Introduction to Jewish Meditation – Part 7

The Archetypal Souls of the Jewish People

The six attributes of the heart, from chesed to yesod, also correspond to six archetypal souls of the Jewish people: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, and Joseph. The order of the sefirot is the order of the manifestation in the soul (and the Divine creative process) of these spiritual archetypes, beginning with the forefathers of Israel. The order of the mitzvot is the order of the rectification process of the soul of man (and thus, most appropriately, the order of our meditation), the order in which these mitzvot appear in the Torah.

A clear allusion to our present meditation is found in the teaching that Adam (the soul-root of Joseph) built–on the spiritual plane–the west wall of the Temple, Abraham the south wall, Isaac the north wall, Jacob the east wall, and Moses the roof. Aaron walked, barefoot, on the floor of the Temple. These archetypal souls and directions correspond exactly to the meditation as we will describe it.

We will see that within the meditative cube–one’s spiritual Temple–“I am prayer,” as it is written, “My house shall be a house of prayer….” is the mitzvah of prayer. Prayer corresponds to the seventh sefirahmalchut(“kingdom”), whose inner experience is shiflut (“lowliness”) and which corresponds to the archetypal soul of King David.

In summary:

sefirah inner experience archetype direction
chesed
loving-kindness
ahavah
love
Abraham right
gevurah
might
yirah
fear
Isaac left
tiferet
beauty
rachamim
mercy
Jacob front
netzach
victory
bitachon
trust
Moses above
hod
thanksgiving
temimut
sincerity
Aaron below
yesod
foundation
emet
truth
Joseph back
malchut
kingdom
shiflut
lowliness
David within

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