Since “You have made them all through chochmah,”38 it follows that this sefirah must be vested in all nether beings. However, this is merely the external level of chochmah.

it39 is as nothing compared to the panim (the inward or frontal aspect) of chochmah, which is at one with the blessed Emanator,

הֵם כְּאַיִן לְגַבֵּי בְּחִינַת פָּנִים הַמְיוּחָד בַּמַּאֲצִיל בָּרוּךְ־הוּא,

for “All that is before Him (i.e., close and united with Him) is esteemed as naught.”40

דְּ"כוּלָּא קַמֵּיהּ כְּלָא חֲשִׁיב",

The life-giving flow to all created beings, which are limited and finite, is regarded as a descent and a contraction, so to speak, with respect to the Emanator, the blessed Ein Sof,

וְהַהַשְׁפָּעָה לְכָל הַנִּבְרָאִים כּוּלָּם שֶׁהֵם בַּעֲלֵי גְבוּל וְתַכְלִית – נֶחְשֶׁבֶת יְרִידָה וְצִמְצוּם כִּבְיָכוֹל לְגַבֵּי הַמַּאֲצִיל אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא,

just as, metaphorically speaking, it would be regarded as a descent and contraction for the intellect of an intelligent person to be contracted to some purely physical and material activity.41

עַל דֶּרֶךְ מָשָׁל, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנֶּחְשֶׁבֶת יְרִידָה וְצִמְצוּם לְשֵׂכֶל הָאָדָם הַמַּשְׂכִּיל הַמְצוּמְצָם בְּאֵיזֶה עֲשִׂיָּה גַּשְׁמִיּוּת וְחוּמְרִית מַמָּשׁ.

Moses our Master, peace to him, who apprehended as high as the level [of Divinity] called the hindmost aspect of chochmah, therefore merited that the Torah was given through him—

וְלָכֵן מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ עָלָיו־הַשָּׁלוֹם, שֶׁהִשִּׂיג עַד אֲחוֹרַיִים דְּחָכְמָה, זָכָה שֶׁתִּנָּתֵן עַל יָדוֹ הַתּוֹרָה,

the Torah being the novlot, the withered vestige, of supernal chochmah,

שֶׁהִיא "נוֹבְלוֹת חָכְמָה שֶׁלְּמַעְלָה",

i.e., that which is sloughed off from it and descends below, and becomes vested in our physical Torah.42

פֵּירוּשׁ, מַה שֶּׁנּוֹבֵל מִמֶּנָּה וְיוֹרֵד לְמַטָּה וּמִתְלַבֵּשׁ בְּתוֹרָה גַשְׁמִיּוּת שֶׁלָּנוּ,

For [the Torah’s] core and ultimate object is the observance of the prohibitory and positive commandments, in actual deed and performance,

שֶׁעִיקָּרָהּ וְתַכְלִיתָהּ הוּא קִיּוּם הַמִּצְוֹת לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה וַעֲשֵׂה בְּפוֹעַל וּמַעֲשֶׂה מַמָּשׁ,

in the spirit of the verse, “To do them this day,”43 and, more specifically, in the spirit of the comment of our Sages on this phrase: “They are to be done today and not tomorrow44—in this world and not in the World to Come.

כַּמַּאֲמָר: "הַיּוֹם לַעֲשׂוֹתָם",

Our Sages likewise taught, “The study of the Torah is greater [than the observance of the commandments] because it leads to [their] performance.”45

וְ"גָדוֹל תַּלְמוּד שֶׁמֵּבִיא לִידֵי מַעֲשֶׂה",

Similarly, “As to he who learns with the intent of not doing, it would have been better for him if his afterbirth had turned over….”46

וְ"הַלּוֹמֵד שֶׁלֹּא לַעֲשׂוֹת נוֹחַ לוֹ שֶׁנֶּהֶפְכָה שִׁלְיָיתוֹ וְכוּ'",

I.e., better had he never been born.

Indeed, every individual needs to become reincarnated until he has actually observed all the 613 commandments, as is known from R. Yitzchak Luria, of blessed memory.47

וְכָל אָדָם מוּכְרָח לְהִתְגַּלְגֵּל עַד שֶׁיְּקַיֵּים כָּל הַתַּרְיַ"ג מִצְוֹת בְּפוֹעַל מַמָּשׁ, כַּנּוֹדָע מֵהָאֲרִיזַ"ל:

The Tzemach Tzedek makes the following comment48 on the above epistle:

Although the Alter Rebbe opens this letter with the verse, “He wraps [Himself with] light as [with] a garment…,” he does not explain it here. However, it can be understood from his introduction that the achorayim of chochmah, also known as the novlot of the supernal chochmah, which is Torah, is the “garment” (i.e., the revealed aspect) of the Torah while the pnimiyut of abba, the inward aspect of chochmah, is the esoteric depths of the Torah.

(The latter aspect of the Torah will be revealed mainly by Mashiach, as Rashi notes in his comment on the verse, “He kisses me with the kisses of His mouth.”49 Even now, however, a foretaste of the innermost dimensions of the Torah may be savored in the teachings of Chasidut. The present revelation of its insights serves as a preparation for the coming of Mashiach, in the spirit of the Friday afternoon custom of sampling the delicacies prepared for Shabbat,50 since the time of Mashiach is known as “a day that is entirely Shabbat.”51)

The Tzemach Tzedek concludes: This is the “light” that is vested within the “garment”: it was created on the First Day and later hidden in the Torah—ultimately to be revealed to the righteous.52