What is the Tetragrammaton?
The Tetragrammaton is one of the names of Hashem [י-ה-ו-ה]. In English, we write it YHV”H or YHW”H.
The Tetragrammaton is also called HaShem, literally meaning “The Name”.
What is special about the Tetragrammaton [YHWH, YHVH]?
What is particularly special about the name of Hashem YHW”H?
The name of Hashem YHW”H is the first channel of the light of Hashem. Through that channel, all the other names in the Torah get filled.
All names of Hashem that are in the whole Torah receive their abundance of light through the Tetragrammaton YHV”H.
Why is this important?
This concept is really important for anyone that wants to do Kabbalistic meditation because the vast majority of the kabbalistic name meditations are the names of Hashem connected to the Tetragrammaton [YHW”H].
Many people don’t know this connecting principle. They will just look at all of the Kabbalistic Names and just meditate on those names without knowing how to connect the names with the name of Hashem YHV”H.
Anytime that you want to meditate on anything, the first thing you need to do is to visualize the Tetragrammaton YHV”H. Have in mind to fill the name of Hashem YHV”H with light. This needs to be practiced. Then you can continue from there to any other meditation on all kinds of different Names.
What if you don’t connect to YHW”H first?
This is the meaning of the concept of “mekazetz benetiyot” [cutting one’s plantings]. Somebody that doesn’t know how to connect to the Source, the Tetragrammaton, is called one who “cuts his plantings”. This literally means to cut a plant from an orchard.
There’s a well-known Midrash that is brought down in many books and its source is in Masechet Chagiga. It says that four Rabbis entered Pardes [literally this is called an Orchard] which refers literally to the Spiritual Realm.
Four Rabbis entered the Pardes. And they were Rabbi Akiva, Elisha Ben Avuyah, Ben Azzai, and Ben Zoma.
So between these four rabbis, Rabbi Akiva was the only one that entered in shalom and left in shalom.
Another one was Ben Azzai, he went crazy. Ben Zoma was killed.
Alysha Ben Avuyah became an Apikores [heretic]. He denied the Torah. The way that they explain what happened to him is “cutting his plantings”.
Why does it say about Elisha that he cut out his plantings? In an orchard when you harvest whats grown it’s a positive thing, yet conversely when you have something that you just planted and you cut it at its root and you don’t let it grow is a negative thing.
When meditating on names of Hashem you must connect it to higher names and so on until the Infinite Hashem himself.
So when someone is looking at these Names as separate, he’s cutting the plant from its Source, from its nourishment, and from the root.
So that’s why it is very important to build your practice of meditation in the right way. Not to try to jump, some people try to jump and sometimes it is positive sometimes it works. It’s possible, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Better just to start with meditations like what we are teaching.
The Tetragrammaton [YHW”H, YHV”H] and the Soul
According to the Kabbalah, The soul consists of five parts.
In ascending order and in Hebrew they are called Nefesh, Ruach, Neshamah, Chayah, and Yechidah.
The primary parts are Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshamah. The Chayah is high and the Yechidah is even higher.
These levels of the soul correspond to the Tetragrammaton YHW”H.
- The Yechida corresponds to the top of the Yud [י], the first letter of the Tetragrammaton
- The Chaya corresponds to the rest of the letter Yud [י]
- Neshama corresponds to the letter Hay [ה], the second letter of the Tetragrammaton
- Ruach corresponds to the letter Vav [ו], the third letter of the Tetragrammaton
- Nefesh corresponds to the letter Hay [ה], the fourth and last letter of the Tetragrammaton
The Tetragrammaton and the Spiritual Worlds
There are four primary spiritual worlds and one even higher above them.
The four primary spiritual worlds are Asiyah, Yetzirah, Beriah, and Atzilut.
Above them, we have the world of Adam Kadmon.
How do they correspond to the Tetragrammaton?
- Adam Kadmon corresponds to the top of the Yud [י], the first letter of the Tetragrammaton
- Atzilut corresponds to the rest of the letter Yud [י]
- Beriah corresponds to the letter Hay [ה], the second letter of the Tetragrammaton
- Yetzirah corresponds to the letter Vav [ו], the third letter of the Tetragrammaton
- Asiyah corresponds to the letter Hay [ה], the fourth and last letter of the Tetragrammaton
If you are quick, you will see that this is the same breakdown that we had with the levels of the soul.
From this breakdown, we see that the levels of the soul correspond to the spiritual worlds.
That’s one way to bring it all together. Combine all of these principles and meditate on them.