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Tanya/ Iggeres Ha’Kodesh - The Holy Epistle, Epistle 14, Class 2

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However, this matter will be understood by considering the verse, “G‑d by chochmah established the earth.”2

אַךְ הָעִנְיָן יוּבַן, עַל פִּי מַה שֶּׁכָּתוּב: "ה' בְּחָכְמָה יָסַד אָרֶץ",

That is, the foundation of Eretz Ha’elyonah (lit., “the Higher Earth” or “the Higher Land”; i.e., the heavenly model of the terrestrial Holy Land), which is the mode of [creative Divine influence, which is immanent and therefore called] memalei kol almin (lit., “filling all worlds”),

שֶׁיְּסוֹד הָ"אָרֶץ הָעֶלְיוֹנָה" – הִיא בְּחִינַת "מְמַלֵּא כָּל עָלְמִין",

This refers to the sefirah of malchut of the World of Atzilut, called “land,” for it is the last and (so to speak) lowest of the supernal sefirot, and it vests itself in created worlds and beings so as to vitalize them.

and [likewise the foundation] of the nether [land], which is [the Land of Israel which is known as] Eretz Chefetz (“the land of [G‑d’s] desire”), which truly corresponds to it[s heavenly counterpart], viz., Eretz Ha’elyonah,

וְהַתַּחְתּוֹנָה – הִיא "אֶרֶץ חֵפֶץ" הַמְכֻוֶּונֶת כְּנֶגְדָּהּ מַמָּשׁ

and is called by its name, Eretz Hachaim (“the land of life”)—

וְנִקְרֵאת עַל שְׁמָהּ "אֶרֶץ הַחַיִּים",

[the foundation, then, of the higher and the lower lands] issues from the downward flow and radiance from the supreme chochmah, which is the source of supernal life;

הִנֵּה הוּא נִמְשָׁךְ מֵהַמְשָׁכַת וְהֶאָרַת חָכְמָה עִילָּאָה, מְקוֹר הַחַיִּים הָעֶלְיוֹנִים,

as it is written, “Chochmah animates those who possess it….”3

כְּדִכְתִיב: "הַחָכְמָה תְּחַיֶּה בְעָלֶיהָ וְכוּ'".

“G‑d by chochmah established the earth” thus means that the sefirah of chochmah diffuses its creative light upon Eretz Ha’elyonah (“the Higher Land,” i.e., malchut of Atzilut) as well as upon its terrestrial counterpart, the Land of Israel.

This radiance and efflux from supreme chochmah, that irradiates the “land” at both these levels, is renewed annually by a truly new light,

וְהֶאָרָה וְהַמְשָׁכָה זוֹ הִיא מִתְחַדֶּשֶׁת בְּאוֹר חָדָשׁ מַמָּשׁ בְּכָל שָׁנָה וְשָׁנָה,

for G‑d (blessed be He) and His chochmah are one, in an absolute unity,

כִּי הוּא יִתְבָּרֵךְ וְחָכְמָתוֹ אֶחָד בְּתַכְלִית הַיִּחוּד,

which is called “the [infinite] Ein Sof-light,”

וְנִקְרָא בְּשֵׁם "אוֹר־אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא",

because there is no limit nor end to the quality and greatness of the light and vitality that issues forth from Him and from His chochmah,

שֶׁאֵין סוֹף וְאֵין קֵץ לְמַעֲלַת וּגְדוּלַּת הָאוֹר וְהַחַיּוּת הַנִּמְשָׁךְ מִמֶּנּוּ יִתְבָּרֵךְ וּמֵחָכְמָתוֹ,

in elevation upon elevation, to no end or limit, to the peak of the loftiest levels.

בְּעִילּוּי אַחַר עִילּוּי, עַד אֵין קֵץ וְתַכְלִית, לְרוּם הַמַּעֲלוֹת לְמַעְלָה מַעְלָה.




2. Proverbs 3:19.

3. Ecclesiastes 7:12.