Powers of the Soul

Basics in Kabbalah: Ta'anug

The Powers of the Soul to Experience God


Ta'anug is the spiritual state associated in particular with the second head of the keter, the Reisha d'Ayin ("the head of nothingness"). In general, ta'anug is the lifeforce, the "fluid" or "living waters," of all the soul's powers. In particular, ta'anug, representing the inner partzuf of keter (Atik Yomin), serves to motivate and direct ratzon (superconscious will), representing the outer partzuf of keter (Arich Anpin).

We speak of ta'anug ne'elam (hidden, or unconscious, pleasure) in contrast to ta'anug murgash (felt pleasure), and of ta'anug pashut (simple pleasure, i.e. the experience of pure pleasure or serenity, unrelated to any other of the soul's powers) in contrast tota'anug murkav (compound pleasure, i.e. the pleasure inherent in the experience of any other of the soul's powers). Torah wisdom ultimately derives from the state of Divine ta'anug, as expressed by King David in Psalms (119:77): "If it were not for Your Torahbeing my delight (sha'ashuim), I would be lost in my affliction," and by his son, King Solomon, in Proverbs (8:30): "And I (the Torahspeaking in the first person) was His delight (sha'ashuim) every day…."

Ta'anug ne'elam Hidden pleasure
Ta'anug murgash Felt pleasure
Ta'anug pashut Simple pleasure
Ta'anug murkav Compound pleasure





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