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An ongoing series exploring Arizal's Tzimtzum narrative in Chabad thought

Tzimtzum

Tzimtzum

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I long struggled with the kabbalistic map of the cosmos, convinced that these mysteries could be grasped in a more relevant way. A single class on tzimtzum opened up an entire world of insight and discovery.
How did a scholarly disagreement amongst the Mediterranean kabbalists in the late-1600s morph into the explosive debate between the Chassidim and their Mitnagdic opponents more than half a century later?
In a single cryptic sentence R. Schneur Zalman of Liaidi pushed the limits of divine knowledge to an unprecedentedly esoteric height and paradoxically declared that the loftiest peak is openly accessible to all.
Must G-d lie beyond human grasp? The Kabbalistic motif of the trace transforms the symbolic void of tzimtzum into a meaningful gesture of emptiness, a distinct characterization of divine transcendence.
Caught between the illuminating flashes of the already discovered and the challenging abyss of all that remains unknown, is it revelation or concealment that more authenticly represents the truth of ultimate reality?
Video | 48:50
Making Space
A discussion of the notion of reciprocal love to G-d as developed in Tanya, chapters 46-49, and the centrality of the non-literal interpretation of tzimtzum (“contraction”), as discussed in chapter 48. To create space for the other is not to absent yourself and abandon them, but to be present in the right kind of way: to cultivate an environment in which the other can develop their individuality and ultimately enter into a fully reciprocal relationship.
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