Beginner Level Kabbalah

Basics in Kabbalah and Chassidut: Avir Kadmon

The Stages of the Creative Process
from God's Infinite Light to Our Physical World

 Or Ein Sof ("God's Infinite Light")
 Sod Ha'Tzimtzum ("The Secret of 'Contraction'")
 Adam Kadmon ("Primordial Man")
 Akudim, Nekudim, Brudim ("Binding, Points, Connection")
 Keter D'Atzilut ("The 'Crown' of Emanation")
 Olam Ha'Atzilut ("The World of Emanation")
 ABiYA (The Four Worlds: Atzilut, Beriah, Yetzirah, Asiyah)

Or Ein Sof  ("God's Infinite Light")
Ten stages of God's Infinite Light before the beginning of the creative process.

Atzmut Yachid Echad Sha'ashuim
Kadmon  Avir
Adam Kadma'ah


Avir Kadmon
Primordial Atmosphere

IIn order to begin to create a place in which all the worlds could exist, void of the great brilliance of God's infinite light (which did not allow for independent existence), the Creator "folded" His primordial "garment" (the blueprint of creation) into two, thereby vacating, as it were, the lower half of the primordial "square" which the "garment" had occupied.

This lower half of the primordial "space" is referred to as avir kadmon. The Divine light which remains in avir kadmon is still too great to allow for creation as we know it, though the brilliance of the light has most significantly diminished.

The word avir–"atmosphere" or "air"– is composed of the three letters which spell or–"light"–together with a fourth letter, the letteryud. In Kabbalah we are taught that the or within avir represents the "impression" (reshimu) of the infinite light which shined before the primordial plan of creation (that light in which God "engraved" the plan). The yud represents the "impression" of the Divine plan itself.

Within the avir kadmon, as though floating in mid-air, there exist thirteen letters mem. These are the ultimate origin of God's thirteen principles of mercy. The letter mem is the thirteenth letter in the Hebrew alphabet. Mem means "water" (mayim), eachmem being a fountain of living waters to draw down Divine blessing into the world to be created. Here, God "prepares" mercy before enacting the severe judgment (din) of the initial tzimtzum ("contraction") to come.

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