The Ten-Planner

Reb Zalman says:

“I’ve worked on the design of a computer program for problem-solving, or planning, using the tradition of the sefirot / divine attributes as a methodology.  If the software is ever produced, it can be called, the ten-planner.  Here is a description of what it would look like:

“The program would systematically divide a problem into activities using the sefirot as a guide.  It would allocate intervals of time of differing duration for each activity and would do this through asking a series of questions. 

“First, it would ask keter / vision questions:  Keter questions help one to structure the time allocation for the subsequent phases to define where to spend the time.  Keter will create a balanced tree.

Chochmah / Brainstorming would ask:  ‘What do you want?’  The person would say, ‘I want x.’

Binah / Planning would say:  ‘Let’s figure out what x is.  What are all its dimensions?  What are its inputs?  What kind of planning goes into it?  What sort of a budget is needed?’  And Binah‘s answers would lead to computations and allocations.

“Da’at / Awareness would sneak in as quality control:  ‘How will we know we’ve achieved what we set out to achieve?  I, Da’at, am the feed-back loop.  When it doesn’t hit these indicators, I’ll tell you you’ve missed the mark.’

Chesed / Lovingkindness:  ‘What are my resources?  What’s available for spending in terms of time, space, energy, money, etc.?’

Gevurah / Discipline:  ‘What limits must I consider for time, space, energy, money, etc.?’

Tiferet / Balance:  ‘Who’s going to participate?’  (Tiferet has the social dimension.)

Netzach / Effectiveness, Efficiency:  ‘What kind of technology do I need to make it happen.  Who do I need with what expertise?’  (There’s a discussion between netzach and gevurahGevurah says, ‘Don’t forget your budget,’ while netzach wants to spend through the nose, so it will be super-duper good with insurance and everything built in.  Gevurah sends down a budget message, saying, ‘We can’t afford everything you want, netzach.’)

Hod / Impact:  ‘How am I going to get this idea to find space in peoples’ hearts?  How shall I market it?  How shall I package it?’

Yesod / reproducibility:  ‘How can I produce it so that today and tomorrow it can keep going and be nurtured.  I need a sustainable way.’

Malchut / Operations:  ‘Release the plan.  It has to function by itself, without being connected to the system which produced it.’

“The above, illustrates one way that we might try to apply the functions of the Sefirot in the world of Assiyah.”

Please share the ways in which you have integrated sefirot into your life.  Gabbai Seth Fishman, BLOG Editor.

3 Responses to “The Ten-Planner”

  1. Gabbai Seth Fishman (Blog Editor) Says:

    Reb Zalman talks about Participatory Epistemology, which means that as we analyze the concept of God, we also interact with those aspects of God that we analyze, so God doesn’t become an object separate from our existence; God becomes more interactive in our lives.

    That’s a benefit of this ten-planner: It brings God closer while simultaneously offering an approach that helps us help God to help us. As you move through the various dimensions of the problem, you will find yourself also creating a solution. It’s a formula for having God answer your prayers.

    I believe Reb Zalman classifies this as Binah work, a kind of discipline he was immersed in during his years of study at Chabad Lubavitch. Chabad stands for Chochmah – Binah – Daat, the top three sefirot in the worlds of Assiyah and Beriyah (in Atzilut and Yetzirah we count Keter – Chochmah – Binah and skip Daat). Chochmah and Binah are Abba and Imma and the lower sefirot (Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet, Netzach, Hod and Yesod) are the offspring of Abba and Imma. So the Binah work moves up and down the entire tree. Binah is also the source of teshuvah and it is associated with Rachel who cries for her children.

    Using the ten-planner is a way to introduce yourself to Binah work. And Binah work, ultimately brings one closer to God.

  2. Leah Vaks Says:

    Seth, I thought Bina is associated more with Leah (who weeps with no voice) while Malchut is akin to Rachel (who weeps with a voice). Leah is the spouse of Yisrael-Tiferet, while Rachel is the spouse of Yakov-Yesod. Or am I getting this mixed up?

    Concerned Leah

  3. Gabbai Seth Fishman (Blog Editor) Says:

    I tried to remember from whence this association came. I believe it comes from the haftorah on the second day of Rosh Hashanah. I once heard a sermon in which Rachel’s crying was connected with the concept of teshuvah. Also, day one and two of Rosh Hashanah are associated respectively with Chochmah and Binah (Keter/Yom Kippur, Chochmah/RH1, Binah/RH2, Chesed/Pesach, Gevurah/Shavuot, Tiferet/Sukkot, Netzach/Purim, Hod/Hanukah, Yesod/Rosh chodesh, Malchut/Shabbat).

    But you are also correct. Here’s some more from Reb Zalman. This is his pairing for the Sefirot:

    “Chesed: Abraham and Miriam
    “Who is Avraham’s Shakti as it were, his female counterpart? That is Miryam because Chesed has to do with mayim water Be’erah shel Miryam. It was because of her that we had the well the spring go with us through the desert.

    “Gevurah: Isaac and Leah
    “Leah is in the place of Gevurah.

    “Tiferet: Jacob and Hannah
    “Hannah the mother of Shmuel, the one who stands in the center and does the deep prayer, so that finally Eli the priest recognizes that she was an ishak shatruach but what happens to her? The remarkable thing that Tiferet does. When Hannah is finished with her sadness, her heaviness of spirit, u’panecha lo hayyo la od, She no longer had the sad face any more. She was beaming. That element is Yisrael.

    “Netzach: Moses and Rebecca
    “In Netzach, there is Moshe, and Rivkah, and if you look at Gevurah over here and Netzach over here, you see how mashpia mekabel going across the line from Tiferet. Watch this as you are walking how the right arm and the left leg go together, so it is Rivka and Yitzhak in this way, and it is Avraham and Sarah in the other way.

    “Hod: Aaron and Sarah
    “Sarah the priestess

    “Yesod: Tamar and Joseph
    “In Yesod we talked about how this is Tamar Tzadkah mimeni

    “Malchut: Rachel and David.
    “Rachel is the guest for Malchut.

    “For Leah and Rachel, most people will agree, although some people have different schemes.”

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