Wednesday, November 16, 2005

LESSONS IN TANYA: Thursday, November 17, 2005


Cheshvan 15, 5766 * November 17, 2005


Today's Lesson:

Iggeret HaKodesh
(Conclusion of Epistle Twenty-Seven)

Now, there is another kind of illumination [from the tzaddik] to his disciples.

However, it does not vest itself truly in their minds [40] - as is the case with the first [kind of illumination that derives from the Ruach of the tzaddik, whereby his faith, fear and love are intellectually integrated and internalized within his disciples], but radiates over them from above, [encompassing and transcending them, for its very loftiness inhibits it from descending and being integrated within them].

It stems from the ascent of [the tzaddik's] Ruach and Neshamah to the source from which it was hewn, that is, to Chakal Tapuchin Kaddishin [lit., "the orchard of the holy apples"), i.e., to the Sefirah of Malchut in the World of Atzilut, the Divine source of souls.]

This [ascent] effects a union there, [between the spiritually feminine Sefirah of Malchut and the spiritually masculine levels of Divine efflux that transcend it], by means of the elevation of mayin nukvin [lit., "feminine waters"; i.e., by means of the mortally-initiated spiritual arousal] constituted by all of [the tzaddik's] actions, his Torah, and the divine service in which he engaged all the days of his life.

[For, as will be explained below in Epistle 28, all of man's lifelong labors and attainments are revealed from their former state of concealment and shine forth at the time of his passing.]

And in the Chakal Tapuchin Kaddishin, [the soul's source], are implanted exceedingly sublime lights, corresponding to and resulting from the nether [illuminations], which are [the tzaddik's] Torah and worship.

[His divine service thus implants lofty illuminations above, which are revealed and descend below at the time of his passing.]

The illumination of these supernal lights radiates over all his disciples who became servants of G-d through his Torah and worship.

And this illumination, which [radiates] over them from above, [despite this transcendence is so powerful that it] instills in their hearts thoughts of repentance and good deeds.

All the good deeds born of this illumination which radiates from the lights implanted in the above-mentioned orchard, are called "successive generations of off-shoots."

[Since the illuminations themselves grew directly out of the lights implanted by the tzaddik, the good deeds which these illuminations in turn inspire are its offshoots of the second generation.]

This radiation is greatly hidden and concealed, just like the sun radiating to the stars from below the earth.

Thus it is stated in the Zohar [41] in reference to Moses our Master, peace be unto him, that after his passing his radiation extends in every generation to the six hundred thousand souls, [all other souls being sparks of these general souls, as explained in Tanya, ch. 37], like the sun which radiates to the six hundred thousand stars from below the earth.

[As with Moses, so too with the tzaddikim who are his successors: by means of his Torah and spiritual service, every tzaddik illumines successive generations of offshoots - his direct disciples and in turn their disciples, and so on - when they follow his teachings in matters of Torah and spiritual service.

* * * *


The Alter Rebbe spoke above of those who benefit from the gifts that a tzaddik continues to bequeath after his passing, from his Ruach that remained in the Lower Garden of Eden.

There he does not say "all his disciples," but only "among his disciples."

Moreover, he adds that the extent of the spiritual bequest received by each chassid varies "according to the level of his bond and closeness to [the tzaddik], during his lifetime and after his passing, out of an abounding love."

This is so because there the Alter Rebbe is speaking of their receiving from him the sublime spiritual attributes of faith, awe and love.

Hence, since (as the Alter Rebbe concludes there) "anything spiritual is elicited only by means of an abounding love," it follows that a bequest of such stature is drawn down only to those disciples whose bond to him was particularly close.

Here, however, at the close of the epistle, the Alter Rebbe speaks of the degree of illumination which radiates "over them from above," encompassing and transcending them. This degree, which "instills in their hearts thoughts of repentance and good deeds," radiates "over all his disciples," upon all those who may be considered his disciples because they "became servants of G-d through his Torah and worship."

It could be argued that the former kind of benefaction, that which is dependent upon being bound with great love, refers specifically to those who were the tzaddik's disciples during his lifetime; it is they who are close to him both "during his life time and after his passing."

By contrast, the kind of benefaction which is transcendent, as opposed to integrated within them, also applies to those who became the tzaddik's disciples after his pass-ing, in the sense that they drew closer to G-d as a result of his teachings. These disciples are the successive generations of his offshoots in the same way that the radiation of Moshe Rabbeinu continues after his passing to illuminate generation after generation.


40. Note of the Rebbe: "For what binds a student with his
master is the intellect with which he meditates upon his master's
teachings, intellect and understanding."
41. [Emended here from "in the Tikkunim."]
Note of the Rebbe in He'arot VeTikkunim:
"To date I have found the entire subject in Zohar III, 273a;
see also there, p. 216b. In the Tikkunim (in Tikkun 69, p. 112a
and 104a, and in Tikkun 70, p. 138 a), I have found only part
of what is explained here.

Possibly the copyist here in Iggeret HaKodesh confused this with
the phrase `in the Tikkunim' in Tanya, ch. 44."


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