Four Worlds

Rabbi Arthur Waskow


About the Four Worlds of Kabbalah: In the movement for Jewish renewal, we often "immanentize" the Worlds (as well as other aspects of God): that is, we see these attributes and emanations of God as part of the human psyche, which is itself an expression of God (along with the rest of the universe) :
"What is the world?" said the Chernobyler Rebbe. "The world is God wrapped in robes of God so as to appear material. And who are we? We are God wrapped in robes of God, and our task is to unwrap the robes and dis-cover that we and all the world are God."
This view has led some of us to a new sense of history-as-God, drawing on the Ari-z'l (Yitzhak Luria) and Teilhard de Chardin. This has its own dangers, but is very interesting.
Anyway, seen as aspects of the Divine-within-the human-psyche, Yetzirah is Emotion and Relationships; Briyyah is Intellect/Knowledge/Wisdom. The four are Doing, Relating, Knowing, Being.

by Rabbi Arthur Waskow
Director, The Shalom Center.

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