The 50 gates are really 49 days or 7 weeks of self-elevation and self-evaluation (followed by one day of prophetic revelation), that the Israelites strived for from the time of the Exodus from Egypt until the time they received the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai.

It is said that all of Israel experienced prophecy at this time and heard the voice of God (Kol Hashem) declare the first two commandments.

How is it possible for an entire nation to be able to experience prophecy? This is the secret of the 50 Gates of Understanding.

Being worthy of receiving prophecy requires character improvement. There are 49 aspects of character that the Israelites worked on developing while they wandered in the dessert of Sinai. These aspects correspond to the combinations of the 7 lower sefirot which are called midot or character qualities from the Hebrew.

The counting is done backwards from the highest level to the lowest since prophecy is energy transferred from God to man:

  • Hesed - kindness - Abraham (epitomized quality)
  • Gevurah - judgement power - Isaac
  • Tipheret - beauty - Jacob
  • Netzah - victory eternity - Moses
  • Hod - thankfulness - Aaron
  • Yesod - foundation - Joseph
  • Malkut - kingdom - David
  • Shavuot - the day of the giving of the Ten Commandments, the revelation and prophecy

These are teachings on Godly character development, and follow as such:

  1. Hesed in Hesed - study
  2. Gevurah in Hesed - attentive listening
  3. Tiferets in Hesed - orderly speech
  4. Netzah in Hesed - understanding
  5. Hod in Hesed - intuitive insight
  6. Yesod in Hesed - awe
  7. Malchuts in Hesed - reverence
  8. Hesed in Gevurah - humility
  9. Gevurah in Gevurah - joy
  10. Tiferets in Gevurah - purity
  11. Netzah in Gevurah - attendance on scholars
  12. Hod in Gevurah - debate with colleagues
  13. Yesod in Gevurah - discussion with students
  14. Malchuts in Gevurah - deliberation
  15. Hesed in Tiferet - knowlege of the scriptures
  16. Gevurah in Tiferet - moderation in business affairs
  17. Tiferets in Tiferet - moderation in worldly affairs
  18. Netzah in Tiferet - moderation in pleasure
  19. Hod in Tiferet - moderation in sleep
  20. Yesod in Tiferet - moderation in conversation
  21. Malchuts in Tiferet - moderation in frivolity
  22. Hesed in Netzah - patience
  23. Gevurah in Netzah - good naturedness
  24. Tiferets in Netzah - trust in the sages
  25. Netzah in Netzah - uncomplaining acceptance of suffering
  26. Hod in Netzah - knows his place
  27. Yesod in Netzah - is content with his lot in life
  28. Malchuts in Netzah - limits his words
  29. Hesed in Hod - does not claim credit for his achievements
  30. Gevurah in Hod - is beloved
  31. Tiferets in Hod - loves God
  32. Netzah in Hod - loves mankind
  33. Hod in Hod - loves acts of charity and kindness
  34. Yesod in Hod - loves straightforwardness
  35. Malchuts in Hod - loves admonition
  36. Hesed in Yesod - shuns honor
  37. Gevurah in Yesod - is not conceited with his learning
  38. Tiferets in Yesod - does not delight in dictating decisions
  39. Netzah in Yesod - shares the burden of his fellow man
  40. Hod in Yesod - and judges him favorably
  41. Yesod in Yesod - directs him to the truth
  42. Malchuts in Yesod - and to peace
  43. Hesed in Malchut - is composed in his learning
  44. Gevurah in Malchut - asks pertinent questions and answers to the point
  45. Tiferets in Malchut - listens and adds to his learning
  46. Netzah in Malchut - studies in order to teach
  47. Hod in Malchut - studies in order to practice
  48. Yesod in Malchut - increases the wisdom of his teacher
  49. Malchuts in Malchut - Notes accurately what he has learned
  50. Shavuot - Quotes a thing in the name of the person who said it

The secret to understanding the correspondences is to recognize how the respective patriarchs perfected these character traits in their lives.

1. Abraham learned all he could of God and lived a life of kindness sharing this knowledge.
2. Issac always listened attentively to his father.
3. Jacob never spoke hastily but was a master of speech.
4. Moses gained the highest level of understanding possible and was able to
speak to God face to face ...

and so on through ...

46. Moses learned all he could in order to teach the people.
47. Aaron learned all he could in order to be an example of practicing
the commandments.
48. Joseph increased the wisdom of his father Jacob, his teacher.
49. David recorded his experiences in his Psalms.

50. Yeshua speaking according to the will of the Father in Heaven. The coming of the Ruach haKodesh in Acts 2.