In Kabbalah our inquiries are about the conversations we have within Consciousness. There are higher thoughts called holiness that emanate from the First Principle or Qudsha Brikh Hu and there are lower thoughts that are the result of the degradation of thought. Ultimately lower thoughts are given the name of Gehinnom or Hell.
Now what happens to the soul that lives inside this mesh of thoughts depends upon the attention that is placed either higher or lower. Attention is the momentum builder and this is what makes the result of thought so important in terms of our life experiences.
There is one thing that must be told in terms of the degradation of thoughts and that is that their ultimate demise is a dissipation of thought resulting in the reabsorption of thought always above. This dissipation comes about through a definite lack of attention placed below which causes these lower thoughts to lose the energy of their own perpetuation.
What happens is that higher thought ultimately rules because it is Eternal in nature all abiding and continuously there. This accounts for Infinite Mercy meaning that once we let go of our lower thoughts the thoughts of holiness are what are left for us to attach ourselves to.
This attachment to holiness is effected by another Eternal concept and that is the Shekhinta (Divine Presence in Aramaic) which is ever the connecting link between the individual soul and the higher thoughts of unification. This connecting link or Shekhinta is the bridge between a limited vision of reality and the effectuation of the unified awareness.
It is important to read Torah, Zohar, and all the associated works with this aim in mind. We need to get past the various symbols aligning them up with their counterparts within consciousness so that we can discern the place in mind we inhabit in any given instance of being.
Therefore in your studies pay careful attention to the symbols yes but what is even more important is for you to give your attention to the meanings behind the symbols. In this way the secrets of the universe are revealed to you one by one each fitting into their prescribed place in the unified field of awareness.