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So apparently -- not sure if this is a retroactive explanation or what -- we eat fish, soup, meat, and "compote," in that order, by all Shabbos and Yom Tov meals in order to symbolize the Four Worlds. (Source: I learned this today at my Chabad seminary. [I'm not sure if it's only Chasidim who think this way or what.])

Supposedly the compote (i.e., fruit-based dessert) symbolizes the highest world A't'z'ilus, which leads to the question:

How could we then, given this understanding, make a new bracha on dessert because "it is not part of the meal"?

It goes without saying that the Four Worlds are absolutely, inseparably connected.

  • I never knew that about compote...:) – David Kenner May 25 '17 at 5:40
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    1) can you find source for this statement? Perhaps ask your teacher 2) There is a separation between Atzilut and Briya, Yetzirah, and Assiah. Kabbalah and Chassidut explain that Atzilut precedes the creation of the worlds. Atzilut, translated as the world of Emanation, is not a creation yet. It is G-dliness that Emanates from the essence of G-d, and expresses itself in various ways (Chesed, Gevurah, etc), but it is not a creation yet. This starts at the world of Briyah. -- Based on this, it would be understood why there is a separation between the rest of the meal and dessert – Menachem May 25 '17 at 5:41
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    @ Menachem Hey, I was thinking of that too. If there is a symbolic explanation, then that's it. – David Kenner May 25 '17 at 5:43
  • Related judaism.stackexchange.com/a/3995/759 – Double AA May 25 '17 at 5:43
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    dessert is not part of the meal therefore it necessitates its own blessing. the connection if any that is made between specific foods and the order they are eaten in relation to the 4 worlds does not make it part of the meal. – Laser123 May 25 '17 at 18:14
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Although all the four worlds are inseparably connected as you say, there is a distinction between the worlds of Briah, Yetzirah, Asiyah and the world of Atzilut. From the Chassidic context which you request, this distinction is referring to the Parsah (the curtain) which is between Atzilut and the lower worlds.

It corresponds to the double curtain which hung between the Kodesh HaKadashim area and the Kodesh area in the Mishkan. In the Temple that curtain was replaced by the separating wall.

If you are looking for a brief description of this distinction, try the end of the first chapter of the Chassidic Discourse Bati l'Gani from the previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok, in the year 5710 beginning with the words:

כידוע ההפרש בד׳ עולמות , דכתיב כל הנקרא בשמי ולכבודי בראתיו יצדתיו אף עשיתיו שהם ד׳ עולמות אבי״ע

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Supposedly the compote (i.e., fruit-based dessert) symbolizes the highest world A't'z'ilus, which leads to the question:

How could we then, given this understanding, make a new bracha on dessert because "it is not part of the meal"?

I believe your question is based on a false premise; symbolic meaning does not automatically make it part of the meal. It makes it part of the symbolism.

  • Don't have much time to answer you now but basically in short, I am asking this question from the Chasidic perspective which implies that the "symbolism" is not externally imposed after the fact, but inherent in the whole Torah from its giving – SAH May 25 '17 at 18:20

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