Ch. 23, Class # 6

Middle of chapter 23

מאחר שרצון העליון הוא בגילוי ממש בנפש ולבושיה העוסקים בתורה, שהרי הוא הוא התורה עצמה

For the Divine Will is actually manifest in the soul and its garments that are engaged in Torah study, since it is identical with the Torah being studied.

וכל העולמות העליונים מקבלים חיותם מאור וחיות הנמשך מהתורה שהיא רצונו וחכמתו יתברך, כדכתיב: כולם בחכמה עשית

All the worlds receive their vitality by way of the light and life derived from the Torah which is G‑d’s Will and wisdom; as it is written, 6 “Through wisdom You have made them all.”

G‑d’s wisdom is thus the source of vitality for all the worlds.

ואם כן החכמה, שהיא התורה, למעלה מכולם

Thus it follows that G‑d’s wisdom, i.e., the Torah, transcends them all.

It must be above all the worlds, since it is their source.

והיא היא רצונו יתברך הנקרא סובב כל עלמין, שהיא בחינת מה שאינו יכול להתלבש בתוך עלמין, רק מחיה ומאיר למעלה בבחינת מקיף

In fact the Torah, G‑d’s Will, is described as “encompassing” all the worlds, meaning that it is at a level that cannot become clothed within the worlds, but rather animates and illuminates them as if from a distance, from above, in a transcending and “encompassing” manner, 7

והיא היא המתלבשת בנפש ולבושיה בבחינת גילוי ממש כשעוסקים בדברי תורה

and it is this level which transcends all the worlds that is clothed in a truly revealed form in one’s soul and his soul-garments, when he studies Torah,

ואף על גב דאיהו לא חזי כו‘ [ומשום הכי יכול לסבול משום דלא חזי, מה שאין כן בעליונים]

even although he does not see it. 8 I.e., when one studies Torah he is unable to consciously experience the unity of his soul with G‑d which is attained thereby, yet his soul feels it.(9In fact, this is precisely why he can endure such a unity with G‑d, preciselybecause he cannot feel it — unlike the supernal worlds where G‑dliness is not obscured as it is in this world, and they cannot therefore endure such a unity with G‑d without becoming completely nullified and losing their identities entirely.)

ובזה יובן למה גדלה מאד מעלת העסק בתורה יותר מכל המצות, ואפילו מתפלה שהיא יחוד עולמות עליונים

This discussion of the exalted unity with G‑d attained through Torah study, which is even greater than that accomplished by performing the mitzvot, explains why Torah study is so much loftier than all the other commandments, including even prayer, which effects unity within the supernal worlds.

והא דמי שאין תורתו אומנתו צריך להפסיק, היינו מאחר דמפסיק ומבטל בלאו הכי

(10Although the law requires of anyone whose Torah study is not his entire occupation that he interrupt his study for prayer, 11 which would seem to indicate that prayer surpasses Torah study, this is so only because he would in any case pause and interrupt his studies.)

Thus it is not the law which causes him to interrupt. The law merely states that the interruption which he would have made regardless, be made at the time designated for prayer; and as soon as he interrupts his studies, he is automatically obliged to pray. 12

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Footnotes

6. Tehillim 104:24.
7. See below, chs. 41, 46, 48 and 51.
8. Cf. Megillah 3a.
9. Parentheses are in the original text.
10. Parentheses are in the original text.
11. Shabbat 11a; Rambam, Hilchot Tefillah 6:8; R. Shneur Zalman, Shulchan Aruch 106:4.
12. This interpretation is based on a note by the Rebbe.

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