The Alter Rebbe will now explain how this relates to the passing of a tzaddik, for this likewise draws down a degree of illumination that utterly transcends the world, transforming its darkness into light and bringing about atonement for the sins of the generation.

Now, it is known22 that abba (lit., “father,” a Kabbalistic name for the sefirah of chochmah) draws its sustenance from the eighth mazal.

וְהִנֵּה, מוּדַעַת זֹאת, דְּ"אַבָּא" יוֹנֵק מִמַּזָּל הַשְּׁמִינִי

I.e., the eighth in the Torah’s enumeration of the Thirteen Attributes of Divine Mercy,23 which correspond to the thirteen “tufts” of the celestial “beard,” the individual hairs of which are conduits for the emanation of a tenuous flow of life-force.

This24 is the tuft of notzer chesed that appears in the above listing: notzer chesed la’alafim (“He guards chesed for thousands [of generations]”).

הוּא תִּיקּוּן "נוֹצֵר חֶסֶד",

[The Hebrew word] notzer (“guards”) is composed of the same letters as [the Hebrew word] ratzon (“Divine favor”).

"נוֹצֵר" אוֹתִיּוֹת "רָצוֹן",

This is the et ratzon (“the time of Divine favor,” i.e., “the auspicious time”) that becomes revealed and radiates in a manifest way, from above downward, at the time of the passing of tzaddikim of stature,

וְהִיא עֵת רָצוֹן הַמִּתְגַּלֶּה וּמֵאִיר בִּבְחִינַת גִּילּוּי מִלְמַעְלָה לְמַטָּה, בְּעֵת פְּטִירַת צַדִּיקֵי עֶלְיוֹן,

who serve G-d out of love, surrendering their soul to G-d during their lifetime every evening and morning when reading the Shema.

עוֹבְדֵי ה' בְּאַהֲבָה, בִּמְסִירַת נַפְשָׁם לַה' בְּחַיֵּיהֶם עַרְבִית וְשַׁחֲרִית בִּקְרִיאַת־שְׁמַע,

For thereby they would elevate mayin nukvin (lit., “feminine waters”; i.e., they would initiate a spiritual arousal expressing their desire to receive a flow of Divine energy) to abba and imma (i.e., to chochmah and binah) during the Reading of the Shema, as is known.

שֶׁעַל־יְדֵי זֶה הָיוּ מַעֲלִים "מַיִּין נוּקְבִין" לְ"אַבָּא" וְ"אִימָּא" בִּקְרִיאַת־שְׁמַע, כַּיָּדוּעַ.

(25The same applies to their study of the Torah, which derives from chochmah; this, too, results in an elevation of mayin nukvin toward chochmah.)

(וְכֵן בְּתַלְמוּד תּוֹרָה דְּמֵחָכְמָה נָפְקָא),

Thereby, the mayin duchrin (lit., the “masculine waters” which thereupon flow from above) were elicited and drawn down from the tuft of notzer chesed since it is from this Divine attribute that chochmah draws its sustenance, as stated above.

וְעַל־יְדֵי זֶה הָיוּ נִמְשָׁכִים וְיוֹרְדִים בְּחִינַת "מַיִּין דּוּכְרִין" מִתִּיקּוּן "וְנוֹצֵר חֶסֶד",

And, indeed, it is these [illuminations] that radiate in a manifest way at the time of the passing [of tzaddikim].

וְהֵם הֵם הַמְּאִירִים בִּבְחִינַת גִּילּוּי בִּפְטִירָתָם,

The illuminations that are drawn down through the self-sacrifice of tzaddikim during their lifelong recitation of the Shema and their Torah study become revealed at the time of their passing.

For as is known, all the effort of man, in which his soul toiled during his lifetime [and which remains] above, in a hidden and obscured state,

כַּנּוֹדָע – שֶׁכָּל עֲמַל הָאָדָם שֶׁעָמְלָה נַפְשׁוֹ בְּחַיָּיו לְמַעְלָה בִּבְחִינַת הֶעְלֵם וְהֶסְתֵּר,

is revealed and radiates in a manifest way, from above downward, at the time of his passing.

מִתְגַּלֶּה וּמֵאִיר בִּבְחִינַת גִּילּוּי מִלְמַעְלָה לְמַטָּה בְּעֵת פְּטִירָתו.

Thus, all the unseen spiritual effects of the tzaddik’s Reading of the Shema and of his Torah study are revealed in the world below at the time of his passing.

Now, by the illumination from the tuft of notzer chesed that is revealed at the time of the passing [of tzaddikim],

וְהִנֵּה, עַל־יְדֵי גִּילּוּי הֶאָרַת תִּיקּוּן "וְנוֹצֵר חֶסֶד" בִּפְטִירָתָן,

the chesed of G-d radiates from world to world—from the World of Concealment down to the World of Revelation—over those who fear Him,26

מֵאִיר "חֶסֶד ה' מֵעוֹלָם עַד עוֹלָם עַל יְרֵאָיו",

and “effects salvations in the midst of the earth,”27 to atone for the sin of the generation,

וּ"פוֹעֵל יְשׁוּעוֹת בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ", לְכַפֵּר עַל עֲוֹן הַדּוֹר,

even for the deliberate sins which are of the three impure kelipot that are inferior to nogah, for kelipat nogah can give rise only to unwitting sins, whose atonement is secured through sacrificial offerings.

אַף גַּם עַל הַזְּדוֹנוֹת שֶׁהֵן מִג' קְלִיפּוֹת הַטְּמֵאוֹת שֶׁלְּמַטָּה מִנּוֹגַהּ,

For the mazal of notzer chesed is of the mochin setimin of arich anpin, i.e., the chochmah of keter, which is the source of the task of beirurim, the refinement of the material world by extracting and uplifting the Divine sparks within it.

לְפִי שֶׁמַּזָּל דְּ"נוֹצֵר" מִ"מּוֹחָא סְתִימָאָה" דַ"אֲרִיךְ אַנְפִּין" מְקוֹר הַבֵּירוּרִים,

The darkness incurred by the breaking of the vessels is thereby converted into the light of the World of Tikkun.

וְאִתְהַפְּכָא חֲשׁוֹכָא דִשְׁבִירַת הַכֵּלִים לִנְהוֹרָא דְעוֹלַם הַתִּיקּוּן.

This light is therefore able to atone even for the deliberate sins that derive from the three impure kelipot—the lowest level that resulted from the breaking of the vessels.

This is not the case, though, with the sacrifices that are [offered] upon the altar.

מַה־שֶּׁאֵין־כֵּן בַּקָּרְבָּנוֹת שֶׁעַל גַּבֵּי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ,

They atone only for inadvertent sins, which come about because of the strengthening of the animal soul [whose life-force derives] from nogah,

שֶׁאֵינָן מְכַפְּרִים אֶלָּא עַל הַשְּׁגָגוֹת, שֶׁהֵן מֵהִתְגַּבְּרוּת נֶפֶשׁ הַבַּהֲמִית שֶׁמִּנּוֹגַהּ,

as is stated in Likkutei Torah of the Arizal, Parashat Vayikra.

כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב בְּ"לִקּוּטֵי תּוֹרָה" פָּרָשַׁת וַיִּקְרָא.

This, then, is why [the passage concerning Miriam] was adjoined expressly to the passage concerning the Red Heifer:

וְלָכֵן נִסְמְכָה לְפָרָשַׁת פָּרָה דַּוְקָא –

“[To teach you that] just as the Heifer [effects atonement, so does the passing of the righteous].”

"מַה פָּרָה וְכוּ'".

The Yalkut, Parashat Shemini, [for “the Heifer”] reads “the waters of purification….”

וּבְיַלְקוּט פָּרָשַׁת שְׁמִינִי הַגִּירְסָא "מֵי חַטָּאת וְכוּ'":

This is more in keeping with the explanation provided above, for the Red Heifer’s atonement and its impact on the three impure kelipot is not a result of burning the Heifer, which is spiritually symbolic of elevation, but a result of the “sanctification of the purifying waters,” an act which draws down benefactions from above, just as water flows downward from above—from supernal holiness and chochmah of keter, the source of refinement and purification.