As we discussed in the previous post “Singularity and Paradise,” Paradise offers a beautiful metaphor for modern cosmology wherein Eden is the initial singularity preceding the Big Bang, the river flowing from Eden to water the garden[1] is the expanding universe, and the garden itself is our planet Earth.

This metaphor fits nicely with an old Kabbalistic allegory of a glassblower who maps the various stages of the glassblowing process with the four letters of the Tetragrammaton—Y‑H‑W‑H, or yud-heh-vav-heh. To create a glass object, the glassblower must first have a seminal idea of what he desires to create—this corresponds to the letter י (yud) of the Tetragrammaton, because yud represents Chokhmah, which itself represents the seminal idea and inspiration. Before the process of creation begins, the glassblower must inhale air into his lungs—this corresponds to the letter ה (heh) of the Tetragrammaton because the first heh represents Binah, which is the concept of expansion. Subsequently, the glassblower exhales the air through a long tube—this corresponds to the letter ו (vav) of the Tetragrammaton, which looks like a vertical line or a long tube. Finally, the air enters into the molten glass through the end of the tube to expand the glass outward into a sphere—which corresponds to the final letter ה (heh) of the Tetragrammaton, because, again, heh represents expansion and because the last heh represents the sefirah of Malchut, where all creation takes shape.

The allegory lends itself to being applied to modern cosmology. The intention of the glassblower and the idea of the creation representing letter yud of the Tetragrammaton correspond to the initial singularity preceding the Big Bang. Expanding the lungs of the glassblower with air representing heh corresponds to the Big Bang itself and to the initial period of inflation. The glassblower’s tube corresponding to the letter vav represents the long period of expansion of the Universe. And, finally, the blown molten glass at the end of the tube representing the second heh and Malchut corresponds to our planet Earth, which is also identified with Malchut.

We can summarize the glassblower allegory in the following table:

Tetragrammaton י (Yud) ה (Heh) ו (Vav) ה (Heh)
Sefirah Chokhmah Binah Six Midot[2]Zeer Anpin Malchut
Glassblower Idea/inspiration Inhaling air into the lungs of the glassblower Exhaling air through the glassblower’s tube Inflating the molten glass at the end of the tube
Cosmology Initial Singularity Big Bang, Inflation Long period of expansion of the universe Earth
Paradise Eden—wellspring River headwaters River downstream Garden


The four stages of creation—(i) the initial singularity, (ii) the Big Bang and the initial inflation, (iii) the long period of the expansion of the universe, and (iv) the formation of the solar system with the planet Earth—correspond with the four letters of the Tetragrammaton and also explain the fine-tuning problem, why our universe is so finely tuned to be fit for life. Indeed, as the glassblower allegory explains, everything starts from the initial idea of creation. Before making an exquisite vase, the glassblower must imagine it in his mind. Similarly, before creating this world, G‑d imagined His creation, and from this initial idea, creation flowed through the other three stages, resulting in the planet Earth and us, humans who can ask the question, Why is the universe so finely tuned for our existence? No wonder the final product—the Earth inhabited by humans—is fit for our existence. It was designed to be.

[1] Genesis 2:10.

[2] Midot are the six lower sefirot: Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet, Netzach, Hod, and Yesod.