The Theology of the “Book of Illumination” (Sefer ha-Bahir): The Sukkot Bouquet.

Wojciech Brojer

The Theology of the “Book of Illumination” (Sefer ha-Bahir): The Sukkot Bouquet.

Part 2: The Body, Space, Shekhinah

Periodical
„Kwartalnik” nr 03/2012
Publication year
2012

In the fragments of the “Book of Illumination” cited in the first part of the article and associated with the Sukkot bouquet, many times appear allusions to the human body, which we used to omit while making interpretations. The first Lulav turns out to be for the author of the treatise a very expressive anthropological model. In these fragments, assigned to Berakhah, we have a strict assignment of the elements of the bouquet to the parts of human body:

The Heart is the beauty of the fruit of the body [...] And paralleling the body is the spinal cord, which is the main part of the body.

[...]

What does the Lulav parallel? 

It is the counterpart of the spinal cord. [...]A branch of a tree of leaves

[...]

What is this like? A man has arms, and with them he protects his head. He has two arms, and his head makes three.
[It is therefore called] “a branch of a tree of leaves.” A “branch” is to the left, and the “leaves” are to the right. It then comes out that the “tree” is in the centre.

[...]

What are “willows of the brook”? 

There are two [willow branches in the Lulav,] and these parallel the two legs in man

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