One of the most interesting aspects for the first time readers of this chapter is the emphasis that Pike places on Kabbalistic teaching.
"YOD is, in the Kabbalah, the symbol of unity, of the supreme deity, the first letter of the Holy name; and also a symbol of the great Kabbalistic triads. To understand its mystic meanings , you must open the pages of the Sophar and Siphra de Zeniutha, and other Kabbalistic books, and ponder deeply upon their meaning. "
So what is the linkage between Freemasonry and the Kabbalah? - there have been several Masonic writers who draw parallels between Masonry and Kabbalistic teaching - Bro. Schwartz of New Jersey states
"There is no doubt that there is a confluence between Freemasonry and the Hebrew religion"
This seems a logical statement since Freemasonry has its major motif of King Solomon's Temple. But what of the Kabbalah?
"Kabbalistic speculation and doctrine is concerned with the realm of divine emanations or Sefiroth, in which God's creative power unfolds" - Gershom Scholem
Charles Ponce asserts that the Sefiroth and En-Sof are the major concepts in the Kabbalah, Ein-Sof meaning 'without end' - the Sefiroth are the ten points of light emanating from Ein-Sof (God). Ponce also looks at the Merkabah - the 'myth' of the chariot throne of God, which can be reached by knowing the correct words to go through the various celestial chambers - much like the Freemason needing to know the certain words to facilitate his entrance into the lodge at various levels.
"The Kabbalists believe that the transmission of the name of God from master to pupil is part of the rites of initiation. The newly-raised brother also recieves a word in a certain manner, which is never used in normal conversation. "