The third part of David Solomon’s lecture series, A Kabbalistic Journey Through Time, examines two towering kabbalistic figures of the 16th century.
The lecture investigates the RaMaQ’s book, Pardes Rimonim (The Orchard of Pomegranates), and its exploration of:
- rational emanations
- ein sof (infinite)
- the relationship between Divine influence and the sephirot
- the four worlds
- the immanence of the Divine in reality
- the divine element in the human soul
- the revelation of God in meditation, kavannot, and mystical experience.
The AR”Y did not write down his vast kabbalistic teachings. The recording of his ideas was left to his students, chief among whom was Rabbi Chaim Vital. It was Vital who compiled the book Etz Chayim (Tree of Life), the cornerstone text of Lurianic Kabbalah. This book, which was to change forever the landscape of Jewish Mystical thinking, contained many transformative kabbalistic concepts, including:
- tzimtzum (contraction)
- primordial man (Adam Qadmon)
- the domain of chaos (tohu);
- shevirah (shattering)
- integrated configurations known as ‘partzuphim’
- tiqun (repair)
- the maintenance and repair of the World of Emanation
- the trapped sparks of lower worlds
- the five levels of the individual soul
- the responsibility of souls to repair the world
David provides an overview of these concepts, a picture of the men from who they emerged, the historical setting of this extraordinary revolution in mystical thinking, and the legacy of these ideas.
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