Basics in Kabbalah: Hod

The Ten Sefirot: Divine Emanations

 Introduction

Keter
“Crown”

 
Binah
“Understanding”
   Chochmah “Wisdom”
  Da’at
“Knowledge”
 
Gevurah
“Might”
  Chesed
“Loving-kindness”
  Tiferet
“Beauty”
 
 Hod
“Splendour”
  Netzach
“Victory”
  Yesod
“Foundation”
 

Malchut
“Kingdom”
 

Hod

Hod is the eighth of the ten sefirot, and the fifth of the emotive attributes within Creation.

Hod appears in the configuration of the sefirot along the left axis, directly beneath gevurah, and corresponds in the tzelem Elokim to the left leg.

Hod is associated in the soul with the power to continually advance, with the determination and perseverance born of deep inner commitment, toward the realization of one’s life goals. The acknowledgment of a supreme purpose in life, and the total submission of self which it inspires, serve to endow the source of one’s inspiration with an aura of splendor and majesty. Hence the word hod connotes both “acknowledgment” (hoda’ah) and “splendor,” in the sense of an aura-like “reverberation” (hed) of light.

The hoda’ah aspect of hod also manifests itself as the power to express gratitude (thus qualifying it as a sefiroticresponse to chesed), as well as the power of “confession” (vidui).

The two sefirot of netzach and hod are referred to as “two halves of a single body.” Often in Kabbalah they are considered as one sefirah (in relation to the Names of God, one Name represents them–Tzevakot). This is so for more than with respect to chesed and gevurah (the right and left arms), netzach and hod (the right and left legs), can only perform their function–to walk–together.

Netzach and hod are referred to in the Zohar as “the scales of justice.” Netzach merits while hod concedes (“acknowledges” or “confesses”). As the two hips of the body they are responsible for the general state of equilibrium of the body.

In the “lower union” (described above, in netzach), the bride enters into the state of consciousness of hod. She experiences in full the presence of Divine providence that has brought her groom and herself together. From the depth of her heart she expresses her gratitude and thanksgiving to God, the “third partner” of her marriage.

Hod = 15, the sum of all numbers from 1 to 5. Hod expresses and reflects all the five emotions of the heart fromchesed to hod. “Binah [the “mother” of the emotions of the heart] extends until hod.”

The spiritual state identified in Chassidut as corresponding to the sefirah of hod is that of temimut (sincerity).

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