Likutei Amarim Chapter 51, Class 4

Continuation/Conclusion of chapter 51

וההבדל שבין עולמות עליונים ותחתונים הוא מצד המשכת החיות אשר אין סוף ברוך הוא ממשיך ומאיר בבחינת גילוי מההעלם

The difference between the higher and lower worlds is with regard to the flow of vitality which the blessed Ein Sof causes to flow and illumine in a manner of “revelation out of concealment,”

The Alter Rebbe will soon conclude that this revelation is intended for the purpose of vitalizing the worlds and their inhabitants, for the vitality of all worlds and creatures derives from the revelation of G‑dliness within them. Thus, the difference between the higher and lower worlds lies in the varying degrees of Divine revelation within them.

With regard to “revelation out of concealment,” the Alter Rebbe now states parenthetically that this manner of revelation is one of the reasons why the G‑dly vitality found within the worlds is called “light”.

שזה אחד מהטעמים שההשפעה והמשכת החיות מכונה בשם אור, על דרך משל

(which is one of the reasons why the influence and flow of this vitality is figuratively called “light”),

In Kabbalistic literature the flow and vitality of G‑dliness is termed “light” rather than shefa (“flux”), as it is termed in Jewish speculative philosophy (chakirah). “Light” signifies “revelation out of concealment”: previously the light had been concealed within the luminary, the source of the light, and subsequently it is drawn forth from this source and is revealed as light. Thus, in the case of “revelation out of concealment,” only a minute illumination of the source is drawn down into a revealed state. Not so shefa, where it is the actual “flux” and “stream” of the source that flows down and is revealed. Hence the phrase ושפעת מים (“a flow of water”; Iyov 22:11): the selfsame water that was previously in one place flows to another place.

The above-mentioned “revelation out of concealment” of light serves the purpose of:

להחיות העולמות והברואים שבהם

thereby animating the worlds and the creatures therein.

Herein lies the difference between the higher and lower worlds:

שהעולמות העליונים מקבלים בבחינת גילוי קצת יותר מהתחתונים

For the higher worlds receive this vitality and light in a somewhat more revealed form than do the lower;

I.e., even in the higher worlds this light and vitality is not manifestly revealed.

וכל הברואים שבהם, מקבלים כל אחד כפי כחו ותכונתו

and all creatures therein — in the higher worlds — receive the revealed aspect of vitality, albeit each according to its capacity and nature,

Just as in the analogy each bodily organ receives vitality from the brain according to its “character and nature,” so too does the Alter Rebbe state in the analogue that each creature receives its vitality according to its “capacity and nature.” (- Note of the Rebbe.) This means that each being receives vitality according to its capacity to have the life-force and vitality revealed within it, and according to the manner in which this vitality is to be revealed — whether as a revelation of intellect and comprehension, or in an emotive manner.

(“But this is not to say that the ‘nature’ conceals the revelation; rather ‘it imbues and illumines it.’” – Note of the Rebbe.)

שהיא תכונת ובחינת המשכה הפרטית אשר אין סוף ברוך הוא ממשיך ומאיר לו

which is the nature and form of the particular flow with which the blessed Ein Sof imbues and illumines it.

והתחתונים, אפילו הרוחניים, אינם מקבלים בבחינת גילוי כל כך

But the lower worlds and creatures, even the spiritual ones, do not receive the Divine life-force in quite such a revealed form as it is received in the higher worlds,

רק בלבושים רבים, אשר אין סוף ברוך הוא מלביש בהם החיות והאור אשר ממשיך ומאיר להם להחיותם

but only by means of many garments, wherein the blessed Ein Sof invests the vitality and light which He causes to flow and shine on them in order to animate them.

The Divine life-force is garbed in many garments so as not to be revealed. This concealment involves not only a multitudinous profusion of garments — a quantitative manner of concealment — but a qualitative one as well: There is vast difference between the insubstantial garments that conceal the vitality in the higher worlds and the much denser garments necessary to conceal the G‑dly vitality to the degree that creation of the physical becomes possible.

Were there merely to be a vast quantity of ethereal garments, the Divine life-force would only be capable of creating spiritual beings and not physical ones; in order for this physical world with its corporeal creatures to be created, much denser garments were necessary. It is this that the Alter Rebbe now goes on to explain:

וכל כך עצמו וגברו הלבושים אשר אין סוף ברוך הוא מלביש ומסתיר בהם האור והחיות

These garments, wherein the blessed Ein Sof invests and conceals the light and vitality, are so strong and powerful

I.e., the garments are not only numerous in quantity, but they are also of such a type that their ability to conceal is greater than that of ordinary garments,

עד אשר ברא בו עולם הזה החומרי והגשמי ממש

that thereby, with this life-force and light, He created this world that is verily corporeal and physical,6

ומהווהו ומחייהו בחיות ואור אשר ממשיך ומאיר לו

and [G‑d] creates and animates it by the vitality and light which He draws down and shines forth unto it.

אור המלובש ומכוסה ומוסתר בתוך הלבושים הרבים והעצומים המעלימים ומסתירים האור והחיות

This illumination is a light that is clothed, hidden and concealed within the numerous and powerful garments, which hide and conceal the light and vitality,

עד שאין נראה ונגלה שום אור וחיות, רק דברים חומריים וגשמיים ונראים מתים

so that no light or vitality whatever is visibly revealed, but only corporeal and physical things that appear lifeless.

Gazing at corporeal things, such as at the physical orb of Earth, can cause a person to imagine them as utterly lifeless — totally devoid of any spiritual vitality.

אך בתוכם יש אור וחיות המהוה אותם מאין ליש תמיד, שלא יחזרו להיות אין ואפס כשהיו

Yet they contain light and vitality which constantly creates them ex nihilo, so that they shall not revert to nothing and naught as they had been prior to their creation.

Creation ex nihilo must be constant: the fact that the world and its creatures were already once created during the Six Days of Creation does not suffice. Rather, there must be a constant renewal of creation from its source. Thus, the G‑dly light and vitality that is responsible for creation is constantly found within created beings, albeit in a concealed fashion.

ואור זה הוא מאין סוף ברוך הוא, רק שנתלבש בלבושים רבים

This light comes from the blessed Ein Sof, except that it is clothed in many garments,

וכמו שכתוב בעץ חיים, שאור וחיות כדור הארץ החומרי הנראה לעיני בשר הוא ממלכות דמלכות דעשיה

as is written in Etz Chayim, that the light and vitality of the physical orb of Earth, which is seen by mortal eyes, is derived from Malchut of Malchut of Asiyah,

Malchut of Asiyah is the lowest Sefirah of the World of Asiyah, the lowest of the Four Worlds. Malchut itself is composed of all Ten Sefirot, the lowest of which is Malchut. Thus, Malchut of Malchut of Asiyah represents the lowest degree of the lowest level of Asiyah.

ובתוכה מלכות דיצירה וכו׳

and in it is contained Malchut of the next highest World, the World of Yetzirah, and so on; i.e., within Malchut of Yetzirah, in turn, there is contained Malchut of Beriah, and so on,

עד שבתוך כולן י׳ ספירות דאצילות

so that in all of them — within the level of Malchut of all Worlds, including the level of Malchut of Asiyah — are contained the Ten Sefirot of the loftiest World, the World of Atzilut,7

המיוחדות במאצילן אין סוף ברוך הוא

which are united with their Emanator, the blessed Ein Sof.

Thus, even the physical orb of Earth contains G‑dly light and vitality. This results from the light passing through the Sefirot of the various worlds — the Sefirot being the G‑dliness of each world — as well as through numerous and powerfully dense garments that serve to conceal this vitality.

The difference between the higher and lower worlds will be understood accordingly: The divine light and life-force is revealed to a greater extent in the higher worlds than in the lower, and within this physical world the light and life-force is completely concealed. However, this is the case merely in relation to the illumination of G‑dliness. With regard to the core and essence of the Ein Sof, there truly exists no difference between the higher and lower worlds; He is equally concealed from all and He is equally found in them all.




6.  The Rebbe comments that the Alter Rebbe writes “this world that is verily corporeal and physical,” because this world exists on a spiritual plane as well, and the Alter Rebbe is referring to the inanimate aspect of this world in which no vitality is revealed. However, those aspects of this world, such as the vegetative and animal, in which some measure of vitality is revealed, derive their life-force in a different and more revealed manner. This is so notwithstanding the fact that these levels, too, receive their vitality from Malchut of Malchut of Asiyah, as stated later on in Iggeret HaKodesh, Epistle 20 (p. 264 in the standard edition of Tanya, Vilna, 1899).

Accordingly we can also understand (a) why the Alter Rebbe goes on to state that they receive their existenceex nihilo, after having previously stated that reference is being made here to this physical and corporeal world — a world whose creation must perforce be ex nihilo; (b) the expression “which is seen by mortal eyes”; and (c) a number of other intentionally specific phrases.

The reason for all the above is that the Alter Rebbe is speaking particularly of the inanimate aspect of this world. Concerning this he soon goes on to quote the Etz Chayim, which says that this vitality emanates fromMalchut of Malchut of Asiyah. However, with regard to the World of Asiyah as a whole, which also includes the spiritual World of Asiyah, the Alter Rebbe will say in ch. 52 and 53 that they derive their life-force from Malchut ofAsiyah and not from Malchut of Malchut of Asiyah.

7. “See further, p. ק”מ: א. [p. 279 in the standard edition;Iggeret HaKodesh, Epistle 25]: ’The radiation that is inAtzilut pierces…and in this material world.‘” (- Note of the Rebbe.)

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