Ch. 52, Class 2

Continuation of chapter 52

We now understand why the “garment” itself is not nullified by the light of the Shechinah, as well as how created beings can receive this “garment” within themselves, for it is none other than G‑d’s Will and wisdom which He enclothed in Torah and the mitzvot — as shall presently be explained.

ומהו הלבוש שיוכל להסתירה ולהלבישה ולא יתבטל במציאות באורה, הוא רצונו יתברך וחכמתו וכו׳ המלובשים בתורה ומצותיה, הנגלית לנו ולבנינו

But what is this “garment” which is able to conceal and clothe it (the Shechinah) yet will not itself be completely nullified within its light? — This is His blessed Will and wisdom, and so forth (“and so forth” referring to the levels of Binah and Daat which are part of “intelligence” Above, as mentioned earlier), which are clothed in the Torah and its mitzvot that are revealed to us and our children,

Why are G‑d’s Will and wisdom and so forth able to act as a concealing “garment” for the light of the Shechinah without themselves being nullified by it?

דאורייתא מחכמה נפקת, היא חכמה עילאה, דלעילא לעילא מעלמא דאתגליא

for “the Torah issues from wisdom,” namely Chochmah Ila‘ah (“Supernal Wisdom,” which is the level of Chochmah of Atzilut), that is immeasurably higher than the world of manifestation (which is the Shechinah),

As mentioned earlier, Shechinah refers to the initial stage of revelation, for which reason it is called the “world of manifestation.” Since Chochmah Ila‘ah is entirely beyond the pale of revelation it is therefore immeasurably higher than the Shechinah.

דאיהו חכים ולא בחכמה ידיעה וכו׳

for “He is wise,” with the wisdom of Chochmah of Atzilut, “but not with a knowable wisdom,” and so forth.

וכמו שנתבאר לעיל, שאור אין סוף ברוך הוא מלובש ומיוחד בחכמה עילאה, והוא יתברך וחכמתו אחד

And as has previously been explained, the [infinite] light of the blessed Ein Sof is clothed in and united with the Supernal Wisdom — and He and His wisdom are One.

Thus, Chochmah as well as the other levels of Divine “intelligence” (such as Binah and Daat) are far superior to the level of the light of the Shechinah. They are therefore able to serve as a “garment” concealing the Shechinah, without being nullified by its light. But how can Divine “intelligence” serve as a “garment”, and how can created beings accept this garment when it is in fact loftier than the Shechinah itself? The Alter Rebbe now answers this question.

רק שירדה בסתר המדרגות ממדריגה למדריגה בהשתלשלות העולמות, עד שנתלבשה בדברים גשמיים, שהן תרי״ג מצות התורה

— Only this is because it (Supernal Wisdom and the Torah5) has descended by means of obscuring gradations, from a higher grade to a lower grade, with the descent of the Worlds, until it (the Torah) has clothed itself in material things, namely, the 613 commandments of the Torah.

ובירידתה בהשתלשלות מעולם לעולם, גם השכינה ירדה ונתלבשה בה בכל עולם ועולם

As [this wisdom] came down by progressive descents from World to World, the Shechinah, too, came down and clothed itself in it in each World.

Thus, within the Supernal Wisdom which descends into each World is to be found the Shechinah of that World.

וזהו היכל קדשי קדשים שבכל עולם ועולם

This is the shrine of the “Holy of Holies,” which is contained in each World.

I.e., the Shechinah resides with the “Holy of Holies” of each World, this being the Divine “intelligence” enclothed in the Torah of each particular World.

וכמו שכתוב בזהר ועץ חיים, שהשכינה, שהיא מלכות דאצילות [שהיא בחינת גילוי אור אין סוף ברוך הוא וחיות שמאיר לעולמות, ולכן היא נקראת דבר ה׳ ורוח פיו כביכול

So also has it been stated in the Zohar and Etz Chayim, that the Shechinah, which is Malchut of Atzilut (6 being the manifestation of the light and vitality of the blessed Ein Sof, which illumine the worlds, wherefore i.e., since it is a revelation it is called “G‑d’s speech” and the “breath of His mouth,” as it were, for the purpose of speech is to reveal that which was concealed in thought,

על דרך משל, כמו שבאדם הדבור מגלה מחשבתו הסתומה ונעלמה להשומעים]

as in the case of a person, by way of example, speech reveals to the hearers the speaker’s concealed and hidden thought),

The same applies Above: Malchut of Atzilut, the level at which the light of Ein Sof and the previously concealed vitality becomes manifest, is called “G‑d’s speech,” for it reveals G‑dliness to the Worlds. This level of Shechinah, which is Malchut of Atzilut:

היא מתלבשת בהיכל קדשי קדשים דבריאה, שהוא חב״ד דבריאה, ובהתלבשותן במלכות דבריאה נבראו הנשמות והמלאכים שבבריאה

clothes itself in the shrine of the Holy of Holies of Beriah, namely, the Chochmah, Binah and Daat of Beriah. Through the fact that [the latter Sefirot] clothe themselves in the Malchut of Beriah, the souls and angels which exist in the World of Beriah have been created.

At this point the Rebbe notes: “[The ChaBaD of Beriah clothe themselves in the Malchut of Beriah] together with the Malchut of Atzilut which is within them, for, as stated earlier [in this chapter], ‘from this source… have been created….’*

The souls and angels of the World of Beriah are created beings. Unlike the Sefirot of any particular World, they are not the G‑dliness of their World, but are created from the level of Malchut therein. Thus, the souls and angels of the World of Beriah are created from Malchut of that World.7

וגם משם נמשך התלמוד שלפנינו

And from there also — from Malchut of Beriah, in which is enclothed the Shechinah, i.e., Malchut of Atzilut, which previously had clothed itself in the Chochmah, Binah and Daat of the World of Beriah, after which the latter are clothed in Malchut of the World of Beriah — derives the Talmud that we possess.8

וכמו שנתבאר לעיל בשם התיקונים, שבעולם הבריאה מאירות ומשפיעות שם חכמתו ובינתו ודעתו של אין סוף ברוך הוא בבחינת צמצום עצום, בכדי שיוכלו הנשמות והמלאכים, שהם בעלי גבול ותכלית, לקבל השפעה מבחינת חב״ד אלו

And as has previously been explained in the name of the Tikkunim, that in the World of Beriah there shine and flow forth the Chochmah, Binah and Daat of the Ein Sof, in a powerfully contracted manner, in order that the souls and the angels, which are finite beings, shall be able to receive influence from these categories of ChaBaD.

Souls and angels in the World of Beriah are unable to receive influence from ChaBaD as it exists in its essential state, in Atzilut. Only after ChaBaD descends in a powerfully contracted manner into Beriah are they able to receive its influence.

ולכן נמשך משם התלמוד, שהוא גם כן בחינת חב״ד, שהתלמוד הוא טעמי ההלכות על בוריין, והטעמים הם בחינת חב״ד

Therefore the Talmud (not the Mishnah, but the Gemara) also originates from there — from the World of Beriah, for it (the Talmud) is also of the category of ChaBaD, for the Talmud is i.e., it consists of the clearly defined reasons of the Halachot, and the reasons being rational are from the category of ChaBaD (“intelligence”).

וההלכות עצמן הן ממדותיו של אין סוף ברוך הוא, שהן חסד דין רחמים כו׳ שמהן נמשך ההיתר והאיסור, והכשר והפסול, והחיוב והפטור

And the laws themselves found in the Mishnah derive from the middot (the emotive attributes) of the Ein Sof, namely, kindness, severity, mercy, and so on, from which originate permission and prohibition, permission deriving from kindness and prohibition from severity, ritual validity and invalidity, liability and blamelessness, ritual validity and blamelessness originating from the attribute of kindness, and ritual invalidity and liability originating from the attribute of severity,

כמו שכתוב בתיקונים

as is explained in the Tikkunim.

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FOOTNOTES

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5.  The Rebbe notes: “Possibly this alludes only to Torah. See above, ch. 4, where exactly the same expression is used. See also beginning of ch. 53: ‘The Supernal Wisdom of Atzilut, which is the totality of the Torah.’ — This matter requires further investigation.”

6.  Parentheses are in the original text.

7.  Iggeret HaKodesh, on the third page of Epistle 25.

8.  The Rebbe explains why the Alter Rebbe has added, “that we possess,” i.e., the Talmud that we possess here, in this world. Possibly, he says, this was added in order to anticipate a question that might arise from ch. 23 above. There the Alter Rebbe says that Torah is the illumination of the blessed Ein Sof, for “He is the Knower….” This indicates that Torah is wholly one with G‑d Himself. How, then, can it be said that the Talmudemanates from a level and Sefirah no higher than the World of Beriah?

The Alter Rebbe therefore explains that this refers only to the Talmud “that we possess,” as man studies it in this world. This concept sits well with the statement in ch. 23, that the laws are “particular streams flowing from the inner Supreme Will itself” — but an emanation from the Supreme Will. The Rebbe also cites the Alter Rebbe’s second note to ch. 40, which says that the core and the essence of the Supreme Will is in Atzilut, and only a glow therefrom radiates to each World according to its rank.