Question: What is the meaning from the Kabbalistic perspective of each of the ten commandments, like “thou shalt not steal” or “thou shalt not kill,” etc.?
Answer: We don’t understand the true meaning of the ten commandments that simply seem like moral instructions to us.
The commandment of “honor thy father and thy mother,” for example, refers to the connection between the Partzufim of ZON (Zeir Anpin and Nukva) and the upper Aba and Ima (father and mother).
The commandment “thou shalt no steal” is the prohibition to use the desire to enjoy for my own sake, which is called stealing. Who are you stealing from? From the Light, from the Creator.
All the ten commandments refer to the right use of the desire to enjoy. It is about the limitations that we must implement on Malchut. These limitations are called a Masach (screen) and the Returning Light (Ohr Hozer). Due to the fact that Malchut accepts these limitations, it can become the clothing for the ten Sefirot, and so it is called the ten commandments.
A commandment (stemming from the Hebrew root “utterance”) is what is born in the mouth of the Partzuf, the Peh de Rosh. All these actions are performed in the world of Atzilut.
Only after we become as one man in one heart do we receive the ten commandments. Otherwise we cannot hear them. We have to be on the level of Bina in order to have the ear that can hear the ten utterances from Mt. Sinai.
First we have to go through a period of preparation and reach connection on the level of one man in one heart, and only then do we hear the commandments. Otherwise we will lack the vessels in order to understand them.
Everyday a new confusion and a new understanding are felt during the study. You ask a question and after that you may be confused a hundred times and understand a hundred times in order to bring yourself to the point where you asked the question. Everything depends on the vessels.
Question: Do these commandments, such as “thou shalt not steal” and “thou shalt not kill” operate in the corporeal world too?
Answer: Of course we need the same thing that is written on the spiritual sense in our world too, but the correction of the soul takes place in the spiritual world. Still, we have to create the right environment in the corporeal world so that in it we will be able to attain the spiritual correction.
First we must understand that the basis for all the corrections is the main rule of the Torah: “Love thy friend as thyself.” This means that all the corrections, all the details described in the Torah, are the explanations for how we should reach the fulfillment of the conditions of loving others.
My attitude to whatever it may be—to friends, to the external world, to all the spiritual worlds, to everything—has to be only out of love, to the extent that I love myself. That’s it! Every action I make has to be accompanied by the thought that I do it for others. Love isn’t just speaking the words. There must be a real desire within me that obliges me to do it. Otherwise it is not called a commandment.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/03/14, Shamati 66 “The Giving of the Torah”