At any rate, it is clear from the above that vegetative growth entails producing something far superior to that which was sown in the ground.

Reverting to the analogue, the Alter Rebbe will now explain how man’s tzedakah and kindness effect a Divine manifestation that utterly transcends man’s service. This results in his receiving as a reward for his actions not only a share in the World to Come — a corresponding measure, albeit quantitatively superior, for both this world and the World to Come are categorized as “worlds” — but also the qualitatively superior revelation of teshuvah ilaah, that transcends by far any state that could be called a “world”.

וככה ממש, על דרך משל, כל מעשה הצדקה שעושין ישראל

Now precisely like this, metaphorically speaking, every act of charity that Jews perform

עולה למעלה בבחינת העלאת מ״נ, לשורש נשמותיהן למעלה

ascends, like an “elevation of mayin nukvin,” to the Root of their souls Above,

Just as in the analogy, planting a seed will unveil the earth’s vegetative power, so, too, the Jew’s act of charity will elicit the Divine attribute of Chesed, since this act serves as the mayin nukvin to its spiritual counterpart Above,

הנקרא בשם כנסת ישראל

which is referred to1 as Knesset Yisrael (lit., “the Congregation of Israel”),

(a) because it is the source of Jewish souls, and (b) because within it congregate the lights and revelations of the emotive attributes (the middot) that derive from ישראל דלעילא (“Supernal Israel”), i.e., the bracket of six Sefirot known as ז״א of the World of Atzilut.

ואימא תתאה, בלשון הזהר

and in the terminology of the Zohar [the source of Jewish souls is known as] imma tataah, the “lower-level mother,”

Binah, by contrast, is termed imma ilaah, the “higher-level mother” (inasmuch as it is the “mother” of the attributes of ז״א), while Malchut is referred to as the “lower-level mother” (since it is the “mother” of the world that follows it).

ושכינה, בלשון הגמרא

and in the phraseology of the Talmud [the source of the souls of Israel is known as] the Shechinah,

It is so called because it “rests” (from the root שכן; i.e., it descends and is present) in lowly levels.2

הכלולה מכל מדותיו של הקב״ה, ומיוחדת בהן בתכלית

which comprises, and is utterly united with, all the attributes of the Holy One, blessed is He,

וראשיתן היא מדת החסד

the first of which is the attribute of Chesed.

Man’s neighborly acts of Chesed ascend, as a form of mayin nukvin, to this Divine attribute of Chesed, for it is the source of the attribute of Chesed within his own soul.

ועל ידי העלאה זו, מתעורר חסד ה׳ ממש

Now, through this elevation, the actual “Chesed of G‑d” — which is immeasurably superior to man’s Chesed and to worlds in general — is aroused,

שהוא גילוי אורו יתברך, לירד ולהאיר למטה לנשמות ישראל, בבחינת גילוי רב ועצום

so that a great and intense revelation of His light descends into this lowly [world], where it lights up the souls of Israel,

בשעת התפלה, על כל פנים

at least during the time of prayer, even if not permanently.

כי אף שלגדולתו אין חקר

For though3 “His greatness is unfathomable,” and גדולה (“greatness”) denotes the Divine attribute of Chesed,4

עד דכולא קמיה כלא חשיבי

to the extent that5 “all are esteemed as naught before Him,”

How, then, does it descend below and become capable of being fathomed by the Jewish soul?

הרי במקום שאתה מוצא גדולתו, שם אתה מוצא ענותנותו

even so,6 “Where you find His greatness, there you find His humility,”

Hence, the very greatness and Chesed of G‑d always find expression in His “humility”, i.e., in His ability to descend and reveal Himself to the nethermost levels,

כמים שיורדין כו׳

like “water, which descends [from above to below].”

G‑d’s kindness may thus be likened to water in its ability to manifest itself within a Jew’s soul in this lowly world.

וזהו שכתוב: זרח בחשך אור לישרים, חנון ורחום וצדיק

And this is [implied] in the verse:7 “He shone in the darkness as a light unto the upright, [He] that is gracious, and merciful, and tzaddik.”

דעל ידי שהאדם חנון ורחום וצדיק, צדקות אהב

For, by being gracious and merciful, and8tzaddik — fond of tzedakot,” i.e., by performing acts of tzedakah with kindness and love, man

גורם לאור ה׳ שיזרח לנשמתו המלובשת בגופו, העומד בחשך

causes the light of G‑d to shine into his soul which is vested in his body — which stands in darkness,

שהוא משכא דחויא

since it is the “hide of the snake.”9

G‑d nevertheless causes His light to shine into the soul, even as the soul finds itself within the gloom of the unenlightened body.

וזה נקרא בשם ישועה, כד אתהפכא חשוכא לנהורא

And this state, when10 “darkness is converted to light,” is referred to as “deliverance”, as when a man, delivered from danger, is transported from darkness to radiance.

וזהו מצמיח ישועות

This, then, is the meaning [of the above-quoted phrase], “and causes deliverance to sprout forth,” as a result of one’s having “sown tzedakah.”

שישועה זו צומחת מזריעת הצדקה שזורעין בארץ העליונה

For this salvation sprouts from the charity that is sown in the “Supernal Land,”

ארץ חפץ, היא השכינה וכנסת ישראל, שנקראת כן על שם שמתלבשת בתחתונים להחיותם

the “Desired Land,” which is the Shechinah, and Knesset Yisrael, the source of Jewish souls, so called because it vests itself in the lower worlds to animate them.

כמו שכתוב: מלכותך מלכות כל עולמים

As it is written,11 “Your sovereignty (an allusion to the Sefirah of Malchut) is the sovereignty (i.e., it serves as the source) of all worlds.”

It is this Supernal “Land” that is sown with a Jew’s tzedakah, with the result that Divine revelation sprouts forth during prayer.

ובפרט מן הפרט, כשזורעין בארץ הקודש התחתונה

This applies most particularly when one sows in the nether Holy Land,

The above applies to mitzvot in general, all of them being called tzedakah, as Scripture states,12 “Our performance of all the commandments will be accounted for us as tzedakah.” Particu-larly so, through the actual performance of tzedakah, in the sense of charity. It applies even more particularly when the tzedakah is planted in the Holy Land, maintaining those who study Torah and serve G‑d there.

המכוונת כנגדה ממש

which truly corresponds to it (i.e., the Holy Land below is truly located “opposite” the Holy Land in heaven).

שהזריעה נקלטת תיכף ומיד ממש בארץ העליונה

For (when such charity is given) the seed [of tzedakah] is immediately absorbed in the Supernal Land,

בלי שום מניעה ועיכוב בעולם

without any obstacle and hindrance whatever,

מאחר שאין שום דבר חוצץ ומפסיק כלל בין ארצות החיים

because there is nothing whatsoever that intervenes and intercepts between the “Lands of Life,” i.e,., between the Supernal “Land of Life,” which is the source of Jewish souls, and the “Land of Life” below, the physical Holy Land;

כי זה שער השמים

for13 “it is the gate of Heaven,” referring to the location of the Holy Temple in the Holy Land.

מה שאין כן בחוץ לארץ

This is not so, however, outside the Holy Land, where various factors may hinder the implantation of tzedakah in the “Land of Life” Above.

ודי למבין

This will suffice for the discerning.