Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
Contact Us
Who exploded the world? What should we do with the pieces?

World Puzzle

World Puzzle

 Email
Topics: Tohu & Tikkun

This one is the key to everything. It was the most radical breakthrough in human thought since Abraham discovered that G_d was playing the universe interactively. This discovery was made by the supreme kabbalist, the Arizal (Rabbi Isaac Luria, 1534–1572) and it changed the way everyone thinks to this day.

Here's what I mean: Until the Arizal came up with this, the classic version of world theo-history was, "G_d made a nice world, but we messed it all up. So now, you better be good, because boy is He going to give it to those who made this mess."

Then the Arizal comes and turns everything upside down: "The whole mess is G_d's fault. He had a great idea, but it came out a big mess. And He put us here to clean up the mess and get His dream working."

Get it? In scenario A, G_d is the active party, and we are entirely passive. In scenario B, it's all up to us. That's a major revolution.

This idea is called tikun, meaning "fixing." The Arizal and his students spoke about every mitzvah as a way to fix something in the universe. Remember those nuggets of gold in The Gold Mine episode? Or the pearl in Deep Sea Diving? Those are references to the sparks of luminous vessels that fell from the primal world of Tohu.

Hey, why re-explain the whole thing here? Read Fallen Sparks and you'll get the whole idea. And then you'll see that just about everything we have to say about the world today is in the shadow of the Arizal's Big Idea.

Written and conceived by Tzvi Freeman. Rabbi Freeman is available for public speaking and workshops. Read more on his bio page.
Music by The Piamentas
Rabbi Infinity played by Andrew Torres
Animation and SFX by Pilar Newton of Pilar Toons
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
 Email
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
22 Comments
1000 characters remaining
Benzion Waldman Millburn, NJ January 3, 2017

I think Arizal is wrong. G-d made a beautiful perfect world. However, man has undoubtedly partially soiled the landscape. It is man's charge to fix all their mistakes to prepare the world for G-d's arrival. Man must fix the current world and make it as perfect as possible, again. Only in this way will we merit Ha'Shem's arrival. Reply

Anonymous July 19, 2015

I was confused about why the repaired world would be able to survive the light. This never made physical sense for me, but I accepted it "OK, something will be different now."

Then I thought about what you said in the episode about tau, and the returning light. So now, the pieces are pushing back, so it can stay "together"?

Still a very confusing thing. Beautiful, though. Reply

Dave Brooklyn, New York via jccaspen.com October 31, 2009

The Rebbe said that all the sparks have alreay been uplifted and Moshiach is ready to come now. Amen! Reply

joshua brighton, ma January 15, 2009

rainbows are not a good sign Reply

Rabbi Infinity November 15, 2008

Where in Scripture does it say that only moshiach can restore this earth? Reply

Eric Easley, SC November 13, 2008

Where did Arizal come up with this? Where is this in scripture, a.k.a the tanach? Also, only moshiach can restore this earth. Shalom. Reply

Melissa Greenville, SC May 29, 2008

I enjoyed this cartoon a lot, Rabbi Infinity! I like the idea that we are now repairing the world... may the Jewish people--all of the Jewish people--be restored very soon. Health, balance, peace, joy, and a healthy sense of ahava Yisrael (I mean love of other Jews...I hope that is the right phrase).

We have a lot of work to do, but it is starting to look do-able. We can at least see now where the pieces fit together, mostly, and what we have to do is possible. Reply

chaya mushka goldman May 25, 2008

this video is the best Reply

Rabbi Infinity May 23, 2008

See Colors and The Rainbow. Reply

Anonymous May 23, 2008

pretty funny :) Reply

Anonymous May 22, 2008

i thought rainbows are a sign that G-d gives instead of destroying the world like by the mabul? why is it in a "pefect world"? Reply

Rabbi Infinity May 22, 2008

If there is a theology of Judaism, it's the Kabbalah. Everything else is just Jews trying to describe their beliefs within foreign paradigms. The language of Kabbalah is much more native.

However, the word theology implies that knowing G_d is one thing and knowing His creation is another. Kabbalah doesn't really make such a distinction: The creation is only an emanation of its Creator.

Don't know who those scholars are, but I ain't one of them. Reply

Anonymous chicago, illinois May 21, 2008

rabbi infinity- do Jews have theology in the sense that Christian do, I'm doing religious studies and there's thought among theologians about a "unified theory" of theology, can you explain what they mean, they're claiming all Jewish & Christian scholars are attempting to discover this theory-I see "theology" in kabbala, can you explain-don't know who to ask that would make simple sense like you :) Reply

Kfir Meidav Baltimore, MD May 20, 2008

I do own the pro version of Feivel, so negative feedback is greatly appreciated :o)) Reply

Rabbi Infinity May 19, 2008

Lost me there. (Sorry for the negative feedback--but maybe it will help you gain stability.) Reply

Kfir Meidav Baltimore, MD May 19, 2008

When engineers wanted to amplify a signal, such as my voice, they developed the operational amplifier. With negative feedback, the operational amplifier is stable. It provides controlled gain, and a good sounding voice can be heard. It is true however that with positive feedback the operational amplifier provides a larger gain, even infinite gain, at the cost of stability. Thus, with positive feedback my voice may become nothing, but my heart's desire for doing good deeds becomes infinite. Reply

Sarah May 19, 2008

Unbelievably touching, simply amazing...

Don't know even how to describe! Reply

Rabbi Infinity May 19, 2008

If you like it, share it with friends. Right on time for Lag B'omer. Reply

Chabad fan May 19, 2008

So great to see so much meaning expressed in such a short clip. Reply

Rabbi Infinity May 18, 2008

You're right about the birth date--I have no idea how that got there and I'll change it. Everyone knows the Arizal was less than 40 when he departed.

Concerning his day of passing, however, there is some dispute whether that was 5732 (1572) or 5733 (1573). Nevertheless, since I see that everywhere on the web uses the earlier date, in order to avoid further controversy, I'll go with the majority and change that too. Reply