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A Tapestry of Holy Names

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The Torah states that God created Adam in His own Image, in His own Likeness.   However, since we believe that God has no image or likeness, kabbalists say that God makes Himself known to us in our likeness by ‘clothing’ Himself in the Ten Sefirot of Adam Kadmon



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
 

"The first embodiment of the Created Light as Ten Sefirot is the Order of the Likeness of Adam called Adam Kadmon.  This is the Order of the Name YHWH - the Order of all Worlds for all Eternity. 

The totality of all Creations and all Sefirot
are included in the Order of these four letters - YHWH
Thus everything can always be expressed by the Order
and the Mystery contained in the four letters of this Name. 

 

All the Sefirot that God uses to guide Creation, and all created beings, all together,
comprise One Order whose Purpose is to bestow the ultimate good in the best possible way. 
This order, called Adam Kadmon, is everything
– this Likeness of Adam is the entire Order of Creation. 
Thus, God created only one being, namely, Adam Kadmon
Everything in existence - whether they are created beings or the Sefirot that guide them -
are just parts of this one Likeness."
 

The four Names that can be seen in this picture are derived from the four letters of the Name YHWH.  These Names are used extensively in Lurianic Kabbalah.  All four Names are derived from the four letters Yod Heh Wow Heh, but are differentiated by how these letters are spelled out (the names of the letters Heh and Wow can be spelled in different ways in Hebrew); as well as by their ‘gematria’ (number value), as can be seen in the following chart:

 
יוד   הי   ויו   הי  -  gematria 72  - associated with the Yod
יוד   הי  ואו   הי  -  gematria 63  - associated with the upper Heh
יוד  הא  ואו  הא  -  gematria 45  - associated with the Wow (Vav)
יוד  הה   וו   הה  -  gematria 52  - associated with the lower Heh

 
Lurianic Kabbalah uses the above four Names to represent various levels of Adam Kadmon.  The shattering or ‘death’ of the Primordial Sefirot of the World of Chaos is described as a fall from the Name 63 to the Name 52 (from the upper Heh to the lower Heh).  Their partial repair or ‘resurrection’ in the World of Tikkun is associated with the Name 45 (the Wow).  The gematria of these two Names together (52 and 45) equals 97 the gematria of the Hebrew word for ‘time’ זמן (zeman).
 
The Ten Sefirot will be completely repaired at the very end of the ‘six thousand years of Time’ - appropriately called ‘the Resurrection of the Dead’ - and associated with the return to the Name 63 (the upper Heh).  This is the beginning of the realm of Eternal Reward associated with the Name 72 (the Yod).
 
Notice how the fourth Name (52) has only nine letters, whereas the three other Names all have ten letters each.  This lowest level (associated with Malchut) is incomplete and lacking.  Also notice how the ‘small gematria’ of this Name equals seven (5 + 2); whereas the small gematria of the other three Names all equal nine (7 + 2), (6 + 3), (4 + 5). 
 
The gematria of the Hebrew word for ‘animal’ בהמה (behemah) is 52, the same as the fourth spelling-out of the Name (יוד הה וו הה).  Thus, the Name 52 represents the fallen and broken Primordial Sefirot that allows lower, animal-like states of being in this world, where people are primarily concerned with the needs and the desires of their physical bodies.  These lowest rungs of the Great Ladder of Being are associated with the ‘two thousand years of Chaos’. 
 
The gradual process of Tikkun Olam - repairing the world - moves from these lowly states to higher states of being in this world.  During the ‘two thousand years of Torah’ people attained a more rectified likeness of Adam as they came to know God by following the ways of the Torah.  The gematria of the Hebrew word for ‘man’ אדם (Adam) is 45 - the same as the third spelling-out of the Name (יוד הא ואו הא).
 
However, we are meant to ultimately attain enlightened states of being at the end of the ‘two thousand years of Messiah’.  The gematria of the Hebrew word for prophet נביא (Navee) is 63, the same as the second spelling-out of the Name (יוד הי ואו הי).  Thus, the Name 63 represents the prophetic inspiration that is easily experienced by everyone (according to Luzzatto) when the process of Tikkun Olam reaches its completion, at the end of the Six Millennia of Time. 
 
We then begin to ‘taste’ our Reward, God’s Infinite Love and Kindness.  The gematria of the Hebrew word for Loving-kindness חסד (Chesed) is 72, the same as the first spelling-out of the Name (יוד הי ויו הי).  The Name 72 thus represents our Reward in the Eternal World to Come.