This is the first in a series of classes – approximately 42 - that are designed to give a student of Kabbalah a personal experience of the Creator.
This experience will be unique to that individual. This is because each person is a unique desire to receive.
On a conscious level we may think that my desire is to meditate or to learn Hebrew Astrology or even to manipulate physicality. This is a similar desire that other people have. So how can my desire be unique and create a unique experience of the Creator?
Yet the true desire, on the level of the unconscious is unique to that person. The deepest and most intimate desire is to Cleave to the Creator. Sometimes this word Devekut in Hebrew is translated as “get closer to the Creator” rather than cleave.
This first Class is an introductory class about the Sefer Yetzirah. We may or may not start learning the Book this week or even next week. This is because this learning takes preparation. There are a number of commentaries upon the Sefer Yetzirah which are not set documents as we will discover.
The Sefer Yetzirah is taught today in an academic manner. It was not written as an academic treatise. It was written by an astrologer and then redacted into its present form by a mystic. At least that is my opinion based on the teachings of my instructors and my own personal experience.
The origin of the Sefer Yetzirah is masked in history. The Talmud has a crytic statement that the Sefer (Book) was written by Abraham the Patriarch, who wrote it as a Book of Proselytizing his personal knowledge that there is only ONE CREATOR. The book teaches people how to have a personal experience of that Creator.
One way to experience the Creator is through the mechanistic perceptions of the science of Hebrew Astrology. So revealed in the Book is the underpinnings of Hebrew Astrology.
Another way to experience the Creator is to realize the unity of all things that are created by the Creator. There are also aspects of this in the Sefer Yetzirah that has come down to us over the centuries.
Another important way to experience the Creator is through Hebrew Meditation which is included within the Sefer Yetzirah as well.
It is my hope to teach all aspects of these methods of reaching - “getting closer to the Creator.” In that sense the teachings will not be academic but experiential. Yet it is up to you to actualize the information and bring it into your life. That choice is yours.
Since there are many different ways to experience the Creator it is important that the instructor not limit the student, but provide advice. Next week we will be given an overview of the spiritual laws involved by reading an essay from the teacher who taught me these techniques. This week I am bringing you information from Wikipedia as well as some Jewish sources as well as my own experience to prepare your vessel to handle the Light that is within the Sefer Yetzirah.
Some of you will find that the idea of different ways of learning the Sefer will be too slow for you. I apologize to you for not meeting your wants- as in my experience of this area your wants need to be limited by your needs. Actually it is better to say your wants need to have a vessel/garment of your needs rather than the usual your wants are the garment for your needs.
Please reread the above paragraph and make sure you understand these terms. This class will assume you have a background in Kabbalah and its vocabulary called the language of branches.
Here is the current Wikipedia page along with my comments as of May 2013. There is a request on the Wikipedia page for an expert in Kabbalah to modify it as it is known to be limited and incomplete even by non Kabbalists. This request was written in October 2008. In the almost 5 years since then no Kabbalah expert has modified the page. What do you think is the reason?
Sefer Yetzirah (Hebrew, Sēpher Yetzîrâh "Book of Formation," or "Book of Creation," ספר יצירה) is the title of the earliest extant book on Jewish esotericism, although some early commentators treated it as a treatise on mathematical and linguistic theory as opposed to Kabbalah. "Yetzirah" is more literally translated as "Formation"; the word "Briah" is used for "Creation."
The article touches on the correct understanding of the two terms Formation and Creation. They refer to two different stages in the Creative Process of the 4 Stages of Rabbi Ashlag as well as two different Worlds as described more generally in the Kabbalah. You need to contemplate what is the difference between formation and creation terms in your world view. This is your homework for this week. Please remind me next week to speak of the difference and also the meaning in Kabbalah.
A cryptic story in the Babylonian Talmud states that "On the eve of every Shabbat, Judah HaNasi's pupils, Rabbi Chanina and Rabbi Hoshaiah, who devoted themselves especially to cosmogony used to create a delicious calf by means of the Sefer Yetzirah and ate it on the Sabbath."
Mystics assert that the Biblical patriarch Abraham used miraculous creations. The war of the 5 Kings vs the 4 Kings in the Book of Genesis refer to Abraham rescuing his Nephew Lot with 318 men. The midrash says that it actually was 1 man his servant Eliezer and the tools of the Sefer Yetzirah Miracles attributed to other rabbis of the Talmudic era are ascribed by rabbinic commentators to the use of the same book.
Sefer Yetzirah's appendix declares that Abraham was the recipient of the divine revelation of mystic lore. It is revealed by all practicing Kabbalists until the 20th Century that Abraham was the author of the Sefer Yetzirah.
Among them are the rabbis of the classical rabbinic era (see Hai Gaon in the responsum cited in "Kerem Ḥemed") and philosopher Kabbalists such as Saadia Gaon, Shabtai Donnolo, and Judah HaLevi (author of "Cuzari") never doubted that Abraham was the author of the book. In Pardes Rimonim, Moses ben Jacob Cordovero (Ramak) mentions a minority opinion that Rabbi Akiva authored it, and takes it to mean Abraham wrote it and Akiva redacted it to its current form.
Jewish Midrash attributes the teaching to the Book of Raziel given to Adam, and that " from Adam it passed over to Chanoch Ben Yered and then to Noah, who gave it to his eldest son Shem (who is called Malkitzedek) who transferred it to Abraham, the friend of God along with the High Priesthood for the World."
This worldly high priesthood is an important concept in Kabbalah and is not shared with most teachers to their students. The teaching is concealed in the idea of Aaron becoming the High Priest instead of Moshe.
According to modern historians the origin of the text is unknown and hotly debated. Some scholars believe it might have an early Medieval origin, while others emphasize earlier traditions appearing in the book. The division of the letters into the three classes of vowels, mutes, and consonants also appears in Hellenic texts.
Hellenic Texts refers to Jewish writings that have Greek influence. It is rumored and my intuition says it is true that every Greek Philosopher studied with one of the Jewish Sages which is where western civilization gets its wisdom. This includes Plato, Aristotle, and Phytagorus.
The historical origin of the Sefer Yetzirah was placed by Reitzenstein (Poimandres, p. 291) in the 2nd century BCE. According to Christopher P. Benton, the Hebrew grammatical form places its origin closer to the period of the Mishna, around the 2nd century CE.
In a manuscript in the British Museum (see Margoliouth, "Catalogue of the Hebrew and Samaritan Manuscripts of the British Museum," part II., p. 190) , the Sefer Yetzirah is called the Hilkot Yetzirah and declared to be esoteric lore not accessible to anyone but the really pious (compare ib. p. 255, where it is mentioned as being used by Naḥmanides for Kabbalistic purposes).
The Talmud also has a crytic 1 line statement that the Sefer Yetzirah was originally written by Abraham who was the world's first or foremost Astrologer. It was originally written as a book of outreach to his generation so that they would learn how to Know the Creator. It consisted of 400 chapters. Our current versions (there are multiple manuscripts as discussed below) have only 6 chapters.
Does this mean we have lost this information? Not necessarily. It may very well be revealed in certain teachings of the Talmud and other writings especially the writings of the Kabbalist Abulafia.
Rabbi Abulafia was ex-communicated by the Rabbis of the 13th Century and his writings were outlawed and banned. They have only been recently translated (in the last 30 years). We will be teaching some of these techniques as they are unique meditative techniques.
I think it is good to have a quick study of Rabbi Abulafia as the story is amazing and does impact your thinking if you allow it to.
Rabbi Abulafia was a Kabbalist who decided to go see the Pope so that world peace could happen and the Mashiach would manifest. He traveled a number of hundred or thousand miles and arrived at the gates of Rome and then the Gates of the Vatican where he demanded to see the Pope because he had a message from God for the Pope. He was arrested and then spent approximately 3 months in jail when the Pope died and he was released. This happened on the day he was to be hung by order of the Pope.
Do you think this is a coincidence? What do you think the message for the Pope was? Contemplate these questions during the meditations recommended by the Sefer Yetzirah.
Current Jewish Academic Writers indicate that Rabbi Akiva is the author. The Kabbalists teach that the author is Abraham. And I follow what the Ramak described without full revelation. Rabbi Akiva received an Ibur of Abraham to redact the manuscript.
The Sefer Yetzirah exists in multiple versions, including:
1) The Short Version,
2) The Long Version,
3) The Saadia Gaon Version, and
4) The Gra Version, among others.
The differences among these versions tend to be minor.
Actually these differences are major. We will be using the version of the Gra which is the same version as the Ramak. It has certain verses in Chapter 1 and elsewhere that do not appear in the other versions.
The most famous English translation is by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan and many people get this copy to follow along with my classes. I do identify most of where the differences lie. It is up to you if you want to get this book, yet I strongly suggest that you do work and practice what is taught. Reading the Kaplan version does help, but not if you think that is the work itself.
1) and 2). The Short Version comprises about 1300 words while the Long Version about twice that. In the 13th century CE, Abraham Abulafia noted the existence of both of them.
3). In the 10th century, Saadia Gaon wrote his commentary based on a manuscript which was a reorganized copy of the Longer Version, now called the Saadia Version.
4). In the 16th century, the Ari (Isaac Luria) redacted the text (Short Version) to harmonize it with the Zohar, and then in the 18th century, the Gra (Eliyahu, the Gaon of Vilna) further redacted this, now called the Gra Version.
The Gra teaches a form of Kabbalah which is different and unique from the version followed by most people today. It relates to the concept of Mashiach Ben Joseph or Ben Ephraim. It strives to put Mashiach into consciousness rather than a person.
The Sefer Yetzirah is devoted to speculations concerning God's creation of the world. The ascription of its authorship to the biblical patriarch Abraham shows the high esteem which it enjoyed for centuries. It may even be said that this work had a greater influence on the development of the Jewish mind than almost any other book after the completion of the Talmud.
The Sefer Yetzirah is exceedingly difficult to understand on account of its obscure style. The difficulty is rendered still greater by the lack of a critical edition, the present text being much interpolated and altered. Hence, there is a wide divergence of opinion regarding the age, origin, contents, and value of the book since it is variously regarded as the Temple era.
The Sefer Yetzirah is extremely valuable for the study of Kabbalah. It teaches the essence of the Letters. It teaches various meditation techniques. It teaches the spiritual world structure of the Sefirot. It deals with Gematria and Letter Substitutions. It also shows many correspondences between frames of reference.
Sefer Yetzirah describes how the universe was created by the "God of Israel" (a list of all of God's Hebrew names appears in the first sentence of the book) through "32 wondrous ways of wisdom":
Ten Numbers (Sefirot, the origin for the Sefirot of later Kabbalah)
The Twenty-Two Letters of the Hebrew Alphabet—
Three "Mother" Letters (Aleph, Mem, Shin)
Seven "Doubles" (Bet, Gimel, Dalet, Kaf, Pey, Reish, Tav)
Twelve "Simples" or “Elementals” (Hey, Waw, Zayin, Cheth, Tet, Yood, Lamed, Nun, Samech, Ayin, Tzadi, Kooph)
These divisions correspond to Jewish concepts such as the 3 letters making up God's name (Yood, Hey, and Vav), the 7 days of the Jewish week, the 12 tribes of Israel, and the 12 months of the Hebrew calendar, as well as to early "scientific" or philosophical ideas such as the 4 elements (fire, water, air, earth), the 7 planets, 10 directions, the 12 zodiacal constellations, various human physical functions, and a list of the parts of the human body.
The book describes how God used the 10 Sefirot and the 22 Hebrew letters in various combinations, and finally (as described in the closing section of the book), how he revealed this secret to Abraham as a covenant with him. God's covenant with Abraham is described as being two-fold:
Between the 10 toes of the feet is the "covenant of the circumcision" ("mila" in Hebrew, which also means "word").
Between the 10 fingers of the hands (also identified with the 10 Sefirot) is the "covenant of the tongue" ("lashon" in Hebrew, which also means "language").The last sentence describes how God "connects" the 22 letters of the Torah to Abraham's tongue and reveals its secret to Abraham.
The philological is discussed first, since it is necessary for an elucidation of the philosophical speculations of the work. The twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet are classified both with reference to the position of the vocal organs in producing the sounds, and with regard to consonant intensity. In contrast to the Jewish grammarians, who assumed a special mode of articulation for each of the five groups of sounds, the Sefer Yetzirah says that no sound can be produced without the tongue, to which the other organs of speech merely lend assistance. Hence the formation of the letters is described as follows:
With the tip of the tongue and the throat
Between the lips and the tip of the tongue
In the middle of the tongue
By the tip of the tongue
By the tongue, which lies flat and stretched, and by the teeth.
The letters are distinguished, moreover, by the intensity of the sound necessary to produce them, and are accordingly divided into: Mutes, which are unaccompanied by sound, such as Mem Sibilants, such as Shin, which is therefore called the "hissing Shin" Aspirates, such as Aleph, which holds a position between the mutes and sibilants, and is designated as the "airy Aleph, which holds the balance in the middle"
Besides these three letters, which are called "mothers," a distinction is also drawn between the seven "double" letters and the twelve "simple" letters, the remaining characters of the alphabet.
The above section is not completely correct so please disregard it. The reason I left it on the page will become evident as we go through the letters and their correspondences in about 5 months. One can learn from every source and one must learn how to limit the influence of corrupted material on their consciousness. This is also one reason that I left it in.
Both the macrocosm (the universe) and the microcosm (man) are viewed in this system as products of the combination and permutation of these mystic characters, and such a use of the letters by the Jews for the formation of the Holy Name for thaumaturgical purposes is attested by magic papyri that quote an "Angelic Book of Moses," which was full of allusions to Biblical names.
The linguistic theories of the author of the Sefer Yetzirah are an integral component of his philosophy, its other parts being astrological and Gnostic cosmogony. The three letters Aleph, Mem, Shin, are not only the three "mothers" from which the other letters of the alphabet are formed, but they are also symbolical figures for the three primordial elements, the substances which underlie all existence.
According to the Sefer Yetzirah, the first emanation from the spirit of God was the Ruach (= "spirit," "air") that produced water, which, in its turn, formed the genesis of fire. In the beginning, however, these three substances had only a potential existence, and came into actual being only by means of the three letters Aleph, Mem, Shin; and as these are the principal parts of speech, so those three substances are the elements from which the cosmos has been formed.
The cosmos consists of three parts, the world, the year (or time), and man, which are combined in such a way that the three primordial elements are contained in each of the three categories. The water formed the earth; heaven was produced from the fire; and the Ruach produced the air between heaven and earth. The three seasons of the year, winter, summer, and the rainy season, correspond to water, fire, and Ruach in the same way as man consists of a head (corresponding to fire), torso (represented by Ruach), and the other parts of the body (equivalent to water).
The seven double letters produced the seven planets, the "seven days," and the seven apertures in man (two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, and one mouth). Again, as the seven double letters vary, being pronounced either hard or soft, so the seven planets are in continuous movement, approaching or receding from the earth. The "seven days" in like manner, were created by the seven double letters because they change in time according to their relation to the planets. The seven apertures in man connect him with the outer world as the seven planets join heaven and earth. Hence, these organs are subject to the influence of the planets, the right eye being under Saturn, the left eye under Jupiter, and the like.
The twelve "simple" letters created the twelve signs of the zodiac, whose relation to the earth is always simple or stable; and to them belong the twelve months in time, and the twelve "leaders" in man. The latter are those organs which perform functions in the body independent of the outside world, being the hands, feet, kidneys, gall, intestines, stomach, liver, pancreas, and spleen; and they are, accordingly, subject to the twelve signs of the Zodiac.
In its relation to the construction of the cosmos, matter consists of the three primordial elements, which, however, are not chemically connected with one another, but modify one another only physically. Power emanates from the seven and the twelve heavenly bodies, or in other words, from the planets and the signs of the zodiac. The "dragon" rules over the world (matter and the heavenly bodies); the sphere rules time; and the heart rules over the human body. The author sums up this explanation in a single sentence: "The dragon is likened to a king on his throne, the sphere like a king traveling in his country, and the heart like a king at war."
To harmonize the Biblical statement of the creation "ex nihilo" with the doctrine of the primordial elements, the Sefer Yetzirah assumes a double creation; one ideal and the other real.
Their name is possibly derived from the fact that as numbers express only the relations of two objects to each other, so the ten Sefirot are only abstractions and not realities. Again, as the numbers from two to ten are derived from the number one, so the ten Sefirot are derived from one, the spirit of God. The spirit of God, however, is not only the commencement but also the conclusion of the Sefirot, "their end is fixed in their beginning, as the flame is bound to the coal".
Hence the Sefirot must not be conceived as emanations in the ordinary sense of the word, but rather as modifications of the spirit of God, which first changes to air, then becomes water, and finally fire, the last being no further removed from God than the first.
Besides these abstract ten Sefirot, which are conceived only ideally, the twenty-two letters of the alphabet produced the material world, for they are real, and are the formative powers of all existence and development.
By means of these elements the actual creation of the world took place, and the ten Sefirot, which before this had only an ideal existence, became realities. This is, then, a modified form of the Talmudic doctrine that God created heaven and earth by means of letters (Berachot 58a).
The explanation on this point is obscure since the relation of the twenty-two letters to the ten Sefirot is not clearly defined.
This means that there are differing opinions as to which letters go with which connecting lines.
The first sentence of the book reads: "Thirty-two paths, marvels of wisdom, hath God engraved...," these paths being then explained as the ten Sefirot and the twenty-two letters. While the Sefirot are expressly designated as "abstracts," it is said of the letters: "Twenty-two letters: God drew them, hewed them, combined them, weighed them, interchanged them, and through them produced the whole creation and everything that is destined to come into being."
The letters are neither independent substances nor yet as mere forms. They seem to be the connecting-link between essence and form. They are designated as the instruments by which the real world, which consists of essence and form, was produced from the Sefirot, which are merely formless essences.
Formless is also a form.
In addition to the doctrine of the Sefirot and the letters, the theory of contrasts in nature, or of the syzygies ("pairs"), as they are called by the Gnostics, occupies a prominent place in the Sefer Yetzirah. This doctrine is based on the assumption that the physical as well as the moral world consists of a series of contrasts mutually at war, yet pacified and equalized by the unity, God. Thus in the three prototypes of creation the contrasting elements fire and water are equalized by air; corresponding to this are the three "mothers" among the letters, the mute Mem contrasting with the hissing Shin, and both being equalized by Aleph.
Seven pairs of contrasts are enumerated in the life of man:
Life and death
Peace and strife
Wisdom and folly
Wealth and poverty
Beauty and ugliness
Fertility and sterility
Lordship and servitude.
How to go from these 7 to the 28 times mentioned in Kohellet or Proverbs by King Solomon.
From these premises the Sefer Yezirah draws the important conclusion that "good and evil" have no real existence, for since everything in nature can exist only by means of its contrast, a thing may be called good or evil according to its influence over man by the natural course of the contrast.
The book teaches that man is a free moral agent, and therefore a person is rewarded or punished for his or her actions. While the ideas of heaven and hell are left unmentioned in the book, it teaches that the virtuous man is rewarded by a favorable attitude of nature, while the wicked man finds it hostile to him.
Remember Kabbalah teaches that there is no reward and punishment. There is only Cause and Effect. Reward and Punishment has a connotation that HaShem is the cause of the negative actions that happen to us. Actually HaShem never stops sharing Goodness to us. We are the cause of any blockage that stops this Goodness from reaching us. This is true both on a macro and also a micro level.
The Sefer Yetzirah is similar to various Gnostic systems. As the Sefer Yetzirah divides the Hebrew alphabet into three groups, so the Gnostic Marcus divided the Greek letters into three classes, regarded by him as the symbolic emanations of the three powers which include the whole number of the upper elements.
Both systems attach great importance to the power of the combinations and permutations of the letters in explaining the genesis and development of multiplicity from unity.
The Clementine writings present another form of gnosis which agrees in many points with the Sefer Yetzirah. As in the latter, God is not only the beginning but also the end of all things, so in the former He is the Beginning = ראשית and final perfection = תכלית of all that exists; and the Clementine writings furthermore teach that the spirit of God is transformed into Other Spirit = רוח , and this into water, which becomes fire and rocks, thus agreeing with the Sefer Yetzirah, where the spirit of God, = רוח , air, water, and fire are the first four Sefirot.
The remaining six Sefirot, or the limitations of space by the three dimensions in a twofold direction, are also found in the Clementina, where God is described as the boundary of the universe and as the source of the six infinite dimensions.
The "dragon" = תלי = teli, perhaps meaning "curled one" as a coiled serpent (Chanoch says not correct) which plays such an important part in the astrology of the book, is probably an ancient Semitic figure; at all events its name is not Arabic, as scholars have hitherto assumed, but either Aramaic or possibly a Babylonian loan-word.
The "dragon" is often understood as the starry constellation Draco and by extension it represents the cosmic axis (equivalent to the north/south pole) because this constellation coils around the North Star and thus around the celestial axis, as it intersects the northernmost part of the celestial sphere.
The essential elements of the book are characteristic of the 3rd or 4th century; for a work of this nature, composed in the Geonic period could have been cast only in the form of Jewish gnosis, which remained stationary after the 4th century, if indeed it had not already become extinct.
The date and origin of the book can not be definitely determined so long as there is no critical text of it. The editio princeps (Mantua, 1562) contains two recensions, which were used in the main by the commentators of the book as early as the middle of the 10th century. The shorter version (Mantua I.) was annotated by Dunash ibn Tamim or by Jacob b. Nissim, while Saadia and Donnolo wrote commentaries on the longer recension (Mantua II.). The shorter version was also used by most of the later commentators, such as Judah b. Barzillai and Nahmanides, and it was, therefore, published in the ordinary editions. The longer recension, on the other hand, was little known, the form given in the editio princeps of the Sefer Yetzirah being probably a copy of the text found in Donnolo's commentary. In addition to these two principal recensions of the text, both versions contain a number of variant readings which have not yet been examined critically.
As regards the relation of the two recensions, it may be said that the longer form contains entire paragraphs which are not found in the shorter, while the divergent arrangement of the material often modifies the meaning essentially. Although the longer recension doubtless contains additions and interpolations which did not form part of the original text, it has many valuable readings which seem older and better than the corresponding passages in the shorter version, so that a critical edition of the text must consider both recensions.
The history of the study of the Sefer Yetzirah is one of the most interesting in the records of Jewish literature. With the exception of the Bible, scarcely any other book has been the subject of so much annotation.
An intimate relation exists between the Sefer Yetzirah and the later mystics; and although there is a marked difference between the later Kabbalah and the Sefer Yetzirah (for instance, the Sefirot of the Kabbalists do not correspond to those of the Sefer Yetzirah), the system laid down in the latter is the first visible link in the development of Kabbalistic ideas. Instead of the immediate creation ex nihilo, both works postulate a series of emanations of mediums between God and the universe; and both consider God as the first cause only, and not as the immediate efficient cause of the world.
A book of the same name was circulated among German mystics between the eleventh and 13th centuries. This book seems to be a mystic work on the six days of creation and corresponded in part to the small Midrash Seder Rabbah de-Bereshit.
Frater Achad, in his book called The Anatomy of The Body of God, has written interpretations of this book in Thelema.
The Quran speaks of a holy book by the name of Suhuf Ibrahim which translates to the scrolls of Abraham. Although most Muslims believe this book to have long perished, it is speculated that this may be a reference to Sefer Yetzirah as Jewish tradition generally ascribes authorship of that book to Abraham.
Since the Koran is reportedly to be written by Mohammed who is considered to be a Prophet by the Moslem World. It was actually recorded in writing by a Jewish scribe. This is probably accurate rather than speculation.
The episode "Kaddish," from the fourth season of the X-Files, references the Sefer Yetzirah in a story based on the tale of Rabbi Loew and the Golem of Prague.
In his short story, "The Secret Miracle," Jorge Luis Borges describes how the protagonist, Jaromir Hladik, had translated the Sefer Yetzirah.
Issue #4 of the Batwoman comic-book series closes with Katherine "Kate" Kane researching the supernatural with a copy of Sefer Yetzirah on her table in the pile of books.
Now that we have a historic structure and an understanding of the academic aspects of the Sefer Yetzirah, next week we will begin with a summary of the spiritual laws and the Jewish understanding and background of the Sefer Yetzirah.
This past week was the Parasha of Korach. Here is the first part of Kabbalist Rabbi Ginsberg's Shiur (Torah Study) on the parasha. It has some significant revelations about astral travel. You are not ready for this kind of travel yet but these secrets need to be part of your "breaking the Klipah". Please keep this in mind.
This Shabbat we will be reading parashat Korach. Korach was sanguine (היה פקח קרח).
The parashah begins with the words, “Korach took” (קרח ויקח), the word for “took” is ויקח, which has the same two‐letter root as “sanguine” (פקח). The BST - Baal Shem Tov taught that there are three things that a Jew must be and one of them is sanguine (פקח). The literal translation of this term is “eyes wide open,” being very aware and smart about what is happening around you. But, of course, since Korach was sanguine, everyone should strive to be more sanguine than Korach.
Your eyes wide open has to do with the sense of Tammuz which is sight and transforming the negative three weeks of mourning into 3 weeks of mental introspectiion using our "vision" - the inner third eye.
The Sefat Emet explains that with his wisdom, Korach reached all the way to the firmament. What he means is that at the end of last week’s parashah, we read about the mitzvah of tzitzit. The tzitzit requires one thread of techelet, a blue thread. The sages explain that Korach’s challenge to Moshe Rabbeinu was based on a question on the blue thread. So what Korach saw was what the sages reveal, that the techelet color of the blue thread is similar to the sea and the sea is similar to the firmament and the firmament is similar to the Throne of Glory. Korach reached the firmament, which is a high level of understanding, as it says, הרקיע כזהר ישכילו והמשכילים. There are sages that understand, that shine with the brilliance of the firmament. But, of all the levels connected by the color of the blue thread, Korach didn’t reach all the way up to the Throne of Glory. To make it all the way up to the Throne of Glory you have to follow a single thread of blue color (but Korach asked Moshe Rabbeinu about a garment—a garment symbolizes an area‐consciousness—entirely made of blue thread). The single thread is like the line and the thread in the Kabbalistic account of creation. The Talit, the garment that is all blue (the question that Korach asked of Moshe, whether such a garment requires a blue thread) is not enough to ascend there, you have to ascend through the line and thread. That is what it means to be more sanguine than Korach.
When you ascend with the single blue thread, you reach a place that is all white, called the עתיקא, which is the white before the contraction. And all this, Korach did not know.
Please note a few things. The last thing discussed in the Parasha of Shlach Lecha is Tzitzit and then the Parasha of Korach starts. This is relative locations in the Torah is part of the analysis that is Torah. It also applies to universes and dimensions that are close to each other.
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