Creation: The Prequel: Before there was a Before…

Rabbi Heiligman explains these pieces
Creation: The Prequel II (8″x10″)

The first word in the Torah: “בראשית”

The ancient rabbis asked why the Torah begins with the second letter of the Hebrew Alphabet, “bet” “ב” / (Bet) rather than the first letter, “א“, (Alef). 

As Hebrew is read from right to left, this suggested to the rabbis that Torah would only tell what preceded from the moment of that first letter in that first word.  We could not know what came before that first letter Bet, as the Bet opens leftward but is closed off to the right.  

To me, this presented the question-“What did come before the B in Beginning, or in Hebrew, the Bet in בראשית/B’resheet? And to answer the question of what preceded our planet Earth, we can look out into the light just reaching our planet from time immemorial.  This was the inspiration for using space telescope images to illustrate the Sefirot, the Divine Emanations that comprise the Kabbalistic “Blueprint for Creation.” (The diagram is typically depicted with plain circles.

According to Kabbalah (Jewish Mysticism), God’s goodness is bestowed upon us by means of 10 emanations. It is not God who differs from Sefirah to Sefirah but our human perception of God through these emanations. The diagram is known by several names, The Tree of Life, or Etz haChayim (עץ החיים) in Hebrew, Adam Kadmon, or the Primordial human form, and as the ten sefirot. Kabbalists consider it a map or blueprint for Creation. The large version was exhibited in American Visionary Art Museum, 2008-2009.

Creation: The Prequel 7′ by 4′
Copyright 2008, Joanne Yocheved Heiligman.  

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