Likutei Amarim Chapter 19, Class # 2

אלא שגלות הזה לבחינת חכמה אינו אלא לבחינה המתפשטת ממנה בנפש כולה להחיותה

But this exile of the faculty of Chochmah affects only that aspect of it which is diffused throughout the Nefesh and animates it [with Divine vitality].

Being in exile, it is unable to pervade the entire soul, and through it the entire body, with the feeling of self-nullification before G‑d characteristic of Chochmah;thus, in this state of exile, it is unable to prevent one from sinning.

אבל שרש ועיקר של בחינת חכמה שבנפש האלקית הוא במוחין, ואינה מתלבשת בלבוש שק דקליפה שבלב בחלל השמאלי בבחינת גלות ממש

Yet, the root and core of the Chochmah in the divine soul is in the brain, and does not clothe itself in the sackcloth of the kelipah in the left part of the heart, in a true state of exile, i.e., so that it be powerless to prevent one from sinning.

רק שהיא בבחינת שינה ברשעים ואינה פועלת פעולתה בהם, כל זמן שעסוקים בדעתם ובינתם בתאות העולם

It is merely dormant in the case of the wicked, not exercising its influence within them (i.e., not creating within the Jew the spirit of self-nullification before G‑d that it ought to create), as long as their knowledge and understanding are preoccupied with mundane pleasures.

The soul-faculties of “knowledge” (Daat) and “understanding” (Binah) are lower than Chochmah; yet the level of Chochmah is prevented from acting upon them (and upon the other, still lower, faculties) as long as they are immersed in mundane pleasures. Thus, the Chochmah of their divine soul is dormant, not dead. It has lost none of its potency, only its ability to exercise it; just as when one sleeps he retains full possession of his faculties though he cannot use them.

אך כשבאים לידי נסיון בדבר אמונה, שהיא למעלה מהדעת ונגעה עד הנפש לבחינת חכמה שבה

However, when they (the wicked) are confronted with a test of faith, which transcends knowledge, touching the very soul and the faculty of Chochmahwithin it — the source of faith,

אזי היא ניעורה משנתה ופועלת פעולתה בכח ה׳ המלובש בה

then it “arises from its sleep” (i.e., Chochmah reveals itself) and it exerts its influence with the Divine force that is clothed in it (its influence being to create a spirit of self-sacrifice for G‑d, as the Alter Rebbe states further).

וכמו שכתוב: ויקץ כישן ה׳

As it is written:14 “Then the L‑rd awakened as one out of sleep.”

This verse refers also to the level of Chochmah and the light of the Ein Sofclothed therein, which was previously in a state of “sleep” — inactive — but “arises” and exerts its influence when faced with a test of faith.

לעמוד בנסיון באמונת ה׳ בלי שום טעם ודעת ושכל מושג לו

The revelation of Chochmah leads even the sinner to withstand the test of faith in G‑d, without any reasoning or knowledge that he can comprehend which would motivate him to sacrifice his life,

להתגבר על הקליפות ותאוות עולם הזה בהיתר ובאיסור שהורגל בהם, ולמאוס בהם

and to prevail over the kelipot and over his desires toward worldly matters, both permitted and forbidden, which he was accustomed to indulge, and even to despise them,

I.e., in this state of readiness for martyrdom, the sinner not only overcomes his desires for worldly pleasures, but loses them entirely, and the objects of his past desires are now detestable to him,

ולבחור לו ה׳ לחלקו ולגורלו

and to choose G‑d as his portion and his lot,

I.e., he dedicates to G‑d both his internal faculties of intellect and emotion, referred to as one’s “portion”, and his higher transcendent faculties — his will and pleasure, which are called one’s “lot”,

למסור לו נפשו על קדושת שמו

so that he is prepared to offer his soul to G‑d in martyrdom for the sanctification of His Name.

ואף כי הקליפות גברו עליו כל ימיו ולא יכול להם, כמאמר רז״ל: שהרשעים הם ברשות לבם

Although the kelipot prevailed over him (over this sinner who is now prepared to accept martyrdom) all his life, and he was impotent against them, as the Rabbis have said that15 “The wicked are under the control of their heart,” i.e., the animal soul of thekelipah, situated in the left part of the heart,

מכל מקום כשבא לידי נסיון בדבר אמונה בה׳ אחד, שיסודתה בהררי קודש היא בחינת חכמה שבנפש האלקית, שבה מלובש אור אין סוף ברוך הוא

nevertheless, when he faces a test challenging his faith in the one G‑d, [a faith] whose foundation is in [that level of the divine soul called] “the heights of holiness,” namely, the faculty of Chochmah which is called קודש — the source of holiness — as previously explained, in which is clothed the light of Ein Sof, blessed be He,

הרי כל הקליפות בטלים ומבוטלים, והיו כלא היו ממש לפני ה׳

then all the kelipot become nullified, and they vanish as though they had never been, in the presence of the L‑rd.

כדכתיב: כל הגוים כאין נגדו וגו׳, וכתיב: כי הנה אויביך ה׳ כי הנה אויביך יאבדו יתפרדו וגו׳, וכתיב: כהמס דונג מפני אש יאבדו וגו׳, וכתיב: הרים כדונג נמסו

So it is written:16 “All the nations including also the kelipot are as nothing before Him”; and17 “For all Your enemies, O L‑rd, referring also to the kelipot, which are the ”enemies of G‑d,“ all Your enemies will perish, they will be scattered…”; and again,18 “As wax melts before fire, so shall the wicked perish”; and19 “The hillsreferring to the kelipot which are compared to hills by reason of their hauteur melted like wax.”

All these verses illustrate how the kelipot vanish when the light of G‑d found in the Chochmah of the divine soul reveals itself. Therefore, despite the fact thatkelipot always had the upper hand over a sinner, he is able to overcome them when his faith is challenged. We thus see that every Jew has an inherent ability to overcome temptation by virtue of his soul’s “hidden love” of G‑d originating in its faculty of Chochmah. He need merely arouse it.

The Alter Rebbe now goes on to explain how this “hidden love” also comprises the fear of G‑d necessary in observing the prohibitive commandments.



14. Tehillim 78:65.
15. Bereishit Rabbah 34:11.
16. Yeshayahu 40:17.
17. Tehillim 92:10.
18. Ibid. 68:3.
19. Ibid. 97:5.

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