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The notion appears in the Zohar of the Sitra Ahra, or Another Side.  It is a shadow of the Sefirotic world having the same structure, the world Kelippoth and demonic powers. It has roots or in the destructed worlds of the past (preceding to this world) which are called "the Kings of Edom", or in the separation from the Divine substance the powers of the Stern Judgement. In any case, after the completion of the tiqqun process these Sitra Ahra are destroyed or transfigurated into Light according to their substantial nature.

According to some early Sefardic Kabbalists the idea of remnants of the previous worlds is connected with the concept of shemittoth, or cosmic cycles.  Some other Kabbalists say that before the creation of this world of the equilibrium of Din (Stern Judgement) and Mercy the God created some previous unsteady worlds with the abundance of the Din power. They disappeared because of domination of the Din. But Din is the source of the roots of evil as well. Thus the remnants of these worlds became kelippoth which corrupted the present universe. But Lurianic Kabbalah denies the idea of many cosmic cycles (and the Zohar does likewise).
Evgueni Tortchinov
Judaic Kabbalah

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page uploaded 17 November 1998