The 18th World Congress of Jewish Studies

Kabbalah of Information: Absence of Information is Information

In my lecture, I will argue that Kabbalah implicitly talks about information. In the book Sefer Yetzirah, we read: “And He created His universe with the thirty-two paths of wisdom”. Here, “thirty-two” refers to the ten numbers and the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet – that can be interpreted as an informational code. In Lurianic Kabbalah, the letters are the building blocks of Creation, and they determine the essence of all objects. Commandments are informational instructions, Torah – information, blessings and curses – informational channels, the Original Sin – the acquisition of forbidden information about evil, etc.

The main tenet of the notion of “Kabbalah of Information” is: “In the beginning, He created information”. Using the words of Nahmanides, “He didn’t create anything else, just shaped it and formed it.’ From that follows that there is no multiplicity in Creation. At the basic level, everything spiritual and material is made of information.

In this lecture, I will try to show how my main idea – Kabbalah of Information – reformulating the major concepts of kabbalah, among them are the well-known terms as tzimtzum, sefirot, worlds, Sitra Aḥra and so on. In addition, I would like to show how the ideas of the Kabbalah of Information resonate with the ideas of modern science, which widely acknowledge the idea that information is the basis of our reality.

For example, if we interpret the kabbalah as a lore that engage in information, then we can understand the kabbalistic term Tzimtzum as a giant leap from absolute uncertainty about Ein Sof to certainty ‒ the point when information was created.