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19. The Nature of the Elements
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Yesodei HaTorah 4:2 The nature of fire and wind is to ascend upwards from the earth towards the sky. The nature of water and earth is to descend from the sky to the center of the Earth, which is the lowest point there is. There is no consciousness or will in this matter, it’s just […]
18. The Four Basic Elements
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Yesodei HaTorah 3:11 Unlike the spheres, the four forms of matter possess no awareness; they are like dead bodies. Each form has its own inclinations but there is no conscious knowledge or control of them. Psalms 148:7-8 does not contradict this. These verses say, “Praise God from the Earth…fire and hail, snow and vapor, and […]
17. Primordial Matter
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Yesodei HaTorah 3:9 The stars and the spheres are in a sense aware and they recognize the One Who spoke and brought the world into existence. Each one praises and extols God according to its level, just as the angels do. They are not only aware of God, but also of themselves and of the […]
16. The Stars
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Yesodei HaTorah 3:7 The ninth sphere does not itself have any divisions, nor are the constellations actually in this sphere. Rather, the stars of the constellations are in the eighth sphere. The signs of the Zodiac correspond to the divisions of the ninth sphere as things were at the time of the flood. Since then, […]
15. The Zodiac
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Yesodei HaTorah 3:5 The total number of spheres that surround the Earth is 18; the number of smaller spheres that do not surround the Earth is eight. The number of spheres and their orbits are calculated by observing the movement of the planets combined with our knowledge of their revolutions, their position in the sky, […]
14. Smaller Spheres
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Yesodei HaTorah 3:3 The spheres possess no weight and no color. They appear to us as blue because of the atmosphere. Similarly, the spheres have no taste and no smell. These phenomena only exist in the physical things that the spheres contain. Yesodei HaTorah 3:4 All the spheres that surround the world are round and […]
13. The Heavenly Spheres
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Yesodei HaTorah 3:1 There are spheres that are called “heavens,” “firmament,” “habitation” and “skies.” All together, there are nine. The closest sphere is that of the moon. The second sphere contains the planet Mercury. The third sphere contains the planet Venus. The fourth sphere contains the sun. The fifth sphere contains the planet Mars. The […]
12. Keeping Profound Matters Secret
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Yesodei HaTorah 2:11 The concepts that we have discussed in these first two chapters are like a drop of water from an ocean of what is really required to explain things. The explanation of the principles discussed in these chapters is known as Maaseh Merkava, “the work of the Divine chariot.” Yesodei HaTorah 2:12 The […]
11. God’s “Life”
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Yesodei HaTorah 2:9 Everything in the universe aside from God Himself was brought into existence by Him. Since He knows Himself, He is aware of His own His greatness. God knows all and nothing is hidden from Him. Yesodei HaTorah 2:10 God knows the truth of His Own Being. His knowledge is not something external […]
10. Ten Levels of Angels
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Yesodei HaTorah 2:7 The groups of angels are called by different names, which reflect their positions. These include: 1) Chayos HaKodesh (holy beings), the highest rank; 2) Ofanim (wheels); 3) Erelim (valiant ones); 4) Chashmalim (electric ones); 5) Seraphim (fiery ones); 6) Malachim (messengers); 7) Elohim (the mighty ones); 8) B’nei Elohim (sons of the […]