Responsa: Powers of the Soul

Q: I'd greatly appreciate your feedback on:

  • 1) The source of the "Powers of the Soul" given in your web-site.
  • 2) The "Traditional Associations" of the 10 Sefirot and their explanations.
  • 3) Discussion of the "Powers of the Soul–versus the "Traditional Associations."

A: The traditional terminology of the Kabbalah is to refer to the ten sefirot in accordance with the functions that they perform in the creative process. The names are the "Crown," "Wisdom," "Understanding," "Knowledge," "Lovingkindness," "Might," "Beauty," "Victory," "Thanksgiving," "Foundation" and "Kingdom."

The powers of the soul are traditional associations as well. This is the terminology that is explained in the writings of the Ba'al Shem Tov and all of his disciples, especially in Chabad. It refers to the inner spiritual motivation behind the functions which are represented by the traditional names of the sefirot as quoted in Kabbalah.

In the "Crown" itself there are three inner dimensions that correspond to the concepts in Kabbalah of the three superconscious heads of the Crown. The inner spiritual soul experience is "Faith," "Pleasure" and "Will." The inner experience of "Wisdom" is "Selflessness," bitul. The inner experience of "Understanding" is simcha, "Joy" and so forth. After Faith," "Pleasure" and "Will" come "Selflessness," "Joy" and Union." They are followed by "Love," "Fear" and "Mercy," and then Confidence" and "Sincerity" and "Truth" in the sense of fulfillment which is the drive for verification and fulfillment. Finally "Lowliness," which is the inner sense of malchut. These are traditional associations as well, as revealed in the deepest dimension of the Kabbalah, which is the revelation of the Ba'al Shem Tov and his disciples.

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