Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Nail and The Tree

The Tree of Life imagery began in Eden and has become a universal symbol. This symbol has become highly adjustable to convey certain truths.

In Eden, and the Book of Revelation, it represented the healing and resurrection of mankind. In Alma 32 it was a seed planted in the heart of the faithful that would bring forth the fruit of Eternal Life.

The prophet Zenos adjusted the Tree of Life imagery into, or applied its symbolism to an Olive Tree, which can represent an individual, family, tribe, or nation, as in the case of the parable of the Olive Tree found in Jacob 5 & 6.

In the Book of Creation (Sefer Yetzirah) Abraham described the Tree of Life as having ten emanations (fruit) known as Sephiroth. Jewish Mysticism teaches that some of the Sephiroth are on one side of the tree (branches), and some are on the other, and they are in fact opposing forces (for example, Justice and Mercy). That between them on the trunk of the tree are certain sephiroth that reconcile the opposing forces.

The center and primary reconciling sefira is “Tiferet” which is Hebrew for “Beauty.“ But it means more than beauty, it means reconciliation, atonement, balance, and peace. Tiferet is the stalk or the trunk of the tree. It is the symbol Christ.

In Hebrew the letter “vav” is thought of as a nail that ties things together (it is shaped like a nail). Tiferet is symbolized by the letter vav. It is the nail in the tree, that is associated with Christ, that reconciles things, to bring about salvation and exaltation.

With this learning of the Jews in mind, what must have went on in the minds of the Disciples when Jesus said He was the True Vine? He was saying that He was Tiferet.

If it is an Olive Tree, a Vine, a Sycamore, or a Cross, because they are all the same thing, Jesus the Messiah can today show you the token of the Vav in His hands.

We will get to the Tetragrammaton another day.

CLICK HERE TO ENLARGE IMAGE

9 comments:

mckenzi said...

Simply beautiful. The tree is my favorite symbol and I see it everywhere. Did you ever hear of the idea that heaven and earth may have been binary planets at one time connected by a ladder of water? Looking up into the sky was like looking at a tree or into the face of God. I will try to find you the lds author who writes of this. Does Prof. Hamblin have a web page?

David Littlefield said...

Mckenzi:

I had never heard that before, please send me info if you find it.

Regarding Prof. Hamblin, check this post out, there is a link to his BYU page, and another to download one of his papers, that I think is especially good. LINK

-David

Elijah Sandalphon said...

David- I was wondering why you decided to place the final Heh in Yesod instead of in Malkut in your diagram that accompanies this post?

David Littlefield said...

Elijah:

An interesting question. And I would not dig in on this, but my thinking, right or wrong goes like this:

As you know, I connect the four kingdoms of eternity to the placement (degrees, levels etc.) of the Sephiroth. I consider Malkhut the unredeemed physical world, that would be those on the other side of Lehi’s river, those who are not in a covenant relationship with God.

While I have not nailed down all of my thinking on this yet, I believe “heh” in the Tetragrammaton is to represent a covenant, that is why the “heh” was added to Abraham’s name when he received what we today call the Abrahamic covenant.

So, in my thinking Malkhut corresponds to “no covenant,” Yesod corresponds to the covenant of the Telestial, saved kingdom, hence the “heh.”

That is also why there is a “heh” at the next level up which corresponds to the Terrstrial kingdom, of the “Higher Covenant.”

Of course no “heh” is need at or above Keter because Keter is the realization of the covenant, not the promise.

-David

Elijah Sandalphon said...

DL- While I have not nailed down all of my thinking on this yet, I believe “heh” in the Tetragrammaton is to represent a covenant, that is why the “heh” was added to Abraham’s name when he received what we today call the Abrahamic covenant.

ES- Interesting. I think you are correct in your comment that the difference between אַבְרָם and אַבְרָהָם is of course the introduction of the ה into his name. Of course the same change is also made to the name of his wife from שָׂרָי to שָׂרָה. Of course every Kabbalists worth anything would also note where in the name the ה was added as well. Abraham has the ה added in the center of his name and associated with Yesod and his circumcision.

On the other hand Sarai losses her י and instead it is replace with a ה. The symbolism here is also fascinating as it represents her dissociation as a symbol of Binah and her new association with Malkuth and the Shekinah.

DL- So, in my thinking Malkhut corresponds to “no covenant,” Yesod corresponds to the covenant of the Telestial, saved kingdom, hence the “heh.”

ES- Ahhh I understand your attribution. You are correct מלכות can be thought of as fallen and thus its association with the unredeemed bride.However I think I would be hesitant to extend the symbolism to say that she is without covenant. Shekinah/Malkuth has already signed the ketubah and is but awaiting the arrival of the Lord.

DL- That is also why there is a “heh” at the next level up which corresponds to the Terrstrial kingdom, of the “Higher Covenant.”

ES- I thought you associated the terrestrial kingdom with ו. I think you are on to something when you say there is an upper and lower ה I think that the upper ה would be associated with either דעת or with בינה. What do you think about this?

Of course the reason I ask the question was that I have always seen the final ה associated with מלכות not with יסוד.

David Littlefield said...

Elijah Asked:

“What do you think about this?”

I think your insights are great! And I am going to think on these things a little more.

Thanks,


-David

David Littlefield said...

Apparently Abraham received two names. His common name was Abram, and was changed to Abraham. The “heh” being a sign of the covenant.

When we go to the temple we receive the Abrahamic covenant. So when we go to the temple should we add a “heh” to our names?

דוהד

Elijah Sandalphon said...

Cute! Of course as an Archangel I already have a ה in my name and an אל.

אליהו Σανδαλφών

David Littlefield said...

There is nothing like reading from the center, out in both directions, LOL

-David