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Sefirot

Kosmic DNA

When the Sefirot are first presented in the Tanya (the classic text from the first Lubavitcher Rebbe) they are called Three Mothers and Seven Doubles.  The Three Mothers refer to the three higher Sefirot Keter, Chochmah and Binah (Crown, Wisdom and Understanding).  The Seven Doubles refer to the seven lower Sefirot Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet, Netzach, Hod, Yesod and Malchut (Love, Strength, Beauty, Victory, Majesty, Foundation and Kingship).

Sefirot and Letters

This picture is of the kabbalistic Tree of Life.  The names of the Sefirot are written around the circles.  Although Daat (Knowledge or Consciousness) is not usually included as one of the Ten Sefirot, this picture includes Daat (the white circle).

The Name, Sefirot and Partzufim

This slanted Tree of Life diagram has the connecting lines extending outward in all directions, as in my picture Slanted Sefirot #6

Flower Sefirot

 
I used flowers to represent the Sefirot in this Tree of Life.  The strong diagonal in this picture hints at the diagonal Wow or Vav in the first Hebrew letter - Aleph  א- whose gematria is one - and which represents the One hidden in the Many.   Although an Aleph cannot be seen in this picture, its presence can be felt in this ‘Slanted Sefirot’ motif where the red higher Sefirot hint at the Heavens and the blue lower Sefirot hint at Earth.

Geometric #5

I am particularly fond and proud of this painting.  This one was made using simple tools at first - protractor and ruler - so the geometry here is more precise, and the feeling of three-dimensionality is stronger.  It is basically divided into nine sections.  Notice how some of these sections are primarily hexagons with six-pointed stars; and some are primarily pentagons with five-pointed stars.  This motif hints at the Sefirot (three by three) with the fractal repetition within each section expressing the tenth and final Sefirah.

Geometric #1

This geometric motif was inspired by one of my favorite artists, M. C. Escher.  I used simple geometric shapes - triangles, squares and pentagons and hexagons - to create this image.  The color selection was based on the Sefirot as nine areas of color - three above (reds and green); three below (blues and orange) and three between them (yellow and purples).  The tenth is the central circle that unites them all.

2009
Acrylic on paper
36 x 32 cm

Slanted Sefirot #6

This slanted Tree of Life diagram retains the yellow diagonal that comes from the Wow or Vav of the Hebrew letter Aleph that underlies all of these slanted pictures.  Here is the waves/particles motif again, and the connecting lines extending outward in all directions, as well.

The choice of colors for the ten Sefirot is based on how the ten Sefirot become five Partzufim.  Each of the three higher Sefirot, Keter (white), Chochmah (blue), and Binah (red) become Partzufim by themselves.

Uncertainty and Freewill


This Teaching is primarily from the writings of the great early 18th Century kabbalist - the Ramchal - Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto.  First there are a few short passages from  Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) that introduce the topic of freewill.  The paragraphs in italilcs are mine:

Axis, Cycle and Heart

In Sefer Yetzirah, the ‘King’ of Space is said to be the Axis (Teli תלי), the imaginary line that the universe revolves upon.  This is represented in this picture by the blue ‘line’ in this picture.

The ‘King’ of Time is the Cycle (Galgal גלגל) because we relate to time as cyclical.  This is represented by the red ‘circle’ in this picture.

Waves and Particles

The Sefirot are often described as emanations of God’s Infinite Light.  The Hebrew word for ‘light’ starts with the letter Aleph.  Kabbalists believe that God is One and can be found both in the Heavens and upon the Earth (God is both transcendent and immanent).