Weekly Tanya video\lecture: The Gate to Faith

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

Rabbi Shimon Eisenbach ,

Lessons in Tanya
Lessons in Tanya
Eisenbach
Tanya/Shaar Hayichud V’haEmunah, Chapter 7, Class 11.

For previous classes, click the link below. Each class, however, can be learned independent of the others.

tanyaonline.com/?p=1766

וממלא כל עלמין היא בחינת החיות המתלבש תוך עצם הנברא

And “He fills all worlds” is the life-force that becomes enclothed i.e., is internalized within the essence of the created being.

שהיא מצומצמת בתוכו בצמצום רב, כפי ערך מהות הנברא, שהוא בעל גבול ותכלית בכמותו ובאיכותו, דהיינו מעלתו וחשיבותו

It is powerfully contracted within it according to the intrinsic nature of the created being which is finite and limited in quantity and quality, [“quality”] meaning its significance and importance.

Since the life-force must vest itself within the finite created being and unite with it utterly, it must necessarily be contracted and limited according to the intrinsically finite nature of the created being.

כגון השמש, שגופו יש לו גבול ותכלית, שהוא כמו קס״ז פעמים כגודל כדור הארץ

An example is the sun, whose body is finite and limited quantitatively, being approximately one hundred and sixty- seven times the size of the globe of the earth,23

ואיכותו ומעלתו, הוא אורו, גם כן יש לו גבול עד כמה יוכל להאיר

and whose quality and significance, namely, its light, is also limited as to the extent that it can emit light,

כי לא יאיר לבלתי תכלית, מאחר שהוא נברא

for it cannot illuminate indefinitely since it is a created being, and hence inherently limited. Thus, although the light of the sun illuminates at a prodigious distance, that distance is not without limit.

וכן כל הנבראים הם בעלי גבול ותכלית, כי מהארץ לרקיע מהלך ת״ק שנה כו׳

Likewise, all created beings are finite and limited, for24 “from the earth to heaven is a journey of five hundred years..., and so, too, from one heaven to another is a distance of five hundred years.”

ואם כן, החיות המלובשת בהם היא בבחינת צמצום רב ועצום

Hence, since created beings are limited and finite, the life-force which is invested in them is greatly and powerfully contracted,

כי צריכה תחלה להתצמצם צמצומים רבים ועצומים, עד שיתהוה מכחה ואורה עצם הנבראים כמות שהם בעלי גבול ותכלית

for it must first undergo numerous and powerful contractions until created beings, by nature finite and limited, may be brought into existence from its power and light.

Only after this process of self-limitation will the limitless life-force be able to invest itself within finite created beings and become united with them, as will soon be explained.

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FOOTNOTES

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23. Note of the Rebbe: “Rambam in Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah5:8 states ’about 170 times,‘ and in Hilchot Shevuot 5:22 he writes ’170 times.‘”

“This, however, poses no difficulty with the Alter Rebbe’s statement, for in Rambam’s introduction to his commentary upon the Mishnah (s.v. VeHineni Noseh) he is more precise and writes ’166 and three-eighths times.‘”

As to the seeming contradiction between this view and that of present-day astronomy that the sun is 4 or 5 million or more times greater than the earth, the Rebbe has explained as follows:

The view of astronomy applies to the volume of the sun, and that of Maimonides to its diameter. The diameter of the sun, based on present-day astronomy, is about one hundred and ten times that of the earth [not 170], but this measurement takes into consideration only specific layers of the sun and not all of them. For the outermost layers of the sun contract and expand greatly from time to time, and not all the layers are visible to the eye (only their effects are visible). Hence, it is difficult to measure them. Likewise, the protuberance is not taken into account.

24. Chagigah 13a.



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