Yesod is the second of the Sefirot. As it is the Sefirah connecting ALL the ones above to Malkhut, which is associated with the world, it is called “All” (“kol”) and acts as a junction – one that can be made to open or close, by the actions of mankind.
Terms that Yesod is associated with include; Foundation, Tzaddik (Righteous One), Jacob’s Ladder, “Almighty God,” the “lower end” of the heavens, El Shaddai, El Chai, phallus, non-Lucid Mirror, procreative power, Messiah, Covenant, Brit Milah, Hidden Miracles, “all” (kol), purity, and is associated with Joseph.
It is a principle of the Tree of Life that everything passing to/from the lower physical world from/to the spiritual worlds above, passes through Yesod. This is seen on most diagrams of the Tree where Malkhut lies at the bottom with only a single path to it, descending from Yesod.
Yesod carries the primary meaning of Foundation. As the ‘foundation stone’ is seen as the “pillar,” that connects the earthly and heavenly realms. This functionality works in both directions (i.e., prayer ascending, provision descending).
Yesod’s connection to the name Shaddai is based on its connection to provision to Malkhut:
Yesod is located just above the last Sefrah of Malkhut on the Tree of Life. The path between Malkhut and all the other Sefirot goes through Yesod. As the receptacle of God’s blessings, Malkhut is considered the “pool” into which this “life” from God flows to the righteous on earth, amongst whom the Shekinah resides. In this way Yesod is the Sefirah that functions to bring God’s sustaining blessings to the world. (1)
A main concept regarding Yesod is that of the “tzadik” – the righteous person dedicated to G-d and truth. The tzadik is the one who opens the pathway, not only for himself, but more importantly for his brethren.
Proverbs 10:25 – The righteous is the foundation of the world.
The measure of God’s blessing is tied to the measure of righteousness in the world:
Bahir 102 – We learned: There is a single pillar extending from heaven to earth, and its name is Righteous (Tzadik). [This pillar] is named after the righteous. When there are righteous people in the world, then it becomes strong, and when there are not, it becomes weak. It supports the entire world, as it is written, “And Righteousness is the foundation of the world.” If it becomes weak, then the world cannot endure. Therefore, even if there is only one righteous person in the world, it is he who supports the world. It is therefore written, “And a righteous one is the foundation of the world.”
The path to Yesod is a place of “choice” for the initiate. It is where the challenges start and the real “walk” begins. It is called “the path of the Tzadik.” The cover of the text, “Sha’are Orah” indicates a man grabbing on the Tree at the point of this path.
As stated by Aryeh Kaplan in his commentary to the Bahir:
Here again, “heaven” refers to Zeir Anpin, while “earth” is Malkhut-Kingship. But in a more general sense, “earth” is the physical world, while “heaven” is the transcendental. In either case, one who wishes to ascend on high must always travel along the path from Malkhut-Kingship to Yesod-Foundation. Looking at the diagram of paths [the kabbalistic Tree of Life] it is evident that, while there are many paths interconneting the other Sefirot, there is only one path leading from Malkhut-Kingship, the lowest Sefirah, upward, and this is the path leading to Yesod-Foundation. This path is called Tzadik, the Pillar of Righteousness, represented by the letter Tav. (2)
Yesod is highly complex, appearing in multiple roles, some of which have dual aspects to them. This is because it is the Sefirah of ‘connection’ between heaven and earth and correlates to the actions of people in increasing or decreasing the presence of G-d in the world. When people do well, the ‘connection’ is ‘open’ regarding the light of G-d. When we sin, Yesod closes (‘withdraws from Malkhut’) and judgment and its consequences prevail.
MORPHEUS & NEO
Note: As Morpheus is Neo’s primary contact and teacher, we will examine several Sefirot that are exhibited through his words and actions.
Just as the Matrix world of the movie corresponds to our physical world, it is not void of spirituality. Trinity is that aspect of spirituality/truth within the Matrix that Neo first finds. Neo’s next connection after entering through the first “gate” (Trinity) is Morpheus, who functions at the second gate of Yesod (Foundation).
The path to Yesod is that of “choice” and “action” for the initiate.
Morpheus: Neo, sooner or later you’re going to realize just as I did that there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.
Just as Yesod is the “lowest” of the upper nine Sefirot and called “the “lower end” of the heavens,” so the juncture of Neo and Morpheus first meeting, is the lower end of Neo’s interaction with the reality of life beyond the Matrix.
Yesod is associated in kabbalistic writings with the male sexual organ (which connects the “body” of man to the woman). It is thus also identified with circumcision — the “sign of the covenant.”
Zohar 1:247a – Happy are they who are called righteous, for only he is so called who observes this grade [Yesod], this sign of the holy covenant. Happy are they in this world and in the world to come.
One interesting aspect of the Brit Milah is that it occurs on the 8th day – assuring that the child will pass through one Shabbat. As we have already discussed, Shabbat is associated with the Sefirah of Malkut-Kingdom, which is an aspect of Trinity in the Matrix.
A process begins where the child is slowly transitioned from the mother’s care to learning from their father. This involves hearing the importance of keeping the commandments as well as applying this understanding to their lives and doing things to draw closer to God. In the same manner, Neo had to go through Trinity before being handed off to Morpheus who then took over his learning and application.
Yesod is linked to the patriarch, Joseph, particularly with regard to sexual purity. There’s an interesting connection made between Neo and the Merovingian with respect to this:
The Merovingian also was at this level of choice:
Persephone: “He was like you, once”
But the he failed in the aspect of sexual purity:
Persephone: He’s in the ladies’ room.
Neo, like Joseph with Potifar’s wife passes the test of purity in his faithfulness to the character of Trinity. Their ‘connection’ enables him to continue to ‘climb the ladder’ to the next level(s) in his path of becoming ‘The One.’
On another note, Morpheus at some point made a choice of going from being in a personal relationship to dedicating his life full-time in service to ‘finding the One.’
Neo: What is it between them?
Trinity: Morpheus and Lock? Niobe.
Neo: Captain Niobe?
Trinity: She used to be with Morpheus. Now she’s with Lock.
Neo: What happened?
Trinity: Morpheus went to the Oracle. After that everything changed.
Neo: Yeah, she can do that.
In this manner, Morpheus resembles Moses who also place his wife in someone’s care to better serve a higher purpose.
- The Bahir: Translation, Introduction and Commentary,Aryeh Kaplan, Samuel Weiser, Inc., York Beach Maine, 1979, p.175.
- ibid, p.183.