Part (b)

ביאור על הנ״ל

An Elucidation of the Above

The Alter Rebbe now provides a deeper understanding of the above letter.

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איתא בזהר הקדוש, דצדיקא דאתפטר, אשתכח בכלהו עלמין יתיר מבחיוהי כו׳

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...”

וצריך להבין

Now this needs to be understood:

תינח בעולמות עליונים, אשתכח יתיר בעלותו שמה

For, granted that he is to be found increasingly in the upper worlds when he ascends there [following his passing];

אבל בעולם הזה, איך אשתכח יתיר

but how is he found more in this world?

ויש לומר על דרך מה שקבלתי על מאמר חז״ל, דשבק חיים לכל חי

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.”

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.

כנודע, שחיי הצדיק אינם חיים בשרים, כי אם חיים רוחניים, שהם אמונה ויראה ואהבה

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

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”.

כי באמונה כתיב: וצדיק באמונתו יחיה

Thus of faith it is written,1 “And a tzaddik lives by his faith.”

וביראה כתיב: יראת ה׳ לחיים

Of awe it is written,2 “The awe of G‑d [leads] to life.”

ובאהבה כתיב: רודף צדקה וחסד, ימצא חיים

And of love it is written,3 “He who pursues tzedakah and Chesed, will find life,”

וחסד הוא אהבה

and Chesed signifies love, for love is its core.

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”.

ושלש מדות אלו הם בכל עולם ועולם, עד רום המעלות

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

הכל לפי ערך בחינת מעלות העולמות

all proportionate to the levels of the worlds,

זה על זה, בדרך עילה ועלול, כנודע

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

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