והנה תכלית השתלשלות העולמות וירידתם ממדרגה למדרגה אינו בשביל עולמות העליונים

The purpose of the Hishtalshelut of the worlds, and of their descent from level to level, is not for the sake of the higher worlds,

הואיל ולהם ירידה מאור פניו יתברך

since for them this constitutes a descent from the light of His Countenance.

The very word “world” (עולם) in Hebrew denotes concealment. Thus, even the highest worlds constitute, by their very existence, a descent from the pervading level of G‑dliness that preceded their creation. It is illogical, then, to say that the revelation which these higher worlds represent is the purpose of the Hishtalshelut, since their revelation is actually concealment — and the ultimate purpose of creation lies in revelation, not concealment.

אלא התכלית הוא עולם הזה התחתון

Rather, the purpose of Hishtalshelut is this lowest world.

All the higher worlds are merely steps in the descent of the divine creative power; in each of them the light is veiled yet further, until it is finally reduced to the minute degree of revelation that this physical world is capable of receiving.

שכך עלה ברצונו יתברך, להיות נחת רוח לפניו יתברך כד אתכפיא סטרא אחרא ואתהפך חשוכא לנהורא

Thus, the purpose of the Hishtalshelut is this world, for such was His will — that He find it pleasurable when the sitra achra is subjugated to holiness, and the darkness of kelipah is transformed into holy light,

שיאיר אור ה׳ אין סוף ברוך הוא במקום החשך והסטרא אחרא של כל עולם הזה כולו

so that in the place of the darkness and sitra achra prevailing throughout this world, the Ein Sof-light of G‑d will shine forth

ביתר שאת ויתר עז, ויתרון אור מן החשך, מהארתו בעולמות עליונים

with greater strength and intensity, and with the superior quality of light that emerges from the darkness i.e., when darkness is transformed into light, the resulting light is superior to ordinary light; it will thus shine with greater intensity than its radiance in the higher worlds.1

שמאיר שם על ידי לבושים והסתר פנים, המסתירים ומעלימים אור אין סוף ברוך הוא

There, in the higher worlds, it shines through garments and [through] concealment of the Countenance (a concealment of the pnimiyut — i.e., the internal aspect — of the light) which conceal and screen the Ein Sof-light,

שלא יבטלו במציאות

so that [the worlds] do not dissolve out of existence.

For were the Ein Sof-light not screened by garments, the worlds could not bear it, and would dissolve. Thus, the revelation wrought by subjugation of the kelipot in this world, is greater than that of the higher worlds; there the Ein Sof-light is hidden, whereas here in this world it is revealed in all its strength.

A question arises, however. How is it possible (even upon subjugating the kelipot and transforming them into holiness) that we in this world should experience a revelation of the Ein Sof-light without veil or concealment, when even the higher worlds cannot receive such revelation without dissolving into nothingness?

In answer, the Alter Rebbe writes: