[[Kabbalah|Kabbalists]] have used many synonyms for the ''sefirot'' including: emanations, vessels, lights, stages, pillars, garments and inner faces of God. Each name describes another aspect of the nature and function of the sefirot.
The term ''sefirot'' first appeared in the Sefer Yetzirah (the “Book of Formation” or the “Book of Creation”), the oldest known Hebrew text on cosmology. Tradition says that the priest [[Melchizedek]] revealed the teachings recorded in the Sefer Yetzirah to the patriarch [[Abraham]], who either recorded them himself or transmitted them orally to his sons.
The tenth ''sefirah'', ''Malkhut'' (“Kingdom”), also called ''Shekhinah'' (“Divine Presence”), is at the base of the Tree of Life. In Kabbalah, ''Shekhinah'' figures as the mother of the world. ''Malkhut/Shekhinah'' is at the nexus of two worlds, representing the point where spiritual and physical forces meet. In the world of the ''sefirot'', she is the lowest point; in our world, she is the uppermost point. Thus ''Malkhut'' serves as both the channel through which the divine forces of the ''sefirot'' flow downward to this world as well as the gate through which we on earth reach upward to God. ''Malkhut'' is the gate we must pass through as we begin our ascent up the ladder of the ''sefirot'' to ''Ein Sof''.
== See also ==