Ch. 39, Class # 2

Continuation of Chapter 39

ולכן הוא מדור נשמות הצדיקים, עובדי ה׳ בדחילו ורחימו הנמשכות מן הבינה ודעת דגדולת אין סוף ברוך הוא

Because these three Sefirot — ChaBaD — of the Ein Sof radiate in the World of Beriah, it is therefore the abode of the souls of those tzaddikim who serve G‑d with a fear and love that stem from understanding and knowledge of G‑d’s greatness,

שאהבה זו נקרא רעותא דלבא, כנ״ל

this love being called re‘uta delibba (lit., “the heart’s desire,” i.e., a desire created by intellect, as opposed to desire that transcends intellect), as mentioned above.

ומרעותא דלבא נעשה לבוש לנשמה בעולם הבריאה, שהוא גן עדן העליון, כדלקמן, וכמו שכתוב בזהר, ויקהל

From this re‘uta delibba a garment is formed for the soul in the World ofBeriah, which is the Higher Garden of Eden, as will be discussed further, and as is written in the Zohar, Parshat Vayakhel. The Lower Garden of Eden is in Yetzirah,and the Higher Garden of Eden in Beriah.

Ultimately, the souls of those who serve G‑d with intellectual love and fear are privileged to abide in the Higher Garden of Eden — Beriah. For the reward given in the Garden of Eden (Paradise) is that the souls “delight in the radiance of the Shechinah,” i.e., they delight in their perception of G‑d’s glory. Since one’s reward is commensurate with his level of divine service, the delight in intellectual perception of G‑dliness is reserved for the souls of those who served G‑d with intellectual love and fear during their lifetime on earth.

At this point the Alter Rebbe qualifies his earlier statement: Only thosetzaddikim whose souls are on the level of Neshamah (i.e., the highest of the three soul-levels — Nefesh, Ruach and Neshamah) abide in Beriah. Neshamah represents Mochin deGadlut — a “superior intellectual grasp” of G‑dliness; those on the level of Neshamah understand G‑dliness directly as it is, without recourse to analogy or anthropomorphic terms. Love and fear follow from such direct understanding of G‑dliness as its natural extensions; they are not products of intellect, a generation removed. In this case, in fact, the emotions may be considered as part of an intellectual process, rather than emotion proper.

אך היינו דווקא נשמות ממש

However this statement, that the abode of tzaddikim who serve G‑d with intellectual love and fear is in the World of Beriah, applies only to those souls which are actually on the level of Neshamah — the level of Neshamah being that of intellect, as the verse states,3 “The divine Neshamah will give them discernment” —

שהן בחינת מוחין דגדלות אין סוף ברוך הוא

and which represent a “superior intellectual perception” of the Blessed Ein Sof.

אבל בחינת הרוח של הצדיקים

But the tzaddikim who are at the level of Ruach,

וכן שאר כל נשמות ישראל, שעבדו את ה׳ בדחילו ורחימו המסותרות בלב כללות ישראל

and similarly all the other souls of Israel, who served G‑d with the natural fear and love hidden in the heart of all Israel, not with love and fear born of intellect,

אין עולות לשם רק בשבת וראש חודש לבד

ascend thereto (to Beriah) only on Shabbat and the New Moon when all creation ascends to a higher level (as it is written, “…every month, on the New Moon, and every week, on the Shabbat, all flesh will come to prostrate themselves before Me, says G‑d”); it is only then that these souls ascend to the World of Beriah, the Higher Garden of Eden,

דרך העמוד שמגן עדן התחתון לגן עדן העליון, שהוא עולם הבריאה, הנקרא גן עדן העליון

by means of the pillar that extends from the Lower Garden of Eden (Yetzirah) to the Higher Garden of Eden, i.e., the World of Beriah, which is called the Higher Garden of Eden.4

להתענג על ה׳ וליהנות מזיו השכינה

By means of this pillar, these souls ascend thereto to delight in G‑d, and to bask in the radiance of the Shechinah.

Such pleasure is the prerogative of the souls in Beriah, since the soul’s delight is from its understanding and appreciation of G‑dliness — to the extent that a soul is capable of such understanding.

כי אין הנאה ותענוג לשכל נברא אלא במה שמשכיל ומבין ויודע ומשיג בשכלו ובינתו

The intellect of a created being delights and derives pleasure only in that which it conceives, understands, knows (— corresponding to ChaBaD) and grasps with its intellect and understanding,

מה שאפשר לו להבין ולהשיג מאור אין סוף ברוך הוא, על ידי חכמתו ובינתו יתברך המאירות שם, בעולם הבריאה

as much as it can grasp of the Blessed Ein Sof-light, through His wisdom and His understanding which radiate there (in Beriah), enabling the soul to perceive G‑dliness. For, as mentioned earlier, the ChaBaD of Atzilut (to which the Alter Rebbe refers as “His wisdom,” “ His understanding”) radiate in Beriah, for which reason Beriah is the “World of understanding.”

With this the Alter Rebbe concludes his statement that on Shabbat andRosh Chodesh the souls of other Jews (who had not served G‑d with intellectual love and fear) ascend to Beriah.

ומה שזוכות נשמות אלו לעלות למעלה מהמלאכים, אף שעבדו בדחילו ורחימו טבעיים לבד

These souls (who served G‑d with natural love and fear) are privileged to riseoccasionally to Beriah, higher than the angels, whose abode is in Yetzirah, as mentioned above, never rising to Beriah, although they too, like the angels, served G‑d only with natural fear and love; why, then, is their service of G‑d considered superior to that of the angels?

היינו מפני שעל ידי דחילו ורחימו שלהם, אתכפיא סטרא אחרא המלובשת בגופם

because through their fear and love, the sitra achra clothed in their body is subdued,

בין בבחינת סור מרע, לכבוש התאוות ולשברן

whether (in the case of fear) in the realm of “turning away from evil” (refraining from doing evil, and thereby) conquering and crushing their desires through not giving their illicit desires expression in thought, speech and action,

ובין בבחינת ועשה טוב, כנ״ל

or whether (in the case of love) subduing the sitra achra in the realm of “doing good” as mentioned above, i.e., actively pursuing the observance of the mitzvot out of love for G‑d, despite the contrary desire of the animal soul which is rooted in the sitra achra.

והם היו בעלי בחירה, לבחור ברע, חס ושלום

These souls, while in the physical world, had freedom of choice; they might have chosen evil, G‑d forbid,

ובחרו בטוב, לאכפיא לסטרא אחרא, לאסתלקא יקרא דקודשא בריך הוא כו׳ כיתרון האור כו׳, כנ״ל

yet they chose good — to subdue the sitra achra, so that G‑d’s glory be elevated… [in all Worlds], with an elevation similar to the superiority of light… [emerging from the darkness] over ordinary light, as mentioned above. By dispelling the darkness of sitra achra, these souls added to the light of holiness.

Thus, although these souls served G‑d as angels do, with love and fear that are natural, not intellectual, yet their service ranks higher than that of an angel; for the soul acts out of free choice, while the angel is a creature of compulsive instinct (albeit holy instinct). Therefore it is occasionally granted to the soul, unlike the angel, to rise to the Higher Garden of Eden in Beriah.

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Footnotes

3. 00Iyov 32:8.
4. The Rebbe explains that the Alter Rebbe’s statement regarding an ascent from the lower to the higher level of Gan Eden by means of the “pillar” answers the following question:

How is it possible that there be an ascent from the level of “animal”, the lower level of the Garden of Eden, to the level of “man”, the higher level of the Garden of Eden? This is possible, says the Alter Rebbe, by means of the “pillar”. This also serves to demonstrate that though the higher and lower levels of the Garden of Eden are two distinct categories, it is nevertheless possible to ascend from one to the other.