Category Archives: Kabbalah

Rabbi Isaac Luria warned his pupils:

We do not have permission to reflect on reality before the emanation of the world, and we are not allowed to compare it in any way to known forms and images. We only speak in a parabolic manner to satisfy the need of comprehension, but a wise person will understand by himself that this does not reflect an actual representation of divine reality.

— Moses Jonah, in The Kabbalistic Tradition (ed. and tr. A Unterman)

The annihilation of thought

Thought rises to contemplate its own innerness until its power of comprehension is annihilated.

— Azriel of Gerona

Being and nothingness

You may be asked: ‘How did God bring forth being from nothingness? Is there not an immense difference between being and nothingness?’

Answer as follows: ‘Being is in nothingness in the mode of nothingness, and nothingness is in being in the mode of being.’ Nothingness is being, and being is nothingness. The node of being as it begins to emerge from nothingness is called faith. For the term ‘faith’ applies neither to visible, comprehensible being, nor to nothingness, invisible and incomprehensible, but rather to the nexus of nothingness and being. Being does not stem from nothingness alone but rather from being and nothingness together. All is one in the simplicity of absolute undifferentiation. Our limited mind cannot grasp or fathom this, for it joins infinity.

— Azriel of Gerona