Shaar Hayichud V’haEmunahh Chapter 6, Class 3

Tanya/Shaar Hayichud V’haEmunah, Chapter 6, Class 3.

Before creation there was no space at all (as it were) for the existence of created beings, by virtue of the Divine Ayin which is ultimately responsible for creation.

רק בדבר ה׳ ורוח פיו

solely through the “word of G‑d” and the “breath of His mouth.”

וגם עדיין נצב דבר ה׳ לעולם, ושופע בהם תמיד בכל רגע

And now, too, the word of G‑d still stands forever in all created things, and flows into them continuously at every instant,

ומהוה אותם תמיד מאין ליש, כהתהוות האור מהשמש תוך גוף כדור השמש עצמו, דרך משל

constantly creating them anew from nothing, just as for example, the coming into existence of the light from the sun within the very globe of the sun.

It has already been explained that the light of the sun as it is found within the sun-globe does not possess true existence, for it is completely nullified within the sun. Only after it leaves the sun-globe can it be said to possess independent existence. Created beings likewise are always wholly nullified in relation to their source, since they are constantly found within it, i.e., within the Divine life-force that creates them.

ואם כן הם בטלים באמת במציאות לגמרי לגבי דבר ה׳ ורוח פיו יתברך, המיוחדים במהותו ועצמותו יתברך

Hence, in reality they — created beings — are completely nullified out of existence in relation to the “word of G‑d” and the “breath of His mouth,” which are unified with His Essence and Being,

כמו שיתבאר לקמן

as this union will be explained later,

Thus, created beings are completely nullified to the “word of G‑d” and the “breath of His mouth,” as well as to G‑d Himself,

כביטול אור השמש בשמש

just as the light of the sun is nullified in the sun.

Why, then, are created beings unaware of this, considering themselves instead as possessing independent and true existence? The Alter Rebbe answers this by saying:

רק שהן הן גבורותיו, במדת הגבורה והצמצום, להסתיר ולהעלים החיות השופע בהם

Yet these are His restraining powers, to hide and conceal, through the attribute of Gevurah and tzimtzum, the life-force that flows into them,

שיהיו נראים השמים והארץ וכל צבאם כאילו הם דבר בפני עצמו

so that heaven and earth and all their host should appear as if they were independently existing entities.

The effect of tzimtzum is to conceal from created beings the source of existence continuously found within them. This is why they are able to think of themselves as possessing independent existence.

אך אין הצמצום וההסתר אלא לתחתונים

However, the tzimtzum and concealment is only for the lower [worlds],

אבל לגבי הקב״ה, כולא קמיה כלא ממש חשיבי, כאור השמש בשמש

but in relation to the Holy One, blessed be He,11 “Everything before Him is considered as actually naught,” like the light of the sun within the sun.

ואין מדת הגבורה מסתרת חס ושלום לפניו יתברך

The attribute of Gevurah does not, heaven forfend, conceal for Him,

כי איננה דבר בפני עצמו, אלא ה׳ הוא האלקים

for it is not an independent entity; rather, Havayah is Elokim.

The concealment resulting from the Divine Name Elokim and the attribute of Gevurah are one with the Divine Name Havayah, the attribute of Chesed and revelation. Thus, from the Divine perspective there is no concealment, for “an entity cannot conceal its own self.”




11.   Zohar I, 134a.

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