The above enables one to understand the statement of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, of blessed memory, that there are two kinds of souls among Jews:

נִשְׁמוֹת תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים הָעוֹסְקִים בַּתּוֹרָה כָּל יְמֵיהֶם,

the souls of Torah scholars, who engage in the study of the Torah all their lives,64

וְנִשְׁמוֹת בַּעֲלֵי מִצְוֹת הָעוֹסְקִים בִּצְדָקָה וּגְמִילוּת חֲסָדִים.

and the souls of those who perform the commandments, occupying themselves with charitable and kindly deeds.

דְּלִכְאוֹרָה, הֲרֵי גַּם תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים צְרִיכִים לַעֲסוֹק בִּגְמִילוּת חֲסָדִים,

Now surely scholars, too, need to occupy themselves with acts of kindness;

כְּמַאֲמַר רַבּוֹתֵינוּ־זִכְרוֹנָם־לִבְרָכָה, שֶׁ"אֲפִילוּ תּוֹרָה אֵין לוֹ".

as our Sages, of blessed memory, taught, [“Whoever says that he has nothing but Torah,” and thus no kindly deeds,] “does not have even Torah.”

אֶלָּא שֶׁהַתַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים שֶׁתּוֹרָתָן עִיקָּר וְרוֹב יְמֵיהֶם בָּהּ, וּמִיעוּט יְמֵיהֶם בִּגְמִילוּת חֲסָדִים,

How, then, could the Arizal have stated that people with a certain kind of soul invest their lives exclusively in Torah study? The Alter Rebbe’s answer, which follows, takes it for granted that even full-time Torah scholars of course spend some of their time in doing good deeds.

However, as regards Torah scholars, whose study of the Torah is their principal occupation and most of their time is spent in it, with only a minor part of their time spent on the performance of kindly deeds,

הִנֵּה פְּעוּלַּת אִתְעָרוּתָם דִּלְתַתָּא לְעוֹרֵר חֶסֶד עֶלְיוֹן,

the effect of their arousal from below, to arouse supernal chesed,

לְהַמְשִׁיךְ וּלְהוֹרִיד אוֹר־אֵין־סוֹף הַמְלוּבָּשׁ בְּחָכְמָה עִילָּאָה, מְקוֹר תּוֹרַת ה' שֶׁבְּפִיהֶם,

to call forth and bring downward the [infinite] Ein Sof-light vested in supernal chochmah, the source of G-d’s Torah which is in their mouths,

הוּא רַק לְעוֹלַם הַנְּשָׁמוֹת שֶׁבַּבְּרִיאָה עַל־יְדֵי עֵסֶק הַתַּלְמוּד,

extends only to the realm of the souls that are in Beriah, through their occupation with Gemara,

וְלַמַּלְאָכִים שֶׁבַּיְצִירָה עַל־יְדֵי לִימּוּד הַמִּשְׁנָה,

The study of Gemara, inasmuch as it involves reasoning and intellectual give and take, corresponds to the World of Beriah, the realm of comprehension.

and extends to the angels that are in the World of Yetzirah, through their occupation with Mishnah.

יַעַן הֱיוֹת חַיּוּת הַנְּשָׁמוֹת וְהַמַּלְאָכִים נִשְׁפָּעוֹת מִצֵּירוּפֵי אוֹתִיּוֹת הַדִּיבּוּר, הִיא תּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה, –

The Mishnah consists of statements of law—“kosher” or “nonkosher,” “pure” or “impure.” Such bipartite divisions, which are a reflection in the material world below of the divergent attributes of chesed and gevurah in the realms above, are related to the World of Yetzirah, which is the realm of middot, the spiritual emotions.

For the animation of souls and angels derives from the combinations of the letters of speech, i.e., the Oral Torah; as it is written in Patach Eliyahu, “[The sefirah of] malchut [corresponds to] the mouth, which we call the Oral Torah.”65

וּמְקוֹר הָאוֹתִיּוֹת הוּא מֵחָכְמָה עִילָּאָה כַּנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל,

The source of the letters, however, is in supernal chochmah, as mentioned above.

אַךְ לְהַמְשִׁיךְ וּלְהוֹרִיד הֶאָרָה וְחַיּוּת מִבְּחִינַת הֶבֶל הָעֶלְיוֹן ה' תַּתָּאָה לָעוֹלָם הַזֶּה הַשָּׁפָל,

Thus, through their study of the Oral Torah, scholars draw down supernal chochmah into the combinations of the letters of speech; this in turn provides vitality to [unborn] souls and angels.

However, in order to call forth and bring downward an illumination and vitality from the level of the supreme breath, the “lower hey,” to this lowly world,

שֶׁהוּא צִמְצוּם גָּדוֹל בְּיֶתֶר עֹז,

which entails a greater and extreme contraction,

לֹא דַי בְּאִתְעָרוּתָא דִלְתַתָּא שֶׁל תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים הָעוֹסְקִים מִיעוּט יְמֵיהֶם בִּצְדָקָה וּגְמִילוּת חֲסָדִים,

the arousal from below by the Torah scholars, who for only a small part of their time engage in charitable and kindly deeds, is not sufficient.66

אֶלָּא עַל־יְדֵי אִתְעָרוּתָא דְּבַעֲלֵי מִצְוֹת הָעוֹסְקִים רוֹב יְמֵיהֶם בִּצְדָקָה וּגְמִילוּת חֲסָדִים

[This is effected] only through an arousal by those who perform the commandments, who are occupied with deeds of charity and kindness for the major part of their life

(וּכְמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּלִקּוּטֵי אֲמָרִים בְּחֵלֶק א' פֶּרֶק ל"ד).

(67as explained in Likkutei Amarim, Part I, ch. 34).

וְלָכֵן נִקְרְאוּ "תָּמְכֵי אוֹרַיְיתָא",

The Alter Rebbe explains there that even if a man distributes no more than a fifth of his income to charity, that fifth elevates the other four parts with it to G-d, for thereby, all his exertion becomes a dwelling for Him. Moreover, his acts of kindness will arouse G-d’s “right hand of kindness.”

That is why [people who are mainly occupied with such mitzvot] are called68 “the supporters of [the] Torah [itself],” and not only of those who study the Torah, for by their activities, they draw down the light of the Torah from its root and source so that it will illuminate this physical world below.

וְהֵן בְּחִינוֹת וּמַדְרֵגוֹת נֶצַח וְהוֹד,

These [people] represent the levels of netzach and hod, which are analogous to69 “the two thighs” which enable a man to stand upon the ground; the function of the sefirot of netzach and hod is similar,

לִהְיוֹתָן מַמְשִׁיכִין אוֹר הַתּוֹרָה לְמַטָּה לְעוֹלַם הָעֲשִׂיָּה.

because they cause the light of the Torah to issue downward to the World of Asiyah.

וּבָזֶה יוּבַן לָמָּה נִקְרָא הַצְּדָקָה בְּשֵׁם "מַעֲשֶׂה",

Now it is clear70 why charity is referred to as an “act,”

כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב: "וְהָיָה מַעֲשֵׂה הַצְּדָקָה שָׁלוֹם",

as in the verse, “And the act of charity will be peace,”71

עַל שֵׁם שֶׁפְּעוּלָּתָהּ לְהַמְשִׁיךְ אוֹר ה' לְעוֹלַם הָעֲשִׂיָּה.

for the effect of charity is to elicit the light of G-d down to the World of Asiyah.

וְזֶהוּ דִּקְדּוּק לְשׁוֹן זוֹהַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ: "מַאן דְּעָבִיד שְׁמָא קַדִּישָׁא" – "דְּעָבִיד" דַּיְיקָא,

This is the meaning of the subtle phraseology of the holy Zohar: “He who makes the Holy Name,” expressly saying “who makes,”

כִּי בְּאִתְעָרוּתָא דִלְתַתָּא בִּצְדָקָה וָחֶסֶד תַּתָּאָה מְעוֹרֵר חֶסֶד עֶלְיוֹן,

for by an arousal from below, through charity and mortal chesed, one arouses the supernal chesed

לְהַמְשִׁיךְ אוֹר־אֵין־סוֹף מִבְּחִינַת חָכְמָה עִילָּאָה יוּ"ד שֶׁל שֵׁם,

to elicit the [infinite] Ein Sof-light from supernal chochmah, the yud of the Divine Name,

לְה' שֶׁל שֵׁם, בְּחִינַת הַדִּבּוּר וְרוּחַ פִּיו יִתְבָּרֵךְ,

to the hey of the Name, to the “speech” and “breath” of G-d’s blessed mouth,

כְּדֵי לְהַשְׁפִּיעַ לְעוֹלַם הָעֲשִׂיָּה.

in order to draw down [Divine light] to the World of Asiyah.

וְעַל דֶּרֶךְ מָשָׁל, לְהַבְדִּיל הַבְדָּלוֹת אֵין קֵץ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָדָם אֵינוֹ מְדַבֵּר אֶלָּא לַאֲחֵרִים

And, analogously speaking, though infinitely incomparable: a human being speaks only to others

(וְלֹא כְּשֶׁהוּא בֵּינוֹ לְבֵין עַצְמוֹ),

(72and not when he is alone),

וְאָז מְצַמְצֵם שִׂכְלוֹ וּמַחֲשַׁבְתּוֹ בְּדִבּוּרוֹ אֲלֵיהֶם.

and then when speaking to them, he contracts his intellect and thought.

וְהַמַּשְׂכִּילִים יָבִינוּ:

The intelligent will understand.