As explained in the previous chapters, the love and fear that lead to performance of Torah and mitzvot elevate them to the Supernal Sefirot. If the love and fear are “natural” — i.e., they do not result from contemplating G‑d’s greatness, but from the soul’s natural resources — then the Torah and mitzvot are elevated only as far as the World of Yetzirah, the World of emotion. For since the level of “natural” love and fear of G‑d belongs in that World, it follows that the Torah and mitzvot performed as a result of that level, will be elevated there as well.

However, if the love and fear are “intellectual” — created by one’s reflection on G‑d’s greatness — then the Torah and mitzvot performed as a result of this contemplation will be elevated to the Sefirot of the World of Beriah, the World where the Sefirah of Binah (“understanding”) is preeminent.

The Alter Rebbe now goes on to say that although the two above-mentioned loves (“My soul...” and “Like a son...”) are naturally found in a Jew’s soul, deriving as they do from the Patriarchs, still, when they are in a revealed state in one’s heart, they are able to elevate the Torah and mitzvot that result from them to the World of Beriah. Only when “natural” love remains concealed in the mind, is it restricted to elevating Torah and mitzvot no higher than Yetzirah. When, however, it is in a revealed state, they are elevated to the World of Beriah.

For while it is true that these loves are natural, yet in order for them to be revealed there must be profound contemplation on the theme of G‑d as our true Father and Source of life. Such contemplation gives this natural love the additional qualitative trait achieved by “intellectual” love, so that the Torah and mitzvot which result from this love are elevated to the World of Beriah, the World of knowledge. This is now going to be discussed:

והנה ב׳ בחינות אהבות אלו

The said two categories of love — that of “My soul...,” the love a Jew feels for G‑d upon realizing that He is his true life, and that which is “Like a son...,” loving G‑d as one’s true father —

אף שהן ירושה לנו מאבותינו, וכמו טבע בנפשותינו, וכן היראה הכלולה בהן, שהיא לירא מליפרד, חס ושלום, ממקור חיינו ואבינו האמיתי, ברוך הוא

though they are an inheritance unto us from our Patriarchs, and like a natural instinct in our souls (and so, too, as a natural instinct, is the fear that is comprised in them, namely the fear of being sundered, G‑d forbid, from the Source of our life and our true Father, blessed be He),

When one feels that G‑d is the true Source of his life he will fear to transgress, so as not to become separated from his source of life. The feeling of G‑d being one’s true father will likewise keep him from sinning, since he does not want to be torn away from his father.

Although both the above-mentioned degrees of love and fear are instinctively found within Jews,

אף על פי כן אינן נקראות בשם דחילו ורחימו טבעיים, אלא כשהן במוחו ומחשבתו לבד ותעלומות לבו, ואז מקומן בי׳ ספירות דיצירה, ולשם הן מעלות עמהן התורה והמצות הבאות מחמתן ובסיבתן

they are, nevertheless, not termed “natural” fear and love unless they be in the mind and thought alone and in the latency of the heart. Then their place is in the Ten Sefirot of Yetzirah, the place and level of the “natural” emotions, whither they raise up with them the Torah and mitzvot of which they have been the inspiration and cause.

These levels of love are the cause of the performance of one’s Torah and mitzvot, for they result from the portrayal of this love in his mind.

אבל כשהן בהתגלות לבו, נקראים רעותא דלבא בזהר

But when they (the two degrees of love) are in a manifest state in the heart, as a result of his contemplation, they are called in the Zohar, re‘uta delibba (“the heart’s desire” — a more exalted love than “natural” love),

ומקומן בי׳ ספירות דבריאה, ולשם הן מעלות עמהן התורה והמצות הבאות מחמתן

and their place is in the Ten Sefirot of Beriah, where they raise up with them the Torah and mitzvot of which they have been the cause, i.e., which have been performed with the ardor of this love.

The reason this is indeed so, notwithstanding the fact that they are “naturally” found with the soul of every Jew, is now given:

מפני שיציאתן מההעלם והסתר הלב אל בחינת גילוי היא על ידי הדעת, ותקיעת המחשבה בחוזק והתבוננות עצומה מעומקא דלבא יתיר ותדיר באין סוף ברוך הוא, איך הוא חיינו ממש ואבינו האמיתי, ברוך הוא

For their emergence from the latency and concealment of the heart into a state of revelation comes through the faculty of Daat, i.e., through a powerful fixation of the mind and an intense concentration — from the depths of the heart, powerfully and frequently — on the blessed Ein Sof, as to how He is our very life and our blessed true Father. And since his contemplation is so powerful and deep:

ומודעת זאת מה שכתוב בתיקונים כי בעולם הבריאה מקננא תמן אימא עילאה שהיא ההתבוננות באור אין סוף חיי החיים ברוך הוא, וכמאמר אליהו: בינה לבא, ובה הלב מבין

Moreover, what is written in the Tikkunim1 is well known, that “there, in the World of Beriah, nests the ‘Supernal Mother,’” i.e., the level of Binah of Atzilut, which in terms of man’s spiritual service, is the contemplation of the (infinite) light of the blessed Ein Sof, the Giver of life, blessed be He. And this is in accordance with the teaching of Elijah in Tikkunei Zohar,2 in the section beginning Patach Eliyahu: “Binah is the heart, and with it the heart understands.” This means to say that the meditation and understanding taking place in the mind illuminate the heart.

Since the contemplation of G‑dliness is related to the World of Beriah, the World which is illuminated by Binah of Atzilut, it follows that the various forms of love which are revealed through such contemplation have their place in that World as well, and it is there that they elevate one’s Torah and mitzvot.

The Alter Rebbe now goes on to say that the two kinds of love — “My soul...” and “Like a son...” — not only have the quality of love that results from contemplation, but they also have the quality of ahavah rabbah, the love that is granted from above. For they, too, are granted from above, inasmuch as Jews inherit them from the Patriarchs, as explained earlier.

Since these two kinds of love possess all these qualities, it would seem that they should suffice, and love born wholly of intellect is superfluous. Nevertheless, the Alter Rebbe concludes that a Jew should also strive to attain the love that results wholly from contemplating G‑d’s greatness, because of the reasons he will soon give.

ולא עוד, אלא שב׳ בחינות אהבות אלו הנזכרות למעלה הן כלולות מן בחינת אהבה רבה וגדולה ומעולה מדחילו ורחימו שכליים, אשר האהבה נקראת לעיל בשם אהבת עולם

Furthermore, these two categories of love that have been referred to above, the love of “My soul...” and the love of “Like a son...,” incorporate a quality of love which is greater and more sublime than intelligent fear and love, the kind that result from contemplating G‑d’s greatness, the love termed above ahavat olam; these two kinds of love also partake of the quality of ahavah rabbah, which is loftier than ahavat olam.

The Rebbe explains that ahavah rabbah is rooted in Atzilut, which is far superior to Beriah, where ahavat olam is rooted. The Alter Rebbe alludes to this by saying “Furthermore”: i.e., these loves not only have the qualities of “natural” love and “intellectual” love, found in the Worlds of Yetzirah and Beriah respectively, but they also have the quality of the love of ahavah rabbah found in the World of Atzilut. This tremendous quality notwithstanding, the Alter Rebbe concludes that it is necessary to achieve the love brought about wholly through contemplation, for this love is unique in its passion and yearning for G‑dliness.