Let My People Know

"God hides Himself"


"There would seem to be an abyss stretching between God and the world—and not only the physical world of time, space, and grav­ity, but also the spiritual worlds, no matter how sublime, confined as each one is within the bound­aries of its own definition.


Creation itself becomes a divine paradox.


To bridge the abyss, the Infinite keeps creating the world.


His creation being not the act of forming something out of nothing but the act of revelation.


Creation is an emanation from the divine light.


Its secret is not the coming into exist­ence of something new but the transmutation of the divine reality into something defined and lim­ited—into a world.


This transmutation involves a process, or a mystery, of contraction.


God hides Himself, putting aside His essential infiniteness and withholding His endless light to the extent necessary in order that the world may exist.


Within the actual divine light nothing can main­tain its own existence.


The world becomes possible only through the special act of divine withdrawal or contraction.


Such divine non-being, or conceal­ment, is thus the elementary condition for the existence of that which is finite."


-Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

From The Thirteen Petalled Rose by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz