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Abraham: A man born in Babylon who discovered the wisdom of Kabbalah, taught it to all who were interested, and started the first Kabbalah group, which later became the nation of Israel. Sefer Yetzira (The Book of Creation) is ascribed to him.

Adam: See Adam ha Rishon.

Adam ha Rishon: The Kabbalistic name of Adam, the original soul. The breaking of Adam’s soul caused the division of Adam’s soul into 600,000 particular souls or individual desires.

Altruism: Working for the gratification of the system of creation regardless of one’s own desires.

Bestowal: The Creator’s quality of giving without thinking of Himself. This is the quality the creatures (us) need to acquire in order to become like Him and discover Him.

Bina: Understanding. In Kabbalah, it generally refers to the contemplation of the ways of cause and effect and to benevolence. It also means the quality of giving, Hassadim (Mercy), which is the quality of the Creator.

Correction: Kabbalists refer to correction to mean turning the intention with which we use a desire from “for me” to “for the Creator.” No one will tell you that you are correct or incorrect. But if you’ve used a desire to make you more “Creatorlike,” you’ve done the correct thing.

Degree: See Spiritual Degree.

125 degrees: Between the Creator and creation there are five worlds, with five Partzufim in each world, and five Sefirot in each Partzuf. If you multiply 5 worlds× 5 Partzufim × 5 Sefirot, you get 125 degrees. See also spiritual degree, Sefirot.

Egoism: Working for self-gratification regardless of the needs of the system of creation.

Equivalence of Form: The form (quality) of the Creator is bestowal; the form of the creature is reception. When one can learn to receive with the intention to bestow, it is considered that one has equalized one’s form with the Creator’s: both are now givers.

Faith: The quality of bestowal; clear perception of the Creator.

Four Phases of Direct Light: The first five stages, root (0)–4, by which the Thought of Creation created Malchut, the will to receive, and the root of all creations.

Free choice: A choice made without being partial toward oneself. To have free choice, one has to be Above one’s ego, in the spiritual world.

Haman: One of the names given to the will to receive.

Intention: The direction in which a desire is used—for you or for the Creator.

Kabbalah: A science that provides a detailed method of showing you how to perceive and experience the spiritual worlds, which exist beyond what you can perceive with your five senses. Kabbalah means “Reception” in Hebrew.

Kabbalists: People who have acquired additional senses because they have attained the ability to lekabel (“to receive” in Hebrew) higher knowledge. The method that enables people to transcend the boundaries of their nature is called Kabbalah (“reception” in Hebrew) because it enables them to know the true reality.

Kli: (vessel) The sixth sense; the will to receive with a Masach (screen) on it.

Law of Correction: States that first the easiest parts are corrected; and then, with their help, the tougher parts are handled.

Light: Pleasure, the force of bestowal that operates and fills the whole reality.

Masach (screen): The ability to reject the Creator’s Light if it is not in order to give back to Him.

Mordechai: The will to bestow.

Moses: The greatest prophet and the next great Kabbalist after Abraham. Wrote the Torah (Pentateuch) and taught Kabbalah to all who listened. Moses is the point in the heart in everyone of us, the desire for spirituality.

Olam (World): There are five worlds between the Creator and creation— Adam Kadmon, Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira, and Assiya. The word Olam comes from the word Haalama (Concealment). The name of the Olam designates a specific measure of concealment of the Creator’s Light from creation (us).

Partzuf (Face): A Partzuf is a complete structure of ten Sefirot with a Masach that can determine which Sefira receives Light and which doesn’t.

Person (in this world): Means that the will to receive is in a state of concealment from the Creator, with no intention to receive from Him or to give to Him.

Point in the heart: The last degree in the evolution of human desire, the desire for spirituality.

Prayer: Any desire is a prayer. But a prayer that is answered is a desire to be corrected, to becoming like the Creator. A prayer is called “the work in the heart.”

Purpose of Creation: The reason the Creator created creation is for it to receive the ultimate pleasure: being like Him. This is the purpose of creation.

Rabbi Isaac Luria (the Holy Ari): A great Kabbalist who lived in the 16th century in Israel. Author of The Tree of Life.

Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai (Rashbi): Author of 2nd century CE The Book of Zohar, the seminal text of Kabbalah. Rashbi was the student and successor of Rabbi Akiva, the great Kabbalist who taught “Love thy friend as thyself.”

Rav Yehuda Ashlag: The last great Kabbalist (1884-1954). Known as Baal HaSulam (owner of the ladder) for his Sulam (Ladder) commentary on The Book of Zohar.

Reality: The part of the Creator’s Light that a person can perceive, depending on one’s inner structure. Because of that, reality is always subjective.

Reincarnation: A reincarnation is every time you make a step in spiritual growth. If you correct yourself intensely, you can experience many lifetimes in a matter of minutes.

Reshimot: The soul’s unconscious recollections of its past states.

Root of the Soul: The place of the soul in the system of Adam ha Rishon.

Sanctity: An exalted state in which you ascribe everything to the Creator. You realize that there is none else besides him and that you are equal to Him in your attributes.

Screen: See Masach.

Sefirot: The 10 basic qualities of the spiritual world. Their names are Keter, Hochma, Bina, Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, and Malchut. Sometimes they are divided into five, and then you have Keter, Hochma, Bina, and Zeir Anpin, which includes the Sefirot Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, Netzah, Hod, and Yesod. The last Sefira is Malchut.

Shame: Malchut’s sensation of her oppositeness from the Creator. When Malchut realizes that she only receives and that He only gives (to her), she is so ashamed that she stops receiving, and makes the Tzimtzum (restriction).

Soul: A desire to receive with a Masach and the intention to bestow is called “a soul.” Also, Adam ha Rishon is considered the common soul from which we all come. Adam represents the first person to have a Masach, and we are all his “spiritual” children. See also Adam ha Rishon.

Spiritual degree: An ability to receive a certain amount (and kind) of pleasure with the intention to bestow upon the Creator.

Surrounding Light: The Light that wishes to fill creation, as well as the Light that is destined to transform egotistical desire into altruistic one.

Tetragrammaton: In Greek, literally “four-letter word.” Designates the sacred name of God. In Hebrew, it is the HaVaYaH (Yod, Hey, Vav, Hey), or the Four Phases of Direct Light.

The Book of Zohar: Written around 2nd century CE by Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai and his group. This is the seminal book of Kabbalah. It was hidden right after it was written and reappeared in the 13th century in possession of Rabbi Moshe de Leon. Probably for this reason, there are scholars who consider Moshe de Leon to be its author, although Moshe de Leon himself claimed that he did not write the book, but Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai.

Torah: Five Books of Moses. Torah means “Light” as well as “instruction.” The text of the Torah holds within it the instructions to receive all the Light of the Creator, if you know how to read it right. Today, we need to study Kabbalah to be able to understand it correctly.

The Tree of Life: The Ari’s (Rabbi Isaac Luria) principal text. This text is still at the heart of contemporary Kabbalah. Because of the importance of the Ari’s book, the term Tree of Life has become a synonym of the term The Wisdom of Kabbalah.

Tzimtzum (Restriction): Not receiving Light despite wanting it. When Malchut discovers that she is opposite from the Creator, her shame makes her stop receiving His Light although she has a great desire for it.

World: See Olam.

Yam Suf: The Red Sea. The Book of Zohar calls the Red Sea “the Sea of the End,” representing the ego’s final frontier. Beyond Yam Suf begins the spiritual world.

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