The Gate of Unity – Chapter 13

והנמשל מכל הנ”ל יובן למעלה בכללות ענין הצמצום הנק’ מק”פ, שזהו בחי’ הסתלקות וההעלם לעצמותו כדי שיוכל להיות אח”כ בחי’ השפעת אור כנ”ל

Now, from all that was said before, we can understand the analogue, as it is above [in G-dliness]. This is the general matter of the Tzimtzum which is called the “empty place” and is the aspect of the withdrawal and concealment [of His revelation] within Himself, so that afterwards there could be the aspect of an influence of light [in a limited fashion], as mentioned previously.

ולא שנסתלק ונתעלם לגמרי

Now, [this revelation] was not completely removed or concealed.

אלא כמשל הסתלקות והעלם בעצמו, הידיעה של כל העומק והאריכות כששונה דרך קיצור כנ”ל

Rather, it is like the aforementioned analogy [that when a teacher] conveys [a teaching] in a brief manner, his knowledge of all the depth and length becomes concealed within himself.

א”כ לפי זה גם אחר כל ההשתלשלות דאבי”ע שעומד במקום פנוי זה, הרי בחי’ העלם אור העצמות מקיף וסובב לכל השתלשלות דקו

If so, according to this, even after the entire chaining down of the worlds of ABY”A[1]which occupy this “empty place”, the aspect of the concealed light of the essence encompasses and surrounds the entire chaining down of the Kav[2].

וכמו שהיה אור העצמות קודם הצמצום ממלא את כל החלל ריקן ומק”פ הזה כמ”ש בע”ח, כך גם אחר הצמצום הרי ישנו לאור העצמיות כמו שהוא בבחי’ א”ס ממש, רק שלא נגלה למטה  לגבי שפע המקבלים

Furthermore, just as before the Tzimtzum the light of the Essence filled this entire void and empty space, as stated in Etz Chayim,so too, after Tzimtzum the light of the Essence is present, as it is, in an infinite aspect, literally,[3] except that it is not revealed below, relative to the influence [which reaches] the recipients.

אבל לגבי עצמותו אין שינוי בזה כלל

However, in regard to His Essence, there is no change here, whatsoever.

וכמו משל היודע כל האריכות להשיב לשואלו מיד, גם בשעה ששונה לתלמידו בקיצור כו’.

This is like the analogy of a person who knows the entire length [of a concept], [so that] even while he is teaching his student in a brief way, if questioned, he can immediately respond [at length].[4]

ומ”ש ישת חשך סתרו וכמאמרז”ל ברישא חשוכה כו’, היינו לגבי למטה

However, the verse[5], “He sets darkness as his hiding place”, and the statement of the Sages[6], “At first there was darkness [and then light returned]”, is only speaking in regard to [Creation] below.

שנמשך רק מבחי’ הרשימו שנשאר אחר ההעלם כנ”ל

This is because [Creation] is drawn only from the aspect of the Reshimu (Impression) that remained after the aforementioned concealment.[7]

וזהו אתה קדוש ושמך, אור העצמי, קדוש ומובדל

This then is the meaning of[8] “You are holy, and Your name”, i.e. the essential light, “is Holy” and removed [from Creation].[9]

ואתה הוא קודם כו’ כמ”ש אני הוי’ לא שניתי כו’

Similarly, [it states[10],] “You are He before [the creation of the world, and You are He after the creation of the world]”,[11] and as stated, “I HaShem have not changed”[12].

משום דמה שמגלה עמוקות מני חשך והעלם זה אח”כ בהארת הקו, הוא דוקא מאותו אור העצמות שלפני הצמצום

This is because, that which He afterwards “reveals deep things out of [the] darkness” [13] and concealment, through the radiance of the Kav,[14] specifically [comes] from the same Essential Light which precedes the Tzimtzum.[15]

וזהו אתה הוא כו’ וכידוע

This is the meaning of “You are He”, as is known.[16]

ואמנם לא נק’ אור העצמות שמקיף ההשתלשלות שבמק”פ כו’, כמו בחי’ מקיף לפנימי, כמקיף הכללי דקו שמקיף לאבי”ע בשוה כו’

However, the Essential Light is not considered to be encompassing the chaining down [of the worlds] which occupies the “empty place”, as an encompassing [light encompasses] an inner [light], such as the general encompassing [light] of the Kav which encompasses [all the worlds of] ABY”A equally.

כי הרי עדיין אינו בגדר וסוג בחי’ אור השפעה כלל, גם לא להיות בחי’ מקיף כו’

This is because it is not yet within the definition or category of an influencing light altogether, so much so, that it cannot even be [considered] an aspect of “encompassing [light]”[17].

רק אור העצמות, שהוא בחי’ התגלותו כמו שהוא בעצמות

Rather, it is the light of the Essence, which is the aspect of His [G-d’s] revelation, as He essentially is.[18]

ולזה אנו אומרים הוא קיים ושמו קיים

For this reason we say[19], “He endures and His name endures”.[20]

וכן ברוך הוא ברוך שמו וכה”ג, רק מבחי’ אותיות דגליף בטה”ע זה, שהוא מה ששיער בעצמו בכח כו’

Likewise, [the statement,] “Blessed is He and Blessed is His name”, and the like, ]refer[ only to the “letters” which He “engraved” in the “upper purity”, which is what He estimated within Himself in potential.[21]

וגם זה הוא הנשאר בבחי’ העלם והסתלקות קצת

Moreover, [after Tzimtzum] this [impression] too, remains in a way of slight concealment and withdrawal.

דהיינו רק לפ”ע אופן הנצרך להשתלשלות אחר צמצום זה וד”ל.

In other words, it is only according to what is necessary for the chaining down (Hishtalshelut) which follows this Tzimtzum.[22]  This will suffice for those of understanding.

וגם עפ”י אופן משל הב’ הנ”ל דחיות הנפש בגוף, שמשתנה ממהות רוחני למהות גשמי כנ”ל

Likewise, [this may be understood] according to the second analogy mentioned above, of the life force of the soul in the body, in that it changes from spiritual existence to physical existence.

ג”כ אין זה שינוי כלל, שהרי כמו שיש קישור וחיבור לחיות הגשמי לחיות הרוחני ממה שרואים התפעלות הנפש ממקרי חיות הגוף, ועכ”ז לא ישתנה בעצם הרוחנית מחסרון התפשטות חיות אבר גשמי כנ”ל, כך אין שינוי בבחי’ אור העצמות, להיותו מאיר גם אחר הצמצום

Here too, there is no change at all,[23] since, just as there is a connection and bond between the physical life force and the spiritual life force, in that we see that the soul is affected by the circumstances of the life of the body, but nonetheless, there is no change in the spiritual essence as a result of a lack of spreading forth of life force to a physical limb, as explained previously,[24] so too, there is no change in the essential light [of G-d], even as it radiates after the Tzimtzum.

גם שאינו רק לפ”ע ההשתלשלות

[This is true] even though [after Tzimtzum] it is [revealed] only according to the capacity of the chaining down [of the worlds].

הרי יש ביניהם קשר וחיבור, ועכ”ז בצמצום האור בבחי’ הקו, אין זה שינוי כלל באור העצמות עפ”י משל זה

For, [although] there is a connection and bond between them,[25] nonetheless, according to this analogy[26] the Tzimtzum of the light into a [finite] line [of revelation] does not cause any change at all in the light of the Essence.

וכן עפ”י משל הג’ מכח התנועה בגשם או כמשל התחכמות מכח המשכיל הנ”ל

This is, likewise, the case according to the third analogy of the physical [movement] which comes from the [spiritual] power of movement (Koach HaTnoo’ah),[27] or [similarly], according to the aforementioned analogy of the insight (Chochmah) which comes from the power to conceptualize (Koach HaMaskil).[28]

הכל עולה לסגנון א’ כנ”ל באריכות וד”ל.

All these [analogies] arrive at the same point,[29] as explained before at length.  This will suffice for those of understanding.[30]

ואמנם בבחי’ הרשימו שמבואר למעלה שזהו כמו הקיצור שכלול בו כל האריכות

Now, it was explained above that the aspect of the Impression (Reshimu) is like a summary which includes the entire length within it.

הנה למעלה יובן מזה שזהו בחי’ כח ההגבלה שיש באור א”ס הבלתי מוגבל בעצם

From this it is understood that above, [in G-dliness], this is the “Power to Limit” (Koach HaHagbalah) which exists in the Infinite Light, which is essentially unlimited[31].

דהיינו להביא כל הארות אור העצמות הבלתי גבול בבחי’ הגבול

In other words, [He has the ability] to bring the entire radiance of the Essential Limitless Light, into an aspect of limitation.

שזהו ענין הרושם שכולל בבחי’ הגבלה מבחי’ כל עצמות אא”ס, כמשל הקיצור שכולל הכל כו’

This is the matter of the Impression (Reshimu), within which the entire Essence of the Infinite Light is included in a limited fashion, similar to the analogy of the brief summary which includes the whole [concept] within it.

כי הוא ית’ כל יכול, וכלול בו ג”כ מכח המגביל

This is possible because G-d, blessed be He, is all powerful, and [therefore] also includes the power to limit (Koach HaMagbil).

להגביל ולכלול ברשימה א’ מכל אור העצמות כו’ וכמ”ש במ”א באריכות.

[He can therefore] limit and include the entire Essential Light in a single impression, as explained elsewhere at length.

אך הנה באמת אין זה דמיון אמיתי לבחי’ הרשימו הנשאר בחלל ריקן ומק”פ הנ”ל

However, actually, [the above] is not an accurate analogy for the aspect of the Impression (Reshimu) that remained in the aforementioned “void” and “empty place”.

כי הוא מורה שנסתלק משם הכל

This is because this [impression] indicates that everything was withdrawn from there.

ולא שנשאר איזה אור רק שהוא בקצור וגבול, אלא רק בחי’ רשימו בעלמא כו’

[It does not indicate] that some light remained, albeit, in a brief and limited fashion.[32]  Rather, [in truth], only an impression remained.

א”כ הדמיון האמיתי הוא מרושם וציון קו קצר שעושין האומנין, שכולל כל אריכות מעשה הבנין

This being the case, a truer analogy [for the Reshimu – Impression] is [the analogy] of the short lines and signs of the blueprint that architects draft, which includes the entire length of the construction of the building.[33]

ויותר מזה כמו האות לזכרון כנ”ל

An even greater [example of concealment], is [the analogy of a person who makes] a sign for remembrance, as previously explained.

וכך למעלה כתיב זכר רב טובך, העצמי כו’ וכה”ג

Similarly, [regarding how it is] above [in regard to G-d], it states[34], “The remembrance of Your kindness” and the like, [in reference to] the essential [kindness of G-d][35].

ויותר בהעלם והסתלקות הוא כמשל הזורק אבן כו’ כנ”ל

An even greater [example of] concealment and withdrawal is like the aforementioned analogy of one who throws a stone.

וכך אמר בס’ הבהיר וכמו זרקא כו’

Similarly, it states in Sefer HaBahir[36], “It is as if it was thrown” etc.

שהרי בחי’ הרשימו נשאר נבדל בריחוק מקום מעצמות האור וכו’

This is because the aspect of the Reshimu – Impression remains separate and distant from the essential light[37].

ונקרא כח הנעלם ברשימו זו בחי’ העלם אור, נבדל מהעלם עצמות האור דא”ס

This power which is concealed within the impression (Reshimu) is called the aspect of the “concealed light”, which is separate from the concealed Essential Light of the Infinite.

כמו כח נבדל הנעלם בזריקת אבן

This is similar to the separate force concealed in a thrown stone.

שבא מכח היד שכבר נעלם בעצמו כו’

[The force which propels the stone] comes from the power [of movement] of the hand, which already becomes concealed within the self [once the stone leaves his hand].

(וכדמיון כל הגלגלים וכוכבי לכת שסובבים מכח תנועה אלקית הנעלם, שבא בבחי’ זריקה מאור וכח האלקי דט’ כלים החיצונים דמל’ דעשיה

(This is comparable to all the stars and planets whose orbit is [caused] by the hidden G-dly power of movement which comes about in an aspect of a “throw” from the light and G-dly force of the nine external vessels of Malchut of Asiyah.

שנק’ זה כח הנבדל בחי’ מל’ שבמל’ הבא בערך ריחוק נבדל

This [G-dly force which propels them] is a “separate force”, and is called the aspect of Malchut of Malchut, which comes out as separate and distant [from its source].

ולא כמו הכתיבה באצבע או כח יד הפועל עצמו בנפעל

This is unlike [the force vested in] the fingers when [a person] writes or the power of the hand as it [applies] itself [directly] upon an object.

שזהו גלוי עצם הכח בקירוב, שנק’ בחי’ מל’ כמ”ש במ”א באריכות)

These are [examples of] a revelation of the essential power in [a way of] closeness and is called the aspect of Malchut, as explained elsewhere at length.[38])

ומשלים היותר קרובים לזה הוא כמו הרמז שהשכל בהעלם בתנועה הגשמיית

An analogy which is even closer to this [aspect of Impression – Reshimu] is like how an intellectual concept is concealed and hinted at through a physical motion [of the hand].[39]

שזהו נק’ בחי’ הלבשה ותפיסא בדבר נבדל כו’

This is called the aspect of “investment” or “containment” within a separate matter[40].

וכן כשכותב שכל וחכמה בתנועת האצבע כו’ כנ”ל

This is, likewise, the case when a person writes, [so that] the intellect and wisdom [are invested in] the movements of his fingers, as mentioned previously.

כך למעלה, בחי’ הרשימו בחי’ דבר נבדל בערך, שבו מלובש בהעלם מכללות אור העצמות כו’ וד”ל.

Likewise, above [in G-dliness,] the aspect of the Reshimu is like something relatively separate, within which the entire Essential Light is invested in a concealed manner.  This will suffice for those of understanding.

ואמנם מכל אלה יובן עכ”פ כללות ענין הרשימו

Now, through all of the above [analogies], we have, at least, understood the general matter of the Reshimu – Impression[41].

דגם שהוא בא בבחי’ הסתלקות הכל, ולא נשאר בה רק בהעלם גדול בחי’ תכלית הקיצור והרמז כו’ או ככח נבדל כו’, אבל מ”מ מזה עצמו בא ונמשך כל פרטי ההשתלשלות דקו שנמשך מרשימו זו

That is, though it comes in an aspect of complete withdrawal, so that all that remains in it is [just] an aspect of total brevity[42] and “hinting”[43] or [something] like a separate power[44], in a way of great brevity, nonetheless, all the particulars in the [entire] chaining down of the Kav – line [of limited revelation] come out of, and are drawn from this Reshimu – Impression itself.

כי ברשימו זו להיותה כוללת הכל בהעלם עכ”פ, היא הנותנת שיוכל לבא הכל בהתגלות ע”י בחי’ הקו עד סוף העשיה

This is because of [the fact] that this Reshimu – Impression includes everything within it, albeit in a concealed manner.  It is for this reason that [afterwards] everything can come into revelation, through the aspect of the Kav – Line, until the end of Asiyah (the world of Actualization)[45].

וכמאמר כל היצור לא נכחד ממך

This is like the statement,[46] “All of creation is not concealed from You”.

ממך דוקא, שזהו הכל נעשה ונמשך בגלוי כמו שעלה ברצונו הפשוט בעצמות האור שלפני הצמצום

It says “You”, specifically[47].  This is [to indicate] that everything is done [by] and drawn into revelation according to how it arose in His simple desire, in the essential light which preceded the Tzimtzum.

כמו ששיער בעצמו כו’

[That is, according to] how He estimated within Himself.

שהרי במח’ קדומה זו ששיער בעצמו הוא צופה ומביט הכל בסקירה א’

For, with this primal thought which He estimates within Himself, “He sees and gazes at everything in one glance”[48].

דהיינו מה שנסקר בהעלם ובקיצור ורמז ברשימו זו כו’

That is, [He sees] that which is hidden and concealed in the brevity and “hint” of the Reshimu[49].

וה”ז כמשל רושם האומן, שממנו דוקא ידע לעשות כל אריכות מעשה הבנין בפרטי פרטיו מראשו לסופו

This is analogous to the architect’s blueprint.  It is specifically from this [blueprint], that he will know [how] to make all the particular details of the entire length of the actual construction, from beginning to end.

רק כדי שלא יתעלם ממנו טעמו ונימוקו בעצמותו לאריכות הענין, הוא עושה לו רושם לזכרון

However, in order that he will not forget his [original] reasoning and considerations due to the lengthiness of the subject, he drafts a blueprint as a reminder.

שלא ינטה מזה ולא יצטרך לעיין בעצמו מחדש

In this way he will not veer from [his original intent] and he will not have to rethink [the matter] within himself, anew.

וכמ”כ ענין הציונים ללימוד עמוק שבעצמו כו’

This is, likewise, the case in the matter of making mnemonics for a deep study within himself.

שזהו תועלת לידע מהם כל אורך עיון עומק עצמותו שיש לו, פן ינטה ממנו כו’

These are beneficial to him, in [the fact] that through them, he [is reminded and] knows the entire length of the analysis of the depth within himself, so that he will not stray from [his reasoning] etc.

וכך בחי’ הרשימו הזאת הכוללת ברמז ובקיצור מכל אור העצמות הנעלם בה, הוא עצמו המקור לכל ההמשכות דקו”ח

Likewise, this aspect of the Reshimu – Impression, within which the entire light of the Essence is concealed and included in the way of a “summary” or “hint”, is itself the source for the drawing down of the Kav V’Chut[50].

בבחי’ מקיף ופנימי מראשו לסופו

[It is the source both] of the aspects of the encompassing [lights] and the inner, pervading [lights, of the entire Creation,] from beginning to end[51].

שיהיה הכל כמו שעלה ברצונו וחכמתו הפשוטה בעצמות אור א”ס ממש כו’

This is so that everything should be [created exactly] as it arose in His simple desire and wisdom, in the Essence of the Infinite Light, literally.

וזהו מ”ש במ”א שהנקודה יש בה העלם והתגלות, ב’ הפכים

This is the meaning of that which is stated elsewhere, that a point contains two opposites, concealment and revelation.

העלם מכל מה שעליון הימנה בערך, וגילוי הכל למקבלים נמצא ממנה דוקא

It is concealment relative to everything above it, [but, on the other hand] all revelation to the recipients comes about specifically from it.

והוא בחי’ הקו שנמשך מן הרשימו

This [revelation] is the aspect of the Kav – Line, which is drawn from the Reshimu – Impression[52].

שהוא כצורת ו’ שראשו י’ והולך ונמשך למטה כמ”ש במ”א באריכות

[The Kav – Line] is in the shape of [the letter] Vav (ו), which begins as a Yud (י) and is drawn down, as explained elsewhere at length[53].

ובכל זה מובן כללות ענין הצמצום דמק”פ ובחי’ הרשימו והקו

Through all of the above, the general matter of the Tzimtzum [which is called] the “empty place”, and the aspects of the Reshimu and the Kav, may be understood.

שהוא רק בחי’ הגבלה בעצמות כדי שיומשך הכל בגלוי

[It is understood] that this is a self limitation only in order that everything will be drawn into revelation[54].

וז”ש כי עמך מקור חיים, באורך העצמי נראה אור, אור של תולדה, שהוא בחי’ הקו וכמשי”ת בעז”ה

This then is the meaning of [the verse], “With You is the source of life, [in Your light is seen light”.  That is,] from Your essential light there is seen a [secondary] “offspring” light, which is the aspect of the Kav, as will be explained with the help of G-d.

וזה כל האדם, להעמיק דעתו בכ”ז וכיוצא בו

Now, the entire purpose of man is the deep contemplation of this matter, and the like.

מפני שמזה דוקא יבוא לכלל היחוד האמיתי בהתקשרות נפשו בחיי כל החיים העליומים, שהוא עצמות אא”ס ממש מטעם הנ”ל וד”ל:

It is specifically through this, that he will come to True Unity, binding his soul to the supernal life of all lives, which is (Atzmoot Ohr Ein Sof) the Essence of the Infinite Light, literally, for the above mentioned reason[55].  This will suffice for those of understanding.

 

End of Chapter Thirteen



[1] This is an acronym for the worlds Atzilut, Briyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah.

[2] This refers to the line of limited revelation, as will soon be explained.

[3] In other words, just as before the Tzimtzum the Infinite Light filled the entire “void” and “empty” place, so too it fills the “void” and “empty” place after Tzimtzum.  The change is only in respect to the recipients.  This is like the aforementioned allegory of the teacher.  Even when the teacher is teaching in a short and summarized manner, nonetheless, his entire length, breadth and depth of knowledge is not concealed from himself, but only concealed to the students, who are the recipients.  Likewise above, the Infinite Light is only concealed from us, the recipients, but to G-d it is fully revealed, just as before the Tzimtzum.  However, there is a difference between the analogy and the analogue.  With regard to a human teacher who is limited, there is a certain change in him, due to the fact that he can only think one thing at a time.  In other words, when he is teaching with brevity, his mind must be focused on the short teachings and not on the entire length and breadth of his knowledge.  Therefore, there is a certain change in the teacher, from totally revealed to somewhat concealed.  That is, there is a certain amount of concealment to himself as well.  So even though his knowledge was not actually, totally removed, it did change from a revealed state to a concealed state.  However, this is not the case in the analogue, i.e. in G-d, who is infinite.  Because He is not limited as man is, there is no concealment at all in relation to him.  It is only in relation to us, the recipients, that there is concealment.  To G-d, there is no concealment whatsoever.  Just as the light of His Essence filled the entire “empty space” before the Tzimtzum, so too, it fills the entire “empty space” after Tzimtzum.

[4] See previous footnote for the difference between the allegory and the analogue.

[5] Psalms 18:12

[6] See (Rashi) Tractate Shabbat 77b.

[7] That is, the recipients and all of Creation, only receive from the impression which remains after the Tzimtzum.  Therefore, in relation to created entities, the Infinite Light is concealed.  However, in regard to the essence of G-d which precedes the Tzimtzum, there is no concealment whatsoever.  Therefore, this verse and the statement of the Sages, do not speak in reference to the Essence of G-d, but rather they speak only from the angle of created entities.  However, in regard to the Essence of G-d, which precedes the Tzimtzum, it states, “I HaShem have not changed”.

[8] See the Amidah prayer.

[9] In other words, it is completely concealed from the perspective of the recipients.

[10] See the morning prayers.

[11] This statement clearly indicates the fact that the Essence of G-d, and His Essential Light, remain totally unaffected by the creation of the worlds.  As explained above, the effected changes are only from the angle of the recipient.

[12] This verse once again indicates that the Essence of G-d and His Infinite Essential Light are unaffected by creation.

[13] Job 12:22.  The “darkness” refers to the Tzimtzum – Withdrawal (of revelation to the recipients) and the Reshimu – Impression.  The “revelation” is the revelation of the Kav – the Line of the entire chaining down of the worlds (which will soon be explained).

[14] This refers to the line of revelation which follows the Tzimtzum, including the entire chaining down (Hishtalshelut).

[15] In other words, the existence of the entirety of Creation does not pose a contradiction to His absolute unity, and perfection, for it is not something new which was not included there.  This is because, what follows the Tzimtzum in revelation, comes from the same essential light which preceded the Tzimtzum.  For example, when a teacher desires to teach a student, whose comprehension is not equal to his own, he must make a Tzimtzum.  That is, he must first gather the entire length and breadth of his understanding of the subject in his mind, arriving at the essential point which he desires to give over.  This is a Tzimtzum, and the point which remains is a Reshimu.  When he then begins to explain the teachings according to the capacity of the student, he is in truth drawing from the essential light of his intellect before his Tzimtzum.  However, now, it is drawn out in a limited fashion according to the capacity of the student.  Nonetheless, in the mind of the teacher there was no diminishment whatsoever, and it is literally the same essential light as before the Tzimtzum.  The explanations which he draws from there were included there all along in a Heyulie fashion.  The limitation and lack of revelation or awareness is only with respect to the recipient, who receives and perceives only the short explanations.  See also footnote 3.

[16] The word “You” is spoken in the second person and indicates that the person being spoken about is present.  It therefore is used to refer to the revelation of G-d after Tzimtzum, in that which is presently revealed.  In contrast the term “He” is spoken in the third person and indicates that the person spoken about is not present.  This is used to refer to the Essence of G-d and the Infinite Light, as it precedes the Tzimtzum which is not presently revealed.  However, the meaning of the statement, “You are He”, is that even after Tzimtzum there is still only one existence.  In other words, the “You” that is revealed after Tzimtzum is the same as the “He” which precedes the Tzimtzum, for there is nothing outside of G-d.

[17] This is to say that the light of the Essence cannot be considered to be an “encompassing” light, which “encompasses” and “surrounds” something internal (or external) to it.  For, the reality of the light of G-d’s Essence is the reality of G-d Himself, i.e. his absolutely singular existence (as previously explained in ch.10-11).  So, although it encompasses all of Creation, it does not encompass it like a “Makif L’Pnimi – An encompassing light which encompasses an inner light.”

[18] This is to say that it is the revelation of the absolute singularity of G-d, as He is in His Essence.  As explained in the previous footnote, this negates the concept of “Makif L’Pnimi”, something which encompasses something internal (like one circle within another).  Rather, there is only one existence.

[19] See morning prayers, Emet VeYatziv…

[20] This statement again indicates that He and “His Name” – The Essential Light – remain completely unaffected by Creation.  For example when a person makes a movement, this does not diminish his essential power of movement in any way, nor does it affect any change there whatsoever.  Furthermore, as explained previously, the essential power of movement cannot be called “movement” at all, since firstly, it is not separate from the essential self, and secondly, it is not at all in the category of “movement”.  Nonetheless, we must still say that the movement came from there, for otherwise, where did it come from?

[21] The Hebrew word “Baruch – Blessed” also means to draw down, as in, “Hamavrich Et HaGefen – to draw down the vine”.  Therefore, the statement, “He is blessed and His name is blessed” indicates that G-d does indeed lower Himself into Creation.  This seems to contradict what we stated above, that “He is holy and His name is holy” and removed from Creation.  However, the Rebbe here explains that the revelation within Creation is only drawn from the aforementioned “letters” which were “engraved” in the “upper purity”.  In other words, this is not a revelation of the Essence of G-d to the recipients, but rather, they only receive what He estimated within Himself in potential.  That is, the influence is limited to what is necessary for the chaining down of the worlds, and not according to G-d’s infinite ability to create.

[22] To understand this, let us return to the analogy of the teacher and student.  When the teacher proceeds to teach the student, the first thing he must do is withdraw the entire length and breadth of his knowledge, leaving only the point which he desires to convey to the student.  Now, even this point does not remain in his mind according to his own capability and understanding of it, but rather, it is specifically according to what is necessary for the student.  However, this in no way detracts from the essential understanding of the teacher, and is only a concealment relative to the recipients.  Likewise above, although the impression includes the entire Infinite Light, it is in a state of concealment to the recipients.  All that is revealed is an impression of the “letters” of estimation within the Essence, of that which is necessary for the chaining down of the worlds.  However, this does not at all cause change or detract from the Essence or the Light of the Essence itself, as in the analogy above.  It is from this impression that the line of limited revelation is drawn forth to create the worlds (as will soon be explained).

[23] That is, there is no change in the essence of the soul and its essential light.

[24] For example, although a blind person may be physically lacking the faculty of sight, his soul is not lacking in this.  This is evident from the fact that he can father a child who does possess the faculty of sight.

[25] This is to say, the limited ray of revelation which follows Tzimtzum is bound and connected to its source, which is the Infinite Light before the Tzimtzum.  It is like a finite revelation of a particular, from an infinite Heyulie power.  The essential Heyulie power is unaffected and undiminished by particular revelation.  So, although the particular revelation is totally bound with the Heyulie ability which is its source, it does not affect it in any way whatsoever.  This is may be understood from the above example of a blind person who fathers a seeing child.

[26] Referring to the analogy of the life of the spiritual soul as it is vested in the physical body.

[27] In other words, when one draws out a limited physical movement from his spiritual and essential Heyulie ability for movement, the limited physical movement is completely bound with the essential Heyulie ability for movement.  Furthermore, it is exactly according to his estimation for the entire act, which he made within himself before he actually moved.  Nonetheless, there is no change or diminishment whatsoever in his essential Heyulie ability for movement itself, and therefore no change in his essence.  Likewise above, the entire chaining down of the worlds is like a single line of movement, and is according to the “letters” of the estimation which G-d made within Himself.  Nonetheless, this limited revelation in no way affects or causes any change in His Essence, or in His Essential Light, and does not diminish it in any way whatsoever.  See also footnote 20 of this chapter.

[28] When one has a flash of insight into a particular subject from his essential Heyulie ability to conceptualize concepts, although this particular flash of insight is bound with this power of the intellect, it in no way affects it or causes any change in it.  Rather, it is like a specific movement from the spiritual power of movement, and the other examples above.  The analogue is understood, that the Tzimtzum does not affect any changes in the essence of the Infinite Light whatsoever.

[29] That is, the Tzimtzum only conceals from the angle of the recipient, but causes no actual change in the Essence of G-d, or in His Essential Light.  Therefore, just as prior to Creation He was one and alone, so too, from His angle, after creation He is still one and alone.  Furthermore, just as His Essential Light radiated before Tzimtzum, it likewise radiates without any change at all, after Tzimtzum.  The purpose of man is to truly grasp this matter, as mentioned previously.

[30] Now that the Rebbe has given the explanations of the analogies of the previous chapter concerning the Tzimtzum, he will continue with the explanations of the analogies for the matter of the Reshimu – impression which remained.

[31] It is explained here and elsewhere that G-d, who is truly unlimited, having no limitations whatsoever, also possesses the power and ability to limit and reveal Himself in a limited fashion.  Furthermore, this itself gives greater insight into G-d’s omnipotence.  That is, He is not limited to the “unlimited”, but to Him the infinite and the finite are literally equal, and He is beyond them both.  However, it is specifically the expression of His Self in a limited fashion, which informs us of this, shedding light upon the greatness of G-d’s omnipotence.

[32] The analogy above for an “Impression” which is like the brief teachings of the Mishnah which contain the entire length and breadth of the logical debate of the Talmud, is not a good analogy for the concept of Reshimu – Impression.  This is because although the Mishnah is like a summary which includes the entire length, there is, nonetheless, some light in the teachings of the Mishnah itself.  In other words, the Mishnah isn’t a total concealment, but actually retains some light in a revealed way.  However, the Reshimu – Impression indicates a complete withdrawal of all light and revelation so that only an “impression” remains.  As was explained in the previous chapter, this is better understood through other analogies, such as the analogy of a blueprint, or of one who makes a “sign” or “mnemonic” for a certain concept etc.  In these examples (which will shortly be explained) there is actually a complete concealment of the entire light.  Nonetheless, it is all included there in a concealed way.

[33] In this analogy, there is no actual “light” or “building” in the blueprint.  One cannot reside within a blueprint.  Nonetheless, to a person who knows how to read it, and certainly to the one who drew it, the entire length and breadth of the building, down to the finest detail, is known.

[34] Psalms 145:7

[35] As will later be explained the Infinite Light is compared to the attribute of Kindness – Chessed, whose nature is to spread forth in revelation.  (This is in contrast the aspect of Tzimtzum, which represents the attribute of Might – Gevurah, and restraint.)  This verse, therefore, indicates that only a “remembrance” of this “kindness” (the Infinite Light) remained after the Tzimtzum.  This is an even better analogy for the aspect of the Reshimu – Impression, which indicates a complete concealment of the Essential Light of G-d, with only an “impression” or “remembrance” of this “kindness” remaining.

[36] Sefer HaBahir – The Book of Brilliance is one of the earliest Kabbalah texts, written by the great Sage, Rabbi Nechunia Ben HaKana.  See also Shmot Rabba, ch. 13.

[37] In other words, a stone which is thrown is separate from the thrower of the stone, yet nonetheless contains within it the strength of the thrower, and even more than this, it contains his very essence.  This is so much so that he himself is directly responsible for any damage incurred by the stone.  Similarly, from the angle of the recipients, the physical universe appears to have been “thrown” and separate from its “thrower”.  That is, from the angle of the recipients, this type of Reshimu – Impression leaves room for the recipients to perceive themselves as separate entities from the “thrower”.  (However, even with this type of Reshimu – Impression, it is certainly perceivable that there is a “thrower”, and that the universe did not bring itself into being. However, one may erroneously think that the universe exists on its own, like the stone which is separate from the “thrower”.)  Nonetheless, this is only from the perspective of the recipients.  In truth, the universe does not exist outside of G-d, and all “apparent” changes are only in the perception of the recipients, rather than the influencer.  This was previously explained in regard to the Tzimtzum.

[38] The contents of this parenthesis will be discussed and explained later at great length, in the explanations of Malchut and Malchut of Malchut.  However, for the sake of clarity it must be pointed out that this perception of “separateness” and “distance” is only from the angle of the recipients, as explained previously.

[39] This is like the aforementioned analogy of Sir Winston Churchill’s famous “V” sign for “Victory” etc.

[40] This is also similar to the investing of a deep intellectual concept into an allegory.  In truth, the allegory itself has nothing to do with the concept, and is merely like a “separate garment” to it.  However, when it “fits” properly, one is capable of grasping the deep concept by means of the analogy which “enclothes” it.  Therefore, although all the “light” of the concept itself is withdrawn, it is still there, concealed within the “separate garment” of the allegory.

[41] In other words, a single one of these allegories itself is not sufficient to convey every aspect of the matter of the Reshimu – Impression.  Nonetheless, each analogy presents a certain facet, and through all of the analogies together one may come to understand the matter of the Reshimu – Impression.  (The usage of more than one analogy to convey each facet of a whole concept has already been explained in chapter three.  Also see R’ Hillel Paritcher’s explanations of chapter three.)

[42] This is like the allegory of the blueprint, within which the entire length of the construction is included in a short and summarized manner.  This analogy brings out the point that in the Reshimu – Impression, the entire infinite light is included there, albeit in an absolute “summary” and concealed fashion.  Nonetheless, it is all there.

[43] This is like the allegory of one who makes a mnemonic or hints with his hands at a much deeper intellectual concept.  In this allegory, it is as if the deep concept becomes vested within the hint, which itself has no actual relation to the concept.  Another similar analogy for this can be drawn from a person who ties a string to his finger to remind him of something.  The entire concept is contained within the string, even though the string is a completely separate matter from the concept, so that when he glances at the string it immediately brings the concept to mind etc.  This analogy brings out the point that the Reshimu – Impression itself, bears no resemblance to the Infinite Light of the Essence itself, but nonetheless contains the entirety of it.

[44] This is like the allegory of one who throws a stone or any other object.  From this allegory we can see how the Reshimu – Impression, and what follows it, can appear to be “separate” from the “thrower”. (However with regard to the actual Reshimu, in truth it only appears separate from our angle, but not from G-d’s angle, as explained above).

[45] In other words, every particular that was ever created or ever will be created, in the highest spiritual realms, or in our physical world, was included in this Reshimu – Impression.  As will soon be explained, it is from this Reshimu that the band of limited revelation (Kav)is drawn.

[46] See Zichronot blessing of the Musaf prayer of Rosh HaShanah.

[47] In other words, although this Reshimu – Impression contains everything in a completely concealed way, this concealment is only in regard to the recipients.  For example, when one ties a string to his finger as a reminder, although its meaning is completely concealed to everyone else, to himself it is not concealed at all.  Likewise, although to us (the recipients) this Reshimu is a total concealment (even though it contains everything), to the Essence of G-d there is no concealment whatsoever.

[48] See tractate Rosh Hashanah 18a.

[49] In other words, He sees everything.

[50] This is the term for the limited line of revelation which is drawn from the Reshimu, as will be explained in the following chapter.

[51] This will be explained later, in chapter sixteen.

[52] As mentioned before, the Reshimu is like a point which remains after Tzimtzum.  The reason it is compared specifically to a point is because a point indicates complete withdrawal into itself, as opposed to a line which indicates downward revelation.  As will be explained, although a point and a line are two opposites; concealment and revelation, nonetheless, a line is drawn specifically from a point.

[53] In other words, the Reshimu – Impression is like the letter Yud (י) which is a point.  The Kav – Line of limited revelation is like the Vav (ו), whose beginning is a Yud (י).  The fact that a line is drawn from a point gives insight into how the Kav is drawn from the Reshimu.  Therefore, this Reshimu contains two opposites.  It is conceals everything above it, but nonetheless, is the source of revelation to that which is below it.

[54] This is like the aforementioned analogy of the teacher student relationship.  For example, a great teacher who is teaching young children does not teach the subject matter in the way he understands it.  Rather, he limits himself, so that he only reveals in a very restricted form.  Nonetheless, his entire purpose in teaching is not for “constriction” but actually for revelation.  Furthermore, ultimately, his desire is not that the students should understand only the “constricted” teaching, but that their grasp should be equal to his own etc.  Likewise, the ultimate intent in Creation is for the revelation of G-dliness, as opposed to its concealment.  This is true even though it appears that “concealment” is in effect.  In the example above, were the great teacher to teach the children according to the way he understands the subject, it would be beyond the capacity of the students, and would actually be total concealment.  Likewise, if G-d revealed everything at once, it would be absolutely beyond us, and would actually be the ultimate concealment.

[55] This is a reference to the beginning of chapter twelve.

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