Tree of Life 3


The tenth Sefirah, the Shekhinah, allows us to see the rest of the Sefirot through her. In other words the last Sefirah is feminine and all those above are male, and she is called the “speculum that does not shine” which is a talmudic expression. She is passive and receives like a mirror the masculine inner glory. Therefore, although the inner glory is concealed, it can be seen through the Shekhinah. There are erotic undertones here which run through the course of the Kabbalah. There were further developments with the Shekhinah for the Kabbalists as she became known as the tenth and final Sefirah and took on all the female roles, which included mother, daughter, bride, as well as Knesset Yisra’el. Thereafter the Shekhinah manifested in two Sefirot, binah and malkhut, binah having the more active qualities (as she is the one who gives birth) and malkhut being passive and receiving all from above. The author of the Zohar placed a lot of emphasis on the Shekhinah as the feminine presence of G-d. He conceptualises that the Ein-Sof has its female counterpart, the Shekhinah, and that only when the two are united, which is depicted in explicit sexual terms, does harmony truly govern the universe. Human sexuality (as long as it is performed under the halakhah), according to the theme that that which occurs in heaven is mirrored on earth, is also encouraged in the Kabbalah. When human coupling takes place the Shekhinah is present and therefore helps to bring harmony to earth.

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A4 Print (approx 21 x 30 cm), A3 Print (approx 30 x 42 cm), A2 Print (approx 42 x 60 cm), A1 Print (approx 60 x 84 cm)


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