Tiphareth: The Beauty

Tiphareth in Hebrew תִּפְאֶרֶת means “glory” or “splendor”, it is the sixth sefira in the cabalistic tree of life, and has in common the association of “Spirituality”, “Balance”, “Integration”, “Beauty” and “Compassion”.

In the Bahir we read: “Sextus is adorned, glorious, enchanting throne of glory, the home of the world to come. His place is engraved in wisdom as ‘GOD said: Let there be light, and light was”.

Tiphareth is the force that integrates the Sefira of Chesed (“compassion”) and Gevurah (“Strength, or judgment”), these two forces are, respectively, expansive (giving) and restrictive (receiving), one without the other could not manifest the flow of divine energy. They must be balanced in perfect proportion by balancing compassion with discipline, and this balance can be seen in the role of Tiphareth, where conflicting forces are harmonized and creation flourishes. Tiphareth also balances Netzach and Hod in a similar way, in this case Hod can be seen as intellect and Netzach as emotion.

Tiphareth is the only one among Sephirot that is connected to all others except Malkuth, its position in the center between Keter and Yesod indicates to many Kabbalists that it is a kind of “conversion” of the sefirah between form (Yesod) and strength (Keter). In other words, all the intersections on the central path via Tiphareth determine a polarity inversion. The law of conservation, valid for both energy and mass, tends to confirm this, in all cases of energetic transmutation, as can happen in the transmission of gifts and goods from parents to their children, a sacrifice is necessary for a new form to be born.

Tiphareth is the center of the tree, and five Sefirot surround it: above are Chesed on the right (south) and Gevurah on the left (north), and below are Netzach on the right, Hod on the left and Yesod directly below. Together these six are one entity, Zer Anpin, which is the male counterpart of the Malkuth female sefira. In certain contexts, Tiphareth alone represents the whole sefirot of Zer Anpin, so that the whole tree appears with only five sefirots: Keter, Chochmah, Binah, Binah, Tiferet and Malkhut.

In both the Jewish tree of life and the hermetic tree, Tiphareth has eight paths leading (counterclockwise) to Keter (through Daat), Binah, Gevurah, Hod, Yesod, Netsach, Chesed and Chokmah.

Tiphareth can also be a variant of the word “Tifarah” and in modern Hebrew used in Israel is translated as “Glory” (from GOD – “ELOHIM, ADONAY).

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