The Sefirot: Ten Emanations of Divine Power

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9781568219295: The Sefirot: Ten Emanations of Divine Power

The Jewish mystical tradition teaches that in order to create the many planes of being that culminated in our world, God brought into being ten sefirot, or vessels. These sefirot consecutively filtered (and continue to filter) God's spiritual light, so that universes separate from Him were able to emerge. It is the belief of Kabbalists that every person, object, and process in the world works through the energies of the sefirot, and every Jewish practice and holiday is a conductor that allows these energies to flow. Furthermore, because people contain analogues of the sefirot within themselves, they can intuit the spiritual truth of the upper worlds. Consequently, man's actions - acts of goodness and of religious meaning, such as keeping the Sabbath - can influence the heavenly sefirot and draw down their positive energy. This analogy, between the sefirot and one's personal manner of relating to God in a profound and deeply-felt way, is a theme discussed at length in the Breslov chasidic literature; particularly so in Likkutei Halachot, an eight volume collection of essays by Rabbi Nosson of Nemirov, an esteemed student of Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav. This work parallels the sixteenth-century collection of Jewish law known as the Shulchan Aruch. But whereas that work, the foundation of modern halachic practice, is a practical manual, Likkutei Halachot uses the halachah as a takeoff point for brilliant expositions of Breslov chasidism. It is Likkutei Halachot that forms the basis of Y. David Shulman's The Sefirot: Ten Emanations of Divine Power.

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David Y. Shulman
Published by Jason Aronson, Inc. (1996)
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