The Ten Commandments | Kabbalah Explained Simply

Most of us grew up hearing about the ten commandments as instructions given by God to us humans so that we would be moral to each other. But is that what the ten commandments really mean? According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, the ten commandments mean something else entirely. Some of us might try to observe the ten commandments, and find that we can observe some of them, but fail on others. Some of us simply forget about these commandments, filing them away among several Bible stories we learned in our childhood. According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, we do not and cannot observe any of the ten commandments until we attain the spiritual levels that these commandments speak of. As with all the Bible stories, the wisdom of Kabbalah describes their spiritual roots, which have no corporeal forms, images, or personalities connected to them. The ten commandments thus describe nothing in our world, but rather certain limitations that we apply to our nature—the desire to enjoy—in order to adhere to the spiritual world. When we apply these limitations, then our desire to enjoy becomes suitable to dress the ten spiritual qualities called “the ten Sefirot,” which is what the kabbalists originally intended as the ten commandments. A commandment, which in Hebrew is “Dover,” stems from the Hebrew root of the word “utterance” (“Dibur”), which is born in the Peh (mouth) of the Partzuf (spiritual entity), known in Kabbalah as the “Peh de Rosh” (i.e., the place in our soul where we act on our decision to resemble the spiritual quality of love, bestowal and connection, and which receives the ability to love and bestow according to the strength of the intention to bestow). These actions are performed in the world of Atzilut, the highest of the spiritual worlds that is closest to the pure quality of love and bestowal, the Creator’s quality. We receive the ten commandments only after connecting to each other “as one man with one heart” in order to rise above the raging egoistic desires that resist the connection, and which make us divisive and hateful of one another. That massive egoistic quality is represented in the Bible story by Mount Sinai (“Sinai” from the Hebrew word for “hatred” [“Sinah”]). If we fail to positively connect to each other in order to rise above the ego that divides us, then we also cannot discover or observe any of the ten commandments. We have to be on a spiritual level of attainment, namely the level of “Bina,” one of the ten Sefirot which represents the pure quality of bestowal, in order to have the ear (Bina is the spiritual root of our sense of hearing) to hear the ten utterances from Mount Sinai. In other words, we need to attain a certain level of equivalence of form with the spiritual quality of love and bestowal (the Creator) in order to observe the ten commandments. We can reach a spiritual level where we discover and observe the ten commandments by first undergoing a preparation period in this world. Our main emphasis in this preparation period should be to achieve a positive connection with one another “as one man with one heart,” which will enable us to observe the ten commandments. If we fail to reach such a level of connection among each other, then we will lack the ability to perceive, sense, and observe these commandments. In short, “love your neighbor as yourself” is the foundation of all spiritual attainment and ascent to a spiritual level, and when we attain a certain spiritual level, we find ourselves living according to a set of limitations called “the ten commandments.”


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