Now, the celestial beings (i.e., the souls and angels in the higher worlds) do not have the power to disencumber and elevate that which is in kelipat nogah (i.e., the sparks that are exiled there) as a result of the “breaking of the vessels.”

וְהִנֵּה, הָעֶלְיוֹנִים אֵין בָּהֶם כֹּחַ לְבָרֵר וּלְהַעֲלוֹת מֵהַשְּׁבִירָה שֶׁבִּקְלִיפַּת נוֹגַהּ,

Only the terrestrial beings, the souls situated in this world, [can do this],

אֶלָּא הַתַּחְתּוֹנִים לְבַד,

for they are vested in a material body that is known as the “hide of the serpent,” which derives from kelipat nogah.

לְפִי שֶׁהֵם מְלוּבָּשִׁים בְּגוּף חוּמְרִי "מַשְׁכָּא דְחִוְיָא" מִקְּלִיפַּת נוֹגַהּ,

As explained above, when this concept appeared in ch. 31 of the Tanya (quoting the Zohar 64), the “serpent” refers to the “three utterly impure kelipot” while the body that derives its vitality from kelipat nogah is called the “hide of the serpent.”65

These [embodied souls] weaken its strength, the strength of this kelipah, by crushing the passions,

וְהֵם מַתִּישִׁים כֹּחָהּ בִּשְׁבִירַת הַתַּאֲווֹת,

thereby subjugating the sitra achara so that “all the workers of evil (i.e., the kelipot) will be dispersed.”66

וְאִתְכַּפְיָא סִטְרָא אָחֳרָא, וְ"יִתְפָּרְדוּ כָּל פּוֹעֲלֵי אָוֶן".

Thus, only souls in this world are able to extract the holy sparks from the kelipot and elevate them. For this reason, they alone are able to elevate the chochmah of Torah which the kelipot obscure.

This is why the celestial beings, the souls of the higher worlds, come to hear innovative insights into the Torah from the terrestrial beings67 from the souls here in this world

וְלָכֵן בָּאִים הָעֶלְיוֹנִים לִשְׁמוֹעַ חִידּוּשֵׁי תּוֹרָה מֵהַתַּחְתּוֹנִים,

[to hear] the secrets of wisdom, which they innovate and reveal, and which until this time had been in bondage in exile.

מַה שֶּׁמְּחַדְּשִׁים וּמְגַלִּים תַּעֲלוּמוֹת הַחָכְמָה שֶׁהָיוּ כְּבוּשִׁים בַּגּוֹלָה עַד עַתָּה.

Every Jew is able to reveal secrets of wisdom, (68to reveal) and to discover a new insight,

וְכָל אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל יוּכַל לְגַלּוֹת תַּעֲלוּמוֹת חָכְמָה (לְגַלּוֹת) וּלְחַדֵּשׁ שֵׂכֶל חָדָשׁ,

whether it be in the laws or in homiletics, in the revealed or in the mystical [planes of the Torah],69

הֵן בַּהֲלָכוֹת, הֵן בְּאַגָּדוֹת, הֵן בַּנִּגְלֶה, הֵן בַּנִּסְתָּר,

according to the nature of his soul’s root and its consequent affinity with each of the above categories of the Torah.

כְּפִי בְּחִינַת שֹׁרֶשׁ נִשְׁמָתוֹ,

Indeed, one is obliged to do so—to uncover hitherto-concealed insights into the Torah, and to reveal the secrets of wisdom,

וּמְחוּיָּיב בַּדָּבָר,

in order to perfect his soul by elevating all the sparks that have been allotted to it, as is known.70

לְהַשְׁלִים נִשְׁמָתוֹ בְּהַעֲלָאַת כָּל הַנִּיצוֹצוֹת שֶׁנָּפְלוּ לְחֶלְקָהּ וּלְגוֹרָלָהּ, כַּנּוֹדָע.

(71Moreover, every Torah teaching, and especially a halachic teaching, is a spark of the Shechinah, which is the word of G-d.

(וְכָל דִּבְרֵי תוֹרָה, וּבִפְרָט דְּבַר הֲלָכָה, הִיא נִיצוֹץ מֵהַשְּׁכִינָה, שֶׁהִיא הִיא דְּבַר ה',

In the words of the Gemara, “The phrase ‘word of G-d’ denotes the Halachah.”72

כִּדְאִיתָא בַּגְּמָרָא: "דְּבַר ה' זוֹ הֲלָכָה",

This accords with the Kabbalistic principle regarding malchut of Atzilut which garbs the chochmah of Atzilut, [both of] which are vested in malchut of Yetzirah,

סוֹד מַלְכוּת דַּאֲצִילוּת הַמַּלְבֶּשֶׁת לְחָכְמָה דַּאֲצִילוּת, וּמְלוּבָּשִׁים בְּמַלְכוּת דִּיצִירָה,

and with the “breaking of the vessels” they descended into kelipat nogah.)

וְיָרְדוּ בִּקְלִיפַּת נוֹגַהּ בִּשְׁבִירַת הַכֵּלִים).

The words of Torah in general, and particularly the halachic “word of G-d,” are thus exiled within the kelipot that conceal them. Accordingly, a scholar who brings to light a teaching long hidden in the Torah or who resolves a problematic query and thereby clearly articulates a particular law releases the pertinent spark of the Shechinah from the kelipot.

Thus, the Gemara teaches that the Holy One, blessed be He, says of whoever engages in the study of the Torah…, “I account it as if he had redeemed Me and My children from among the nations of the world.”73

וְזֶהוּ שֶׁאָמְרוּ בַּגְּמָרָא: "כָּל הָעוֹסֵק בַּתּוֹרָה, אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ־בָּרוּךְ־הוּא: מַעֲלֶה אֲנִי עָלָיו כְּאִלּוּ פְּדָאַנִי וְאֶת בָּנַי מִבֵּין הָאוּמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם".

For Torah study redeems the sparks of the Shechinah—the sparks of the “word of G-d”—from their exile within the kelipot.