How Is Jewish Kabballah different from the popular forms?

By Steven Stone

1- How is the Jewish tree of life different than the more popular and well known versions?
In the Hassidic model, Katar is not actually one of the states, None of the center states are actual levels, they are combinations of the levels on either side. Yesod is part of Hod and Netzach, and so on.  Da'at is between Binah and Chochma.   Katar is the doorway to the next level. In this model of the reality to ascend from state to state you have to rise through the tree from Malkuth to Katar.  Once you achieve Katar, you basically climb through the window and ascend to the next level and are once again in Malkuth, but Malkuth of the next level of reality.

2- Are there any holidays  based on Kabballah?
Yes, “Lag B’omar”. The the holiday is 49 days total. Each day combines 2 of the states of the tree or 2 Omar.  The Omar are the 7 main states: Malchus - Kingship, Hod - learning/empathy, Natzach - teaching/dominaance, Givorah - restraint / strictness, Chesed - Kindness/giving, Binah - understanding /development, Chochma - Ideas and conceptual flashes/creating.   All the states are combined one pair at a time.  Malchus and Malchus, then Malchus and Hod, then Malchus and Natzach.  Each day is to represent a specific set. 7 sets for each of the seven states.  The days are done in worship and activity of the meaning of the  combined states. If you have a day of  Chesad-Chesad, then you are in a day in which you would practice giving.  a day of Netzach-Netzach is a day of teaching, and so on.

3- How is time measured in Jewish Kabballah?
The months are based on the lunar cycle, so the calender changes from the Christian calender by nearly a month each year.  Day are counted from sunset to sunset.  That means "the eve of the day" is part of the next day.  In Torah, it starts with "the eve of the day of the one." That means that the first "day" was actually day 2 of reality (in modern terms.)  The 6th day would have been the day 7.  

4- Why is Sabbath so special?
 We have a 7 day week.   each day has a corresponding state on the tree of life.  The Sabbath is Binah, or development, and has the female aspect of G-d usually called Shekina.  Basically it means that the first 6 days, Ayn Sof stirred the soup... put it all together and set everything.  The seventh day was gestation.  G-d let things develop.  Think of it as if reality is a baby.   Days 1-6 are doing the acts that make the baby, and day 7 is the term the baby spends inside the mother’s womb. That day is the day of waiting the day of Binah or Sabbath.

© Virtual Reflections 2016