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(Last updated 9/1/01)

The diagram to the right represents the Four Worlds of Azilut (A), Beriah (B), Yetzirah (C) and Asiyyah (D), seen in an "extended tree," as they "overlap" one another. As mentioned earlier, the "lower face" of a world above overlays the "upper face" of the world below it.

Out of Azilut (A) emerges the world of Beriah/Creation (B). Beriah begins at the Tipheret of Azilut (E). As Tipheret is the amalgamation of all of the Sephirah and "essence" of the Tree of Life within each of the Four Worlds, the emergence of each new world is said to begin at the Tipheret of the one above it, though it is actually "generated" from the point of Yesod (H) (see below).

Thus, the lower face of Azilut corresponds to the upper face of Beriah, the lower face of Beriah to the upper face of Yetzirah, and the lower face of Yetzirah to the upper face of Asiyyah. This overlapping view, as seen in the extended Tree diagram to the right, enables us to better understand how each of these worlds can be both connected, yet distinct.

With regard to creation, keep in mind that before any of the worlds came about, there was Eyn Sof - the infinite and undefineable idea of God. There is much to be said of what occured from Eyn Sof to the first world of Azilut. However, this is beyond the scope of this study which is limiting itself to the Divine Sephirot in Azilut and "forward," and even then only as a general overview. (Please contact YashaNet for resource recommendations if you wish to study any of these things in detail.)

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As mentioned earlier, the first world of Azilut (A) is the unchanging world of the Divine Sephirot. Adam was first "designed" according to this "Divine Image." The Sephirot in Azilut are also called "Adam Kadmon." Nothing "exists" yet at this level as we would normally consider "existence". Everything that would eventually come into into existence in the three lower worlds, existed beforehand in Azilut, within the perfect will of God.

Beginning with Genesis 1:1 we come to the world of Beriah (Creation (B), which as mentioned, emerges out of the Tipheret of Azilut (E). Specifically, the Keter of Beriah ("crown of Creation"), is at the same place on the extended Tree as the Tipheret of Azilut (E). Keep in mind that Tipheret is the expression of all of the Sephirot of the Tree. Here, Tipheret represents "God the Creator."

This is significant, as the Keter of Beriah (E) is associated with Metatron. Recall that Beriah (B) is also associated with the Throne of God. Thus Metatron is both the "first-born of Creation," (as Keter of Beriah), as well as "beyond the Throne" (META-TRONOS in the Greek), found in Beriah (as Tipheret of Azilut (E).

This Sephirah (E) is given the combined name of YHWH-ELOHIM, which is found several places in the Tenakh, such as where Moses addresses God in Deuteronomy 3:24, or in Isaiah 50:4; 52:4. It is also God as known by the title, "the Holy One, blessed be He."

The Hochma (F) and Binah (G) of Beriah are considered the "Father" and "Mother" of the world of creation. Note that these Sephirot correspond to the Netzah (F) and Hod (G) of Azilut, which have the function of bringing the Divine will of God "down" from Azilut (A) to Beriah (B) below. Kabbalistically this is the point where God divided "day" from "night," the former being the active right pillar under Hochma (F), and the latter the passive pillar, under Binah (G). As mentioned in an earlier study, Beriah is also the world of the archangels. It is also said that the angels of the "70 nations" of the earth exist in Beriah.

We now come to the Da'at of Beriah/Creation (H), which is associated with the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit). This is reflected in Genesis 1:2, which states, that "the Spirit of God moved across the waters." Note that the Da'at in the upper face of Beriah corresponds to the Yesod in the lower face of Azilut (H), known by the God names El Hai or Shaddai.

As mentioned earlier in our studies, Yesod is associated with procreation and the idea of producing something new. Hence, Yesod being the focal point of the lower face of Azilut (H), generates the upper face of Beriah at the point of its Da'at (H). This relationship between the overlapping Yesod and Da'at repeats throughout the extended Tree, establishing a connection between the "Foundation" (Yesod ) of an upper world and "Knowledge" of a lower one. (This terminology is similar to how Adam "knew" Eve and she conceived.)

Although Yesod is metaphorically associated with the male sexual organ (thus expressing the idea of generating a new life), recall that Yesod has both male and female elements to it, thus the new world formed is still in the image of God ("Betzelem Elohim"). We are thus created "male and female" (i.e., Genesis 1:27), though at this stage (Beriah) of the entire creation process, "Adam" was not yet "divided." This division occurs in Yetzirah - with their placement in the Garden of Eden. (See below.)

Focusing on the central pillar of the Tree, we next come to a critical Sephirah (I), as it is simultaneously the Malkhut of Azilut, the Tipheret of Beriah and the Keter of the next world, Yetzirah. At this point (I) we have the junction of the three higher worlds. This Sephirah (I) is associated with the Seat of the Messiah. In Azilut, it is known by the God name of Adonai (My Lord) and is also associated with the Shekinah.

As mentioned in an earlier study, the Zohar indicates that the upper worlds (represented by "Y-H-V," the first three letters of the Tetragrammaton), are brought into unity prior to the final unification (by an angel called "Boel," meaning "God is in him"), when God's Name is made one ("Y-H-V-H"). This final unification takes place when the Shekinah (represented by the final "H" of Y-H-V-H) is brought back as the "Bride of Tipheret." As the Archtypal Sephirot of Azilut are never "divided" in any sense, this "reunification" applies to the level of Beriah, where Tipheret (I) is associated with the Messiah. Note also that as this Sephirah (I) overlays the Malkhut of the World of Azilut, this gives a "Divine aspect" to the Messiah.

Moving on below the Sephirah of Tipheret in Beriah (I) (remaining on the central column), we come to the Yesod, in the lower face of Beriah (J), which is simultaneously Da'at in the upper face of Yetzirah (J). (Again, out of the procreative aspect of Yesod is born the next world.) This Sephirah (J) is associated with the angel Gabriel, who is seen in Scripture as giving deep knowledge (da'at) to man (i.e., Daniel). As mentioned, Yetzirah (C) contains a hierarchy of angels who carry out the will of God between Beriah (B) above and Asiyyah (D) below. (This hierarchy of angels are the "wheels within wheels" of Ezekiel's vision.)

Below the Da'at of Yetzirah is its Tipheret (K). Here again we are at a critical junction, this time of the three lower worlds, as this is Sephirah is also the Keter of the lowest world of Asiyyah, and the Malkhut of Beriah, also called the "Kingdom of Heaven." Tipheret (K), along with Hesed (L) and Geveurah (M) in Yetzirah, forms the Triad of the Soul in man.

Yetzirah (C) is also the location of the Garden of Eden, and the Da'at of Yetzirah (J) is where the Bat Kol, the Voice of God, that spoke to Adam and Eve, is said to have emanated from.

Adam first "existed" in the world of Beriah (B) (Genesis, chapter 1), in a spiritual realm quite apart from where we are now. Scripture shows that Adam was initially "one being," thus consisting of the combined male and female aspects of God.

"Adam" became the separate "Adam and Eve" in the world of Yetzirah (C), and was placed in the Garden of Eden (Genesis, chapter 2). This existence is also different than what we experience as they did not have "physical" bodies as we do. When Adam and Eve sinned, they were expelled from Yetzirah into the physical world of Asiyyah (D) and given "flesh" ("coats of skin" - Genesis 3:21), as this is required for life in Asiyyah. This is where we all "start out" today.

As the Tree continues through Yetzirah into Asiyyah, we come to the makeup of physical man, in emotion, mind and body. We will reserve this analysis for the next section of the study.

The links below provide diagrams without annotation, enabling you to enter your own references.

Basic Tree of Life diagram | Extended Tree of Life diagram