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Publisher's Foreword

Maamar VeKibeil HaYehudim 5687 [1927]

Maamar Yehi Havayah Elokeinu Imanu 5687 [1927]

Maamar Havayah Li BeOzrai 5687 [1927]

Maamar Baruch HaGomel LaChayavim Tovos 5687 [1927]

Maamar Asarah SheYoshvim VeOskim BaTorah 5688 [1928]

Defiance And Devotion
Selected Chassidic Discourses
Dating From The Arrest And Liberation
Of The Sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, In 1927


Maamar VeKibeil HaYehudim 5687 [1927]

Translated by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger Edited by Uri Kaploun

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  Publisher's ForewordMaamar Yehi Havayah Elokeinu Imanu 5687 [1927]  

"The Jews Accepted What They Had Already Begun..."

[One historic Purim Katan, hundreds of chassidim crowded into the modest wooden Lubavitcher shul that used to stand in the grounds of the imposing synagogue that still dominates Archipova Street in Moscow. Every single man clearly knew that the presence there of the Rebbe Rayatz and his own presence there endangered the lives of them all. (And in fact, exactly four months later, on 15 Sivan, the Rebbe himself together with many of those present was arrested.) For the year was 1927, and they all knew that planted amongst them were secret agents of the dreaded NKVD. To make things worse, the fearlessly "counter-revolutionary" discourse they were about to hear urged them to defy the Haman of their own days, and to prepare themselves to sacrifice their lives, quite literally, in order to keep the underground Torah classes open for the last hope of Israel - their own little children.

Some nine years later, in a letter written in Otvotzk, dated [1] Kislev 5697 [1936] and addressed to his Secretary for Educational Affairs, Rabbi H.M.A. Hodakov, the Rebbe Rayatz himself described the events of that day:1

"...On Purim Katan, 5687 [1927], which fell on a Wednesday, I was in Moscow. The chassidim and the temimim (May they live and be well!) organized a farbrengen to be held in the Lubavitcher shul. That same morning I was informed that investigations were being made concerning me at my lodgings in the Sibirski Hotel. A secret agent was already counting my steps. Early in the evening I received news from Leningrad that (May we never know of such news!) a person close to me[2] had been arrested. In fact, [among the chassidim,] fears were being expressed concerning me. Nevertheless, I did not want to cancel the farbrengen.

"The farbrengen was held at the appointed hour. I delivered the maamar which begins with the words, VeKibeil HaYehudim Eis Asher Heicheilu. The concept of self-sacrifice for the sake of the Torah and its mitzvos is mentioned there several times. I placed particular emphasis on those passages, ignoring the fact that the very walls had ears.... Later, in the course of the farbrengen, I repeated those words with an emphasis intended to arouse the hearts [of my listeners to action], in keeping with the needs of those days...."]

I

[The concluding passages of Megillas Esther record that after the miracle of Purim,] "The Jews accepted what they had already begun."[3] [This verse can be interpreted to mean that] at this time, in the era of exile, the Jews accepted [and internalized the process of spiritual progress that] they had begun previously, at the time of the Giving of the Torah. This interpretation echoes the teaching of our Sages (Shabbos 88a) on the verse,[4] "The Jews affirmed and accepted..." The Sages understand this verse to mean that "they now affirmed what they had already accepted [when the Torah was given]." [I.e., though the Jewish people had willingly accepted the Torah at Mount Sinai, it was not affirmed as an intrinsic, unalterable part of their beings until the events of Purim.]

On the surface, this is an inconceivable statement. At the time of the Giving of the Torah, the Jews had attained the loftiest heights of redemption, the most elevated levels of liberty and freedom. [Furthermore,] they had witnessed numerous signs and wonders during their exodus from Egypt; i.e., they had observed how the Divine power and life-energy which transcends the natural order became discernible and visible within nature itself. In particular, [this was revealed] at the splitting of the Red Sea.[5] When they reached Mount Sinai they had thus attained the ultimate peaks, and there they apprehended G-dliness through direct sense-perception.

Exile represents the absolute opposite. "We do not see our signs,"[6] for the G-dly light and life-energy are not at all apparent. On the contrary, "darkness covers the earth,"[7] [as the Divine light is obscured] in a manifold sequence of self-contractions, concealments and veilings.

All the exiles resemble the exile in Egypt,[8] of which it is written,[9] "They did not listen to Moshe because of their dwindled spirits and hard toil." [I.e.,] their back-breaking labors[10] [deadened their receptiveness to Moshe's message]. The same applies to every man in all other exiles. "With his very soul he brings his bread,"[11] confronting many trials that challenge his observance of the Torah and its mitzvos. With the sweat of his brow, toiling arduously from the time he rises in the morning until the late hours of the night, he has time for neither prayer nor Torah study. He makes his way through his day with a troubled mind. "In the morning [he says], 'If only it were night,' and in the evening [he says], 'If only it were morning.' "[12] [Indeed, these pressures] leave people confused throughout the day and night.

In particular, in Haman's era, [in addition to the difficulties of earning a livelihood, the exile threatened our very existence. Haman]rose up against us to annihilate us, "to destroy, kill, and exterminate all the Jews, young and old,"[13] without leaving a remnant or survivor, heaven forbid.

On that verse the Midrash Rabbah (7:13) comments: "[Haman] said, 'Surely I will begin by striking at these children.' " In order to carry out his wicked designs to destroy the Jewish people, heaven forbid, he would begin [by attacking] tinokos shel beis rabban, the children who study Torah.

There is an allusion to this in the verse,[14] "And it came to pass in the days of Achashverosh...."

In Midrash Rabbah[15] on this verse, our Sages comment:

The phrase Vayehi Bimei ("And it came to pass in the days of...") always introduces a period of distress.

For example, it is written,[16] "And it came to pass in the days of Achaz...." What calamity transpired then? [Achaz said,] "If there are no kids, there will be no goats.... If there are no children, there will be no adults; if there are no adults, there will be no scholars; if there are no scholars, there will be no sages; if there are no sages, there will be no elders; if there are no elders, there will be no Torah; if there is no Torah, there will be no synagogues and houses of study. And if there are no synagogues and houses of study, the Holy One, blessed be He, will not cause His presence to rest in the world."

What did he do? He locked all the synagogues and houses of study so that the Torah would not be studied.... Why was he called Achaz [which means "to hold fast"]? Because he firmly closed all the synagogues and houses of study.

[R. Yaakov bar Abba, speaking in the name of R. Acha, derived a lesson from the words of the prophet Yeshayahu:[17] "I have waited on G-d, Who hides His face from the House of Yaakov, and I have hoped for Him."

Referring to the edict of Achaz, he declared: "Never has Israel known such a dire hour; as it is written,[18] 'I will surely hide My face on that day, on account of all the evil....'] And since that hour I have hoped for Him, for it is written,[19] '[The Torah] will not be forgotten from the mouths of his descendants.' "

[And in this spirit too Yeshayahu challenged King Achaz:] "What success will you have?" (I.e.: What will you achieve by locking up synagogues and houses of study? Your intent is that, heaven forbid, the Torah will be forgotten by the Jewish people, who will thus be separated from G-d. However, your endeavors will bear no fruit, because -) "Behold, I and the children whom G-d has given me as signs and wonders in Israel"[20] [will prevent that from happening].

Now were these his children?! Surely they were only his students! This, then, is the source which teaches us that a person's student is called his son.

Through these children, Yeshayahu rebuilt the ruin wrought by Achaz. This is what is meant by the words, "From that time 'I have hoped for Him,' for it is written, '[The Torah] will not be forgotten from the mouths of his descendants.' " For tinokos shel beis rabban are the foundation that enables "Your nation all [to be] righteous."[21]

Synopsis

The above chapter speaks of the lofty stature of [the Jews' spiritual attainments] and the exalted revelations [they experienced] during the Exodus from Egypt, the splitting of the Red Sea, and the Giving of the Torah. These are [contrasted with their] awesome descent and lowly spiritual level in the time of exile.

Haman's decree to (heaven forbid) destroy [the Jewish people] begins with tinokos shel beis rabban, for these children are the foundation of the Jewish people.

II

On this basis, we can understand the verse,[22] "Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, You established the strength... to silence the enemy and the avenger." On the surface, the verse is problematic. Combating an enemy and, how much more so, one who seeks revenge, requires people of great strength and courage who are trained in the tactics of war.

[To explain:] An enemy is one who openly [displays his] hatred, while a person who seeks revenge is one who hides [his] hatred, but schemes [for revenge]. Furthermore, an enemy fights openly, and thus there are two camps, one pitted against the other. In contrast, revenge is taken only by one who is stronger than his adversary; i.e., for whatever reason, he is stronger, and seeks to take revenge against him.

Furthermore, in regard to war, there are certain accepted rules and conventions which limit the scope of one's activity. In contrast, a person who seeks revenge ignores these conventions entirely. To destroy an enemy and, how much more so, a person who is eager and - for some reason - able to take revenge, requires strong and courageous individuals who are able to withstand the throes of battle.

If so, why is it that "[the strength...] to silence the enemy and the avenger" derives from "babes and sucklings"? This is inconceivable. How can babes and sucklings with their minimal power nullify an enemy and even an avenger?

The concept can be explained as follows. It is written,[23] " 'Not by might and not by power, but by My spirit,' says the L-rd of Hosts." ["My spirit"] refers to the revelation of the Divine Name Havayah[24] that takes place within every member of the Jewish people.

Thus it is specifically "from the mouths of babes and sucklings," from the breath of the tinokos shel beis rabban,[25] that "You established strength," for "There is no strength other than Torah."[26] And it is this strength that can negate an enemy and even an avenger.

[To return, however, to the question posed originally:] How is it possible that in the days of Haman, who desired (heaven forbid) to destroy [the Jewish people] when they were on a very low spiritual rung, that they were able to "affirm what they had already undertaken" when the Torah was given?

For, [as was pointed out above,] at Mount Sinai the Jews were on a high spiritual plane, as it is written,[27] "Face to face I spoke to you." [Panim, here translated as "face," also means "inner dimension." In that light, the verse can be interpreted, "My inner dimension was communicated to you and became your inner core."] Thus, as is known from other sources,[28] through this [process of communication,] the name Havayah was implanted within each and every Jew.

[The uniqueness of the Jews' level at the time the Torah was given is also expressed by our Sages' statement,[29] that "G-d] held the mountain over them like a tub," [so that they felt compelled to accept the Torah]. As interpreted elsewhere,[30] this statement means that there was [such a powerful] revelation [of G-dliness] from above [that the people had no choice but to accept the Torah].

[These concepts reinforce the question mentioned above: Why is the Jews' declaration] Naaseh venishma ("We will [first] fulfill and we will [then] listen") considered only the acceptance [of the Torah and thus incomplete], while the affirmation [of the Jews' connection to the Torah] was actually realized only in the time of the exile, when they suffered extreme stress, heaven forbid? [How is it possible that it was specifically then that] "they affirmed what they had already accepted"?

Synopsis

An enemy engages in open combat, while a person who seeks revenge schemes in hiding. Both enemies and avengers are overcome by tinokos shel beis rabban. In this manner, we can understand the verse, "Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, You established the strength... to silence the enemy and the avenger."

The question is raised: How is it possible that it was while under the threat of [Haman's] edict that the Jews confirmed in actual [life] what was, at the time of the giving of the Torah, accepted only in the sphere of potential? [How could the Jews have reached a higher rung of service in exile?]

III

This concept [can be explained as follows]: It is written,21 "Your people are all righteous (tzaddikim).... They are the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, in which I take pride." By virtue of the source of their souls, the entire Jewish people are at the level of tzaddikim. This is the message of the verse, "Your people are all righteous." "Your people," G-d's people, who were conceived and born in holiness and purity as prescribed by the Torah, are at the level of tzaddikim.

On the surface, [this statement is problematic because] the level of the tzaddik[31] is elevated indeed.[32] How is it possible for each and every member of the Jewish people to reach this level in actual life to the extent that he is "a branch of My planting, the work of My hands, in which I take pride," [as expressed by] children and grandchildren who are involved in Torah study?

In particular, [one might ask: How could this level have been attained] in the time of exile, when Haman stood over the people with the intent to destroy and kill [them], heaven forbid? And despite this, they stood up with self-sacrifice and gathered together at that very time to study Torah in public.

Thus Midrash Rabbah [9:4] relates that Mordechai gathered together 22,000 students, and when the tyrant, the wicked Haman, approached them, they felt no fear whatsoever, declaring that whether [their fate be] life or death, they would remain bound to the Torah. They were willing to accept any punishment at all, to the point of actual self-sacrifice, as long as they would not be separated from the Torah.

On the surface, it is most remarkable that in such a bitter exile, heaven forbid, when the king had promoted and elevated the wicked Haman, the persecutor of the entire Jewish people, the Jews would be able to express such self-sacrifice.

[In resolution, we can explain]: On the verse,[33] "There was a Jewish man...," the Midrash Rabbah [6:2] relates that "in his generation, Mordechai [served a function] equivalent to [that served by] Moshe in his generation. Just as Moshe warded off potential disaster, so too did Mordechai.... Just as Moshe taught the Torah to the Jewish people, so too did Mordechai...."

Thus, it was through [Mordechai's influence] that the source of the souls of the Jewish people shone forth openly. And it was with this power that the Jews stood up with self-sacrifice in their practical observance of the Torah and its mitzvos.

[To explain Mordechai's influence in greater depth:] It is written,[34] "And you [Moshe] shall command the Children of Israel to bring you pure oil, crushed for the light...to keep a constant light burning."

[This verse raises several questions:]

  1. We must understand why the Torah uses different phraseology here than in regard to the other commandments.[35] Generally, when Moshe is given a command to convey to the Jews, he is told, "Command the Children of Israel." Why does the above verse state, "And you shall command the Children of Israel"?

  2. Why were the Jews commanded to bring the olive oil to [Moshe]?[36] Since the lights were in fact lit by Aharon, it would seemingly be appropriate that the oil be brought to him. Why, then, does the Torah say that the oil should be brought "to you," [to Moshe]?

  3. Also, the expression "crushed for the light" (Kasis LaMoir) is problematic. The oil used for the lights simply had to be pure. Why [does the Torah mention that] it had to be crushed?

  4. The expression "for the light" (LaMoir) also raises questions. Seemingly, it would have been more appropriate to say, "to illumine" (LeHa'ir).

  5. Also, we must understand what is meant by the expression, "a constant light" (Ner Tamid). When [the Torah describes] the candles kindled by Aharon, it states[37] that [Aharon and his sons should prepare it so that it will burn] "from the evening until the morning." [Why then] does the Torah speak of "a constant light" in connection with Moshe?

[These questions can be resolved by explaining] their parallels in the service of G-d that takes place in the soul of man. For the ultimate intent [of creation] is that [every individual] become "a constant light," as it is written,[38] "The soul of man is a lamp of G-d." [The light of the soul] will then affect and illuminate all the worldly matters with which he is involved.

Synopsis

At the time of [Haman's] decree, the light in the soul of the Jewish people was revealed. With self-sacrifice, they stood firm in the face of challenges to their observance of the Torah and its mitzvos. [Their resolve was inspired] by Mordechai, who was equivalent to Moshe Rabbeinu, concerning whom it is written, "And you shall command the Children of Israel." This implies that he was granted the potential to connect the Jews to G-d, so that [each of them would shine as] "a constant light."

IV

On this basis, [we can understand the use of the above expression], "And you shall command."[39] A commandment sets up a connection [between the one issuing the command and the one receiving it]. [This bond is reflected in the very words Tzivui ("command") and Tzavsa ("together"), which share common root letters.]

"There is an extension of Moshe in every generation."[40] [I.e., every generation has a tzaddik who performs a function similar to that performed by Moshe for his generation, and to him the Torah addresses itself, as follows:] "When 'you shall command the Children of Israel' " - i.e., when you [Moshe] connect [yourself with] the Children of Israel - "then 'they will bring you olive oil.' " I.e., the Jewish people, by serving G-d through studying Torah and observing the mitzvos, will thereby augment the light revealed at Moshe's level. And the result will be "a constant light."

To understand the above:[41] It is well known that Moshe is called "the faithful shepherd" (Raya MeHeimna),[42] because he nurtures the faith of the Jewish people. We, all of the Jewish people, believe in G-d with perfect faith to the point of actual self-sacrifice. Moshe is the shepherd who sustains and strengthens this faith.

A shepherd does not create anything new: he simply leads his flock to a place of fine pasture. "He gathers the lambs with his arm..., and gently leads those that are with sucklings."[43] He guides the little ones to the particular pasture that he has chosen as being best suited to their needs.

Thus Midrash Rabbah (Shmos 2:2) relates that Moshe would first take the tender lambs out to pasture among the softest shoots, then the older sheep to feed on the middling grass, and finally he would lead the sturdiest ones out to cope with the toughest grass.

"Said the Holy One, blessed be He: 'He who knows how to pasture sheep, each one according to his strength, should come to be a shepherd for My people.' This is implied by the verse,[44] 'From following the ewes with sucklings, He brought him to be the shepherd of Yaakov, His people.' "

Moshe is thus called a faithful shepherd, one who nourishes and strengthens our faith in G-d. As it is written,[45] "[Trust in G-d...] and nurture[46] faith," for faith must be nourished and sustained. Thus, the Zohar (III, 225b), [commenting on the above verse], speaks of "the sublime faith being sustained and fed through your [acts]." This means that faith needs to be strengthened, for "food is included in sustenance."[47] And this is the function of Moshe.

"There is an extension of Moshe in each generation." This refers to the leaders of the Jewish people, the "eyes of the congregation,"[48] the shepherds of Israel, who strengthen the people's faith in G-d [to the extent that] they are willing to actually sacrifice their lives for the observance of the Torah and its mitzvos.

To explain: The Jewish people are called "believers, the descendants of believers."[49] [They are called "believers,"] as it is written,[50] "And the people believed," and as it is likewise written,[51] "And they believed in G-d." They are called "the descendants of believers," for they are the descendants of Avraham, who is called [the personification of] faith, as it is written,[52] "And he believed in G-d." Moreover, there is a verse that says,[53] "[Come...] with me from Lebanon, look from the top of Amana." [Noting the resemblance between Amana, a mountain range in Lebanon, and emunah, the Hebrew for "faith," our Sages[54] interpret the above phrase:] "From Avraham, the first of the believers."

Our forefather Avraham was the first to open the path of faith [to the extent of] self-sacrifice, and this legacy of faith he bequeathed to his descendants.[55] This is the simple faith in G-d which is implanted in the heart of every Jew - that He permeates all worlds (memaleh kol almin) and transcends all worlds (sovev kol almin), and that here is no place devoid of Him (leis asar panui minei).[56]

Synopsis

Moshe as a "shepherd of faith." In each generation there is an extension of Moshe; these are the leaders of the Jewish people who strengthen their faith in G-d, [making them aware that He] "permeates all worlds and transcends all worlds."

V

The Jewish people's faith reaches its peak at the level [of Divine light known as] sovev kol almin. [Appreciating G-d's manifestation at the level of memaleh kol almin does not challenge our resources of faith, for it can be understood intellectually.]

Avos DeRabbi Nasan[57] states: "[For] everything which the Holy One, blessed be He, created in the world [at large,] He created [a parallel] within man. He created forests in the world; as a parallel, he created hairs within man." [Similarly, that text] enumerates other phenomena created in the world which have parallels in man's [body]. For this reason our Sages[58] refer to man as a microcosm (olam katan), a world in miniature. It is likewise written,[59] "He placed the world in their hearts," for everything that exists in the world is purified and refined by man.

[Conversely,] the world is described[60] as a macrocosm (guf gadol), a large-scale body. For just as a man has 248 limbs, 365 sinews, hair, nails, and so on, parallels to these elements exist in the world at large. [The conception of the world as] a large-scale body also implies that it is animated by an indispensable source of life-energy. And, as we see, the world is alive. It is clear that trees and plants, for example, have a source of life-energy from which they derive their vitality.

This life-energy comes from the Divine light which is memaleh kol almin, focusing its [immanent] light and life-energy on each individual created being in a particularized manner. [This is implied by our Sages' statement,[61]] "Just as the soul permeates [lit., 'fills'] the body, so the Holy One, blessed be He, permeates [lit., 'fills'] the world." The manner in which the body (which is a world in miniature) derives its vitality from the soul, reflects the manner in which the world (which is a large-scale body) derives its life-energy. This life-energy [is beamed] in a particular manner, each individual being [receiving its own life-energy]. This parallels the manner in which the light and life-energy of the soul is enclothed in each limb individually.

[To elaborate on this analogy:] The light and life-energy of the soul which is enclothed in the body is manifest in three ways: it animates the head in a different manner from the way in which it animates the torso and the legs.

It goes without saying that the legs have a function to serve, for a perfect body comprises all the limbs, and this of course includes the legs. [Furthermore,] they are in a sense superior[62] to the rest of the body, for they support the head and raise it high. While it is the head that makes one person appear taller than another, it is the legs that in fact make the difference between them. Or, [to give another example,] while the difference between a person when seated and when standing erect is noticed in the height of his head, here too it is the legs that make the difference. Moreover, the feet conduct the head to places which it could never reach, if left to its own resources.

[The potential possessed by the legs can be understood within the context of the statement,[63] "The beginning is implanted in the end." This implies that] the ultimate source is more directly implanted in the legs than in the head [where it is openly] expressed.

This [concept is reflected in the following interpretation of the words spoken by Moshe Rabbeinu:[64]] "Here I am in the midst of 600,000 people on foot." Moshe's spiritual level was that of the Sefirah called Chochmah ("wisdom"). The word "I" (Anochi in Hebrew) refers to the transcendent level of Keser (the highest of all Sefiros). The presence of "Anochi" within the "midst" of Moshe alludes to the revelation of Keser within Chochmah. This is made possible only because of the "600,000 people on foot" (literally, "the feet of the people").[65] It is thus the "feet of the people" which add light to Moshe. This is implied by the statement in the liturgy,[66] "Moshe rejoiced in the gift of his portion." [Why was he granted this portion? Our Sages explain that G-d said to Moshe,[67]] "I endowed you with greatness only for the sake of the Jewish people."

Synopsis

The world (which is a large-scale body) is refined through man (who is a world in miniature), for man understands and senses the Divine life-energy within the world because of the life-energy that animates his soul. [The Divine life-energy which one perceives is] the immanent, permeating light which is called memaleh kol almin.

Though the legs are the lowest components of the body, they are superior to the head inasmuch as they support it and raise it up. [The message of this analogy is explained within the context of an interpretation of the verse,] "Here I am in the midst of 600,000 people on foot."

VI

[An awareness of the spiritual power possessed by the "legs of the people," i.e., the common people, should inspire efforts to reach out to these people and motivate them to express this power.]

Our Sages taught,[68] "A person who causes another to perform [a mitzvah] is greater than the person who actually performs [the mitzvah]." The supporters of Torah study are thus more praiseworthy than the very scholars whom their contributions maintain.[69]

Furthermore, catalysts of this kind are to be esteemed not only in relation to financial support, but likewise in relation to spiritual charity. It is a commendable attainment indeed when, for example, a person establishes a regular session of communal Torah study, and the Halachah or Aggadah in question matches the level of the participants. Indeed, this attainment illustrates our Sages' interpretation of the verse,[70] "Hearken and listen Israel." [Noting the relationship between the words HasKeis ("hearken") and Kitah ("class"), they comment:[71]] "Set up classes and study the Torah together, for only in a group can the Torah be mastered."

Even those individuals who are capable of [independent,] advanced study should participate in these [communal] study sessions.[72] It goes without saying that the person who delivers such a class is both rewarded and spiritually elevated thereby. Beyond that, moreover, even the other participants are considered to have given spiritual charity. Since each man's presence strengthens his neighbor, each man there is a "supporter of Torah." And such efforts are all the more praiseworthy when [directed] to simple people.

Another [expression of the unique spiritual potential possessed by common people] is the power of mesirus nefesh ("self-sacrifice"), which is more [openly revealed] among simple people than among intellectuals and others with a developed understanding.[73]

From the above, it is obvious that the feet possess great qualities. Nonetheless, in regard to the light and life-energy which is enclothed in the body in [a revealed and] immanent manner, the middle portion of the body, the torso, is on a higher level than are the feet. [This is reflected by] the presence there of the heart and other internal organs on which a person's life depends. Even the slightest perforation[74] in them [could cause a person's death]. In contrast, the feet possess only one faculty, motor power, which is the lowest potential possessed by our souls.

[The faculties housed in the torso] are immeasurably more refined [than those of the feet. Firstly, our] emotions [are associated with the heart]. Even in regard to motor power, the hands [which are associated with the torso] manifest this potential in a far more developed manner than [is reflected in] the ability of the feet to walk. The feet can at best propel stones, a potential possessed by animals as well. In contrast, the power of movement in the hands is also expressed in the ability to write, which is a uniquely human potential, and likewise in the ability to draw.

Although these two last-mentioned skills are also expressions of the power of movement, which is the lowest of the potentials possessed by our souls, they represent the inner dimension of that potential; i.e., each of our potentials has an external dimension and an internal dimension.[75] For example, the external dimension of the potential of movement is expressed in walking and propelling [objects], while the internal dimension is expressed in writing and art.

To elaborate: Even when [the power of propulsion is interrelated with the power of thought, as in] the precise propulsion of an object, causing it to "hit its target to within a hair's-breadth without missing,"[76] and which requires thought and practice, the most prominent element is the actual deed. This is evidenced by the fact that after the power invested in the article that was thrown ceases, the object naturally falls. In contrast, [the power of movement used in producing] a work of art is a garment, [i.e., a means of presentation,] for the intellect. Furthermore, we see how the intellect dominates [and controls] the [physical] power. For this reason, the fundamental beauty of a work of art is its content and its message and not the mere form presented. Thus, it reflects the inner dimension of the power of action.

Synopsis

"A person who causes another to perform [a mitzvah] is greater than the person who actually performs [the mitzvah]." This teaching of our Sages can be applied to the "supporters of Torah," those who with their money and their efforts encourage communal Torah study. Studying with the common people can be considered as spiritual charity.

The foot [and so too the common people it metaphorically represents] possesses great qualities. It is, however, the lowest of the [three divisions of the body, expressing our least developed] powers. [Even the power of movement which it does express, is surpassed by the power of movement in the hands, which are capable of producing] artistic creations that are garments for the intellect.

VII

Our emotional potentials are on a higher plane than even the inner dimension of the power of movement. This also holds true for [the limbs which are] the vessels [for these powers], as evidenced by the heart, which is the seat of the emotions.

Nevertheless, when compared to the head, even the torso is of lesser standing, for the head contains our most sophisticated capabilities - sight, hearing, taste and smell, and of course, the power of intellect in the brain. [Attaching this importance to the brain is not intended to minimize the importance of the heart. Indeed,] in regard to a person's life, the heart and the brain are equally vital. Just as it is impossible to live without a head, it is impossible to live without a heart.[77]

These aspects of man's external physical existence are also reflected in his inner life-potential, man's inner self. Thus our Sages (Shabbos 11a) state, "Any pain, but not a pained heart; any infirmity, but not an infirmity of the head."

A healthy person has both a brain and the heart [and modulates the influence of one with the other, as indicated by] the adage,[78] "There is no wise man like a man of experience." This refers to a person whose wisdom has stood by him [in his everyday experience], enabling him to carry out positive activity.

[To illustrate by contrast,] there are some people who have admirable powers of comprehension. They can understand what is true and good, but their wisdom is only an academic abstraction. It has no effect on the realm of action at all: the brain does not affect the heart and the heart is not influenced by the brain. [Such a person] understands what should be done, but [expressing these values] in actual life is another matter entirely.

True health involves both an active brain and an active heart, each one in its own sphere. The brain should thoroughly comprehend a concept with due breadth of scope. The heart should then translate this potential into actuality, refining the individual's emotions as dictated by his comprehension of [the intellectual blueprint].

Thus, the brain and the heart play equal roles in human life. Nevertheless, the brain surpasses the heart [because it is the brain which conveys the ideas that are actualized through the heart]. [A question concerning the dominance of the brain can be raised for] Reusa D'Liba (lit., "the will of the heart," a person's innermost spiritual desire), which transcends his intellect, is expressed in the heart. This, however, reflects a level of the light and life-energy which transcends the life and light-energy that is enclothed within the body.

[To explain:] There are two levels of "the will of the heart":[79]

  1. That which is brought about by meditation (hisbonenus); i.e., though it is an innate and essential desire (ratzon atzmi), it is evoked by meditation. This refers to [an elevated level of meditation,] meditation on the Or Ein Sof, the Infinite Light which transcends hishtalshelus, the entire scheme of spiritual existence. This meditation is a function of the brain and it finds expression in an arousal of the heart.

  2. The elemental will of the soul insofar as it exists in the core of the soul, which is intrinsically bound with the [infinite] essence of the Ein Sof, blessed be He. This is the bond alluded to by the phrase in the liturgy,[80] "clinging and cleaving to You."

[Both these levels] reflect the light and life-energy of the soul insofar as they transcend the light and life-energy enclothed in the body. [I.e., although this essential will is occasionally revealed within our lives, we have no control over it. It is an expression of the essence of our souls which entirely supersedes our normal conscious processes.] In regard to the light and life-energy of the soul which is enclothed in the body, [i.e., with regard to our ordinary conscious processes,] the head is the most elevated component of the body.

Synopsis

A person's life depends on both the brain and the heart. [The usual order of our conscious processes is that] intellectual comprehension leads to the refinement of the emotions in the heart.

There are two levels of "the will of the heart." The superiority of the heart [in the service of G-d] is expressed in "the will of the heart"; the superiority of the mind [in the service of G-d] is expressed in the realm of comprehension.

VIII

Just as the soul which permeates (lit., "fills") the body is manifest in three general ways, [depending on whether it is animating] the head, the torso, or the feet, similarly [the light and life-energy of] the spiritual worlds [is manifest] at three levels, [depending on whether it is animating] the World of Beriah, the World of Yetzirah, or the World of Asiyah.

[Now it is true that there are more than three spiritual worlds.] Thus, on the verse,[81] V'Alomos Ein Mispar - "And maidens without number," we are taught, "Do not read Alomos ('maidens') but Olomois ('worlds');[82] i.e., there is an utterly unlimited number of spiritual worlds. Nevertheless, these [may be classified in] three general categories, the Worlds of Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah. This division is reflected in the statement,[83] "The Supernal Mother [i.e., the Sefirah of Binah] makes her home in [the Divine] Throne [i.e., the World of Beriah]; the six Sefiros [are to be found] in [the World of] Yetzirah, and [the Sefirah of] Malchus [is to be found] in [the World of] Asiyah. However, the various worlds may still be described as being innumerable and unbounded because the [Divine] light and life-energy [which animates them] divides into a multitude of levels according to the nature of each world.

This [division] characterizes the light of memaleh kol almin, the Divine light which enclothes itself in the worlds. It is a ray of [Divine] light that undergoes a manifold process of self-contraction and [self-]concealment.

[This process is alluded to in the verse,[84]] Malchuscha Malchus Kol Ha'olos - "Your Kingship is a kingship over all worlds"; i.e., all the worlds come into being through the attribute of Malchus ("kingship"). [The Sefirah of] Malchus of [the World of] Atzilus is the light and the life-energy for the three Worlds of Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah. Nevertheless, this light - the light of Malchus of Atzilus that vitalizes the Worlds of Beriah, Yetzirah, and Asiyah - is merely a ray. Only the external dimension of Malchus is transmitted, and this transmission is [indirect; i.e., its influence is] interrupted by the parsah [lit., "curtain"][85] that separates the World of Atzilus from the Worlds of Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah.

This [transmission of influence emanating from Malchus] is of two levels: there is an influence from "nearby" and an influence from "afar". A king, by way of analogy, conducts his country by means of two opposite potentials. [On the one hand,] the very essence and foundation of sovereignty is the attribute of exalted majesty. For this reason [a king] must be exalted and uplifted, for leadership involves majesty, [i.e., raising oneself above one's subjects, transcending their particular situations].

[On the other hand, the second dimension of kingship is reflected in the verse,[86]] Melech Bemishpat Ya'amid - "A king establishes the land with judgment." The fundamental concern of a ruler is his country's welfare, and this concern is expressed through [careful] judgment concerning all its affairs. Thus, [the people accepted Shlomo as a king and] "stood in awe [of him], because they saw that the wisdom of G-d was within him, [enabling him] to execute judgment."[87]

[In contrast to the majestic stance previously described,] which implies distance, judgment [entails a closeness between a king and his subjects, for it] involves investigating and examining the entire range of particular elements that comprise [the task of] administering [a country]. And it is through [the fusion of] these two approaches that [the administration of] a country is maintained.

Similarly, in the analog [in the spiritual realms, these two approaches] represent the two levels of Malchus: (a) Influence transmitted through [metaphorical] distance; [i.e., the dimension of majesty as reflected in the verse,[88]] "And the sea [was set] upon them from above"; (b) Influence transmitted through [metaphorical] closeness. As explained elsewhere,[89] this refers to the ray of Divine light that is transmitted despite the parsah separating the World of Atzilus from the Worlds of Beriah, Yetzirah, and Asiyah.

Synopsis

Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah are three [general categories of] worlds, whereas the expression, "worlds without number," refers to the innumerable levels that exist within each of these worlds. This [multiplicity is a function of] the [immanent and particularized] light of memaleh kol almin.
"Your kingship is a kingship over all the worlds." [This phrase signifies that all the worlds receive their Divine influence from the attribute of Malchus, kingship.] This influence [of life-giving energy] is transmitted through two approaches, one involving distance and one involving closeness. These approaches are illustrated by the analogy of [a king who] rules [his country by employing] both majesty [i.e., influence transmitted through distance] and judgment [i.e., influence transmitted through closeness].

IX

In contrast [to the light of memaleh kol almin discussed above], the light of sovev kol almin is not enclothed in the worlds in an immanent manner. Rather, it grants life to the worlds as it transcends them.

The verse,[90] Es Hasamayim V'Es Ha'Aretz Ani Maleh - "I fill the heavens and the earth," [though speaking of G-d's own Being, does not contradict the concept of His transcendence]. As explained in ch. 38 of Tanya, the phrase sovev [kol almin] does not signify a Divine light that encompasses the worlds from above. Rather, this dimension of G-dliness is present within every element of existence and within the innermost depths of this material world, though it is not "enclothed and secured" within the world.

[Being "enclothed and secured" would mean that it would be revealed by the medium which enclothes it; that medium would dominate it and define the nature of its revelation. For example,] the life-energy of memaleh kol almin is enclothed and secured within the worlds. [Therefore, the G-dly nature of this life-energy is not openly revealed and what is apparent is physical life. In contrast, the light] of sovev kol almin [exists within the worlds, though] without being "enclothed and secured" in them; as it is written,[91] Ki Nisgav Shmoi L'Vado - "His Name is exalted alone." I.e., [even] His Name is exalted and majestic, transcending [the worlds].

The above reflects our faith, the faith of the entire Jewish people, that the Or Ein Sof, the Infinite Light, grants life to the worlds at two levels, sovev kol almin and memaleh kol almin.

[More specifically,] the essence of faith [relates to the level of] sovev kol almin. [In regard to the level of] memaleh kol almin, [faith is not required, because] it is possible to comprehend [the existence of this manifestation of G-dliness as powerfully] as if it were actually seen; as it is written,[92] "From my flesh, I behold G-d." From his own being, every man can appreciate the manner [in which G-dliness is manifest] in the world. Everyone comprehends that there is a life-force that endows him with life, for [his] body is alive - not in the sense that the body merely houses a living entity by virtue of which it is alive, but rather in the sense that the body itself is alive. From this, the individual knows that this life of the body stems from the life-force which animates it, [for when the body is cut off from that life-force, it exists without life].

One knows well that this life-force is manifest G-dliness for it can be clearly seen that an entity which is not manifest G-dliness does not live. For example, the body is an entity in its own right, a yesh. It does not live without the soul, (and merely exists by virtue of an edict of the Supernal Understanding, which alone maintains it in existence). In contrast, the soul lives because it is G-dliness, for life is G-dliness; as it is written,[93] "And G-d, the L-rd, is true; He is the living G-d."

[Since life emanates from G-dliness,] the medium for life is bittul, self-nullification. [This is evident from the verse,[94]] "The fear of G-d [leads] to life." Thus, the angels live and exist forever because of their great awe and bittul, as explained elsewhere.[95] Thus, since life is manifest G-dliness, the medium for attaining life is bittul.

[Based on the above, one can conclude that] faith is not necessarily the most appropriate means of apprehending [the immanent light of] memaleh kol almin. Rather, the essence of faith relates to [the transcendent light of] sovev kol almin, which is not [openly] comprehended or felt.

Synopsis

The light of sovev kol almin is a transcendent [light] which is not enclothed within the world. The Jewish people's faith [relates to the level of] memaleh kol almin, but in essence [relates more to the light of] sovev kol almin.

The light of memaleh kol almin can be perceived; as it is written, "From my flesh, I perceive [G-d]." The medium by which the Divine life-force may be received is bittul. The [eternal] existence of the angels is a result of their bittul.

X

[These two levels] are reflected in the declarations [of faith] that we make daily. The first is, ["Hear, O Israel,...] G-d is one."[96] The second is, "Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom forever and ever."[97] [These declarations represent] an acceptance [of G-d's sovereignty] and [an expression of our] faith in [G-d's manifestation as] memaleh kol almin and sovev kol almin.

Our faith in [these two expressions of G-dliness] corresponds to the two levels of bittul alluded to in the verse,[98] "The L-rd is a G-d of knowledge." [The plural form of Dayos, the word here translated "knowledge," leads to the interpretation[99] that] there are two planes in the knowledge [of G-d].

From the perspective of the lower plane of knowledge (daas tachton), our lowly realm [is perceived as being] yesh ("something"), while the higher realms [are perceived as being] ayin ("nothing"). That is to say: Since the existence of created beings [in this world] is seen, revealed and felt, they are called yesh, while the G-dliness that brings [them] into being is called ayin because it is not grasped.

[This term is used because] a created being calls whatever he cannot grasp - ayin, i.e., not what he himself is. He himself is a tangible entity, whereas the [Divine] life-energy is not an entity of that nature. He therefore calls it ayin, i.e., not what he is.

[We cannot say that by the word ayin he simply means to say "nothing", implying that the Divine life-force does not exist, because man] does perceive and recognize that there is a life-force [which maintains his existence] and, indeed, is the essence [of existence]. Nevertheless, since [that life-force] does not exist in the same manner as he does, he calls it ayin, [something he cannot perceive].

[In contrast, from the perspective of] the higher plane of knowledge (daas elyon), the spiritual realms are [perceived as being] yesh, true existence, while the lower level [i.e., material existence] is [perceived as being] ayin, a non-entity. From this perspective, the Ein Sof is the true existence and the levels below are ayin, for "before Him, everything is of no consequence."[100]

It is a familiar concept[101] that these two approaches exist within G-dliness itself. [The lower plane of knowledge is not merely the perspective of man: it has its source in the graduated sequence of the revelation of Divine light.] The ray of G-dliness which is the source for [the existence of] the worlds operates according to the lower level of knowledge. Since it is the source for the worlds, it (so to speak) considers the worlds' existence significant [and thus, the world can be considered yesh].

[To explain: The level of G-dliness which serves as the source for the world is the Sefirah of Malchus, kingship. However,] "A king cannot exist without a people";[102] i.e., the attribute of kingship presupposes the existence of a nation which submits itself to a king. [In the analog, the submission of the people parallels] the worlds' bittul [to the G-dly life-force which brings them into being]. [The analogy of a kingdom is appropriate because it also reveals the nature of this bittul,] which is bittul hayesh, [a bittul in which the self-effacing entity still retains its identity. As with subjects who submit themselves to a king, deference is paid to a higher authority; this does not, however, nullify their own individual existence.]

We are not referring to bittul bimetzius, utter self-nullification to the extent that one's personal identity is effaced entirely, for on such a level, there can be no concept of kingship, [which by definition involves rule over separate entities]. Thus, the approach is one of bittul hayesh. This is reflected in the [relationship between] the created beings which are yesh, independently existing entities, and the ayin, the Divine [life-force]. The faith and the understanding [of the created beings] cause them to be batel to the ayin, the Divine [life-force]. This bittul, however, is merely bittul hayesh.

[In contrast,] the higher plane of knowledge relates to Or Ein Sof, the Infinite Light, as it transcends the worlds, manifesting itself on the level of sovev kol almin. On this level [is manifest the higher plane of] knowledge which views the worlds as effacing themselves to the point of bittul bimetzius. [This is reflected in the expression,] "Before Him, everything is of no consequence."

It is, however, only "before Him," [i.e., only at the higher levels of G-dliness,] that "everything is of no consequence."[103] In contrast, in regard to the attribute of Malchus, [the lower Divine attribute which is the source for worldly existence,] "A king cannot exist without a people." [The people, in the analog,] the worlds, are significant, but they submit themselves [to Him].

It is faith that [produces] bittul. Thus, faith in the two levels of memaleh kol almin and sovev kol almin is [the source for] the two levels of bittul mentioned above. Our acceptance of these two levels of bittul is expressed in our statements, "G-d is one," and "Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom forever and ever." [In the Shema, the name used for G-d is Havayah, indicating that] the faith of the souls of the Jewish people is [directed to] the Name Havayah, [the transcendent dimension of G-dliness].

Faith, however, transcends [our ordinary conscious processes and is often not integrated within them]. [To illustrate this concept:] Our Sages taught,[104] "A thief calls on G-d before breaking in [to a house]." He believes in G-d; he believes that He nourishes and sustains all of His creatures, "providing bread for all flesh,"[105] and overseeing [the fortunes of] each and every creature individually. And it is because of this faith that He asks G-d, blessed be He, to help him and grant him success,[106] so that he too will have "bread to eat and clothing to wear."[107] In what, however, does he ask for success? - In stealing, and in not being caught in the act! Now this is a paradox indeed, asking G-d for help while flagrantly defying His will.

This inconsistency is possible because faith is far removed [from our ordinary conscious processes] and is not internalized within them. If the faith radiating in a man were to be integrated within him, he would find it impossible to defy G-d's will, to transgress the directives that come from His mouth. This paradoxical situation can exist only because faith stands beyond [our ordinary conscious processes].

Synopsis

Our faith [in G-d] as memaleh kol almin and sovev kol almin [brings about] two types of bittul: (a) the bittul associated with the lower plane of knowledge, bittul hayesh, [i.e., the created beings negate themselves] to the ayin, the ray of G-dliness which brings the worlds into existence; (b) the bittul associated with the higher plane of knowledge, bittul bimetzius.

Our acceptance of these two levels of bittul is expressed in our statements, "G-d is one," and "Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom forever and ever."

Faith, [however, by its very definition] transcends [our ordinary conscious processes]. [Therefore, it can lead to the paradox whereby] "a thief calls on G-d before breaking in."

XI

Every single person can find parallels [to such a paradox] - whether [as] grossly or perhaps more subtly - within his own personal situation. We ask for help from G-d, blessed be He, and yet the things we ask for may be utterly superfluous, serving merely to fulfill our desires. This is surely not His will, and thus such a person's situation parallels that of the thief [who prays] before breaking in [as mentioned above].

What causes such a situation? - A fundamental error which many people make regarding themselves. They are so convinced of their importance and personal worth that they think they deserve wealth [and other blessings]. Thus, [they rationalize,] they will be able to serve G-d through Torah study and prayer amidst prosperity.

[This, however, is only a rationalization.] In truth, their ultimate motivation is the wish that these material benefits fulfill their own desires - a motivation that does not reflect G-d's will at all.

[There are other more] subtle [expressions of the above paradox]. Commercial activity, for example, is intended to be a medium through which one can earn a livelihood. This medium must be pure; i.e., it should not involve the slightest trace of the prohibitions of falsehood, dishonesty, and the like. In fact, one's business dealings should be carried out in good faith[108] to the extent that one "speaks the truth in one's heart,"[109] as our Sages teach.[110]

Moreover, the overriding consideration should be that one's business dealings be carried out for the sake of heaven; i.e., one should be motivated by a Divine intent. It is true that permission has been granted to engage in business and to work, as it is written,[111] "Six days shall you work," and it is written,[112] "And G-d will bless you in all that you do," [implying that His blessing requires a certain measure of human activity which it will prosper and enhance].

Nevertheless, that activity itself is not the Divine intent underlying Creation.[113] Not for this was man created. On the contrary, the purpose for man's creation is [implied by the verse,[114]] "I made the world and I created man upon it." The word meaning "I created" (Barasi) is numerically equivalent to 613 [115] an acronym that alludes to the 613 mitzvos, for these are the reason for the world's creation.

One's commercial activity should therefore be motivated by a spiritual purpose, [for example,] the refinement [of the material substance of the world] which is achieved through this activity.

Accordingly, when one asks G-d for help in earning a livelihood one must first be certain that his business constitutes a pure medium. Furthermore, one should ensure that this business is a vessel fit to receive blessings, i.e., that it is conducted according to [G-d's] intent. Nevertheless, since faith transcends [the level of our conscious processes], a person [often] does not pay attention to the above [concepts in his day-to-day functioning].

Thus we can understand what it means to "nourish faith"[116] - to cause it to radiate within ourselves [i.e., to internalize this potential and bring our faith within our intellectual grasp]. This was the spiritual task of Moshe, the shepherd who nurtured faith, allowing "the righteous" [i.e., every individual among the Jewish people] to "live by his faith,"[117] so that it is felt with an inward vitality.

Moshe [has the potential to nurture the faith of the Jewish people] because he draws down the attribute of Daas ("knowledge" or "understanding") into their souls.[118] [Furthermore, his efforts are not directed only to the upper echelons of the people. Rather, as implied by the verse,[119]] "I shall grant pasture in your fields for your animals," [he also] drew down the attribute of Daas to [the common people, those whose] souls [can be described as] "brutish".[120]

Daas is live feeling. Moshe, the shepherd of faith, nourishes the faith in the souls of the Jewish people, causing it to be experienced with inner feeling.

Synopsis

Everyone can find examples of the above-described paradox in his own conduct when he asks G-d for something that contradicts His will. People often err in their self-appraisal, considering that they are worthy of children, wealth and esteem, and forgetting that even if they have not committed gross sins, there are many subtler faults that ought to be considered, such as the manner and the mediums through which one earns a livelihood. [Such anomalies may be averted by internalizing one's faith.]

"Nourishing" faith means causing it to radiate and be thoroughly integrated within oneself.

XII

This, then, is what is meant by the verse, "Your nation are all righteous": G-d's people, who are born in holiness and purity as prescribed by the Torah, are all righteous when we look at the source of their souls. [This quality is reflected] in our faith, the faith of the entire Jewish people, in "the One G-d."

All Jews declare, "Hear O Israel, G-d is our L-rd, G-d is one," and "Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom forever and ever." These two verses reflect our faithful acceptance of the two [manifestations of G-dliness], memaleh kol almin and sovev kol almin. [This faith is the essence of our spiritual personalities.] The fundamental goal of our service of G-d is [to extend the scope of this potential], so that our faith will radiate within [our intellects, allowing for] a developed grasp [of both the concepts - "Hear O Israel,...G-d is one," and "Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom forever and ever"] - to the point that it is experienced and internalized.

[Meditation on the phrase,] "Blessed be the Name of His glorious Kingdom," requires] that one should systematically contemplate the unique nature of creation yesh me'ayin (lit., "something from nothing"; i.e., creation ex nihilo), and the wondrous manner in which it is brought about.

[To explain:] The Divine [light which we call] ayin must be close to the yesh, the entity being created, [to bring it into being]. [Since the Divine light is enclothed within the created beings themselves, it must "descend" - i.e., progressively obscure itself - to a level at which it shares a commonalty with them.] Indeed, it is for this purpose that it is obliged to undergo the entire Seder HaHishtalshelus, [the chainlike system of descent whereby successively less-spiritual worlds come into being], in order to bring the Divine ayin close [to the level of created beings] and thus bring them into existence.

[Conversely, at the very same time,] the Creator must conceal Himself from created beings, [for were His presence to be openly revealed, it would be impossible for a created thing to perceive itself to be an entity with an independent existence. The fusion of G-d's closeness and distance] in the creation and the wondrous [process this involves] are explained at length in other sources.[121]

Similarly, [one should meditate on] how no entity can live independently of the Divine life-force that animates it. This should be grasped with inner feeling to the extent that just as a person feels that he is alive, he should feel that the world is alive, animated by a G-dly life-force. When he feels within his soul that the world lives with Divine life, he will feel the Divine life-force and not material substance (yesh). And with this he will have fulfilled what G-d desired of him.

Similarly, when one meditates on the phrase, "G-d is one," he should grasp the concept of G-d's oneness as firmly as if he saw it [with his own eyes], [and appreciated] the various dimensions of this oneness. This involves meditation on how "before Him, everything is of no significance"; i.e., in relation to the Or Ein Sof, the Infinite Light, the worlds are of no account whatever. The degree of bittul [that results from such an awareness] is bittul bimetzius, utter and complete self-effacement.

To illustrate [this concept] with an analogy. In comparison to a sage of sublime and unique wisdom, a man of moderate gifts is of no significance at all. The illustrious sage does not consider the latter's wisdom to be inferior wisdom, but plain foolishness. In fact he sees no difference between the man of lesser wisdom and an outright fool. Of King Shlomo, for example, it is written, "And G-d granted wisdom to Shlomo."[122] So richly was he thus endowed that by comparison the wisdom of lesser men may be considered mere foolishness. How much more so can a person who is not wise be considered a fool. Indeed, relative to a true sage, a person lacking in understanding may appear to be barely human.

[The way in which a sage is distant from others does not stem from pride or conceit. It is not that he looks down on others: he is simply on a higher level of understanding. Just as people in two different geographic locations may not be aware of each other's existence, the sage is simply in a different realm and cannot share his wisdom with others who are not on his level.]

Synopsis

[The internalization of faith involves integrating one's faith within the context of one's intellectual faculties.] In regard to [the light of] memaleh kol almin, faith shines within one's meditation on the nature of creation yesh me'ayin. This involves [comprehension of] the [simultaneous] closeness and concealment [that characterizes the relationship between] the yesh and the ayin.

In regard to [the light of] sovev kol almin, [faith] shines within one's meditation on [the concept that] "G-d is one." An awareness of this brings created beings to a state of bittul, of utter insignificance. This is illustrated by the analogy of a moderately wise man who is not considered as wise at all when compared to an illustrious sage whose wisdom is of his essence.

XIII

The spiritual analog to the above can be understood in regard to the utter insignificance of the entire concept of [separate] existence. Just as the superlative gifts of an outstanding sage cause him to regard the wisdom of a mediocrity not as an inferior degree of wisdom but rather as the very opposite of wisdom, similarly, because of the awesomely wondrous nature of the Or Ein Sof, the Infinite Light, and its utter transcendence [of the concept] of separate existence, the existence of the world is as nothing.

There is, however, a difference in this regard between the higher [i.e., more spiritual] worlds and the lower worlds. The higher worlds appreciate their insignificance in relation to [G-d's] essence; i.e., they know and appreciate the transcendence of the Or Ein Sof and [perceive] how [in comparison with it] the worlds are of no significance whatsoever. This knowledge and perception itself causes them to transcend their individual existence, [i.e., to lose all sense of independent identity and lose all self-concern].

[This feeling can also be understood within the above] analogy. When a man of lesser wisdom acknowledges his inferiority relative to an illustrious sage, his self-nullification affects the very essence of his being. Everyone foregoes his self-assertion before a sage of truly great stature. This includes even simple people who have no appreciation of his great wisdom. Their self-annulment is, however, of an entirely different nature. We observe that they draw close to the sage and desire to serve him, attaching self-importance to the fact that they share a connection with him.

In contrast, someone who does appreciate wisdom, though he be incomparably inferior to the towering sage, refrains from drawing close to him. On the contrary, the very essence of his being is overcome by self-nullification.

Thus, though both kinds of people sense their own nothingness relative to the gifted sage, the nature of their self-nullification differs. In a wise man of a lesser stature this awareness permeates his entire being, [so that he loses all self-concern - a level comparable to the bittul bimetzius of the spiritual realms. In contrast,] the very bittul of a simple person causes him [paradoxically] to rise in self-esteem.

The analog to these concepts can be understood regarding the difference between the self-effacement (bittul) of the higher worlds, [which is complete and total] like the self-effacement of the lesser sage, and the self-effacement of these lower worlds, which resembles that of the simple person whose self-esteem is [not shaken - indeed it is enhanced - by his connection with a sage], even though in truth this self-esteem is unwarranted.

Synopsis

Relative to a ray of Or Ein Sof, the Infinite Light, the existence of this world is utterly of no consequence.

An analogy is drawn between the bittul of the spiritual worlds and the utter self-nullification of a minor sage in the presence of a sage in whom wisdom is of his very essence. By contrast, the bittul of [our] lowly material world can be compared to the bittul of a simple person to such a sage, for through his connection with the sage, the simple person's self-esteem in fact grows.

XIV

Let us now focus on the concept of [how our existence] has no real significance; i.e., how an entity, though a non-being, can nevertheless continue to exist. [This is the nature of the relationship between the light of sovev kol almin and the lower levels of existence: although these lower levels of being do exist, "everything before You is of no significance."]

[To explain this concept by extending the above analogy to a familiar situation] in the service [of G-d] and the observance of the Torah and its mitzvos: There are some people who are innately attracted to Torah study, and would dearly love to see [their] children and grandchildren involved in it. They are drawn towards the students of Torah, develop a connection with them, and have an active sensitivity to all holy matters. Nevertheless, their closeness is not entirely genuine.

Why is this? - Because of peer influence; their environment prevents them from really drawing close [to the Torah]. [A person in such a predicament is apprehensive in case making such a commitment] would be considered socially inappropriate. In the Yiddish idiom, es past im nit. If he were to participate regularly in a communal study session, enroll his son in a cheder or in a yeshivah, or establish a genuine and open connection with G-d-fearing people, his social circle might raise an eyebrow of disapproval.

Similarly, there are people who are committed to the service of G-d but who are hindered in [their study of] Torah and, in particular, in the "service of the heart," i.e., in prayer,[123] by [their relations with] others. These hindrances vary according to the nature of the individuals involved and according to the circumstances of time and place, and sometimes must even be fought off.

Nevertheless, in a moment of truth - i.e., when a person meditates on the real purpose for which he was created, on the final goal of all his efforts, and the Divine intent for which he was granted children and grandchildren - he will understand that the ultimate end of all these facets of his life is the fulfillment of the Creator's will and His intent. [A person who has attained this realization will not at all be affected by other people.]

The same applies to those whose service of G-d in Torah study and prayer stems from the core of truth in their souls, i.e., those whose service of G-d endows them with an internalized awareness of the truth. Such people are not disturbed by others at all. For example, in times of Divine favor on Rosh HaShanah or Yom Kippur, or when serving G-d through joy on Simchas Torah, such a person will not at all be disturbed by other people. It is not that he makes a point of considering them to be less worthy than himself; rather, he [will simply continue with his own service,] without paying any attention to them whatsoever because, [at this time,] their presence is of no consequence to him.

Although at an earlier stage he could have been distracted by people of comparable level, now that his own efforts have brought him to an internalized awareness of the truth, he is involved with himself and cannot be affected by them. [At this level of awareness,] the presence of others is totally of no account. Just as the inhabitants of another city do not affect him, so too, when one internalizes his awareness of the truth, he is in a different place entirely and others do not disturb him. Indeed, confronting him they cease to assert themselves. As the popular adage goes, "No one can resist the truth."

The analog to this model exists in the spiritual realms. The Or Ein Sof, the Infinite Light, transcends the created worlds entirely, to the extent that relative to it they are entirely insignificant, as if they did not exist at all. This is the meaning of the verse, "Hear O Israel... G-d is one." And our meditation on the oneness of G-d can lead to a thorough comprehension [and application of this level of complete bittul].

Synopsis

As an analogy to illustrate how [the worlds] are of no significance at all, it is explained that there are people who are attracted and draw close to Torah scholars, but [hesitate to make a genuine commitment because] they are uneasy about facing their peers. Similarly, there are people who serve G-d, and yet they feel inhibited by those around them. Nevertheless, at a time of [Divine] favor, other people do not deflect them from their path, because they have been elevated to a level at which the presence of others is meaningless to them. [Similarly, the light of sovev kol almin utterly transcends all other existence, to the extent that "Everything before Him is of no significance."]

XV

We can now understand the meaning of the verse, "And you shall command [the Children of Israel]."[124] [As explained above, based on the connection between the words tzavta ("connection") and tzivui ("command"), this charge can be interpreted as a directive for Moshe Rabbeinu to establish a bond with the Jewish people. This, in turn] allows him to connect the souls of Israel [to their Source].

When this is accomplished, "they will bring you olive oil." [To explain:] Moshe endows the souls of the Jewish people with the strength to reveal the superiority of the [seemingly lowest levels of the individual soul and of the Jewish people as a whole, known metaphorically as] the "foot", as explained above.[125] [In particular, his influence brings to the surface the power of mesirus nefesh that is latent within every Jew.]

There is an extension of Moshe in every generation[126] who serves as a "shepherd of faith," [nourishing and] strengthening the faith [of the Jewish people in every generation], enabling "the righteous [to] live by his faith," with an inner vitality. Moreover, by virtue of Moshe's influence, "Your nation are all righteous..., they are the branch of My planting." This refers to tinokos shel beis rabban, Jewish children who study the Torah. The potential [for these expressions of our fundamental Jewish essence] is also actualized by "the faithful shepherd," the leaders of the Jewish people who invigorate their souls and strengthen their faith.

In particular, this is expressed in the time of exile, in eras such as the time of Haman, who arose to destroy us, heaven forbid. Mordechai, who was equivalent to Moshe, arose at that time to strengthen our faith and [rally us] to stand fast in the study of the Torah. Haman sought to kill and exterminate the entire Jewish people, and said, "I will begin by striking at these children." Significantly, it was precisely the tinokos shel beis rabban whom Mordechai [gathered together] for communal study, and it was [through their merit] that the "enemy and the avenger" were silenced.[127]

[These insights can grant us a fresh understanding of a verse quoted above, concerning which a number of queries were posed.[128] In the first instance, that verse specified that the olives for the Menorah had to be] "crushed for the light." In the time of exile, everyone is broken and crushed - but it is precisely at such a time that one reaches the [essence of the] luminary itself. This in turn allows us "to keep a constant light burning." For this alludes to [the light within the soul of every one of us, as it is written],[129] "The soul of man is a lamp of G-d." This light refers to the Divine Name Havayah as it is manifest in the [Jewish] soul. When this dimension of the soul is revealed, i.e., when "Havayah is with him,"[130] then "the Halachah follows him in every instance."[131] I.e., the providence [G-d manifests] in the midst of nature [reflects and] reveals that which transcends nature. [Thus, although exile overtly represents a descent, it evokes an intense commitment on the part of the Jewish people which, in turn, brings about the revelation of transcendent G-dliness.]

We may now more fully understand the statement that "the Jews accepted what they had already begun,"[132] [i.e., that the service of G-d described in the Purim narrative completed the process of accepting the Torah]. At the Giving of the Torah, [G-d] "held the mountain over them like a tub," [forcing them as it were to accept the Torah,] by revealing [G-dliness from above]. In contrast, in the time of exile, in the time of what "came to pass in the days of Achashverosh," [there was no revelation from above, and the Jews had to develop their connection with G-d through their own commitment].

[The setting for the Purim narrative] resembled what "came to pass in the days of Achaz." Achaz had "locked all the synagogues and houses of study" in order (heaven forbid) to sever the people's connection with G-d. This he began [by disrupting the study of] tinokos shel beis rabban. [At that time,] Yeshayahu [the prophet] challenged him: "What success will you have?" For ultimately, "Behold, I and the children whom G-d has given me as signs and wonders in Israel" [will prevent that from happening]. And, in fact, they reconstructed what Achaz had destroyed.

The situation was similar in the time of Haman. He conspired (heaven forbid) to destroy the Jewish people entirely, and likewise began by striking at the tinokos shel beis rabban. The response of Mordechai, the extension of Moshe in his generation, was to arise and gather together groups of people [for communal study of the Torah], strengthening their faith in G-d through the study of tinokos shel beis rabban - for this is the foundation, essence and root of the entire [Jewish people].

It was this initiative that represented "the affirmation" through actual mesirus nefesh "of what they had already begun." This indeed is the ultimate purpose of the exile - that [the Jewish people] should stand firm in the face of all the challenges that confront them, [and thus reveal their essential bond with G-d].

In this light we can understand the above-quoted passage: "And since that hour I have hoped for Him, for it is written, '[The Torah] will not be forgotten from the mouths of his descendants.' " It is precisely in the time of exile - when "darkness covers the earth," [as the Divine light is obscured] in a manifold sequence of concealments and veilings that create formidable hindrances and obstacles - that the power is granted from Above to transform the pervading darkness into "the light which is good,"[133] with children and grandchildren occupied in the [study of] Torah.

This, then, represents the explanation of the verse, "The Jews accepted what they had already begun." Through their endeavors with the tinokos shel beis rabban, the Jews of that time confirmed with actual mesirus nefesh the [spiritual commitment] they had begun when the Torah was given. And through this, they were found worthy of redemption.

Synopsis

The maamar explains how the extension of Moshe [in every generation] fortifies the faith [of his contemporaries], enabling it to illuminate them from within. In times of exile and of anti-Semitic edicts everyone is broken and battered - "crushed," [like the olives used for oil in the Sanctuary]. [However,] it is through this that one can make contact with the luminary itself, with the "soul of man [which] is a lamp of G-d."

The salvation of the Jewish people is brought about by tinokos shel beis rabban and by study of the Torah in public. During times of exile the Jewish people are granted the strength required for self-sacrificing endeavors for the fulfillment of the Torah and its commandments. It is through this self-sacrifice that they are found worthy of redemption.

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) [Igros Kodesh (Letters) of the Rebbe Rayatz, ed. R. Shalom Dober Levin (Kehot, N.Y.; Heb.), Vol. IV, pp. 16-17.]

  2. (Back to text) [R. Elchanan Dov ("Chonye") Marozov, secretary of the Rebbe Rayatz.]

  3. (Back to text) [Esther 9:23.]

  4. (Back to text) [Ibid., v. 27.]

  5. (Back to text) [As the Sages taught, a mere maidservant witnessed more at the Sea than did the prophets [in their visions]; cf. Mechilta and Rashi on Shmos 15:2.]

  6. (Back to text) [Tehillim 74:9. The verse is referring to the signs and wonders of Divine revelation which are absent in the times of exile.]

  7. (Back to text) [Yeshayahu 60:2.]

  8. (Back to text) See Bereishis Rabbah 15:5, s.v. Kol hamalchiyos. This concept is explained at the beginning of Parshas Shmos in Torah Or.

  9. (Back to text) [Shmos 6:9.]

  10. (Back to text) [Ibid. 1:13-14.]

  11. (Back to text) [Mussaf of Rosh HaShanah (Machzor, p. 144) and Yom Kippur; cf. Eichah 5:9.]

  12. (Back to text) [Cf. Devarim 28:67.]

  13. (Back to text) [Esther 3:13.]

  14. (Back to text) [Ibid. 1:1.]

  15. (Back to text) [Prologue to Esther Rabbah, sec. 11.]

  16. (Back to text) [Yeshayahu 7:1.]

  17. (Back to text) [Ibid. 8:17.]

  18. (Back to text) [Devarim 31:18.]

  19. (Back to text) [Ibid. 31:21.]

  20. (Back to text) [Yeshayahu 8:18.]

  21. (Back to text) [Cf. Ibid. 60:21.]

  22. (Back to text) [Tehillim 8:3.]

  23. (Back to text) [Zechariah 4:6.]

  24. (Back to text) [Havayah refers to the Name of G-d (v-u-v-h), which may not be pronounced and is referred to by reading the letters in altered order.]

  25. (Back to text) [See Shabbos 119b.]

  26. (Back to text) See Vayikra Rabbah 31:5 and Yalkut Shimoni, Beshalach, sec. 244; see also Zevachim 116a. Accordingly, the statement of Kehilas Yaakov, Maareches Oz ("We have not found a source in the teachings of the Sages [for the association of oz ('strength') with Torah]") is problematic.

  27. (Back to text) [Devarim 5:4.]

  28. (Back to text) See Likkutei Torah, at the beginning of Parshas Re'eh.

  29. (Back to text) [Shabbos 88a.]

  30. (Back to text) See Torah Or, Megillas Esther, Chayav Inesh Livsumei, ch. 4.

  31. (Back to text) [Cf. Tanya, chs. 1 and 10.]

  32. (Back to text) See Zohar I, 93a; Or HaTorah by the Tzemach Tzedek, at the beginning of Parshas Noach.

  33. (Back to text) [Esther 2:5.]

  34. (Back to text) [Shmos 27:20.]

  35. (Back to text) [See also Sefer HaMaamarim 5689, p. 163.]

  36. (Back to text) [See also Torah Or, at the beginning of Parshas Tetzaveh (p. 81a).]

  37. (Back to text) [Shmos 27:21.]

  38. (Back to text) [Mishlei 20:27.]

  39. (Back to text) [See also Torah Or, Tetzaveh 82a; Sefer HaMaamarim 5679, p. 256; Sefer HaMaamarim 5689, pp. 175, 177.]

  40. (Back to text) Tikkunei Zohar, Tikkun 69 (p. 114a); see also Bereishis Rabbah 56:7.

  41. (Back to text) [The concepts outlined from this point until the conclusion of ch. 14 are based on Sefer HaMaamarim 5679, p. 247-274.]

  42. (Back to text) [This idea is discussed in Torah Or, Ki Sisa 111a. Moshe Rabbeinu is referred to by the Hebrew original of this name (Ro'eh Neeman) in the Pesichta to Eichah Rabbah, sec. 24; the above Aramaic version, also alluding to Moshe Rabbeinu, serves as the title of one of the component parts of the Zohar.]

  43. (Back to text) [Yeshayahu 40:11.]

  44. (Back to text) [Tehillim 78:71.]

  45. (Back to text) [Ibid. 37:3.]

  46. (Back to text) [The verb Ve'rah has been translated above in keeping with the thrust of the maamar. The commentaries offer different interpretations of its literal meaning.]

  47. (Back to text) Kesubbos 57a. The relevance of this quotation here is not obvious.

  48. (Back to text) [Tanya - Iggeres HaKodesh, Epistle 14 (p. 240), (cf. Bamidbar 15:24). See also Shir HaShirim Rabbah 1:15 (2).]

  49. (Back to text) Shabbos 97a. See also Shmos Rabbah, ch. 23; Torah Or, beginning of the maamar that opens, Lehavin Inyan HaBerachos; Likkutei Torah LeShalosh Parshiyos.

  50. (Back to text) [Shmos 4:31.]

  51. (Back to text) [Ibid. 14:31.]

  52. (Back to text) [Bereishis 15:6; see Shir HaShirim Rabbah 4:8 (3).

  53. (Back to text) [Shir HaShirim 4:8.]

  54. (Back to text) [Shir HaShirim Rabbah, loc. cit. (3)]

  55. (Back to text) [See Tanya, ch. 18.]

  56. (Back to text) [Tikkunei Zohar, Tikkun 57 (p. 91b); Shaar HaYichud VehaEmunah, ch. 7 (p. 166).]

  57. (Back to text) [Ch. 31.]

  58. (Back to text) Midrash Tanchuma, Pekudei 3; Tikkunei Zohar, beginning of Tikkun 69; see also Likkutei Torah, Parshas Bamidbar, the beginning of the maamar which opens, Vehayah Mispar.

  59. (Back to text) [Koheles 3:11.]

  60. (Back to text) Moreh Nevuchim, Vol. I, ch. 72.

  61. (Back to text) See Berachos 10a; Vayikra Rabbah 4:8; Midrash Tehillim on ch. 103. See also Likkutei Torah, beginning of Parshas Emor.

  62. (Back to text) See the beginning of Torah Or; Likkutei Torah, beginning of Parshas Nitzavim; and elsewhere.

  63. (Back to text) [Sefer Yetzirah 1:7.]

  64. (Back to text) [Numbers 11:21.]

  65. (Back to text) [This concept is explained in the beginning of Torah Or, p. 1b.]

  66. (Back to text) [The Shabbos morning prayers; Siddur Tehillat HaShem, p. 179.]

  67. (Back to text) [Berachos 32a.]

  68. (Back to text) [Bava Basra 9a.]

  69. (Back to text) [See the Rama, Yoreh Deah, end of sec. 246:1, the Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch, Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:4; Zohar III, top of p. 241b; Sefer HaMaamarim 5696, p. 72.]

  70. (Back to text) [Devarim 27:9.]

  71. (Back to text) [Berachos 63b.]

  72. (Back to text) See the conclusion of Epistle 23 of Iggeres HaKodesh.

  73. (Back to text) See the maamarim beginning Ein HaKadosh-Baruch-Hu Ba and Ani Yesheinah, in Sefer HaMaamarim - Yiddish.

  74. (Back to text) [In its original halachic context, this phrase would mean that "even the tiniest perforation [renders them unfit]." The phrase is borrowed from the laws of treifos, which judge an animal unfit to be eaten if it has a physical blemish that will cause it to die within twelve months. If even the slightest perforation is found in one of eleven named organs (including the brain, the heart, the lungs, and the major organs of the digestive system), the animal is considered to be treifah. See Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Shechitah 6:1.]

  75. (Back to text) [The above concepts of "externality" (chitzoniyus) and "internality" (pnimiyus) can be explained as follows: The adjective "internal" describes a faculty that voices and communicates a person's personality and character. Thus the word pnimiyus relates to the word panim ("face"), which is that part of us in which these dimensions are expressed. In contrast, "external" describes those activities and aspects of our being that do not reflect these elements.]

  76. (Back to text) [Cf. Shoftim 20:16.]

  77. (Back to text) The Zohar (III, 221b) states that without these organs, one cannot live "for even a moment." This position is also corroborated by the commentary of Kesef Mishneh on Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Shechitah 10:9, which states [that in his list of blemishes that would cause an animal to die within twelve months, Rambam did not mention the lack of a vital organ,] e.g., the heart or the brain, [because this is self-evident]. See also Responsa 74-77 of Chacham Zvi, which support this position].

    There are, however, authorities who differ from Chacham Zvi. See the Responsa of Maharamaz, Responsum 33; Kreisi U'Pleisi, 40:4; Panim Meiros, Vol. I, sec. 23; She'elas Yaavetz, Vol. I, Responsum 121; HaRav Chayim Or Zarua, Responsum 146; Mishbetzos Zahav, at the conclusion of ch. 40; as well as other later authorities as quoted by Darchei Teshuvah, [Yoreh Deah, sec. 40].

    There is some difficulty [with the statements in the maamar], for the Tzemach Tzedek favors the opinion of Kreisi U'Pleisi, who differs from Chacham Zvi. One may, however, resolve the difficulty by postulating that a human being [the subject of the statements in our maamar] differs in this respect from an animal [the subject of the halachic discussion above]. Alternatively, one can use the resolution offered by Afudi in his commentary to Moreh Nevuchim, Vol. I, ch. 73. See also [the commentary of the] Yad Shaul, Yoreh De'ah, loc. cit. At any rate, this is not the place for further discussion of the matter.

  78. (Back to text) [See Akeidah, Parshas Noach, Shaar 14, Third Introduction.]

  79. (Back to text) See the series of discourses (hemshech) of Rosh HaShanah, 5710, ch. 23 (Kuntreis 71).

  80. (Back to text) [The piyyut recited for Hoshanos on the third day of Sukkos.]

  81. (Back to text) [Shir HaShirim 6:8.]

  82. (Back to text) Zohar III, 71b; Introduction to Tikkunei Zohar, 14b.

  83. (Back to text) Tikkunei Zohar 6.

  84. (Back to text) [Tehillim 145:13.]

  85. (Back to text) [The parsah is a figure of speech signifying the Divine power of self-concealment that allows for a transition from the World of Atzilus, which is identified with G-d Himself, to the World of Beriah, where the potential for seemingly independent existence is first manifest.]

  86. (Back to text) [Mishlei 29:4.]

  87. (Back to text) [I Melachim 3:28.]

  88. (Back to text) [Ibid. 7:25. Though in this particular context "the sea" denotes a reservoir of water in the Beis HaMikdash, "the sea" in its usual sense alludes in the language of Chassidus to the hidden, transcendent dimension of Malchus. It is described as being set "upon them from above," i.e., projecting the Divine attribute of majesty upon the world.]

  89. (Back to text) See Likkutei Torah, Shir HaShirim 8b ff., and other sources.

  90. (Back to text) [Yirmeyahu 23:24.]

  91. (Back to text) [Tehillim 148:13.]

  92. (Back to text) [Iyov 19:26. Regarding the above translation, see Likkutei Torah, Emor 31b, and Vaes'chanan 4a; Likkutei Dibburim, Vol. II, p. 332b ff. (and in English translation: Vol. III, ch. 19, sec. 9).]

  93. (Back to text) [Yirmeyahu 10:10.]

  94. (Back to text) [Mishlei 19:23; cf. the commentary of Metzudas David.]

  95. (Back to text) [See the series of maamarim beginning BeShaah SheHikdimu, 5672, Vol. II, p. 684.]

  96. (Back to text) [Devarim 6:4.]

  97. (Back to text) [Pesachim 56a.]

  98. (Back to text) [I Shmuel 2:3.]

  99. (Back to text) [See Tikkunei Zohar, Tikkun 69.]

  100. (Back to text) [Zohar I, 11b; cf. Daniel 4:32.]

  101. (Back to text) See Likkutei Torah, Shemini Atzeres 83a, and Shir HaShirim 47b, and other sources.]

  102. (Back to text) [Rabbeinu Bachye, on Bereishis 38:30; Shaar HaYichud VehaEmunah, ch. 7.]

  103. (Back to text) [See Likkutei Torah, Acharei 26a.]

  104. (Back to text) Berachos 63a, as cited in Ein Yaakov. A note in Pachad Yitzchak (s.v. tcbd) records that this is the reading in the Portuguese edition of the Talmud.

  105. (Back to text) [Cf. Tehillim 136:25.]

  106. (Back to text) [Note by the publisher (of the Hebrew edition): The words "so that...for success?" are not in the original handwritten manuscript of the maamar.]

  107. (Back to text) [Bereishis 28:20]

  108. (Back to text) [See Shabbos 31a, Tur and Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 156.]

  109. (Back to text) [Tehillim 15:2.]

  110. (Back to text) Makkos 24a.

  111. (Back to text) [Shmos 20:9; ibid. 34:21.]

  112. (Back to text) [Devarim 16:18.]

  113. (Back to text) [See Likkutei Torah, Parshas Teitzei 37a ff.; the maamar known as VeYadaata (Moscow) 5656, in Sefer HaMaamarim 5657, p. 56ff.; and elsewhere.]

  114. (Back to text) [Yeshayahu 45:12.]

  115. (Back to text) [Mikdash Melech on Zohar I, 205b.]

  116. (Back to text) [See ch. 4, above.]

  117. (Back to text) [Chavakuk 2:4.]

  118. (Back to text) See Torah Or, beginning of Parshas Mishpatim; Toras Chayim [on that parshah]; and other sources.

  119. (Back to text) [Devarim 11:15.]

  120. (Back to text) [Yirmeyahu 31:26.]

  121. (Back to text) [Sefer HaMaamarim 5677, p. 62, Sefer HaMaamarim - Kuntreisim, Vol. II, p. 278b; see also Shaar HaYichud VehaEmunah, passim.]

  122. (Back to text) [I Melachim 5:26.]

  123. (Back to text) [See Sifri, Ekev 11:13; Taanis 2a.]

  124. (Back to text) [The queries raised in chs. 3 and 4 above are now to be resolved.]

  125. (Back to text) [Cf. chs. 5 and 6 above.]

  126. (Back to text) [Cf. ch. 4 above.]

  127. (Back to text) [Cf. ch. 2 above.]

  128. (Back to text) [Cf. ch. 3 above.]

  129. (Back to text) [Mishlei 20:27.]

  130. (Back to text) [I Shmuel 16:18.]

  131. (Back to text) Sanhedrin 93b.

  132. (Back to text) [The following passage summarizes the dominant theme of the maamar; cf. chs. 1 and 2 above.]

  133. (Back to text) [Cf. Bereishis 1:4.]


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