כן על דרך זה ממש, היא בחינת חכמתו יתברך, מה שיוכל להתפשט ממנה להתלבש בתחתונים כולם

In a precisely like manner with respect to the Divine Chochmah, to the extent that can be diffused from it1 to become vested in all the nether beings:

Since2 “You have made them all through Chochmah,” it follows that this Sefirah must be vested in all nether beings. However, this is merely the external level of Chochmah.

הוא כאין לגבי בחינת פנים, המיוחד במאציל ברוך הוא

it3 is as nothing compared to the panim (the inward or frontal aspect) of Chochmah, which is at one with the blessed Emanator.

דכולא קמיה כלא חשיב

For4 “All that is before Him (i.e., close and united with Him) is esteemed as naught.”

וההשפעה לכל הנבראים כולם, שהם בעלי גבול ותכלית, נחשבת ירידה וצמצום כביכול, לגבי המאציל, אין סוף ברוך הוא

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,

על דרך משל, כמו שנחשבת ירידה וצמצום לשכל האדם המשכיל, המצומצם באיזו עשיה גשמית וחומרית ממש

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.5

ולכן משה רבינו עליו השלום, שהשיג עד אחוריים דחכמה, זכה שתנתן על ידו התורה

Moshe Rabbeinu, 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 —

שהיא נובלות חכמה שלמעלה

the Torah being the novlot, the withered vestige, of Supernal Chochmah,

פירוש: מה שנובל ממנה ויורד למטה, ומתלבש בתורה גשמית שלנו

i.e., that which is sloughed off from it and descends below, and becomes vested in our physical Torah.6

שעיקרה ותכליתה הוא קיום המצות לא תעשה ועשה, בפועל ומעשה ממש

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

כמאמר: היום לעשותם

in the spirit of the verse,7 “To do them this day,” and, more specifically, in the spirit of the comment of our Sages on this phrase:8 “They are to be done today and not tomorrow” — in this world, and not in the World to Come.

וגדול תלמוד, שמביא לידי מעשה

Our Sages likewise taught,9 “The study of Torah is greater [than the observance of the commandments] because it leads to [their] performance.”

והלומד שלא לעשות, נוח לו שנהפכה שלייתו וכו׳

Similarly,10 “As to him who learns with the intent of not doing, it would have been better for him if his afterbirth had turned over....”

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

וכל אדם מוכרח להתגלגל עד שיקיים כל התרי״ג מצות בפועל ממש, כנודע מהאריז״ל

Indeed, every individual needs to become reincarnated until he has actually observed all the 613 commandments, as is known from R. Isaac Luria, of blessed memory.11

The Tzemach Tzedek makes the following comment12 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 Torah, while the pnimiyut of Abba, the inward aspect of Chochmah, is the esoteric depths of Torah.

(The latter aspect of Torah will be revealed mainly by Mashiach, as Rashi notes in his comment on the verse,13 “He kisses me with the kisses of His mouth.” Even now, however, a foretaste of the innermost dimensions of the Torah may be savored in the teachings of Chassidut. The present revelation of its insights serves as a preparation for the coming of Mashiach, in the spirit of the Friday afternoon custom14 of sampling the delicacies prepared for Shabbat, since the time of Mashiach is known as15 “a day that is entirely Shabbat.”)

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.16