Ein Sof

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Ein Sof (or Ayn Sof) (Hebrew אין סוף), in Kabbalah, is understood as God prior to His self-manifestation in the production of any spiritual Realm, probably derived from Ibn Gabirol's term, "the Endless One" (she-en lo tiklah). Ein Sof may be translated as "no end," "unending," "there is no end," or Infinite.

Ein Sof is the divine origin of all created existence, in contrast to the Ein (or Ayn), which is infinite no-thingness. It was first used by Azriel ben Menahem, who, sharing the Neoplatonic view that God can have no desire, thought, word, or action, emphasized by it the negation of any attribute. Of the Ein Sof, nothing ("Ein") can be grasped ("Sof"-limitation). It is the origin of the Ohr Ein Sof, the "Infinite Light" of paradoxical Divine self-knowledge, nullified within the Ein Sof prior to Creation. In Lurianic Kabbalah, the first act of Creation, the Tzimtzum self "withdrawal" of God to create an "empty space", takes place from there. In Hasidism, the Tzimtzum is only illusionary concealment of the Ohr Ein Sof, giving rise to Monistic Panentheism. Consequently, Hasidism focuses on the Atzmus Divine essence, rooted higher within the Godhead than the Ein Sof, which is limited to infinitude, and reflected in the essence (Etzem) of the Torah and the soul.

Explanation

The Zohar explains the term "Ein Sof" as follows:

In other words, "Ein Sof" signifies...
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