Ch. 41, Class 10


Continuation of Chapter 41

והנה בהכנה זו של מסירת נפשו לה׳

With this preparedness to surrender his soul to G‑d, i.e., through engaging in Torah and prayer in the same spirit in which a man surrenders his soul to G‑d before his demise,

יתחיל ברכות השחר: ברוך אתה כו׳

one should begin to recite the morning benedictions: “Blessed are You…,” and so on, these benedictions being the beginning of one’s prayers.

וכן בהכנה זו יתחיל ללמוד שיעור קבוע מיד אחר התפלה

Similarly, with this preparedness one should also begin a regular course of study immediately after prayer.

In the words of the Sages, “From the House of Prayer (lit., ‘the House of Assembly’) to the House of Study.” As with prayer, this regular study session should also be preceded by the resolve to surrender one’s soul wholly to G‑d.

וכן באמצע היום קודם שיתחיל ללמוד, צריכה הכנה זו לפחות

So also, in the course of the day, before one begins to study, such preparation at least is necessary,

כנודע שעיקר ההכנה לשמה לעכב, הוא בתחלת הלימוד בבינונים

as is known, that in the case of Beinonim, the essential preparation and intent “for its own sake,” where it is indispensable, is before the beginning of study.

וכמו בגט וספר תורה שצריכים לשמה לעכב

This is the same as in the case of [writing] a bill of divorce or a scroll of the Torah, where “for their own sake” is an indispensable requirement, and should this intention be lacking they are invalid,

ודיו שיאמר בתחלת הכתיבה: הריני כותב לשם קדושת ספר תורה או לשמו ולשמה כו׳

and it is sufficient if at the commencement of writing a Torah scroll [the scribe] says: “I am now about to write for the sacred purpose of the scroll of the Torah,” or in the case of a bill of divorce, “For him and for her,” and so on.

Similarly, it is sufficient for a Beinoni to have the intention of “for its own sake” at the beginning of his study.

וכשלומד שעות הרבה רצופות, יש לו להתבונן בהכנה זו הנ״ל בכל שעה ושעה על כל פנים

And when he studies for a number of consecutive hours he should reflect on the preparedness referred to above, at least at hourly intervals.

כי בכל שעה ושעה היא המשכה אחרת מעולמות עליונים להחיות התחתונים, והמשכת החיות שבשעה שלפניה חוזרת למקורה

For in each hour there is a different flow from the higher worlds to animate those who dwell here below, while the flow of vitality from on high of the previous hour returns to its source,

בסוד רצוא ושוב שבספר יצירה

(in accordance with the esoteric principle of “Advancing and Retreating” expounded in Sefer Yetzirah),

As the divine life-force animates the world, alternately “Advancing and Retreating,” it is first drawn down into this world, and then it returns to its source in the higher spiritual worlds. Each hour, then, the creative life-force of the previous hour returns to its source,

עם כל התורה ומעשים טובים של התחתונים

together with all the Torah and good deeds of those who dwell here below.

כי בכל שעה שולט צירוף אחד מי״ב צירופי שם ה׳ ברוך הוא בי״ב שעות היום, וצרופי שם אדנ״י בלילה, כנודע

For in each of the twelve hours of the day, there rules one of the twelve combinations of [the letters that form] the Four-Letter Name of G‑d,20 while the combinations of [the letters that comprise] the Divine Name A-D-N-Y rule at night, as is known.

FOOTNOTES                                                                                                                              ______

20. The Tetragrammaton is composed of the four letters:yud and hei, vav and another hei. Since two of the letters are similar, we are left with three different letters, which can form a total of twelve combinations — or so it would seem.

The Rebbe notes, however, that first of all, the Name A-D-N-Y consists of four different letters, providing for a total of twenty-four permutations (while only twelve of them predominate during the twelve hours of the night). Secondly, the two letters hei in the Tetragrammaton have significantly different spiritual connotations. Thus this Divine Name, too, is able to form twenty-four different (spiritual) permutations.

The Rebbe therefore explains that the Alter Rebbe is saying here that twelve of the twenty-four possible combinations of the Tetragrammaton rule during the twelve hours of the day (while the other twelve have no connection at all to time). The same principle applies to the twelve stitches in the tefillin of the hand, which according to the Mishnat Chassidim correspond to twelve combinations of A-D-N-Y. There, too, twelve of the possible twenty-four combinations are related to these stitches, while the other twelve are not related to thetefillin at all.

At any rate, twelve of the permutations of the Tetragrammaton rule during the twelve hours of the day, and twelve combinations of the Name A-D-N-Y rule during the twelve hours of the night.