The Alter Rebbe now goes on to explain another form of meditation. Unlike the above thoughts, which should preface divine service in general, this meditation relates to the particular mitzvah that the individual is about to perform—to the content of this mitzvah, its distinctive effect, and its influence on his soul.

He should also reflect how the light of the blessed Ein Sof, which encompasses all worlds and pervades all worlds and which is identical with the Higher will,

וְגַם יִתְבּוֹנֵן, אֵיךְ שֶׁאוֹר־אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא, הַ"סּוֹבֵב כָּל עָלְמִין" וּ"מְמַלֵּא כָּל עָלְמִין", הוּא רָצוֹן הָעֶלְיוֹן,

Previous chapters have stated that G-d’s will is the source of the life-force that animates all worlds in both a transcendental and an indwelling mode.

is clothed in the letters and wisdom of the Torah,

הוּא מְלוּבָּשׁ בְּאוֹתִיּוֹת וְחָכְמַת הַתּוֹרָה,

In the very letters of Torah that the person utters and in the Torah wisdom that he comprehends, G-d’s will is to be found. As explained in ch. 4, the Divine will clothed itself in the ink and parchment of the Torah scroll and similarly clothed itself in the wisdom of Torah. Thus, when the wisdom of the Torah determines that a certain object is either kosher or invalid, it is expressing the Divine will.

Accordingly, before a person commences his Torah study, he should ponder on how the Ein Sof-light—the Divine will—is vested in the letters and wisdom of the Torah he is now about to study,

or, if his meditation takes place before he puts on his tallit and tefillin, he should contemplate how the Divine will is clothed in these tzitzit and tefillin, it being G-d’s will that a Jew wear them,

אוֹ בְּצִיצִית וּתְפִלִּין אֵלּוּ,

and through his recitation or study of the Torah or by his wearing tzitzit and tefillin,

וּבִקְרִיאָתוֹ אוֹ בִּלְבִישָׁתוֹ

he draws upon himself His blessed light, that is, over the “part of G-d above”—his soul—which abides in his body and animates it.

הוּא מַמְשִׁיךְ אוֹרוֹ יִתְבָּרֵךְ עָלָיו, דְּהַיְינוּ עַל "חֵלֶק אֱלוֹהַּ מִמַּעַל" שֶׁבְּתוֹךְ גּוּפוֹ,

This he does with the intent that it may be absorbed and nullified in His blessed light.

לִיכָּלֵל וְלִיבָּטֵל בְּאוֹרוֹ יִתְבָּרֵךְ.

The individual’s intent, then, is that the aforementioned study and performance have an effect on his soul. In particular, as will soon be explained, the intellectual and emotional faculties of the soul are affected by tefillin.

Specifically, through tefillin, [he should intend that] the attributes of wisdom and understanding which are in his divine soul should be nullified and absorbed into the attributes of wisdom and understanding of the blessed Ein Sof, these being clothed, in particular, in the passages of Kadesh and Vehayah ki yeviacha.4

וְדֶרֶךְ פְּרָט בִּתְפִילִּין, לִיבָּטֵל וְלִיכָּלֵל בְּחִינַת חָכְמָתוֹ וּבִינָתוֹ שֶׁבְּנַפְשׁוֹ הָאֱלֹהִית, בִּבְחִינַת חָכְמָתוֹ וּבִינָתוֹ שֶׁל אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא, הַמְלוּבָּשׁוֹת דֶּרֶךְ פְּרָט בְּפָרָשִׁיּוֹת: "קַדֶּשׁ", "וְהָיָה כִּי יְבִיאֲךָ",

In these passages, both of which are found in the tefillin, G-d’s wisdom (chochmah) and understanding (binah) are enclothed, wisdom in the former and understanding in the latter. By putting on tefillin, the individual’s wisdom and understanding are absorbed in G-d’s. How does this find expression?

That is to say that he should use the wisdom and understanding that are in his soul for G-d alone—only in pursuit of Torah and mitzvot and for understanding G-dliness.

דְּהַיְינוּ, שֶׁלֹּא לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בְּחָכְמָתוֹ וּבִינָתוֹ שֶׁבְּנַפְשׁוֹ, בִּלְתִּי לַה' לְבַדּוֹ,

Similarly, [he should intend that] the attribute of daat (the third of the three components of intellect) in his soul, which includes both the chesed (kindness) and gevurah (severity), i.e., fear and love, in his heart,

וְכֵן לִיבָּטֵל וְלִיכָּלֵל בְּחִינַת הַדַּעַת שֶׁבְּנַפְשׁוֹ, הַכּוֹלֵל חֶסֶד וּגְבוּרָה, שֶׁהֵן יִרְאָה וְאַהֲבָה שֶׁבְּלִבּוֹ,

The attribute of daat comprises kindness and severity insofar as these attributes exist on an intellectual level. Moreover, as is explained at the end of ch. 3, the profound and involved meditation that characterizes the level of daat actually creates love and fear insofar as they exist independently on an emotional level. This faculty of daat, then, should—

be nullified and absorbed into the attribute of the higher knowledge (daat ha’elyon), which comprises kindness and severity and which is clothed in the passage of Shema and Vehayah im shamoa.

בִּבְחִינַת דַּעַת הָעֶלְיוֹן הַכּוֹלֵל חֶסֶד וּגְבוּרָה, הַמְלוּבָּשׁ בְּפָרָשִׁיּוֹת: "שְׁמַע", "וְהָיָה אִם שָׁמוֹעַ",

This accords with the statement of the Shulchan Aruch [that while putting on the tefillin, one should intend] “to make one’s heart and brain subservient to G-d.”5

וְהַיְינוּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב בְּשֻׁלְחָן עָרוּךְ: "לְשַׁעְבֵּד הַלֵּב וְהַמּוֹחַ כוּ'";

In this way, then, the divine soul as a whole, and its intellective and emotive faculties in particular, are affected by one’s wearing tefillin.