Essays

"Every human being, even the greatest of the great, has periods of elation and depression, of ups and downs, and this lack of spiritual equilibrium is inherent in the nature of things and is not necessarily a function of the individual's own failings." by Rabbi Adin Even Israel Steinsaltz

The Rabbi's Essays
"Most of the Jewish people are so very scattered and removed from each other that they hardly ever find a common language, or even any language that makes sense to them as Jews. This is what is called assimilation, which is basically the loss of the common heritage. We therefore have to try to reach some deeper levels of the soul, many of them bordering on the unconscious, to help us get back to talking together, to having some kind of a common language."

Homecoming by Rabbi Adin Even Israel Steinsaltz.
Articles in English:
steinsaltz-center.org steinsaltz.org
Search Essays
Strengths in the Soul

Just as they do in the higher world, the ten Sefirot exist in the human soul; and from their mutual interrelations are derived and manifested all the broad span of thoughts, feelings, and experiences of man, thus, the first three Sefirot assert the aspects of pure consciousness: Hokhmah, expressing the power of original light, is that which distinguishes and creates and is the basis of intuitive grasp; Binah, expressing the analytical and synthetic power of the mind, builds and comprehends forms and probes the meaning of that which comes from the Sefirah of Hokhmaha; and Daat, expressing the crystallization of awareness in terms of conclusions and the abstract ascertaining of facts, is that which enables consciousness to make a transition from one form of existence to another, thereby ensuring its continuity. Then following these are the three Sefirot of the higher emotions: Hesed, Gevurah and Tiferet. Hesed as grace and love is the inclination toward things, the desire for, or attraction to beings, the outgoing flow and opening up to the world, that which gives of itself, whether in terms of will or affection or relation and, in giving, opens up to the Sefirah of Gevurah, or strength. Gevurah is thus an inward withdrawal of forces, a concentration of power which provides an energy source for hate, fear, and terror as well as for justice, restraint and control. Tiferet is harmony and compassion as well as beauty, being a synthesis or a balancing of the higher powers of attraction and repulsion, and leads to moral as well as to aesthetic acceptance of the world. From these we proceed to the three Sefirot that act directly on the actual world of experience: Netzah, Hod and Yesod. Netzah is the will to overcome, the profound urge to get things done. Hod, in striving to achieve and attain that which is desired, is also the power to repudiate the obstacles that rise from reality, and to persevere. Yesod is the power of connection, the capacity and the will to build bridges, make contracts and relate to others, especially in the way this is done with teacher, father and other figues of meaning and authority. Finally, the Sefirah of Malkhut is the realization, or living through, of this potential in the essential being: it is the transition from soul to outer existene, to thought, and to deed. It ialso effects the transmutation of consciousness back to Keter, the first and highest of the Sefirot, which is also the essence of will and contains in itself all the higher powers that activate the soul from above.