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Shabbat, 1 Cheshvan 5778 / October 21, 2017
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Daily Tanya

Iggeret HaKodesh, middle of Epistle 25

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Iggeret HaKodesh, middle of Epistle 25

והנה זה לעומת זה

Now,1 “[G‑d created] this opposite that”:

Since the entire dynamic of the holy “side” of the universe has its counterpart in the “other side,” the sitra achra, the above-mentioned Ten Sefirot of holiness (and likewise the ten corresponding faculties of the G‑dly soul) each have their unholy counterpart:

יש עשרה כתרי דמסאבותא

there are2 “ten crowns of impurity.”

ומהן נמשכות נפשות האומות, גם כן כלולות מעשר בחינות אלו ממש

From these issue the souls of the nations, which are also comprised of the very same ten levels.

ומודעת זאת בארץ מה שכתוב בספר הגלגולים על פסוק: אשר שלט האדם באדם, לרע לו

The exposition of Sefer HaGilgulim3 on the verse,4 “That man rules over man, to his detriment,” is common knowledge:

שהוא סוד גלות השכינה בתוך הקליפות, להחיותם ולהשליטם עתה בזמן הגלות

it refers to the mystery of the exile of the Shechinah in the midst of the kelipot, in order to animate them and to empower them to rule in the present time of exile.

“Man rules over man” thus means that the “evil man” (of kelipah) rules over the “sacred man” (i.e., the holy “side” of the universe).

אבל הוא לרע לו וכו׳

However, this [temporary dominion of evil] is “to his [ultimate] detriment...,” for its underlying intent is that the sparks of holiness that are found within evil, be extracted and elevated.

ולכן האומות שולטין עתה על ישראל

This is why the nations presently dominate the Jewish people.5

להיות נפשות האומות מהקליפות, אשר השכינה מתלבשת בבחינת גלות בתוכם

For the souls of the nations [derive] from the kelipot, in which the Shechinah is vested in a state of exile, empowering them to rule.

והנה, אף שזה צריך ביאור רחב, איך ומה, מכל מקום האמת כן הוא

Though extensive exposition is required, as to how and what is the manner in which the Shechinah is invested in the exile of the kelipot, nevertheless, it is truly so.

אלא שאף על פי כן, אין הקליפות והאומות יונקים ומקבלים חיות אלא מהארה הנמשכת להם מבחינת אחוריים דקדושה

Despite this, the kelipot and the nations receive their nurture and life-force only from a reflection extended to them from the hindmost dimension of holiness,

כמאן דשדי בתר כתפיה

“in the manner of one who [unwillingly] throws [something] over his shoulder [to his enemy],” as explained in Tanya, ch. 22.

ואף גם זאת, על ידי צמצומים ומסכים רבים ועצומים, עד שנתלבשה הארה זו בחומריות עולם הזה

And even that is by way of numerous and intense contractions and screens, until this radiation becomes vested in the materiality of this world,

ומשפעת לאומות עושר וכבוד וכל תענוגים גשמיים

dispensing wealth and honor and all physical pleasures unto the nations.

מה שאין כן ישראל יונקים מבחינת פנים העליונים, כמו שכתוב: יאר ה׳ פניו אליך

Jews, however, elicit [their sustenance] from the Supernal Countenance (the panim, or pnimiyus, i.e., the innermost aspect of Divinity); as it is written,6 “May G‑d make His Countenance shine upon you,”

כל אחד ואחד לפי שרש נשמתו, עד רום המעלות

each according to the source of his soul, up to the most elevated of levels.

* * *

Footnotes
1.
Kohelet 7:14.
2.
Zohar III, 41b; et al.
3.
Ch. 2.
4.
Kohelet 8:9.
5.
The text here (in Hebrew and English) reinstates the original version, which a czarist censor had tampered with so that it read, העובדי גילולים היו שולטין על ישראל — “the heathens used to dominate the Jewish people....” A few lines earlier, the word עתה (“in the present”) had likewise been deleted.
6.
Bamidbar 6:25.


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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