Weekly Tanya video\lecture: The Gate to Faith for Chai Elul

Elul 18 is the birthdate of two giants, the Baal Shem Tov and the Alter Rebbe. This article is dedicated to their blessed memory.

Rabbi Shimon Eisenbach ,

Chabad Rebbes
Chabad Rebbes
INN: Chabad

Learn how the Tanya compacts four millennia of Jewish wisdom to answer the great personal and existential questions of life.

For an introduction to what Tanya is about, click here.

Note: Previous lectures can be accessed by means of the link below, but each lecture stands on its own.

Tanya/Shaar Hayichud V’haEmunah, Chapter 7, Class 4.


וזהו שילוב שם אדנות בשם הוי"ה

And this is the [meaning of the] alternation of the [letters of the] Name of Adnut with the [letters of the] Name Havayah.

When the letters of one Divine Name are alternated with the letters of another, the Name whose initial letter appears first is the dominant one, the second Name being intertwined and encompassed by it. If, for example, the first letter is the initial of the Divine Name that designates Chesed and the second letter is the initial of the Divine Name that designates Gevurah, the revelation of Chesed will predominate.

One speaks of “the alternation of the [letters of the] Name of Adnut with the [letters of the] Name Havayah” when referring to Malchut and Adnut while they are still united with G‑d’s Essence and Being, which are too lofty to serve as a source for created beings.

The eventual source of the existence of created beings is Malchut and Adnut. Nevertheless, since the Divine Name Havayah is dominant — i.e., since Adnut is submerged within Havayah — all “existence” is completely nullified in relation of G‑d’s Essence and Being, just as sunlight is devoid of all identity within the sun.

כי שם הוי"ה מורה שהוא למעלה מהזמן, שהוא היה, הוה ויהיה ברגע אחד

The Name Havayah indicates that He transcends time, that “He was, is, and will be — all at the same instant,”

Past, present and future meld into one within the Name Havayah, indicating that Havayah transcends time,

כמו שכתוב ברעיא מהימנא, פרשת פנחס

as is stated (6in Ra‘aya Mehemna on Parshat Pinchas);

וכן למעלה מבחינת מקום, כי הוא מהוה תמיד את כל בחינת המקום כולו, מלמעלה עד למטה ולד׳ סטרין

and likewise [the Name Havayah] transcends space, for [Havayah] continuously brings into existence the whole dimension of space, from the uppermost level [of space] to the lowermost level [of space], and in the four directions.

Clearly, the Divine Name Havayah transcends time and space. Malchut and Adnut, however, do bear some relation to time and space. Nevertheless, since the letters of the Name of Adnut are interspaced within the letters of the Name Havayah, the dimensions of time and space are completely nullified in relation to G‑d. This is the state called yichuda ila‘ah, or “higher-level Unity.”

והנה אף על פי שהוא יתברך למעלה מהמקום והזמן, אף על פי כן הוא נמצא גם למטה במקום וזמן

Now, although G‑d transcends space and time, He is nevertheless also found below, within space and time — even as space and time, i.e., the dimensions that constitute the world, exist (in their own eyes) as independent entities;

דהיינו, שמתייחד במדת מלכותו, שממנה נמשך ונתהוה המקום והזמן

that is, He unites with His attribute of Malchut, from which space and time are derived and come into existence.

This refers to Malchut after its descent through the various tzimtzumim. However, even this level of Malchut is united with G‑d. Thus, G‑d Who transcends time and space is also found within time and space.

The reason created beings are unable to perceive Him is that Malchut conceals His Presence; they thus regard themselves as possessing independent existence, subject to the limitations and divisions of time and space.

וזהו יחודא תתאה

And this is yichuda tata‘ah, or “lower-level Unity,”

In this state, created beings are not totally nullified in relation to their source, the attribute of Malchut, inasmuch as it allows them to be aware of their own existence.

שילוב הוי"ה באדנות ברוך הוא

(7[meaning] the intertwining of [the letters of the Name] Havayah within [the letters of the Name of] Adnut).

In this instance the Divine Name Havayah is intertwined and vested within the Name of Adnut; i.e., Havayah is concealed and submerged, while Adnut is revealed and predominant, allowing for the creation of time and space.

דהיינו, שמהותו ועצמותו יתברך, הנקרא בשם אין סוף ברוך הוא, מלא את כל הארץ ממש בזמן ומקום

I.e., His Essence and Being, which is called by the Name Ein Sof, “the Infinite One,” completely fills the whole earth temporally and spatially.

כי בשמים ממעל ובארץ ולד׳ סטרין, הכל מלא מאור אין סוף ברוך הוא בשוה ממש, כי כך הוא בארץ מתחת כמו בשמים ממעל ממש

For in the heavens above and on the earth [below] and in the four directions, everything is equally permeated with the Ein Sof-light, for [G‑d] is to be found on the earth below exactly as in the heavens above,

כי הכל הוא בחינת מקום, הבטל במציאות באור אין סוף ברוך הוא

for everything — including both heaven and earth — is within the dimension of space, which is utterly nullified in the Ein Sof-light,

המתלבש בו על ידי מדת מלכותו, המיוחדת בו יתברך

which clothes itself in it through [G‑d’s] attribute of Malchut that is united with Him.

In relation to the Ein Sof-light which totally transcends time and space there exists no difference between heaven and earth; G‑d is found equally in heaven and upon the earth.




6. Parentheses are in the original text.

7. Parentheses are in the original text.