Basics in Kabbalah and Chassidut: Kav

The Stages of the Creative Process
from God’s Infinite Light to Our Physical World

 Introduction
 Or Ein Sof (“God’s Infinite Light”)
 Sod Ha’Tzimtzum (“The Secret of ‘Contraction'”)
 Adam Kadmon (“Primordial Man”)
Akudim, Nekudim, Brudim (“Binding, Points, Connection”)
Keter D’Atzilut (“The ‘Crown’ of Emanation”)
Olam Ha’Atzilut (“The World of Emanation”)
 ABiYA (The Four Worlds: Atzilut, Beriah, Yetzirah, Asiyah)

Sod Ha’Tzimtzum (“The Secret of ‘Contraction'”)
Three stages of the secret of “contraction”: the “removal” of God’s Infinite Light; the “impression” that God “withdrew” from creation; the “ray” of Divine light radiated into the primordial darkness.

Tzimtzum Reshimu  Kav

Kav
“Line” or “Ray” of infinite light

Into the primordial darkness, the “night” of the vacuum created by the tzimtzum with the “point” of the reshimutherein (filling the vacuum with “potential” being), God radiated a ray of Divine light, the ray of “morning.”

The ray of “morning” is the revelation of God’s immanence in creation. It gives to every created being, in accordance with each one’s level of consciousness, the awareness that God is with him (wherever, and in whatever state of being, he is), continuously creating him anew, and that His Divine providence is always looking after him.

The kav possesses two dimensions, an outer dimension and an inner one. The outer dimension of the kav, referred to as kav hamidah (“the line of measurement,” “the measuring rod” or “ruler”) corresponds to its power of “measurement,” the power to define boundaries for each and every created being, and thereby to differentiate between them.

The inner dimension of the kav, often referred to as the chut (“the thread,” which “sews” reality together), corresponds to its power of “interinclusion,” the power to manifest the presence of the “whole” (all of the “parts”) in each of its “parts” (as a holigram).

The revelation of the inner dimension of the kav is known in Kabbalah as “the giving of the Torah” to Israel (for it is the power of the Torah which serves to manifest true “interinclusion” and unity within the apparent plurality of creation). The Torah is referred to in the Bible as “the threefold thread.”

The two letters in Hebrew which spell kav are in fact the two inner letters of the word makom, “space.” The first and final letters of makom spell (in full, the letter) mem, the secret of the Divine presence within the primordial space or “atmosphere” (avir kadmon), as mentioned above. Thus the very word for “space” teaches us that God immanent ray of light, the kav, shall permeate and manifest the potential of God’s infinite mercy inherent in the primordial space.

Thus, we are taught that in general, God’s infinite light before the outset of the creative process, the arousal of His will to create for the sake of bestowing infinite good and blessing upon all creation, corresponds to the Divine attribute of chesed, “lovingkindness.”

The Divine power to contract and conceal the infinite light in order to allow for created reality to come into existence, the power of tzimtzum, corresponds to the Divine attribute of gevurah, “might.”

The “morning” ray of Divine immanence, the kav, corresponds to the Divine attribute of tiferet, “beauty,” the attribute of rachamim, “mercy.”

These three stages correspond to soul-roots of the three Patriarchs of the Jewish People, Abraham (chesed), Isaac (gevurah) and Jacob (tiferet and rachamim).

The verb of the phrase in the Bible which alludes to the “morning” ray of the kav entering the vacuum of thetzimtzum?”then shall break through [yibakah] Your light as the morning”–is in fact a permutation of the letters of the name Jacob (Yaakov).


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