Chapter 6.1 – The Seven Days of Creation
It is written, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters. And God said: 'Let there be light.' And there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day” (Genesis 1, 1-5).
This is how the book of Genesis begins. Every one of us, when hearing these verses, is moved in some way. Over the years, we have been exposed to various interpretations of the verses of the Torah on the literal level. However, we rarely settle for such simplified interpretations that leave many questions open. We want to analyze the Torah scientifically, logically. What does the Torah really talk about? And most importantly: What does it do for us?
All the Holy Scriptures speak of one thing only – the Upper World and how it was created. They do not simply reveal what one finds there, but teach one to see that world. The gradual revelation of the Upper World is called man’s “spiritual ascent”, or "the degrees of one’s spiritual rise." The books tell us of the spiritual worlds in several languages.
The wisdom of Kabbalah is a science that teaches the structure of the Upper World. It utilizes for that purpose the language of Sefirot, Partzufim, drawings and schemes. The Torah describes the Upper World for us in ordinary language.
Besides the Kabbalah, there is also the language of legends and the language of Mitzvot (commandments, precepts). Let us try and translate the language of the Torah to the language of the wisdom of Kabbalah.
The Torah describes for us how the Upper World was created, its structure, the design of its development, and after that it depicts the process of the man’s creation. However, the Torah does not refer to anyone in our corporeal world. Rather, it refers to the creation of the will to receive, called “soul” or “Man” (Adam) to fulfill this desire, this Creation, with total, eternal and complete pleasure.
The desire for pleasure is the only Creation. Besides that, there is only the Creator. Thus, everything besides the Creator is no more than various degrees of the will to receive pleasure. That is also the situation in our world: the difference between all creatures and objects is only in the different levels of their will to receive pleasure, and that is what determines the properties of each and every creature.
The desire to receive is divided into five sublevels, marked as:
The tip of the letter Yod (·), which correlates to the Sefira of Keter.
The letter Yod (י), which correlates to the Sefira of Hochma.
The letter Hey (ה), which correlates to the Sefira of Bina.
The letter Vav (ו), which correlates to the Sefira of Tifferet.
The letter Hey (ה), which correlates to the Sefira of Malchut.
Together these letters form the word Yod (·), Yod (י), Hey (ה), Vav (ו), Hey (ה), and that is also the name of the Creator, because Creation feels the Creator inside it and names Him accordingly. The five parts of the desire are called Sefirot, and their names are Keter, Hochma, Bina, Tifferet and Malchut.
The Creator wishes to fill Creation with pleasure to the brim, to the full sensation of perfection and eternity, because that is the Creator's state of being. He is Perfect and Unique, and because of His Perfection, He wants to give His State, meaning His Perfection to Creation. Hence, the purpose of Creation is the attainment of the Perfection of the Creator and the ability to receive what He wants to bestow.
The seven days of Creation are felt by humanity as 7,000 years. The first six stand for the first six days of the week, during which humanity corrects itself unconsciously at first, and finally consciously, through great efforts. In the end it reaches the seventh millennium, or the seventh day, the Sabbath, a state where the Light of the Creator fills the corrected properties with bounty and delight.
The number seven itself bears special significance in Kabbalah. The system that manages our world consists of seven parts. That is why things in our world are divided by seven or seventy: the seven days of the week, the seventy nations of the world, man’s soul, which also consists of seventy parts and the length of a human’s life, lasting approximately seventy years.
The entire path of mankind consists of six days, representing the 6,000 years of correction. We have now entered the year 5766 in the Jewish calendar. The conscious correction of the world began in the year 5755 (1995), not so many years ago. In the years we have left before the end of the 6,000 years, the Jews and the whole of mankind must complete the correction, and in the seventh millennium we will receive the reward.
When you read these lines, you must wonder if there is a way to shorten our way to the purpose of Creation. Well, we not only can, but we must intervene in the process that was meant to last 7,000 years, and accelerate it. Those who can reach this process individually will reach the Upper World and the sensation of the complete and sublime reality before the others.
But even during the process of correction, if we go through it consciously, through our own efforts, we will feel it as a creative process, as a romantic desire, and not as perpetual beating and torment.
The First Day of Creation
“And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness” (Genesis 1, 4). In the process of Creation, we must equalize ourselves with the acts of the Creator. Hence, our first act should be dividing our thoughts between good (heaven) and bad (earth). This process is called "The recognition of evil," meaning the understanding of what is evil.
One begins to analyze which of his properties belongs to spirituality and which to corporeality, using Kabbalah books and the environment of a group of Kabbalists. The separation of these properties forms the first step toward correction. That is the first day of man’s Creation within himself.
The Second Day of Creation
After separating the egoistic from the altruistic properties within us, we must begin the job of correcting our egoism. That is done through a special Light of the Creator. There are two kinds of Light that stem from the Creator: the Light of Wisdom and the Light of Mercy. When we use the property of the Light of Wisdom (earth), the egoistic property of reception, we absorb everything within us. After all, that is our nature.
However, in the property of the Light of Mercy, called “water”, we acquire the attribute of bestowal. The water (bestowal) permeates the earth and generates in it the ability to cultivate life. The property of bestowal corrects the egoism and enables us to use it correctly for our own good as well as for the good of others. Through the corrected egoism, we begin to feel the Upper World and the Creator. We also see our former lives and our paths toward the purpose of Creation.
Only an eternal soul that passes from body to body can let us see our past lives. If we have not corrected our souls, we cannot see anything beyond the boundaries of our world.
The Third Day of Creation
The water gathers over the heavens and the earth is exposed. A part of the earth appears under the water. After the correction performed through the water, the earth becomes suitable for evolution of life on it. It combines the properties of the water and the earth.
Life cannot exist when there is only water, just like it cannot exist in a completely dry land. The correction of one’s soul and use of the properties of the Creator and the creature inside us is built through finding the right combination between the altruistic and egoistic properties of “heaven” (the attribute of bestowal) and “earth” (the attribute of reception).
That correction is called “the middle line”. Our primary egoistic nature is called the “earth line”, or the “left line”. The “right line” designates the property of the Creator, water, altruism, and the attribute of bestowal. The middle line is what one must create in order to "choose life."
This means that one must take the exact amount of water, and water the earth in such a way that the two lines will complement one another and create something new. The combination of these two properties will produce the “Tree of Life”. A spiritual individual feels the entire Creation and lives in all the worlds simultaneously, eternally and happily. Such a person identifies with his or her eternal soul, not with a transient body, considering the "self" as the soul, and the body as mere "clothing."
This transition from sympathizing with the body to sympathizing with the soul is a totally psychological transition and occurs to the extent that one acquires the property of Bina.
The Fourth Day of Creation
On the fourth day the planets appeared: the earth, the sun and the moon. Thus, the phases of correction were created–the days, months and years. Correction occurs in both the collective Creation and in each and every specific particle. Creation itself is called “soul” or “Adam”, and its specific particles are called individual souls, or people. Each individual soul goes through the same phases of correction that the collective soul experiences.
The Fifth Day of Creation
“And God said: 'Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let fowl fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.' And God created the great sea-monsters, and every living creature that creepeth, wherewith the waters swarmed, after its kind, and every winged fowl after its kind; and God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1, 20-21).
When the attribute of bestowal–water–joins the attribute of reception–earth–it gives the attribute of reception many forms of reception. These different forms are the parts of Creation that were made on the fifth day.
The Sixth Day of Creation
“And God said: 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth” (Genesis 1, 26).
What does it mean to create, “man in our image after our likeness?” It is said in the Torah (Genesis 1, 27): “in the image of God created He him.” Image (Tzelem) is a part of Bina that descends from it into the soul and gives it the properties of the Creator.
In other words, Partzuf Bina is the mechanism of providence in charge of all the souls that need correction. In order to correct Malchut, Bina produces a special mechanism that permeates Malchut and enables it to perform the correction. That aiding device that every soul in Malchut receives from Above is called “image”. The image is, in fact, the collection of the Properties of the Creator.
Without the knowledge of the design of creation, without feeling as part of creation, meaning the ability to sense the spiritual worlds, we do not know how to behave or where to turn. We do not even understand what it is that we must do.
In order to have these attributes, which are necessary for spiritual progress, Bina, the highest spiritual degree must demonstrate what we must do and how. That is the mission of the image, the aiding mechanism of Bina. This mechanism clothes our soul and produces all the necessary corrections. That is why it is said that through this image, man is created within us.
The Seventh Day of Creation
“And the heaven and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished His work which He had made” (Genesis 2:1-2). Our work revolves around the acquisition of the trait of Bina. One corrects oneself through these properties and thus ascends higher. Adam performed these corrections six times within him. These corrections are named: Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, Netzah, Hod and Yesod. These gradual corrections are referred to as six days or the 6,000 years of Creation. Malchut, the last Sefira, is unable to correct itself.
However, once it receives the properties of the six higher Sefirot, it is able to adopt their traits. Hence, the essence of the seventh day is that everything that accumulated during the previous six days enters Malchut. The Sabbath is a special day because on that day the souls fill with the Upper Light. The only condition is that we must "stay out of the way" in this process. That is expressed symbolically in the rules of the Sabbath.