Category: Qabbalah

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Maimonidian Qabbalah

First, some quotes from the Rambam: ג: וְאִם יַעֲלֶה עַל הַדַּעַת שְׁאֵין כָּל הַנִּמְצָאִים מִלְּבַדּוֹ מְצוּיִים, הוּא לְבַדּוֹ יִהְיֶה מָצוּי וְלֹא יִבָּטֵל הוּא לְבִטּוּלָם:  שֶׁכָּל הַנִּמְצָאִים צְרִיכִין לוֹ; וְהוּא בָּרוּךְ הוּא אֵינוּ צָרִיךְ לָהֶם, וְלֹא לְאֶחָד מֵהֶם. לְפִיכָּךְ אֵין אֲמִתָּתוֹ כַּאֲמִתַּת אֶחָד מֵהֶם. ד: הוּא שֶׁהַנָּבִיא אוֹמֵר “וַה’ אֱלֹהִים אֱמֶת” (ירמיהו י,י)–הוּא לְבַדּוֹ הָאֱמֶת, וְאֵין לְאַחֵר אֱמֶת כַּאֲמִתּוֹ.  וְהוּא שֶׁהַתּוֹרָה...

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Maimonidian Qabbalah – Part II

In the previous installment on this topic, I included long quotes from the Rambam’s to show that his position on how the world came to be has more points in common with Qabbalah than we usually picture it. The Rambam describes creation as the Creator having a thought which has a thought, and so on down a chain until one...

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Maimonidian Qabbalah – Part III

So, in the past two posts in this particular series (part 1, part 2) I hopefully established the notion that both sides of the Maimonidian Debate portrayed creation in terms of G-d causing something which causes something… etc… down to the physical world, which is a distinct way to view Creation than picturing that Hashem “poofed” various things into existence...

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Form and InFORMation

So far (part 1, part 2, part 3) we discussed the Rambam’s notion of the chain of forms/intellects from the Creator down to physical reality , in comparison to the Qabbalah’s metaphor of a beam of Light. In particular, the Leshem writes that the Light shines from one world to the next which is what makes what serves as substance...

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Mind, Perception, and Metaphysics

We developed a metaphysics based on the Rambam’s notion of the chain of forms or intellects (they are identical), called “mal’akhim” (angels), that bridge the gap from the Creator down to physical reality (part 1, part 2, part 3). Along the way we used the Leshem, a mequbal who considered himself bearer of the Vilna Gaon’s legacy, to draw strong...

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Maimonidian Qabbalah – Recap

Talking it over with some friends, it became clear that my posts on this topic required an overview. The explanation got buried among the proofs, and it’s therefore hard to follow the flow of the essential points. It all started with my considering the Leshem. Here we have a mequbal whose works follow the Vilna Ga’on’s approach to Qabbalah and...

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Light of Creation

רבי לוי בשם רבי בזירה שלשים ושש שעות שימשה אותה האורה שנבראת ביום הראשון. שתים עשרה בערב שבת ושתים עשרה בליל שבת ושתים עשרה בשבת. והיה אדם הראשון מביט בו מסוף העולם ועד סופו כיון שלא פסקה האור התחיל כל העולם כולו משורר שנאמר (איוב לז) תחת כל השמים ישרהו למי שאורו על כנפות הארץ. כיון שיצאת שבת התחיל משמש...

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Why are bricks red?

One way to explain the color of the brick would involve discussing the quantum mechanics of the atoms bricks are made of, (and this is where most readers eyes gloss over and skim to the end of the paragraph…) and the possible energy levels electrons can take when those atoms are combined into the compounds they are when they comprise...