zimzum

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Hebrew צימצום \ צִמְצוּם ‎(tzimtzúm, zimzum, literally contraction).

Noun[edit]

zimzum ‎(uncountable)

  1. (Kabbalah) The self-imposed "withdrawal" of a part of God to enable the creation of the universe, as described by Isaac Luria.
    • 2007, Karen Armstrong, The Bible: The Biography, Atlantic 2008, p. 170:
      At an early stage in the creative process, En Sof had tried to fill the vacuum it had created by zimzum with divine light, but the "vessels" or "pipes" designed to channel it had broken.
    • 2006, Joseph Dan, Kabbalah: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford 2006, p. 81:
      Several prominent kabbalists viewed the zimzum as a voluntary divine process intended to make divinity more approachable to the created realms and to the people.
    • 1952, Carmine G Barbra, A Search for God, Trafford 1952, p. 148:
      Zimzum is a "restrictive contraction" which takes place in the first emanation of light and thus is the seed event which precedes all others in the act of creation.
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