Having explained that Beriah is the abode of souls that served G-d with intellectual love and fear and Yetzirah of souls that served Him with natural love and fear, the Alter Rebbe will now discuss the divine service of those souls whose abode is the World of Atzilut. The quality of their divine service, he explains, surpasses even that of intellectual love and fear. This is the level of those tzaddikim who become veritable “chariots” for G-d: they have no will save His will, and their every act testifies to their utter self-nullification before Him.

The World of Atzilut is beyond the intelligence, grasp, and understanding of a created being’s intellect. Even a spiritual being in the World of Beriah is, after all, a created being, and Atzilut is beyond its grasp as well.

וְעוֹלַם הָאֲצִילוּת שֶׁהוּא לְמַעְלָה מֵהַשֵּׂכֶל וְהַהַשָּׂגָה וְהַהֲבָנָה לְשֵׂכֶל נִבְרָא,

For the chochmah, binah, and daat of the Ein Sof are united with Him there (in Atzilut) in perfect unity,

כִּי חָכְמָתוֹ וּבִינָתוֹ וְדַעְתּוֹ שֶׁל אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא מְיוּחָדוֹת שָׁם בּוֹ בְּתַכְלִית הַיִּחוּד,

in a profound and wonderful unity infinitely superior to that [unity] found in Beriah.

בְּיִחוּד עָצוּם וְנִפְלָא, בְּיֶתֶר שְׂאֵת וְיֶתֶר עֹז לְאֵין קֵץ מִבְּעוֹלַם הַבְּרִיאָה,

For there, they descended to illuminate [only] to a restricted (“contracted”) degree. The ChaBaD of Atzilut (referred to here as “ChaBaD of the Ein Sof”) radiate in Beriah only after their light is “contracted,”

כִּי שָׁם יָרְדוּ לְהָאִיר בִּבְחִינַת צִמְצוּם,

so as to enable the intellect of created beings (namely, the angels and souls of Beriah) to receive ChaBaDwisdom, understanding, and knowledge—from [these sefirot of Atzilut] so that they might know G-d and so that they might grasp and comprehend something of the Ein Sof-light,

כְּדֵי שֶׁיּוּכְלוּ שְׂכָלִים נִבְרָאִים לְקַבֵּל מֵהֶן חָכְמָה־בִּינָה־דַּעַת, לֵידַע אֶת ה', וּלְהָבִין וּלְהַשִּׂיג אֵיזוֹ הַשָּׂגָה בְּאוֹר־אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא,

to the extent that the intellect of finite, limited, created beings is capable of understanding.

כְּפִי כֹּחַ שְׂכָלִים הַנִּבְרָאִים, שֶׁהֵם בַּעֲלֵי גְבוּל וְתַכְלִית,

To achieve this purpose, a “contraction” of ChaBaD of Atzilut was necessary lest they (the created beings of Beriah) dissolve out of existence and lest they furthermore cease altogether to exist as created beings, reverting instead to their source and root, namely, G-dliness itself.

שֶׁלֹּא יִתְבַּטְּלוּ בִּמְצִיאוּתָם, וְלֹא יִהְיוּ בְּגֶדֶר נִבְרָאִים כְּלָל, רַק יַחְזְרוּ לִמְקוֹרָם וְשָׁרְשָׁם שֶׁהוּא בְּחִינַת אֱלֹהוּת מַמָּשׁ.

Were the ChaBaD of Atzilut to shine forth in Beriah without being “contracted,” allowing the creatures of Beriah to grasp G-dliness as it radiates in the sefirot of Atzilut, these creatures would be overwhelmed by the G-dly illumination beyond their capacity to absorb and would dissolve out of existence.