Dusty Phrases

Hi! Welcome to “Dusty Phrases.” You will find below an ancient phrase in one language or another, along with its English translation. You may also find the power to inspire your friends or provoke dread among your enemies.

For other examples, visit HERE:



עוֹלָם הַתֹּ֫הוּ
Olam HaTohu

עוֹלָם הַתִקוּן
Olam HaTikun 


The World of Tohu-Chaos/Confusion

The World of Tikkun-Order/Rectification

I’m covering a pair of Hebrew phrases here, but they go together with respect to understanding (though they are certainly not easy to understand, either together or separately.) From wiki:

Olam HaTohu (Hebrew: עוֹלָם הַתֹּ֫הוּ “The World of Tohu-Chaos/Confusion”) and Olam HaTikun (עוֹלָם הַתִקוּן “The World of Tikkun-Order/Rectification”) are two general stages in Jewish Kabbalah, in the order of descending spiritual worlds (Olamot). In subsequent creation they also represent two archetypal spiritual states of being and consciousness. Their concepts derive from the new scheme of Lurianic Kabbalah by Isaac Luria (1534–1572), the father of modern Kabbalah, based on his interpretation of classic references in the Zohar.

The implications of tohu and tikkun underlie the origin of free will and the evil realm of the qliphoth caused by the “Shattering of the Vessels” (שבירת הכלים), the processes of spiritual and physical exile and redemption, the meaning of the 613 commandments or mitzvot, and the messianic rectification of existence. Through this, Tikkun also has an active meaning, the esoteric sifting or clarification (בירור) of concealed divine sparks (ניצוצות) exiled in physical creation. This new paradigm in Kabbalah replaced the previous linear description of descent by Moses ben Jacob Cordovero with a dynamic process of spiritual enclothement, where higher “souls” invest inwardly in lower “vessels”. Related to the primordial cosmic realms of Tohu-Tikkun are two associated spiritual states for interpreting existence, psychological temperaments, or stages in the spiritual development of the individual.

The cosmic drama of tikkun in Lurianic Kabbalah inspired the 16th-18th century popular Jewish imagination, explaining contemporary oppression and supporting messiah claimants, but the most important tikkun is to have peace and order in Creation. The revivalist Hasidic Judaism from the 18th century onwards, internalised esoteric Lurianism through its own concern with experiencing divine omnipresence amidst daily material life. The terminology of the modern Jewish ideal of tikkun olam or “fixing the world” is taken from the Lurianic concept, but applied more widely to ethical activism in contemporary society.

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