This painting illustrates a Kabbalistic meditation that was described to me by a very successful and spiritual friend. The prophet Ezekiel saw a vision of the Merkava (God's Chariot or Vehicle). The Kabbalah teaches that every human being becomes a Merkava by aligning oneself to God. The Sefirotic Tree of Life is a map we can use to help us connect to God's Light and Love. The Tree of Life in this meditation is formed with Thirteen Sefirot - a motif I have used in several paintings. These form two Magen Davids (Stars of David) inbedded in two spheres that
The shape of the letter Aleph is comprised of an upper part (actually a Hebrew letter Yod); a lower part (an upside-down Yod; and a diagonal part (actually a Hebrew letter Vav or Wow, which means ‘and’). The diagonal Wow unites the two Yods and makes them One (the numerical value of Aleph).
This painting is based on Primordial Worlds that are described in the Lurianic Kabbalah. Notice the four letters of the Holy Name YHWH in the four corners. Also notice the Hebrew letters that represent the various spellings of this Name (as I explain in the explanation for the picture A Tapestry of Holy Names) are in the four corners of the light rectangle.
Sefer Yetzirah teaches that there are
Three Mother Letters (Primary Letters) -
Aleph א, Mem מ and Shin ש.
From Sefer Yetzirah:
"Three Mothers Letters Aleph, Mem and Shin
are Air, Water and Fire.
Fire (Shin )is above, Water (Mem) is below,
and the Breath of Air (Aleph) balances between them.
This picture shows a woman sitting in meditation. She is practicing an ancient Jewish meditative technique where one visualizes the four letters of the Holy Name of God (YHWH) in the mind’s eye. This Name is the most important and powerful Name in the Kabbalah as its four letters represent all Ten Sefirot.
The first Hebrew letter - Aleph - represents the unification of opposites. At the end of the Passover Seder there is the song, ‘Who Knows One?’ The answer, ‘I know One, One is our God who is in the Heavens and the Earth’. This means that God can be found both outside of ourselves (in the Heavens) and inside of ourselves (and the Earth).
The 18th Century kabbalist Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (known as the Ramchal) explains in the following passage, that Adam Kadmon is associated with the four letters of the Name of God YHWH:
One of the most complex meditative techniques of the Kabbalah uses the 72 three-letter Names of God that can be seen in this picture. These 216 letters (72 x 3 = 216) actually comprise one Name.
This Name is mentioned in the Bahir and the Zohar, in Rashi’s commentary on the Talmud, but it was Rabbi Abraham Abulafia, the controversial 13th Century kabbalist, who taught how to use this Name in order to attain prophetic insight.