Printed from
Prior to Creation, there was only the infinite revelation of G-d

Oneness and the Infinite

Oneness and the Infinite

Beginner Beginner
Oneness and the Infinite
Prior to Creation, there was only the infinite revelation of G-d

There is one infinite creator, the cause of causes and the maker of all. He is not one in a numerical sense — since He is not subject to change, definition or multiplicity. He is one in that the number one signifies an independent unit and is the basis of all numbers; the number one is also contained in all numbers. Similarly, the Creator is actually within everything, and everything is within Him. He is the beginning and cause of everything. The Creator does not change, and therefore one cannot add or subtract from Him.

Moreover, His existence is necessary existence (i.e. it is not contingent upon anything else), in the same way that the number one is a requisite for the existence of any other (whole) number. If the number one would cease to be, every other number would also cease to exist. However, if other numbers disappeared, one would continue to exist. There are properties of the number one; similar qualities apply to the Creator. Even if the act ceased to be, the One who acted remains. Because His being is not contingent upon the existence of anything else, were they to cease being, His existence would continue.

The unbounded revelation of G‑d underwent a profound constriction

Prior to Creation, there was only the infinite revelation of G‑d which filled all existence. This is called the Ohr Ein Sof — the Infinite Light — which is not G‑d Himself, only His infinite revelation of Himself. Within this infinite revelation, limited beings could not possibly exist. Accordingly, there was a progressive lessening and constricting of the Or Ein Sof, making room for limited existence.

This progressive constriction, called tzimtzum, brought about various planes of reality — called, in Kabbala, the five worlds. Each "world" is a certain level of concealment of G‑dliness, of the Or Ein Sof. From the highest to lowest (i.e. from greater to lesser revelation) they are:

  1. the world of Adam Kadmon, which is the primordial world, or the first level of somewhat finite revelation
  2. the world of Atzilut
  3. the world of Beriya
  4. the world of Yetzira and
  5. the world of Asiya
The entire physical universe is the lowest aspect of the world of Asiya. In each of the worlds there is an increasingly dim revelation of the Infinite light as it descends further and further and becomes more and more concealed. It is important to note that these worlds do not occupy different geographical places. They are not geographical at all, but rather descending planes of reality.

The next article in the Worlds series: Chaos and the Primordial.

Rabbi Moshe Miller was born in South Africa and received his yeshivah education in Israel and America. He is a prolific author and translator, with some twenty books to his name on a wide variety of topics, including an authoritative, annotated translation of the Zohar. He has developed a coaching-type approach to dealing with life's issues based on Chassidism and Kabbalah—a tool for dealing with normal issues that everyone faces as well as issues psychologists usually address, often ineffectively. He also gives free live classes over the Internet.
The Zohar is a basic work of Kabbalah authored by Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his students (2nd century CE). English translation of annotated selections by Rabbi Moshe Miller (Morristown, N.J.: Fiftieth Gate Publications, 2000) includes a detailed introduction covering the history and basic concepts of Kabbalah. Volume 1 (36 pp.) covers the first half of the first of the original’s three volumes. It is available online from our store, KabbalaOnline Shop.
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
1000 characters remaining
Gur Tel Aviv August 30, 2017

Can you translate this to hebrew? Reply

Anonymous London April 27, 2015

This is very wrong.. The creator transcendes itself all the time. It is the purpose of creation. To know itself and transcende its limits and become MORE.. The truth is this. Reply

Michael Ettinger Truro, ns/canada via August 20, 2012

concealment of light In nature the natural light is said to move so quick, if it were to move any quicker there would not be time for it to happen. So to move "quicker than light" time would need be transcended. Light cannot move quicker than time.

In the supernatural one quicker than time would appear dark , as on the mount. And one's sound would have no frequency, which would explain the lack of echo .He would appear dark being quicker than light, dwelling in the creation of himself before time, therefor being ageless, (new).

In order for us to sense a manifestation He would have to slow Himself down to the frequency of light and time, a less pure version however pure. We think the vessel gets denser, (more pure), the closer we get. When we pass being close and become one, we'll know the creation of God before the universe was formed and time made. We'll know this with our own soul as we are transcended from time by the creation of Holy God flowing up out of His beginning, He gives us His heart. Reply

Jeff B. West Palm Beach, FL August 12, 2012

clear and simple an article well-done! thanks. Reply

Mike Ettinger Truro via December 31, 2010

one In your opening statement you say, "There is one infinite creator". I say there is one creator who creates the infinite. My perspective is from personal experience. Infinity can never be complete by definition, and is more a property of "timely existance", needing a future to continue the being, whether that being be the universe or a tree. God created time and is greater than time, infinitly greater. If you were to take a pico second and divide it by 2 you would have the concept of eternity, no time. The fullness of God is a state in which there is no time, and that is the holy state of God's present. Reply

gnzewi via December 20, 2010

Simplified One of the most beautiful elaboration of the Infinite One and how the emptiness or void that the Worlds where created came to be. So simplified for the layman to understand. Reply

Mike Ettinger via November 19, 2010

infinite When we try to equate G-d with infinite we are showing a lack of knowing G-d. G-d the creator "is" a state of perpetual self creation. The fact that G-d is eternal is the fact He is ever new. He "is" before time was and the same after, if He wills that time should cease. It is not as if G-d is infinite in respect to time, but rather in His dwelling there is no time period. He is all at once and His continuity is without frequency, therefore His being eternal. Reply

Anonymous Annapolis, MD November 17, 2010

Messiah ben Yosef and Messiah King David Shalom, Is the Messiah King David the Or Ein Sof in human form? Is another name for the Messiah ben Yosef Adam Kadom and do they come from the world of Atzilut? Reply

Anonymous via July 20, 2010

Answer to Miss Michelle Starting with Atzilut, all ten sefirot "sit" in each of the four worlds. Reply

Miss michelle cook via July 3, 2010

the five worlds the 5 worlds: (1) the world of Adam Kadmon, which is the primordial world, or the first level of somewhat finite revelation; (2) the world of Atzilut, (3) the world of Beriya, (4) the world of Yetzira;, and (5) the world of Asiya.
Do the 10 Sefirot; keter, Chochma, Bina, Chesed, Gevura, Tiferet, Netzach, hod, Yesod, and Malchut, sit in those 5 worlds or planes of reality? also, if so, which sefirot sits in which planes of reality? Reply

danny glasgow via January 10, 2010

re concelament of infinite light this concept is a paradox as if light is infinite it is not concealed and if concelaed then not infinite ?
please can you explain

is this something to do with the lights and vessels where light is infinite and vessel that contains light becomes denser and denser
if so my question still remains. how can any vessel conceal something which by nature is infinite or in other words, how can the finite quality of a vessel contain the infinite light on any level

my only explanation can be that which chassidiut teaches that G-d's essence if beyond the light and vessel and only from essence can the paradox of light and vessels emerge

this concept though requires a leap of faith that the kabblaistic system in a revelation from G-d.

but then again whatever we believe at the end of the day there is a level of faith ! Reply

The larger, bold text is the direct translation of the classic text source.

The smaller, plain text is the explanation of the translator/editor.
Text with broken underline will provide a popup explanation when rolled over with a mouse.