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Shabbat, 15 Cheshvan 5778 / November 4, 2017

Daily Tanya

Daily Tanya

Iggeret HaKodesh, middle of Epistle 27

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Iggeret HaKodesh, middle of Epistle 27

והנה, בהיות הצדיק חי על פני האדמה, היו שלש מדות אלו בתוך כלי ולבוש שלהם

Now, while the tzaddik was alive on earth, these three attributes were contained in their vessel and garment

בבחינת מקום גשמי, שהיא בחינת נפש הקשורה בגופו

on the plane of physical space, this being the aspect of the Nefesh which is bound to his body.

וכל תלמידיו אינם מקבלים רק הארת מדות אלו, וזיון

During his lifetime his disciples all receive only a reflection of these attributes, and a ray from them

המאיר חוץ לכלי זה, על ידי דבוריו ומחשבותיו הקדושים

that radiates beyond this vessel (i.e., the tzaddik’s body) by means of his holy utterances and thoughts.

The tzaddik’s utterances and thoughts are able to reveal no more than a minor ray of his attributes.

ולכן אמרו רז״ל, שאין אדם עומד על דעת רבו וכו׳

That is why our Sages, of blessed memory, said1 that “one cannot plumb the depth of his master’s teachings [until the passage of forty years].”

אבל לאחר פטירתו, לפי שמתפרדים בחינת הנפש שנשארה בקבר מבחינת הרוח שבגן עדן, שהן שלש מדות הללו

But after [the tzaddik’s] passing, since the Nefesh — which remains in the grave — is separated from the Ruach, which comprises these three attributes and [after his passing] is in the Garden of Eden,

The three attributes, now unbounded by the body, are in the Garden of Eden, a spiritual space whose atmosphere surrounds every individual in this world, as the Alter Rebbe will presently explain.

לפיכך יכול כל הקרוב אליו לקבל חלק מבחינת רוחו שבגן עדן

whoever is close to him can receive a part of his Ruach which is in the Garden of Eden, i.e., an actual part of the very essence of these attributes, as opposed to a mere reflection of them,

הואיל ואינה בתוך כלי, ולא בבחינת מקום גשמי

because [the Ruach of the tzaddik] is [now] not within a vessel, nor on the plane of physical space, but in the Garden of Eden, which as will now be explained, is to be found within this world as well.

כנודע מאמר רז״ל על יעקב אבינו, עליו השלום, שנכנס עמו גן עדן

For, as is known, our Sages,2 of blessed memory, said of our father Jacob, peace be to him, that “the Garden of Eden entered with him” when he came to be blessed by his father Isaac.

וכן כתוב בספר עשרה מאמרות, שאויר גן עדן מתפשט סביב כל אדם

Likewise it is stated in Asarah Maamarot3 that the atmosphere of the Garden of Eden envelops every individual,

ונרשמים באויר זה, כל מחשבותיו ודבוריו הטובים בתורה ועבודת ה׳

and in this atmosphere are recorded all his good thoughts and utterances of Torah and divine worship;

(וכן להיפך, חס ושלום, נרשמים באויר המתפשט מגיהנם סביב כל אדם)

(4and likewise to the contrary, heaven forfend: [negative thoughts and utterances] are recorded in the atmosphere from Gehenna which envelops every individual [when he engages in them].

To summarize: After the tzaddik’s passing, his power and his faith, his awe and his love, are not limited by his bodily vessel and by the physical world in general, but are in the Garden of Eden, which is to be found in this world as well.

הלכך נקל מאד לתלמידיו לקבל חלקם מבחינת רוח רבם העצמיות, שהם אמונתו ויראתו ואהבתו אשר עבד בהם את ה׳

It is therefore very easy for his disciples to receive their part of the essential aspects of their master’s Ruach, i.e., his faith, his awe and his love with which he served G‑d,

ולא זיוום בלבד המאיר חוץ לכלי

and not merely a glimmer thereof which radiates beyond the vessel, and which reached them through his thoughts and words when the tzaddik was still alive.

לפי שבחינת רוחו העצמית מתעלה, בעילוי אחר עילוי

For the essential aspect of his Ruachhis essential faith, awe and love that relate to himself and not to his disciples — is raised, elevation beyond elevation,

להכלל בבחינת נשמתו שבגן עדן העליון, שבעולמות העליונים

to become absorbed in his Neshamah which is in the Higher Garden of Eden, in the supreme worlds.

ונודע שכל דבר שבקדושה אינו נעקר לגמרי מכל וכל ממקומו ומדרגתו הראשונה, וגם לאחר שנתעלה למעלה למעלה

Now it is known5 that no holy entity is ever totally and utterly uprooted from its original place and level, even after it has reached the highest point.

Rather, some trace of it always remains in its original lowly location. Moreover, as noted above, the Lower Garden of Eden is to be found even in the lowly World of Asiyah.

ובחינה זו הראשונה, שנשארה למטה בגן עדן התחתון, במקומו ומדרגתו הראשונה

Thus it is this original aspect deriving from the Ruach of the tzaddik, remaining below in the Lower Garden of Eden in its original place and level,

היא המתפשטת בתלמידיו

which extends itself among his disciples,

For this aspect has detached itself from the essential aspect of the Ruach of the tzaddik; its entire purpose is to be vested within his disciples.

כל אחד לפי בחינת התקשרותו וקרבתו אליו, בחייו ובמותו, באהבה רבה

each one according to the level of his bond and closeness to [the tzaddik], during his lifetime and after his passing, out of an abounding love.

כי המשכת כל רוחניות אינה אלא על ידי אהבה רבה

For anything spiritual is elicited only by means of an abounding love.

And when this degree of love is present, the three attributes of faith, fear and love are then drawn down.

כמו שכתוב בזהר הקדוש, דרוח דרעותא דלבא אמשיך רוח מלעילא

Thus it is stated in the sacred Zohar6 that the spirit (Ruach) of the inner heart’s desire, elicits a spirit from above —

So, too, the disciple’s heartfelt love for his master draws down these three attributes —

רק אם יכון לקראת אלקיו, בהכנה רבה ויגיעה עצומה

but only if he will prepare himself towards his G‑d7 with a great preparation and intense effort,

As explained by an unnamed elder chassid quoted in Likkutei Haggahot, “great preparation” refers to the preparation of the soul; “intense effort” refers to the toil of the body.

לקבל שלש מדות הללו כדרך שהורהו רבו, וכמאמר רז״ל: יגעת ומצאת, תאמין

so that he will receive these attributes in the way that his master taught him. [To paraphrase] the words of our Sages, of blessed memory,8 “If you have labored and [claim to have] found, believe it.”

As explained by the Rebbe Rayatz,9 “Only if he will prepare himself towards his G‑d with a great preparation and intense effort,” means that every man’s task is to vest this faith, awe and love within his physical everyday life in his observance of Torah and mitzvot.

It would also seem from the continuation of his explanation, that the meaning of “If you have labored..., believe it,” is that the individual then gains a great deal more than what he actually labored for, very much like an unexpected find. Through his toil, “successive generations of offshoots” are bound up with their source within the “essential aspect of [the master’s] Ruach (i.e., his essential faith, awe and love that relate to himself and not to his disciples) [which] is raised, elevation beyond elevation, to become absorbed in his Neshamah which is in the Higher Garden of Eden, in the supreme worlds.” The disciples of the tzaddik thus benefit not only from his Ruach insofar as it remained in the Lower Garden of Eden, but also from his essential Ruach that was incorporated within his Neshamah that is found in the Higher Garden of Eden. Surely, this is a gain that far outstrips the individual’s effort. This level of energy, as the Rebbe Rayatz concludes, is not integrated internally within his disciples, but merely encompasses them in a transcendent manner. Nevertheless, it is so powerful that it enables even their “successive generations of offshoots” to produce unending generations of further offshoots.

The Rebbe Rayatz also states there that by toiling in the path that was handed down by their master, disciples cause his spiritual life of faith, awe and love to descend into the practicalities of their own divine service, Torah study and observance of the mitzvot. Through these labors, moreover, even the further disciples who are his “successive generations of offshoots” become connected with their source in the constantly ascending Ruach and Neshamah of the tzaddik who is in the Higher Garden of Eden.

* * *

Avodah Zarah 5b; Rashi on Devarim 29:6.
Bereishit Rabbah 65:22; Zohar III, 84a.
Maamar Chikur Din 2:12.
Parentheses are in the original text.
Pardes, Shaar 14, sec. 1; Etz Chayim, Shaar 34, sec. 3; et al.
Cf. Zohar II, 162b, et al.
Cf. Amos 4:12.
Cf. Megillah 6b.
The maamar entitled Pizar Natan LaEvyonim 5692.

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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Said Rabbi Joshua ben Levi: When a person walks along the way, a troop of angels march before him and announce: "Make way for the image of the Holy One, Blessed Be He"
  –Midrash Rabbah, Devarim 4
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