כי הן, דרך משל, דוגמת אור המאיר בלילה בארץ מן הירח, ואור הירח הוא מהשמש

For they (the substituted letters), by way of illustration, resemble the light that shines upon the earth at night from the moon — and the moonlight is from the sun,

ונמצא אור שעל הארץ הוא אור האור של השמש

hence, the light which is on the earth is a light [reflected] from the light of the sun.

וככה ממש, דרך משל, האותיות שבמאמרות הן כללות המשכת החיות והאור והכח ממדותיו של הקב״ה

Exactly so, allegorically speaking, the letters comprising the Utterances are the aggregate flow of the life-force and the light and the power [that issue] from the attributes of the Holy one, blessed be He,

לברוא העולמות מאין ליש, ולהחיותן ולקיימן כל זמן משך רצונו יתברך

to create the worlds from nothingness and to give them life and sustain them as long as such shall be His blessed Will.

The general life-force thus emanates from the Utterances themselves.

ומכללות המשכה והארה גדולה זו

From this aggregate flow and mighty radiation of the Utterances themselves,

האיר ה׳ והמשיך ממנה תולדותיה כיוצא בה וענפיה

G‑d caused its similar derivations and its offshoots to shine and issue forth,

שהן תולדות והמשכת האור מהאותיות

these being derivations and effluences of the light from the letters.

והן הן חילופי אותיות ותמורותיהן, וברא בהן ברואים פרטים שבכל עולם

And these derivations and offshoots are the substitutions of letters and their transpositions, with which He created the particular creatures of each world.

וכן האיר ה׳ עוד והמשיך והוריד הארה דהארה דהארה מהארות האותיות

Likewise, G‑d projected the light from the letters in another manner, and caused a radiation of a radiation of a radiation to issue forth and descend from the diffusions of light from the letters;

In the earlier analogy, the moon’s reflected light was a radiation of the sun’s radiation. The Alter Rebbe now speaks of a descent one generation further removed — merely a radiation of a radiation of a radiation.

וכן המשיך עוד והוריד עד למטה מטה בבחינת השתלשלות

and likewise He further caused [the radiation of the radiation etc.] to issue forth and descend to the lowest level in the chain of descents,

עד שנברא הדומם ממש, כאבנים ועפר

until completely inanimate beings, such as stones and earth, were created.

ושמותיהן אבן ועפר הם חילופים דחילופים כו׳ ותמורות דתמורות כו׳ כנ״ל

And their names אבן and עפרthe names being each object’s life- force, as mentioned in ch. 1 — are substitutions of substitutions, etc., and transpositions of transpositions, etc., as mentioned above.

Thus, the life-force and existence of every created being are the letters of a particular Divine Utterance, and to this the created being is utterly nullified. In this manner, all of creation is nullified to G‑d and united with Him.

CONCLUSION OF THE SECOND PART, WITH THE HELP OF G-D, MAY HE BE BLESSED AND EXALTED.

Commentary of the Rebbe on Chapter Twelve

The Rebbe notes that the Alter Rebbe omitted many details when quoting the Sages1 concerning the characteristics of each of the seven heavens. (Indeed, the Gemara begins with the heaven called Vilon, proceeds to Rakia, and only then speaks of Shechakim, the heaven with which the Alter Rebbe begins.)

Briefly, the explanation is as follows: The Alter Rebbe desires to show how a multitude of created beings — these seven heavens with all their hosts — are essentially united insofar as they all proceed from a single Divine Utterance. For this reason, once the Alter Rebbe has said that the Utterance, “Let there be a firmament.,” brought about the creation of the seven heavens, there is no need for him to repeat them again by name, as detailed below.

The Alter Rebbe omitted the heaven called Vilon for “it serves no particular purpose,” i.e. (as the Gemara states there), it does not contain created beings. Even according to the opinion of Tosafos that light emanates from Vilon, light was created and continues to exist by virtue of a different Divine fiat, namely, “Let there be light.” (For all light — not only that created during the first day and then concealed — owes its creation and existence to the Utterance, “Let there be light.”2)

The Alter Rebbe also omitted Rakia, in which are found the sun, moon, stars and constellations (as the Gemara states), for they were all created by the Utterance, “Let there be luminaries in the firmament of the heaven….”

With regard to Shechakim, the Alter Rebbe quotes the Gemara at length to the effect that this is the heaven “in which stand millstones that grind manna for the tzaddikim,” for since its function is an ongoing one, this heaven illustrates his point that the heavens all “live and exist” — in the present, too, and not only in the time of the Jews in the wilderness — “through the aggregate words of the Utterance, ‘Let there be a firmament….’”

Concerning Zvul, the Alter Rebbe omits the detail that the Angel Michael brings an offering upon its heavenly altar, because there is an opinion3 that angels were created during the fifth day of creation. According to this view, the creation and existence of Michael derive not from the Utterance that ordained, “Let there be a firmament.,” but from the words, “and birds shall fly.”

For the same reason the Alter Rebbe makes no mention of Maon, where flights of angels sing by night the praises of their Maker.

Concerning Machon the Alter Rebbe does not speak of the “rising of dew,” the “storms and tempests” and “fire”, for these were all created during the first day and thus are not connected to the Utterance, “Let there be a firmament….”4

Also omitted is Aravos, the abode of “righteousness and justice” (as the Gemara states there), for these are Divine attributes. The souls of the tzaddikim which are also found in this heaven are likewise not mentioned, for they were created by the Utterance, “Let us make man….” So too the Throne of Glory, which had existed before G‑d had decreed “Let there be a firmament.”; indeed, before Creation had begun.5

Yet once more, concludes the Rebbe, we are able to see how meticulous is the wording of Tanya, encumbered by no superfluous word and lacking no necessary word, for, as we see here, each phrase omitted from the Talmudic citation has its specific reason. Accordingly, to follow the counsel of the Mishnah concerning the study of the Torah:6 “Delve in it over and over again, for everything is in it.”.