I've heard it said that the seven branches of the Menorah (candelabra) in the Holy Temple represent the seven types of souls. Can you please tell me the unique characteristics of these different souls?
Man was created "in the image of G‑d" (Genesis 1:26). Among the many meanings inherent in this statement is that our souls' composition is the likeness G‑d's divine attributes.
There are seven middot (divine emotive attributes) -- Kindness, Severity, Harmony, Perseverance, Humility, Foundation, and Royalty. While every soul possesses all seven of these middot, one of these traits is most dominant, shaping the individual soul's unique service of G‑d.
Here is a brief description of the seven types of Jewish souls:
Chesed (Kindness) -- A soul whose service of G‑d is characterized by a calm and flowing love. This soul is also overflowing with love for his fellows.
Gevurah (Severity) – A soul who serves G‑d with awe and a flaming passion. This soul is also highly disciplined, with high expectations of himself and others.
Tiferet (Harmony) – The soul who has achieved a perfect synthesis of Kindness and Severity. This is accomplished through the study of Torah. Tiferet is also the source of the soul's capacity for compassion.
Netzach (Perseverance) – A soul who is constantly battling and struggling, but is ultimately triumphant.
Hod (Humility) – The soul who exemplifies self-abnegation in favor of allowing itself to be overwhelmed by G‑d's goodness.
Yesod (Foundation) – The soul whose unique talent is establishing giving relationships, intellectually or otherwise.
Malchut – (Royalty) The soul who serves its Creator in a majestic manner.
In the Tenple's menora, all seven branches were hewn from a single block of pure gold. We may have different dispositions and different methods of serving G‑d, but we are essentially one. We have one purpose and one mission, with different ways to accomplish the same goal -- serving our creator and being a menorah -- a guiding light -- for the entire world.