Kabbalah: The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life

By Robert Zucker

The Qabbalah (also spelled as Kabbalah) is often equated with a diagram called the Tree of Life (see left image).

The Tree of Life is a magical system, a numerical system and the design of universe. The Tree of Life (called "Eretz Chaim" in Hebrew) is also a model for the laws of physics.

Composed of 10 spheres (sephiroth in Hebrew) and 22 paths, the Tree of Life consolidates every force and form in each of the three dimensions: space, time and the soul.

The traditional model of the Tree of Life uses symbols, or signs, as a frame of reference for the correspondences between each of the three dimensions.

The 10 Sephiroth represent the ten major cosmic forces that control the universe. The 22 path correspond to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet and the Tarot trump cards of the Major Arcana. The Hebrew letters attributed to each path is used as a pictorial glyph that describes the function of the path, according to the unique shape of the letter.

Today's English alphabet comes from the original Hebrew letters.

When the Kabbalist. meditates on each sphere or path in space, the soul comes into direct with its source. A connection is made between the object in space and the specific part of the soul. "As above, so below."

When the sensory processes (seeing, hearing, feeling...) are under control, and stimulated in unison to create to experience of each part of the Tree of Life, changes can be felt in ones soul and surroundings.

The effect of the magic rite, or ceremony, is to create in the imagination, in the senses, and in the consciousness a change in either space, time or the soul. The Tree of Life provides the framework or map of reference.

What is the best way to study the Tree of Life and learn about each of the sephiroth and paths?

Now, understand how the Qabalah has evolved over history.

See also: symbols

Next: Qabbalah Time Line

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See links to some of the best, and most authoritative, books on Kabbalah.

An ancient inspirational form of Jewish mysticism Kabbalah has now reached cult-like popularity among celebrities and throughout America. But what is behind the new-found fascination with this sacred body of wisdom?Once exclusively reserved for study by ultra-religious male scholars of Judaism Kabbalah has recently become known as a multi-million dollar celebrity-endorsed phenomenon. SECRETS OF KABBALAH strips away the hype and demystifies the writings that have been studied by Jewish scholars for thousands of years.

Amazon.com: Gershom Scholem, who died in 1982, remains the biggest gun in kabbalah scholarship, and On the Kabbalah and its Symbolism is perhaps his most accessible book on the subject. It contains definitive essays on the relation of the Torah to Jewish mysticism, the mythology of the kabbalah, and the place of Jewish mystics in the Jewish community. This book helped reinvigorate 20th-century Jewish studies with an awareness of the living reality of God, after the 19th century's more astringent scholarly emphasis on law and philosophy.

• Paperback: 240 pages
• Publisher: Schocken; New Ed edition (January 30, 1996)
• Language: English