Ch. 33, Class # 4

Continuation of Chapter 33

והנה כשיעמיק בזה הרבה, ישמח לבו ותגל נפשו אף גילת ורנן בכל לב ונפש ומאד באמונה זו

Now when one contemplates deeply and at length on this matter of G‑d’s true unity, his heart will rejoice with this faith;3 his soul will be gladdened by it to the point of rejoicing and singing with all his heart, soul and might.

כי רבה היא, כי היא קרבת אלקים ממש

For this faith is tremendous — when it fills one’s mind it actually constitutes [an experience of] the closeness of G‑d.

וזה כל האדם ותכלית בריאתו ובריאת כל העולמות עליונים ותחתונים

This in fact is the whole [purpose] of man, and the purpose for which he, and all the worlds, both upper and lower, were created:

להיות לו דירה זו בתחתונים, כמו שכתוב לקמן באריכות

that G‑d should have such a dwelling-place here below, as will be explained further at length4 — how this earthly abode for G‑d is the purpose of all creation.

Man’s faith in the unity of G‑d fulfills this goal. For when G‑d’s unity is revealed in the mind and heart of men, this world becomes an abode for G‑d; He is revealed there just as one reveals himself completely in his own home.

והנה כמה גדולה שמחת הדיוט ושפל אנשים בהתקרבותו למלך בשר ודם המתאכסן ודר אתו עמו בביתו

How great is the joy of a common and lowly person when he is brought close to a king of flesh and blood who furthermore lodges and greater still dwells together with him — not in the king’s palace, but in his (the commoner’s) home.

וקל וחומר לאין קץ, לקרבת ודירת מלך מלכי המלכים, הקדוש ברוך הוא

How much more, infinitely more, [ought one to rejoice] in the nearness of the King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He, and in His dwelling together with man in this physical world, man’s “home.”

וכדכתיב: כי מי הוא זה אשר ערב לבו לגשת אלי, נאם ה׳

So it is written:5 “‘For who is the man who dares to approach me?’ says G‑d.”

Yet in one’s awareness of G‑d’s unity and through self-nullification before Him, one does come near to G‑d. Furthermore, G‑d thereby dwells with him and within him.

ועל זה תיקנו ליתן שבח והודיה לשמו יתברך בכל בקר, ולומר

For this ability to experience and to be absorbed in G‑d’s unity, it was instituted [by the Sages] that one should render praise and thanks to G‑d’s Name each morning, saying:

אשרינו מה טוב חלקנו וכו׳ ומה יפה ירושתנו

“How fortunate are we! How good is our portion, [how pleasant our lot,] and how beautiful our heritage!”

כלומר: כמו שהאדם שש ושמח בירושה שנפלה לו, הון עתק שלא עמל בו

In other words, just as a person rejoices and is glad when an immense fortune falls into his possession — by inheritance, through no toil of his own,

כן ויותר מכן לאין קץ יש לנו לשמוח על ירושתנו שהנחילונו אבותינו

similarly, and infinitely more so, ought we to rejoice over the inheritance which our forefathers bequeathed to us.

הוא יחוד ה׳ האמיתי, אשר אפילו בארץ מתחת אין עוד מלבדו, וזו היא דירתו בתחתונים

This [inheritance] is the true unity of G‑d — that even here below on earth there is nothing else besides Him alone, and this is His abode amongst the lowly beings of this physical world — when they are pervaded by the awareness of G‑d’s unity and nullify themselves before it.

Our own unaided efforts would never win for us the ability to experience G‑d’s unity; it is our inheritance from our forefathers.

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Footnotes

3. The Alter Rebbe introduced the subject of G-d’s unity as an idea that can and should be apprehended intellectually (“Let him think deeply… in his intellect and understanding… G-d’s true unity…”). Yet here he refers to it as an article of faith. Commenting on this inconsistency, the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, proposes several suggestions: (1) The analogies of speech or of sunlight are valid only after one accepts, as a matter of faith, the verse, “By the word of G-d the heavens were made.” (2) Furthermore, although the Alter Rebbe provides here the means of understanding the concept intellectually, in fact recognition of G-d as the only existing being is a matter of implicit, inherent faith in every Jew, as the Alter Rebbe points out further (e.g., mid. ch. 42). (3) It may also be suggested that the matter of G-d’s unity indeed transcends intellect, and thus belongs to the realm of faith. One cannot actually understand how G-d is a unity, and uique. The intellectual approach provided, serves only to lead one to a rational conclusion that he is indeed a unity, and unique.
4. Ch. 36.
5. Cf. Yirmeyahu 30:21.

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