According to this everything, even above being and thinking, is called En Soph (a7retpos); He is the space of the universe containing TO 7rav, but the universe is not his space.
In this boundlessness He could not be comprehended by the intellect or described in words, and as such the En Soph was in a certain sense Ayin, nonexistent (Zohar, iii.
2 To make his existence known and comprehensible, the En Soph had to become active and creative.
This first Sephirah, this spiritual substance which existed in the En Soph from all eternity, contained nine other intelligences or Sephiroth.
The ten Sephiroth, which form among themselves and with the 'En Soph a strict unity, and which simply represent different aspects of one and the same being, are respectively denominated (i) the Crown, (2) Wisdom, (3) Intelligence, (4) Love, (5) Justice, (6) Beauty, (7)iFirmness, (8) Splendour, (9) Foundation, and (io) Kingdom.
In this all-important doctrine of the Sephiroth, the Kabbalah insists upon the fact that these potencies are not creations of the En Soph, which would be a diminution of strength; that they form among themselves and with the En Soph a strict unity, and simply represent different aspects of the same being, just as the different rays which proceed from the light, and which appear different things to the eye, are only different manifestations of one and the same light; that for this reason they all alike partake of the perfections of the En Soph; and that as emanations from the Infinite, the Sephiroth are infinite and perfect like the En Soph, and yet constitute the first finite things.
They are infinite and perfect when the En Soph imparts his fullness to them, and finite and imperfect when that fullness is withdrawn from them.
Worlds came into existence before the En Soph manifested himself in the human form of emanations, but they could not continue, and necessarily perished because the conditions of development which obtained with the sexual opposites of the Sephiroth did not exist.
And, though it exhibits the Deity in less splendour than its Sephiric parents exhibit the En Soph, because it is farther removed from the primordial source of light than the Sephiroth, still, as it is God manifested, all the multifarious forms in the world point out the unity which they represent.
The En Soph) created the earthly Adam " (Zohar, ii.
Simon, its reputed author, and exalts him above Moses; (2) it mystically explains the Hebrew vowel points, which did not obtain till 570; (3) the compiler borrows two verses from the celebrated hymn called " The Royal Diadem," written by Ibn Gabirol, who was born about 1021; (4) it mentions the capture of Jerusalem by the crusaders and the re-taking of the Holy City by the Saracens; (5) it speaks of the comet which appeared at Rome, 15th July 1264, under the pontificate of Urban IV.; (6) by a slip the Zohar assigns a reason why its contents were not revealed before5060-5066A.M., i.e.1300-1306A.D., (7) the doctrine of the En Soph and the Sephiroth was not known before the 13th century; and (8) the very existence of the Zohar itself was not known prior 1 See, e.g., G.
That eminent scholars both in the synagogue and in the church should have been induced to believe in its antiquity is owing to the fact that the Zohar embodies many older opinions and doctrines, and the undoubted antiquity of some of them has served as a lever in the minds of these scholars to raise the late speculations about the En Soph, the Sephiroth, &c., to the same age.