The Arizal on The Root Souls of Our Leaders: Abraham
I’m going to talk about Abraham, from various sources, the Arizal and others, discussing the root of his soul.
Abraham is a person who bridges heaven and earth. One of the Sefirot he represents is Yesod, the Sefira of connection, which makes him the one to connect Heaven and Earth.
In the seven generations prior to Abraham, each one became more distant from the Shechina, all the way through the seven heavens. Abraham and the subsequent generations managed to bring the Shechina back down to earth, but he was the first of them.
Abraham was the patriarch, the father of our nation, as Avraham Avinu, Abraham our Father. He is also considered to be the patron of all converts, and usually a convert to Judaism is given a Jewish name, including bat or bar Avraham, meaning the daughter or the son of Abraham for that reason.
The three Patriarchs came to this world to rectify the three primal sins of Adam in the garden. Abraham specifically came to rectify the sin of idol worship. He was an expert, with a tractate containing four hundred chapters, based on his expertise on the subject. Issac rectified murder and Jacob rectified lust, the other cardinal sins along with idolatry.
Abraham was told to “go where I will tell you to go,” without being told by G-d exactly where he should be going, but to have faith, and to trust he would be directed towards the land of Israel. On a deeper level, the Hebrew words Abraham was given also mean, “go into yourself,” in order to be the primal “giver” in the world.
Abraham is called “the Hebrew,” or “Ivri” in the Hebrew language, a word meaning, “from the other side.” His experience was unique, and might be described, at the time, as “me vs the entire world.” His position gave him the ability to stand up, single-handedly, against the world, by virtue of the fact he is our Patriarch.
Monotheism, or belief in G-d, was introduced into the world by Abraham. His name was originally Avram, and then the letter Hey, giving the sound of the letter “h” was added to his name when he was circumcised at the age of one hundred years. His circumcision provided a level of perfection or wholeness, and thereafter he began to receive prophesy in a conscious way, rather than an unconscious way.
Abraham’s entire life was an explication of the Sefira of Chesed. Everything he did articulated what the Sephira of Chesed is all about. He was the “merkava,” or the “seat” of Chesed in the world.
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