A report on Ein Sof and Seder hishtalshelus

The sefirot consist of lights invested in vessels, similar to water poured into a glass. While taking on the shape of the glass, the water is essentially unchanged.
Metaphorical diagram of the Kav thin line of light descending from the Ohr Ein Sof into the Khalal vacuum to emanate the concealed 10 sephirot in Adam Kadmon
Diagram of the Partzufim countenances, Reishin heads, and Dikna beard Divine aspects configurations in Atziluth
Hebrew prophets envisioned the Throne of God of Beriah with angelic retinue. In Kabbalah Isaiah 6 saw from Beriah, Ezekiel 1 saw from Yetzirah
Contemplation of Divine emanations in Theosophical Kabbalah enables the advantage of the esoteric scholar over the prophet's visions in cognitive understanding of higher levels of Divinity

Ein Sof, or Eyn Sof (, ʾēyn sōf; meaning "infinite", literally "without end"), in Kabbalah, is understood as God prior to any self-manifestation in the production of any spiritual realm, probably derived from Solomon ibn Gabirol's ( 1021 – 1070) term, "the Endless One" (she-en lo tiklah).

- Ein Sof

Ein Sof ("No End" - classic term for the Unknowable God in Kabbalah, God as Infinite lifesource continuously sustaining all Creation into Existence, above Being/Non-Being, reciprocally Becoming through the totality of Creation by the divine souls of Man )

- Seder hishtalshelus
The sefirot consist of lights invested in vessels, similar to water poured into a glass. While taking on the shape of the glass, the water is essentially unchanged.

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Joseph Karo synagogue in Safed. The 1538 Safed attempt by Jacob Berab to restore traditional Semikhah (Rabbinic organisation), reelected the community's Messianic focus. Karo, author of the normative Shulkhan Arukh (Code of Law) was one appointed

Lurianic Kabbalah

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School of kabbalah named after Isaac Luria , the Jewish rabbi who developed it.

School of kabbalah named after Isaac Luria , the Jewish rabbi who developed it.

Joseph Karo synagogue in Safed. The 1538 Safed attempt by Jacob Berab to restore traditional Semikhah (Rabbinic organisation), reelected the community's Messianic focus. Karo, author of the normative Shulkhan Arukh (Code of Law) was one appointed
The old cemetery in Safed where its pre-eminent 16th century mystical and legal figures are buried, including Yosef Karo, Shlomo Alkabetz, Moshe Alshich, Moshe Cordovero and the Ari. After the Expulsion from Spain the Safed circle held a national Messianic responsibility, mirrored in Lurianic scheme
Scheme of the Five Worlds forming within the Khalal Vacuum (Outer Circle) through the illumination of the Kav Ray (Vertical Line). Concepts are non-spatial. Sephirot shown in the scheme of Iggulim ("Circles")
The sephirot in the scheme of Yosher ("Upright"), from which the partzufim develop
The soul of Adam included all future human souls, while the 613 Mitzvot relate to 613 spiritual "limbs" in the configuration of the soul
Kabbalistic chart of Divine names in Ari synagogue. Traditional Lurianic prayer method involved esoteric kavanot meditations on specific Divine letter permutations related to each prayer
Mikveh of Isaac Luria on the hillside below Safed in the Galilee, fed by a cold spring

The Medieval-Cordoverian scheme describes in detail a linear, hierarchical process where finite Creation evolves ("Hishtalshelut") sequentially from God's Infinite Being.

Metaphorical representation of the Five Worlds with the 10 Sephirot in each, as successively smaller concentric circles, derived from the light of the Kav after the Tzimtzum

Ohr

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Central Kabbalistic term in the Jewish mystical tradition.

Central Kabbalistic term in the Jewish mystical tradition.

Metaphorical representation of the Five Worlds with the 10 Sephirot in each, as successively smaller concentric circles, derived from the light of the Kav after the Tzimtzum
Jacob's vision in Genesis 28:12 of a ladder between Heaven and Earth. Kabbalah relates this to the chain of Worlds. Angels embody spiritual levels of enclothed ohr-light. They "ascend and descend" in ratzu-run nullification desire, and shuv-return purpose of Creation
The Kabbalistic duality of transcendent and immanent emanations in Heaven, becomes a paradigm in Hasidic Panentheism to describe paradoxical Divine Omnipresence in this world, expressed in worship and the Tzadik
The Maharal
Synagogue of the Baal Shem Tov
Schneur Zalman of Liadi
Latin translation of Shaare Orah שערי אורה "The Gates of Light", one of the most influential presentations of the Kabbalistic system, by Joseph Gikatilla in the 13th century<ref>Caption to this illustration on p.2 of Kabbalah: A Very Short Introduction, Joseph Dan, Oxford University Press</ref>
Galilean Meron. "Nature" HaTeva is the numerical value of Elohim, the name of immanent light. The Tetragrammaton transcendence creates through it. Kabbalistically, in Israel the concealment is less severe

The distinction between the Divine light (beginning with the Ohr Ein Sof - the primordial "Infinite Light", and subsequently the 10 Sephirot emanations) and the Divine Source (the Ein Sof "Infinite") appears only relative to Creation.

As the Ohr Ein Sof is itself infinite, it could not itself directly be the source for the creation of Worlds (Four Worlds and Seder hishtalshelus).

Four Worlds

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The Tree of Life expanded to show each sefirot within the Four Worlds, an arrangement nicknamed "Jacob's Ladder"
Jacob's vision in Genesis 28:12 of a ladder between Heaven and Earth. In Kabbalistic interpretation, the Sulam-ladder's four main divisions are the Four Worlds and the angelic hierarchy embody external dimensions of the lights-vessels, while souls embody inner dimensions
Ezekiel's Tomb in Iraq. Ezekiel's vision of the Divine Merkabah-Chariot, and Isaiah's vision of the Kisei HaKavod-Throne of Glory, are related in Kabbalah to beholding the Four Worlds from Yetzirah, and from Beriah

The Four Worlds (עולמות Olamot, singular: Olam עולם), sometimes counted with a prior stage to make Five Worlds, are the comprehensive categories of spiritual realms in Kabbalah in the descending chain of Existence.

The concept of "Worlds" denotes the emanation of creative lifeforce from the Ein Sof Divine Infinite, through progressive, innumerable tzimtzumim (concealments/veilings/condensations).

Metaphorical representation of the Five Worlds, with the 10 sefirot radiating in each, as successively smaller Iggulim "concentric circles"

Sefirot

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Metaphorical representation of the Five Worlds, with the 10 sefirot radiating in each, as successively smaller Iggulim "concentric circles"
The Yosher-Upright configuration of the 10 sefirot, arranged into 3 columns
Configuration of the body
Sefer Hakavanot from "Kisvei HaAri", disciples of the 16th century Lurianic Kabbalah. It moved the origin of perceived exile in the sefirot to Primordial Creation, before the influence of Man on supernal harmony, as in Medieval Kabbalah
The 10 sefirot, arranged into the 3 columns, with the 22 Paths of Connection of three types

Sefirot (סְפִירוֹת səp̄īrōṯ), meaning emanations, are the 10 attributes/emanations in Kabbalah, through which Ein Sof (The Infinite) reveals itself and continuously creates both the physical realm and the chain of higher metaphysical realms (Seder hishtalshelus).

The Zohar states "Israel, the Torah and the Holy One Blessed Be He are One". God: At Sinai, in Rabbinic commentary, all the People heard the revelation "I-Anochi am the Lord-Tetragrammaton your God-Elokecha.." The "Lord spoke to Moses.." is God's essential infinite name. "Your God" is the concealed Divinity within finite Creation. "I" is the Atzmus narrator of the Torah, revealed at Sinai, uniting the opposites of Spiritual and Physical in Mitzvot and the ultimate future

Atzmus

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Descriptive term referred to in Kabbalah, and explored in Hasidic thought, for the divine essence.

Descriptive term referred to in Kabbalah, and explored in Hasidic thought, for the divine essence.

The Zohar states "Israel, the Torah and the Holy One Blessed Be He are One". God: At Sinai, in Rabbinic commentary, all the People heard the revelation "I-Anochi am the Lord-Tetragrammaton your God-Elokecha.." The "Lord spoke to Moses.." is God's essential infinite name. "Your God" is the concealed Divinity within finite Creation. "I" is the Atzmus narrator of the Torah, revealed at Sinai, uniting the opposites of Spiritual and Physical in Mitzvot and the ultimate future
Israel: The Besht, founder of Hasidism, related transcendent Kabbalah to internal correspondence in Jewish spiritual experience. The elite could learn scholarly lessons from the common folk, as the "simple faith of the simple Jew reflects" the soul's innate essence in "the simple unity of God's Atzmus"
Torah: Habad discourse from 2nd generation. Habad differed from emotional emphasis of Mainstream Hasidism, seeking philosophical investigation of Hasidic thought. The interconnection of previous Habad thought with other aspects of Torah, relation to Messianism, and ultimate Atzmus, emerges in the discourses and talks of the 7th Lubavitcher Rebbe Heaven On Earth: Reflections on the Theology of Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Faitel Levin, Kehot pub. The book compares the Atzmus-Dirah BeTachtonim theology of the 7th Rebbe with the previous views of Habad Hasidic thought. It sees the sources for this new edifice in the preceding 6 generations of Habad teaching.
In The Lubavitcher Rebbes Holiday Maamarim 2 Vol Set, translated by David Rothschild, published by Collel Tzemach Tzedek Tzfat, distributed through Kehot, introduction to Vol 1, Yitzchak Ginsburgh also reviews the generational development of Habad thought. He sees Kabbalistic significance in the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th leaders' teaching, representing new outward development of Being, while the 2nd, 4th and 6th leaders clarified inward Non-Being. Based on the advancing progression of a seminal idea from "point to line to area", he summarises the cumulative generational advance in teaching, according to the Habad conception that in each generation the teachings of Jewish mysticism ascend in depth, progressively drawing down from a higher source in Divinity to prepare for the Messianic era. In general: Cordoverian Kabbalah-Evolution, Lurianic Kabbalah-Enclothement, Hasidic thought-Omnipresence. In particular, in the subsequent 7 generations of Habad leaders' teaching:
The discourses of the 7th Rebbe involve Kabbalistic exegesis, while the more informal analytical talks, the main vehicle of the 7th Rebbe's teaching, tend to avoid esoteric Kabbalistic terminology. The main development of the theme of Atzmus is found in the discourses, such as the translated volumes on the eschatological eras of the Messiah and World-to-Come: Anticipating The Redemption: Maamarim of the Lubavitcher Rebbe Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson Concerning the Era of Redemption Vol 1 and 2, Kehot publications

Classical Kabbalah predominantly refers to the Godhead in Judaism with its designated term "Ein Sof" ("No end"-Infinite), as this distinguishes between the divine being beyond description and manifestation, and divine emanations within creation, which become the descriptive concern of systemised Kabbalistic categorisation.

The follower of Habad method contemplates (Hisbonenus) at length the paradoxical ascent to God during private prayer, or learns Habad thought before communal prayer.

Kabbalah, the fourth level of Pardes Jewish exegesis, relating to the Sephirah Chochmah-Wisdom, focuses on the esoteric supernal emanations, defining them through anthropomorphisms and metaphors. Creation is seen as Yesh me-Ayin from "below" and Ayin me-Yesh from "above"

Ayin and Yesh

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Important concept in Kabbalah and Hasidic philosophy.

Important concept in Kabbalah and Hasidic philosophy.

Kabbalah, the fourth level of Pardes Jewish exegesis, relating to the Sephirah Chochmah-Wisdom, focuses on the esoteric supernal emanations, defining them through anthropomorphisms and metaphors. Creation is seen as Yesh me-Ayin from "below" and Ayin me-Yesh from "above"
Hasidim's founder Baal Shem Tov's shul restored. Hasidism related esoteric transcendent Kabbalah to internal perception in the soul, making devotion and Divine immanence of this material world its central values. Different Hasidic dynasties explored different aspects of Yesh-Ayin, from contemplative paradox in Chabad, existential faith in Breslav, and public embodiment in Mainstream "Practical" Hasidic charismatic doctrine of Tzadik leadership
In Hasidic interpretation, the revelation at Sinai began the union of descending Ayin spirituality and ascending Yesh physicality through the higher Divinity of Atzmut essence, equally beyond Finite-Infinite duality, reflected in the innermost Divine Will of the Mitzvot. This will be completed in this World's future Divine "dwelling place"

In this context, the sephirah Keter, the Divine will, is the intermediary between the Divine Infinity (Ein Sof) and Chochmah.

However, Kabbalah involves itself with the different, more radical proposition that God becomes known through His emanations of Sephirot, and spiritual Realms, Emanator ("Ma'ohr") and emanations ("Ohr") comprising the two aspects of Divinity.

Adam Ḳadmon—Diagram illustrating the Sefirot (Divine Attributes). (From Christian Ginsburg, The Kabbalah - its Doctrines, Development & Literature)

Adam Kadmon

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Adam Ḳadmon—Diagram illustrating the Sefirot (Divine Attributes). (From Christian Ginsburg, The Kabbalah - its Doctrines, Development & Literature)

In Kabbalah, Adam Kadmon (אָדָם קַדְמוֹן, ʾāḏām qaḏmōn, "Primordial Man") also called Adam Elyon (אָדָם עֶלִיוֹן, ʾāḏām ʿelyōn, "Most High Man"), or Adam Ila'ah (אָדָם עִילָּאָה, ʾāḏām ʿīllāʾā "Supreme Man"), sometimes abbreviated as A"K (א"ק, ʾA.Q.), is the first of Four Worlds that came into being after the contraction of God's infinite light.

The two versions of Kabbalistic theosophy, the "medieval/classic/Zoharic" (systemised by Moshe Cordovero) and the more comprehensive Lurianic, describe the process of descending worlds differently.

The Ancient of Days (1794)
Watercolor etching by William Blake

Ancient of Days

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Name for God in the Book of Daniel.

Name for God in the Book of Daniel.

The Ancient of Days (1794)
Watercolor etching by William Blake
The Ancient of Days, a 14th-century fresco from Ubisi, Georgia.

In the Zohar, the seminal document of Kabbalah that emerged in 13th-century Spain, there is mention of the Ancient of Ancients, and the Holy Ancient One – Atika Kadisha, variably interpreted as synonymous with the En Sof, the unmanifested Godhead.

In the descending realms explained by Luria, the Gulgalta ("Skull"-Keter Will) within Arich Anpin enclothes the Chesed (Kindness) of Atik Yomin, becoming the origin of the lights of the world of Atzilut; the Mocha Stima'ah ("Concealed Brain"-Chokhmah Wisdom) within Arich Anpin enclothes the Gevurah (Severity) of Atik Yomin, becoming the origin of the vessels of the world of Atzilut.