Kabbalah: Golem

The Golem's vitality

Kabbalah's Secret Circles by Robert ZuckerNew book on the legends and history of Kabbalah and the Book of Creation, Kabbalah's Secret Circles! Read some of the chapters and download a free PDF sample of the book to preview. This page contains notes from the book.

By Robert Zucker

The Golem is said to possess a certain amount of vitality, hiyyut, which is the source of its acts. This vitality does not stem from the earth or dust which constitutes the body of the Golem, as Scholem implied, but comes from the “supernal light.”

According to R. Meir ibn Gabbai, in his "Avodat ha-Qodesh” the encounter between the nefesh and ruah in a body constitutes the hiyyut, the human vitality activating the human body. The intermitent descent of the ruach during the limited period of 12 months after death, enables the emergence of the hiyyut.

The hiyyut is conceived here as the result of an interaction between the descending .ruah and the nefesh still in the grave;. It is not considered to be a bodily force. The vegetavie soul has no hiyyut, according to Nahmanides; view in his Commentary to Gen. 1:20. Abraham Ibn Ezra; included the hiyyut; wwith the faculties of nefesh, rua; and neshamah ;in his “Yesod Mora’” chapter 7.

“...This is why they and their pronunciation are fraught by Gd with power to make a formation [yezur] and give it [that is, the golem [vitality [hiyyut] and a soul; [neshamah].

R. Eleazar of Worms,”Commentary on Sefer Yezirah,” the first mention of the letter combination; technique since the Tamludic passage.

In the “Amirat ha-’otiyyot,” it states that Gd conferred life upon the creatures by the “vapor of the prounciation of the letters.” Idel believes this explains the role of the pronunciation of the letters. That is to induce vitality into the dust.

Idel further states that the combination of the letters of the Divine Names; (HWY, the vowels;, the soul of the letters) may respectively reflect the formation of the limbs, or their animation, and the infusing of the su;l in the golem.

“The Vital Spirit”

Some have introduced a fifth principle of the soul;, called the “vital spirit;” (hbuhj jur) Ruach He-yuni; or simply (jhj) He-yoh. The seat of this principle is in the heart; and presides over the combination and organization of the material elements.

It is derived from the allegorical passage of the Zohar where it says that every night during sleep our soul ascends to heaven to render account there of the day’s work, and during that time the body is animated only by a breath of life which has its seat in the heart.

Avodat ha-Qodes is the encounter between the nefesh; and rua; in a body constitutes the hiyyut;, the human vitality activating the human body. The intermitent descent of the ruach, during the limited period.

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