Sefer HaChinuch, (Parshas Kedoshim, Mitzvah 238): Not to hate one’s fellow man, as it is written (Vayikra 19:17): “Do not hate your brother in your heart.”

(קְדוֹשִׁים) שֶׁלֹּא לִשְׂנוֹא לַחֲבֵרוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר לֹא תִשְׂנָא אֶת אָחִיךָ בִּלְבָבֶךָ. (וַיִּקְרָא י"ט י"ז) (רל"ח).

(Mitzvah 243): To love every Jewish person, as it is written (Vayikra 19:18): “Love your fellow as yourself.”

לֶאֱהוֹב כָּל אָדָם מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ. (וַיִּקְרָא י"ט י"ח) (רמ"ג):

The importance of this mitzvah is reflected in the renowned statement of Hillel the Elder to the prospective convert (Shabbos 31a): “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow man; this is the entire Torah, the remainder is commentary.”

יָדוּעַ מַאֲמַר הִלֵּל הַזָּקֵן לְהַגֵּר (שַׁבָּת ל"א ע"א) דַּעֲלָךְ סָנֵי לְחַבְרָךְ לָא תַעֲבִיד זֶהוּ כָּל הַתּוֹרָה כֻלָּהּ וְאִידָךְ פֵּירוּשָׁא הוּא כו'

In truth, this statement requires clarification.

וּבֶאֱמֶת אֵינוֹ מוּבָן כָּל כָּךְ

The fundamental prominence of the mitzvah of loving one’s fellow Jew can be understood with regard to the mitzvos that apply between one person and another. But what about the mitzvos between man and G‑d?

דְּהָתֵּינַח בְּמִצְוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ אֲבָל מִצְוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַמָּקוֹם מַאי אִיכָּא לְמֵימַר

What is the connection between loving one’s fellow Jew and the obligation to wear tefillin, observe Shabbos, or perform any of our other obligations to G‑d?

Selections from Derech Mitzvosecha (SIE)

Derech Mitzvotecha dives into reasons behind mitzvot such as tzitzit, tefillin, prayer, belief in G-d, loving a fellow Jew, starting a family and many others. Five generations later, the author`s grandson and successor, the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, has often advised those seeking to begin study of Chasidic philosophy to study this fundamental work.

This point is particularly applicable since, with regard to Him, it is written (Iyov 35:7): “If you act righteously, what have you given Him?”

וּבִפְרָט שֶׁבּוֹ יִתְבָּרֵךְ כְּתִיב אִם צָדַקְתָּ מַה תִּתֶּן לוֹ (אִיּוֹב ל"ה ז') כַּיָּדוּעַ

Mitzvos between man and man involve giving tangible good and benefit, thus their positive value can be readily understood. The mitzvos between man and G‑d, by contrast, emphasize kabbalas ol, acceptance of G‑d’s yoke, for ultimately, any act performed on this material plane is insignificant in His eyes. Thus, seemingly, the mitzvos between man and man are of a different nature than those between man and G‑d.

Also, it is well known1 that it is proper to say before the morning prayer: “I hereby accept upon myself the fulfillment of the positive commandment, ‘Love your fellow as yourself,’” because it is a fundamental principle of great importance in our Divine service.

גַּם נוֹדַע מַה שֶּׁכָּתוּב שֶׁנָּכוֹן לוֹמַר קֹדֶם הַתְּפִלָּה הֲרֵינִי מְקַבֵּל עָלַי מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁל וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ לְפִי שֶׁהוּא יְסוֹד גָּדוֹל בַּעֲבוֹדַת ה',

It is necessary to understand the meaning of all the above.

וּלְהָבִין עִנְיָנָהּ:

— 1 —

In the AriZal’s Taamei HaMitzvos, Parshas Kedoshim, it is written2 in the name of the AriZal

הִנֵּה בְּטַעֲמֵי מִצְוֹת פַּרְשַׁת קְדוֹשִׁים כָּתַב הָאֲרִיזַ"ל וְזֶה לְשׁוֹנוֹ

(Sefer HaGilgulim 1:2): “Mystically, all Israel comprises one complete entity, the soul of Adam, as we have stated elsewhere

כִּי כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל סוֹד גוּף א' שֶׁל נִשְׁמַת אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן כַּנּוֹדָע אֶצְלֵנוּ (בְּסֵפֶר הַגִּלְגּוּלִים פֶּרֶק א' ב')

Each individual Jew constitutes one particular limb of Adam’s soul.

וְכָל א' מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל הוּא אֵבֶר פְּרָטִי

This is the basis of the mutual responsibility of our people and why one Jew is accountable for another if he sins.3

וּמִזֶּה הוּא הָעַרְבוּת שֶׁאָדָם עָרֵב בִּשְׁבִיל חֲבֵרוֹ אִם יֶחֱטָא

Accordingly, it was the custom of my teacher, the AriZal, to mention the specific transgressions enumerated in the confessional prayer although he did not, G‑d forbid, violate them;

וְלָכֵן נוֹהֵג מוֹרִי זִכְרוֹנוֹ לִבְרָכָה לוֹמַר פְּרָטֵי הַוִּדּוּיִם כוּ'

for all Israel is one entity.”

כִּי כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל גּוּף א' עַד כַּאן לְשׁוֹנוֹ

To explain: the soul of Adam embodies the general, all-encompassing soul of all the souls of Israel

וּבֵאוּר דְּבָרָיו הוּא שֶׁאָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן הָיָה כְּלָלוּת כָּל הַנְּשָׁמוֹת כֻּלָּם שֶׁבְּיִשְׂרָאֵל

(except those that will descend after the time of the Resurrection, see ibid., ch. 7).

(לְבַד מֵאוֹתָן שֶׁיָּבֹאוּ אַחַר הַתְּחִיָּה עַיֵּן שָׁם פֶּרֶק ז')

The structure of the human body reflects the structure of the collective of the Jewish people. Adam, the first man, encompassed within his soul all the souls of the entire collective. Some were drawn down from the part of the soul that corresponds to his head, others from that which corresponds to his arms,4 etc.

שֶׁהָיָה כּוֹלֵל כֻּלָּם מֵהֶם נִתְלִים בְּרֹאשׁוֹ מֵהֶם בִּזְרוֹעוֹ כוּ'

For this reason, he was called Adam.

וְעַל שֵׁם זֶה נִקְרָא אָדָם

That name relates to the phrase:5 Edameh l’Elyon, “I will resemble the One Above.”

אֶדַּמֶּה לְעֶלְיוֹן

For Adam was all-encompassing

כִּי הוּא בְּחִינָה כְּלָלִית

and derived from the Sublime Man6 who is comprised of the Ten Sefiros in the configuration known as partzuf,

וְנִמְשָׁךְ מִבְּחִינַת אָדָם דִּלְעֵלָּא שֶׁכּוֹלֵל י' סְפִירוֹת בִּבְחִינַת פַּרְצוּף

Aramaic for “face.” This term refers to the configuration of the Sefiros in the realm of Tikkun, which is a composite of several elements, as a face is a composite of several organs.

It is written (Shmos 4:22), “My firstborn son Israel”;

וּכְדִכְתִיב בְּנִי בְכוֹרִי יִשְׂרָאֵל (שְׁמוֹת ד' כ"ב),

i.e., just as a son resembles his father, so, too, Adam – and in a larger sense, the Jewish people as a whole – resembles the Sublime Man.

Elsewhere it is explained that the Sublime Man is identified with the Divine name מ"ה whose numerical value is forty-five.

וְהִנֵּה מְבֹאָר בְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר בְּעִנְיַן אָדָם דִּלְעֵלָּא שֶׁהוּא בְּחִינַת שֵׁם מַ"ה

This concept is based on a pattern in Torah numerology called milui, in which the name of each letter of a word is spelled out, and the numerical values of all the letters in these spellings are added together. The name Havayah is made up of four letters Yud-Hei-Vav-Hei. These letters may be spelled in different ways, with each spelling yielding a different numerical value. The numerical value of Havayah when spelled as: יוד הא ואו הא equals 45 or מ"ה (the name Mah). The numerical value of Adam, man (אדם), is also 45.

of the world of Tikkun.7


In the spiritual frame of reference that this name brings into being, all Ten Sefiros are interrelated;

שֶׁיִּהְיוּ הַי' סְפִירוֹת כְּלוּלִים זֶה מִזֶּה

e.g., Chessed contains Gevurah and Gevurah contains Chessed, and the like.

שֶׁחֶסֶד יִהְיֶה כָּלוּל מִגְּבוּרָה וּגְבוּרָה מֵחֶסֶד וְכַיּוֹצֵא,

In the world of Tohu,8 by contrast, the Sefiros were in a state of separation;

מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵּן בְּתֹהוּ הָיוּ בִּבְחִינַת פֵּרוּד

each one positioned under the other.

זֶה תַּחַת זֶה

In contrast, in the realm of Tikkun, the Sefiros are arranged in three columns, enabling integration between them.

This integration of the Sefiros in Tikkun is brought about by drawing down influence from the Divine name מ"ה from the forehead of the Sublime Man.

וְהַהִתְכַּלְלוּת הַזֹּאת הוּא עַל יְדֵי הַמְשָׁכַת שֵׁם מַ"ה שֶׁמִּמִּצְחָא

This emanation from the Divine name מ"ה is Ein Sof, infinite,

שֶׁהוּא בְּחִינַת אֵין סוֹף

and comprises the entire chainlike progression of worlds and realms, as well as all the individual beings, as it is written (I Divrei HaYamim 29:14): “All things derive from You.”

הַכּוֹלֵל כָּל הַהִשְׁתַּלְשְׁלוּת וּפְרָטֵי הַנִּמְצָאִים כִּי מִמְּךָ הַכֹּל כְּתִיב (דִּבְרֵי הַיָּמִים א' כ"ט י"ד)

Hence, it brings about their interrelation even after they have each emerged into their particular revealed aspects.

וְלָכֵן הוּא הַגּוֹרֵם גַּם כֵּן עִנְיַן הַהִתְכַּלְלוּת אַחֲרֵי יְצִיאָתָם אֶל הַגִּלּוּי כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ

The concept of unity between discrete qualities is often taken for granted without focusing on the conceptual difficulty involved, i.e., if the entities are different — and even opposite — in nature, how can they be joined together? This is particularly true after the qualities have emerged from the potential states and have taken on their own identities. The maamar is explaining that this unity results from the influence of the infinite dimension of G‑d’s name whose milui is Mah.

This is the meaning of what is written in Tikkunei Zohar,9 “The name מ"ה is the path of Atzilus.

וְזֶהוּ שֶׁכָּתוּב בְּתִקּוּנֵי זֹהַר שֵׁם מַ"ה דְּאִיהוּ אֹרַח אֲצִילוּת

Just like a path connects two separate places, G‑d’s name Mah joins together the discrete attributes of Atzilus;

כְּמוֹ הָאוֹרֵחַ שֶׁמְחַבֵר שְׁנֵי מְקוֹמוֹת נִבְדָלִים

see the detailed explanation in that source.

עַיִין שָׁם בְּאַרוּכָה

(See the explanation of the Zohar’s statement, Parshas Yisro: “All days receive their blessing...” for a detailed exposition,)

(בְּבֵאוּר מַאֲמַר הַזֹּהַר פַּרְשַׁת יִתְרוֹ דְּכָל יוֹמִין מִתְבָּרְכִין בֵּיהּ כוּ')

Similarly, it can be understood how all the souls of Israel collectively comprise one complete entity,

וְעַל דֵּרֵךְ זֶה יוּבַן גַּם כֵּן בְּנִשְׁמוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁהֵם קוֹמָה שְׁלֵמָה בְּיַחַד

the soul of Adam, which is their general, all-embracing identity.

דְּהַיְנוּ נִשְׁמַת אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן שֶׁהִיא כְּלָלוּתָם

Although this soul contains 248 distinct “limbs,”

וַהֲגַם שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ רְמַ"ח אֵיבָרִים מְיֻחָדִים

Our Sages speak of the body being comprised of 248 eivarim and 365 giddim which we have translated as “limbs” and “organs.” The terms eivarim and giddim do not have exact parallels in contemporary medical terminology. This maamar focuses primarily on the 248 eivarim, which refer to the 248 positive commandments and the spiritual energy they generate.

nevertheless, these parts are interrelated, each containing the others.

הֲרֵי הֵם כְּלוּלִים זֶה מִזֶּה

By way of analogy: the human body consists of distinct limbs and organs: the head, feet, hands, nails, etc.

וּכְמוֹ עַל דֶּרֶךְ מָשָׁל בְּגוּף אֶחָד שֶׁהֲגַם שֶׁהוּא בְּהִתְחַלְּקוּת צִיּוּר אֵיבָרִים רֹאשׁ וְרַגְלַיִם וְיָדַיִם וְצִפָּרְנַיִם

Nevertheless, each part incorporates all the others.

מִכָּל מָקוֹם כָּל אֶחָד כָּלוּל מִזּוּלָתוֹ

There flows in the hand — through the interconnecting veins — something of the foot’s vitality.

שֶׁבַּיָּד יֵשׁ חַיּוּת מֵעֵין הָרֶגֶל עַל יְדֵי הַוְּרִידִים שֶׁנִּמְשְׁכוּ בּוֹ

The same is true with regard to all the other limbs and organs.

וְכֵן בִּשְׁאָר כָּל הָאֵיבָרִים

Therefore, as is known, it is possible to cure one limb of the body by drawing blood from another, because of the intermingling of blood in the circulatory system.

וְכַנּוֹדָע שֶׁמְּרַפְּאִים אֵבֶר אֶחָד עַל יְדֵי הַקָּזָה בַּחֲבֵרוֹ מִצַּד עֵרוּב הַדָּמִים

This interrelation of the bodily organs and the soul’s life energy contained within them comes as a result of the general life-force that includes them all.

וְהַהִתְכַּלְלוּת הַזֹּאת בְּאֵיבְרֵי הַגּוּף וּבְחַיּוּת הַנֶּפֶשׁ שֶׁבָּהֶם הוּא מֵחֲמַת כְּלָלוּת הַחַיּוּת שֶׁכּוֹלֵל כֻּלָּם

This general life-force shines forth within the brain, and from it, all the particular qualities are diffused and individualized.10

שֶׁהוּא הַמֵּאִיר בַּמּוֹחַ שֶׁבָּרֹאשׁ שֶׁמִּמֶּנּוּ נִתְפָּרְדוּ כָּל אֶחָד לְעַצְמוֹ

It, however, contains them all, just as, for example, the unformed hylic11 matter contains all the particular entities that come into being from it, as is known.

וְהוּא כּוֹלֵל כֻּלָּם דֶּרֶךְ מָשָׁל הַהִיּוּלִי כַּיָּדוּעַ

For this reason, the brain feels the pain of all the 248 limbs

וְלָכֵן הַמּוֹחַ הוּא הַמַּרְגִּישׁ כָּל כְּאֵבֵי הָרְמַ"ח אֵיבָרִים

and, generally, its perception of the pain of the arm and of the leg is identical.

וּכְאֵב הַיָּד עִם הָרֶגֶל שָׁוִים אֶצְלוֹ

By pointing out the equality of the limbs, the Tzemach Tzedek is emphasizing that the brain is not relating to each limb because of one’s qualitative superiority over the others, but because the life-energy for that limb — and all the limbs — stems from the soul. Hence, since the soul rests in the brain, the brain feels an equal connection to all the limbs.

Indeed, at times, the brain will feel more acutely the pain of a wound to the nail than the pain of a wounded hand, as can be observed.

אַדְּרַבָּה לִפְעָמִים יַרְגִּישׁ הַמּוֹחַ יוֹתֵר כְּאַב מַכָּה שֶׁבְּצִפֹּרֶן מִכְּאֵב מַכָּה שֶׁבַּיָּד כַּנִּרְאֶה בְּחוּשׁ,

A similar concept applies with regard to the interrelation of the 248 dimensions of Adam’s soul, one with the other.

וְעַל דֶּרֶךְ זֶה הָיָה הַהִתְכַּלְלוּת בִּרְמַ"ח אֵיבְרֵי נֶפֶשׁ אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן זֶה מִזֶּה

This interrelation comes as a result of the source of his soul’s vitality,

מֵחֲמַת מְקוֹר חַיֵּי נַפְשׁוֹ

which is the Sublime Chochmah12 of the Sublime Man,13

שֶׁהוּא מִבְּחִינַת חָכְמָה עִלָּאָה דְּאָדָם הָעֶלְיוֹן

the Ein Sof which rests within— and is united with— His Chochmah,

בְּחִינַת אֵין סוֹף בָּרוּךְ הוּא שֶׁשּׁוֹרֶה וּמִתְיַחֵד בְּחָכְמָתוֹ

for “He and His Chochmah are all one.”14

שֶׁהוּא וְחָכְמָתוֹ א'

Therefore, Adam and the Jewish people as a whole are called “My firstborn son.”

וְלָכֵן נֶאֱמַר בְּנִי בְכוֹרִי

Just as a son is conceived from a seminal drop that derives from his father’s brain, so, too, the soul of Adam — and thus of all Israel — is derived from G‑d’s Chochmah.15

וּכְמוֹ הַבֵּן שֶׁהוּא טִפָּה מִמּוֹחַ הָאָב,

However, after Adam’s soul was divided into numerous root-souls,

אַךְ אָמְנָם לְאַחַר שֶׁנִּתְחַלְּקָה נִשְׁמַת אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן לְשָׁרָשִׁים רַבִּים

which in turn subdivided into manifold branches and sparks in individual bodies,

וְכָל אֶחָד נֶחְלַק לַעֲנָפִים וּלְנִיצוֹצוֹת רַבּוֹת בְּגוּפוֹת מְיֻחָדוֹת

the state of the soul became analogous to bodily organs which have become severed from one another.

הֲרֵי זֶה כִּמְשַׁל הָאֵיבָרִים שֶׁנִּפְרְדוּ זֶה מִזֶּה

In such a state, the pain of the foot is no longer felt by the hand.

לֹא יִכְאַב לְהַיָּד מַכָּה שֶׁבָּרֶגֶל הַמֻּפְרֶדֶת מִמֶּנּוּ וְכַיּוֹצֵא,

The separation between one Jew and another, however, exists only in respect to the body.

אָמְנָם הַפֵּרוּד הַזֶּה הוּא רַק מִצַּד הַגּוּף

Their souls are never truly separated, for they are all interlocked:

אֲבָל הַנֶּפֶשׁ לֹא נִפְרְדָה בֶּאֱמֶת וְכֻלָּם מַתְאִימוֹת

just as the hand has veins linking it to the legs and eyes, similarly, the foot has a connection with the hand. And so too the other limbs are interrelated.

וְכִמְשַׁל הַיָּד שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ מִוְּרִידֵי הָרֶגֶל וְהָעַיִן וְכֵן בָּרֶגֶל מִן הַיָּד כוּ' וְכַיּוֹצֵא

Accordingly, the hand, for example, feels intense pain, in a spiritual sense, from the pain of the eye, as mentioned in the analogy above.

וְיֵשׁ לָהּ כְּאֵב עָצוּם בְּרוּחָנִיּוּתָהּ מִכְּאֵב הָעַיִן כַּנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל בַּמָּשָׁל

For this reason, the AriZal would recite confessional prayers for all the transgressions that any Jew may have committed, even though he did not commit these sins himself, as mentioned above.

וְלָכֵן אָמַר הָאֲרִיזַ"ל כָּל פְּרָטֵי הַוִּדּוּיִם שֶׁחָטָא אֶחָד מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל

For the person’s sins caused pain in the particular “limb” of the general soul in which that person’s soul was rooted.

שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא כָּאַב אוֹתוֹ אֵבֶר שֶׁבּוֹ מֻשְׁרֶשֶׁת נֶפֶשׁ אוֹתוֹ הַיִּשְׂרָאֵל

This pain was transmitted to the higher “limb” of the soul where the soul of the AriZal was rooted.

וּמַגִּיעַ הַכְּאֵב גַּם לְאֵבֶר הָעֶלְיוֹן שֶׁמֻּשְׁרָשׁ נֶפֶשׁ הָאֲרִיזַ"ל

How much more so is this true with respect to the Source of our souls,

וּבִפְרָט מִצַּד מְקוֹר נִשְׁמוֹתֵינוּ

i.e., “the brain of the Father and His blessed Wisdom,”16 which includes all the 248 elements and feels their pain.

מוֹחַ הָאָב וְחָכְמָתוֹ יִתְבָּרֵךְ הַכּוֹלֵל אֶת כֻּלָּם וּמַרְגִּישׁ כְּאֵב כָּל הָרְמַ"ח אֵיבָרִים,

We are therefore commanded to love every individual Jew,

וְלָכֵן נִצְטַוִּינוּ גַם כֵּן לֶאֱהוֹב כָּל אָדָם מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל

since each Jew includes all the souls of Israel, as in the above analogy of the bodily organs.

שֶׁהֲרֵי כָּל אָדָם כָּלוּל מִכָּל נִשְׁמוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל כַּנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל מִן הָאֵיבָרִים

Thus, since a person incorporates also his fellow, he should love his fellow as he does himself.

וַהֲרֵי אִם כֵּן בּוֹ יֵשׁ זוּלָתוֹ גַם כֵּן וְיֶאֱהַב זוּלָתוֹ כָּמוֹהוּ

Similarly, he is incorporated within his fellow, as mentioned above with reference to the interconnection of the body’s organs.

כֵּן הוּא כָּלוּל בְּזוּלָתוֹ כַּנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל בְּקִשּׁוּר הָאֵיבָרִים,

This is also the reason one must accept upon himself this mitzvah before prayer,

וְזֶהוּ גַם כֵּן שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לְקַבֵּל עָלָיו מִצְוָה זוֹ קֹדֶם הַתְּפִלָּה

so that he can offer his soul and have it ascend to G‑d, in an arousal from below,17when reciting the word Echad, “One,” in the Shema.

כְּדֵי שֶׁיּוּכַל לִמְסוֹר נַפְשׁוֹ בְּאֶחָד שֶׁתַּעֲלֶה לִפְנֵי ה' בִּבְחִינַת מַיִּין נוּקְבִין בִּקְרִיאַת שְׁמַע

Our prayers compensate for sacrifices. Implied is that the spiritual service of prayer is bringing one’s own self as a sacrifice.18 Hence, as the Tzemach Tzedek continues to explain, one must be unblemished as was required of a sacrifice. A lack of unity creates disqualifying blemishes, as it were.

This ascent is not possible unless the soul is complete and “healthy.”

וְאִי אֶפִשָׁר לִהְיוֹת עֲלִיָּה זוֹ אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן תִּהְיֶה שְׁלֵמָה וּבְרִיאָה

Just as a body’s physical health depends on the soundness of all its limbs, so, too, a person’s spiritual health results from soundness with all the dimensions of his soul, including those associated with other people.

This latter state is accomplished when the soul incorporates all the other souls,

דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁתִּהְיֶה כְּלוּלָה מִכָּל הַנְּשָׁמוֹת

just as one of the organs of the body is healthy when the veins that connect it with all the other organs are healthy.

כְּמוֹ הָאֵבֶר שֶׁבְּרִיאוּתוֹ הוּא כְּשֶׁבְּרִיאִים הַוְּרִידִים שֶׁבּוֹ הַכְּלוּלִים מִכָּל הָאֵיבָרִים,

Then his soul can ascend in favor before G‑d at the level of His Chochmah,

שֶׁאָז תַּעֲלֶה לְרָצוֹן לִפְנֵי ה' בְּחָכְמָתוֹ יִתְבָּרֵךְ

which contains all the souls actually as one.

שֶׁהִיא הַכּוֹלֶלֶת כָּל הַנְּשָׁמוֹת כֻּלָּן כְּאֶחָד מַמָּשׁ,

Since his soul is also unified with all others,

שֶׁלְּפִי שֶׁהַנְּשָׁמָה יֵשׁ בָּהּ בְּהִתְכַּלְלוּת גַּם כֵּן מִכֻּלָּן

it can ascend into the general, all-encompassing light that is its source and root.

יְכוֹלָה הִיא לַעֲלוֹת בְּאוֹר הַכְּלָלִי שֶׁהוּא מְקוֹרָן וְשָׁרְשָׁן,

This unity is achieved when a man demonstrates with his person and with his body that he loves his fellow

וְהַהִתְכַּלְלוּת זֹאת הוּא כְּשֶׁהָאָדָם מַרְאֶה בְּעַצְמוֹ וּבְגוּפוֹ כֵּן שֶׁאוֹהֵב רֵעֵהוּ

– similar to the way the bodily organs are incorporated within each other –

כְּאֵיבָרִים הַכְּלוּלִים זֶה מִזֶּה

with a feeling of “what is mine is yours,”19

וְשֶׁלִּי שֶׁלָּךְ

for his fellow is his own “bone and flesh.”20

כִּי עַצְמוֹ וּבְשָׂרוֹ הוּא

If, however, he feels hatred in his heart for a fellow Jew, he separates from his soul that part of his fellow contained within him,

מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵּן כְּשֶׁשּׂוֹנֵא לְאֶחָד מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל בְּלִבּוֹ הֲרֵי הוּא מַפְרִיד מִנַּפְשׁוֹ אוֹתוֹ חֵלֶק שֶׁל זוּלָתוֹ הַכָּלוּל בּוֹ

rejecting it with this hatred and removing his own will from it.

וְדוֹחֵהוּ מֵעָלָיו בְּשִׂנְאָה זוֹ שֶׁשּׂוֹנְאוֹ וּמְסַלֵּק רְצוֹנוֹ מִמֶּנּוּ

This causes a blemish and a lack in his own soul,

וּמִמֵּילָא יֵשׁ פְּגַם וְחִסָּרוֹן בְּנַפְשׁוֹ

for now this part is lacking within him.

שֶׁנֶּחְסָר בּוֹ הַחֵלֶק הַנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל

He thus becomes defective –

וְנַעֲשֶׂה בַּעַל מוּם

since every individual part is comprised of all the 613 root-souls,

כִּי בֶּאֱמֶת כָּל אֵבֶר פְּרָטִי כָּלוּל מִתַּרְיַ"ג

and therefore the other person is included within him.

וְהַיְנוּ מֵהִתְכַּלְלוּת זוּלָתוֹ בּוֹ

Through his hatred, he severs that individual part from himself.

וְעַל יְדֵי הַשִּׂנְאָה הוּא מַפְרִיד מִמֶּנּוּ אוֹתוֹ חֵלֶק הַפְּרָטִי

He is then unable to ascend in favor before G‑d,

אָז אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַעֲלוֹת לְרָצוֹן לִפְנֵי ה'

as it is written:21 “Any kohen within whom there is a blemish shall not approach to offer....”

וּכְדִכְתִיב אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה בוֹ מוּם לֹא יִקְרַב לְהַקְרִיב כוּ' (וַיִּקְרָא כ"א י"ז)

For the Or Ein Sof, which comprises them all, will not tolerate him because of the flaw within him,

שֶׁאוֹר אֵין סוֹף בָּרוּךְ הוּא הַכּוֹלֵל כֻּלָּם לֹא יִסְבְּלֶנּוּ מִצַּד הַחִסָּרוֹן שֶׁבּוֹ

i.e., the lack of that particular element–

שֶׁחִסַּר אוֹתוֹ [הָאֵבֶר] הַפְּרָטִי

for the Or Ein Sof comprises that missing individual as well.

שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין סוֹף בָּרוּךְ הוּא כּוֹלֵל גַּם אוֹתוֹ

This should suffice for the intelligent.

וְדַי לַמֵּבִין

The need for unity explains why we have been commanded with several prohibitions against offerings being brought by blemished kohanim and against defective sacrificial animals themselves, as described in Parshas Emor.22

וְלָכֵן נִצְטַוִּינוּ כַּמָּה לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה בְּהַקְרָבַת בַּעֲלֵי מוּמִים הֵן בַּכֹּהֲנִים הֵן בַּקָּרְבָּנוֹת עַצְמָן כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב בְּפַרְשַׁת אֱמוֹר

We have likewise been enjoined with a positive precept to offer every sacrifice unblemished,

וְנִצְטַוִּינוּ גַם כֵּן בְּמִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה לְהַקְרִיב כָּל קָרְבָּן תָּמִים

as it is written,23 “To be accepted, it shall be perfect...”

כְּדִכְתִיב תָּמִים יִהְיֶה לְרָצוֹן כוּ' (וַיִּקְרָא כ"ב כ"א):

— 2 —

Even though the rationale for this mitzvah has been thoroughly explained above,

וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר הֵיטֵב טוּב טַעַם לְמִצְוָה זוֹ

there is yet another wonderful explanation, clarifying the awesome good

עֲדַיִן יֵשׁ בְּזֶה עוֹד טַעַם נִפְלָא בְּעֹצֶם הַטּוֹבָה

brought about by a person for himself and for the entire world through observing this positive mitzvah.

שֶׁהָאָדָם עוֹשֶׂה לוֹ וּלְכָל הָעוֹלָם בְּקִיּוּם מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה זוֹ

It also brings to light the opposite, G‑d forbid, i.e., what arises when one neglects this mitzvah and transgresses the Scriptural prohibition: “Do not hate...”

וּלְהִפּוּךְ חַס וְשָׁלוֹם כְּשֶׁמְּבַטֵּל מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה זוֹ וְעוֹבֵר עַל לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה שֶׁל תּוֹרָה דְּלֹא תִשְׂנָא:

This explanation is based on an exposition of the abovementioned statement of Hillel: “What is hateful to you do not do to your fellow....” This requires explanation: why did Hillel paraphrase this mitzvah in the negative instead of using positive wording?

הַיְנוּ עַל פִּי בֵּאוּר מַאֲמַר הִלֵּל הַנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל שֶׁאֵינוֹ מוּבָן גַּם כֵּן לָמָּה בֵּאֲרוּ מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה זוֹ בְּעִנְיַן הַשְּׁלִילָה מַה דְסָנֵי עֲלָךְ לְחַבְרָךְ לָא תַעֲבִיד וְלֹא אָמַר לוֹ הַהֵן שֶׁבָּהּ

In particular, the question applies since the verse’s simple meaning and the translation of Onkelos use positive terminology.24

הַנִּגְלֶה מִפְּשַׁט הַכָּתוּב כִּדְתִרְגֵּם אוּנְקְלוּס וְתִרְחֲמֵיהּ לְחַבְרָךְ כְּוָתָךְ.

We must conclude that, as will be explained, Hillel’s rendition interprets the mitzvah of “Love your fellow as yourself” on a deeper level.

וְהָעִנְיָן כִּי דְבָרָיו אֵלֶּה הוּא פֵּרוּשׁ מִצְוַת וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ בְּעִנְיָן עָמֹק,

Our Sages’ teaching that25 “A person sees no flaw within himself” does not mean that a person is completely unaware of his shortcomings.

דְּהַיְנוּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁאֵין אָדָם רוֹאֶה חוֹב לְעַצְמוֹ אֵין הַפֵּרוּשׁ שֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ כְּלָל חוֹבוֹתָיו

For someone else perceives only what is visible to the eye, while he discerns what is in the depths of his own heart.

שֶׁהֲרֵי זוּלָתוֹ אֵינוֹ רוֹאֶה אֶלָּא לָעֵינַיִם וְהוּא יִרְאֶה לַלֵּבָב

Instead, the intent of the Talmudic adage is that his fault is not important to him and does not disturb him.

אֶלָּא הַכַּוָּנָה שֶׁאֵין הַחוֹב תּוֹפֵס מָקוֹם אֶצְלוֹ כְּלָל לְהִתְפָּעֵל מִזֶּה

It is as if he does not see it at all,

וּכְאִלּוּ אֵינוֹ רוֹאֶה אוֹתוֹ כְּלָל

because of his great self-love.

כִּי מִפְּנֵי הָאַהֲבָה הַגְּדוֹלָה אֲשֶׁר הוּא אוֹהֵב מְאֹד אֶת עַצְמוֹ

That love covers all his shortcomings,26although he is conscious of them, shielding them in an encompassing manner.

עַל כָּל פְּשָׁעָיו שֶׁיּוֹדֵעַ בְּדַעְתּוֹ תְּכַסֶּה הָאַהֲבָה בִּבְחִינַת מַקִּיף

The person’s self-love envelops him to the extent that he cannot appreciate his situation objectively.

Though intellectually aware of his deficiencies, this knowledge will not evoke any emotional response.

שֶׁלֹּא יֻמְשַׁךְ מִן הַיְדִיעָה לִידֵי הִתְפַּעֲלוּת בַּמִּדּוֹת

Accordingly, his shortcomings give him no cause to be concerned.

וְלָכֵן אֵין תּוֹפְסִים מָקוֹם כְּלָל לְהִתְפָּעֵל מִזֶּה,

He does not see any faults within himself, because they are submerged in – and nullified by – his intense self-love, which shields them in an encompassing manner.

וְזֶהוּ שֶׁאֵינוֹ רוֹאֶה חוֹב לְעַצְמוֹ שֶׁנִּשְׁקַע וְנִתְבַּטֵּל בְּהָאַהֲבָה רַבָּה הַמְכַסָּה עַל כָּל הַפְּשָׁעִים בִּבְחִינַת מַקִּיף,

When, however, another person points out his fault and understands it, he becomes very angry,

וְכַאֲשֶׁר יִרְאֶה זוּלָתוֹ עַל הַחוֹב שֶׁלּוֹ וְיָבִין אוֹתוֹ יִרְגַּז מְאֹד

even though he himself is well aware that what the person says is true.

אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיּוֹדֵעַ בְּעַצְמוֹ שֶׁאֱמֶת הוּא

Essentially, his anger is not aroused by the fault itself, i.e., he does not feel that the other person is mistaken in his judgment and is suspecting him of a nonexistent defect,

וְהַיְנוּ לְפִי שֶׁעִקַּר רֻגְזוֹ אֵינוֹ עַל עֶצֶם הַפְּחִיתוּת שֶׁחֲבֵרוֹ מְדַמֶּה שֶׁקֶר

for he knows that what the person says is true.

שֶׁהֲרֵי יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁאֱמֶת הוּא

Instead, it is the other’s perception of his defect that inflames his ego and causes him agitation.

רַק עַל שֶׁיְּדִיעַת חֲבֵרוֹ אֶת פְּחִיתוּתוֹ הוּא בִּבְחִינַת יֵשׁ וְהִתְפַּעֲלוּת,

In contrast, when he himself knows ofthe fault, his self-love conceals it.

מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵּן כְּשֶׁהוּא יוֹדֵעַ הָאַהֲבָה מְכַסָּה,

He becomes enraged at his colleague for bringing it out in the open,

וְיִרְגַּז עַל חֲבֵרוֹ עַל הַהִתְגַּלּוּת

i.e., for revealing his flaw from the concealed and unperceived state to which his self-love had relegated it.

שֶׁגִּלָּה חֲבֵרוֹ הַחוֹב שֶׁלּוֹ מִתּוֹךְ הֶסְתֵּר וְכִסּוּי הָאַהֲבָה שֶׁהָיְתָה מְכַסָּה עָלָיו וְלֹא הָיָה נִרְאֶה כְּלָל

For now, after the other person called attention to it, it has become a tangible and substantive shortcoming.

וְעַתָּה אֵצֶל חֲבֵרוֹ נִרְאֶה לְיֵשׁ וּדְבַר מָה,

On this basis, we can appreciate Hillel’s statement: “What is hateful to you”

וְזֶהוּ מַה דְסָנֵי לָךְ

i.e., having one of your shortcomings revealed –

גִּלּוּי זֶה,

“do not do to your fellow”

לְחַבְרָךְ לָא תַעֲבִיד

– do not expose his faults and imperfections,

שֶׁלֹּא תִרְאֶה חוֹבוֹתָיו וּפְשָׁעָיו,

whether in worldly matters, in his relations with others, or in his spiritual behavior.

הֵן בְּמִלֵּי דְעָלְמָא בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ וְהֵן בְּמִלֵּי דִשְׁמַיָּא,

Do not make them noticeable and concrete.

לְיֵשׁ וּדְבַר מָה

Instead, let your love for him be so great that it covers his flaws

אֶלָּא יִהְיֶה הָאַהֲבָה שֶׁלְּךָ לוֹ גְּדוֹלָה כָּל כָּךְ עַד שֶׁתְּכַסֶּה עַל הַפְּשָׁעִים

and does not permit your intellectual awareness of them to evoke an emotional response.

וְלֹא תַנִּיחַ אוֹתָם מִן הַיְדִיעָה לָבֹא לְהִתְפַּעֲלוּת בַּמִּדּוֹת

This is loving the other person “as yourself,” i.e., treating him with the same type of blind love with which one treats himself.

When a person feels an exceedingly great yearning and desire for another

וּכְמוֹ כַּאֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה לְאָדָם רָצוֹן וּתְשׁוּקָה נִפְלָאָה לַחֲבֵרוֹ

because of a great and powerful attraction to him issuing from the very essence of his soul,

מִצַּד הַמְשָׁכָה רַבָּה וַעֲצוּמָה שֶׁמֵּעַצְמִיּוּת הַנֶּפֶשׁ שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ אֵלָיו

any wrong that the other may inflict upon him that conflicts with his love will not be important at all to him.

כָּל אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂה לוֹ רָעוֹת הִפּוּךְ אַהֲבָתוֹ לֹא יִהְיוּ תּוֹפְסִים מָקוֹם כְּלָל

It will be nullified in the great intensity of his love,

וּבְטֵלִים נֶגֶד הָאַהֲבָה רַבָּה

as the verse states: “Many waters cannot extinguish the love...” (Shir HaShirim 8:7).

מַיִם רַבִּים לֹא יוּכְלוּ כוּ' (שִׁיר הַשִּׁירִים ח' ז'),

Therefore Hillel declared, “This is the entire Torah.”

וְלָכֵן זֶהוּ כָּל הַתּוֹרָה כֻלָּהּ

For the interrelation of the souls of Israel with each other, becoming truly one,

שֶׁעַל יְדֵי הִתְכַּלְלוּת נִשְׁמוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל אֵלּוּ בְּאֵלּוּ וְהָיוּ לַאֲחָדִים מַמָּשׁ

as if they are a single entity,

כְּאִלּוּ הִיא קוֹמָה אַחַת לְבָד

evokes a most wondrous effect Above,

עַל יְדֵי זֶה גּוֹרֵם לְמַעְלָה עִנְיָן נִפְלָא

which is the essence and purpose of the entire Torah,

שֶׁהוּא יְסוֹד וְתַכְלִית כָּל הַתּוֹרָה כֻלָּה

i.e., the unity of the Holy One, blessed be He, In kabbalistic terminology, this refers to the Sefiros of Z’eir Anpin

וְהוּא עִנְיַן יִחוּד קוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא

with His Shechinah.


G‑d’s Shechinah is identified as both Imma Tataah (“the Lower Matriarch”) and Matronisa (“the Matron”).

שֶׁשְּׁכִינְתֵּיהּ הִיא אִמָּא תַּתָּאָה וּמַטְרוֹנִיתָא,

Both of these terms are analogies for the Sefirah of Malchus, the source of Jewish souls.

מְקוֹר נִשְׁמוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל

The term “the Holy One, blessed be He,” which refers to Z’eir Anpin, is also identified with the souls of the Jewish people. To explain: Our Sages state (Bava Metzia 84a): “The beauty of Yaakov was similar to Adam’s.”

כִּי הִנֵּה שׁוּפְרֵיהּ דְּיַעֲקֹב מֵעֵין שׁוּפְרֵיהּ דְּאָדָם (בָּבָא מְצִיעָא פ"ד א')

This means that all the souls of the Jewish people were incorporated within Yaakov,

וּפֵרוּשׁ שֶׁיַּעֲקֹב הָיָה כְּלָלוּת כָּל הַנְּשָׁמוֹת

and thus he resembled the beauty of the Sublime Man on His throne, “the appearance of the likeness of G‑d’s glory” (Yechezkel 1:26, 28),

הוּא מֵעֵין שׁוּפְרֵיהּ דְּאָדָם הָעֶלְיוֹן שֶׁעַל הַכִּסֵּא הוּא מַרְאֵה דְּמוּת כְּבוֹד ה' (יְחֶזְקֵאל א' כ"ח)

The quote from Yechezkel refers to the Sublime Man, which in this context refers to Z’eir Anpin. As explained, that spiritual quality is identified with Yaakov, the collective soul of the Jewish people.

for “His people are a part of G‑d” (Devarim 32:9) and thus G‑d’s spiritual qualities are mirrored in them.

כִּי חֵלֶק ה' עַמּוֹ (דְּבָרִים ל"ב ט')

When the souls of Israel join and unite, this in turn unites the One G‑d

וּכְשֶׁמִּתְכַּלְלִים נִשְׁמוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהָיוּ לַאֲחָדִים עַל יְדֵי זֶה נַעֲשֶׂה אֶחָד

In kabbalistic terms, this refers to His Emotional Attributes, the level of Z’eir Anpin.

with one,27the level of Malchus, the source of the Jewish people.


G‑d becomes united with Israel and they become truly one.

שֶׁה' יִתְבָּרֵךְ מִתְיַחֵד עִם הַיִּשְׂרָאֵל וְהָיוּ לַאֲחָדִים

As a result, the Sublime Man sees no deficiency within Himself,

וְאֵין הָאָדָם דִּלְעֵלָּא רוֹאֶה חוֹב לְעַצְמוֹ

I.e., the faults of the Jewish people create blemishes Above, as it were, but because of the unity that is established, G‑d overlooks them.

and He removes every transgression of Israel, as “one who cleanses in the mighty ocean.”28

וְאָז הוּא עוֹבֵר עַל כָּל פֶּשַׁע שֶׁל הַיִּשְׂרָאֵל כְּמַאן דְּמִסְתְּחֵי בְּיַמָּא רַבָּא

And as it is written (Bamidbar 23:21): “He beholds no sin in Yaakov and sees no wrongdoing in Israel,” because “the L‑rd his G‑d is with him.”

וּכְמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב לֹא הִבִּיט אָוֶן בְּיַעֲקֹב וְלֹא רָאָה עָמָל בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל (בַּמִּדְבָּר כ"ג כ"א) מִפְּנֵי שֶׁה' אֱלֹקָיו עִמּוֹ

Just as on the earthly plane a person does not see his own faults, so, too, the Sublime Man does not see, metaphorically speaking, His own fault,

וְאֵין הָאָדָם רוֹאֶה עַל דֶּרֶךְ מָשָׁל חוֹבַת עַצְמוֹ

i.e., since the Jewish people are united with Him, their fault becomes His own, as it were, and hence is unnoticed.

This should suffice for the intelligent.

וְדַי לַמֵּבִין

The meaning of the phrase, “He beholds no sin... and sees no wrongdoing...” is not that the faults are concealed from Him, G‑d forbid.

וְאֵין פֵּרוּשׁ לֹא הִבִּיט וְלֹא רָאָה שֶׁנֶּעֱלָמִים מִמֶּנּוּ חַס וְשָׁלוֹם

For everything is revealed and known to Him, even one’s trivial conversations.29

Rather the intent is, to borrow the phrasing of the verse (Iyov 11:11): “He sees iniquity, but takes no notice of it.”

אֶלָּא כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב וַיַּרְא אָוֶן וְלֹא יִתְבּוֹנָן (אִיּוֹב י"א י"א)

Although through His infinite and boundless knowledge He knows of their wrongdoings, influence is not drawn down from that knowledge

שֶׁאֵין נִמְשָׁךְ מִן הַיְדִיעָה שֶׁלּוֹ שֶׁיּוֹדֵעַ אוֹתָם בְּדַעְתּוֹ יִתְבָּרֵךְ שֶׁאֵין לָהּ גְּבוּל וְתַכְלִית

to arouse the Divine attribute of might, which is identified with severity and judgment.

לִידֵי הִתְפַּעֲלוּת בְּמִדּוֹת הַגְּבוּרָה כוּ'

For His love covers it, as it is written (ibid., 3:23): “And before whom G‑d (א-לוה) erected a barrier.”

כִּי הָאַהֲבָה תְּכַסֶּה וּכְמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב וַיָּסֶךְ אֱלוֹהַּ בַּעֲדוֹ (אִיּוֹב ג' כ"ג)

G‑d’s name א-לוה is a composite of the letters א-ל ו-ה,

אֱלוֹהַּ הוּא אֵל ו"ה

which refer to the sublime kindness

שֶׁהוּא חֶסֶד עֶלְיוֹן

For G‑d’s name א-ל is identified with the attribute of kindness. The letters ו-ה of the name Havayah refer to the sefiros of Z’eir Anpin and Malchus. The intent is that G‑d’s kindness encompasses these lower levels.

which envelops and encompasses the Jewish people, preventing their flaws from being recognized, as explained in Etz Chayim.30

הַמַּקִּיף כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב בְּעֵץ חַיִּים

(This kindness serves as a garment for the soul and a seal, protecting it.)

(שֶׁהוּא לְבוּשׁ הַנְּשָׁמָה וְחוֹתָמָהּ עַיֵּן שָׁם)

This is not the case, however, when, G‑d forbid, there is separation among the Jewish people.

מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵּן אִם יֵשׁ פֵּרוּד חַס וְשָׁלוֹם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל

For as stated above: “Any kohen within whom there is a blemish shall not approach.”

כֹּל אֲשֶׁר בּוֹ מוּם לֹא יִקְרַב

The existence of a blemish also causes separation Above between the Holy One, blessed be He, and the Shechinah, the source of the Jewish people.

וְיִגְרוֹם לְמַעְלָה בְּחִינַת פֵּרוּד

Then the Sublime Man will notice flaws,

וְאָז יִהְיֶה רוֹאֶה אֶת הַחוֹב

and that person’s flaw in particular,

וּבִפְרָט עָלָיו

for it was he who brought about this disunity, Heaven forbid.

שֶׁהוּא הַמַּפְרִיד רַחֲמָנָא לִצְּלָן מִזֶּה

G‑d’s blessings to the Jewish people depend on the unity of Israel, as implied by the phrase in our prayers:

“Bless us, our Father; all of us as one.”

וּבָרְכֵנוּ אָבִינוּ כֻּלָּנוּ כְּאֶחָד

For when there is oneness, “You are entirely beautiful, My beloved, and there is no blemish in you” (Shir HaShirim 4:7).

וְאָז כֻּלָּךְ יָפָה רַעְיָתִי וּמוּם אֵין בָּךְ (שִׁיר הַשִּׁירִים ד' ז')

This brings about the unity of the Holy One, blessed be He, with His Shechinah,

וְנַעֲשֶׂה בְּחִינַת יִחוּד קוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא וּשְׁכִינְתֵּיהּ

i.e., the revelation of Or Ein Sof within the source of the souls of Israel: bringing about the unity of “One with one.”

גִּלּוּי אוֹר אֵין סוֹף בִּמְקוֹר נִשְׁמוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל לְמֶהֱוֵי אֶחָד בְּאֶחָד

This is the mystical secret implied bythe verse (Devarim 18:13): “You shall be tamim (whole, perfect) with Havayah Elokecha, G‑d your L‑rd.”

וְזֶה סוֹד תָּמִים תִּהְיֶה עִם ה' אֱלֹקֶיךָ (דְּבָרִים י"ח י"ג)

G‑d’s relationship with the totality of the souls of Israel is tam, i.e., in a state of completeness and perfection.

כְּמוֹ שֶׁה' אֱלֹקֶיךָ הוּא עִם כְּלָלוּת נִשְׁמוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּחִינַת תָּם

The intent being that the radiance of the Sublime Chochmah shines into all the dimensions – literally, “limbs – of the Shechinah in their totality

דְּהַיְנוּ הֶאָרַת חָכְמָה עִלָּאָה בִּכְלָלוּת אֵיבָרִים דִּשְׁכִינְתֵּיהּ

as implied by the charge: “Love your fellow as yourself,”

וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ

without beholding the flaws within the Shechinah. Any flaw in the Shechinah result from the faults of the Jewish people.

וְאֵין רוֹאֶה חוֹבוֹתָיו

In a similar way, you should be tamim with your fellow Jews,

כְּמוֹ כֵן תִּהְיֶה אַתָּה תָּמִים עִם חֲבֵירֶיךָ

so that Havayah will be Elokecha,

כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה ה' אֱלֹקֶיךָ

Havayah refers to transcendent G‑dliness; Elokecha, to the G‑dly energy that serves as the life-force for every individual. Through our efforts in Ahavas Yisrael, it becomes apparent that the infinite dimension of Havayah is our life-force, i.e., we become aware that the transcendent G‑dliness associated with the name Havayah is the energy which serves as Elokim, our life-force.31

through offering your soul to G‑d with complete self-sacrifice when reciting the word Echad in the Shema, as has been discussed above.

בִּמְסִירַת נֶפֶשׁ בְּאֶחָד כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר לְעֵיל:

This is the meaning of Hillel’s statement: “The remainder is commentary,”

וְזֶהוּ שֶׁאָמַר הִלֵּל וְאִידָךְ פֵּירוּשָׁא הוּא

To explain: As is known, the purpose of all the mitzvos is to bring about the unity of the Holy One, blessed be He, with His Shechinah.

שֶׁהֲרֵי כָּל הַמִּצְוֹת הֵם לְיַחֵד קוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא וּשְׁכִינְתֵּיהּ כַּיָּדוּעַ

This is accomplished by mesirus nefesh, self sacrifice.32That same spiritual thrust is accomplished through ahavas yisrael, the love of one’s fellow Jew.

For the essential unity of the Sublime Man, the form of man projected by Z’eir Anpin,with His Shechinah,

וַהֲרֵי עִקַּר הַיִּחוּד אָדָם דִּלְעֵלָּא בִּשְׁכִינְתֵּיהּ

which is called “the beauty of Yaakov,”

הַנִּקְרָא שׁוּפְרֵיהּ דְּיַעֲקֹב

depends upon the revelation of genuine love for another person, until it actually resembles self-love,

הוּא תָּלוּי בְּהִתְגַּלּוּת הָאַהֲבָה אֲמִתִּית עַד לִהְיוֹת כָּמוֹךָ מַמָּשׁ,

for as mentioned above, “His people are a part of G‑d,”

חֵלֶק ה' עַמּוֹ כַּנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל,

i.e., every Jew is a reflection of G‑dliness. Thus, loving another Jew is comparable to self-love, for the two share the same G‑dly essence.

This is accomplished through the performance of the mitzvah, “Love your fellow as yourself,” as explained above.

וְזֶה נַעֲשֶׂה עַל יְדֵי קִיּוּם מִצְוַת וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ כַּנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל

All the other mitzvos are like a commentary that explains this unity.

וּשְׁאָר כָּל הַמִּצְוֹת הֵם כְּמוֹ פֵּרוּשׁ לְהַסְבִּיר הַיִּחוּד

Thus ahavas Yisrael represents the ultimate purpose of the Torah. Each of the other mitzvos expresses that purpose in an individual manner, as the Tzemach Tzedek proceeds to explain.

(That is, they establish the form through which this unity will be expressed.

(דְּהַיְנוּ בְּאֵיזוֹ אֹפֶן יִהְיֶה הַיִּחוּד

For example, through Torah study, man’s wisdom is united with G‑d’s wisdom.

אִם חָכְמָתוֹ בְּחָכְמָתוֹ בְּתַלְמוּד תּוֹרָה

Similarly, our love is united with His love

וְאַהֲבָה בְּאַהֲבָה

and so, too, we connect all of our other emotional attributes to the corresponding emotive attributes of G‑d through the performance of the other mitzvos.

וּשְׁאָרֵי מִדּוֹת עַל יְדֵי שְׁאָרֵי מִצְוֹת

To illustrate by analogy: When a person clings to and connects powerfully with another person, the cause of the attachment is authentic love.

וּכְמוֹ שֶׁבְּאָדָם הַמִּתְדַּבֵּק וּמִתְקַשֵּׁר עִם חֲבֵרוֹ סִבַּת הַהִתְקַשְּׁרוּת הוּא הָאַהֲבָה הָאֲמִתִּית

The oneness between them is then expressed in various forms:


at times in speech, conversing about words of wisdom;

פְּעָמִים בְּדִבּוּר שֶׁמְּדַבֵּר עִמּוֹ דִּבְרֵי חָכְמָה

at times in emotion, displaying love for each other;

פְּעָמִים בְּמִדּוֹת בְּהִתְגַּלּוּת אַהֲבָתוֹ לוֹ

at times in deed, in doing favors with physical things.

וּפְעָמִים בְּמַעֲשֶׂה בְּטוֹבוֹת גַּשְׁמִיּוֹת

In the analogue, the 248 positive mitzvos are the “248 limbs of the King.”33

וְכָךְ יֵשׁ רְמַ"ח מִצְווֹת עֲשֵׂה הֵם רְמַ"ח אֵיבָרִים דְּמַלְכָּא

Each mitzvah brings about a dimension of unity associated with the particular organ to which the mitzvah corresponds;

וּבְמִצְוָה זוֹ עִקַּר הַיִּחוּד בְּאֵבֶר זֶה

all the other attributes are contained within it.

וּשְׁאָר הַבְּחִינוֹת כְּלוּלִים בּוֹ

I.e., the unity established between a particular aspect in man and its counterpart in G‑d when he performs each particular mitzvah reflects in microcosm the complete and all-encompassing unity established between the Jews and G‑d.

Similar concepts apply with regard to all other mitzvos.)

וְכֵן עַל דֶּרֶךְ זֶה בִּשְׁאָר כָּל הַמִּצְוֹת)

For example, the mitzvah of wrapping oneself in a tallis is identified with the charge (Devarim 17:15): “Accept upon yourself a King,”34

כְּמוֹ מִצְוַת עֲטִיפַת הַטַּלִּית שׂוֹם תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ (דְּבָרִים י"ז ט"ו)

eliciting for himself the encompassing light that enables the recipient to offer his soul to G‑d when reciting the word echad in the Shema.

בְּחִינַת אוֹר מַקִּיף שֶׁיִּהְיֶה כֹּחַ לְהַמְקַבֵּל לִמְסוֹר נַפְשׁוֹ בְּאֶחָד

For “if there is no fear of G‑d,

כִּי אִם אֵין יִרְאָה

The encompassing light elicited by the tallis evokes fear.

there is no Chochmah” (Avos 3:17).

אֵין חָכְמָה (אָבוֹת פֶּרֶק ג' מִשְׁנָה י"ז)

In this context, the intent of the term Chochmah is not wisdom in the intellectual sense, but rather the self-nullification that enables one to serve as a receptor.

Afterwards, there is a higher level of fear that follows Chochmah, as the mishnah continues: “If there is no Chochmah there is no fear.”

וְהַיִּרְאָה שֶׁאַחַר הַחָכְמָה וּכְמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב אִם אֵין חָכְמָה אֵין יִרְאָה

This refers to absolute bittul which stems from one’s closeness to G‑d.

הַיְנוּ בִּטּוּל בִּמְצִיאוּת מִפְּנֵי הַקֵּרוּב

For the characteristic of fear is that the closer one approaches, the more he is overcome with a feeling of awe.

כִּי מִדַּת הַיִּרְאָה הִיא כָּל הַקָּרֵב קָרֵב יוֹתֵר, יוֹתֵר תִּפּוֹל עָלָיו הַבִּטּוּל

The characteristic of love, on the other hand, is that the farther one moves from the object of his love, the stronger the love grows.

מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵּן הָאַהֲבָה מֵרָחוֹק תִּתְגַּבֵּר יוֹתֵר

Accordingly, after the expression of the bittul stemming from Chochmah when reciting the word echad, he will be instilled with the awe that stems from absolute bittul.

וְלָכֵן אַחַר הַחָכְמָה בְּאֶחָד תִּהְיֶה הַיִּרְאָה בִּטּוּל בִּמְצִיאוּת,

The vestige of this all-encompassing awe becomes invested in the encompassing light of the tallis, inspiring him with the external fear that precedes Chochmah.

וּנְקֻדַּת הָרְשִׁימוּ מִמֶּנָּה יִתְלַבֵּשׁ בְּהַמַּקִּיף שֶׁל הַטַּלִּית הַיִּרְאָה שֶׁמִּבְּחוּץ שֶׁקּוֹדֵם לְחָכְמָה

Thus the tallis that one wears communicates the vestiges of the spiritual heights previously attained through the recitation of the Shema on previous occasions.

All this is only an explanation – a commentary – of the unity as generated by the soul’s faculty of Chochmah when one offers his soul to G‑d when reciting the word Echad, which represents the mystic secret of unity.

וְכָל זֶה רַק פֵּרוּשׁ לְהַיִּחוּד שֶׁהוּא בְּחָכְמָה שֶׁבַּנֶּפֶשׁ כְּשֶׁמּוֹסֵר נַפְשׁוֹ בְּאֶחָד שֶׁזֶּה סוֹד הַיִּחוּד

The fundamental dimension of this unity is brought about by the positive mitzvah of “Love your fellow....”

שֶׁעִקָּרוֹ הוּא עַל יְדֵי מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה דִּוְאָהַבְתָּ

For then, “You are entirely beautiful, My beloved, and there is no blemish in you,” and “You shall be tamim (whole, perfect) with G‑d your L‑rd,” as explained above.

שֶׁאָז כֻּלָּךְ יָפָה רַעְיָתִי וְתָמִים תִּהְיֶה עִם ה' אֱלֹקֶיךָ וּכְמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר לְמַעְלָה:

Furthermore, this positive mitzvah of “Love your fellow as yourself,” and especially the negative precept, “Do not hate...,” can be well explained from another perspective

וְעוֹד יֵשׁ לְבָאֵר טוּב טַעַם לְמִצְוָה זוֹ דִּוְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ וּבִפְרָט לְלֹֹא תַעֲשֶׂה דְּלֹא תִשְׂנָא כוּ'

in light of the exposition elsewhere35 on the verse, “Choose from among you... to bring G‑d’s retribution upon Midian” (Bamidbar 31:3).

עַל פִּי מַה שֶּׁכָּתוּב בְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר בְּפָסוּק הֵחָלְצוּ מֵאִתְּכֶם כוּ' לָתֵת נִקְמַת ה' בְּמִדְיָן (בַּמִּדְבָּר ל"א ג')

There it explains that the kelipah of Midian is baseless hatred, and the retribution of G‑d must be executed upon Midian. Consult that source.

שֶׁקְּלִפַּת מִדְיָן הוּא שִׂנְאַת חִנָּם וְצָרִיךְ לִהְיוֹת נִקְמַת הֲוָיָ' בְּמִדְיָן יְעֻיַּן שָׁם: