Printed from
Kabbalah teaches that to understand G‑d's unity, one must understand His Divine Names.

Tree Trunk Tetragrammaton

Tree Trunk Tetragrammaton

Beginner Beginner
Tree Trunk Tetragrammaton
Kabbalah teaches that to understand G‑d's unity, one must understand His Divine Names.

The essence of faith and the basis for understanding the unity of G‑d is to understand the applications for each Name. For all His Names that are mentioned in the Torah are included in the Tetragrammaton, Havayah, which is similar to a tree trunk. Each of the other Names - those which I have compared to roots and branches and other hidden treasures - has a unique function.

Each of the other Names...has a unique function.

It is just like a storehouse which has several rooms. Each room within the storehouse has a specific identity: one room has precious gems, one has silver, another has gold, while another has different kinds of food and another has drinks. If a person needs food, he may starve to death if he doesn't know how to get to the room, even though the rooms are full. It is not because his request has been denied. He is simply not aware of which room he needs.

So it is with the comprehension of the blessed Holy Names: there are Names in charge of prayer, mercy and forgiveness, while others are in charge of tears and sadness, injury and tribulations, sustenance and income, or heroism, loving-kindness and grace.

If one does not know how to concentrate on the very Name which is the key to the answer of his request, then who is to blame if the request is not granted? It is his own foolishness and ignorance, as it is written: "A man's folly subverts his ways, and his heart rages against G‑d." (Proverbs 19:3)

G‑d is open to everyone.

For G‑d is open to everyone. It is the foolishness of man that is to blame - like the one who does not know to which room he should go and therefore returns empty-handed. Yet, man thinks this evil thought, that G‑d thwarted him from getting what he needed. This, however, is not the truth, for his own foolishness has let him down. This is it is written: "It is your iniquities that have diverted these things, your sins have withheld the bounty from you." (Jeremiah 5:25)

One must therefore familiarize oneself with the ways of the Torah and know the purpose of the Holy Names. He should be expert in them, and when he needs to request something from G‑d, he should concentrate on the Name designated to handle that question. If he does so, then not only will his request be granted, but he will be loved in the heavens and beloved in the world; he will inherit both This World and the Next.

[From "Gates of Light - Sha'arei Orah", p.13 (Harper Collins)]

Rabbi Joseph Gikatila 5008 - c. 5070 (1248- c. 1310 CE) born in Medinaceli, Castile and lived in Segovia for many years. Between 1272-1274 studied with Avraham Abulafia who praised him as his most successful student. In his books Ginat Egoz, Shaarei Orah, Shaarei Tzedek, Shaar HaNikud, he developed a highly systemic approach to Kabbala. Was apparently friendly with Moshe de Leon around 5040 (1280' s CE).
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
1000 characters remaining
Eleazar Shlomo San Francisco February 4, 2015

Anonymous Chicago Thank you for that.....beautiful. Reply

Anonymous Chicago via January 13, 2015

The Name Havaya and the Tree The letter Yod represents the seed, that point which begins the process.

The first letter Heh are the roots of the tree.

The letter Vav is the trunk, as hinted by the shape of the letter, a line. The Vav too stands for the branches, as its gematria of 6 represent the 6 extremities or branches of Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet, Netzach, Hod and Yesod.

The final letter Heh stands for the fruit, the final product of the tree. Reply

Mark Margaret, Alabama November 2, 2014

The names of YHVH Knowing that you and I can connect to the Creator by calling on any one of the of names of G-d is a great thing to know and a powerful tool to be used in these days that we are living in. As this knowledge is not known to all persons and I count myself blessed and you should count yourself blessed for He has made himself known to you and I through His name. Blessed be He! Reply

Eleazar Shlomo ben Yakov Goldman Guanajuato, MEXICO April 18, 2014

The Ramchal and the Holy Shemot Anonymous:
Yes, the Ramchal and all the kabbalists know about Hashems NAMES, and how they should be used. Yoseph Gikatilla, in his work Sha'ar Orah covers the Holy use of the NAMES in much more depth than the Ramchal. All too often in Hermetic Cabala, the NAMES are not approached with the AWE and LOVE necessary to enter the outer gates. Reply

Anonymous new york April 16, 2014

What jews believe in i agree with you elazar- i saw in the holy work "derech Hashem" by the Ramchal (Rabbi moshe chaim luzzato) a section having to do JUST with G-ds names, and there these inyanim are explained so beautifully and in a way that makes beautiful sense that the heart feels calm and at ease to hear such words of truth. please if you can go check it out! Fortunate are you jewish people the chosen of G-d. Reply

Eleazar Shlomo ben Yakov Goldman Guanajuato, MEXICO January 23, 2014

What Jews believe in There are very many places in TORAH that don't make rational sense. The story of LOT and his daughters, the story of the splitting of the Red Sea, the story of Noah are just a few that defy rational investigation. I've yet to meet anyone who knows the will of the Most-High and can call on Him. Most people are too corrupted to even contemplate G-d's Names Reply

Anonymous new york January 5, 2014

sheimot of G-d vs ain od milvado from my little understanding....this type of information can throw someone very off from judiasm. we don't believe that we "bribe" G-d with different names of His, we believe that the Infinite being runs the show, and does what ever he wants and answers whom ever calls to Him in truth and in humility. so i think there is a seeming big clash between sod and nigleh Reply

Eleazar Shlomo ben Yakov Goldman GUANAJUATO, MEXICO January 21, 2013

Properly prepare oneself to enter the KINGS chambers Just as one wouldn't think to visit a dignitary of a nation wearing dirty or improper clothes, or worse, going much more important to not only wear outer clean and special garments, but also the interior garments of the mind and emotions that also should be clean, tranquil and prepared with prayers and special focus when seeking to entreat the King of Kings. Then one may seek the revelatory knowledge (kabbalah) regarding these things and more. The sages of Israel have said that Jews are not fatalistically destined by astrological forces, because we have been given direct access to G-d through His Names, but only when we approach those Names with great fear and love. Reply

Yehuda Hodara Sao Paulo, Brasil January 16, 2012

Tree Trunk Tetragrammaton Even though I don'y know the meaning of each name. HE has never abandoned me or my family when I pray with my heart. Reply

Anonymous via January 16, 2012

HaShem's Holy Names... If I may say so.... it would be very good to have a study on the different Names of HaShem so that we might call on the correct Name. We're not trying to study the deeper Kabbalah teaching, we are just students trying to learn. If we don't have the correct usage of His Name, it will not help us to call on the wrong Name of HaShem.

Thank you for this article. Excellent teaching. Reply

Anonymous jacksonville, fl via December 27, 2010

significance of the letters in God's name. I don't think the significance of God's names in each letter is not revealed enough for novice students or persons who are interested in Kabbalah. There are so many that were raised in other religions that blinded many from the truth.
This is why in today's civilizations, these Hebrew letters of God should be revealed and taught more: even if it means having a website-like dictionary or other reference to show what each of these letters mean. It is just not enough resources to show the significance of the letters. Reply

Rabbi Yerachmiel Tilles via October 25, 2009

Reply to Anonymous from Rome Try going to "find a center" on home page and typing in your city Reply

Anonymous Rome, Italy via October 23, 2009

Finding the right door (Holy Names) Very very interesting!
But to be useful, pls let me know -and whoever asks- where can we find a spiritual help in our own city. Problems are sometimes paramount and we still aren't able to find the door... Reply

The larger, bold text is the direct translation of the classic text source.

The smaller, plain text is the explanation of the translator/editor.
Text with broken underline will provide a popup explanation when rolled over with a mouse.