Likutei Amarim Chapter 6, Class # 3

Likutei Amarim, end of Chapter 6

ולכן כל מעשה עולם הזה קשים ורעים והרשעים גוברים בו, כמו שכתוב בע׳ חיים, שער מ״ב סוף פרק ד׳

This is also why all affairs of this world are severe and evil, and the wicked prevail in it (as is written in Etz Chayim, Portal 42, end of ch. 4).

In the following note, referring to his previous statement that this is a world ofkelipot, the Alter Rebbe writes that this is so notwithstanding the fact that G‑dliness pervades all existence; or, stated in the terminology of the Kabbalah, that G‑d’s infinite light (Or Ein Sof) clothes itself in the Sefirot of the four Worlds —Atzilut, Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah, and thereby even this physical world is filled with the Or Ein Sof; yet, despite all this, it is still a world of kelipot.

הגהה   NOTE

עם היות בתוכו עשר ספירות דעשיה דקדושה, וכמו שכתוב בע׳ חיים, שער מ״ג


To be sure, this world contains the Ten Sefirot of [the World of] Asiyah, as is written in Etz Chayim, Portal 43.

(The World of Asiyah comprises both our physical world, and the spiritual World of Asiyah. The Sefirot of the spiritual Asiyah are, however, contained in the physical Asiyah as well.)

ובתוך עשר ספירות דעשיה אלו הן עשר ספירות דיצירה, ובתוכן עשר ספירות דבריאה, ובתוכן עשר ספירות דאצילות, שבתוכן אור אין סוף ברוך הוא

Now, within these Ten Sefirot of Asiyah are [contained] the Ten Sefirot of the World of Yetzirah, and within them the Ten Sefirot of the World of Beriah, and in them the Ten Sefirot of the World of Atzilut, in which abides the Or Ein Sof.

ונמצא אור אין סוף ברוך הוא מלא כל הארץ הלזו התחתונה, על ידי התלבשותו בעשר ספירות דארבע עולמות, אצילות בריה יצירה עשיה

Thus, the Or Ein Sof pervades this entire lowest world by being clothed in the TenSefirot of the four Worlds — Atzilut, Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah,

כמו שכתוב בע׳ חיים, שער מ״ז פרק ב׳, ובספר גלגולים פרק כ׳

as is written in Etz Chayim, Portal 47, ch. 2, and in Sefer Gilgulim, ch. 20.


Yet, because the creatures of this world are not openly surrendered to G‑d, this is a world of kelipot and sitra achra.

Until here it has been explained that all thoughts, utterances and actions that are not directed towards holiness are sitra achra, and that these are the garments by which the animal soul expresses itself.

But this merely places the garments on a par with the animal soul itself, which like them stems from the sitra achra. It was explained earlier, however, that the garments of the divine soul are of a higher spiritual level than the soul itself, and elevate it, and that the animal soul is structured as a mirror-image of the divine soul. It follows, then, that the animal soul’s garments are on an even lower level than the animal soul itself and that they degrade it.

The Alter Rebbe goes on to explain that this is indeed the case. After a discussion of the two categories of kelipah (mentioned in the introduction to this chapter), he concludes that there are those garments of the animal soul that drag down the soul from the level of kelipat nogah — the soul’s natural state — to the level of the three completely impure kelipot. These are: sinful thoughts, and forbidden words and actions.1

אלא שהקליפות הן נחלקות לשתי מדרגות, זו למטה מזו

However, the kelipot are divided into two categories, one lower than the other.

המדרגה התחתונה היא שלש קליפות הטמאות ורעות לגמרי, ואין בהם טוב כלל

The lower category consists of three completely unclean and evil kelipot, containing no good whatever.

ונקראו במרכבת יחזקאל: רוח סערה וענן גדול וגו׳

In the prophet Yechezkel’s vision of the Divine chariot in which he saw and described the forces that conceal G‑dliness they are described2as “a stormwind,” “a great cloud” and “a flaring fire,” representing these three wholly unclean kelipot.

ומהן נשפעות ונמשכות נפשות כל אומות העולם וקיום גופם

From them flow and are derived the souls of all the nations of the world, and the sustaining force of their bodies which sustains their existence; apart from the soul, which animates them.

ונפשות כל בעלי חיים הטמאים ואסורים באכילה, וקיום גופם

Also derived from these kelipot are the souls of all living creatures that are unclean and forbidden to be eaten, and the sustaining force of their bodies.

וקיום וחיות כל מאכלות אסורות מהצומח, כמו ערלה וכלאי הכרם כו׳, וכמו שכתוב בע׳ חיים, שער מ״ט פרק ו׳

The existence and life of all forbidden vegetation, too, such asorlah (the first three years‘ fruit of a tree), and a mixture of grain seeds in a vineyard, and so forth, are derived from these kelipot, as is written in Etz Chayim, Portal 49, ch. 6.

וכן, קיום וחיות כל המעשה דבור ומחשבה של כל שס״ה לא תעשה וענפיהן, כמו שכתוב שם סוף פרק ה׳

Similarly, the existence and life of any act, utterance or thought in violation of any one of the 365 [Biblical] prohibitions, as well as their [Rabbinic] offshoots are all derived from these three impure kelipot, as is written there, end of ch. 5.

The animal soul, on the other hand, is of kelipat nogah, which contains an element of good (as mentioned in ch. 1). These sinful garments, belonging to the realm of wholly impure kelipot, are thus lower than the animal soul itself, and drag it down to their level; in exact opposition to the divine soul’s garments of the thought, speech and action of Torah and the mitzvot which are higher than the soul and elevate it.

——— ● ———

1. The Rebbe notes: In the case of one who ate “neutrally” (neither “for the sake of heaven” nor to indulge his animal soul’s desire, but merely to sate his hunger), it is questionable whether this applies (i.e., whether this too degrades the animal soul). It would appear so from Kuntres Etz HaChayim, ch. 3 (where it is written that eating “neutrally” coarsens one at least to the point of leading him to self-indulgence). It is similarly written further in ch. 13 of Tanya that one’s animal soul gains strength by being exercised through eating and drinking. No proof to the contrary can be adduced from the expression in ch. 7 that such (“neutral”) actions are “no better” than the animal soul itself (and hence, they are apparently also no worse), for it is quite possible that the words “no better” indicate merely that they all belong to the same category: like the animal soul itself, such actions are of the realm of kelipat nogah, not of holiness. In hisKitzurei Tanya, the Tzemach Tzedek apparently takes these words in the same vein.
2. Yechezkel 1:4.

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