Ain and Yesh: Being and Nothingness in Judaism
Zal g'mor - to own the Encyclopedia of Jewish Myth, Magic, and Mysticism, go to: http://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Jewish-Myth-Magic-Mysticism/dp/0738709050
 This also means, “The principle,” as in, “[what follows is] the great principle.”
 This list is arranged counter-intuitively. One would expect it to read “…and all the holy beasts, and all the angels, and all the heavenly precincts, and [even] all the [material] words,” working “down” the chain of creation. Why he opts to arrange it thus is not clear.
 This is quoting the daily prayer known as the gevurot.
 Which is God. It is hard to capture in English the playful interaction of the related terms ha-khol, ha-klal, k’lul and klum. There is also a built in linguistic curiosity. Khol means “all” in the most boundless and limitless sense. Yet the ha- attached to the front is the definite article, which is both specifying and delimiting - “the all” (not be mistaken for another boundless and limitless all), is essentially a paradox, one that captures the paradox of God's all-being and nothingness in a word.
 The greatest reality of God, that God is “no-thing.” So if God is All and Nothing, then every creation too is both [part of] all and is nothing.
 If God is everything, then our sense of self means nothing. One reader has complained about the persistent use of the masculine third-person pronoun for both God and humanity. In actuality, this translation has already eliminated many of the masculine pronouns that pepper the Hebrew text. As was conventional in his day, Levi Yitzkhak referred to God primaily using masculine terms. Hopefully the thoughtful reader can see past these words and recognize his essential argument, which is that what we term "God" simultaneously contains and transcends all categories, including those of gender and sex.
 Citing from another prayer, the blessing for the functioning of the body.
 This refers to a formal teaching of kabbalistic metaphysics – that existence emanates from the sefirah of Chokhmah, a higher aspect of the godhead labeled “Wisdom.” Above that stage/level in divinity, there is only ain, that which is “no-thing.”
 Rabbi Isaak Luria, the most famous Jewish mystic in history.