Leshem Shiur 04

The Creation of Worlds

In Shaar 2 the Leshem explains the process of the creation of the worlds, how the Infinite Light descends from the highest worlds to the lowest worlds through expansion and contraction.

He begins with an explanation of the dichotomy between ‘form’ and ‘matter’, ‘body’ and ‘soul’. He then talks about how the ‘matter’ of a higher world becomes the ‘form’ of a lower world.

Rabbi Triebitz shows how these ideas are rooted in the Rambam (though he never discusses this idea of tzimtzum or the declension of worlds). He also brings other sources in the Leshem that explain this idea more fully (Chidushim u-Biurim p. 12b and Sefer HaKlalim 65b). The Leshem also explains the Rambam’s idea (which was discusses in one of the previous Moreh Nevuchim shiurim) that we cannot say that G-d created the world for the sake of man, or for any specific purpose.

Finally, Rabbi Triebitz shows how this idea is related to the neo-Kantian philosophy of Hermann Cohen, and quotes from the book “Rosenzweig and Heidegger” by Peter Eli Gordon.

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