Ch. 45, Class 3


Conclusion of Chapter 45

The verse goes on to say:

ויבך: לעורר ולהמשיך משם רחמים רבים על כל הנשמות, ועל מקור כנסת ישראל

“and he wept” — in order to awaken and draw from there, from the boundless Divine Mercies, abundant compassion upon all the souls and upon the fount of the community of Israel,

להעלותן מגלותן, ולייחדן ביחוד העליון, אור אין סוף ברוך הוא, בבחינת נשיקין

to raise them from their exile 11 and to unite them in the Yichud Elyon (Higher Unity) of the light of the blessed Ein Sof, at the level of “kisses”,

שהיא אתדבקות רוחא ברוחא, כמו שכתוב: ישקני מנשיקות פיהו

which is “the attachment of spirit with spirit,” as it is written, 12 “Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth,”

The community of Israel begs of the Almighty that He unite with them in a manner of “kisses”. In the case of “kisses of the mouth” there is not only an external union of mouth and mouth, but also a more internal union, that of “spirit” (breath) and “spirit” (breath). And so it is regarding this manner of unity of Jews with G‑d, which is brought about by Torah and mitzvot.

דהיינו: התקשרות דבור האדם בדבר ה׳, זו הלכה, וכן מחשבה במחשבה

which means the union of the word of man who studies Torah with 13 “the word of G‑d, namely, theHalachah,” which is G‑d’s speech. This union resembles the “kisses of the mouth.” So too, through thinking Torah thoughts, mortal thought is united with divine thought,

ומעשה במעשה, שהוא מעשה המצות

and so too, mortal action is united with Divine action, through active observance of the commandments,

ובפרט: מעשה הצדקה וחסד

and, in particular, the practice of charity and lovingkindness.

דחסד: דרועא ימינא

For 14 “Chesed (‘kindness’) is the [Divine] right arm,” and man’s kindness is a fitting vessel for G‑d’s kindness, 15

והוא בחינת חיבוק ממש

and this is, as it were, an actual embrace,

Just as in physical terms an embrace manifests one’s love of the beloved, so too, so to speak, G‑d’s kindness embraces the Jew who performs acts of charity and lovingkindness. 16

כמו שכתוב: וימינו תחבקני

as it is written: 17 “And His right arm — Divine kindness — embraces me,”

ועסק התורה בדבור ומחשבת העיון הן בחינת נשיקין ממש

while one’s occupation in the Torah by word of mouth and concentrated thought constitutes the level of actual “kisses”. 18

The unity of Jew and G‑d accomplished through speech and thought of Torah — “actual kisses” — is twofold: the external level of kisses, mouth to mouth, is attained through the words of Torah, while the internal level of kisses, spirit to spirit, is attained through concentrated thinking on one’s Torah studies.

והנה על ידי זה

In this way, through arousal of deep compassion for his soul, which brings about the study of Torah and the performance of mitzvot,

יכול לבוא לבחינת אהבה רבה בהתגלות לבו

one is able to attain the level of Ahavah Rabbah (“great love”) in the consciousness of his heart —his intense love of G‑d will be palpable,

כדכתיב: ליעקב אשר פדה את אברהם

as it is written, 19 “Of Jacob, who redeemed Abraham,”

In the context of man’s spiritual service Abraham denotes man’s love of G‑d, while Jacob symbolizes the attribute of compassion. When “Abraham” — the individual’s love for G‑d — is hidden and must be “redeemed” and revealed, it is “Jacob” — the attribute of compassion — that brings about this redemption. The arousal of profound compassion for one’s soul enables his latent love of G‑d to become manifest,

כמו שנתבאר במקום אחר

as is explained elsewhere.

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FOOTNOTES

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11. The Rebbe notes that in the glosses of the Tzemach Tzedek to Eichah (p. 23), he cites this text as stating “to raise them from their descent” (rather than “from their exile”). That is to say, through Torah and mitzvot Jewish souls are raised up from their descent.

12. Shir HaShirim 1:2.

13. Shabbat 138b.

14. Tikkunei Zohar, Introduction, p. 17a.

15. The Rebbe quotes Iggeret HaKodesh, Epistle 32, wherein the Alter Rebbe says: “and the whole body is included in the right side.” This serves as an explanation, says the Rebbe, as to why the Alter Rebbe says “in particular, the practice of charity and lovingkindness.” They are singled out because “the whole body is included in the right side.”

16. The Rebbe explains that by using the term “actualembrace” the Alter Rebbe forestalls the following question: It was taught in ch. 4 that Torah study is also likened to an embrace from G‑d; what, then, is the distinctive merit of tzedakah? The Alter Rebbe therefore writes that tzedakah is not merely likened to an embrace: it is an “actual embrace.”

17. Shir HaShirim 2:6.

18. The Rebbe explains that by using the term “actual kisses” the Alter Rebbe anticipates the following question: The performance of mitzvot, too, is often likened to a kiss, as previously mentioned. He therefore writes “actual kisses”: Torah study is not merely likened to kisses, but constitutes “actual kisses.”

19. Yeshayahu 29:22.