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Tuesday, 20 Tammuz 5776 / July 26, 2016
Chabad Chassidus is an all-embracing world outlook and way of life which sees the Jew's central purpose as a unifying link between the Creator and His world. Written by the Alter Rebbe, the founder of Chabad, Tanya is the central text of Chabad Chassidus. It shows the reader a path to realizing their purpose and developing a deeper relationship with G-d. Choose from one of the two formats available: through Lessons in Tanya - a profound and clear explanation of the Alter Rebbe's writings, or through an audio class.

Daily Tanya

Daily Tanya

Igeret HaTeshuva , middle of Chapter 4

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Igeret HaTeshuva , middle of Chapter 4

ככה ממש, על דרך משל, המבדיל הבדלות לאין קץ

Precisely so in the analogy [of Creation], allowing for the infinite differentiations involved [between Creator and created],

יש הפרש עצום מאד למעלה

there exists a prodigious difference Above,

בין כל צבא השמים, ואפילו המלאכים, שנבראו מאין ליש

between all the hosts of heaven, even the spiritual beings like angels, who were created ex nihilo, [and the soul of man].

וחיים וקיימים מבחינת חיצוניות החיות והשפע שמשפיע אין סוף ברוך הוא להחיות העולמות

They derive their life and existence from the external aspect of the life-force issuing forth from the Infinite One to vitalize creation.

ובחינה זו נקראת בשם רוח פיו, על דרך משל, כמו שכתוב: וברוח פיו כל צבאם

his [external] aspect of the life-giving power is called the “breath of His mouth,” as it were, as the verse states:1 “By the breath of His mouth all their hosts [were created].”

והיא בחינת חיות המלובשת באותיות שבעשרה מאמרות

This is the creative power embodied in the letters of the Ten Utterances

שהן בחינת כלים והמשכות וכו׳, כמו שנתבאר בלקוטי אמרים חלק ב׳ פרק י״א

(2these letters being in the nature of vessels, and a drawing down and so forth of the life-force, as explained in Likutei Amarim, Part II, ch. 11).

ובין נשמת האדם שנמשכה תחלה מבחינת פנימיות החיות והשפע שמשפיע אין סוף ברוך הוא

In contrast, the soul of man derives initially from the innermost dimension of the life-force and flow issuing from the Infinite One,

כמו שכתוב: ויפח וגו׳

as in the verse quoted above, “And He blew….”

As mentioned earlier, this verb indicates the internal aspect of the Divine flow of life-force, for “he who blows, does so from his innermost being.”

Thus, the soul originated in the internal aspect of the life-force and flow issuing from G‑d. It is only afterwards, in order to enable it to be invested within the body, that the soul descended to a more external level, as the Alter Rebbe now goes on to say.

ואחר כך ירדה בסתר המדרגה, גם כן על ידי בחינת האותיות שבמאמר: נעשה אדם וכו׳

It then descended through ever more concealing planes, also (like the angels who were created by means of “letters”) by means of the letters that comprise the Divine Utterance,3 “Let us make man...,”

כדי להתלבש בגוף עולם הזה התחתון

in order that it could eventually be invested in a body in this inferior, [physical] world.

This, then, is the difference between souls and angels: Souls derive from the innermost aspect of G‑dliness, the Tetragrammaton, while angels are rooted in the external aspect of G‑dliness, the Divine Name Elokim, as is now explained.

ולכן נקראו המלאכים בשם אלקים בכתוב

For this reason Scripture calls the angels “Elokim”,

וכמו שכתוב: כי ה׳ אלקיכם הוא אלקי האלקים גו׳

as4 in the phrase,5 “For the L‑rd your G‑d, 6He is the G‑d of G‑ds (Elokim).,” the last word here referring to angels,

הודו לאלקי האלקים גו׳

[and likewise],7 “Praise the G‑d of G‑ds (Elokim).,” once again referring to angels by the name “Elokim”,

ויבואו בני האלקים להתייצב גו׳

and (in yet another reference to angels),8 “The sons of G‑d (Elokim) came to present themselves….”

The Name Elokim is applied to angels:

לפי שיניקת חיותם היא מבחינת חיצוניות, שהיא בחינת האותיות לבד

Because they derive their nurture from the external degree [of G‑dliness], which is merely the state of “letters”.

ושם אלקים הוא בחינת חיצוניות לגבי שם הויה ברוך הוא

Similarly, the Name Elokim is an external state relative to the Tetragrammaton.

אבל נשמת האדם, שהיא מבחינת פנימיות החיות, היא חלק שם הויה ברוך הוא

But the soul of man, deriving from the internal aspect of the G‑dly vivifying power, is a part of the Tetragrammaton,

כי שם הויה מורה על פנימיות החיות, שהיא למעלה מעלה מבחינת האותיות

for the Tetragrammaton indicates the innermost dimension of the life-giving power, which far transcends the state of letters.

Footnotes
1.
Tehillim 33:6.
2.
Parentheses are in the original text.
3.
Bereishit 1:26.
4.
The Rebbe notes that the Alter Rebbe cites three verses to adduce that angels are called Elokim, possibly in order to allude to the three general categories of angels — in the Worlds of Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah. The angels closest to souls (souls having “arisen in the Divine thought”) are those of the World of Beriah, the World of Thought. They are alluded to in the first verse, which states that “Your G‑d,” i.e., the G‑d of souls, is “the G‑d of angels.” The second verse, which mentions neither “Your G‑d” nor the Tetragrammaton, may be said to refer to the angels in the World of Yetzirah. The final verse, which speaks of the angels who give testimony with regard to the worldly affairs of man, may be said to apply to the angels of the nethermost world, the World of Asiyah.
5.
Devarim 10:17.
6.
In line with Scripture, the Rebbe restored the word “He” to the paraphrase in the text.
7.
Tehillim 136:2.
8.
Iyov 1:6.


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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