Iggeres Ha’Teshuvah Chapter 4, Class 2

Tanya/ Iggeres Ha’Teshuvah – The Epistle on Repentance, Chapter 4, Class 2


The key to this will be found in the phrase, “For [G‑d’s] people are part of G‑d…”14;

אַךְ הָעִנְיָן יוּבַן, עַל פִּי מַה שֶּׁכָּתוּב: “כִּי חֵלֶק ה’ עַמּוֹ וְגוֹ’”,

[they are] part of the Four-Letter Name of G‑d.

חֵלֶק מִשֵּׁם הַוָיָ’ בָּרוּךְ־הוּא,

Thus, describing G-d’s infusion of a soul into the body of Adam, it is written: “And He blew into his nostrils a soul of life,”15

כְּדִכְתִיב: “וַיִּפַּח בְּאַפָּיו נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים”,

and, as the Zohar comments,16 “He who blows does so from within him, etc.”17

וּ”מַאן דְּנָפַח מִתּוֹכוֹ נָפַח וְכוּ’”.

The metaphor of blowing signifies that the soul of a Jew originates in the innermost aspect of G‑dliness—in the Tetragrammaton, as shall be soon explained.

Now, [G‑d] has no bodily form, and so on,18 G‑d forbid.

וְאַף שֶׁ”אֵין לוֹ דְמוּת הַגּוּף וְכוּ’” חַס וְשָׁלוֹם,

How, then, is it possible to say that G‑d “blew” and to speak of a “part” of Himself?

However, the Torah “speaks as in the language of men,”19 i.e., anthropomorphically.

אַךְ “דִּבְּרָה תוֹרָה כִּלְשׁוֹן בְּנֵי אָדָם”.

By way of analogy: There exists a vast difference in the case of mortal man between the breath issuing from his mouth while speaking and the breath of forceful blowing.

כִּי כְּמוֹ שֶׁיֵּשׁ הֶפְרֵשׁ וְהֶבְדֵּל גָּדוֹל בָּאָדָם הַתַּחְתּוֹן, עַל דֶּרֶךְ מָשָׁל, בֵּין הַהֶבֶל שֶׁיּוֹצֵא מִפִּיו בְּדִיבּוּרוֹ לַהֶבֶל הַיּוֹצֵא עַל־יְדֵי נְפִיחָה,

The breath that issues with his speech embodies the soul’s power and life-force only minimally,

שֶׁבַּיּוֹצֵא בְּדִיבּוּרוֹ – מְלוּבָּשׁ בּוֹ כֹּחַ וְחַיּוּת מְעַט מִזְּעֵיר,

and that is only from the superficial aspect of the soul that dwells within him.

וְהוּא בְּחִינַת חִיצוֹנִיּוּת מִנֶּפֶשׁ הַחַיָּה שֶׁבְּקִרְבּוֹ,

But the breath that issues when he blows forcefully, from deep within himself,

אֲבָל בַּיּוֹצֵא בְּכֹחַ הַנּוֹפֵחַ, דְּמִתּוֹכוֹ נָפַח –

embodies the internal power and life-force of the vivifying soul….

מְלוּבָּשׁ בּוֹ כֹּחַ וְחַיּוּת פְּנִימִית מִבְּחִינַת הַנֶּפֶשׁ הַחַיָּה וְכוּ’.

Just as there exists a vast difference between man’s speaking and forceful blowing:

Precisely so in the analogy [of Creation], allowing for the infinite differentiations involved [between Creator and created],

כָּכָה מַמָּשׁ עַל דֶּרֶךְ מָשָׁל, הַמַּבְדִּיל הַבְדָּלוֹת לְאֵין קֵץ,

there exists a prodigious difference Above,

יֵשׁ הֶפְרֵשׁ עָצוּם מְאֹד לְמַעְלָה,

between all the hosts of heaven, even the spiritual beings like angels, who were created ex nihilo[and the soul of man].

בֵּין כָּל צְבָא הַשָּׁמַיִם, וַאֲפִילוּ הַמַּלְאָכִים, שֶׁנִּבְרְאוּ מֵאַיִן לְיֵשׁ,

They derive their life and existence from the external aspect of the life-force issuing forth from the Infinite One to vitalize creation.

וְחַיִּים וְקַיָּימִים מִבְּחִינַת חִיצוֹנִיּוּת הַחַיּוּת וְהַשֶּׁפַע שֶׁמַּשְׁפִּיעַ אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא לְהַחֲיוֹת הָעוֹלָמוֹת,

This [external] aspect of the life-giving power is called the “breath of His mouth,” as it were, as the verse states: “By the breath of His mouth, all their hosts [were created].”20

וּבְחִינָה זוֹ נִקְרֵאת בְּשֵׁם “רוּחַ פִּיו” עַל דֶּרֶךְ מָשָׁל, כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב: “וּבְרוּחַ פִּיו כָּל צְבָאָם”,

This is the creative power embodied in the letters of the ten utterances

וְהִיא בְּחִינַת חַיּוּת הַמְלוּבֶּשֶׁת בָּאוֹתִיּוֹת שֶׁבַּעֲשָׂרָה מַאֲמָרוֹת

(21these letters being in the nature of vessels, and a drawing down and so forth of the life-force, as explained in Likkutei Amarim, Part II, ch. 11).

(שֶׁהֵן בְּחִינַת כֵּלִים וְהַמְשָׁכוֹת וְכוּ’, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּלִקּוּטֵי־אֲמָרִים חֵלֶק ב׳ פֶּרֶק י”א);

In contrast, the soul of man derives initially from the innermost dimension of the life-force and flow issuing from the Infinite One,

וּבֵין נִשְׁמַת הָאָדָם, שֶׁנִּמְשְׁכָה תְּחִלָּה מִבְּחִינַת פְּנִימִיּוּת הַחַיּוּת וְהַשֶּׁפַע שֶׁמַּשְׁפִּיעַ אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא,

as in the verse quoted above, “And He blew….”

כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב: “וַיִּפַּח וְכוּ’”,




 14. Deuteronomy 32:9.

15. Genesis 2:7.

16. See above, Part I, beg. of ch. 2, citing the Zohar.

17. The Rebbe suggests that “etc.” alludes to the continuation of this statement above, Part I, beg. of ch. 2: “…from his inwardness and his innermost being.”

18. Note by the Rebbe: “‘Etc.’ signifies ‘nor body’—from the hymn entitled Yigdal. See also beg. of Likkutei Torah Legimmel Parshiyot.”

19. Berachot 31b.

20. Psalms 33:6.

21. Parentheses are in the original text.

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