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Michael Laitman, PhD

What are Sefirot?

Q: What do the Sefirot in the books of Kabbalah describe?

A: Sefirot are attributes that are given to the creature, the lower one, through which to feel the Upper One, the Creator. That is why the Sefirot express supremacy, the attributes of the Creator, attributes that the Creator wants the creatures to attain in order that they feel Him.

Just as we capture a person by his mind, which is his essence (whereas the body is only an outer clothing), so is spirituality grasped through its clothing, because the essence is in the interior attributes behind the clothing. Externality is only needed for the purpose of acquaintance, and not in and of itself.

A person attains the Creator through the Sefirot, meaning through His outer appearances. Similarly, we know a person for certain only after we know all his attributes and reactions in varying situations. Through the Sefirot we will ultimately come to know reality, which is all a dressing for the Creator, just as the body is a dressing for the soul.

The Creator works within a person’s soul. Therefore, he who learns to attain the Creator knows Him and attains Him by His actions in his own soul, meaning by the action of the Light on his own point of Malchut. That point is not empty, although it is felt that way, but rather filled with goodness. However, in order to feel it, we need to experience every emotion, and only then does a person learn to feel the Light as it enters a specific point in the soul.

Completeness is a pleasure that is sensed only after there is a hunger for something and a shortage of it, to the extent of the incompleteness that was felt prior to the reception of the delight.

It is impossible to sense continuous pleasure in this world, because nature has it that hunger and satisfaction do not come together. Precisely that attribute is given to the soul in order to feel hungry, in order to crave pleasure, so that a person will learn that although he is able to satisfy the hunger, he will never get his fill.

But the Creator wants to delight us, which is why He sends us a special fulfillment. The souls try not to spoil that satisfaction by crossing the line. It is only in this way that they arrive at completeness. The hunger and desire do not go away–on the contrary. As a result, the souls extend more fulfillment from a wholeness that does not fade, an eternal wholeness.

We know that we enjoy eating because of the prior hunger, the sensation of shortage. As the shortage disappears, so does the pleasure. The Creator gave the souls a great “trick” that prevents them from being satiated, despite the reception of pleasure. The fuller they feel, the hungrier they grow. That is the perfection of the action of the Creator.

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