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The 1st stage - Emanation

The first stage was the overall concept. The first level of conceptualization is the initial stage in which the Sefirot become manifest. This level is called the world of Atzilut. The word Atzilut comes from the Hebrew word Aitzel, which means “next to,” or “emanated from.” This world is the next stage after the Tzimtzum of the Or Ein Sof. Once the possibility for finite creation had been made possible through the Tzimtzum, it was then possible to delineate different features or attributes of G-d. The Torah uses different Hebrew names for G-d. They are in fact names that describe the different Sefirot. For example, the name E-l describes G-dliness as manifest in the Sefirah of Chessed. Elokim describes G-dliness as manifest in the Sefirah of Gevurah, and so on.
The world of Atzilut is still within the realm of the Infinite, and each of the Sefirot in the world of Atzilut is infinite. The novelty of the world of Atzilut is the delineation between the attributes. Each one becomes identifiable in its own right. Previously, although the possibility for their creation existed, it was totally obscured by the Or Ein Sof. In the world of Atzilut, all that can be felt is the Divine. There is yet no independent existence.
Each of the four stages of creation corresponds to one of the four letters in the Tetragrammaton, G-d’s four-lettered name of Havaye. The world of Atzilut corresponds to the letter Yud. This letter is shaped in the form of a dot and is the smallest letter from which all other letters are conceived. It is the quintessential point from which all further existence may develop. As explained earlier, the letter Yud also corresponds to the Sefirah of Chochmah. Although all ten Sefirot are present in every world, one Sefirah (or a group of Sefirot) is predominant at each stage. The dominant Sefirah in the world of Atzilut is Chochmah. The world of Atzilut is the revealed potential of further creation.
   
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