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Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “The entire world comprises the divine existence.”

A question, bearing multiple layers of implication, is whether a written letter consists of the black ink or the white paper.

Generally speaking, we perceive the black as the letter and the white as the background, but it is possible to reverse this and to view the white as the letter and the black as the background.

(Regarding the letters of a Torah scroll, this question has a halakhic basis, because the holiness of the Torah scroll pertains as much to the white parchment as it does to the black letters.)

In the same way, we generally see the world in the foreground and the Divine in the background.

However, there is a dimension in which we can contemplate that “everything before Him is literally considered nothingness,” and attempt to view the world differently, not with the Divine standing in the background and filling in the gaps between entities that compose the world, but with these entities seen as the gaps within the divine existence.

Instead of viewing a tangible world within whose shadowy reaches God does not dwell, we understand that the entire world comprises the divine existence.

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz