Iggeres Ha’Teshuvah Chapter 4, Class 6

Tanya/ Iggeres Ha’Teshuvah – The Epistle on Repentance, Chapter 4, Class 6


We thus see that all the ten sefirot are included and represented within the Tetragrammaton. The Alter Rebbe now goes on to explain that likewise within the soul, which is part of the Tetragrammaton, there exist ten corresponding levels or faculties.

Analogously, exactly the same applies to the soul of man, again keeping in mind the infinite separation between the Creator and the created soul,

וְכָכָה מַמָּשׁ עַל דֶּרֶךְ מָשָׁל, הַמַּבְדִּיל הַבְדָּלוֹת לְאֵין קֵץ, בְּנִשְׁמַת הָאָדָם,

which is the divine soul which “He blew from within Himself.”

שֶׁהִיא בְּחִינַת נֶפֶשׁ הָאֱלֹקִית – דְּמִתּוֹכֵיהּ נָפַח,

Since the soul derives from the internal aspect of G‑dliness, the Tetragrammaton, which comprises the ten sefirot, the soul likewise comprises the following characteristics:

There is [the initial state of chochmah,] the hidden concept alluded to by the letter yud,

יֵשׁ בָּהּ בְּחִינַת שֵׂכֶל הַנֶּעְלָם, הַמְרוּמָּז בְּאוֹת יוּ”ד,

Just as the letter yud lacks length and breadth and is but a simple point, so, too, is chochmah a faculty that lacks intellectual length and breadth, merely—

possessing the potential of being revealed and thereby understanding and conceiving G‑d’s true existence and greatness,

שֶׁבְּכֹחוֹ לָצֵאת אֶל הַגִּילּוּי, לְהָבִין וּלְהַשְׂכִּיל בַּאֲמִתָּתוֹ יִתְבָּרֵךְ וּבִגְדוּלָּתוֹ וְכוּ’,

in each person according to his measure, according to the breadth of his intellect and understanding.

כָּל חַד וְחַד לְפוּם שִׁיעוּרָא דִּילֵיהּ, לְפִי רוֹחַב שִׂכְלוֹ וּבִינָתוֹ.

While the degree of one’s comprehension of G‑dliness depends on the breadth of one’s intellect, a Jew’s essential ability to find G‑d’s true being and greatness securely integrated in his mind stems from the soul’s attribute of chochmah, alluded to in the letter yud.

As a man deepens his intelligence, as he broadens his mind and comprehension to contemplate G‑d’s greatness,

וּכְפִי אֲשֶׁר מַעֲמִיק שִׂכְלוֹ וּמַרְחִיב דַּעְתּוֹ וּבִינָתוֹ לְהִתְבּוֹנֵן בִּגְדוּלָּתוֹ יִתְבָּרֵךְ,

his now developed understanding, the faculty of binah, is alluded to by the letter hey, that has breadth, indicating the breadth of his understanding.

אֲזַי – מְרוּמֶּזֶת בִּינָתוֹ בְּאוֹת הֵ”א, שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהּ רוֹחַב,

[The hey] also has length, to indicate downward extension,

וְגַם אוֹרֶךְ, הַמּוֹרֶה עַל הַהַמְשָׁכָה מִלְמַעְלָה לְמַטָּה,

so that from his understanding and contemplation of G‑d’s greatness, he arouses love and fear and their offspring, i.e., the other emotive attributes, which are termed the offspring or branches of love and fear,

לְהוֹלִיד מִבִּינָתוֹ וְהִתְבּוֹנְנוּתוֹ בִּגְדוּלַּת ה’ אַהֲבָה וְיִרְאָה וְתוֹלְדוֹתֵיהֶן

in his mind and in the recesses of his heart,

בְּמוֹחוֹ וְתַעֲלוּמוֹת לִבּוֹ,

At this early stage in the generation of the spiritual emotions of love and fear, and so on, they are not yet manifest.

until ultimately, they find overt expression in his heart.

וְאַחַר כָּךְ – בִּבְחִינַת הִתְגַּלּוּת לִבּוֹ.

The downward progression of intellect into the realm of emotions is thus indicated by the vertical length of the letter hey.

These [spiritual emotions] lead to the true service of G‑d, in Torah study and Mitzvah observance, with voice and speech or with deed.

וּמִזֶּה נִמְשְׁכָה עֲבוֹדָה הָאֲמִיתִּית בְּעֵסֶק הַתּוֹרָה וְהַמִּצְוֹת, בְּקוֹל וְדִבּוּר אוֹ מַעֲשֶׂה,

True divine service is that which is motivated by the love and awe of G‑d, as explained above in Part I, ch. 4.

This is the import of the [final] letters vav and hey [of the Four-Letter Name, Havayah]…, for vav alludes to voice and speech while hey alludes to action.

הֵן אוֹתִיּוֹת וָא”ו הֵ”א וְכוּ’.

Furthermore, contemplation that endeavors to understand and conceive of G‑d’s true being also derives from the Torah,

וְגַם הַהִתְבּוֹנְנוּת לְהָבִין וּלְהַשְׂכִּיל בַּאֲמִתָּתוֹ וּגְדוּלָּתוֹ יִתְבָּרֵךְ, נִמְשְׁכָה גַם כֵּן מֵהַתּוֹרָה,

I.e., such contemplation must necessarily be preceded by the study of the Torah,

for “Torah proceeds from chochmah,”36 which is the yud of the Tetragrammaton.

דְּאוֹרַיְיתָא מֵחָכְמָה נָפְקָא, הִיא בְּחִינַת יוּ”ד שֶׁל שֵׁם הַוָיָ’ וְכוּ’:




36. Zohar II, 85a, 121a.

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