Partners In Creation – Hemshech Samech Vav – 6

Hemshech Samech-Vav

Discourse 6
VaYachulu HaShamayim 5666

by

The Holy Rabbi Sholom Dovber of Lubavitch

Translated by Rabbi Shimon Markel

Edited by Rabbi Amiram Markel

 

The verse states,[1] “And the heavens and the earth and all their hosts were completed.”  Regarding the verse,[2] “I have seen an end to every beginning, but your commandment is exceedingly broad,” the Midrash Rabbah states,[3]  “The heavens and the earth have limit – measure and time, except for one thing that has no limit – measure and time, and what is that thing? It is Torah, as it states,[4] ‘Its measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea etc.'”

 

We must now understand this statement that the heavens and earth have limit – measure and time.  For is it not so that HaShem’s influence is drawn down to the world in a manner that is endless and limitless? As known[5], HaShem’s desire (Ratzon) for the worlds is drawn in a limitless fashion (Bli Gvul), as stated,[6] “In the beginning God created etc.,” which Onkolus translates as “with that which precedes” (BeKadmin) –that is, with desire, [which is the “primal beginning”] that precedes [actualization]; and desire has no limits”.[7]

 

Therefore, we must say that the difference between the Torah and “the heavens and the earth” is in how they become revealed below. That is, in regard to the desire for the worlds, even though the desire is limitless, there is nonetheless a cessation and end to how far it descends, that is, it does not illuminate in a revealed manner all the way down. In contrast, the desire for Torah and Mitzvot (commandments) is drawn down with no end or cessation, in other words, it illuminates in a revealed manner below as well. Now, this needs to be understood. If desire (Ratzon) is limitless, why then is [the desire for the world] drawn down with end and limit, so that it does not illuminate in a revealed manner below?

 

To understand this we must preface with what was explained before,[8] namely, the difference between the Sefirah of desire (Keter-Crown) and the other Sefirot as it applies to the desire (Keter-Crown) for the world of Emanation generally (Atzilut), as well as the desire (Keter-Crown) for each Persona(Partzuf) [in the chaining down of the worlds] individually. The manner of the nine lower Sefirot is that of revealed illumination of light; that is, light in a state of being. Therefore, when the light becomes vested in a vessel it undergoes a change of being. Such is not the case with the aspect of Keter-Crown, which is desire. For even though desire too is draw down, nonetheless it still is concealed and included within HaShem’s Essential Self, rather than being a revelation of light. It therefore, does not come into a state of being and certainly does not undergo change to take on a different state of being.

 

This is why[9] the desire (Keter-Crown) for each Persona (Partzuf) transcends time, relative to that Persona (Partzuf).  As known,[10] time begins in the world of Creation (Briyah). That is, the time of the six millennia of creation begins with the coming into being of the world of Creation (Briyah), rather than in the world of Emanation (Atzilut). This is to say that the six millennia do not factor into the emanation of the supernal world of Emanation (Atzilut), but only begin with Creation (Briyah).  This is because Emanation (Atzilut) is above time. Therefore, time does not factor into the emanation of the world of Emanation (Atzilut), since it is above time. Rather, it specifically begins with the world of Briyah-Creation.

 

This answers[11] the question of the philosophers[12] as to why the world was created specifically when it was created, rather than before.  The reason is because before the world was created time did not exist. It therefore does not apply to ask why it was not created earlier, since there altogether was no time of before and after. Rather, time only began with the beginning of creation.

 

However, it likewise is understood that the world of Emanation (Atzilut) itself also possesses the aspects of Emanation, Creation, Formation and Action (Atzilut, Briyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah).[13]  The aspect of Emanation of Emanation (Atzilut of Atzilut) is the aspect [of HaShem’s desire for the world of Emanation, which is] it’s Crown (Keter).[14] Insight and Understanding of Emanation (Chochmah and Binah) are Creation of Emanation (Briyah of Atzilut), the emotive sefirot of Zeir Anpin are Formation of Emanation (Yetzirah of Atzilut) and Kingship (Malchut) is Actualization of Emanation (Asiyah of Atzilut). Thus, Crown of Emanation (Keter of Atzilut) [which is the desire to bring about the world of Emanation,] is the aspect of Emanation of Emanation (Atzilut of Atzilut). This being the case, the aspect of time [relative to how it is] in the world of Emanation (Atzilut) begins with the aspect of Creation of the world of Emanation (Briyah of the world of Atzilut).

 

Now, here we are not referring to actual time, but rather only to the “order” of time[15]; that time will be in a progression from past to future, and even this order is only applicable from the aspect of Creation of Emanation down (from Briyah of Atzilut down). However, in Emanation of Emanation (Atzilut of Atzilut), that is, in the aspect of its Keter-Crown, [which is the desire for it,] it is completely above time. The same is true of each Partzuf-Persona, which is comprised of Emanation, Creation, Formation and Action (ABY”A).[16] The matter of a Partzuf-Persona is that it is comprised of ten sefirot [and is thus a fully developed stature or persona]. Therefore each Persona (Partzuf)includes Emanation, Creation, Formation and Actualization (Atzilut, Briyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah), as stated in Etz Chaim in Shaar HaPartzufim.[17]  Thus, the aspect of Emanation (Atzilut) within each Partzuf-Persona, which is its Keter-Crown, [that is, the desire for it to be,] is above time.

 

An example is the aspect of Malchut-Kingship. As known[18], Malchut-Kingship is the root of time and space, as stated [referring to space],[19] “Your kingship is the kingship of all worlds,” and similarly [referring to time],[20] “Hashem is king, Hashem was king, Hashem will be king forever and ever.”  Now, this only applies to the nine lower Sefirot of Malchut-Kingship, but [HaShem’s desire for Kingship, which is] the aspect of Crown of Kingship (Keter of Malchut) (which is always unified with Zeir Anpin,) is beyond the aspect of time.

 

The root of time comes from the aspect of running and returning (Ratzo V’Shuv).[21] Elsewhere[22] it is explained that time is the matter of “before” and “after” in the Sefirot.  In other words, the spiritual matter of time is the order and gradation of preceding and following. This too is brought about through the aspects of “withdrawing” and “spreading”[23], because only then is the matter of before and after applicable. In other words, desire (Keter-Crown) first issues forth and then stops issuing forth, at which point insight (Chochmah) issues forth etc. However, regarding an issuance that is not in a manner of withdrawing and spreading, before and after do not apply, because in that case, the spreading out of revelation is that they come out equally, as explained elsewhere.[24]

 

In any event,[25] the root and cause of time on every level is the aspect of its running and returning (Ratzo V’Shuv), as it states,[26] “And the living creatures ran and returned.” This is to say that the G-dly vitality that is drawn from the aspect of HaShem’s speech to enliven all creatures is in a state of running and returning (Ratzo V’Shuv) which is the aspect of withdrawing and spreading.[27] This is analogous to the breath of life in man. At every moment vitality is drawn from the source of his soul and then it immediately reverts to withdraw and depart from his body to ascend and reunite with the source it was drawn from, whereupon renewed vitality is drawn down.

 

The same principle applies to the G-dly vitality drawn down to vitalize the worlds. Once it is drawn out, it immediately withdraws to become included in its source. This is the aspect of running (Ratzo), at which point new vitality is drawn down etc.[28]  The drawing down of light into the world of Emanation (Atzilut) is likewise in this manner of running and returning (Ratzo V’Shuv) because the light is in a state of running (Ratzo) to ascend and become included in its source, the reason for which is explained elsewhere.[29] Through this the divisions of time are brought about. That is, since there is an aspect of withdrawal and spreading out, the light and vitality comes in a manner of division in that it repeatedly withdraws and spreads forth, withdraws and spreads forth etc.

 

In other words, the revelation of light stops. If this was not the case and it was always drawn out without stop (rather than withdrawing and spreading, withdrawing and spreading) then it would be in a state of limitlessness (Bli Gvul). However, because it constantly withdraws and spreads forth, it is the root of the division of time from past to future. This is because time involves the matter of cessation, in other words, for [the sequence] of time to come about there must be cessation from one point to the other. It is specifically the cessation which brings about the delineation of past and future. For example, when a person says that something will take a specific amount of time, such as an hour or two; this means that time will be drawn out in a way of past and future and will end at that specific time period. If, on the other hand, it is Always Present[30] without end, it is inapplicable to say that something will take “an hour or two”. Only the stoppage brings about the sequence of time. Hence, it is specifically the stoppage of the revelation of light that is the source of time.

 

Similarly, the aspects of withdrawing and spreading also involve the matter of time, because that which is withdrawn becomes the past and that which will spread forth becomes the future. We therefore find that the matter of time, which involves past and future, is the aspect of withdrawing and spreading. This is especially so, being that the vitality drawn to the world is always a new light and vitality, since at every moment the first vitality has withdrawn to become included in its source and new vitality is drawn forth. This is as stated in Tanya, chapter forty one, regarding the matter of the twelve permutations of the letters of the name HaShem and the twelve permutations of the letters of the name Adon”ay[31] that make up the twenty-four hours of day and night, because at each moment new permutations are drawn forth.

 

Now although this statement, that the vitality is in an aspect of running and returning, may be understood to mean that the very same vitality that is in a state of running is in a state of returning), this refers only to the totality of the vitality as a whole. That is, the whole of the vitality from the aspect of the name Hashem or the name Adon”ay is in a state of running and returning.  However, each specific vitality, in and of itself, comes about through a new permutation of the letters of The Name at every moment, and is unlike the permutation of letters that preceded it a moment earlier, for there are countless levels in the drawing forth of the vitality.

 

For instance, when there is a drawing forth of vitality from the attribute of kindness (Chessed), included in it is the aspect of sternness (Gevurah), including sternness of sternness (Gevurah of Gevurah) and kindness of kindness (Chessed of Chessed) etc. with all their many details. Therefore, with every aspect of withdrawal and spreading forth there is a renewed vitality from a different aspect and level etc.  Even though Above they all are in a state of the limitless Ever Presence[32] of Ain Sof  and are therefore in a state of unity and inclusion, nevertheless, when the vitality is drawn down into the world, it comes out in a manner of subdivision and at each moment a different vitality is drawn forth. It is through this that time is created.

 

Now the aspect of the desire (Ratzon) for each world transcends the aspect of time within that world, because the matter of running and returning (Ratzo V’Shuv) only occurs when the vitality is in a state of revelation from its source, in other words, when it is distant from its source and manifests within a limited vessel. This is similar to the aforementioned analogy of thought[33] and the distinction between thought itself and defined thought. This is because thought itself is revealed thought. That is, thought exists when a person thinks. (Here we are not referring to the “power to think” as it is included in its source, as previously discussed.) Certainly, this is also the case with defined thought, which certainly comes out in a manner that is felt as an actual existence of thought. As explained previously, it is the same way in regard to the light.  It is specifically when it is distant from its source that the yearning to come back and become included in its source becomes applicable. That is, because it is distant from its source, it therefore yearns to become included in its source; to leave its limitations and become included in its source. This is the matter of running (Ratzo), which is the desire to leave the restrictions of the vessel.

 

Now, at the moment of leaving the vessel, when it becomes separated from it through running toward its source, how could there be an aspect of running, since it has departed the restriction and limitation to become included in the source?  It is only possible and applicable for there to be a state of running (Ratzo)when it is in the vessel and distant from its source. The general matter of running (Ratzo) is the matter of withdrawal, that there is a state of withdrawal in relation to the vessel, as explained elsewhere.[34] Nonetheless, there also is withdrawal relative to the light, because once it has vested in a vessel it becomes distant from the Essential Self and therefore undergoes change into a different state of being. That is, by being revealed in a vessel it takes on the existence of light. More specifically, because of the vessel it undergoes coloration, so to speak, thereby becoming a separate level of being, as previously explained.  Therefore, this running (Ratzo) is the aspect of withdrawal from one state of being to another, higher state of being; that is, to a higher state beyond its current state.  This is the aspect of ascension, in which it is uprooted from its state of being, to be included in its source, at which point, by comparison it no longer has being unto itself at all.

 

However, such is not the case with the root and source of the vitality of the worlds as it begins to be drawn out from the desire (Ratzon) because the desire is never drawn out to the point that it becomes distant or is in a state of separateness from its source at all. Rather, the desire is the aspect of the initial drawing forth from the source when it is still in a state of concealment and is still included in the source. Therefore, the matter of running (Ratzo) is not applicable to the desire because it is never distant from its source and therefore is not yet in a state of separateness from it.  Hence, running (Ratzo) is not at all applicable to it.

 

Rather, this fact that it is drawn out a little and automatically reverts to merge and become included in its source, in that all light that is drawn out automatically reverts to become included in the source, is called Mati V’Lo Mati – “coming and not coming”,[35] in that it spreads out but does not spread out, which is different from the matter of running and returning (Ratzo V’Shuv). This is because running (Ratzo­) is the aspect of running and exiting the vessel in a manner of withdrawal, whereas returning (Shuv) is the aspect of spreading down and settling within the vessel, because with the return (Shuv) it shines in the vessel in a revealed manner.

 

Neither of these is applicable to the aspect of desire (Ratzon), because it is not in way of running, since it never becomes distant and is not in an aspect of withdrawal, in that it is not an aspect of a different being. Rather, it comes to a state of the absence of spreading forth, because it comes to a state of greater inclusion in its source and though there is greater inclusion than before, nonetheless, this cannot be called running (Ratzo). Rather, running, exiting and the matter of withdrawal is not applicable here, since it is never in a state of distance, nor is it vested in a vessel. On the contrary, it is in a state of inclusion in its source, except that at first it is drawn out a little; and even this is within His Essential Self rather than in a manner of revelation. (This is like the light as it is included in HaShem’s Essential Self. As yet the drawing forth is still totally within His Essential Self.  In other words, even as it is drawn forth it still is in a manner of inclusion in its source.) That it returns to be included afterwards only means that now it is not even drawn out in this manner. In other words, there now only is the absence of spreading forth, which is called, “not coming” (Lo Mati).

 

In like fashion, the aspect of drawing forth called “coming” (Mati), is different than the aspect of returning (Shuv). This is because returning (Shuv) is the matter of the actual revelation of light that settles in a vessel. Such is not the case here, because though it is drawn out and spreads forth, it does not spread forth in an aspect of revelation, but is only drawn out a little, still concealed and included within HaShem’s Essential Self etc. (Whereas the light that manifests within vessels, is still in the vessel even during the running (Ratzo), as explained above. Here however, the opposite is true; even when it is “coming” (Mati) it has no relation to vessels whatsoever etc.)

 

Moreover, this matter called, “coming and not coming” (Mati V’Lo Mati) or spreading and not spreading, is due to the Essential Self, both in regard to the aspect of “not coming” (Lo Mati), as well as in regard the aspect of “coming” (Mati). On the other hand, the “running and returning” (Ratzo V’Shuv) of the light, is due to the light in and of itself, rather than its source, since it is distant from its source. This being the case, the fact that it is in a state of running (Ratzo) is not because the source is acting upon it, but rather because of the light itself, since it is distant from its source and desires to be close and included in its source.

 

This is similar to the service of prayer below in man, in which the matter of running (Ratzo) results from contemplating and grasping G-dliness, such as the greatness of Hashem and how He permeates and transcends all worlds. This is to say that the running (Ratzo) comes about through his own power and efforts to comprehend G-dliness, rather than because G-dliness actually shines in him in a revealed fashion. (If this was so, it would be the aspect of “Love of HaShem in a way of delight” (Ahava BaTaanugim), as discussed in Tanya, end of chapter forty.) Rather, it comes about through his grasp of HaShem’s greatness and his own distance from Him. This is what arouses the running (Ratzo).

 

It is similarly so Above in the “running and returning” of the G-dly light and vitality.  That is, the running (Ratzo) is a result of the light itself, in that it desires to merge with its source. Such is not the case regarding the aspect of desire (Ratzon). Here, the aspect of “not coming” (Lo Mati), which bears similarity to running (Ratzo), is not due to its own power and grasp, but is rather because of its source, in that the source is actually revealed and shines in the desire. Through this it merges with its source.  Therefore the matter of running (Ratzo) is not applicable here because the running (Ratzo) is a result of the source rather than itself etc.

 

Now, a similar phenomenon takes place in the revealed sefirot as well, as stated in Etz Chaim, Shaar Mati V’Lo Mati[36], that when there is a “coming” (Mati) in desire (Crown-Keter) there is a “not coming” (Lo Mati) in insight (Chochmah). In other words, when the light illuminates Keter-Crown, then the light of insight (Chochmah) becomes included in Keter-Crown. Similarly, when it “comes” (Mati) in insight (Chochmah), it “does not come” (Lo Mati) in understanding (Binah) etc.

 

However, it could be said that here (in the coming and not coming of the revealed sefirot) an aspect of running (Ratzo) does exist, such as when a person loves HaShem in a way of delight (Ahavah BaTaanugim) in that he runs and is drawn to cleave to G-dliness because of the light that is revealed to him. However, this running (Ratzo) is not by way of thirst. That happens specifically when a person realizes his distance from HaShem. However, when the light shines upon him in a revealed manner and he delights in it, the matter of thirst is not applicable. Nevertheless, there still is an aspect of running (Ratzo) because he is drawn with his entire being to the Infinite Light (Ohr Ain Sof). This is because ultimately he is an entity unto himself. Therefore, the aspect of running (Ratzo) still exists for him, at least until he adheres fully to HaShem. However, once he fully adheres to the Infinite Light (Ohr Ain Sof) the aspect of running (Ratzo) is no longer applicable. Nonetheless, in reality, even then, an aspect of running (Ratzo) still exists, except that since he is in a state of merging and adhering (Dveikut) to his source and has no sense of self-existence, it is extremely hidden and barely felt.

 

This may likewise be understood regarding the aspect of desire (Ratzon). There too, in a hidden way there is an aspect of running (Ratzo), but nonetheless the terminology of running does not really apply, because it still is included in its source and cannot be felt, especially considering what was explained before[37] that the general matter of desire (Ratzon) is merely the inclination of the soul. In other words, desire has no being or existence of its own, but is merely that the soul is inclined toward this or that. Similarly Above in G-dliness, the aspect of desire (Ratzon) has no existence unto itself, but is rather only that the Essential Self in inclined to desire, so to speak. The explanation is that there certainly is an aspect of desire (Ratzon), but before it arose in the Essential Self, He does not at all relate to it, in and of Himself. Nonetheless, even after He desires, it is the Essential Self of the Infinite Light (Ohr Ain Sof) that desires, and without Him – heaven forbid – there could be no existence of desire altogether, as explained before.

 

Therefore, whichever way you look at it, the principle strength of the matter is the aspect of the Essential Self. As such, it is not applicable to say anything about this type of inclusion, except that it is the absence of spreading forth. In other words, when something is not of the Essential Self it is applicable to use the term running (Ratzo), but in regard to the aspect of “desire” it is not applicable, because the principle factor of desire is the Essential Self. Rather, this kind of inclusion constitutes the absence of spreading forth, which is the matter of “not coming” (Lo Mati).

 

The same principle applies to the aspect of returning (Shuv). The light that is drawn to illuminate as a revelation of light, is not the revelation of the Essential Self, but rather only a revelation of light. It therefore is applicable to describe it as returning (Shuv). This is because initially it is in a state of withdrawal, which is then followed by a state of returning (Shuv).  However, in regard to the aspect of desire (Ratzon), it is the Essential Self which is drawn forth, which as explained before, is the inclination of the Essential Self.  It therefore is not applicable to describe it as returning (Shuv), but can only be described as “coming” (Mati), which is the matter  spreading forth.

 

(In general, the light, in and of itself, is in a state of running and returning (Ratzo V’Shuv), whereas in desire, which results from the Essential Self, running and returning is not applicable. Rather, all that is applicable is that it either “spreads forth” or “does not spread forth” (Mati V’lo Mati)).

 

Such was the level of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, who stated (Idra Zuta, page 292a),[38] “We are bound with one knot. My soul is united in Him, it is aflame in Him.” This is because, as known, the ascension of the feminine waters (Haalaat Mayim Nukvin) is the matter of the negation (Bitul) of one’s defining limitations, which is only applicable when one is subject to the restrictions of a vessel.  As explained previously,[39] the matter of ascension is that one leaves one state of being for another state of being. In other words, this is when he is in the state of an existent being, especially since he is invested in a vessel which limits etc. Only then is the matter of ascending applicable. His former state of being becomes nullified and he ascends to merge with the aspect of the Essential Self etc.

 

However, if he is not in a state of existence and restricted to a vessel, but is nonetheless in an aspect of being slightly drawn out from the source, but still in a state of the “primal beginning” mentioned above, then the ascension of the feminine waters (Ha’alaat Mayim Nukvin) does not apply to him. Rather, only the drawing down of the masculine waters (Hamshachat Mayim Duchrin) applies to him, because the masculine waters are also drawn from the source.

 

(We could say[40] that what is meant here is that the drawing of the masculine waters is likewise the drawing forth of the source itself. In other words, this is unlike light, which is like a separate being relative to its source in the Essential Self. We explained above, that when the light becomes distant from the Essential Self it takes on the existence and being of light and vests within a vessel, thereby becoming a separate entity.

 

In contrast, desire (Ratzon) has no being of its own as a separate entity, but is rather only the drawing forth of the Essential Self etc.)  Except that in this there is no aspect of a vessel (since that which is drawn to manifest within a vessel is the aspect of light that only comes forth into revelation specifically when there is distance). Rather, as explained above, it is the drawing forth of the source itself. (In other words, it is only the “primal beginning” of drawing forth). (This may also be explained as follows: “There is no aspect of a vessel” means that the aspect of desire (Ratzon) is not an aspect of a vessel for containing the drawing down of the Essential Self, but is rather the general matter of the inclination and drawing of the Essential Self itself etc.)

 

This, then, is the meaning of “in Him I am aflame” – that his passion and arousal is due solely to the Essential Self of the Source. (The book Pnei HaMelech[41] explains the words, “In Him I am aflame” as follows: “That HaShem shines within the soul and He desires to dwell in it, at which point the soul becomes aflame in His light, like the flaming light of a torch.”  We therefore find that the flame is the revelation of the light of the soul and that it is drawn forth and illuminates, specifically in Him.  This is the aspect of the drawing forth of the Essential Self to illuminate and enflame.) At once the soul merges and becomes included in the Source. (This is the meaning, “I am unified in Him,” which is the aspect of the unification and inclusion in the Essential Self etc).

 

This, then, is the meaning of the words,[42] “My soul shall glory in Hashem,” that is,[43] “like a flame that rises of its own accord,” which is the matter of,[44] “This service is a gift which I have given.” In other words it is given from the Source to arouse the soul, not that the soul is aroused through its own comprehension. Rather, it becomes included in the singular point, which is the matter of desire that transcends comprehension. It is then that because of the fire of the Source, it becomes a “flame that rises of its own accord” and merges with the Source, like a flame that extends somewhat from the fire and then returns to merge with the fire, (similar to the fire of a coal as it is within the coal etc.)

 

This is the matter of “Ahavah Rabbah-Great Love” (or the matter of “Ahava B’Taanugim-Love with delight”.  As explained above, when the Essential Self shines in a revealed fashion, then the aspect of running (Ratzo) is in a way of Ahavah B’Taanugim– “Love with delight” which is the matter of the actual expiry of the soul in a manner of Ahavah Rabbah-“Great love”. This is the matter of arousal and inclusion in the Source and happens automatically through the revelation of the Essential Self etc.)  It is higher than the aspect of the vessel that Aharon, the high priest, drew down to the souls of the Jewish people from the Source (that is, from the Essential Self) when he lit the flames of the Menorah. (This was done by means of the aspect of the Diknah-beard, which is the matter of the vessels and garments for the aspect of the supernal love, these being the garments of Torah and Mitzvot, as explained in Torah Ohr, in the discourse entitled “V’Asita Bigdei Kodesh-“And you shall make holy garments.“)[45]  This, then is the meaning of the words, “My soul shall glory in Hashem” –that is, in HaShem Himself; to be enflamed and aroused with desire in His Essential Self.  This is the matter of, “I am unified in Him etc.”

 

Now, the Torah study of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai[46] was similarly so, even in the revealed portion of Torah, because “Torah was his occupation”,[47] in other words, it was his vessel [or instrument].  Even on the simple levels of Torah law he knew the inner meanings. Thus, by means of the inner aspect of Torah he drew down the Essential Self of the Infinite Light (Atzmut Ohr Ain Sof) throughout all worlds when he studied. Since he was unified and bound to the Essential Self of the Infinite Light (Atzmut Ohr Ain Sof), blessed is He, as mentioned above, therefore all his Torah study drew down the masculine waters (Hamshachat Mayim Duchrin) (and the aspect of the Essential Self was in the aspect of the masculine waters. This is the meaning of “In Him I am aflame,” as discussed above.)

 

On the other hand, when the other sages of the Mishnah would study Torah, they would cause the ascension of the feminine waters (Haalaat Mayim Nukvin). This is because their Torah was manifest in physical matters; that this is forbidden and this is permissible, this can ascend [and this cannot ascend] etc. And as explained above, involvement in the aspect of vessels[48] is the matter of the ascension of the feminine waters (Haalaat Mayim Nukvin).(This being the case, what was drawn down was not of the Essential Self).

 

However, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai’s study of the revealed portion of the Torah was through his knowledge of the inner aspect.  He therefore drew down the masculine waters (Hamshachat Mayim Duchrin), which is the matter of drawing down the Essential Self. In the “future to come” it will likewise be so, as it it states,[49] “Your Master will no longer hide in His cloak and your eyes shall see your Master.”  That is, it will no longer be in a manner of manifestation within vessels. About that time it states,[50] “They shall see eye to eye when HaShem returns to Zion.”  This is the inner aspect of Abba (Chochmah-insight) within the insight, understanding and focus of attention (Chochmah, Binah, Da’at) of the female (NukvahMalchut), which will be revealed to all the souls of Israel. Similarly, prayer will no longer be in a manner of running and returning (Ratzo V’Shuv). It will rather be in a manner of “coming and not coming” (Mati­ V’Lo Mati) from the aspect of the Essential Self.

 

According to all this, we may understand how the aspect of Keter-Crown transcends time, because Keter-Crown is the matter of desire which has no relation to running and returning (Ratzo V’Shuv), since running and returning is the matter of withdrawing and spreading forth to settle in a vessel etc. Moreover, desire is primarily the matter of drawing forth. That is, it has no relation to the matter of ascension and change from one state of being to another, since it is not distant from the Essential Self, nor is it limited. Thus it primarily is the matter of drawing forth, but it is the Essential Self that is drawn, in a way of the “primal beginning” of drawing, unrevealed in vessels.

 

Moreover, the “not coming”; which is the matter of being aroused and included in the source, is due to the Essential Self, rather than vessels or comprehension. Therefore, time is not applicable here. It only is applicable relative to the light, since the light exists as a limited entity. Therefore, the ascension of light is actual ascension, in that when it exits its existence and limitations it becomes nullified (which is the ascent from one state of being to another etc). Afterwards, it returns (Shuv) as an actual drawing down of revelation that settles in the vessel. Thus the withdrawal and the spreading forth are actually two separate aspects. This being the case, the division of time applies here, unlike desire, as discussed above.

 

This is to say that in the light, running and returning (Ratzo V’Shuv) are two diametric opposites.  “Running” is the ascension and withdrawal from existence as a separate entity, to a state of non-being, whereas “returning” goes from non-being to being.  However, in desire, the “coming and not coming” (Mati V’Lo Mati) cannot be considered as opposites, because even the “coming” (Mati) is still totally included in its source and is not yet an existence of light, as explained above.  Therefore, the “not coming” (Lo Mati­) in which there is even greater inclusion in the Source, is not a separate matter from the aspect of “coming” (Mati).  Likewise, “coming” (Mati) is not the opposite of “not coming” (Lo Mati) since desire cannot exist separate from its source.

 

(Now, it cannot be said that when desire is in a state of “not coming” (Lo Mati) it has no existence at all, because if that was the case, this could not be called inclusion. (It would be more like the matter of,[51] “He stretched out His finger amongst them and incinerated them etc”). This is because even in the state of inclusion (Hitkallelut) desire still exists, but not as a separate entity etc.)

 

We therefore find that the aspects of “coming and not coming” (Mati V’Lo Mati) are not two separate and opposite levels, because desire both exists and does not exist in both of them.  Therefore, the division of time does not apply here. Thus it is called,[52] “A day that is all lengthy”, in other words, without limit. It is “all lengthy”, meaning that its beginning is also lengthy. This is because regarding something that has beginning and end; the term “length” specifically applies to its end. For example, when something takes a long time, its length is specifically recognized at its end. (Moreover, its length is not true length, because after all, it is limited). In contrast, something that has no beginning is equally lengthy at both ends. This is the meaning of “all lengthy;” that it is essentially limitless and the division of time does not apply to it.

 

Now, regarding the aspect of desire (Ratzon) mentioned above, though time is not applicable to it, it nonetheless is the “root and source” of time. This is because, ultimately, desire too is only an aspect of light and radiance, except that it is the “primal beginning” of the drawing forth of radiance. Still and all, it is only a ray, rather the actual Essential Self, in and of Himself. Therefore, the aspects of “spreading forth” or the “absence of spreading forth”, which is the matter of drawing forth (Hamshachah) and inclusion (Hitkalelut) apply to it, and though we explained before that desire has no being of its own, but is rather only that the Essential Self is inclined to desire, nevertheless, desire also is the fact that the Essential Self wants to desire, so to speak. In other words, before it arose in His desire, it was not applicable to say that the Essential Self desires. This being the case, the fact that He wants through the power of desire, is not actually the Essential Self of HaShem, in and of Himself.

 

Therefore, in this aspect and level, though withdrawal and spreading forth do not apply in a manner of “running and returning” (Ratzo V’Shuv), nonetheless, the aspects of “coming and not coming” (Mati V’Lo Mati), that is, “spreading forth and not spreading forth”, which also is the matter of “spreading forth” and “inclusion” (Hitpashtut V’Hitkallelut), do apply. Therefore, it at least is the source of the matter of the “running and returning” of the light. In other words, the fact that the light is in a manner of “running and returning” (Ratzo VShuv) comes about from the “coming and not coming” (Mati V’Lo Mati) in the Source. (It should be pointed out that the aspect of running (Ratzo) comesfrom the aspect of “not coming” (Lo Mati) and the aspect of returning (Shuv) comes from the “coming” (Mati).  See the discourse entitled “Vayedaber…Zot Chukat HaTorah” of the year 5665.[53])  This being the case, at the very least it is the root and source of time. This is to say that though desire (Ratzon) is limitless, nonetheless, since it has the aspect of “coming and not coming” (Mati V’Lo Mati), at the very least it is the source of time.

 

However, in contrast to all the above, through our fulfillment of the Mitzvot-commandments the aspect of desire (Ratzon) is drawn literally from the Essential Self of the Infinite One (Ain Sof), blessed is He, in a way that inclusion and spreading forth (Hitkallelut V’Hitpashtut) does not apply, even in an aspect of “coming and not coming” (Mati V’Lo Mati).  The explanation is as discussed in Tanya, chapter forty-one, that the unity of the Holy One, blessed is He, with His Indwelling Presence (Shechinah) brought about through the Mitzvot (commandments), is His true desire.  The annotation there states that this is the matter of the sweetening of the severities (Gevurot) in the kindnesses (Chassadim) of Atik Yomin, which is the matter of the thirteen purities of Arich Anpin,[54] which are the aspect of the kindnesses (Chassadim) of Atik Yomin etc.

 

In explanation, as known,[55] even in Atik there are the aspects of kindnesses and severities. The aspect of the severities (Gevurot) of Atik Yomin is that a glimmer of light from the Source of life is drawn to vitalize in a constricted manner (Tzimtzum) and is immediately withdrawn to its source etc. This is the reason why the desire (Ratzon) “comes and does not come” (Mati V’Lo Mati), because it is drawn by means of the severities (Gevurot) of Atik Yomin and, as known, the severities are an aspect of flames of fire, which is the matter of arousal and inclusion (Hitlahavut V’Hitkallelut) etc. (The general explanation is that because of the severities only a light and ray is drawn down and therefore arousal and inclusion are applicable to it.) The severities are therefore the source and root of the vitality that is drawn to the worlds in a manner of running and returning (Ratzo V’Shuv), as discussed above.

 

In contrast, the aspect of the kindnesses (Chassadim) of Atik Yomin is the very opposite. That is, they are drawn down like water which descends from a high place to low place, in that the descent affects no change in its state of being whatsoever. The water below is literally the same as it was above at the beginning of its descent. Moreover, its nature to flow from a high place to a low place is the opposite of the nature of fire, which is to withdraw and ascend from below to above.[56] Therefore, because it is against its nature it can only be drawn down from above by means of constriction (Tzimtzum). Additionally, since its nature is to go up, which is the matter of concealment, therefore it also is drawn down through severities (Gevurot) which is the aspect of constriction (Tzimtzum).

 

On the other hand, the kindnesses of Atik Yomin are the source of drawing down only, rather than ascension. This draws down the aspect of the Essential Self literally, without constriction (Tzimtzim) whatsoever. Therefore the severities of Atik Yomin are sweetened through this. That is, constriction (Tzimtzum) is negated and the aspect of the Essential Self shines forth.  On this level, since the Essential Self Himself is drawn, the matters of drawing down or inclusion, in other words, of spreading forth and the absence of spreading forth, do not apply.

 

What we understand from all of the above is that HaShem’s desire (Ratzon), which is the source of the vitality enlivening the worlds, is the source and root of time, since it is only like a light and ray and also “comes and does not come” (Mati V’Lo Mati), which is the matter of spreading forth and inclusion (Hitpashtut V’Hitkalelut).

 

However, HaShem’s desire (Ratzon) for the performance of His Mitzvot (commandments) draws down the aspect of His Essential Self, which is higher even than the root and source of time, as explained above. This is therefore specifically expressed by the statement, “Those who actualize the desire of the Omnipresent,” to draw down the aspect of the Infinite Light (Ohr Ain Sof) as He transcends all worlds (Sovev Kol Almin) into the aspect of space, as He permeates all worlds (Memale Kol Almin), all the way down to this world.

 

This is because since the aspect of HaShem’s desire (Ratzon) that relates to the vitality of the worlds, is the source that limits the Divine vitality permeating the worlds (Memale Kol Almin), how is it then possible that a revelation of the Infinite Light (Ohr Ain Sof) can be revealed within time and space from this level? That is, since it is the source of limitations, it cannot negate the limitations of time and space. Rather, it is specifically through the aspect of HaShem’s desire for the Mitzvot (commandments) that this comes about. This is because, not only is the desire for the Mitzvot not limited, but it is not even the source of limitation, such as the desire for the worlds. Rather, the desire for the Mitzvot is drawn into the world exactly as it exists above, without any constriction (Tzimtzum) whatsoever. Therefore, it is specifically through the Mitzvot that HaShem’s desire (Ratzon), blessed is He, is drawn into space and time, so that even within space and time there are no limitations of space and time.

 

This then is the meaning of the statement in Midrash Rabbah,[57]  “Everything has limit – measure and time. The heavens and the earth have limit – measure and time etc.”  This is because even the desire (Ratzon) for the creation of the world; although it itself is limitless; nevertheless, there is an end and limit to how it is drawn down. Its limitless aspect is not drawn down below, because, after all, this desire is the source of the limitations of time and space, as explained above.

The Midrash Rabbah continues, “Except for Torah which has no limit – measure and time.”  This is to say that the desire (Ratzon) for the Mitzvot (commandments) is truly limitless, because the aspect of the Essential Self of HaShem, which even transcends the source of time and space, is drawn in it.  Therefore, when this aspect or level is drawn forth, it can even be revealed within time and space.

 

This explains the statement,[58] “He who prays on the eve of Shabbat and recites the verse ‘And the heavens and the earth were completed,’ scripture regards it as if he is a partner in the creation of the world, with the Holy One, blessed is He.”  This is because the verse, “And the heavens and the earth were completed,” refers to the fact that the G-dly power drawn to the heavens and the earth is limited. However, when a Jew states, “And the heaven and the earth were completed,” as known,[59] he testifies that the world was created in six days and that HaShem ceased (shabbat) on the seventh day etc.  This in itself is part and parcel of the Mitzvah (commandment) of Shabbat, about which it states, “Your commandment is exceedingly broad.” In other words, through doing this mitzvah he draws down the aspect of the Essential Self of the Infinite Light (Atzmut Ohr Ain Sof) and reveals it in the heavens and the earth. Therefore, it is as if he becomes a partner in creation with the Holy One, blessed is He, for he draws down revelation of the Infinite Light (Ohr Ain Sof) into the world.

 

Now, although it is written,[60] “I Hashem do everything; By Myself I spread the heavens, I establish the earth; who is with Me?” In other words,[61] “who is with Me in the act of creation”, that is, in the essential act of creation out of nothing. However, once the world is created, it states,[62] “He has set the world in the heart of man” to draw down revelation of G-dliness into the world. This is accomplished through a Jew reciting the verse, “And the heavens and the earth were completed,” which is part and parcel of the Mitzvah of Shabbat.  Through this he becomes HaShem’s partner, in that he draws down revelation of the Infinite Light (Ohr Ain Sof) into the heavens and the earth.

 

Now, the definition of partnership is companionship, as it states,[63] “She is your companion, the wife of your covenant,” which Targum translates as, “She is your partner etc.”  This is the matter of the unification of the Holy One, blessed is He and His Indwelling Presence (Shechinah) which comes about through the performance of the Mitzvot.

 

This, then, is the meaning of the verse, “And the heavens and the earth were completed,” in other words; they are limited and have a conclusion. That is, even the desire (Ratzon) for the creation of the world possesses the aspects of limitation and conclusion. However, through fulfilling the Mitzvot we draw down the aspect of the Essential Self of the Infinite Light (Atzmut Ohr Ain Sof) that is beyond the desire (Ratzon) for the worlds. This draws down revelation of G-dliness into the world, which is the meaning of, “Whoever recites the verse ‘And the heaven and the earth were completed’ on Shabbat, becomes a partner in the creation.” For, he draws down the revelation of the Infinite Light (Ohr Ain Sof) into the world. This is the matter of uniting the Holy One, blessed is He, with His Indwelling Presence (Shechinah) etc.

 



[1] Genesis 2:1

[2] Psalms 119:96

[3] Bereshit Rabba 10:1

[4] Job 11:9

[5] Torat Chaim, Bereishit 7c and on.

[6] Genesis 1:1

[7] The aspect of Kadmin refers to desire because HaShem’s desire for the world precedes the world, as discussed in various places in Chassidus.

 

[9] Maamarei Admor HaZaken, Inyanim 115 and on.

[10] Maamarei Admor HaZaken, 5566 Vol. 1, p. 59 and on; p. 88; Derech Mitzvotecha 59a.

[11] Siddur im DA”Ch p. 75d and on; Imrei Binah, Shaar HaKriyat Shma p. 40c and on; Etz Chaim Shaar 1, Anaf 1.

[12] Emunot V’Deot of Rabbi Saadya Gaon Part 1, end of Ch. 5; Sefer HaChakirah of the Tzemach Tzedek 112a.

[13] Etz Chaim, Shaar 47, Ch. 2; Shaar HaHakdamot Drushei ABY”A, Drush 9.

[14] RaMa”Z to Zohar Vol. 3, p. 176b; Likkutei Torah Balak 69c and on; Maamarei Admor HaZaken 5567 p. 311; Ohr HaTorah VeEtchanan p. 285 & 296 and on; Biurei HaZohar of the Tzemach Tzedek, Vol. 2, p. 963 and on; Sefer HaMaamarim 5640 Vol. 1, p. 189 and on;

[15] Bereishit Rabba 3:7; Derech Mitzvotecha 57b and on; Sefer HaChakirah of the Tzemach Tzedek p. 111b and on.

[16] Acronym for Atzilut, Briyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah.

[17] Shaar 29, Drush 1.

[18] Tanya, Shaar HaYichud VeHaEmunah, Ch. 7 (p. 82a); Torah Ohr, Miketz p. 37a.

[19] Psalms 145:13

[20] Pesukei D’Zimrah prayers; Mesechet Sofrim Ch. 14; Shaar HaKolel, 5:5; Igrot Kodesh of the Rebbe, Vol. 2, p. 78.

[21] Likkutei Torah, Chukat 65a; Drushim L’Rosh HaShanah 61a.

[22] Derech Mitzvotecha 59a; Biurei HaZohar of the Tzemach Tzedek Vol. 1, p. 257 and on; Sefer HaMaamarim 5677 p. 67.

[23] i.e. Ratzo-running and Shuv-returning

[24] See the Derech Mitzvotecha and Biurei HaZohar referenced in the prior notes.

[25] Maamarei Admor HaZaken, Inyaim p. 115 and on.

[26] Ezekiel 1:14

[27] Ohr HaTorah, Trumah p. 1,357 and on; Sefer HaMaamarim 5629 p. 203 and on; 5659 p. 187 and on; 5664 p. 182 and on; 5665 p. 225 and on; 5677 p. 143 and on; 5682 p. 257 and on; 5704 p. 251.

[28] Which is the matter of Shuv-returning.

[29] Sefer HaMaamarim 5665 p. 225 and on; 5677 p. 143 and on.

[30] The four letter name of HaShem is made up of the root HVH, which means “to be” in the present tense, and the prefix of the letter “Yud”, which makes it a constant. Thus the name HaShem means the “Always Present”. See Ginat Egoz by Rabbi Yosef Gikatilia, Shaar HaHavaya. Also see Tanya, Shaar HaYichud V’HaEmunah, Chapter 4.

[31] הוי”ה and אדנ”י . The permutations of HaShem bring about the twelve daytime hours and the permutations of Adon”ay bring about the twelve nighttime hours.

[32] See footnote 30

[33] In the prior discourse entitled Bayom HaShmini Atzeret 5666.

[34] Sefer HaMaamarim 5664 p. 190 and 187 and on. 5652 p. 75 and on; 5660 p. 2.

[35] Zohar, Vol. 1 p. 16b; Torah Ohr Bereishit 2d; Hosofot to Megilat Esther 123a; Likkutei Torah Masei 95c.

[36] Etz Chaim, Shaar 7, Ch. 1 and on.

[37] At the end of the previous discourse Bayom HaShmini Atzeret 5666.

[38] Idra Zuta, Zohar Vol. 3, 288a and 292a.

[39] Earlier in this discourse.

[40] This is a comment in the discourse of the Alter Rebbe referenced previously from which this section of this discourse is a quote.

[41] Commentary on the Idrot of the Zohar from the author of Mikdash Melech.

[42] Psalms 34:3, referenced in the words of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai there.

[43] Talmud Bavli, Shabbat p. 21a; Rashi at beginning of parshat BeHaalotcha; Rambam Hilchot Tmidin UMusafin 3:15.

[44] Numbers 18:7

[45] Torah Ohr, Tzav 82c;

[46] See discourse later on in the series “Usfartem Lachem” 5666, and “Titen Emet L’Yaakov 5666; Sefer HaMaamarim Melukat 3, p. 277 (or in earlier editions Vol. 2, p. 302 and on).

[47] Talmud Bavli, Shabbat 11a.

[48] Note of the Rebbe Rashab: In other words, in the aspect of the light as it is manifest within the vessel.

[49] Isaiah 30:20

[50] Isaiah 52:8

[51] Talmud Bavli, Yoma 21b; Sanhedrin 38b; Sefer HaMaamarim 5629 p. 162; 5632 Vol. 1 p. 275; 5643 p. 96.

[52] Talmud Bavli, Kiddushin 39b; Torah Ohr Toldot 18d.

[53] Sefer HaMaamarim 5665, p. 225 and on.

[54] Tleisar Cheivartei D’Arich Anpin; Mishnat Chassidim, Mesechet Arich Anpin, Ch. 4.

[55] Tanya, Ch. 50.

[56] Tanya, Ch. 19.

[57] Bereshit Rabba 10:1

[58] Talmud Bavli, Shabbat 119b; Ohr HaTorah, Bereishit Vol. 3, p. 506b.

[59] Kol Bo Ch. 35; Tur and Shulchan Aruch 268:7; Maharsha to Shabbat 119b.

[60] Isaiah 44:24

[61] Bereishit Rabba 1:3

[62] Ecclesiastes 3:11

[63] Malachi 2:14

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