The Way of G-d
Part 4: "Divine Service"
Ch. 6: "The Sequence of the Day"
Let's take a quick foray now through the four "universes" the Kabbalists
speak of. For as we'll find in the next chapter, each section of our
morning prayers ties into one of them. Before we begin, though, we'd need
to see what the Kabbalists mean by a universe, since they're not only
referring to the solar system we know of (or to others beyond this one for
that matter, since at bottom they're still only *physical* no matter how
stunning and immensely far away they may be); they're also referring to
A "universe" is defined as a coordinated array of distinct entities and
phenomena that function together in a single framework. Some would depict
them as huge cosmic "systems", "environments", or the like, but the point
is that there are four of them, and while the first one has to do with
physical phenomena, most have to do with transcendent ones.
In any event, the physical realm that we experience outright (and that we
can perceive through instruments) is only the first universe, and it
encompasses all of outer space as well as life on earth. The next higher
universe is that of the angels; higher than that is the universe of the
Transcendent Forces (see 1:5:1), also known as the universe of The Throne;
and the highest of all universes is the one from which G-d reveals and
bestows His light. But since this one is so transcendent, it can't really
be termed a universe per se (which implies number, a division of duties,
etc., which is all irrelevant to G-d Himself), we'll refer to it as the G-
It's also important to know that all of creation follows the following
sequence: the physical universe depends on the angels in their realm, the
angels depend on the Forces in the universe of The Throne (and its various
levels), and the Forces depend on the G-dly dimension which is the root of
Text Copyright © 2005 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org.