Symbols of the Kabbalah Demystified
Kabbalah is an ancient series of mystical teachings. Originally
intended to clarify the true meaning of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and
demystify Jewish religious traditions, it has undergone various
adaptations over the centuries: Jewish (both Karaite and rabbinic),
Christian, New Age, and even Occultist. Today, Kabbalah is a trendy
doctrine thanks to celebrities like Madonna, Demi Moore, and Gwyneth
Kabbalah teaches that God consists of 10
‘emanations’, or sephirot. By studying them, one
can get closer to the Ein Sof, or Infinite. Each of the symbols listed
below represents some aspect or characteristic of these sephirot.
Tree of Life
haChayim in Hebrew): The Tree of Life, which represents the essence of
Kabbalah, is one of its more recognized symbols. It features all 10
sephirot, which are grouped into four realms: Atziluth (the infinite),
Beriah (the creative world), Yetsirah (creation / formation) and Assiah
(the material world). Only the latter represents physical existence:
the other three are ethereal creation mysteries that require intense
study to be understood.
Kabbalah symbol looks like an extended hand. The name literally means
‘five’ and, according to some disciplines,
represents the five books of the Torah.
The essence of Hamsa is peace and fellowship. Other, related, meanings
derive from this interpretation: communal prayer, welcoming others, and
both mental and physical healing. Those who display or wear Hamsa are
required to continually pray for those who view it.
Star of David
Star of David (Magen David in Hebrew) is the most widely recognized
Jewish identity symbol. In Kabbalah, it has two meanings: a symbol of
God’s rule over the universe in all six directions (Up, Down,
North, South, East, West) and the dichotomies integral to human
existence: good vs. evil, physical world vs. spiritual realms, etc.
Tradition states that the particular structure of the Star of David,
which was inspired by King David’s hexagonal shield, attracts
protection and good fortune.
Zohar, which is the primary book of Kabbalah, indicates that when a Jew
affixes a mezuzah to their door, God protects the home from harmful
forces. It is a symbol of protection that warns messengers of evil that
God is watching. The word mezuzoth is actually a blend of the two words
maveth and zaz, which together mean “Death, remove
Hebrew, Chai (or Cha’i) means ‘alive’.
The symbol, which consists of the Hebrew letters Chet Yod, represents
charity, wealth, and longevity in traditional Judaism. Its gematric
(numerical) value is 18, which is why Jews traditionally give out
charity in multiples of 18. Kabbalistic texts indicate that the letter
Chet is connected to the Tree of Life’s 18th path, which
involves intelligence and influence.
three-dimensional representation of the Star of David, Merkabah
releases positive energy that brings both blessings and protection when
worn as a talisman. In traditional Kabbalah, meditating on Merkabah
helps one access the spiritual plain and seek the eternal wisdom and
knowledge of the universe. Its message in that there is more to human
existence than the physical world alone