It is stated in the sacred Zohar that “When a tzaddik departs, he is to be found in all the worlds more than during his lifetime….”

אִיתָא בַּזּוֹהַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ, דְּ"צַדִּיקָא דְּאִתְפַּטַּר אִשְׁתַּכַּח בְּכֻלְּהוּ עָלְמִין יַתִּיר מִבְּחַיּוֹהִי כוּ'".

Now, this needs to be understood:

וְצָרִיךְ לְהָבִין,

For, granted that he is to be found increasingly in the upper worlds when he ascends there [following his passing], but how is he found more in this world?

תֵּינַח בְּעוֹלָמוֹת עֶלְיוֹנִים – אִשְׁתַּכַּח יַתִּיר בַּעֲלוֹתוֹ שָׁמָּה, אֲבָל בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה אֵיךְ אִשְׁתַּכַּח יַתִּיר?

This may be explained along the lines of [a teaching] which I received concerning the idiom of our Sages, of blessed memory, that [a departed tzaddik] “has left life to all the living.”

וְיֵשׁ לוֹמַר, עַל דֶּרֶךְ מַה שֶּׁקִּבַּלְתִי עַל מַאֲמַר חֲכָמֵינוּ־זִכְרוֹנָם־לִבְרָכָה "דְּשָׁבַק חַיִּים לְכָל חַי",

As mentioned above, the expression is problematic: surely, he has not left anyone life which was not their own. The Alter Rebbe will now explain in what sense it may truly be said that the departed tzaddik left his surviving disciples something of his own life.

As is known, the life of a tzaddik is not a fleshly life but a spiritual life, consisting of faith, awe, and love.

כַּנּוֹדָע, שֶׁחַיֵּי הַצַּדִּיק אֵינָם חַיִּים בְּשָׂרִים כִּי אִם חַיִּים רוּחַנִיִּים, שֶׁהֵם אֱמוּנָה וְיִרְאָה וְאַהֲבָה,

These he possesses not only for himself but transmits to his disciples as well.

In Scripture, we find that faith, awe, and love are each termed “life.”

Thus, of faith it is written, “And a tzaddik lives by his faith.”

כִּי בֶּאֱמוּנָה כְּתִיב: "וְצַדִּיק בֶּאֱמוּנָתוֹ יִחְיֶה",

Of awe it is written, “The awe of G-d [leads] to life.”

וּבְיִרְאָה כְּתִיב: "וְיִרְאַת ה' לְחַיִּים",

And of love it is written, “He who pursues tzedakah and chesed will find life,”31

וּבְאַהֲבָה כְּתִיב: "רוֹדֵף צְדָקָה וָחֶסֶד יִמְצָא חַיִּים",

and chesed signifies love, for love is its core.

וְחֶסֶד הוּא אַהֲבָה.

Hence, when the term “life” is used to describe chesed, it applies to love as well. To sum up: Faith in G-d, and the awe and love of Him, are thus all referred to as “life.”

Now, these three attributes are present in every world, up to the highest of levels,

וּשְׁלֹשָה מִדּוֹת אֵלּוּ הֵם בְּכָל עוֹלָם וְעוֹלָם עַד רוּם הַמַּעֲלוֹת,

all proportionate to the levels of the worlds,

הַכֹּל לְפִי עֵרֶךְ בְּחִינַת מַעֲלוֹת הָעוֹלָמוֹת

one higher than the other, by way of cause and effect, as is known.

זֶה עַל זֶה בְּדֶרֶךְ עִילָּה וְעָלוּל, כַּנּוֹדָע.

At any level, each world serves as an antecedent (a “cause”) to the lesser world (the “effect”) which it brings into being.