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Iyyun Circle, 13th century. MS Munich 54, fol. 288a

Jewish Mysticism
What is the essence of the Creator? He is a living essence that is compared to the appearance of the image of the soul and its form, i.e., the shape of the anthropos but it is spiritual like the brain or ether that is a form and not a body. The Holy One, blessed be He, is similar to this, He may be compared and yet He is incomparable. Heaven forfend, He has no image or form, but rather the image of His intellect is like a soul that is imagined (mesuyeret) in the shape of a body (binyan ha- guf); thus He takes shape in the sefirot. The one who wishes to understand this should think about the subtlety and the essence (ha-daqut we-ha-mahut), but not (corporeal) substance (ha-mamashut). Further, the Holy One, blessed be He, overflows to all the sefirot, and all the sefirot draw from His power, and He is seen through the intermediaries, but He is elevated and exalted above them, for there is no limit to His exaltation. This is [the import of] “there was the semblance of a human form” (Ezek. 1-26), and not an actual human.

Translated by Elliot Wolfson in Through a Speculum that Shines- Vision and Imagination in Medieval Jewish Mysticism, Princeton- Princeton University Press, 1994.

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