Likutei Amarim Chapter 41, Class 8

ויחוד זה הוא רצונו האמיתי

And this union — the union of the source of all Jewish souls with the infinite Ein Sof-light — is His true desire,

והיינו יחוד העליון שבאצילות, הנעשה באתערותא דלתתא על ידי יחוד נפש האלקית והתכללותה באור ה׳ המלובש בתורה ומצות שעוסקת בהן

namely, the Supernal Union in the World of Atzilut, which is produced by an arousal from below, through the divine soul’s union and absorption in G‑d’s light that is clothed in the Torah and the commandments in which it is engaged,

והיו לאחדים ממש, כמו שכתוב לעיל

so that they — the divine soul and G‑d — become One in reality, as has been explained above. And thus one effects the union in the World of Atzilut.

כי על ידי זה מתיחדים גם כן מקור התורה והמצות, שהוא הקב״ה, עם מקור נפשו האלקית, הנקרא בשם שכינה

For by reason of this, the source of the Torah and the commandments, i.e., the Holy One, blessed be He, is united with the source of the individual’s divine soul, which is called ‘Shechinah’.

שהן בחינת ממלא כל עלמין ובחינת סובב כל עלמין, כמו שכתוב במקום אחר באריכות

Expressed in terms of the different levels of supernal illumination, these are the categories of “filling all worlds” and of “encompassing all worlds,” as is explained elsewhere at length.

In summary: Since all Jews desire to do G‑d’s Will, and He desires that their souls all unite with their source, there is a measure of truth in a Jew’s intent to bring about this union, even if his love of G‑d is not completely selfless.

The Alter Rebbe will now go on to say that a Jew’s desire for his own soul to be united with its source is an utterly honest one, for every Jew possesses an innate love of G‑d.

אבל יחוד נפשו והתכללותה באור ה׳ להיות לאחדים

But the union of the person’s own soul with, and its absorption into, the light of G‑d, making them one,

בזה חפץ כל אדם מישראל באמת לאמיתו לגמרי, בכל לב ובכל נפש

this is what every member of Israel desires in absolute and utter truth, with all his heart and all his soul,

מאהבה הטבעית המסותרת בלב כל ישראל, לדבקה בה׳ ולא ליפרד ולהיות נכרת ונבדל חס ושלום מיחודו ואחדותו יתברך בשום אופן, אפילו במסירות נפש ממש

because of the natural love that is hidden in every Jewish heart to cleave to G‑d and not, under any circumstances, to be parted or sundered or separated, G‑d forbid, from His blessed Unity and Oneness, even at the cost of his very life.

This readiness for self-sacrifice surfaces, for example, when a Jew is forced by heathens to bow down to an idol. Even if merely going through the motions would satisfy them, and they do not impose their belief upon him, the Jew will be ready to literally sacrifice his life so as not to be sundered from his unity with G‑d.

ועסק התורה ומצות והתפלה הוא גם כן ענין מסירת נפש ממש, כמו בצאתה מן הגוף במלאת שבעים שנה

Being engaged in the Torah and commandments and prayer is also a matter of actual surrender of the soul, just as when it leaves the body at the end of seventy years,

שאינה מהרהרת בצרכי הגוף, אלא מחשבתה מיוחדת ומלובשת באותיות התורה והתפלה, שהן דבר ה׳ ומחשבתו יתברך, והיו לאחדים ממש

for then it does not think of bodily needs, but its thought is united with, and clothed in, the letters of the Torah and prayer, which are the word and thought of G‑d, and they (the soul and the letters of Torah and prayer — G‑d’s thought and speech) truly become one.

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