The Powers of the Soul to Experience God
Introduction: The Internal Dimension
“Joy or Happiness”
Simchah is the spiritual state associated with the sefirah of binah. Simchah comes with the spiritual satisfaction of having succeeded in comprehending an idea and relating it to one’s emotions (eliciting emotional response). Of the “mother” (binah), it is said “the mother of children is joyous.”
The simchah of motherhood develops in progressive stages.
First there is the simchah of betrothal which extends into the joy of anticipating pregnancy (a state of mind which actually facilitates conception).
Then follows the simchah of conceiving, which extends throughout the pregnancy into the joy of expecting birth.
Finally, “the mother of children is joyous” in the children she has borne, a joy which extends into her looking forward to raising them.
Thus we see that while each stage of simchah is initiated by a particular level of accomplishment, it always faces forward toward the next level of anticipated accomplishment.
In Kabbalah, the simchah of binah (referred to in Sefer Yetzirah as omek acharit, the “depth of the future”), is identified with thesimchah of the world-to-come.
The three above levels of simchah correspond to the three festivals of the Torah which were given to the Jewish soul so that it could experience in its Divine service true simchah.
The simchah of Pesach is that of betrothal and the consequent anticipation of conception; the giving of the Torah to Israel onShavuot engenders the simchah of conception entailing the expectation of birth; and the simchah of Sukkot represents the joy of birth and the dedication to raise one’s family to live by the Torah (Simchat Torah ). (Also see chedvah).
|Festival||Stage of Simchah|
|Simchat Torah||Raising family|