Tanya lecture and video: Your road to a healthy spiritual life

Tanya compacts four millennia of Jewish wisdom to answer the great personal and existential questions of life. While this is the continuation of chapter 53, all previous lectures can be accessed via the link below.

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HaRav Shneur Zalman Miliadi

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Continuation of chapter 53

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It was this level of Shechinah that did not abide in the Second Temple, but only a far lesser level.

אלא בבית שני היתה שורה כדרך השתלשלות והתלבשות: מלכות דאצילות במלכות דבריאה, ודבריאה במלכות דיצירה, ודיצירה בהיכל קדשי קדשים דעשיה

But in the Second Temple it abided according to the order of gradual descent, of Malchut of Atzilut vested in Malchut of Beriah and the latter in Malchut of Yetzirah, and the latter in the shrine of the Holy of Holies of Asiyah, that shrine being ChaBaD of Asiyah.

וקדשי קדשים דעשיה היה מתלבש בקדשי קדשים שבבית המקדש שלמטה, ושרתה בו השכינה: מלכות דיצירה, המלובשת בקדשי קדשים דעשיה

And the Holy of Holies of Asiyah was clothed in the Holy of Holies of the Temple below. In it rested the Shechinah, i.e., Malchut of Yetzirah, which was clothed in the Holy of Holies of Asiyah.

ולכן לא היה רשאי שום אדם ליכנס שם, לבד כהן גדול ביום הכפורים. ומשחרב בית המקדש

Therefore, because the Shechinah resided in the Temple’s Holy of Holies, no man was permitted to enter there, except the High Priest on Yom Kippur. And since the destruction of the Temple,

of which the Sanctuary was a part, G‑d resides in the shrine of Holy of Holies of Torah and the mitzvot, for as mentioned earlier, the Shechinah must reside in the Holy of Holies:

אין לו להקב״ה בעולמו אלא ד׳ אמות של הלכה בלבד

HaKadosh Baruch Hu (the Holy One, blessed be He) has but the four cubits of Halachah alone.”7

Torah is the shrine of the Holy of Holies that connects G‑d with the world, so that HaKadosh (the illumination of the Shechinah, which is Kadosh, i.e., separated and apart from the world) should become Baruch (from the Hebrew root meaning “to draw down”) — drawn down into the world.

ואפילו אחד שיושב ועוסק בתורה, שכינה עמו, כדאיתא בברכות, פרק קמא. פירוש שכינה עמו

And even if one Jew sits and engages in Torah study, the Shechinah is with him, as is stated in the first chapter of Berachot.8 The phrase, “the Shechinah is with him” means that although he is a being of this material world, the Shechinah is nevertheless with him.

The level of Shechinah that is with him is:

כדרך השתלשלות והתלבשות מלכות דאצילות במלכות דבריאה ויצירה ועשיה

in order of the gradual descent and investment of Malchut of Atzilut in Malchut of Beriah and Yetzirah and Asiyah.

It is thus inferior even to the indwelling of the Shechinah in the Second Temple, an indwelling that did not require the vestment in Malchut of Asiyah.

It differs from the drawing down of the Shechinah in the world in general, in which case the identical progressive descent occurs, in that the Shechinah which resides in the world passes through the additional “garment” of kelipat nogah, while Torah and the mitzvot do not.

The reason that it must go through Malchut of Asiyah is that the overwhelming majority of the mitzvot of the Torah involve physical action. The Shechinah therefore descends into the level of action — Asiyah, as shall now be explained.

כי תרי״ג מצות התורה רובן ככולן הן מצות מעשיות                                                                       , For the 613 commandments of the Torah are by and large precepts which involve action

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FOOTNOTES

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7.  Berachot 8a.

8.  Berachot 6a.



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