The Truth about Kabbalah
James Scott Trimm
The Image of Elohim
The Kabbalist Isaac Luria taught that the Messiah is at the heart of Kabbalah, and certainly that is the case in the so-called New Testament. The New Testament is filled with Kabbalah. The authors of the so-called New Testament were clearly Kabbalists.
Now some have tried to argue that the Kabbalah itself is influenced by the so-called New Testament. Now of course the Rabbis of the Zohar and other Kabbalistic writings have no reason to write things that would seem to justify concepts in the so-called New Testament. But none-the-less if we also compare the writings of Philo, the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Targums, we find unshakeable evidence that these ideas predate the so-called New Testament. Therefore it will become clear that the so-called New Testament makes use of the Kabbalah and not vice versa.
The Image of Elohim
At the core of Kabbalah is the “Image of Elohim” (Gen. 1:26-27). This "image of Elohim" was a manifestation of the Godhead, which served as a model for Adam called “Adom Kadmon” (“the primordial man”). Orthodox Jew and Kabbalist Aryeh Kaplan writes:
...the form (image) of Elohim in which He created man is actually Elohim's blueprint form for man. This "form" or "blueprint" consisted of Elohim's first thought in creation, and hence the highest level of creation. This is referred to as "Adam Kadmon" (Primeval Man).
(Bahir; Aryeh Kaplan; p. 95 in Kaplans commentary to Bahir 7)
Gershom Scholem writes:
In His active manifestations, the Godhead appears as the dynamic unity of the Sefiroth, portrayed as the "tree of the Sefiroth," or the mystical human form ('Adam Kadmon), who is none other than the concealed shape of Godhead itself.
(On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead; Basic Concepts in the Kabbalah; p. 39)
However, the Sefiroth do not appear only in the shape of the tree. They also appear in the form of Primal Man ('Adam Kadmon),which corresponds to that of earthly man.
(ibid p. 43)
Philo writes similarly:
...For God does not seem to have availed himself
of any other animal existing in creation as his model
in the formation of man; but to have been guided,
as I have said before, by his own Word (Logos) alone...
(Philo; On Creation XLVIII (139))
As therefore the city, when previously shadowed out in
the mind of architectural skill had no external place, but
was stamped solely in the mind of the workman, so in
the same manner neither can the world which existed in
ideas have had any other local position except the
Logos (Word) which made them...
(Philo; On Creation V (20))
Not only does Philo identify the “Word” with this “Image of Elohim” which served as the model for our Creation. Elsewhere Philo identifies this “Word” as the Messiah:
"The head of all things is the eternal Word (Logos) of the eternal God, under which, as if it were his feet or other limbs, is placed the whole world, over which He passes and firmly stands. Now it is not because Messiah is Lord that He passes and sits over the whole world, for His seat with His Father and God but because for its perfect fullness the world is in need of the care and superintendence of the best ordered dispensation, and for its own complete piety, of the Divine Word (Logos), just as living creatures (need) a head, without which it is impossible to live."
(Q&A on Exodus, II, 117)
Likewise we read in the so-called “New Testament”:
…the Messiah, who is the likeness of Elohim.
[his Son] who is the image of the invisible Elohim..
[the Son] who is the radiance of his glory, and the image of his being…
The so-called New Testament teaches us to be conformed to this image of Elohim which was the original model for our creation:
But all of us, with open faces, behold the magnificence of YHWH as in a mirror, and we are being changed into that likeness from glory to glory as by the Spirit of YHWH.
(2Cor. 3:18) see 1Cor. 13:12; Ex. 33:18-34:8; 1Cor. 11:7
And from the first he knew he knew them and marked them out [to become] in the likeness of the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn of many brothers.
And put on the newness that is renewed by knowledge, in the likeness of his Creator.
And like we have worn the likeness of the one who is from the dust, thus we will wear the likeness of the one who is from heaven.
All of this points back to Genesis where we read:
26 And Elohim said: Let us make man in our image; after our likeness. And let them
have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.
27 And Elohim created man in His own image: in the image of Elohim created He him;
male and female created He them.
(Gen. 1:26-27 HRV)
What does this mean? Let US make man in OUR image?
The Zohar gives a very interesting answer:
And Elohim said, Let us make man (Gen. 1:26). The secret (SOD) is to them who fear him (Ps. 25:14)…
That most reverend Elder opened an exposition of this verse by saying ‘Simeon Simeon, who is it that said: “Let us make man?” Who is this Elohim?’ With these words the most reverend Elder vanished before anyone saw him.
R. Simeon, hearing that he had called him plain “Simeon”, and not “Rabbi Simeon”, said to his colleagues: ‘Of a surety this is the Holy One, blessed be He, of whom it is written: “And the Ancient of days was seated” (Dan. VII, 9). Truly now is the time to expound this mystery, because certainly there is here a mystery which hitherto it was not permitted to divulge, but now we perceive that permission is given.’
He then proceeded: ‘A king had several buildings to be erected, and he had an architect in his service who did nothing save with his consent (Prov. 8:30). The king is the supernal Wisdom above, the Middle Pillar is the king below: Elohim is the architect above, being as such the supernal Mother, and Elohim is also the architect below, being as such the Divine Presence (Shekinah) below. Now a woman may not do anything without the consent of her husband. And all the buildings were created through his Emanation (aziluth), the Father said to the Mother by means of the Word (amirah), “let it be so and so”, and straightway it was so, as it is written, “And he said, Elohim, let there be light, and there was light”: i.e. one said to Elohim, let there be light: the master of the building gave the order, and the architect carried it out immediately; and so with all that was constructed in the way of emanation.
The Zohar understands “US” and “OUR” to be reflected in the “male and female” image of Elohim mentioned in verse 27 and these are here referred to as “the Father” and “the Mother” just as YHWH is expressed as a Father (Mal. 1:6; Is. 63:16; 64:7) and as a Mother (Is. 66:13) in the Tanak.
YHWH as a “Mother” is the “Comforter” as Isaiah writes:
“As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you: and you shall be comforted
This “comforter” is what the so-called New Testament calls the Holy Spirit:
16 And I will ask of My Father, and He will give you another comforter that will be
with you forever:
17 The spirit of Truth, that the world is not able to receive, because it has not seen, and
does not know. But you know, because [the spirit] abides with you, and is in you.
26 But the comforter, the Ruach HaKodesh, whom My Father will send in My Name,
will teach you everything, and will remind you of that which I tell you.
26 But when the comforter comes, whom I will send you from My Father--the Spirit
of Truth who has proceeded from My Father--will testify concerning Me.
7 But I tell you the truth: it is profitable for you that I go: for if I do not go, the
Comforter will not come to you. But when I go, I will send the Comforter to
Now Paul writes:
"what may be known of Elohim is manifest in them [mankind] his invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead [or divine nature]..."
(Rom. 1: 19)
Then in Rom. 1:26-28 we are told that those who fail to perceive these things may fall into the errors of Homosexuality and Lesbianism. So when in creation were Elohim's invisible attributes manifested in man and made clearly seen. The answer is in the Torah, in Gen. 1:26, 27 quoted above. Paul and the Zohar are saying the same thing here.
Now following the parallelism of the passage, "Our image"; "Our likeness" and "male and female" appear to be parallel terms.
These feminine and masculine attributes are represented in the Tanak as the Father (Jer. 31:9; Mal. 1:9; Is. 63:16; 64:8), the Mother (Is. 66:13) and the Son (Prov. 30:4; Ps. 2:2, 7, 12).
The Male and Female image of Father and Mother are the Elohim which the Zohar calls the “Architect above” while the “architect below” is the “Elohim below” or the “king below” and identified as the “Middle Pillar”. Elsewhere the Zohar identifies the Middle Pillar as the “Son of Yah”:
Better is a neighbor that is near, than a brother far off.
This neighbor is the Middle Pillar in the Godhead,
which is the Son of Yah.
Here (Zohar 1:22a) the Zohar also identifies the Middle Pillar with the Word.
So the words “Let Us create man in Our own image” are spoken from the Father to the Mother (Holy Spirit) and this is the Elohim above, and these words are carried out by the Word which is the Son of Yah, the Middle Pillar, the Elohim below.
Just as we read in the so-called New Testament:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Eloah, and the Word was Eloah.
2 This was in the beginning, with Eloah.
3 Everything existed through Him, and without Him, not even one thing existed of
that which existed.
(Yochanan (John) 1:1-3 HRV)
So now we have The Zohar, Philo and the so-called New Testament teaching the same basic things about the Image of Elohim as the Word.
(To be continued in Part 3)
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