The well- known Kabbalist Moses Cordovero states in Deborah’s Palm Tree: ‘Man stands between the two females, the physical female (his wife) who receives from him food, clothing and sexual activities; and the Shekinah who stands above him to bless him with these (3 things) which he, in turn, gives to his covenantal wife.’
As Rabbi Akiba ben Joseph the convert taught: ‘Husband and wife: if they are worthy, Shekinah abides between them; if not, fire consumes them.’” (Talmud: Sotah 17a)
“If you are really interested in Kabbalah and especially the ten sefirot image of the primordial Adam; you need to know that medieval Kabbalah succumbed to Greek sexist concepts.
In Biblical days, Israel recognized and revered female prophets like Miriam (Exodus 15:20) and Huldah (2 Kings 22). It was evident to everyone that Adam was a bi-gender creature created in God’s image: “So God created Adam (Kadmon) in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)
This was the primordial Adam Kadmon. In post Biblical days, when Israel’s all male rabbis thought about Adam Kadmon, they pictured a solo male figure standing upright, and not a face to face hugging couple figure kneeling or sitting as indicated by Genesis 1:27.
Most Kabbalists used the solo male, standing upright, ladder like image; rather than the non-hierarchical, concentric spheres form of the radiating and expanding sefirot. As the Zohar states: (3:209a) “When the King joins with Matrona (Shechinah) keter ascends and settles on the head of Matrona.
Our generation has been blessed to be the first generation with female rabbis and female Kabbalists in fulfillment of the statement: “He placed keter malchut – the crown of the kingdom on her head. (Esther 2:17)
Thus today’s mystics, aided by Jewish feminists, should switch to the (A) egalitarian concentric radiating and expanding spheres, or the (B) couple shape, to enable us to make progress in spreading advanced Jewish teachings.
I myself prefer the hugging seated couple shape because it makes it easier to depict the Merkavah/Shekinah relationship of a committed, loving, couple covenant; as described in the Song of Songs (2:1-3:4) rather than the vertical palm tree image of Song of Songs 7:1-11.
There are a few artistic concepts of a bi-gender hugging couple Adam Kadmon figure that could bring better understanding of the sefirot to all mystics.
For more insights and information about bi-gender images of Adam HaKadmon see pages 250-255 in my new book Which Religion Is Right For You? a Kuzari for the 21st century. Hadassa Word Press ISBN (978-620-2-45517-6) Amazon