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Michael Laitman, PhD

Melodies of the World to Come

The melodies in Kabbalah could be described as melodies of the “World to Come,” as they serve the purpose of bringing the Upper Worlds to this world. Singing evokes blessings from Above so that they manifest in all lower worlds.

In the words of Rabbi Elazar Azikri (1533–1600), “Those who aspire shall sing praises unto spiritual heights, unto the Upper Ones and lower ones, fastening all the worlds with the tie of faith.” (In Kabbalah, “faith” means attainment of the Creator.)

Tuning Your Inner Instrument

To understand what the Kabbalistic composer wants to express in the melody, you merely need to listen, and your understanding works automatically. By listening to the melodies of a Kabbalist, you have the opportunity to be affected to a certain degree by their impressions of the spiritual worlds.

There is a soul in each of us, and the soul of a Kabbalist resembles a musical instrument that plays properly and feels properly, similar to King David’s biblical violin. This is no ordinary violin, but the inner Kli (vessel/instrument) of a Kabbalist’s soul. In it, the Kabbalist feels reality in a certain way and can express it in melodies.


Spiritual Sparks

When a person acquires the quality of Bina, mercy, he or she feels calm and serene. Rav Baruch Ashlag expressed it in his gentle melody to the words from Psalms (116), “For thou hast delivered my soul.”


Spiritual Harmony

You can use Kabbalist tunes to connect to the spiritual roots from which they were written without having to work hard. Just relax and listen to the music.

Yet there is information in the notes themselves. The notes in Kabbalah are not random or “free form.” Their harmony is built on Kabbalistic rules and notes are chosen according to the way a soul is built. They are a way to climb the ladder. You (the listener) feel them penetrating deep within your soul, unobstructed. This happens because of the direct connection between your soul and the roots of the notes.

Go back to Chapter 10 and think of the spiritual nature of Hebrew letters and their representation of numbers. The most important thing in Kabbalistic music is not the notes themselves, but all the fine nuances that exist between them.

Just to give you a sense of it, in Chapter 10 we said that there are Taamim (flavors), Nekudot (dots under, within, and above the letters), Tagin (tags on top of the letters), and Otiot (letters). These represent nuances formed by the impression from the Light—impressions, for instance, of Reshimot leaving and reentering the spiritual vessel.


Spiritual Sparks

Singing is the call of the soul, … the song, to which the Upper and the lower ones in all the worlds awaken. The song is like a spring from Above, a repose of the Upper One, the Divine mercy. The song adorns the Holy Supernal Name, Malchut, the receptacle of the Creator. And this is why it is the Holy of Holies.

—Rav Yehuda Ashlag The Sulam Commentary on The Zohar


It is the same with melodies. Musicians who understand how to play Kabbalistic melodies are few and far between. The difference between one who plays nicely and one who plays correctly lies in the extent to which one understands where the important things are. What’s most important lies not in the sounds, but in the tiniest symbols, in how the sound begins and ends.

I had a wonderful student who played the violin. “I’m ready to play only on the condition that you will hold my hand,” he would tell me. And he was right—Kabbalah music is about conveying the right feeling, not the accurate note.

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