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Tuesday, 27 Tishrei 5778 / October 17, 2017

Daily Tanya

Daily Tanya

Iggeret HaKodesh, middle of Epistle 25

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Iggeret HaKodesh, middle of Epistle 25

והנה נודע ליודעי חכמה נסתרה

Now it is known to those familiar with the “Hidden Wisdom”1 (i.e., the Kabbalah)

כי דבר ה׳ נקרא בשם שכינה בלשון חז״ל, ואימא תתאה ומטרוניתא בלשון הזהר

that the “word of G‑d” is referred to as the Shechinah, in the terminology of the [Talmudic and Midrashic] Sages, of blessed memory, and as Imma Tataah (the “nether mother”) and Matrunita (the “Queen”) in the terminology of the Zohar,

ובפרט בריש פרשת וארא

especially at the beginning of Parshat Va’eira, where an analogy is drawn to G‑d’s speech from a princess,

לפי ששוכן ומתלבש בנבראים, להחיותם

because [the “word of G‑d”] dwells and vests itself in created beings, to give them life.

The word Shechinah (שכינה) derives from the root שכן — “to dwell.” The titles of “mother” and “queen” relate to their functions of caring for the lives of their children and subjects, respectively.

ובלשון המקובלים, נקרא בשם מלכות, על שם: דבר מלך שלטון, כי המלך מנהיג מלכותו בדיבורו, ועוד טעמים אחרים ידועים ליודעי חכמה נסתרה

In the terminology of the Kabbalists, [the “word of G‑d”] is called Malchut, for2 “the word of a king rules” — a king rules his kingdom through his speech; and also for other reasons known to those familiar with the “Hidden Wisdom” (i.e., the Kabbalah).

ומודעת זאת, כי יש בחינת ומדריגת מלכות דאצילות ובחינת מלכות דבריאה וכו׳

Now it is known that there is a rank and level of [the Sefirah of] Malchut of [the World of] Atzilut, and a rank of [the Sefirah of] Malchut of [the World of] Beriah, and so on. There are thus many degrees of “G‑d’s speech.”

ופירוש מלכות דאצילות, הוא דבר ה׳ המחיה ומהוה נשמות הגדולות, שהן מבחינת אצילות

Malchut of Atzilut means the “word of G‑d” which animates and brings into being the great souls that are of the rank of Atzilut,

כמו נשמת אדם הראשון, שנאמר בו: ויפח באפיו נשמת חיים כו׳, וכמו נשמות האבות והנביאים, וכיוצא בהן

such as the soul of Adam, of whom it is said,3 “And He blew into his nostrils the soul of life...” (i.e., a soul from the level of Atzilut); and such as the souls of the patriarchs and the prophets and the like

שהיו מרכבה לה׳ ממש, ובטלים ממש במציאות אליו

(4who were truly a “chariot” unto G‑d5 and in a state of total self-abnegation in relation to Him;

כמאמר רז״ל: שכינה מדברת מתוך גרונו של משה

as our Sages, of blessed memory, said,6 “The Shechinah speaks from the throat of Moses”;

Moses’ own personality was so translucent — he had so nullified himself to G‑d — that when he prophesied he did not relay what G‑d told him to say; rather, the Shechinah itself spoke directly through his mouth.

וכן כל הנביאים ובעלי רוח הקודש, היה קול ודבור העליון מתלבש בקולם ודבורם ממש, כמו שכתב האריז״ל

and likewise with all the prophets and those possessed of the Holy Spirit: the Supernal voice and speech vested itself in their actual voice and speech, as R. Isaac Luria, of blessed memory, wrote).

ומלכות דבריאה הוא דבר ה׳ המחיה ומהוה הנשמות והמלאכים שבעולם הבריאה

Malchut of Beriah is the “word of G‑d” which animates and brings into being the souls and angels in the World of Beriah,

שאין מעלתם כמעלת האצילות וכו׳

whose level is not like the level of Atzilut, and so on; i.e., Malchut of Yetzirah is the level of Divine speech that brings into being and animates the souls and angels in the World of Yetzirah.

ומלכות דעשיה הוא דבר ה׳ המחיה ומהוה את עולם הזה בכללו

And Malchut of Asiyah is the “word of G‑d” which animates and creates this world in its entirety,

עד יסוד העפר והמים אשר מתחת לארץ

up to and including the Element of Earth, and7 “the water that is below the earth.”

Now if the creation of all things derives from the Shechinah, from the revelation of Divine power, how do we account for those things that derive from kelipot, entities that “oppose” G‑dliness and holiness?

The two Heb. words for “Hidden Wisdom” (חכמה נסתרה) are commonly abbreviated to their initials, and pronounced as chen.
Kohelet 8:4.
Bereishit 2:7.
Parentheses are in the original text.
Bereishit Rabbah, beginning of sec. 46; et al.
Cf. Zohar III, 234a; et al.
Cf. Shmot 20:4.

Translated from Yiddish by Rabbi Levy Wineberg and Rabbi Sholom B. Wineberg. Edited by Uri Kaploun.
Published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society, all rights reserved.
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G-d always prepares the remedy before the affliction
  –Talmud, Megillah 13b
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