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Shabbat, 22 Cheshvan 5778 / November 11, 2017
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Iggeret HaKodesh, middle of Epistle 29

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Iggeret HaKodesh, middle of Epistle 29

וז"ש בזוה"ק פ' פקודי (דרכ"ט ע"ב) דאינון עובדין טבין דעביד בר נש משכי מנהורא דזיווא עילאה לבושא כו' וחמי כו' בנועם ה' וכו'

This is the meaning of the statement in the sacred Zohar, Parshat Pekudei (p. 229b), that "the good deeds (i.e., the mitzvot) which man does, elicit a garment from the light of the Supernal Splendor... (i.e., from the level of Keter), and they behold ...the 'pleasantness of G-d...,"' and also, as the Zohar concludes, they experience the "pleasurable thirst" (i.e., the pnimiyut of Keter).

והגם דהתם מיירי בג"ע התחתון שהלבושים שם הם ממצות מעשיות ממש

Though there [the Zohar] speaks of the Lower Garden of Eden, where the garments derive from the truly practical commandments, so that they result not from the Supernal Will, as above, but from the merit of physical action,

אבל בג"ע העליון הלבושים הם מרעותא וכוונה דלבא באורייתא וצלותא כמ"ש בזהר שם (דר"י)

while in the Upper Garden of Eden the garments derive from the love and devotion of the heart with respect to Torah and prayer, as stated in the Zohar ad loc. (p. 210).

The Zohar states that once the soul possesses, while in the Lower Garden of Eden, the garments of the mitzvot that derive from physical actions, it then rises to the upper Garden of Eden.

הרי הכוונה היא כוונת עסקו בתורה לשמה מאהבת ה'

However, this devotion [from whence these garments derive] refers to the devotion of one's occupation with Torah for its own sake, out of one's love for G-d.

ומצות ת"ת היא ג"כ מכלל מצות מעשיות

The commandment to study Torah also belongs to the class of practical commandments,

דעקימת שפתיו הוי מעשה והרהור לאו כדבור דמי ואינו יוצא י"ח בהרהור לבדו

for1 "the movement of one's lips [in speech] is regarded as an act," and2 "meditation does not count as speech"; thus one does not discharge his duty by meditation alone.3

וכן בתפלה

The same applies to prayer4; here, too, one must actually articulate the words.

Since both Torah study and prayer require action, even the garments that are created by devout Torah and prayer are considered to be derived from the tangible and active aspect of mitzvot; they, too, are garments that derive from the light of Keter].

ומה גם כי מעלת הכוונה על הדבור ומעשה אינה מצד עצמה כו'

And certainly so, considering that the superiority of devotion (kavanah) over speech and action in as much as devotion can create garments for the soul in the Upper Garden of Eden] is not due to its own merits..., as in the loving service of G-d,

אלא מצד הארת רצון העליון כו'

but because of the radiation from the Supernal Will...,

When a mitzvah is performed, the radiation of the Supernal Willis more manifest in its more spiritual aspect - in its devout and loving intent - than in its tangible and physical aspect.

כמ"ש בלק"א ח"א פל"ח באריכות ע"ש

as explained at length in Likkutei Amarim, Part I, ch. 38; see there.

The Alter Rebbe explains there that the illumination from the Supernal Will that shines within the devotion that accompanies an action, is likened to a "soul", relative to the illumination that shines in the action itself, which is likened to a "body" or garment for the soul.

The difference is thus only in the degree of contraction or emanation of this radiation. From the above it is clear that even the garments for the soul that are created from the devotion and feeling that accompany Torah and prayer, also result only from the radiation of the Supernal Will, which is the Supernal Keter.

* * *

Sanhedrin 65a.
Berachot 20b.
The Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch, Hilchot Talmud Torah 2:12; see also Eruvin 54b.
The Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch 62:3 and 185:3.

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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  –Rabbi Sholom DovBer of Lubavitch
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