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Tanya projected on wall so audience may followFlash 90

Tanya/Shaar Hayichud V’haEmunah, Chapter 11, Class 4

(For previous lectures, click the link below, however each lecture can stand on its own)


These worlds that are created by the letters are of two kinds:

וְהֵם שְׁנֵי מִינֵי עוֹלָמוֹת:

“hidden worlds unrevealed,” which come into existence and live and are sustained by concealed powers and life-forces, like, for example, the letters of thought in the human soul,

"עָלְמִין סְתִימִין דְּלָא אִתְגַּלְיָין", הֵם הַמִּתְהַוִּים וְחַיִּים וְקַיָּימִים מִכֹּחוֹת וְהַמְשָׁכוֹת נֶעְלָמוֹת, כְּמוֹ אוֹתִיּוֹת הַמַּחֲשָׁבָה שֶׁבְּנִשְׁמַת הָאָדָם עַל דֶּרֶךְ מָשָׁל;

Just as the letters of each man’s thought are concealed from others, these Divine powers are similarly concealed from created beings. From them were created the “hidden worlds.”

and “worlds revealed,” [which] were created and live from the revelation of the hidden powers and life-forces called “letters of thought.”

וְ"עָלְמִין דְּאִתְגַּלְיָין", נִבְרְאוּ וְחַיִּים מֵהִתְגַּלּוּת שֶׁנִּתְגַּלּוּ כֹּחוֹת וְהַמְשָׁכוֹת הַנֶּעְלָמוֹת, הַנִּקְרָאוֹת בְּשֵׁם "אוֹתִיּוֹת הַמַּחֲשָׁבָה",

When these [“letters of thought”] are in a state of revelation in order to give life to the revealed worlds,

וּכְשֶׁהֵן בִּבְחִינַת הִתְגַּלּוּת לְהַחֲיוֹת עָלְמִין דְּאִתְגַּלְיָין,

they are called “utterances” and “the word of G‑d” and the “breath of His mouth,”

נִקְרָאוֹת בְּשֵׁם "מַאֲמָרוֹת" וּ"דְבַר ה'" וְ"רוּחַ פִּיו",

like, for example, the letters of a man’s speech, which reveal to his listeners what was concealed and hidden in his heart.

כְּמוֹ אוֹתִיּוֹת הַדִּבּוּר בָּאָדָם עַל דֶּרֶךְ מָשָׁל, שֶׁהֵן מְגַלּוֹת לַשּׁוֹמְעִים מַה שֶּׁהָיָה צָפוּן וְסָתוּם בְּלִבּוֹ.

Likewise, the Divine “letters of speech” are a revelation of the force that grants existence and infuses life into those created beings that are of the category of “worlds revealed.”

In truth, however, the supernal letters of speech are far higher than the level and essence of the wisdom and intellect of created beings.

אֲבָל בֶּאֱמֶת, בְּחִינַת אוֹתִיּוֹת הַדִּבּוּר שֶׁל מַעְלָה – הִיא לְמַעְלָה מַּעְלָה מִמַּדְרֵגַת וּמַהוּת חָכְמָה וְשֵׂכֶל הַנִּבְרָאִים,

In this, they differ from the letters of man’s thought and speech, which are “inanimate” and belong to a level far lower than intellect.

The Alter Rebbe now demonstrates that the supernal letters of speech transcend man’s intellect and wisdom:

For man, possessor of wisdom and intellect, was created by the utterance and the letters of [the phrase], “Let us make man in our image…,”2

שֶׁהֲרֵי בְּמַאֲמַר וְאוֹתִיּוֹת "נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵינוּ וְגוֹ'" – נִבְרָא הָאָדָם בַּעַל חָכְמָה וָשֵׂכֶל,

Since wisdom and intellect are derived from these letters, it is obvious that the letters themselves are far superior to them.

or [man, possessor of wisdom and intellect, was created] even3 by the Divine breath alone, as it is written, “And He breathed into his nostrils a soul of life.”4

אוֹ אֲפִילוּ בַּהֶבֶל הָעֶלְיוֹן לְבַד, כְּדִכְתִיב: "וַיִּפַּח בְּאַפָּיו נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים",

It was from this “breath” that was breathed into man that he became a rational being.

Hence, since Divine speech and breath create man, who possesses wisdom and intellect, it follows that the Divine speech and breath are the source of wisdom and intellect in the soul of Adam,

וְאִם כֵּן, הַדִּבּוּר וְהֶבֶל הָעֶלְיוֹן, הוּא מְקוֹר הַחָכְמָה וְהַשֵּׂכֶל שֶׁבְּנִשְׁמַת אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן,

which contains all the souls of the tzaddikim, who are superior to the ministering angels and whose intellect too is superior to that of the angels. All this came forth from the Divine speech and breath.

הַכּוֹלֶלֶת כָּל נִשְׁמוֹת הַצַּדִּיקִים, שֶׁהֵם גְּדוֹלִים מִמַּלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת.


2.Genesis 1:26.

3. The Rebbe notes that by writing “or even by the Divine breath,” the Alter Rebbe seems to imply that “breath” is lower than “utterance” or “letters.” In the first part of the Tanya, however, at the beginning of ch. 2, the Alter Rebbe indicates that just as mortal breath derives from one’s “innermost vitality,” so, too, is Divine “breath” indicative of “G‑d’s thought and wisdom”—and these transcend His “utterance” or the “letters.” The Rebbe resolves this anomaly by reference to Iggeret Hateshuvah, ch. 4, where the Alter Rebbe states that man’s soul “derives initially from the innermost dimension of the life-force,” and then, in order that it could eventually be invested in a body, it descended through the stages of speech and breath. Thus, the “breath” of “He breathed into his nostrils” indeed transcends the level of “utterances” and “letters”; the “breath of speech,” however, is lower than “letters.”

4.Genesis 2:7.