The Baal Shem Tov, or Besht —  the founder of Chasidism — 
met the soul of the Messiah during an ascent to heaven. 
The Besht asked him, "When will the Master come?" 
The Messiah answered, "When your wellsprings break forth to the outside!" 
(from a letter written by the Besht to his brother-in-law about one of his soul ascents) 

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More important terms

Shefa – the flow of blessing, light, divine energy that sustains all. The purpose of Kabbalah as a practice is to increase the flow of blessing (as Moshe Cordovero says, "To cause life to flow to all").

Mayin Nukvin – feminine (upwelling) waters and Mayin D'khorin – masculine (downflowing) waters; Or Chozer – reflected or returning light and Or Yashar – straight (descending) light. While Or Chozer is often associated with Din Judgment (but not always), Mayin Nukvin is connected more with It'aruta Dil'tata, awakening (or arousal) from below, which awakens mercy from above, It'aruta Dil'eyla. (These images can be quite concrete: feminine waters refers to the flow in a woman that comes nearer the beginning of sexual intimacy, while masculine waters refers to the flow in a man that comes nearer the end of sexual consummation.)

Or Makif – encompassing light, and Or Sovev – surrounding light are contrasted with Or P'nimi – inner light, and Or M'malei – filling light. Light surrounds and fills us, yet somehow we remain separate creatures – this image describes how we exist as individuals (and how the universe can exist) both separate from God yet still within God. The contrasting terms can sometimes correspond to transcendence and immmanence, though even the light that surrounds indicates something that is much more intimate than the picture of a transcendent God. Both dimensions of light are necessary for sustaining and bringing into being the whole cosmos, as well as each and every creation and creature. Or Eyn Sof – the infinite light of creation, the light from the level of Ein Sof, is the source and root of all this light. Or Eyn Sof is pure chesed, overflowing kindness; it has no boundaries and observes no limits. (See Kabbalah and creation.)

If you think about fractals, you could imagine a tiny bit what it means for the Or Sovev to be "surrounding" and the Or M'malei filling even the minutest quark and every aggregate up from that: every atom, every molecule, every micro-organism and organelle, every limb, organ and artery of every body, every tree root and every mycorrhizal cell that lives with it, every ocean and mountain and every pebble. From here, as Sefer Yetsirah says, "go on and calculate what the mouth cannot speak and the ear cannot hear."

Tant"a – an acronym for T'amim – cantillation marks, N'kudot – vowel points, Tagin – crowns (the threads drawn on top of some letters in a Torah scroll, and Otiyot – letters, each of which corresponds to a world of creation. Their order goes from the most immaterial to the most physical. All are dimensions of the written Torah, necessary parts of reading Torah aloud from the scroll.

Abiy"a – the four worlds—an acronym for Atsilut – Emanation, B'riyah – Creation, Yetsirah – Formation, and 'Asiyah – Doing and Making (See What are the Sefirot? under "Structure" for more on the four worlds.)



Design in progress © Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg 2006