Singing the Worlds Beyond
The Holy Ari wrote the lyrics, Baal HaSulam wrote the melody, and together the two giant Kabbalists left us with a unique (and melodic) way to climb to the spiritual worlds—in song.
Kabbalists have always been writing lyrics and composing melodies inspired by their profound bond with the Creator. Songs surge from their hearts like tidal waves of overflowing joy. And indeed, can there be a greater inspiration for music than the Giver of life to the whole of reality?
Yet, a song in Kabbalah is not meant to express mere impressions of contact with the Creator, though this is a vital part of it. Kabbalists compose songs in a very special way, evoking special emotions in the listener. Through songs, Kabbalists hope to help us experience spirituality, too. For this reason they write their songs like a prayer for correction, providing us with direct and instantaneous connection to the Source of life.
A Bond of Love
When a Kabbalist experiences the Upper World, he or she enters another realm of reality. Past, present, and future merge into a single stream of life, and the Kabbalist experiences all the souls united in the eternal love of the Single Force that operates and governs all of life. But most of all, a Kabbalist discovers that being in the spiritual reality is possible only through the bond of love between the Kabbalist and all other souls. It is for this love that Kabbalists try so diligently to share their spiritual experiences with us. Their sole wish is that we, too, will discover and feel the kind of life offered when we bond with the Creator of reality. In their songs, they call this “being filled with the Upper Light.”
The Holy Ari revealed the secrets of the Upper World and described them in great detail in his books: worlds, Sefirot, souls, positive and negative forces. But to those devoid of contact with the spiritual world, these words are meaningless. Ordinary people cannot emotionally relate to them.
Thus, the only one way we can relate to what we do not understand is through our hearts. And what better way to open our hearts than through song? Hence, through lyrics and tunes, Kabbalists designed for us another entry to experience the wholeness and eternity of the spiritual reality. This is also why, along with the complex books they composed, both the Ari and Baal HaSulam blessed us with songs and melodies.
From the Tune to the Heart
Baal HaSulam, the greatest Kabbalist of our time, left us a special gift. Alongside his vast written works—The Sulam (Ladder) Commentary on The Book of Zohar, The Study of the Ten Sefirot, and other monumental pieces—he composed melodies for each of the Ari’s poems. Because Baal HaSulam achieved the same spiritual degree as the Ari, he was able to compose melodies to work in perfect harmony with the Ari’s words, enhancing the former’s words with the latter’s tunes. Thanks to his work, the inspiration from the Ari’s words permeates the heart and gently heals the soul. Every time we listen to the songs, the words and the melodies play the chords of our souls, fine-tuning them towards the goal of perfection.
Even if we are not yet corrected, we can always feel the deep emotions in the songs. If we wish to feel what the Kabbalist must have felt while writing these songs, we will sympathize to some extent with the sublime state described in the music. Thus, that higher state would “shine” on us with what Kabbalists refer to as “Surrounding Light”—a special power that can reform us and help us achieve bonding with the Upper World. Gradually, the Surrounding Light admits us into the perfect state, the root from which our soul came into our world. When we achieve that state to the fullest, the words and music will embrace us like the Surrounding Light, and we will achieve our life’s goal—bonding with the Upper Force, the Creator. And all we need to do for that to happen is listen.
Kabbalah Music on www.kabbalah.info
The Kabbalah Music section on www.kabbalah.info contains hours of listening for your innermost spiritual experiences, featuring melodies of the 20th century’s greatest Kabbalist, Baal HaSulam (Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag) played by musicians from around the globe, in instrumental, modern, classical, jazz and electronic arrangements.