived in the Sephirah of Chokhmah-Wisdom ("thought").

Shrine of the king, the royal city. Rise up from your ruins,
Too long have you dwelled in the valley of tears. To you He will act mercifully with compassion

The king is Tipheret, from whom she has for too long been separated. The "valley of tears" is from Psalm 84:7. Tipheret (also called "Compassion") will invoke Hesed-Mercy upon her.

Arise and shake off the dust. Dress yourself with your clothes of splendor, My people.
With the help of the son of Jesse, the Bethlehemite King. Come near to my soul, redeem it!

The dust is from the exile apart from Tipheret (Isaiah 52:2). The garments of splendor are those of Tipheret. The son of Jesse is David, but the reference is Messianic who is from the house of David. Here, the Shekinah is associated with the redemption of our souls.

Awake, Awake! For your light has come, Arise my light
Wake, wake -- sing out with song. The glory of God upon you is displayed.

The calls to awaken are from Isaiah 51:17 and 52:1. The "light" is from Tipheret, who is also called God's glory (Isaiah 60:1). The singing is from the heavenly realm, as seen in the book of Revelation.

Be not ashamed, be not distressed. Why are you bowed, and why do you yearn?
In you shall the poor children of My people be comforted. The city upon its ashes will be rebuilt.

The command to not be ashamed is from Isaiah 45:15 and Jeremiah 22:22). The query about yearning comes from Psalm 42:12. The reference about being comforted is from Isaiah 14:32. It is by the Shekinah are the people restored. Earthly Jerusalem will be rebuilt (Jeremiah 30:18).

They who destroyed you will themselves be destroyed.Your foes will be routed.
Your God will then rejoice in you, As a bridegroom rejoices in his bride.

The reference to the "foes" is timeless, though can be applied directly to those who come against Jerusalem in the last days. (See also Jeremiah 30:16 and Isaiah 49:19.) God is associated with Tipheret, each compared to rejoicing with the bride (Isaiah 62:5).

Spread out to the right and the left, Revering God.
With the help of a descendant of Peretz, We will rejoice and celebrate.

The right and left is an allusion to the Sephirot of Hesed-Mercy and Din-Judgment (Isaiah 54:3). The "God" who is revered is Tipheret. The descendant of Peretz is the Messiah who takes part in this process (Ruth 4:18; Psalm 118:24).

Come, in peace the crown of her spouse. Come in joy and radiance,
To the faithful of the chosen people. Come, O bride! Come, O bride!

The "crown of the spouse" is Malkut-Shekinah (Proverbs 12:4). The faithful are those who trust in God/Messiah and His Torah (Revelation 12:17; 14:12; 22:14).

Come, my Beloved to meet the Bride.
Let us welcome the Sabbath.

The "beloved" is Tipheret who unites with Shekinah-Malkut. We welcome the Shekinah into our midst when we welcome the Shabbat.


Beyond the restoration (also referred to as "sanctification"), of our own selves and creation, man is also involved in the tikkun of heavenly matters. In one sense, man acts as a type of messiah (anointed one) in God's plan. For example, King Cyrus was called by this name for his actions on behalf of God (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1).

The idea of man's participation in the process of the reunification of the Name of God, is found in most prayer books. The following prayer is said in advance of a mitzvah (commandment), to focus the person on its ultimate purpose:

[I hereby do this mitzvah] for the sake of the unification of The Holy One, Blessed is He, and His Divine Presence, in fear and in love, to unify the Name of yud-h'eh with vav h'eh in completion, in the name of the entire Jewish people.

These steps of tikkun effect Arikh Anpin, (the upper Sephirot) and are following by God bringing repentance and healing (coming from Binah which is in Arikh Anpin). Note that God even says that proper observance of Torah, will enhance the coming of His Kingdom:

2 Chronicles 7:14-18 - If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attend unto the prayer that is made in this place. For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments; Then will I establish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel.

This process of prayer/tikkun thus follows the path of the Tree of Life:

  • first humbling themselves (as associated with Malkut)
  • followed by prayer (as a Tzaddik is mediator, linking the earthy and heavenly realms)
  • seeking His face (Tipheret)
  • turning from their wicked ways (repentance, coming from Binah)

Contemporary Kabbalist Rabbi Pinchas Winston, states this in a similar fashion, referring to  Torah-learning (seeking God's face), good deeds (acts of humility) and prayer, all making up the "mirror of the Torah" than enables is to "turn from wicked ways" in order to serve God, and (according to 2 Chronicles above) receive forgiveness and blessing.

Says Rabbi Winston:

Conscious life, for a Jew, can be divided up into three basic activities: Torah-learning, good deeds, and prayer. Aside from the actual technical and practical knowledge that Torah-learning imparts, Torah is a spiritual mirror to reveal our inner potential; to reflect back to us our godliness, so that we can live inspired spiritual lives. 8

Winston's comment on the Torah being our mirror is reminiscent of another famous Rabbi, who also compared following Torah, humility and charity to a "mirror" that we are to look into:

James 1:21:27 - Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

"Prayer" is often misrepresented in the world we live in as being for the purpose of "getting something from God." Some hold a more accurate view of prayer being a way for us to "draw closer to God." This is true, but more accurately, the purpose of prayer, as with the sacrificial system, commandments and performance of good deeds, is toward unification of the Godhead and bringing us closer to the time of ultimate tikkun.

As with anything to do with connecting the heavenly and earthly realms, prayer must be performed in an appropriate manner.

Pinchas Winston states:

If a person prayers with reverence, patience, concentration, and enthusiasm, then, clearly, he will draw the Presence of G-d into creation. However, if a person lacks reverence when he prays, perhaps suggested by the way he prays or how is dressed, then, the Presence of G-d is pushed away. If a person seems impatient while praying -- before, during, or after -- then what message does he send to creation -- positive or negative? Or, what if he makes little or no effort to concentrate while praying? Does he convince us, himself, or Heaven that he believes in what he is doing, or, cares for that matter? And, certainly, a lack of enthusiasm to pray does not invite the Divine Presence to descend into our mundane world. 9

In the "New Testament," Yeshua's brother Jacob (incorrectly called "James" in Christian Bibles), promotes the concept of prayer as covering both physical and spiritual areas:

James 5:13-20 - Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

Both James and Paul also taught that the goal of the tzaddik is to seek to bring about tikkun, even in unpleasant circumstances:

James 1:2-6 - My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Romans 5:3-4 - And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

This idea of constantly glorifying God, even in the difficult portions of life, stems from the extended verses of the Shema, which read:

Deuteronomy 6:5 - And you shall love G-d your G-d with all of your hearts, with all of your life, and, with all of your possession.

As taught by Rabbi Pinchas Winston, regarding the Shema:

This is the mitzvah of Yichud: To constantly unify everything in creation with Him, for, "He fills the entire world with His Glory" (Yeshayahu 6:3), until it is completely apparent below that "G-d alone will have been exalted" (Tehillim 148:13), and this is the rectification that will occur in the future, when all the spiritual impurity will disappear, and all of creation will become holy to G-d and unified with Him. 10

It can thus be said, that the goal of the Tenakh is to direct man to the process of tikkun, both of the heavenly and earthly realms. As such, when asked what the greatest commandment was, Yeshua replied as follows:

Matthew 22:37-40 - Yeshua said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.


This section concerning the role of man would be incomplete without addressing the importance of Torah study, especially at the deeper levels. Without an understanding of what God requires of us, and why He requires it, we are left to the whims of our own hearts, which as Scripture tells us, is desperately wicked.

Putting it another way:

Proverbs 14:12 - There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

Proverbs 10:29 - The way of the LORD [Torah] is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.

There is much written in the body of Kabbalistic works regarding the importance of Torah study. For the purpose of concluding this section of our study, we will simple say that a sign of the approach of Messiah will be the study and understanding of the deeper levels of the Torah.

This enlightened will come from the level of Binah-Understanding:

Zohar 124b - Then the Scholars will understand, because they are from the side of Binah (eighth sefirah), which is the Tree of Life. Of them it says, 'The Scholars will emanate light like the light of the sky ...' (Daniel 12:3) ... with this book of yours, the Book of the Zohar, which is from the light of Binah, which is called repentance ... In the future Israel will taste from the Tree of Life, which is this Book of the Zohar, they will leave exile in mercy, and "Hashem alone will lead them, and they will have no foreign god" (Devarim 32:12).

1. Parshas Vayikra, The Supreme Sacrifice, Rabbi Pinchas Winston (

2. ibid.

3. For more detail concerning the concepts in this section, see chapter 9 of, The Mystic Quest - An Introduction to Jewish Mysticism, David S. Ariel, Jason Aronson, London, 1988.

4. Pirkel d'R' Eliezer, as cited in the Stone Edition Chumash, commentary to Exodus 19:13.

5. From The Complete Artscroll Siddur, Menorah Publications, ltd., Brooklyn, NY, 1990, p.721.

6. ibid, p. 283.

7. The Mystical Significance of the Hebrew Letters: The Letter Nun, from The Inner Dimension, Gal Einai Institute.

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

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

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