Hemshech Samech-Vav

Discourse 5
BaYom HaShmini 5666


The Holy Rabbi Sholom Dovber of Lubavitch

Translated by Shimon Markel

Edited by Rabbi Amiram Markel


The verse states,[1] “On the eighth day shall be a time of cessation for you etc.”  Regarding this verse the Midrash Rabbah states,[2] “This is analogous to a king who made a feast for seven days to which he invited all the people of the land. After the seven days of feasting he told his beloved friend, ‘We have fulfilled our obligation to the people of the land.  Let us now have a small meal together, me and you, from whatever we find.’  The Holy One blessed is He, similarly said to the Jewish people, ‘On the eighth day shall be a time of cessation for you, i.e. now let us have a small meal together, you and I; just[3] one bull offering and one ram offering etc.'” This is to say that during the other days of the holiday they offered seventy bullocks, corresponding to the seventy nations,[4]  but on Shemini Atzeret, only one bull was offered corresponding to the Jewish people alone.


We therefore must understand the offering of the seventy bullocks for the seventy nations and how it corresponds and draws influence to them.  What is this influence and why was it specifically on the holiday of Sukkoth that the seventy bullocks were offered?  Additionally, from the words of the Midrash it appears as if the influence drawn to the Jewish people on Shemini Atzeret is from the same level as what was drawn to the seventy archangels of the nations, as it states, “Let us now have a small meal together, me and you, from what we find etc.”  This seems to indicate that the influence to the Jewish people is from the same level. This is not understood, for certainly the influence to the Jewish people should be from a much higher and loftier level!


Now, to understand this we must first explain what was discussed previously[5] regarding the matter of the Jewish people who are called, “Those who actualize the will of the Omnipresent.”  That is, it is through serving HaShem with Torah and mitzvot that we draw down G-dly revelation into the worlds. That is, we draw down the revelation of the Kav-line that illuminates Chochmah-Insight of Atzilut, so that it likewise radiates and illuminates Briyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah in a revealed manner.  Moreover, we even cause the aspect of His will itself (Keter) to openly illuminate the world.


However, all the above refers to the manifestation of lights and revelations within the chaining down of the worlds (Seder Hishtalshelut), but cannot yet be considered the revelation of a new, novel light.  However, the true purpose of “Those who actualize the will of the Omnipresent” is that through fulfilling the mitzvot (commandments) we draw down the aspect of the inner, essential Self of the Infinite Light that transcends the revelations of the Kav-line. This revelation transcends the desire merely to create or bring worlds into being.


As known, the explanation is that there are two levels of desire.[6]  There is the inner aspect and the external aspect of desire.  Above in G-dliness, these correspond to the inner and external aspects of Keter-Crown.  This is like the statement in Tikkunei Zohar,[7] “The Infinite Light is inner and the supernal Keter-Crown is external.”  In other words, Keter-Crown is the external aspect, whereas the Infinite Light within, is the inner aspect of Keter-Crown.


This may be understood by way of analogy to man.  Man also possesses inner and external desire. The external desire becomes revealed. However, though it is his ultimate intent, the inner desire remains concealed, never to be revealed.


This may be seen in a person’s involvement in his business affairs.[8]  The revealed portion is his self-investment into the details of his business. He immerses his mind and thoughts into his business dealings and travels on various business trips and the like.  However, except on a very external level, this is not his ultimate desire at all.  Rather, the ultimate purpose and desire in all his activity, is to turn a profit. This is the true, underlying reason and motivation for his desire to engage in business altogether.  However, this ultimate inner intention is not readily recognizable or revealed. It remains hidden and all that is revealed is his external involvement in the business. However, it is only secondary to his true inner intention and desire.


This may also be understood through the analogy of a person who wants to build a house to live in.  Here, his will is revealed in his desire to build a house, because his need for shelter and furnishings is as great as his need for food and clothing etc.  Nonetheless, this desire for a house does not entirely constitute his inner essential desire. Rather, it only is the manifestation of the desire based on reason. In other words, he needs a place to live in, and that is his reason.  Just as he needs clothing to cover himself or food to eat, so also, he needs a house to live in. Moreover, the kind of house each person needs or desires will be according to his social stature and income etc. However, this is not his inner, essential desire. Rather, his inner, essential desire is that he delights in a home with all his being, in the inner, hidden recesses of his soul.  In other words, his delight in his dwelling place is beyond any specific reason, because ultimately, it is the simple pleasure of his essential self.



Actually, the fact that he wants a dwelling place originates in the essential, inner desire of his essential self and has nothing to do with reason or intellect altogether. Only later, when it comes out to the external aspect of desire, does it become vested within reason, such as the need for shelter or that it would be good to have a home to call his own etc. However, these reasons originate in the externality of the desire, whereas the desire for a home in the inner self of the soul is not because of any of these reasons or rationalizations at all.  The proof is that if there were logical reasons to oppose this desire, though the revealed, external desires would automatically become weakened, nonetheless, the inner, essential desire would remain as strong as ever. He would still desire a home in the inner essence of his soul without it being diminished whatsoever. This is because the inner desire has nothing to do with reason, but rather is the result of the essential self.


This, then, is the primary distinction between the inner desire and the external desire. The external desire is a composite of various matters, such as the intellect and reasoning that cause one to desire one thing over another.  Although this also originates solely in desire rather than intellect, nonetheless, this kind of desire comes out to be manifest in a revealed reason and rationalization for the desire. Alternately, it could be composed of emotional traits, such as love, kindness, grandeur or glory and the like.


In contrast, the inner desire is not a composite at all, but rather reflects the dictates of the essential self, in and of itself.  Therefore, it is quite impossible for a person to express or reveal his inner, essential desire by way of insight or comprehension. This is why it is called “The hidden and concealed desire” or “the simple desire,” because even as it comes into revelation, it is only revealed as it is, in its essential, simple state. Unlike the external desire it cannot be expressed or explained according to intellect and reason. This is because the inner desire is beyond reason.  As such, it is unlimited. Such is not the case with the external desire, because since it comes out as a revealed light towards a specific matter, therefore that matter limits it according to the dictates of reason and intellect. In contrast, the inner desire does not manifest as a revealed light, since it is not composed of reason and intellect.  Therefore it is unlimited and beyond definition in and of itself.


Through this example in man, we may now understand how it is Above in the supernal Keter-Crown, within which there are inner and external aspects.  The external desire is that which is drawn out as a revealed desire.  This is like the statement,[9] “When it arose in His will to create the worlds,” which is an aspect of revealed desire.  It manifests as a composite, into the aspects of Chochmah-Insight, Binah-Comprehension and the emotive qualities of the world of Atzilut-Emanation. This is comparable to the intellect and reasoning for the desire in man below.  Similarly, it states regarding the creation,[10]Bereishit-In the beginning” which is translated[11] as “BeChochmeta-with Insight.”


Now, is it not the case that the creation of the worlds came about from the aspect of desire?  However, the explanation of the matter is that it manifests as a composite of Chochmah-Insight and Binah-Comprehension, or the emotive qualities of[12], “He desires kindness,” or[13] “It is the nature of the good to bestow goodness etc.”  In other words, these are in an aspect of a revealed desire which is a composite of various matters. Therefore, there is a cause and reason for the desire. (This is because even before the actual revelation of the desire there is already a hidden reasoning for it, which is the reason that caused it, such as the “nature of the good.”  Therefore, once it becomes revealed it manifests within the aspect of Chochmah-Insight, to be a reason and intellect for the desire etc.)  This is the external aspect of Keter-Crown, which is called the “Head of Emanation”, and does not contain too much of the inner, essential aspect.


An example is the verse,[14] “For I have said, the world is built with kindness;” that is, it arose in His desire that the worlds be built through the quality of kindness because[15] “He desires kindness.”  This is the aspect of the external desire which comes to be revealed in intellect, reasoning and emotions etc. because even the emanation of the ten Sefirot with their lights, vessels and chambers, as in the statement,[16] “He made ten fixtures with which to conduct the world, according to kindness, judgment etc.,” – are all merely like the aforementioned external desire for a home and nice furnishings. However, it is not the primary, inner, essential, simple desire or pleasure, because His essential Self is not vested in it.


In contrast, the aspect of the inner Keter-Crown is considered to be of the Infinite (Ein Sof), as in the aforementioned statement, “The Infinite Light is on the inside and the Supernal Keter-Crown is on the outside.”  This refers to the aspect of the inner desire which is of the inner essential Self of the Infinite Light, blessed is He.  It is the aspect of desire as it is in a state of hiddenness and concealment and is called,[17] “The most hidden of all the hidden and the most supernal of all the supernal, for no thought can grasp Him at all.” In other words, it cannot be grasped or revealed in a way of Chochmah-Insight, intellect or emotions whatsoever, because it is not a composite of anything at all.  This is to say that there is no cause or reason for this desire at all. Rather, it is the aspect of the truly simple and essential will of His essential Self, blessed is He.  It completely transcends insight or reason and is therefore of the aspect of His concealed essential Self, within which His entire being is vested, so to speak, since it is not at all in the realm of revelation in a way of Chochmah-Insight.


This then, is the root of the mitzvot (commandments) below in this world. They truly are called the “Inner Supernal Desire”, referring to the inner aspect of Keter-Crown. They do not manifest in the revelation of Chochmah-Insight and intellectual reasoning whatsoever, not even in the aspect of the “Concealed Insight” of Keter (Chochmah Stima’a) which is called “The hidden reason for the desire etc.”


For although it is explained elsewhere[18] that the matter of “the hidden reason for the desire” is the aspect of the inner desire, nonetheless, this refers to the concealed desire in the Hidden Insight of Keter (Chochmah Stima’a) which is called, “the hidden reason for the desire” that cannot come into revealed intellect and reason. This is like the statement,[19] “Silence! Thus it arose in thought before Me,” which indicates a level of thought that does not manifest in revealed intellect and reason to explain why He wants it to be so. Rather, this particular desire goes against intellect and reason, for it was stated as a response to the question,[20] “Is this the Torah and is this its reward?”  Rather, although it is a simple desire concealed from the intellect, there nevertheless is a hidden reason for it Above[21].  Therefore He responded, “Silence! Thus it arose in thought,” which was not merely a stubborn response, Heaven forbid. For in truth, even the aspect of the hidden and concealed reason (which is also called “Sechel HaNe’elam MiKol Ra’ayon Intellect that is hidden from all conceptualization”) is at the very least, still considered to be a reason for the desire.  One way or another, this desire is therefore still a composite of reason and intellect, only that it is hidden intellect that transcends revealed insight and grasp. Nonetheless, there still is reason for the desire.


(This is so even when the desire is caused by pleasure that transcends reason, that is, it is not an intellectual reason.  It is not even the aspect of concealed intellect, but is solely because of the flavor or pleasure[22] of it. Even this is not truly the aspect of the inner essential desire.  This is because even here, there is still a cause for the desire, which is the aspect of the flavor or pleasure of it.)


The aspect of true inner desire is that there is no reason for the desire whatsoever,[23] not even a hidden reason (not even flavor or pleasure).  This then, is the primary aspect of the innerness and essence of the desire, for as known,[24] it is rooted in the essence of the skull (Gulgulta)[25] which even transcends the hidden insight of Keter (Chochmah Stima’a).  It is this level which is the primary root of the mitzvot, for in truth they are rooted in the inner aspect of Keter-Crown that even transcends the hidden reasons for the Supernal will in the mitzvot.  This level will be revealed in “time to come”, and is the meaning of the statement,[26] “The reward of a mitzvah is the mitzvah”, in that the true reward is that the essence of the mitzvah itself will be revealed.[27]


For, all of the revelations of the present time, including the grasp of even the loftiest souls in the Garden of Eden, who delight in the ray of the indwelling Divine presence,[28]  are all in a way of reasoning, intellect or pleasure of which it is a composite. Though it may be an aspect of concealed and hidden reasoning, nevertheless, it still is an aspect of reasoning.  Thus, they only delight in an aspect of a ray[29] of their Torah learning and service of G-d. However, they do not reach the level of the essence of the mitzvot themselves, as they are in the aspect of the inner desire, wherein there altogether is no reason for the desire, not even a concealed one.


It is this essence of the mitzvot which will be revealed in “time to come”. This is what Moshiach will reveal of the reasons for the mitzvot, as they essentially are.[30] (This matter will be explained later regarding desire and pleasure)  In this regard it states about Moshiach,[31] “Behold, My servant shall succeed, he shall be exalted and become uplifted and exceedingly high.”  This is a much loftier level than the aspect of the concealed insight of Keter (Chochmah Stima’a), as it states in Etz Chaim[32] that the word “Me’od-exceedingly (מאד)” refers to the aspect of Adam Kadmon.


This will be much loftier than even the current revelations of the inner aspects of Torah, which correspond to the aspects of the hidden insight (Chochmah Stima’a) of Arich Anpin and Atik Yomin.  For this is called the hidden reasoning for the Supernal desire that is within each and every mitzvah.  For instance, the mitzvot of Tallit and Tefillin have a concealed reason for the Supernal desire which vests within them. That is, the Tallit corresponds to the aspect of the general encompassing light and the Tzitzit represents the drawing down of the radiance from the encompassing light,[33] as it states,[34] “The word Tzitzit only means something that protrudes (Yotze).”  Similarly, the four chapters of the Tefillin correspond to the four encompassing lights of the four minds (or brains).  This is why they are worn protruding above one’s head, as explained elsewhere.[35]


The same is true of all the mitzvot, in that there is a hidden reason for them, which is the inner aspect of the Torah. Nevertheless, this is not the true inner aspect of the Supernal desire which is called the inner aspect of Keter-Crown and corresponds to the essential simple desire in the mitzvot for which there is no reason at all, not even concealed reason. It is this level which is currently drawn down through the actual performance of the mitzvot and will be revealed by Moshiach in “time to come”.


This is why the Jewish people are called, “Those who actualize the will of the Omnipresent,” for they draw down the aspect of the Supernal desire through the mitzvot.  In other words, they draw down the inner and essential will of HaShem, blessed is He, which transcends all desires for worlds. This is because those are all only external desires. Rather, it is specifically through the mitzvot that we draw down the inner aspect.


Now, regarding the statement, “Those who actualize the will of the Omnipresent (HaMakom)” we must understand the meaning of “Omnipresence” (HaMakom, which literally means, “The Place”).  As known[36], the explanation of Omnipresence is that it refers to the aspect of how HaShem transcends all worlds (Sovev Kol Almin).  This is as written in Pardes Rimonim[37], in the section dealing with the term “Makom – Place”, that one explanation is that it refers to the Supernal Crown (Keter Elyon).  In other words, the word Makom-Place refers to the source, as in the statement,[38] “Blessed is the glory of Hashem from His Place,” that is, from the root and source of glory.[39]  The same may be understood regarding the statement, “Those who actualize the will of the Omnipresent (HaMakom),” that it refers to the matter of drawing down the desire from its very root and source.


However, our Teacher of blessed memory[40] explains in various places[41] that “Makom – place” refers to the aspect of how HaShem permeates and pervades all worlds (Memale Kol Almin).  This is likewise understood from the explanations in Likkutei Torah of the Arizal,[42] on the verse,[43] “Behold there is a place by Me.”  Likewise, the Zohar Beshalach, page sixty-three, side two, on the verse,[44] “Let no man go out of his place,” states that the words “his place” refers to the Lower Glory (Kavod Tata’a).  This refers to the aspect of Kingship – Malchut, which is the source of all “Space” below, as written,[45] “Your Kingship is the Kingship of all worlds.”  This is to say that the aspect of Kingship – Malchut is the source of the worlds, which are subject to time and space.[46]  Similarly, the aspect of the Supernal emotive Sefirot is called, “Makom – Place,” for they represent the aspect of the six directions of three dimensional space. Therefore, this generally is the aspect of how HaShem permeates and pervades all worlds (Memale Kol Almin), which is referred to as “Makom – Place,” because it is only within this aspect that it is relevant to speak in terms of time and space.

This accords with the explanation elsewhere[47] on the matter of time and space, that it consists of past and future in a way of order and gradation, plus space, which consists of up, down, front, back, right and left. Similarly, the Ratzo V’Shuv (running and returning of the angels) also represent the aspect of time, as will be explained later,[48] and these matters are only relevant within the aspect of how He permeates all worlds (Memale Kol Almin).


This, then, is the meaning of, “Those who actualize the will of the Omnipresent (HaMakom),” that is, those who draw down His will into the aspect of Makom-Space. This is the matter of drawing down revelation of the aspect of the Infinite Light (Ohr Ain Sof) that transcends all worlds (Sovev Kol Almin) into the aspect of the source of space, that is, into the aspect that “Permeates all worlds” generally (Memaleh Kol Almin), and the aspect of Kingship-Malchut specifically, until there is actual revelation of the Infinite Light (Ohr Ain Sof) below, within space.  This is specifically drawn down by means of the Divine will in the mitzvot (commandments). This is why before performing mitzvot we say, “For the sake of uniting the Holy One, blessed is He, with His Indwelling Presence (Shechinah).” This is because the matter of uniting the Holy One, blessed is He, with His indwelling presence (Shechinah) in essence is to bring about a revelation of “Transcending all worlds” (Sovev Kol Almin) within the aspect of “Permeating all worlds” (Memaleh Kol Almin) and  is brought about specifically through the mitzvot (commandments).


As explained above, since the external aspect of desire is a composite, it therefore comes about in a limited fashion in which that which composes it invariably limits it. In contrast, the inner desire is not a composite and is therefore unlimited.  It is thereby understood that from the external aspect of desire, which is limited, Divine revelation in an aspect of space cannot be drawn.  On the contrary, the limitations of time and space are drawn from it. Rather, Divine revelation in the aspect of space can only be drawn down specifically from the limitless inner desire.


To further explain, we must preface with an explanation of why all supernal revelations are called, “Light – Ohr.”  To illustrate, there is the Infinite Light (Ohr Ain Sof), the light of insight (Ohr HaChochmah) and the light of understanding (Ohr HaBinah) etc. In the writings of the Arizal, these are called, “Light – Ohr,” rather than “Influence – Shefa.[49]


The explanation is as follows: Although as known[50], in the order of the chaining down of the worlds from level to level, the lowest level of the upper level is the source and beginning for the existence of the lower level, nonetheless, it is not in a manner of cause and effect (Ila V’Alul) mentioned by the philosophers.  This is because cause and effect refers to an actual drawing down from one being to the next being, wherein the external being of the cause is drawn down to the effect etc.  Such is not the case Above in G-dliness, wherein the being and essence of the upper level is not drawn down to the lower level at all.  Rather, only an aspect of light and radiance is drawn from the upper to the lower.  By way of example, this may be understood from the light rays of the sun, in which the light is altogether not of the essence of the sun.  This is likewise the case regarding the light and vitality of the soul. It too is not of the essential being of the soul, but is rather only like a light and ray. In this regard the ray may be compared to the garment of a person, as opposed to his body. We likewise understand that this ray cannot be compared to the essential self. Rather, relative to the essential self it can only be considered to be like a garment.


However, it is not actually like the garment of a human being which is a completely separate entity from him that does not issue from his body at all. This is unlike the ray of light that radiates from the body of the sun and is never actually separate from it.  For when the sun is concealed its light rays also become concealed, whereas when it is revealed they radiate round about it.  This being the case, the sun relative to its rays, may be compared to a snail whose shell (or garment) is part and parcel of him.[51] In other words, on one hand it is similar to a garment that cannot compare to the essential self, but on the other hand, it is rooted and drawn from the essential self. (For a thorough explanation of this concept see the discourse entitled, “And the whole nation saw,”[52] as previously mentioned.[53])


This may be understood through self-understanding, as in the verse,[54] “From my flesh I shall behold G-d”. For example, this may be understood through contemplating the letters of one’s thoughts. (As known, the letters of thought are considered to be an aspect of vessels (Kelim). However, here we will utilize them to illustrate the matter of lights (Orot).


In Etz Chaim, Shaar Seder ABY”A, chapter three, it explains that thought is the light that spreads forth in the world of Atzilut etc.  We may say that this is because the garment of thought is a special garment, in that it is unified with the light vested in it. Because of this, thought may also be called light (Ohr). It may alternately be explained this way; that since thought (Machshavah) is a special garment that is unified with the essence, that is, with the light, including the root and source of the light; therefore, in this respect, it is unlike the matter of vessels (Kelim). Vessels in general are not unified with the source of the light, but only with the light invested in them, and are therefore only comparable to the thoughts that come forth in actual letters. However, thought itself is actually unified with the essence and source of the light.  This is similar to how all “motions” of the soul and its desires become immediately manifest within thought. Due to this, thought may also be called “will – Ratzon”, because whatever arises in desire automatically comes forth in thought, since it is unified with the essence. Nonetheless, in this type of thought, the thought of the matter does not come forth into actual letters. Moreover, it is unlike speech which is an actual separate garment.  Rather, though it is still considered to be a garment, thought is connected and unified to its source. Therefore, it is a fitting analogy for the matter of lights (Orot).  (About this, see what is written in Zohar, Volume One, page sixty five, side one, regarding the matter of thought, as well as the comments of Mikdash Melech there, where it states that thought corresponds to the aspect of Atik Yomin. Also see Pardes Rimonim, Shaar HaTzachtzechot, chapter six.)  This may also be explained according a statement elsewhere,[55] that just as the lights of the worlds of Briyah-Creation, Yetzirah-Formation and Asiyah-Action come from the vessels of the world of Atzilut-Emanation, as it states in Etz Chaim[56] that the vessels of Atzilut-Emanation become the lights of the worlds of BY”A; likewise, the lights of Atzilut-Emanation are the aspect of the vessels of the ten hidden Sefirot (Eser Sefirot HaGnoozot) that transcend Atzilut-Emanation.  This then explains how thought may be considered to be an aspect of light (Ohr).)


This is because the letters of thought are drawn from the being and essential self of the soul, as stated in the writings of the Arizal[57], that the soul is filled with letters, as explained elsewhere[58], and as the verse states,[59] “And the man became a living soul,” which Onkelos translates as, “And the man became a speaking spirit.” In other words, the powers of speech and thought are inherent to the human soul and are of its essence. Nonetheless, when the power of thought manifests in the mind to actually think, the thought takes form in tangible letters, which are altogether not comparable to the essential being of the soul. The essential being of the soul is unlimited and indivisible and therefore tangible thought cannot be compared to it. Nevertheless, the root that it draws out of to manifest as thought is the essential self of the soul. The letters, as they exist in the soul are literally, like the analogy of the ray of light as it exists in its source.


From all of the above we may understand why the entire existence of the lower level from the upper level is only comparable to a ray of light.  In other words, compared to the lower level, the upper level is similar to the aspect of a luminary, whereas the lower level is only analogous to a ray of light that issues from the upper level. At its root it is of the essence of the upper level, but nonetheless, when it issues and spreads forth from it, it is altogether a different thing.


(We may say that what is meant here is that when the light manifests within the vessel it then is considered to be a separate entity. However, this does not mean that it actually is separate, Heaven forbid, but only as if it is separate.  As explained elsewhere,[60] there are three levels in the lights. The first level is as they are included in the Emanator, about which it states,[61] “You are one, but not numerically.”  The second level is the aspect of the descent of the light from His essential Self in order to manifest in vessels.  Regarding this it states in Sefer Yetzirah,[62] “Ten Sefirot without whatness,” for here they are still without whatness, that is, without being as separate entities. The third level is when the lights actually become invested within the vessels, at which point they take on the characteristics of being insight or kindness etc.  This is as explained elsewhere[63] that the vessels are the aspect of the coloration of the lights, in that they give color and description to the light. See what is written in the discourse entitled, “Go out and see” of the year 5660.[64]


Specifically regarding the second level we may say that it is like the aspect of a garment.  For even though it is not a separate entity, nevertheless, since it only is a radiance of it, it cannot at all compare to the essential Self. For this reason it is considered to be like a garment. In contrast, on the third level, due to the coloration of the lights caused by the vessels, they can be considered like separate entities from the essential Self, because in the essential Self this matter is altogether not applicable. See the aforementioned discourse, “Go out and see.”)


Nonetheless, they are still united with the essence to the point that if there would be a withdrawal of the source there would also be a withdrawal of the ray.  This would not be the case were there a chaining down of cause and effect from entity to entity, as explained in the aforementioned discourse entitled “And the whole nation saw.”[65]


It is therefore thus regarding all the Partzufim (Countenances) as they descend one from another. An example is the emotive attributes. Although relative to the power of thought that issues from them they are considered to be luminaries with being, nonetheless, they only are a ray of light relative to their source, which is the power of understanding (Binah) and is called[66] “The mother of the children.” Similarly, above in G-dliness, the Partzuf of Zeir Anpin is only a radiance from the attribute of Binah-understanding. This is likewise the case with Chochmah-insight and Binah-understanding relative to Keter-Crown, and is similarly so regarding Keter-Crown relative to the essential Self of the Infinite Light (Atzmut Ohr Ain Sof). That is, Keter is like desire, which only is the spreading out of radiance from the essential self of the soul.


Now, in general regarding the matter of lights and vessels (Orot V’Kelim) mentioned in Etz Chaim, these three levels exist on each and every level.  For example, the power of thought which spreads forth from the essential self of the soul possesses these three levels.


The first is the initial spreading out from the source. At this point it still is somewhat comparable to the essential self. However, this is not to say that it is comparable in what it essentially is, i.e. that it is identical to the essential self, because after all, it only is a radiance and ray of it.  Rather, what is meant here is only that it still is included with the self. When we say that it is comparable to the self, what is meant is only that since it is not yet a revealed or tangible light, it cannot yet be considered to be separate. This is because this initial spreading out is still hidden. Thus it cannot truly be called an actual drawing out. True drawing out is when there is revealed illumination. However, this is only a slight, initial drawing out that subsequently draws out as revealed illumination. That is, since this level is still hidden it cannot yet be considered as having existence as a separate entity.  On the contrary, it is still totally included and unified with its source.


(Further analysis is needed to discern whether this is the first level explained before, which referred to the ten Sefirot included in Keter-Crown, whereas according to what was said here it refers to Keter-Crown itself.)


Now, when the radiance spreads further to become thought, that is, when he thinks about something, then it takes on the aspect of revelation and existence. We could now say that it is in the aspect of a radiance of light and a garment. This is the second above mentioned level. When this thought subsequently becomes limited into a division of letters, that the letters are felt, then it takes on the aspect of vessels that limit the light. This is the third level.


We find that the aspect of lights and vessels (Orot V’Kelim) is the matter of thought itself, in that when he thinks about the matter the thought becomes defined. However, the power to think as it is initially drawn from its source is not yet a defined entity unto itself. We therefore understand that it is not at all differentiated and separate, but rather is always included in its source, even though it has been somewhat drawn out, as explained above.


Above in G-dliness this refers to the aspect of Keter-Crown. For although it too is drawn out from the essential Self of the Infinite Light to be the Keter-Crown of Atzilut-Emanation, nevertheless this is still in a state of concealment. As such, it is still included in its source (Hitkalelut) (and is like the light included in His essential Self, for His essential Self even includes the aspect of the revealed light, as explained elsewhere[67]) for Atzilut-Emanation is the aspect of a revelation of light that begins from Chochmah-insight down, since Chochmah-insight is the beginning of revelation.


In this there are two levels.  There is the aspect of the light as it is, in and of itself still in a state of simplicity and there is the aspect of the form and image that the light takes on due to the vessels.  (It may be said that this is like the matter of the name of the essential Self (Shem HaEtzem) as opposed to a descriptive title (Shem HaTo’ar), as explained elsewhere[68] that the descriptive title is still in the aspect of the innerness of the vessels etc.) All the more so regarding the vessel; it most certainly is defined. This aspect is generally like a garment that cannot at all compare to the essential Self.   However, the aspect of Keter-Crown is above the aspect of revelation and is not a separate existence at all, in that it is included in its source.

Now, it was explained before that in relation to its source, every Partzuf (Countenance) is only like the aspect of a ray and radiance.  For example, the aspect of Zeir Anpin (The Small Countenance) of the world of Atzilut-emanation, which is the source of the worlds is called[69], “Melech Olam-King of the world, as stated,[70] “For in six days Hashem made the heavens and the earth,” referring to the six supernal days[71] that correspond to His emotive qualities of Chessed-kindness, Gevurah-sternness etc.  These qualities are the root and source of all life, to enliven all creatures in the upper and lower worlds. Nonetheless, relative to Chochmah-insight and Binah-understanding, they are only a light and ray. That is, they constitute drawing down G-dliness in a manner of tzimtzum-constriction and division. This is because every revelation of light must specifically be preceded by a tzimtzum-constriction. There cannot be revelation without a tzimtzum-constriction preceding it.  (Therefore all the light before the first tzimtzum-constriction is considered to be the aspect of the light as it still is included in His essential Self, as explained elsewhere.)


Thus, in essence, the light itself is constricted and comes in a manner of division, as explained above about the letters of thought. The same principle applies to the aspect of Chochmah-insight relative to the supernal will that transcends Chochmah-insight, as known that “Abba-Father (i.e. Chochmah) suckles from the eighth Mazal.”[72]  Even the will itself, which is the root and source of all of the emanated sefirot, is merely an aspect of the spreading forth of light and radiance from the essential Self.


However, there is nonetheless a difference between the aspect of will (Ratzon) and the other nine powers that spread forth from it, in that it is an encompassing, transcendent light (Makif), and it is neither an inner pervading light (Ohr Pnimi) nor a vessel at all.  This is because it is the initial spreading out from the essential self, to a greater degree than the other nine.  This is like the analogy of the power of thought when it initially spreads forth. Though it is not of the essence of the source, nevertheless it always is unified with the source and cannot yet be considered something separate.  This is not the case regarding Chochmah-insight. It can be regarded as a “something” (Yesh) that is in a state of being, as in the analogy of thought itself.


We must now understand the fact that desire is not something unto itself, even though it is in the aspect of desire. This may be understood through the example of the desire of the soul.  Although it is a soul power, it is nonetheless not something separate from the soul.  This is because the matter of desire is that the soul itself is drawn to desire something or other.[73]  Therefore, desire is nothing more than is the leaning of the soul itself to desire. Although the fact that he desires something is specifically through the “Power to desire” (since in and of itself the soul is above it and in its essential self desire is not applicable) nevertheless, it is the soul that desires.


This is dissimilar to the powers of insight and intellect which are entities unto themselves outside of the soul.  For although it is the soul that conceives concepts, nonetheless, the power of intellect that conceives it (as revealed intellect, in which he conceives and has insight and comprehension), is a separate existence unto itself. The proof is that after he conceives it and writes it in a book or teaches it to someone, it remains intact, even after the soul withdraws from the power of intellect and the concept dissipates from his mind. Nonetheless, what he conceived remains intact.


This being the case we must say that although the power of intellect that is drawn from the soul is solely an aspect of radiance and light and does not come about in a manner of cause and effect from being to being, nonetheless, when it is drawn out it becomes something unto itself.  This is because when it spreads forth it becomes distant from the essential self of the soul and because of this it takes on existence, specifically since it becomes enclothed in the organ (vessel) of the brain.


(This is true, even though we must differentiate between the drawing forth of the power of intellect from the soul and the drawing forth of intellect to another person, which indeed is cause and effect from being to being, which is not the case in regard to the drawing of intellect in general, because when the soul withdraws, the power of intellect ceases and nothing remains of it. Therefore, in actually, it only is an aspect of a light and radiance. (We may also say that this is due to the fact that it is a drawing out from nothing to something (M’Ayin L’Yesh), as explained elsewhere.)  Nonetheless, we understand that at the very least it is an existence of light.)


However, with regard to the power of desire, after he has desired and the soul has withdrawn from that desire, nothing is left of it. In other words, the desire is always dependant on the soul to desire it.  It is therefore understood that desire is not something unto itself. It only exists because of the soul.


This being the case, in every Partzuf (Countenance) the aspect of its Keter-Crown is not of the same category as its other sefirot.  Rather they are in an aspect of inner, pervading lights (Ohr Pnimi), that is, lights within vessels (organs), because at the very least, they have existence unto themselves. In contrast, Keter-Crown is an aspect of encompassing light (Ohr Makif), in that it has no existence unto itself. Its entire existence is due to the essential Self.


For example, Keter-Crown of the world of Atzilut-Emanation is the aspect of the essential Self of the Infinite Light leaning to desire emanation, so to speak. Although prior to the drawing forth of Keter-Crown, this desire is not applicable, nonetheless, even once it is drawn out it has no independent existence unto itself, similar to the desire of the soul. Without the soul it has no existence whatsoever, since it is nothing more than the preference of the essential self.  This is likewise so Above in G-dliness. Here too, it has no existence unto itself, but is solely due to the essential Self. Therefore it is not within the category of being manifested within vessels, but is rather a transcendent, encompassing aspect (Makif).


Through all of the above we may understand what was previously explained, that the drawing forth of the desire into revelation is accomplished specifically through fulfilling Torah and Mitzvot (commandments). In other words, this is because desire is the drawing out of the essential Self to desire. Hence, the drawing out of this revelation is accomplished specifically by means of Torah and Mitzvot, and the revelation is drawn specifically to the souls of Israel.


However, the reason for offering the seventy bullocks is to draw down a revelation of the encompassing lights (Ohr Makif) upon the seventy archangels of the nations as well, in order to purify them. Although generally this type of purification is brought about through the inner, pervading light (Ohr Pnimi), which is the matter of gradual purification through the service of prayer, which is compared to battle,[74] wherein the animalistic soul stands in opposition and the G-dly soul overpowers him through contemplation (Hitbonenut) upon the greatness of Hashem etc., until the animalistic soul also understand the goodness of G-dliness, thus fulfilling the dictum,[75] “you shall Love Hashem your God with all your heart – with both your inclinations etc.” The same principle holds true when eating, as it states,[76] “for bread is like a sword upon the mouth.” All this is through the inner, pervading powers and lights.


However, for the seventy archangels to be purified, the encompassing light (Ohr Makif) must be drawn down, for “the encompassing light blinds them.”[77]  Elsewhere[78] it is explained that through the offering of the seventy bullocks they are destroyed, which certainly is caused by the revelation of the encompassing lights. Therefore, for them to be purified the encompassing lights must specifically be drawn down. This is specifically drawn to them through the souls of Israel, as it states,[79] “All the nations, praise Hashem… for His kindness has overpowered us.”  This is because the encompassing light is primarily drawn down specifically to the souls of Israel and then the souls of Israel draw down encompassing light to the nations through the seventy archangels, to purify them.


This specifically takes place on the holiday of Sukkot, because there then is a revelation of the encompassing light, which is the aspect of[80] “His right hand embraces me,” and brings about closeness.  However, on Shemini Atzeret, “The eighth day, shall be a time of cessation for you,” – that is, only for the souls of Israel. The drawing of G-dly influence on Shemini Atzeret is the inner aspect of the encompassing light.  This occurs on the eighth day, which corresponds to the inner aspect of Binah-understanding, through which the inner aspect of the encompassing light is drawn down, as explained elsewhere.[81]


Nevertheless, the external aspect of the encompassing light is also drawn down to the souls of Israel then, because the external is pulled along with the internal. This, then, is the meaning of the aforementioned statement, “Let us now have a small meal together, you and I,” that even the external aspect is drawn down specifically to the souls of Israel, similar to the verse,[82] “So that we are distinguished I and your people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.”  It is for this reason that the verse states, “It shall be a time of cessation for you,” – specifically for you!  This is similar to the verse,[83] “Let them be Yours alone and no strangers with you.”  The inner aspect of the encompassing light is specifically for the souls of Israel, and on Shemini Atzeret even the external aspect of the encompassing light specifically radiates in an inner manner. This then, is the meaning of “it shall be a time of cessation for you,” – specifically for you.

[1] Numbers 29:35

[2] Bamidbar Rabba 21:24

[3] Numbers 29:36

[4] Talmud Bavli, Sukkah 55b; Bamidbar Rabba 21:24

[5] In the previous discourse

[6] Likkutei Torah, Bamidbar p. 18b; Shelach p. 38c; Shir HaShirim p. 28d, 33d

[7] Tikkuei Zohar, Tikkun 22, p. 68b

[8] Sefer HaMaamarim 5627 p. 136; 5638 p. 40; 5665 p. 151

[9] Zohar Vol. 1, p. 86b

[10] Genesis 1:1

[11] Targum Yerushalmi to Genesis 1:1

[12] Micah 7:18

[13] Emek HaMelech, Shaar 1, Ch. 1; Tanya, Shaar HaYichud VeHaEmunah, Ch. 4; Maamarei Admor HaEmtza’ee, Kuntreisim p. 5

[14] Psalms 89:3

[15] Micah 7:18

[16] Tikkunei Zohar introduction 17a

[17] Tikkunei Zohar introduction 17a

[18] Likkutei Torah, VeEtchanan 12a; Shir HaShirim 47d; Siddur Im DA”Ch 130c, 161b; Biurei HaZohar of the Mittler Rebbe 47a; Sefer HaMaamarim 5632 Vol. 2, p. 394.

[19] Talmud Bavli, Menachot 29b

[20] Talmud Bavli, Menachot 29b

[21] In the Hebrew the Rebbe Rashab uses a play on the verse in Deut. 32:34 – “concealed with Me.”

[22] The word for flavor – Ta’am is the same as reason – Ta’am.

[23] Shnei Luchot HaBrit 4:2 in the comments; Yonat Elim Ch. 2; Torat Chaim, Noach 63a.

[24] Hemshech 5672, Vol. 1, p. 393

[25] Igrot Kodesh of the Rebbe, Vol. 2, p. 231

[26] Mishnah Avot 4:2

[27] Tanya Ch. 37 & 39; Likkutei Torah, Behar p. 42b and on

[28] Talmud Bavli, Brachot 17a

[29] Tanya Ch. 39

[30] Rashi commentary to Song of Songs 1:2; Likkutei Torah, Shir HaShirim 48a; Siddur Im DA”Ch 131a and on.

[31] Isaiah 52:13

[32] Etz Chaim, Shaar 3, Ch. 2

[33] Likkutei Torah, Shlach 44b, 46c, 49b; Korach 52b and on

[34] Talmud Bavli, Menachot 41a

[35] Siddur Im DA”Ch, 16a and on, 18d; Imrei Binah, Shaar HaTefilin 145a and on; Likkutei Torah, Shir HaShirim 46d and on.

[36] Sefer HaIkarim 42, Ch. 17; Emek HaMelech, Shaar 1, Ch. 1; Shaar 8, Ch. 9; Likkutei Torah, Hosafot to Vayikra 51b and on; Sefer HaChakira of the Tzemach Tzedek, p. 75a and on.

[37] Pardes Rimonim, Shaar 23, Ch. 13

[38] Ezekiel 3:12

[39] Maamarei Admor HaZaken 5569, p. 185 & 196; Derech Mitzvotecha p. 178b and on; p. 183b and on

[40] Referring to Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, the Alter Rebbe.

[41] Maamarei Admor HaZeken, Hanachot p. 157; 5569 p. 136; Likkutei Torah, Bechukotai p. 48b; BeHaalotcha p. 29d; Shelach p. 43a; Maamarei Admor HaEmtza’ee, Vayikra Vol. 2, p. 825 and on.

[42] Likkutei Torah of the Arizal, Tisa (commentary on the referenced verse).

[43] Exodus 33:21

[44] Exodus 16:29

[45] Psalms 145:13

[46] Tanya, Shaar HaYichud VeHaEmunah, Ch. 7, p. 88a

[47] Moreh Nevuchim, Introduction to part II (intrdocution 15), Ch. 13; Derech Mitzvotecha 57a and on; Sefer HaChakirah of the Tzemach Tzedek p. 74b.

[48] In the next discourse entitled VaYechulu 5666.

[49] Ohr HaTorah, Inyanim p. 110 and on

[50] Likkutei Torah, Shir HaShirim p. 39d; Torah Ohr, VaYishlach p. 25c; Likkutei Torah, Bracha 95b; Shir HaShirim 42b and on.

[51] Bereishit Rabba 21:5

[52] Sefer HaMaamarim 5665, p. 274 and on

[53] In the discourse entitled Lulav V’Arava 5666

[54] Job 19:26

[55] Sefer HaMaamarim 5663, Vol. 1, p. 119; 5677, p. 85; 5688 p. 32.

[56] Etz Chaim, Shaar 44, Ch. 1-2

[57] Etz Chaim, Shaar 5, Ch. 3; Maamarei Admor HaEmtza’ee, Bamidbar Vol. 1, p. 309 and on.

[58] Likkutei Torah, Bechukotai, p. 45d; Naso 26b; Shir HaShirim 4b

[59] Genesis 2:7

[60] Torat Chaim, Noach 65d and on; Hemshech 5672 Vol. 1, p. 48 and on

[61] Tikkunei Zohar 17a

[62] Sefer Yetzira 1:5

[63] Sefer HaMaamarim 5664 p. 47; p. 75 and on.

[64] Sefer HaMaamarim 5660, p. 113 and on.

[65] Sefer HaMaamarim 5665, p. 278.

[66] Psalms 113:9; Zohar Vol. 1, p. 219a; Zohar Vol. 2, p. 84a; 85b; Pardes Rimonim, Shaar 23, Ch. 1; Likkutei Torah, Drushim L’Shmini Atzeret 88d.

[67] Sefer HaMaamarim 5662, p. 322; 5664, p. 233.

[68] Torat Chaim, Shmot Vol. 1, p. 112a and on.

[69] Jeremiah 10:10; Likkutei Torah, VeEtchanan 7a; Biurei HaZohar of the Tzemach Tzedek Vol. 1, p. 239.

[70] Exodus 20:10; Exodus 31:17

[71] Zohar Vol. 1, p. 247a; Vol. 3, p. 94b.

[72] Zohar Vol. 3, p. 289b; Etz Chaim, Shaar HaKlallim Ch. 5; Tanya, Igeret HaKodesh Ch. 28 (p. 148a).

[73] Ateret Rosh, p. 65a and on; Hemshech 5672 Vol. 1, p. 87; Sefer HaMaamarim 5678, p. 305; 5686 p. 309.

[74] Likkutei Torah Balak 72a references Zohar; Tetze 34c-35c; Zohar Vol. 3 243a.

[75] Deuteronomy 6:5; Mishna Brachot 54a; Sifri and Rashi commentary to Deut. 6:5.

[76] Zohar Vol. 3, p. 188b

[77] Shaar HaKavanot on Alenu L’Shabeiach prayer. Etz Chaim, Shaar 42, Ch. 13; Likkutei Torah, Korach 53d.

[78] Maamarei Admor HaZaken 5569, p. 244 and on; Ohr HaTorah, Drushim L’Sukkot p. 1,765; Maamarei Admor HaEmtza’ee, Dvarim Vol. 4, p. 1,489 and on.

[79] Psalms 117:1-2

[80] Song of Songs 2:6; 8:3

[81] Ohr HaTorah, Drushim L’Shmini Atzeret p. 1,788.

[82] Exodus 33:16

[83] Proverbs 5:17

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