Monday, December 12, 2005

LESSONS IN TANYA: Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Kislev 12, 5766 * December 13, 2005


Today's Lesson:

Kuntres Acharon
(Conclusion of Essay Four)

As to the statement in Etz Chayim (58) (and in Shaar Ha-Yichudim) (59) that through intention a Neshamah-garment is formed, and through Torah study, a Ruach-of-Ruach garment of Yetzirah is formed through [the study of] Mishnah, [which derives from Yetzirah], and a Ruach-of- Neshamah [garment] of Beriah [is formed] through Gemara, [which derives from Beriah]:

[It would thus seem that Torah precipitates a garment of Ruach, which is a created being].

This can be understood as referring only to Torah studied by man in This World as it ascends above; [it then becomes a garment of Ruach, since it derives from created man].

But the Talmud itself that was given at Sinai, [i.e., the Torah as it was given from above, is at the level of Neshamah, which is a degree of Divinity], Therefore it [the study of the Talmud] refines Ruach.

So too with Mishnah of Yetzirah: [as it was given from above at Sinai, it too is of the degree of Neshamah].

Even if it be suggested that even what was given [from above] at Sinai is at the level of Ruach of Beriah-Yetzirah,

[even so, it is not like an independent created entity, but rather like an emissary, who merely expresses the power of his principal.]

It is known that every angel that is an emissary from above, is literally called at that time by the Name of GÏd, which then dwells within him.

However, when he is not a messenger, he has some other name according to his manner of service.

Then he proclaims, "Holy, holy, holy is G-d...," meaning that the Name of G-d is separate from him, [for the word kadosh ("holy") implies separateness.

We thus see that it is entirely possible for a created being to be called by the name of actual Divinity.]

Exactly this is the case with the investment of the Talmud in the Ruach state of Beriah, and the Mishnah in the Ruach of Yetzirah, [Ruach being a created being], they are messengers of G-d, meaning vessels of nukva [Malchut] of Atzilut; the external vessels in Talmud, and the intermediate vessels in Mishnah.

For the Mishnah and Talmud that are within them [i.e., within the Ruach of Beriah and Yetzirah] issue from Yesod of Abba [i.e., of Chochmah], which receives influence from Chochmah Stimaah of Arich Anpin [i.e., from Chochmah of Keter], in which is clothed the [infinite] Ein Sof-light.

The result is that the infinite light, namely the Name of G-d, abides in the Ruach of Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah, in Scripture, Mishnah and Talmud.

And when a man studies [them], he draws forth the [infinite] Ein Sof- light into This World, so that it will be incorporated and nullified in the Divine light.

For this is all of man. (60)

[The entire purpose of manÕs creation is to make the world become nullified in G-d's light. And this is accomplished through Torah study].

This was the spiritual service of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and of all the tannaim and amoraim who studied the revealed aspect of the Torah - to call forth the Divine light within this world, and to effect the purifications of kelipat nogah, throughout the entire period of the exile, the time of dominion of the Tree of Good and Evil, [for the life-force of this world derives from kelipat nogah, which is composed of both good and evil]; as the verse states, (61) "The time that [the evil] man dominates the man [of holiness]."

For this is the ultimate purpose of the chain of descent [which brings the worlds into being - that the One Above descend, and that there be a dwelling for Him among the nethermost creatures, in order to elevate them, so that there be "one in one" - [that the "one" of the lower level of Unity (yichuda ila'ah) of the Worlds of Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah be similar to the "one" of the higher level of Unity (yichuda tata'ah).]

In contrast, the spiritual service of the angels with intellectual fear and love does not call forth G-dliness [within the world] at all; rather it is a mode of departure alone..., [for they are in a state of longing and self-nullification to G-dliness.

The true intention of creation is that G-dliness be drawn down below, not a state of departure].

Thus we may understand how angels are created ex nihilo through the study of the Torah, even without proper intent, when [such study] is only in a state of Ruach, which is not Divinity at all.

[The intended state is Neshamah, which is Divinity.

However, when the kavanah is lacking, and one's study is merely at the level of Ruach, how are angels created ex nihilo, when such creation derives only from Divinity?]

Still, nevertheless, [i.e., even though these words of Torah are studied without proper intent], the Name of G-d does dwell [within them].

[As explained earlier, even a created angel is called by the Divine Name at the time that he is carrying out his mission, because at that time G-d abides within him.


58. Shaar 49, ch. 5.
59. Ch. 2.
60. Kohelet 12:13.
61. Ibid. 8:9; see above, Iggeret HaKodesh, Epistle XXV.


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