Upper and Lower Worlds

By Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David (Greg Killian)


In this paper I would like to understand how the human body can tell us about the Olam HaBa, the upper world, and this world, which is the lower world.


The head is the part of the human body which tells us about the upper world. The body, from the shoulders downward, teaches us about the lower world. The neck, which connects the body to the head, teaches us about that which connects the upper and lower worlds.


The Brit


There are two covenental parts of the body:


   1.  “Brit HaLashon”, the covenant of the tongue.

2.     Brit Milah”, the covenant of circumcision.


The Sepher Yetzirah 1:3. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: The number of the ten fingers, five opposite five, with a single covenent precisely in the middle, like the circumcision of the tongue and the circumcision of the membrum.


The Sepher Yetzirah 6:4. And when Abraham our father gazed, he looked, saw, delved, understood, engraved, carved, permuted and depicted, and he was successful. And the Master of all, Blessed be He, revealed Himself to him, and took him in His bosom, [kissed him on the head, and called him, “my Beloved”]. He made a covenant with him between the ten toes of his feet-this is the covenant of circumcision-and between the ten fingers of his hand-this is the covenant of the tongue. He bound the twenty-two letters to his tongue and revealed their foundation. He drew them in water, burned them in fire, agitated them with breath. He ignited them with seven planets, and directed them with twelve constellations.



The Brit Milah, the male organ, is used to bring a soul down from the upper world and clothe it in a physical body. The father’s sperm, a mother, and HaShem work together to draw a soul down from the upper world. This soul is then given a physical body with which to elevate itself by performing the will of HaShem.


The Brit HaLashon, the tongue, is used to bring a soul in a physical body, into the the Olam HaBa, the world to come. A teacher’s words, ears to hear, and HaShem work together to lead a soul from this world into the upper world, the Olam HaBa.


In the lower world, physical sperm is used to draw a soul from the upper world and give that soul physical life.


In the lower world, non-physical words are used to draw a soul from the lower world and give that soul spiritual life.


Horayoth 13a GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: If a man and his father and his teacher were in captivity he takes precedence over his teacher and his teacher takes precedence over his father, while his mother takes precedence over all of them.


The Talmud, in Horayoth 13a, suggests that if one’s father and one’s teacher were both drowning, G-d forbid, a man is required to save his teacher first, unless his father also paid for the torah teaching for his son. The logic for this is as follows:  A man’s father brings him into this world, but a teacher brings a man into the next world, the Olam HaBa.


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The Four Worlds; Isaiah 43:7

Azilut -   World of Emanation - The Divine

Beriah - World of Creation - The Spiritual             

Yetzirah - World of Formation

Assiyah -  World of Action - The Physical   







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This study was written by

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

(Greg Killian).

Comments may be submitted to:


Greg Killian

4544 Highline Drive SE

Olympia, WA 98501


Internet address:  gkilli@aol.com

Web page:  http://www.betemunah.org/


(360) 918-2905


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