Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Colors of the Kabbalah Spheres

Israeli art magen David Photo is courtesy of painter and lecturer on kabbalah issues Avraham Loewenthal who told me that according to kabbalah teachings the sefirot themselves do not have any color or form but there are different color associations with the sefirot. In this paining we see the 42 letter divine name, each in its place in the Star of David which shows the 7 lower Spheres of the Tree of Life.
This work is part of Magen David exhibition in Tasha gallery

Copyright: Abraham Lowenthal

Avraham Loewenthal wrote to me:
This painting is a map of the Holy 42 Letter Divine Name, as it corresponds to the Sefirot and the Star-of-David. The Kabbalah discusses 10 Sefirot, or aspects of consciousness, through which we experience reality. The 6 points of the Star-of-David, and the 7th point in the center, represent the 7 lower Sefirot. The Kabbalah discusses how by working to balance these aspects of our inner self, we can come to experience the unconditional love and Divine goodness at the root of all creation. Each one of the 7 sefirot contains all 7 of the sefirot. The Star-of-David in this painting is color-coded corresponding to the associated sefirot. The 42 Letter Divine Name is painted according to the sefira that is associated with each letter of the Holy Name. The 7 lower sefirot and one way of translating their meaning is as follows:


The color-coding for this painting is as follows:


The Holy Divine Name of 42 letters is discussed extensively in the Kabbalah, and is described in great detail in the Zohar and the writings of the Ari z”l. These 42 letters are associated with 42 stages in the process of our spiritual development. These stages are the secret of the 42 places mentioned in the Torah where the Nation of Israel camps during the 40 years in the Sinai Desert before entering the Land of Israel. There are 42 lines in each column of the Torah scroll paralleling this process. The 42 Letter Name is used extensively in Kabbalistic meditations and spiritual unifications. The prayer Ana-Bekoach contains 42 words. The 1st letters of these words is the 42 Letter Name. The Prayer Ana-Bekoach is included in the daily order of prayers and is found in the Siddur (prayer book).

Maps of Awareness

Israeli art magen David Photo is courtesy of painter and lecturer on kabbalah issues Avraham Loewenthal who told me that kabbalah teaches the maps of the awareness of the human being. In this illustration we see, among other things, the contact between the Tree of Life and the twelve tribes, which stand for attributes in our souls, and the twelve months. In the center are the Hebrew letters of love which is the trait that opens the possibility of the repair of the world.
This work is part of Magen David exhibition in Tasha Gallery

Copyrights: Abraham Lowenthal

Avraham Loewenthal wrote to me:
The white circle in the center of the painting contains a Star-of-David with a smaller Star-of-David depicted at each of the 6 points. The Star-of-David is a triangle going up and a triangle going down- a symbol of unification: upper and lower, spiritual and physical, within and without, woman and man, give and take, creator and creation. The coming together of 2 triangles, or 2 sets of 3, gives birth to the center of the Star-of-David, the 7. It is explained in the Kabbalah that the number 6 represent the physical world, as the physical world contains 6 directions of space: north, south, east, west, up, and down. 7 is the point in the center of all the physical world and represents the spiritual which is at the root of everything physical. We have 6 days of the week and then Shabbat. The 6 days of the week are connected with our working towards the revelation of unity, while Shabbat is connected to the revelation itself. It is taught in the Kabbalah that as we have 6 days of the week and then Shabbat, we likewise have 6000 years of our present reality leading to the 7th millennium which is the Shabbat of the universe- The Messianic Age when the world comes to complete peace and harmony as we all come to experience the spiritual revelation of oneness. The 6000 years began from the creation of Adam and Eve. (There is a long discussion in the Kabbalah, which explains how 6000 years harmonizes with the 13.5 billion years, which is understood to be the age of our world.) It is presently the year 5765 (2005). If we translate the years since Adam and Eve into terms of 1 week, we are presently after 12:30 in the afternoon on Friday. As Shabbat begins Friday evening, it is understood that we are presently at the dawning of the Redemption. It is taught that every Shabbat an additional aspect of unification is revealed in the world. As we come to realize the consciousness of unity on deeper and deeper levels, each Shabbat becomes holier and holier, until we reach "the day which is entirely Shabbat". Inside of the 6 points of the Star-of-David is written: SHABBAT KODESH [HOLY SHABBAT].

Psalms 67 and the shape of David’s Shield

Star of David Israeli art Photo is courtesy of painter and lecturer on kabbalah issues Avraham Loewenthal who told me that there is a tradition in kabbalah to write psalms chapter 67 in the shape of a menorah and then it is called Shield of David.

These words fit things I’ve already wrote on this subject, for example: that Psalms 67 in the shape of David’s Shield is mentioned in the book of Yitzhak Arama Akedat Yitzhak. Gershom Scholem in his research about the Magen David brought another source from 16th century booklet which says that king David used to carry psalm 67 engraved on his Shield.

Traditionally Psalms 67 appears in the shape of the menorah in black & white whereas Abraham Loewenthal brings it here in colors and the arrangement of the branches is an allusion to the shape of star of David, which is made from the seven spheres of the lower part of the Tree of Life which represent the correction of the world, while six points are at the edges and one in their midst.

This work is part of Magen David exhibition in Tasha Gallery
Copyright: Avraham Loewenthal
Avraham Loewenthal wrote to me:
Tehillim Menorah
This picture is of Psalm 67 written by King David. The 150 Psalms of King David were written with Divine inspiration, and there is deep mystical significance in every letter. This Psalm is a prayer for the time when all nations and all peoples of the earth will come to serve G-D together in harmony. There is a tradition in the Kabbalah to write this particular Psalm in the form of a menorah. There are many mystical reasons for writing this Psalm in the form of the menorah. One idea I have learned is that this Psalm contains 49 words. 49 is discussed in the Kabbalah as associated with 49 stages in our spiritual development, until we reach the “50th Gate of Bina”, which is the experience of G-D’s infinite goodness in the state of unconditional love. When this Psalm is written in the form of the menorah, there are also 49 letters going down the central column. This Psalm can be seen written in the form of a menorah, displayed in many old synagogues in Israel. This Psalm is included in the daily order of prayers in the siddur (prayer book). In many sfaradi siddurim it is written in the form of the menorah. The menorah is associated with miracles, and perhaps a simple reason why this Psalm is written in the form of the menorah, is to reflect our prayer for the miracle of G-D bringing all the peoples of the world to harmony and holiness.

Psalms, psalm 67
1: God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.
2: That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.
3: Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.
4: O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.
5: Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.
6: Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us.
7: God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.