Shaar Hayichud V’haEmunahh Chapter 11, Class 3

Tanya/Shaar Hayichud V’haEmunah, Chapter 11, Class 3

Although they are not actual letters of thought like our letters of thought, G‑d forbid,

כִּי אַף שֶׁאֵינָן כְּאוֹתִיּוֹת מַחֲשָׁבָה שֶׁלָּנוּ חַס וְשָׁלוֹם,

The Alter Rebbe had previously drawn an analogy: just as a person’s soul is revealed through letters of thought, so, too, do the Divine attributes become manifest through letters of thought. He therefore forestalls any misunderstanding by pointing out in the above clause that whereas the soul actually contains letters, with all their inherent limitations, this is not so Above.

nevertheless, they are similar to our letters of thought in that they are a phenomenon which indicates the bringing into existence of the light from nothing; i.e., they are the particular power that creates light.

מִכָּל מָקוֹם, הֵם עִנְיָן הַמּוֹרֶה עַל הִתְהַוּוּת הָאוֹר מֵאַיִן לְיֵשׁ,

Hence, light was created from this flow of power, and not other things, which were also created from the attribute of kindness, such as water and the like,

שֶׁלָּכֵן נִבְרָא הָאוֹר מֵהַמְשָׁכַת כֹּחַ זֶה, וְלֹא נִבְרְאוּ מִמֶּנּוּ דְּבָרִים אֲחֵרִים שֶׁנִּבְרְאוּ גַּם כֵּן מִמִּדַּת חֶסֶד, כְּמוֹ מַיִם וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָהֶם,

Thus, the combination of letters is such that this Divine power specifically creates light. It is therefore deemed to be the “utterance” which proclaimed, “Let there be light.” This selfsame attribute of kindness creates other things, such as water,

because in them were clothed powers from other combinations, which indicate the bringing into existence of water and the like.

מִפְּנֵי שֶׁנִּתְלַבְּשׁוּ בָּהֶם כֹּחוֹת בִּבְחִינוֹת צֵירוּפִים אֲחֵרִים, הַמּוֹרִים עַל הִתְהַוּוּת הַמַּיִם וְכַיּוֹצֵא.

Accordingly, all life-forces and powers

וְנִמְצָא, כִּי כָּל חַיּוּת וְכֹחוֹת

which issue from [G‑d’s] holy, emotive attributes to the lower [worlds], to create them Ex Nihilo and to give them life and sustain them, are called “holy letters.”

הַנִּמְשָׁכוֹת מִמִּדּוֹתָיו הַקְּדוֹשׁוֹת לַתַּחְתּוֹנִים לְבָרְאָם מֵאַיִן לְיֵשׁ וּלְהַחֲיוֹתָם וּלְקַיְּימָם – נִקְרָאוֹת בְּשֵׁם “אוֹתִיּוֹת הַקְּדוֹשׁוֹת”,

These are the flow of the life-force from His will and His wisdom and His emotive attributes to bring worlds into being and give them life.

שֶׁהֵן בְּחִינַת הַמְשָׁכַת הַחַיּוּת מֵרְצוֹנוֹ וְחָכְמָתוֹ וּמִדּוֹתָיו לְהִתְהַוּוּת עוֹלָמוֹת וּלְהַחֲיוֹתָם.

These worlds that are created by the letters are of two kinds:

וְהֵם שְׁנֵי מִינֵי עוֹלָמוֹת:

“hidden worlds unrevealed,” which come into existence and live and are sustained by concealed powers and life-forces, like, for example, the letters of thought in the human soul,

“עָלְמִין סְתִימִין דְּלָא אִתְגַּלְיָין”, הֵם הַמִּתְהַוִּים וְחַיִּים וְקַיָּימִים מִכֹּחוֹת וְהַמְשָׁכוֹת נֶעְלָמוֹת, כְּמוֹ אוֹתִיּוֹת הַמַּחֲשָׁבָה שֶׁבְּנִשְׁמַת הָאָדָם עַל דֶּרֶךְ מָשָׁל;

Just as the letters of each man’s thought are concealed from others, these Divine powers are similarly concealed from created beings. From them were created the “hidden worlds.”

and “worlds revealed,” [which] were created and live from the revelation of the hidden powers and life-forces called “letters of thought.”

וְ”עָלְמִין דְּאִתְגַּלְיָין”, נִבְרְאוּ וְחַיִּים מֵהִתְגַּלּוּת שֶׁנִּתְגַּלּוּ כֹּחוֹת וְהַמְשָׁכוֹת הַנֶּעְלָמוֹת, הַנִּקְרָאוֹת בְּשֵׁם “אוֹתִיּוֹת הַמַּחֲשָׁבָה”,

When these [“letters of thought”] are in a state of revelation in order to give life to the revealed worlds,

וּכְשֶׁהֵן בִּבְחִינַת הִתְגַּלּוּת לְהַחֲיוֹת עָלְמִין דְּאִתְגַּלְיָין,

they are called “utterances” and “the word of G‑d” and the “breath of His mouth,”

נִקְרָאוֹת בְּשֵׁם “מַאֲמָרוֹת” וּ”דְבַר ה’” וְ”רוּחַ פִּיו”,

like, for example, the letters of a man’s speech, which reveal to his listeners what was concealed and hidden in his heart.

כְּמוֹ אוֹתִיּוֹת הַדִּבּוּר בָּאָדָם עַל דֶּרֶךְ מָשָׁל, שֶׁהֵן מְגַלּוֹת לַשּׁוֹמְעִים מַה שֶּׁהָיָה צָפוּן וְסָתוּם בְּלִבּוֹ.

Likewise, the Divine “letters of speech” are a revelation of the force that grants existence and infuses life into those created beings that are of the category of “worlds revealed.”  

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