The Gate of Unity – Chapter 3

ובכל זה יובן בענין ההתבוננות בהשגת האלקות, שיש ב’ מדריגות, בינה ותבונה. בינה היינו בחי’ עצם ההשגה האלקית בכל פרט ענין שמתבונן, איך הוא ומה הוא, ועומד על הדבר בעיון רב בכל פרטי חלקיו כו’ כנ”ל

From all of the above we understand that in the matter of contemplation (Hitbonenut) on the comprehension of G-dliness, there are two levels, Binah and TvunahBinah is the aspect of the essential comprehension of G-dliness, [to understand] every particular of the matter which he contemplates, [to understand] how and what it is.  He keeps [his mind] upon the matter with a great analysis [to understand] all of its particular components, as explained above[1].

כמו בהשגה פרטיות דממכ”ע שהוא התהוות יש מאין הנק’ כח הפועל האלקי בנפעל כו’

An example of this ]can be understood[ from the comprehension of the details of Memeleh Kol Almin[2](The fact that G-d permeates all worlds).  This is [the matter of[ the coming into being of something from nothing, and is termed “the G-dly power and effect upon the affected”[3].

והוא בחי’ שם אד’ או שם אלקים, לשון כח כידוע. הנה יש בזה כמה חלוקי פרטים באופני חיצוניות הענין עד אשר יושג תוך תוך הענין הזה בפנימית העצמי, איך שהוא בעצם כו’ שזהו הנק’ עומק המושג כו’

This is the aspect of the name Adon”ay (אדנ”י) or the name Elokim (אל”הים), which is a terminology of power[4], as is known.  In the externality of this matter there are many various particular facets [that one must understand], until he grasps the very inner [aspect of the] matter, [to understand] its inner essence, how it is essentially[5].  This is what was called [above], “the depth of the concept”[6] (omek hamoosag).

כנ”ל שהעיון הוא בחי’ כלי לבא לבחי’ העומק כו’ ובחי’ האורך הוא בחי’ התקרבות הענין הזה אל השכל במשלים שונים הידועים

We previously explained that the aspect of Iyun – analysis[7] is the aspect of the vessel which brings one to the aspect of the depth.  The length is the aspect of bringing the concept close to one’s intellect through the use of the various known allegories.

עד שיהיה הדבר הזה קרוב במוחו מאד בלבוש הגשמה, עד שיוכל תינוק להשיג כו’ כנ”ל

[He does this] until the matter becomes very close to his mind, by investing it in physical [analogies], to the point that even a child can grasp it,[8] as explained above.

והרוחב היינו להרחיב זה הדבר כמו שהוא בכמה אופנים שונים, ולא באופן א’ לבד

The width is to expand and explain how the matter is [manifest] in many different ways, as opposed to just a single way.

כמו המשל לזה הדבר מחיי הנפש בגוף, שאין זה רק התפשטות מן העצם כידוע

For example, an allegory for this matter[9] [may be understood] from [how] the life force of the soul [is manifested] in the body.  Now, this is only [the aspect of] a spreading forth from the essence[10], as is known.

ויש רבוי אופנים למאוד בהתפשטות מן העצם וגם בגלוי ההעלם, כתנועת החי וכאותיות הדבור כו’ או כהתחכמות מן עצם החכמה או כגלוי הראי’ דעין או כגלוי שלהבת מן הגחלת כו’ וכ”ז נק’ גלוי ההעלם

There are a multitude of [other] ways [to understand the concept] of a spreading forth from the essence.  Or, [regarding the concept] of the revelation of that which is hidden[11], [it may be understood] from [the allegory of] the movement of an animal, or from letters of speech etc.  [Another allegory is the flash of] insight from the essential Chochmah, or the revelation [of the power] of sight in the eye.  [A further example is] the revelation of the flame from the coal. All of the above [allegories] are examples [of the concept] of the revelation of that which is hidden.

משא”כ משל זיו השמש או אור הנר וכח הפועל כו’ שנק’ התפשטות כו’ וכה”ג

In contrast, the allegories of the ray of the sun, or the light of a candle, or an applied force of energy[12] and the like, are allegories [for the concept] of a spreading forth [from the essence].

הרי כ”ז בעצם הענין רק שנתרחב, וההיפך מזה הוא הקיצור רק באופן אחד, וגם הוא בדרך קצרה נסקר במוחו בלתי התפשטות להרחיב בו כלל כו’

All of the above is the expansion on the essential matter[13].  The opposite of this would be the short summation [and explanation of the concept] in only one way.  Moreover, [in the summation the explanation] itself is in a short way, [only] glanced [upon] by the mind, without any spreading forth to expand [his thoughts upon it] at all[14].

אבל כמו שזה הדבר נתפס לעומקו בעצם, אחר כל רבוי הסבר דמיון המשלים, הוא הנק’ עומק ותמצית זה המושג כנ”ל

In contrast, the way this concept is grasped to its essential depth after the abundant explanation and comparative analogies, is called the depth and essence of this concept, as explained above.

ודווקא אחר האריכות והרוחב במשלים בעיון רב יבא לבחי’ העומק שמובן מהם, דהיינו אחר הלבשת חיצוניותו בכל העיון הרב כו’ וד”ל

It is specifically after the length and width of the [many] allegories and abundant analysis that he will come to the aspect of the depth which is understood through them.  This is to say [that he will only reach the depth], through the external enclothements[15] and abundant analysis.  This will suffice those of understanding.

(וכל מה שכתבנו למעלה בכל פרטי כח”ב דבינה, הכל ימצא בהשגה פרטיות כזאת, וכה”ג בכל השגת אלקות בפרטים וכמשי”ת )

(Everything that was previously explained regarding the particulars of Keter, Chochmah and Binah of Binah[16] may be found in a particular concept such as this[17], and, likewise, in every other particular concept in the comprehension of G-dliness, as will be explained.)

ובחי’ הדעת הוא בחי’ ההכרה והרגשה במושכל בהתקשרות כנ”ל

Now, the aspect of Da’at is the aspect of the recognition and feeling, i.e. the connection to the intellectual concept, as explained above.

וע”ז נאמר וידעת כו’ דע את אלקי כו’ שהוא בהשגה זו דממכ”ע דוקא כידוע

About this it is stated[18], “V’yadata – You shall know etc”, and “Da et Elokei Avicha[19]Know the G-d of your father”, which refers specifically to the comprehension of how it is that G-d permeates all worlds, as is known.

שהוא דוקא המביא לבחי’ עומקא דכולא, דהיינו לעומק דחכ’ שמאין תמצא כנ”ל

It is specifically this that brings one to the aspect of the “depth of everything”, that is, the depth of Chochmah “which is found from nothing[20]”, as explained above.

דהיינו בבחי’ עומק ראיות השכל בהשגה זו דבחי’ מכ”ע שלמעלה מהשגת השכל כידוע

In other words, [this is] the depth of the sight of the intellect, into this comprehension of how G-d permeates all worlds, which is higher than the [actual] grasp of the intellect, as is known.

(וכמ”ש ברע”מ, בעין בשכל, דבלבא אתחזי כולא, ונק’ לאסתכלא ביקרא כו’ וגם בזה יש בחי’ עומק כנ”ל באריכות)

(This is as stated in Ra’aya Mehemnah[21], “with the eye of the intellect, for the heart sees all”[22].  This is [also] called[23], “Gazing at the preciousness [of the King]”.  Now, in this too there is an aspect of depth, as explained above at length[24].)

ובחי’ התבונה היינו לדלות ע”י מעומק זה הנעלם במושג זה דממכ”ע הנ”ל לידי גילוי, כי בהיותו קולט בכי טוב לעצם ההשגה הזאת, ע”כ יוכל להביאה בכמה ענינים נבדלים ממנה

Now, the aspect of Tvunah is to draw forth from this concealed depth, into revelation in the comprehension of how G-d permeates all worlds.  For, since he grasps the essence of this concept very well, he is, therefore, capable of bringing it into many separate matters[25].

כמו בכמה פרטי מציאות עולמות הנבראים, איך שמתהווים מאין ליש בבחי’ ממלא דרך פרט אשר נעלם בכללות השגה זו כו’

For example, [he can understand] many details in the existence of the created worlds, how they come into being from nothing to something[26].  [He understands this and draws this out] in a particular manner from the general concept of Memaleh Kol Almin, in which these particulars were concealed.

ובלתי כח התבונה הזאת בהשגה זו שממכ”ע הרי נשארת השגה זו רק במוח הבנתו לבד, ולא ידע מה לעשות בה ואיך להביא זאת ההתבוננות באיכות ענין התהוות היש מאין כלל, כמובן מכל הנ”ל וד”ל

Without this power of Tvunah in this comprehension of Memaleh Kol Almin, his comprehension of it would remain in his brain of understanding alone.[27]  He would not know what to do with this [concept], or how to bring this Hitbonenut to comprehend how [his very own] existence is brought about something from nothing.  [He would not be capable of doing this] at all, as is understood from all the above.  This will suffice for those of understanding.

(ומזה מובן סיבת המניעה בחדשים או גם בישנים בחסרי תבונה, גם שמשיגים היטב הדק בשעה ששומעים ורואים, לא יוכלו להביא הדבר כלל בהתבוננות בתפלה בענין התהוות העולמות

(From the above we may [now] understand the reason for the lacking [which may be found] in beginners or even in those who are experienced, but are lacking in Tvunah.  Although they grasp [the explanations of the concepts well], when they hear or read them, they are incapable of bringing the matter of the coming into being of the worlds out of nothing, into contemplation during their prayers.[28]

עד שישאל מה לעשות בכל זה ולאיזה תועלת צריכים לזה כי ב’ דברים נבדלים הם לדעתו, מפני שנשאר רק בחי’ ההבנה עצמה במוחו, נבדל לגמרי מכל ענין כו’ וד”ל:

[Because of this] they may reach the point where they ask [themselves], “What am I to do with all this?” and “Of what benefit is this [to me]”.  This is because in his mind these are two separate things, because the understanding remains in his mind [as an abstract concept], totally removed from all matters.  This will suffice those of understanding.)

 

End of Chapter Three



[1] See Chapter One

[2] In general, in Kabbalah and Chassidus there are two main contemplations.  One is called Sovev Kol Almin –The fact that G-d encompasses and transcends all worlds, while the other is called Memaleh Kol Almin –  The fact that G-d permeates all worlds.  Clearly, the first deals with how G-d literally transcends all worlds and how the worlds are literally as nothing before Him.  The second deals with how even after the existence of the worlds, they do not exist in any way at all separate from G-d, for He “permeates all worlds” and is their very life force and the source of their existence.  Generally, the first contemplation deals with the aspect of the Infinite Light before the Tzimtzum, until the aspect of Malchut of the world of Atzilut, which is still considered totally one with G-d, and is still called the world of the Infinite.  In contrast, the creation of something from nothing, of the second contemplation, refers to how, the aspect of the “speech” of the King, i.e. Malchut of Atzilut, brings forth into existence the three created worlds of Briyah, Yetzirah, and Asiyah.  All of this, including both of these aspects of contemplation, and all of their various details, will be discussed and explained in great detail later in this book.  At this point, the Rebbe is speaking about the methodology of contemplation as opposed to the actual explanations of these particulars.

[3] In Hebrew this is “Koach HaPoel Ha”Eloki B’Haniphal”.  This refers to the creation of something from nothing, i.e. the G-dly speech vested in each created being, which brings it into existence constantly.  Were this force to withdraw for a single moment, the existence of the being would withdraw back into its source and it would revert to nothingness.  This will be explained later.

[4] The name Adon”ay means “my L-rd”, which is a terminology of force and strength.  It is known that this name refers to how Malchut of Atzilut, the speech of the “King”, descends to be the enlivening force of the created worlds of Briyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah.  It is therefore called the “L-rd” over the created realms.  Likewise, the name Elokim is also a name of strength and power. This is exactly the meaning of E”l.  The name Elokim represents the creative force before it descends to enliven the created worlds.  The reason it is in plural form is because it represents the power of the division of speech (and of thought), to enliven each particular creation individually.  This will be explained at greater length later.

[5] That is to say, that there are an immense amount of facets and explanations to this concept.  Nonetheless, there is an incredible difference between the grasp of these external explanations themselves, and the grasp of the very essence of this concept itself.  That is to say, one who grasps the very essence of this concept itself literally recognizes the creation of something from nothing at every moment, continuously.  There is no comparison between this type of recognition and understanding, and the comprehension of the external explanations.

[6] That is, the recognition of this truth, that G-d literally permeates all worlds, is called “the depth” of this concept.

[7] Or, in the terminology of Chassidus this is “Hitbonenut”, as previously stated.

[8] For example, mathematics deals in abstractions.  Rather than explaining 1 + 1 = 2 to a child, one would explain to him 1 apple + 1 apple = 2 apples.  Through this he is capable of grasping the concept itself, which is invested within the allegory.  He is then capable of separating the allegory from the analogue and understanding the original intent of addition.  This is the entire purpose of allegories.  Although the allegory is something separate from the true intent of the concept, it can contain and convey it.  One must be careful though, to make the distinction between the allegory and what is contain within it.  This will be explained later at great length.

[9] The concept referred to here is the concept mentioned previously of Memaleh Kol Almin – How G-d permeates all worlds.

[10] This allegory of the life force of the soul is only a revelation of the hidden essence of the soul, but is not the essence of the soul itself.  For example, when a person does a kind act, this is only a revelation that, in essence, he is kind, but it is not his essential kindness itself, and there is no diminishment in his essence from doing this kind act.  Likewise, from this allegory it is understood in the analogue that just as the life force of the soul spreads forth to enliven the body, so does the revelation of G-d spread forth to enliven the created worlds.  However, it is only a revelation of the essence, and not the actual essence of G-d Himself.  This will be discussed later.  The main point here, though, is that this is only one angle of looking at it, for there are other allegories for this concept, each of which conveys a certain facet of the concept.  Through understanding each facet of each angle, and the point which each allegory conveys, one can reach the true depth and essential point of the concept of Memaleh Kol Almin.

[11] These two matters and all their allegories will be explained in chapter 19.  The Rebbe’s main point in bringing these concepts here is not to explain the concept of Memaleh Kol Almin itself, but rather, to explain how each allegory and concept is multifaceted, and has many different angles.  For the explanations of each facet of the allegories presented here, see Hillel Paritcher’s explanations to Shaar HaYichud, chapter 3.

[12] For example if one were to throw a stone, his strength and energy is contained by the stone for the duration of its flight.

[13] Each of these various analogies explains the same essential concept of Memaleh Kol Almin – how G-d permeates all worlds. Each allegory provides another facet and angle of understanding of this same essential concept.  That is, this concept is essential to all of these allegories.  The multitude of these allegories and facets expands the essential concept and sheds light and insight to all of its various angles.

[14] In other words, the understanding is in a completely general and external manner.

[15] In other words, it is only through the analysis in the abundant allegories which make the concept tangible and close to his mind, that he will ever be capable of reaching the intangible depth of the concept.

[16] As explained in chapter one, these three aspects refer to the depth, width and length of any concept.  What the Rebbe is pointing out in this parenthesis is that this methodology of Hitbonenut is universal to grasping the depth of any concept.

[17] Referring to the concept of Memaleh Kol Almin – How G-d permeates all worlds.

[18] Deuteronomy, V’etchanan, 4:39

[19] Chronicles 1, 28:9

[20] This refers to the ultimate depth and source of Chochmah itself, which is Keter.  The difference is understood through the allegory of the difference in comparison between the spring and its source in the aquifer.

[21] See Zohar (Ra’aya Mehemnah) Mishpatim, 116b

[22] That is to say, although this perception does not become invested within the logical thought of Binah, it is still possible for one to have an intuitive perception of it.  Just as a person is physically incapable of “handing” someone the essential point of a concept, and can only give the other person external explanations.  Through these external explanations the other person is capable of grasping the depth of the teacher’s original intent.  Likewise, here he grasps the essential depth of the concept in its undefined intangible state, and may draw explanations from there.  Now, this grasp of the essence of the concept is still limited in that it is defined and confined to being an essence for this particular concept or subject matter.  This would be like the depth of Binah (which is Chochmah).  Now, through delving into this itself, one can reach its depth, which is the totally undefined and intangible essence, the source of the Chochmah itself, which is the “depth of everything”, for everything originates from it.  This is the grasp of the essential G-dliness of the concept, and it is this level which is called, “Gazing at the preciousness of the King”, (see Kuntrus HaHitpa’alut).  From this we can understand the three subsequent levels of Hitbonenut-contemplation mentioned in HaYom Yom (20 Tamuz).  The first is the grasp of the external explanations, and the analysis into them, with a length and width, bringing them close to one’s mind.  Through this one reaches the second level of Hitbonenut, which is the grasp of the depth of the concepts, which is the essence of this particular concept (and is therefore somewhat defined and limited).  The third level of Hitbonenut is the delving into the depth itself, to grasp the G-dliness of the concept.  These are three subsequent levels of contemplation and meditation, which must follow one another, as explained.  (For lengthier explanations see R’ Hillel Paritcher’s explanations to Kuntrus HaHitpa’alut.)

[23] See Zohar Miketz 199a, Bereshit 38a-b, Pikudei 247b, Trumah 134a

[24] The grasp of the essential depth of the concept, i.e. the essential truth of it, is this aspect of the “sight” of the intellect, which is called “Gazing at the preciousness of the King”.  In this too there are different levels of depths, infinitely, as explained previously.  The delving into the depths itself is what is called Ma’amik – Delving.  See chapter 1, and also see Kuntrus HaHitpa’alut.

[25] He will recognize how G-d permeates all things particularly, as opposed to just a general understanding of the concept.

[26] He will understand how each general existence of each of the worlds and each particular being of the general worlds is individually created and receives its existence from the G-dly nothing which creates it.  This is as opposed to only a general understanding that “G-d creates all things from nothing”.  Rather, he “sees” this in a particular fashion.  Ultimately it is this power of Tvunah which relates this “abstract” concept to his own self, realizing that his very own existence is entirely dependant upon G-d, from every angle.  It is specifically this type of application, which comes from the power of Tvunah, which awakens great love and awe of G-d, as explained above.

[27] His comprehension of this would be abstract and theoretical, and he would not grasp the true reality of this concept, that G-d literally permeates everything, himself included.

[28] That is, they are incapable of relating concepts such as creation ex-nihilo, back to themselves.  In other words, these concepts remain theoretical to them, and they do not recognize the true reality of these concepts, that G-d literally brings them into existence at every moment, continually.  Because of this, they are not inspired with love and awe of G-d during prayer, which is the purpose of contemplation during prayer.  This is simply because they are lacking the power of Tvunah.  Because all these concepts remain as abstract theories completely separate from everything, a person will come to ask himself of what benefit is contemplating these matters altogether etc.  This is only because he does not relate these concepts to himself or anything else outside of the theoretical understanding.  The solution to this dilemma is that one should invest himself greatly into the toil of Iyun, to analyze and investigate all the particulars of these concepts. Tvunah is the automatic result of the Iyun, as explained above about how the length is included in the width.

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