Yechidah

Yechidah (Hebrew YChDH, «only one») in Kabbalistic theory is the highest aspect of the human soul corresponding to the first Sephirah Kether, and is included in the neshamah.

The yechidah closely corresponds to the Neoplatonist concept of the scintilla or synteresis, the spark of divine light at the center of the self. A.G.H.

 

Yechidah and the Kabbalah

Yechidah, within the context of Kabbalistic theory, represents the highest level of the human soul, deeply intertwined with mystical and spiritual concepts of Judaism. It holds a significant place in the understanding of the human soul’s structure and its relationship with the divine.

 

Kabbalistic Soul Theory

  • Five Levels of the Soul: In Kabbalah, the soul is believed to comprise five levels or aspects, each with its own unique role and function. These are Nefesh, Ruach, Neshamah, Chayah, and Yechidah.
  • Highest Aspect: Yechidah is considered the highest and most sublime aspect of the human soul.

 

Association with Kether

  • Connection to Kether: In the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, Yechidah is associated with Kether, the first Sephirah. Kether represents the highest, most abstract form of divinity.
  • Divine Unity: Yechidah embodies the idea of divine unity and oneness, reflecting the soul’s ultimate connection with the divine source.

 

Neshamah and Yechidah

  • Part of Neshamah: While distinct in its function and level, Yechidah is included within the broader aspect of Neshamah, which represents the higher, spiritual parts of the soul.

 

Neoplatonist Parallels

  • Scintilla or Synteresis: Yechidah shares similarities with the Neoplatonist concept of the scintilla or synteresis. This concept refers to the spark of divine light or the innermost spiritual essence within the self.
  • Core of Self: Both Yechidah and the Neoplatonist scintilla represent the deepest, most divine aspect of the human being, essentially the core of the self that remains eternally connected to the divine.

 

Spiritual Significance

  • Divine Spark: Yechidah is often described as the divine spark or the purest emanation of the divine presence within the human soul.
  • Goal of Mystical Ascent: In Kabbalistic and Jewish mystical practices, the realization or revelation of Yechidah within oneself is often seen as the ultimate goal of spiritual ascent and enlightenment.

 

Contemporary Interpretations

  • Modern Kabbalah: In contemporary Kabbalistic study and practice, Yechidah continues to be a central concept in understanding the soul’s journey and its relationship with the divine.
  • Symbol of Unity: Yechidah is seen as a symbol of the unity and oneness of all creation, reflecting the soul’s ultimate return to its divine source.

Source:

Greer, John Michael. The New Encyclopedia of the Occult. St. Paul, MN, Llewellyn Worldwide. p. 524