Tanya: Chap. 38 class 3

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HaRav Shneur Zalman Miliadi, | updated: 15:32

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הלכך, מאחר שהעולמות הם בבחינת גבול ותכלית, נמצא שאין השפעת אור אין סוף מתלבשת ומתגלה בהם בבחינת גילוי, רקמעט מזער הארה מועטת מצומצמת מאד מאד

Therefore, since the worlds belong in the order of the finite and limited, it follows that only an extremely minute and contracted reflection of the flow of the [infinite] light of the blessed Ein Sof clothes and manifests itself in them in a revealed form,

והיא רק כדי להחיותם בבחינת גבול ותכלית

and this, only to animate them in a finite and revealed state.

In order for creation to come about there must necessarily be at least some glimmer of G‑dly illumination, albeit in an extremely limited form, for this enables creation to be finite and bounded.

אבל עיקר האור בלי צמצום כל כך נקרא מקיף וסובב, מאחר שאין השפעתו מתגלית בתוכם, מאחר שהם בבחינת גבול ותכלית

But the principal light that is without contraction to such an extent is called makkif (“encircler”) and sovev (“encompasser”), since its influence is not revealed within [the worlds], inasmuch as they belong in the order of the finite and the limited.

By way of illustration, the Alter Rebbe will now draw an analogy from the physical earth which is composed of the inanimate and vegetable worlds. These two categories are the least significant of the four categories — man, animal, the vegetative and the inanimate — and the divine life-force found within them is contracted to a greater degree than the life-force found within animal and man. Nevertheless, Scripture attests that the whole world is full of G‑d’s glory — because it encompasses these two categories, and does not pervade them.

והמשל בזה, הנה הארץ הלזו הגשמית, אף שמלא כל הארץ כבודו

To illustrate this point, consider this material world. Even though “The whole world is full of His glory,”

והיינו אור אין סוף ברוך הוא, כמו שכתוב: הלא את השמים ואת הארץ אני מלא, נאם ה׳

namely, not only with a minute glimmer of G‑dliness, but with the [infinite] light of the blessed Ein Sof, as it is written:3 “‘Do I not fill heaven and earth?’ says the L‑rd,”

אף על פי כן, אין מתלבשת בתוכה בבחינת גילוי ההשפעה רק חיות מעט מזער, בחינת דומם וצומח לבד

nevertheless only very limited vitality, of no more than the category of what is revealed in the inanimate and vegetable worlds, is clothed within [this world] in the form of “revealed” influence,

וכל אור אין סוף ברוך הוא נקרא סובב עליה, אף שהוא בתוכה ממש

while all the light of the blessed Ein Sof which fills the world itself in a concealed manner is described as “encompassing” it, even though it actually pervades it,

מאחר שאין השפעתו מתגלית בה יותר, רק משפיעה בה בבחינת הסתר והעלם

since its influence is no more revealed in it than it is revealed within the inanimate and vegetable worlds, but affects it in a hidden and concealed manner;

וכל השפעה שבבחינת הסתר נקרא מקיף מלמעלה

and any influence of a concealed nature is referred to as “encircling from above,”

כי עלמא דאתכסיא הוא למעלה במדרגה מעלמא דאתגליא

for alma d‘itkasya, the “hidden world,” is on a higher plane than alma d’itgalya, the “revealed world.”

G‑dliness drawn down in a concealed manner (“from the hidden world”) is on a higher plane than that which is drawn down in a revealed manner (“from the revealed world”). Emanating as it does from a higher level, this mode of divine influence is said to be “encircling from above.”

FOOTNOTES

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3.  Yirmeyahu 23:24.




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