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Tanya for Shabbos, 28 Elul, 5782 - September 24, 2022

As Divided for a Leap Year

Tanya for 28 Elul

27 Elul, 5782 - September 23, 202229 Elul, 5782 - September 25, 2022

In a precisely like manner with respect to the Divine Chochmah, to the extent that can be diffused from it [37] to become vested in all the nether beings:

[Since [38] "You have made them all through Chochmah," it follows that this Sefirah must be vested in all nether beings. However, this is merely the external level of Chochmah.] it [39] is as nothing compared to the panim [the inward or frontal aspect] of Chochmah, which is at one with the blessed Emanator. For [40] "All that is before Him [i.e., close and united with Him] is esteemed as naught."

The life-giving flow to all created beings, which are limited and finite, is regarded as a descent and a contraction, so to speak, with respect to the Emanator, the blessed Ein Sof, just as, metaphorically speaking, it would be regarded as a descent and contraction for the intellect of an intelligent person to be contracted to some purely physical and material activity. [39]

Moshe Rabbeinu, peace to him, who apprehended as high as the level [of Divinity] called the hindmost aspect of Chochmah, therefore merited that the Torah was given through him - the Torah being the "novlot," [the withered vestige], of Supernal Chochmah, i.e., that which is sloughed off from it and descends below, and becomes vested in our physical Torah. [39]

For [the Torah's] core and ultimate object is the observance of the positive and prohibitory commandments, in actual deed and performance, in the spirit of the verse, [41] "To do them this day," [and, more specifically, in the spirit of the comment of our Sages on this phrase: [42] "They are to be done today and not tomorrow" - in this world, and not in the World to Come.

Our Sages likewise taught,] [43] "The study of Torah is greater [than the observance of the commandments] because it leads to [their] performance." Similarly, [44] "As to him who learns with the intent of not doing, it would have been better for him if his afterbirth had turned over...." [I.e., better had he never been born.]

Indeed, every individual needs to become reincarnated until he has actually observed all the 613 commandments, as is known from R. Isaac Luria, of blessed memory. [45]

[The Tzemach Tzedek makes the following comment [46] on the above Epistle:

Although the Alter Rebbe opens this letter with the verse, "He wraps [Himself with] light as [with] a garment...," he does not explain it here. However, it can be understood from his introduction that the achorayim of Chochmah, also known as the novlot of the Supernal Chochmah, which is Torah, is the "garment" (i.e., the revealed aspect) of Torah, while the pnimiyut of Abba, the inward aspect of Chochmah, is the esoteric depths of Torah.

(The latter aspect of Torah will be revealed mainly by Mashiach, as Rashi notes in his comment on the verse, [47] "He kisses me with the kisses of His mouth." Even now, however, a foretaste of the innermost dimensions of the Torah may be savored in the teachings of Chassidut. The present revelation of its insights serves as a preparation for the coming of Mashiach, in the spirit of the Friday afternoon custom [48] of sampling the delicacies prepared for Shabbat, since the time of Mashiach is known as [49] "a day that is entirely Shabbat.")

The Tzemach Tzedek concludes: This is the "light" that is vested within the "garment": it was created on the First Day and later hidden in the Torah - ultimately to be revealed to the righteous. [50]



  1. (Back to text) In the original Hebrew text, parentheses around the word "Le-hash-pia" indicate that it should be substituted by the bracketed word "Le-hit-la-besh".

  2. (Back to text) Tehillim 104:24.

  3. (Back to text) Hebrew text emended above according to the Glosses and Emen- dations of the Rebbe Shlita.

  4. (Back to text) Zohar I, 11b.

  5. (Back to text) Devarim 7:11.

  6. (Back to text) Eruvin 22a.

  7. (Back to text) Kiddushin 40b.

  8. (Back to text) Vayikra Rabbah 35:7.

  9. (Back to text) See the Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch, Hilchot Talmud Torah 1:4, and the sources cited in the glosses there.

  10. (Back to text) In Yahel Or on Tehillim, p. 369.

  11. (Back to text) Shir HaShirim 1:2.

  12. (Back to text) See Likkutei Sichot, Vol. XV, p. 282, and sources cited in the footnotes there.

  13. (Back to text) Conclusion of Tractate Tamid.

  14. (Back to text) Likkutei Sichot, Vol. X, p. 10, and sources cited in the footnotes there.

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