This is a page excerpt from the first chapter:
TZIMTZUM is the notion that there is a contradiction between the infinite and the finite. If the Creator is everywhere, how can anything else exist? The very act of creation involved a self-limitation on the part of the Creator, whose presence contracted so that finitude – space and time and the things that occupy them, could emerge – Were it not so, we would not be.
0, a number I associate with Tzimtzum, is a number 100 – 100 that comes from the Sanskrit word śūnya, meaning “empty” or “void”. Zero defines the lack of a positional value and in ancient times was shown as a space between numerals.
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“When the community of Israel was exiled from its home, the letters of the Divine name flew apart. But in the sixth millennium the letter V will resurrect the letter H. In the sixth part of the sixth millennium, the gates of supernal knowledge will open above along with the wellsprings of secular wisdom below. This will begin the process whereby the world will prepare to enter the seventh, Sabbath, millennium, as man makes preparations on the sixth day of the week to enter the Day of Rest, when the sun is about to set” The Zohar.
El – Hakkari Road, Old City Jerusalem, Israel Palestine
1200 hours Sunday April 19th 1998 CE (5758 HC)
Sharon Abendstern, face haggard and drawn from several days of stress and lack of sleep, sat on the edge of her husband’s bed gently stroking the back of his wizened hand. Aaron’s eyes opened but were glazed over, causing an icy horripilation on her skin. Recovering quickly she asked in a soft voice how he was feeling.
‘The… the… frr… ’ he tried to say, his voice hoarse, faltering.
‘No Arly, it is all right… please try to be quiet,’ she said, stifling her desire to cry out and engulf him in her arms.
Thin traces of salt marked her cheeks, each one a sign of the torment raging within her small frame as she watched her husband dying slowly before her, in incremental, inexorable, tortured steps. A tear fell from her soft brown eyes and onto his hand. She felt she was at the lowest ebb of her life.
The room they were in was set high above the ancient, narrow, cobbled street of El – Hakkari. A muezzin calling the faithful to prayer in the Arab quarter reminded her of Aaron’s fondness for the sound. Three days before, Aaron had collapsed towards the end of an International statistics conference in Jerusalem and had been rushed to a nearby hospital for emergency treatment. After heated argument the doctors eventually agreed to Sharon’s wish for him to be able to die in peace within his home surrounds.
A dog barked in the street just below them and she stood up to look outside. A figure in a black burqa shuffled across her view and disappeared around the corner opposite their apartment. Something in the way the person moved heightened her sense of awareness. She waited, keeping half an eye out for Aaron.
The person reappeared and walked slowly towards them. Her body tensed as the dark eyes behind the burqa glanced up and fixed on her. The person hesitated, and then continued walking towards their building. There was a light knock on the door. Sharon turned towards Aaron, unsure as to what to do.
Aaron cried out in a soft but firm voice ‘Sharon, let her in! It’s all right, let her in… please.’
Sharon was amazed on hearing Aaron speak coherently for the first time since his collapse.
‘What are you saying Aaron? Who is it?’ she asked, perplexed as to how Aaron could know that the stranger was a woman. ‘Do you know who it is at the door?’
Aaron smiled and tried to speak, but no words came out at first.
‘Arly… how do you know who it is?’ she persisted, holding his hand and squeezing it, delighted that her husband was again communicating.
‘I… know… I jus… just… know. Let her in please,’ Aaron rasped.
Sharon crossed the room and opened the door. The person was a woman as Aaron had said. She was clearly Asian. She indicated for the woman to enter and motioned for her to take a seat, then went back to Aaron.
‘Arly… Arly, wake up… !’ Sharon held his head to her chest and rocked back and forth, crying.
Aaron opened his eyes and tried to focus on Sharon. Smiling, he parted his dry parched lips just enough to whisper.
‘Hazael… Hazael… where is he?’ he rasped.
‘Shhh…Arly. He isn’t here,’ Sharon replied, tears pouring down her cheeks. Aaron was asking after their beloved grandson, the love of their lives and son of their only son, Les, now deceased.
Aaron squeezed Sharon’s hand, but could not speak. He turned his head towards the strange woman and managed a thin smile as she came into focus. He tried to say something but gave up, breathing heavily, trying to muster enough energy to talk. The woman stood patiently watching, her arms folded within her tunic. Then walking slowly across to Aaron, removing her burqa, she placed her hand on Aaron’s. The effect on him was electric. He looked up into the exquisite face before him, and gave her a look of instant recognition. He reached out and pulled her gently towards him. There was a pervasive atmosphere in the room, which Sharon was later to describe as the most extraordinary experience of her life.
The strange woman bent forward to listen to what the Rabbi was saying, her ear close up to his mouth. She saw the stranger’s face vary from deep concentration to amazement as her dying husband talked to her in painfully slow sentences. When he had finished speaking he reached to the table next to his bed and retrieved a notebook that he gave to the woman. She whispered some words into Aaron’s ear and settled back into a lotus sitting position, resting her delicate hand on Aaron’s. She was serene, calm and composed.
Aaron continued to stare at the strange woman, then became agitated and Sharon could see that he was trying to muster the last iota of his strength.
‘Hazael… Hazael… where is he?’ he rasped.
‘He’s not here Arly… ’ replied Sharon.
‘Tell him… the… look to th… th… the position, the two four two… the frag… ment of truth… the fragment … is… is… the… ’ He last breathed his last and became still. His eyes were wide open, an enigmatic smile on his face. He was gone.
The stranger took hold of Aaron’s thin wrist between her thumb and index finger, and seeing the deep sadness reflecting in Sharon’s eyes, shook her head. She brushed his eyes closed with her delicate fingers and raised herself to her feet, placing the burqa over her head once again.
‘The fragment… what was he trying to say?’ Sharon asked, her voice sounding to her as if it were not hers. ‘What does it mean?’
The stranger did not answer and put her hand gently on Sharon’s shoulder for a moment before leaving the room without a sound. Sharon, oblivious to the stranger’s departure, began to shake with huge racking sobs, emotion overcoming her.