Tanya, the road to spiritual health

Chapter 42, class 8. Previous classes can be accessed by clicking the link below.

HaRav Shneur Zalman Miliadi, | updated: 13:56

Rav Shneur Zalman Miliady
Rav Shneur Zalman Miliady
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However, G‑d provides creation with life in a different manner than the manner in which the soul provides life to the body. The soul must garb itself in the body in order to provide it with life. By doing so it is affected by the body (for “enclothing” implies that the clothed object undergoes a change). G‑d, however, is of course not subject to change when He provides life to creation. Hence:

רק שמשל זה אינו אלא לשכך את האזן, אבל באמת אין המשל דומה לנמשל כלל

This analogy of soul and body, however, is only to “calm the ear” — to make it possible for man’s ear and intellect to perceive how one may know about something without having to actually see or hear it. In truth, however, the analogy of soul and body bears no similarity at all to the analogue of G‑dliness and creation.

כי נפש האדם, אפילו השכלית והאלקית, היא מתפעלת ממאורעי הגוף וצערו מחמת התלבשותה ממש בנפש החיונית המלובשת בגוף ממש

For the human soul, even the rational and the divine soul, is affected by the events which transpire with the body and its pain, by reason of its (the rational and divine soul’s) being actually clothed within the vivifying soul (i.e., the soul which provides the body with physical life) which in turn is clothed in the body itself.

אבל הקב״ה אינו מתפעל, חס ושלום, ממאורעי העולם ושינוייו, ולא מהעולם עצמו

G‑d, however, is not (heaven forbid) affected by the events of the world and its changes, nor by the world itself,

He is not affected by the existence (the essence and being 20) of the world;

שכולם אינן פועלים בו שום שינוי, חס ושלום

none of them effect any change in Him, G‑d forbid, nor in His absolute unity; just as He was One and Unified before He created them, so, too, does He remain One and Unified after their creation.

והנה כדי להשכיל זה היטב בשכלנו, כבר האריכו חכמי האמת בספריהם

In order to help us understand this well with our intelligence, the Scholars of Truth (i.e., the Kabbalists) have already treated it at length in their books, and an explanation will be found there.

אך כל ישראל מאמינים בני מאמינים, בלי שום חקירת שכל אנושי, ואומרים: אתה הוא עד שלא נברא העולם וכו׳

However, all Jews as descendants of the Patriarchs who believed in G‑d, are “believers, descendants of believers,” without any speculation of mortal intellect whatever, and they declare:21 “You were [the same] before the world was created,” and so forth,

The passage concludes: “You are [the same] since the world has been created”; thus, all Jews firmly believe that the world’s creation causes no change in G‑d,

כנ״ל פרק כ׳as has been explained above in ch. 20.

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FOOTNOTES.

20.  Note of the Rebbe: “In line with the analogy (end of side (a) in the Hebrew text). ‘The creation’ is not part of the analogy at all, for the soul does not create the body. The Alter Rebbe therefore does not speak of it or negate it in the analogue.”

21.   In the morning prayers.



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