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.

והנה מודעת זאת, דאבא יונק ממזל השמיני

Now, it is known1 that Abba (lit., “father”, a Kabbalistic name for the Sefirah of Chochmah) draws its sustenance from the eighth mazal.

I.e., the eighth in the Torah’s enumeration of the Thirteen Attributes of Divine Mercy,2 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.

הוא תקון נוצר חסד

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

נוצר: אותיות רצון

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

והיא עת רצון, המתגלה ומאיר בבחינת גילוי, מלמעלה למטה, בעת פטירת צדיקי עליון

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 downwards, at the time of the passing of tzaddikim of stature,

עובדי ה׳ באהבה, במסירת נפשם לה׳ בחייהם, ערבית ושחרית, בקריאת שמע

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

שעל ידי זה היו מעלין מיין נוקבין לאבא ואימא בקריאת שמע, כידוע

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 Shema, as is known.

(וכן בתלמוד תורה, דמחכמה נפקא)

(3The same applies to their study of the Torah, which derives from Chochmah; this, too, results in an elevation of mayin nukvin toward Chochmah.)

ועל ידי זה היו נמשכים ויורדים בחינת מיין דוכרין מתיקון ונוצר חסד

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.

והם הם המאירים בבחינת גילוי בפטירתם

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

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.

כנודע, שכל עמל האדם, שעמלה נפשו בחייו, למעלה, בבחינת העלם והסתר

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,

מתגלה ומאיר בבחינת גילוי, מלמעלה למטה, בעת פטירתו

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

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

והנה, על ידי גילוי הארת תיקון ונוצר חסד בפטירתן

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

מאיר חסד ה׳ מעולם ועד עולם על יראיו

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,4

ופועל ישועות בקרב הארץ, לכפר על עון הדור

and effects salvations in the midst of the earth,5 to atone for the sin of the generation,

אף גם על הזדונות, שהן מג׳ קליפות הטמאות, שלמטה מנוגה

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

לפי שמזל דנוצר: ממוחין סתימין דאריך אנפין, מקור הבירורים

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.

ואתהפכא חשוכא דשבירת הכלים, לנהורא דעולם התיקון

The darkness incurred by the Breaking of the Vessels is thereby converted into the light of the World of Tikkun.

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.

מה שאין כן בקרבנות שעל גבי המזבח

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

שאינן מכפרים אלא על השגגות, שהן מהתגברות נפש הבהמית שמנוגה

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

כמו שכתוב בלקוטי תורה, פרשת ויקרא

as is stated in Likkutei Torah of the AriZal, Parshat Vayikra.

ולכן נסמכה לפרשת פרה דוקא

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

מה פרה וכו׳

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

ובילקוט, פרשת שמיני, הגיה: מי חטאת וכו׳

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

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.