Shaar Hayichud V’haEmunahh Chapter 10, Class 3

Tanya/Shaar Hayichud V’haEmunah, Chapter 10, Class 3

Thus, the sefirot are termed chochmahbinahdaatchesed, and so forth, in relation to the beings which are created and vivified by G‑d through His will and wisdom, and so forth, which clothe themselves in the emotive attributes.

As it is stated in the Midrash, “By means of ten things was the world created: by wisdom, by understanding, and by knowledge…

כִּדְאִיתָא בַּמִּדְרָשׁ: “בַּעֲשָׂרָה דְבָרִים נִבְרָא הָעוֹלָם: בְּחָכְמָה, בִּתְבוּנָה וּבְדַעַת וְכוּ’,

as it is written,8 ‘G‑d founded the earth with wisdom; He established the heavens with understanding; with His knowledge the depths of the abyss were burst open,’”9

דִּכְתִיב, ‘ה’ בְּחָכְמָה יָסַד אָרֶץ, כּוֹנֵן שָׁמַיִם בִּתְבוּנָה, בְּדַעְתּוֹ תְּהוֹמוֹת נִבְקָעוּ וְגוֹ’”.

We thus see from the Midrash10 that the world was created by means of “ten things,” i.e., the ten sefirot.

and as expressed by Elijah, in the passage that opens with Patach Eliyahu and forms part of the introduction to Tikkunei Zohar, “You have brought forth ten Tikkunim (‘garments’), and we call them ten sefirot,

וּכְמַאֲמַר אֵלִיָּהוּ: “דְּאַפִּיקַת עֲשַׂר תִּיקּוּנִין, וְקָרִינָן לְהוֹן עֲשַׂר סְפִירָן,

through which to direct hidden worlds unrevealed (i.e., worlds that transcend mortal comprehension) and worlds revealed (i.e., worlds that are accessible to mortal comprehension),

לְאַנְהָגָא בְהוֹן עָלְמִין סְתִימִין דְּלָא אִתְגַּלְיָין וְעָלְמִין דְּאִתְגַּלְיָין,

and through them, You conceal Yourself…”—from created beings so that they will not be able to perceive the Divine life-force that creates and vivifies them.

וּבְהוֹן אִתְכְּסִיאַת כוּ’”.

The Alter Rebbe now offers an instance of how creation came about through the sefirot.

For example, on the first of the Six Days of Creation, the attribute of kindness—comprised of all [G‑d’s] holy, emotive attributes, with His will and wisdom and understanding and knowledge enclothed in it—was revealed,

עַל דֶּרֶךְ מָשָׁל, בְּיוֹם רִאשׁוֹן מִשֵּׁשֶׁת יְמֵי בְרֵאשִׁית – נִגְלֵית מִדַּת הַחֶסֶד, כְּלוּלָה מִכָּל מִדּוֹתָיו הַקְּדוֹשׁוֹת, וּרְצוֹנוֹ וְחָכְמָתוֹ וּבִינָתוֹ וְדַעְתּוֹ מְלוּבָּשִׁין בָּהּ,

and with [this attribute,] He created light, through the utterance, “Let there be light,”

וּבָרָא בָהּ אֶת הָאוֹר – בְּמַאֲמַר “יְהִי אוֹר”,

which is a diffusion and flow of light into the world from above and its diffusion in the world from one end to the other. This [creation of light] is [an expression of] the attribute of kindness, for chesed is characterized by diffusion and revelation.

שֶׁהִיא בְּחִינַת הִתְפַּשְּׁטוּת וְהַמְשָׁכַת הָאוֹר לָעוֹלָם מִלְמַעְלָה, וְהִתְפַּשְּׁטוּתוֹ בָּעוֹלָם מִסּוֹף הָעוֹלָם עַד סוֹפוֹ, שֶׁהִיא בְּחִינַת מִדַּת חֶסֶד;

Yet, because [the attribute of kindness] also includes the attribute of might (for the attributes of Atzilut all incorporate each other),

רַק מִפְּנֵי שֶׁכְּלוּלָה גַּם מִמִּדַּת גְּבוּרָה,

therefore, [the light] was not as spiritual as the actual supernal light,

לָכֵן לֹא הָיָה רוּחָנִי כְּאוֹר שֶׁל מַעְלָה מַמָּשׁ,

and it also became enclothed in this world, which is finite and limited, for “it is a journey of five hundred years from earth to heaven and from east to west.”11

וְגַם נִתְלַבֵּשׁ בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה שֶׁהוּא בִּבְחִינַת גְּבוּל וְתַכְלִית, שֶׁהוּא מַהֲלַךְ תּ”ק שָׁנָה מֵהָאָרֶץ לָרָקִיעַ וּמִמִּזְרָח לְמַעֲרָב.

These limitations would not have come to pass were creation to proceed undiluted from the attribute of kindness, which diffuses without limitation. However, since the attribute of might—the source of limitation—is incorporated within this kindness, creation is finite.

At any rate, because the attribute of kindness was revealed and was dominant during the first day of creation, created beings related to chesed—such as light—came into existence on that day.




 11. Cf. Chagigah 13a and Tanna Dvei Eliyahu Rabbah 2.

Comments are closed.