A question I received: I’ve studied the Torah, speak five languages, listen to your lessons, and have become more or less familiar with the Kabbalistic terminology. Typically when a person studies a language and learns the words, reading something in that language is enough to understand it. Yet when the lesson is on The Study of the Ten Sefirot, I read the text and don’t understand a thing even though I know all the terms. It might as well be Chinese to me. What’s going on?
My Answer: You need to continue learning this language. The word “language” originates from the notion of a “weighing scale” with the measurement pointer located directly in the middle. As you continue to attain spiritual concepts, your language will continue to take shape, in between good and evil.
When we build the middle line within ourselves, we begin to understand and feel the different gradations of qualities. Until we attain a sensation of the spiritual, we never retain anything from the study, no matter how long we keep at it. It’s as useless as repeatedly explaining the taste of a dish to a person who has never tasted it.
Each and every one of our perceptions is a taste. From the Light that entered the desire (Toch Kli) with the intention to bestow, the Kabbalists have “tasted” (Taamim) every concept existing in The Study of the Ten Sefirot, in accordance with the law of equivalence of form.
The First Restriction is at work, preventing us from receiving the Light since we have no similarity to it. Without the screen, the intention to bestow, we cannot sense the Light. Therefore, as long as we are missing the screen, it is impossible to understand the text, for everything is attained via sensation. Hence it is written: “Taste and see that the Creator is good” (Psalm 34:8). We have to “taste” Him, and this attainment takes place within.
This is why it is a genuine problem. No matter how long we study here, this language invariably escapes us. Yet on the other hand, it prepares us to start sensing it. Subsequently, these sensations begin to appear within us and we begin to understand the text. Eventually we will no longer need to study, and will suddenly know the names for everything even without reading about it in the books. We’ll know the name of a spiritual phenomenon simply by feeling it. How, who will teach it to us? No one.
As the Light clothes our desires, it transfers its impression to them in four phases, Taamim (tastes), Nekudot (vowels, dots accompanying the letters), Tagin (crowns above the letters), and Otiot (letters), building a Gematria within us (the numerical value of words).
This Gematria then turns into a word. We “read” and suddenly realize that one desire is called “tree,” another desire is called “sun,” and so on. Moreover, we come to know this for a fact, regardless of where we live in the world or whether or not we speak the language. Thus, we begin to understand it.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/16/10, Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah
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