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Monday, 10 Cheshvan 5778 / October 30, 2017
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Daily Tanya

Iggeret HaKodesh, middle of Epistle 26

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Iggeret HaKodesh, middle of Epistle 26

והנה העליונים, אין להם כח לברר ולהעלות מהשבירה שבקליפת נוגה

Now, the celestial beings (i.e., the souls and angels in the higher worlds) do not have the power to disencumber and elevate that which is in kelipat nogah (i.e., the sparks that are exiled there) as a result of the “breaking of the vessels.”

אלא התחתונים לבד

Only the terrestrial beings, the souls situated in this world, [can do this],

לפי שהם מלובשים בגוף חומרי, משכא דחויא, מקליפת נוגה

for they are vested in a material body that is known as the “hide of the serpent,” which derives from kelipat nogah.

As explained above, when this concept appeared in ch. 31 of Tanya (quoting the Zohar1), the “serpent” refers to the “three utterly impure kelipot,” while the body that derives its vitality from kelipat nogah is called the “hide of the serpent.”2

והם מתישים כחה, בשבירת התאוות

These [embodied souls] weaken its strength, the strength of this kelipah, by crushing the passions,

ואתכפיא סטרא אחרא, ויתפרדו כל פועלי און

thereby subjugating the sitra achra, so that3 “all the workers of evil (i.e., the kelipot) will be dispersed.”

Thus, only souls in this world are able to extract the holy sparks from the kelipot and elevate them. For this reason, they alone are able to elevate the Chochmah of Torah which the kelipot obscure.

ולכן באים העליונים לשמוע חידושי תורה מהתחתונים

This is why the celestial beings, the souls of the higher worlds, come to hear innovative insights into the Torah from the terrestrial beings,4 from the souls here in this world —

מה שמחדשים ומגלים תעלומות החכמה, שהיו כבושים בגולה עד עתה

[to hear] the secrets of wisdom which they innovate and reveal, and which until this time had been in bondage in exile.

וכל איש ישראל יוכל לגלות תעלומות חכמה, (לגלות) ולחדש שכל חדש

Every Jew is able to reveal secrets of wisdom, (5to reveal) and to discover a new insight,

הן בהלכות הן באגדות, הן בנגלה הן בנסתר

whether it be in the laws or in homiletics, in the revealed or in the mystical [planes of the Torah],6

כפי בחינת שרש נשמתו

according to the nature of his soul’s root, and its consequent affinity with each of the above categories of the Torah.

ומחוייב בדבר

Indeed, one is obliged to do so — to uncover hitherto-concealed insights into the Torah, and to reveal the secrets of wisdom,

להשלים נשמתו, בהעלאת כל הניצוצות שנפלו לחלקה ולגורלה, כנודע

in order to perfect his soul by elevating all the sparks that have been allotted to it, as is known.7

(וכל דברי תורה, ובפרט דבר הלכה, היא ניצוץ מהשכינה, שהיא היא דבר ה׳

(8Moreover, every Torah teaching, and especially a halachic teaching, is a spark of the Shechinah, which is the word of G‑d.

כדאיתא בגמרא: דבר ה׳, זו הלכה

In the words of the Gemara,9 “The phrase ‘word of G‑d’ denotes the Halachah.”

סוד מלכות דאצילות, המלבשת לחכמה דאצילות, ומלובשים במלכות דיצירה

This accords with the Kabbalistic principle regarding Malchut of Atzilut which garbs the Chochmah of Atzilut, [both of] which are vested in Malchut of Yetzirah,

וירדו בקליפת נוגה בשבירת הכלים

and with the “breaking of the vessels” they descended into kelipat nogah.)

The words of Torah in general, and particularly the halachic “word of G‑d,” are thus exiled within the kelipot that conceal them. Accordingly, a scholar who brings to light a teaching long hidden in the Torah or who resolves a problematic query and thereby clearly articulates a particular law, releases the pertinent spark of the Shechinah from the kelipot.

וזהו שכתוב בגמרא: כל העוסק בתורה, אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא, מעלה אני עליו כאלו פדאני ואת בני מבין האומות העולם

Thus the Gemara teaches that the Holy One, blessed be He, says of whoever engages in the study of the Torah...,10 “I account it as if he had redeemed Me and My children from among the nations of the world.”

For Torah study redeems the sparks of the Shechinah — the sparks of the “word of G‑d” — from their exile within the kelipot.

* * *

Footnotes
1.
Tikkunei Zohar, Tikkun XXI (p. 48b).
2.
This is explained at length in the maamar entitled VaTipakachnah by the Tzemach Tzedek, in Sefer HaChakirah, p. 136.
3.
Tehillim 92:10.
4.
Cf. Zohar III, 173a.
5.
These parentheses are in the original text.
6.
Note of the Rebbe: “I.e., in all of the above categories, each with its own singular quality.”
7.
Note of the Rebbe: “See Hilchot Talmud Torah of the Alter Rebbe, ch.1, end of sec. 4 (and sources cited there in the Kehot edition).”
8.
These parentheses are in the original text.
9.
Shabbat 138b.
10.
Berachot 8a.


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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ר' יוסף ב"ר זאב הלוי ע"ה וויינבערג
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And G‑d said to her: Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall diverge from your insides. One nation will struggle against the other; and the elder shall serve the younger.
  –Genesis 25:23
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