The Healing of Body and Soul

Kabbalah and Healing: The Healing of Body and Soul – Part 29 – The Inclusion of the Left in the Right

The blood is what carries the cells of the immune system that fight off disease. The blood relates to the sefirah of binah, the blood vessels to the sefirah of gevurah, and the immune system to the sefirah of hod. These are the three sefirot located on the left axis of the Tree of Life. Thus, we may infer that the healing process is in fact the healing of the left.

In the next chapter we will see that the rectification and healing of the left, or more specifically, the tendency or attraction of the middle to the left, is dependent upon the willing inclusion of the (tendency to the) left in the right, characterized by its attribute of loving-kindness. As we have seen above, the phenomenon of disease is one of existential separation or estrangement (which in general reflects a blemished state of hod, the power to acknowledge the true and good other that complements oneself). Here, we see this again: disease is the estrangement of the left from the right.

This is beautifully expressed in the book of Psalms:

And I said: It is my infirmity [chaloti]

that the right hand of the Most High has changed.

The "changing" of the right hand of the Most High refers, in Kabbalah, to the concealment of the Divine principle of "right," due to the estrangement of the left from the right. Exile is the concealment of the right, the concealment of God’s loving-kindness from the souls of His children, Israel. This state is here referred to as "infirmity," literally, "sickness."

IChassidut, the word chaloti, "in my infirmity," is interpreted in four related senses. It either means "in my trembling" (as in the idiom chil ur'ada, "trembling and shaking")—a symptom of weakness and disease; "in my sickness"; "in my prayer" (as above, with regard to Moses’ prayer after the sin of the golden calf); "in my ability to sweeten the bitter" (the inner purpose of illness, as above).

"The right of the Most High" does not only refer to the right axis of the sefirot, but to the supernal crown, keter, of which is said, "there is no left in the Ancient One [an appellation of the supernal crown], all is right." In Kabbalah, the crown is referred to as Arich Anpin, literally, "the long [or 'infinitely extended'] face." The word for "long" (arich) is cognate to the word for "healing" or "cure," (arukah). The right axis of the sefirot in general is referred to in the Zohar as "the long axis." The word arich stands for the initial letters of the verse:

For I am God who heals you.

It also stands for the initial letters of the conclusion of our heartfelt prayers to God to heal us:

Amen; so may it be His will.

The apparent redundancy in the above quotation of the Zohar–"there is no left in the Ancient One, all is right"–is interpreted in Kabbalah and Chassidut to mean that the spiritual origin of the left is indeed present in the supernal crown, but that there, it as well is "right"–"all is right." Thus, the crown is what inspires all of the sefirot on the left to recognize the goodness of the right and to desire to identify with it.

The beginning of the union of right and left, the union of two different sefirot, one to the right and one to the left, is at the level of the mind. This is the union of chochmah and binah, the union of the father and the mother; in the soul, the union of the experiences of selflessness and joy.

With regard to that disease and its cure explicitly described in the Torah, leprosy, we are taught in Kabbalah and Chassidut that the root of the disease is the disassociation ofchochmah from binah. In accordance with the physiological correspondences described above, this means that the bone marrow is not continually producing new blood cells. The cure depends upon the power of keter to reunite the "two companions" of chochmah and binah. Physiologically, the keter corresponds to the respiratory system. This would seem to indicate that proper, deep breathing (in a healthy atmosphere) may well inspire the healthy flow of energy from bone marrow to blood cells. The reinforced blood will then continue to descend down the left axis of the sefirot, until reaching and strengthening the immune system to overcome disease.

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