In the previous chapter, the Alter Rebbe explained why our Sages compare the performance of a mitzvah to a body and one’s kavanah in performing the mitzvah to a soul.

He stated that kavanah can be classified into two categories, analogous to the two classes of creatures which possess a soul—animals and man.

The higher level of kavanah is that created by an intellectual appreciation of G-dliness. Upon contemplating G-d’s greatness, a love and fear of Him is born in one’s heart, which translates into a desire to cleave to Him. This desire in turn motivates one to fulfill the Torah and mitzvot, since they bind him to G-d, and this motivation is the kavanah in his fulfillment of the Torah and mitzvot. Such kavanah, born of reason and produced by one’s own volition, is analogous to the soul of man, the intelligent being who determines his actions by choice.

The lower level of kavanah is that which stems from an arousal of the soul’s natural, instinctive love and fear of G-d. Such kavanah is comparable to the soul of an animal, which is ruled by its natural instincts.

The Alter Rebbe now opens ch. 39 by stating that for this reason, the angels, who fear and love G-d by their very nature, are metaphorically called “animals.”

For this reason, too, the angels are called chayot (“beasts”) and behemot (“animals”), as it is written, “and an angel with the face of a lion is to the right of the divine chariot…and the face of an ox is on the left….”1

וּמִפְּנֵי זֶה גַם כֵּן, נִקְרָאִים הַמַּלְאָכִים בְּשֵׁם חַיּוֹת וּבְהֵמוֹת, כְּדִכְתִיב: "וּפְנֵי אַרְיֵה אֶל הַיָּמִין וְגוֹ' וּפְנֵי שׁוֹר מֵהַשְּׂמֹאל וְגוֹ'",

For they have no freedom of choice between good and evil, as man has. And their fear and love [of G-d] is natural to them; they need not create fear and love of G-d through intellectual contemplation of G-d’s greatness, as is written in Raaya Mehemna (Parashat Pinchas). Because their fear and love of G-d are natural and instinctive to them, they are compared to animals.

לְפִי שֶׁאֵינָם בַּעֲלֵי בְחִירָה, וְיִרְאָתָם וְאַהֲבָתָם הִיא טִבְעִית לָהֶם, כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב בְּ"רַעְיָא מְהֵימְנָא" פָּרָשַׁת פִּנְחָס.

Therefore, tzaddikim are on a higher level than them (the angels):2 the abode of the souls of tzaddikim is in the World of Beriah (Creation), whereas the abode of the angels is in the World of Yetzirah (Formation).

וְלָכֵן מַעֲלַת הַצַּדִּיקִים גְּדוֹלָה מֵהֶם, כִּי, מְדוֹר נִשְׁמוֹת הַצַּדִּיקִים – הוּא בְּעוֹלַם הַבְּרִיאָה, וּמְדוֹר הַמַּלְאָכִים – בְּעוֹלַם הַיְצִירָה.

This is so [only] in the case of ordinary angels. There are, however, higher angels in the World of Beriah, whose service [of G-d] is with intelligent fear and love.

וְהַיְינוּ בִּסְתָם מַלְאָכִים, אֲבָל יֵשׁ מַלְאָכִים ﬠֶלְיוֹנִים בְּעוֹלַם הַבְּרִיאָה שֶׁﬠֲבוֹדָתָם בִּדְחִילוּ וּרְחִימוּ שִׂכְלִיִּים,

It is written so in Raaya Mehemna, ibid., that there are two kinds of holy Chayot, instinctive and intelligent (i.e., those whose love and fear are instinctive and those who create love and fear intellectually), as is also written in Etz Chaim.

כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב בְּ"רַﬠְיָא מְהֵימְנָא" שָׁם, שֶׁיֵּשׁ שְׁנֵי מִינֵי חַיּוֹת הַקֹּדֶשׁ: טִבְﬠִיִּים וְשִׂכְלִיִּים, וּכְמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב בְּﬠֵץ חַיִּים:

The abode of ordinary angels, however, is in the World of Yetzirah, and they are thus lower than the souls of the tzaddikim, whose abode is in Beriah. The Alter Rebbe now explains how intellectually created love and fear are related to Beriah and instinctive love and fear to Yetzirah.

The difference between [Beriah and Yetzirah] is as follows:

וְהַהֶבְדֵּל שֶׁבֵּינֵיהֶם הוּא,

In Yetzirah, only the middot of the Blessed Ein Sof radiate (i.e., only the sefirot of chesed (kindness), gevurah (severity), etc.)—meaning the love of Him (corresponding to chesed), dread and fear of Him (corresponding to gevurah), and so on (with the other four middot).

כִּי בְּעוֹלַם הַיְצִירָה, מְאִירוֹת שָׁם מִדּוֹתָיו שֶׁל אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא לְבַדָּן, שֶׁהֵן אַהֲבָתוֹ וּפַחְדּוֹ וְיִרְאָתוֹ כוּ'.

As is written (in Tikkunei Zohar 3 and in Etz Chaim4), that the six sefirot (i.e., the six middot from chesed through yesod) “nest” in (i.e., pervade) the World of Yetzirah.

וּכְמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב [בַּתִּיקּוּנִים וְעֵץ חַיִּים] "דְּשִׁית סְפִירִין מְקַנְּנִין בִּיצִירָה".

The four partzufim (lit., “countenances”; i.e., configurations of sefirot) of the sefirot of Atzilut (the World of Emanation) radiate in the four Worlds—Atzilut, Beriah, Yetzirah, and (the World of Action, viz.,) Asiyah; one partzuf predominates in each World, representing the manifestation of G-dliness in that World.

These partzufim are: (a) chochmah (wisdom); (b) binah (understanding); (c) Z’eyr Anpin (lit., “The Small Image”; i.e., the six middot); (d) malchut (sovereignty).

In Atzilut, chochmah is the dominant partzuf. Atzilut is thus pervaded with an atmosphere of utter self-nullification before G-d, for chochmah, the dominant influence in that World, represents the perception that “Ein Sof is One alone, and there is naught besides Him” (as discussed in ch. 35).

In Beriah (also called the “World of the Throne”), binah is the dominant partzuf. Beriah is therefore a World of intellect; the souls and angels of Beriah are distinguished by superior intellectual appreciation of G-dliness.

Yetzirah is dominated by the six middot (which together constitute the partzuf of Z’eyr Anpin). It is therefore a World of emotion; the creatures of Yetzirah serve G-d with great emotional intensity.

Asiyah, the lowest World, is dominated by the partzuf of malchut. G-d’s attribute of Sovereignty evokes subservience in His subjects; therefore, in our service of G-d in this World, the emphasis is on “accepting the yoke of heaven.”

To return to our subject: Middot are the dominant influence in Yetzirah.

Therefore, this is the service of the angels whose abode is in Yetzirah, as mentioned above, constantly, never ceasing day or night, to stand in fear and dread [of G-d].

וְלָכֵן, זֹאת הִיא עֲבוֹדַת הַמַּלְאָכִים תָּמִיד, יוֹמָם וָלַיְלָה לֹא יִשְׁקוֹטוּ, לַעֲמוֹד בְּיִרְאָה וָפַחַד וְכוּ',

This refers to the entire host of [angels under] Gabriel, which is on the left. “Left” represents the middah of gevurah, which evokes fear and awe. Therefore, all these angels stand in constant fear of G-d.

וְהַיְינוּ, כָּל מַחֲנֵה גַבְרִיאֵל שֶׁמֵּהַשְּׂמֹאל,

The service of the host of [angels under] Michael, on the other hand, is love [of G-d]; they stand in constant adoration of G-dliness, corresponding to the middah of chesed, and so on.

וַעֲבוֹדַת מַחֲנֵה מִיכָאֵל הִיא הָאַהֲבָה כוּ'.

Thus, because middot constitute the dominant partzuf in Yetzirah, the service of the creatures of Yetzirah consists of emotion.

But in the World of Beriah radiate the chochmah, binah, and daat of the Blessed Ein Sof (i.e., the upper three sefirotChaBaD—of Atzilut), which are the source of middot and their “mother” and root.

אֲבָל בְּעוֹלַם הַבְּרִיאָה מְאִירוֹת שָׁם חָכְמָתוֹ וּבִינָתוֹ וְדַעְתּוֹ שֶׁל אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא, שֶׁהֵן מְקוֹר הַמִּדּוֹת וְאֵם וְשֹׁרֶשׁ לָהֶן,

As is written in Tikkunei Zohar,5 that Imma Ila’ah (lit., “the supernal mother,” i.e., the sefirah of binah, described as “mother” of the World of Atzilut) “nests” (radiates) in “the Throne,” meaning the World of Beriah, with three sefirot of Atzilut: chochmah, binah, and daat.

וְכִדְאִיתָא בַּתִּיקּוּנִים דְּ"אִימָּא עִילָּאָה מְקַנְּנָא בִּתְלַת סְפִירָן בְּכֻרְסְיָּא", שֶׁהוּא עוֹלַם הַבְּרִיאָה.

Because these three sefirotChaBaD—of the Ein Sof radiate in the World of Beriah, it is therefore the abode of the souls of those tzaddikim who serve G-d with a fear and love that stem from understanding and knowledge of G-d’s greatness,

וְלָכֵן הוּא מְדוֹר נִשְׁמוֹת הַצַּדִּיקִים, עוֹבְדֵי ה' בִּדְחִילוּ וּרְחִימוּ, הַנִּמְשָׁכוֹת מִן הַבִּינָה וָדַעַת דִּגְדוּלַּת אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא,

this love being called re’uta deliba (lit., “the heart’s desire,” i.e., a desire created by intellect as opposed to desire that transcends intellect), as mentioned above.

שֶׁאַהֲבָה זוֹ נִקְרָא "רְעוּתָא דְלִבָּא", כַּנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל;

From this re’uta deliba, a garment is formed for the soul in the World of Beriah, which is the Higher Garden of Eden, as will be discussed further and as is written in the Zohar, Parashat Vayakhel. The Lower Garden of Eden is in Yetzirah, and the Higher Garden of Eden in Beriah.

וּמֵ"רְעוּתָא דְלִבָּא" נַעֲשֶׂה לְבוּשׁ לַנְּשָׁמָה בְּעוֹלַם הַבְּרִיאָה, שֶׁהוּא גַן עֵדֶן הָעֶלְיוֹן, כְּדִלְקַמָּן, וּכְמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב בַּזֹּהַר וַיַּקְהֵל.