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Friday, 15 Av 5775 / July 31, 2015
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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.

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Iggeret HaKodesh, middle of Epistle 5

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Iggeret HaKodesh, middle of Epistle 5

והנה הגם שהיא ה׳ תתאה, ה׳ אחרונה שבשם הוי׳

Now, though this is the “lower hei,” the latter hei of the Four-Letter Name of G‑d,

Supernal speech is of the level of Malchut, as alluded to in the verse, “The king’s utterance reigns.”1 The hei that is the source of speech is thus the lower hei of the Tetragrammaton, the letter which denotes the level of Malchut.

ורז״ל דרשו זה על פסוק: כי ביה

while our Sages, of blessed memory, expounded this — that the World to Come was created by the letter yud and this world by the letter hei from their reading of the verse, “For by yud-hei [did G‑d create the worlds],”

Since these are the first two letters of the Divine Name, how are we taught here that the statement that “this world was created by the letter hei” refers to the lower letter hei, the source of the breath of the letters of speech?

היינו לפי שמקורה וראשיתה לבא לבחינת גילוי מהעלם היו״ד

this is because its source and the beginning of its progress into a state of manifestation from the obscurity of the yud

הוא מושפע ונמשך מבחינת ה׳ עילאה

is influenced and drawn forth from the level of the upper hei.

The obscurity of the yud of Chochmah is the source of every manner of revelation, both of the World to Come as well as of this world. As this relates to the letters: it serves as the source of revelation both for the “form” as well as the “matter” of the letters. It is only that in the resulting revelation of the letters, the “form” of the letters and the revelation of the World to Come emanate from the letter yud — from Chochmah — itself, while the revelation of the “matter” or external aspect of the letters emanates from the “breath of the heart,” from the latter hei of the Divine Name.

שיש לה התפשטות אורך ורוחב

[The form or shape of the letter hei] has dimensions of length and width

להורות על בחינת בינה

to indicate the faculty of Binah, for the upper hei of the Divine Name denotes the level of Binah,

שהיא התפשטות השכל הנעלם בבחינת גילוי והשגה, בהרחבת הדעת

which is the expansion of the “concealed intellect” into a state of manifestation and apprehension, extending into Daat,

והשפעתה מסתיימת בלב

and its diffusion — the diffusion of the flow of Binah culminates in the heart.

וכמו שכתוב בתיקונים, דבינה לבא, ובה הלב מבין

Thus it is written in the Tikkunim2 that “Binah is the heart, and by means of it the heart understands.”

Thus, the diffusion of Binah takes place within the heart.

ומשם יוצא ההבל מקור גילוי גוף האותיות הדבור

From there issues the breath, the original manifestation of the “body” of the letters of speech

המתגלות בה׳ מוצאות מהעלם היו״ד

which become revealed from the concealment of the yud through the five organs of speech.

ותמונת ה׳ תתאה בכתיבתה גם כן בהתפשטות אורך ורוחב

The shape of the lower hei which, in its written form, also has dimensions of length and width,

מורה על התפשטות בחינת מלכותו יתברך, מלכות כל עולמים

indicates the extension of [G‑d’s] blessed Sovereignty, “the sovereignty of all worlds,”3

למעלה ולמטה ולד׳ סטרין

which extends upward and downward, and in the four directions,

המתפשטות ונמשכות מאותיות דבר ה׳, כמו שכתוב בקהלת: באשר דבר מלך שלטון, כמו שכתוב במקום אחר

[all these directions] extending and issuing from the letters of the “word of G‑d”; as it is written in Kohelet, “The king’s utterance reigns,” as explained elsewhere.

Just as a king of flesh and blood rules through his faculty of speech, by issuing commands, so too does Supernal speech extend G‑d’s reign in all the dimensions of the created universe.

[ולהבין מעט מזעיר ענין ומהות אותיות הדבור באלקות, שאין לו דמות הגוף ולא הנפש, חס ושלום

4[As for understanding somewhat the concept and nature of “letters of speech” in relation to Divinity, inasmuch as [G‑d] has no form of a body, nor of a soul, heaven forfend,

כבר נתבאר בדרך ארוכה וקצרה (בלקוטי אמרים, חלק ב׳, פרק י״א וי״ב, עיין שם)]

this has already been explained comprehensively yet concisely 5(in Likkutei Amarim, Part II, chs. 11 and 12; see there).]

* * *

FOOTNOTES
1. Kohelet 8:4.
2. Introduction to Tikkunei Zohar.
3. Tehillim 145:13.
4. Brackets are in the original text.
5. Parentheses are in the original text.


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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