I heard a Rav say in a shiur that "the Zohar says that 'Hashem brought forth 10 sefirot and personalize/identified with them'".

I would like to know where in the Zohar this is stated, if anyone has any idea?

EDIT: The accepted answer is good enough, but in addition to it, in the comments @shmosel provided a very important source: בגין דישתמודעון ליה

Key lines:

הכי עלת העלות עביד עשר ספירות, וקרא לכתר מקור, וביה לית סוף לנביעו דנהוריה, ובגין דא קרא לגרמיה אין סוף, ולית ליה דמות וצורה, ותמן לית מאנא למתפס ליה למנדע ביה ידיעא כלל, ובגין דא אמרו ביה, במופלא ממך אל תדרוש, ובמכוסה ממך אל תחקור.

לבתר עבד מאנא זעירא ודא י', ואתמליא מניה, וקרא ליה מעין נובע חכמה, וקרא גרמיה בה חכם, ולההוא מאנא קרא ליה חכמ"ה, ולבתר עבד מאנא רברבא, וקרא ליה ים, וקרא ליה בינה, והוא קרא לגרמיה מבין בה.

Which can't be more direct: Hashem brought forth these sefirot and identified with them.

  • 2
    פתח אליהו
    – shmosel
    Nov 22, 2022 at 17:45
  • @shmosel thank you, but I can't see where it says that Hashem identifies/personalizes with them? It says He reveals Himself through them and conceals Himself through them.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Nov 22, 2022 at 18:08

1 Answer 1


Tikkunei Zohar 17a which says:

The prophet Elijah, of blessed memory, opened, and said: Eternal Hidden Master of the worlds! You are He whose Unity is infinite and absolute, and therefore indivisible. You are He1, transcendent beyond all that is above, and concealed behind all that is concealed. No thought whatsoever can grasp You. But You are He who brought forth ten rectifications - we call them the ten sefirot Atzilut - with which to regulate hidden worlds that are not revealed, as well as worlds that are revealed. Indeed, it is through these that You are hidden from human beings. You are He who binds them and unifies them. And inasmuch as You are within them, anyone who separates one from the other is regarded as having caused a separation in You.

This text is recited by many at Mincha of erev Shabbat.

If you continue to read the text cited above it explains how the Sefirot correspond to G-d's name.

ואלו עשר הספירות, משתלשלות כסדרן: אחת ארוכה, ואחת קצרה, ואחת בינונית. ואתה הוא שמנהיג אותם, ואין מי שינהיג אותך, לא למעלה, לא למטה ולא משום צד. לבושים הכנת להם, מהם פורחות נשמות לבני אדם, וכמה גופים הכנת להם שנקראים גוף לגבי הלבושים המכסים עליהם, ונקראים בתיקונם כך: חסד - זרוע ימין, גבורה - זרוע שמאל, תפארת - הגוף. נצח והוד - שתי שוקיים. יסוד - סיום הגוף, אות ברית קודש. מלכות - פה, תורה שבעל פה היא נקראת.

חכמה - המוח, והוא פנימיות המחשבה. בינה - היא הלב, ובה הלב מבין. ועל שני אלו כתוב "הַנִּסְתָּרתֹ לַה' אלהֵינוּ". כתר עליון הוא, והוא כתר מלכות, ועליו נאמר - "מגִּיד מֵרֵאשִּית אַחֲרִּית", והיינו תפילין של ראש. בפנימיות הוא יו"ד ה"א וא"ו ה"א, והוא בדרך אצילות, המשקה את האילן בזרועותיו וענפיו, כמים המשקים לאילן ומתגדלים אותו בהשקיה זו.

That in this text, the Sefirot are equated with the letters of G-d's name (יהוה). They are imagined in vertical orientation, from top to bottom beginning with the letter Yud.

In orientation like this, they form the shape which corresponds with and is the paradigm for a male physical body. It also corresponds to the form of the Mishkan and Mikdash when viewing it from above. For details, see diagrams relating to Hilchot Beit HaBechirah in the Mishneh Torah.

The letter Yud corresponding with the head which contains the brain of Chochmah. The Kutz or Crown at the top of Yud is Keter.

The Nexus point between the bottom of the Yud, the cross beam of the first Heh and the top of the Vav is the place of the heart which corresponds to Binah. This is why Binah is described with the qualities of breadth and depth.

The right and left arms of the first letter Heh correspond with Chesed and Gevurah.

The main body of the letter Vav corresponds with Tiferet.

The nexus point between the end of the Vav and the cross beam of the second Heh is called the end of the body. This corresponds with Yesod while the right and left legs of the second Heh correspond to Netzach and Hod.

What is called the Mouth is referring to what would correspond to the mouth of the genitals. That corresponds to Malchut.

There is a similar, but different scheme for G-d's name which corresponds to the human female. But that is not outlined in this section of the Zohar.

  • Thank you Yaacov. The most interesting part of the question for me is where he said that He identifies/personalizes with them. Can you see that in this text or any other?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Nov 22, 2022 at 19:23
  • 1
    Yes, that follows from the idea that the Sefirot are also related to the letters of G-d's name. Nov 22, 2022 at 19:27
  • Interesting, would you be able to edit your answer, include the quote, and explain how that follows briefly and I can accept it as answer. Especially how that reconciles with the passage in the above that Hashem is beyond all names
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Nov 22, 2022 at 19:29
  • 2
    בגין דישתמודעון ליה
    – shmosel
    Nov 22, 2022 at 19:42
  • 1
    FYI, ברוך הוא meaning לעצמותו (drawing down a revelation of His essence via His structure, the root of His name). וברוך שמו to the revelation of G-d below via His name and it's expansion from that initial connection downward. That ברוך with the letters is 232, ע׳ב, ס׳ג, מ׳ה, ב׳ן. Nov 22, 2022 at 20:40

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