Likutei Amarim Chapter 13, Class # 6

Likutei Amarim, end of Chapter 13

והנה מדת אהבה זו האמורה בבינונים בשעת התפלה על ידי התגברות הנפש האלקית כו׳

Now, this aformentioned love attained by Beinonim at the time of prayer by virtue of the temporary preponderance of the divine soul over the animal soul, etc.,

הנה לגבי מדרגת הצדיקים עובדי ה׳ באמת לאמיתו, אין בחינת אהבה זו נקראת בשם עבודת אמת כלל

when compared to the standard of the tzaddikim who serve G‑d in perfect truth(“in the truest manner of truth”), [this love] is not called “true service” at all,

מאחר שחולפת ועוברת אחר התפלה

since it passes and disappears after prayer;

וכתיב: שפת אמת תכון לעד, ועד ארגיעה לשון שקר

whereas it is written,11 “The language (lit., ‘the lip’) of truth shall be established forever, but the tongue of falsehood is only momentary.”

Thus, the term “truth” refers to something immutable; the temporary and passing are not considered “true”. The same applies here as well: Since theBeinoni’s love of G‑d is felt only during prayer and disappears afterwards, it does not measure up to the “truest” sense of truth — the perfect truth attained by tzaddikim.

ואף על פי כן לגבי מדרגת הבינונים נקראת עבודה תמה באמת לאמיתו שלהם

Nevertheless, in relation to the rank of the Beinoni, [this level of love] is regarded as a truly perfect service in terms of their level of truth, i.e., the level ofBeinonim,

איש איש כפי מדרגתו במדרגת הבינונים

in each man relative to his standing in the category of the Beinonim (for, as mentioned earlier, the rank of Beinoni is subdivided into many levels).

והריני קורא באהבתם שבתפלתם גם כן: שפת אמת תכון לעד

Their love, too, which they possess [only] during prayer, I term, “The language of truth [,which] shall be established for ever,” i.e., their love is true and permanent, though manifest only during prayer,

הואיל ובכח נפשם האלקית לחזור ולעורר בחינת אהבה זו לעולם, בהתגברותה בשעת התפלה מדי יום ביום

since their divine soul has the power to reawaken this love constantly, whenever it gathers strength during prayer, day after day,

על ידי הכנה הראויה לכל נפש כפי ערכה ומדרגתה

by means of the spiritual preparation appropriate to each soul’s quality and rank. The higher the level of the soul, the less preparation it requires to awaken its love of G‑d. Regardless, every soul has the capacity to arouse its love of G‑d during prayer.

The Beinoni’s love of G‑d is thus constant, since it is either in an active, revealed state, or is in potentia, and can be revealed at any moment throughout the day (for, as mentioned earlier, every Beinoni has the potential to attain the level of “praying the whole day long.”

One difficulty yet remains: How is it possible for the same level of service to be considered untrue by the standards of tzaddikim, and true with regard toBeinonim? Is truth not absolute?

This matter is now explained as follows:

The quality of truth is to be found on every level. In each, truth means the essence and core of that level; i.e., truth is defined as that which agrees with the essence of that particular level where it is measured.

Since this is so in all the myriad levels of the spiritual worlds, from the very highest to the very lowest, and since the lowest levels are incomparable to the highest, how can it be said that the lower grades possess truth? We must say, therefore, that the term “truth” is relative to the level on which it is found, that each grade has its own core of truth. Things are true if they agree with [the essence of] their own level and untrue if they do not; they need not agree with a higher level to be considered “true”.

In the Alter Rebbe’s words:

כי הנה מדת אמת היא מדתו של יעקב, הנקרא בריח התיכון המבריח מן הקצה אל הקצה

For truth is the attribute of Jacob, as the verse states:12 “You give truth to Jacob,” who is called13 “the middle bolt which secures everything from end to end,”14 just as the middle bolt in the Tabernacle secured and bolted together all the boards by passing through them all.

מרום המעלות ומדרגות עד סוף כל דרגין

In spiritual terms, this means that the attribute of truth passes from the highest gradations and levels to the end (i.e., lowest) of all grades.

ובכל מעלה ומדרגה מבריח תוך נקודה האמצעית

in each gradation and level it passes through the central point of that particular level,

שהיא נקודת ובחינת מדת אמת שלה

which is, i.e., which then becomes the point and quality (i.e., the standard) of [that level’s] attribute of truth.

Proof is now given that each grade has its own standard of truth, as it were:

ומדת אמת היא נחלה בלי מצרים, ואין לה שיעור למעלה עד רום המעלות

The attribute of truth is an unbounded inheritance; it has no upper limit [as it extends] to the highest levels,

וכל מעלות ומדרגות שלמטה הם כאין לגבי מעלות ומדרגות שלמעלה מהן

and all lower gradations and levels are as nothing compared with those superior to them.

If, then, truth is found on all levels despite their disparity, we must conclude that the standard of truth on each level is relative to the core of that level.

In support for his statement that the lower levels and grades are incomparable to the higher ones, the Alter Rebbe cites:

כידוע ליודעי ח״ן שבחינת ראש ומוחין של מדרגות תחתונות הן למטה מבחינת עקביים ורגלי מדרגות עליונות מהן

As is known to those familiar with the Esoteric Discipline (i.e., Kabbalah), the quality that is the “head and intellect” — the highest level — within lower grades, is inferior to the “soles” and “feet” — the very lowest level — within the higher grades;

וכמאמר רז״ל: רגלי החיות כנגד כולן

as our Sages say,15 “The feet of the chayyot surpass all those levels lower than them, including the highest degree within those lower levels.”)

The attribute of truth, then, is measured according to the standards of each level. We may thus conclude that the divine service of the Beinoni is considered “true” service relative to their level, although when compared with the service oftzaddikim it is not considered “true”, since it passes after prayer.

——— ● ———

11. Mishlei 12:19.
12. Micah 7:20.
13. Zohar I, p. 1b; p. 224a.
14. Paraphrase of Shmot 26:28.
15. Chagigah 13a.

Comments are closed.