A Single Point that Stands in the Center

by tillerofthesoil

shutterstock_54187501Through wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is firm-founded. And through knowledge, rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant wealth (Proverbs 24:3).

“We learned that there are ten spheres, and ten commands. Each sphere has its command, not that it is surrounded by it, but rather it surrounds it. This world is like a mustard seed in a ring. Why? Because of the breath that blows upon it, by which it is sustained. If this breath were to be interrupted for even a moment, the world would be annihilated” (Bahir §179).

“Come and see: Every circle in the world is formed from the midst of the single point standing in its center” (Zohar Ḥadash 5b, Sitrei Otiyyot).

“From a single point you can extend the dimensions of all things. Similarly, when the concealed arouses itself to exist, at first it brings into being something the size of the point of a needle, from there it generates everything” (Rabbi Moshe de León, Sheqel ha-Qodesh, 23–26, translated in Matt, The Essential Kabbalah: The Heart of Jewish Mysticism, p. 69).

“At the head of potency of the King. He engraved engravings in luster on high. A spark of impenetrable darkness flashed within the concealed of the concealed, from the head of Infinity—a cluster of vapor forming in formlessness, thrust in a ring, not white, not black, not red, not green, no color at all. As a cord surveyed, it yielded radiant colors. Deep within the spark gushed a flow, splaying colors below, concealed within the concealed of the mystery of Ein Sof. It split and did not split its aura, was not known at all, until under the impact of splitting, a single, concealed, supernal point shone. Beyond that point, nothing is known, so it is called רֵאשִׁית (reshit), Beginning, first command of all…  זֹהַר (zohar), Radiance! Sowing seed for its glory, like the seed of fine purple silk wrapping itself within, weaving itself a palace, constituting its praise, availing all” (Zohar 1:15a).

“When enclosed and hidden within itself, within the supernal point above, She [Binah] assumes the form of the letter ס (samekh), enclosed within and hidden, ascending above. And when She returns and sits רְבִיעָא (revi’a), crouching, over children below to suckle them, She assumes the form of the letter ם (mem), רְבִיעָא (revi’a), quadrilateral, enclosed in four directions of the world [the first appearance of the letter ס (samekh) in the Torah is in the word הַסֹּבֵב (ha-sovev), surrounds (Genesis 2:11), and its second appearance is in the word וַיִּסְגֹּר (va-yisgor), closed (ibid., 21), see Bereshit Rabbah 17:6]” (Zohar 2:127a).

“Ulla Bira’ah said in the name of Rabbi El’azar: In the days to come the blessed Holy One will hold a מָחוֹל (maḥol), chorus [lit., song and dance circle, cf. מְחוֹל (meḥol), forgive], for the righteous and He will sit in their midst in the Garden of Eden and every one of them will point with his finger towards Him, as is said, And it shall be said in that day, Look, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will rescue us: this is YHWH; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His rescue (Isaiah 25:9)” (BT Ta’anit 31a).

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