Definitions

macro cosmic

Guf

In Jewish mysticism, the Chamber of Guf (or Guph or even Gup) (Hebrew for "body" or "corpse") also called the Otzar (Hebrew for "treasury") is the Hall of Souls, located in the Seventh Heaven. Every human soul is held to emanate from the Guf. The Talmud teaches that the Messiah will not come until the Guf is emptied of all its souls (Yevamot 62a).

The mystic significance of the Guf is that each person is important and has a unique role which only he, with his unique soul, can fulfill. Even a newborn baby brings the Messiah closer simply by being born.

In keeping with other Jewish legends that envision souls as bird-like, the Guf is sometimes described as a columbarium, or birdhouse. Folklore says sparrows can see the soul's descent and this explains their joyous chirping.

The peculiar idiom of describing the treasury of souls as a "body" may be connected to the mythic tradition of Adam Kadmon, the primordial man. Adam Kadmon, God's "original intention" for humanity, was a supernal being, androgynous and macro-cosmic (co-equal in size with the universe). When this Adam sinned, humanity was demoted to the flesh and blood, bifurcated and mortal creatures we are now. According to Kabbalah, every human soul is just a fragment (or fragments) cycling out of the great "world-soul" of Adam Kadmon. Hence, every human soul comes from the "guf [of Adam Kadmon]."

See also

Bibliography

Dennis, Geoffrey, The Encyclopedia of Jewish Myth, Magic, and Mysticism, Llewellyn Worldwide

External links

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