Overview of Sefirot/Sephirot

The sefirot are ten emanations, or illuminations of God's Infinite Light as it manifests in Creation. As revelations of the Creator's Will (רצון rɔṣon), the sefirot should not be understood as ten different "gods" but as ten different channels through which the one God reveals his will.

The sefirot are described as channels of Divine creative life force or consciousness through which the unknowable Divine essence is revealed to mankind. The first sefirah, Keter, describes the Divine superconscious Will that is beyond conscious intellect. The next three sefirot (Chokhmah, Binah and Da'at) describe three levels of conscious Divine Intellect. The seven subsequent sefirot (Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet, Netzach, Hod, Yesod and Malkuth) describe the primary and secondary conscious Divine Emotions. Two sefirot (Binah and Malkuth) are feminine, as the female principle in Kabbalah describes a vessel that receives the outward male light, then inwardly nurtures and gives birth to lower sefirot. Corresponding to this is the Female Divine Presence. Kabbalah sees the human soul as mirroring the Divine (after Genesis 1:27, "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them"), and more widely, all creations as reflections of their life source in the sefirot. Therefore, the sefirot also describe the spiritual life of man, and constitute the conceptual paradigm in Kabbalah for understanding everything. This relationship between the soul of man and the Divine, gives Kabbalah one of its two central metaphors in describing Divinity, alongside the other Ohr (light) metaphor. However, Kabbalah repeatedly stresses the need to avoid all corporeal interpretation. Through this, the sefirot are related to the structure of the body and are reformed into partzufim (personas). Underlying the structural purpose of each sefirah is a hidden motivational force which is understood best by comparison with a corresponding psychological state in human spiritual experience. (Wikipedia)

The "classical Kabbalah" Kaplan refers to is above all encapsulated in the Zohar and the later works derived from it. According to those sources, the Sefirot are often given diverse names, but the chiefly used terms are: Keter - "Crown": Divine Will to create/Infinite Light of the Creator/the Hebrew name of God "Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh-I Am that I Am" Chokhmah - "Wisdom": First unbounded flash of an idea before it takes on limitations/male light/Divine Reality/first revelation/creation from nothingness Binah - "Understanding": the infinite flash of Chochmah brought into the vessel of understanding to give it grasp of breadth and depth/feminine vessel that gives birth to the emotions/reason/understanding brings teshuva return to God Da'at - "Knowledge": Central state of unity of the 10 sefirot, also called the Tree of Life.[citation needed] Chesed - "Kindness": Loving grace of free giving/love of God/inspiring vision Gevurah - "Severity": Strength/discipline/judgment/withholding/awe of God Tiferet - "Beauty": Symmetry/balance between Chesed and Gevurah in compassion Netzach - "Eternity": 'perpetuity', 'victory', or 'endurance' Hod - "Splendor": Withdrawal/Surrender/sincerity Yesod - "Foundation": Connecting to the task to accomplish/wholly remembering/coherent knowledge Malkuth - "Kingship": Exaltedness/Humility. All the other Sefirot flow into Malkuth (like the moon which has no light of its own), and it is the final revelation of the Divine; the receiver and the giver

Sefirot/Sephirot - Crown

The first Sephirah is called the Crown, since a crown is worn above the head. The Crown therefore refers to things that are above the mind's abilities of comprehension. All of the other Sephirot are likened to the body which starts with the head and winds its way down into action. But the crown of a king lies above the head and connects the concept of "monarchy", which is abstract and intangible, with the tangible and concrete head of the king. (Wikipedia)