Chapter 44

פרק מד

In the previous chapter, the Alter Rebbe explained that there are two broad categories in the love of G‑d, ahavah rabbah and ahavat olam. Ahavah rabbah cannot be attained by man unaided. It is granted as a gift from above when an individual merits it; reflection alone on G‑d’s greatness can in no way engender this level of love. Ahavat olam, however, results from intense and sustained meditation on the greatness of G‑d.

Each of the two grades of love—ahavah rabbah and ahavat olam—is subdivided into limitless shades and gradations, in each individual according to his [spiritual] capacity,

וְהִנֵּה, כָּל מַדְרֵגַת אַהֲבָה מִבּ' מַדְרֵגוֹת אֵלּוּ: "אַהֲבָה רַבָּה" וְ"אַהֲבַת עוֹלָם" – נֶחְלֶקֶת לְכַמָּה בְּחִינוֹת וּמַדְרֵגוֹת לְאֵין קֵץ, כָּל חַד לְפוּם שִׁיעוּרָא דִילֵיהּ,

As is written in the holy Zohar1 on the verse, “Her husband is known in the gates,”2 that “This refers to the Holy One, blessed be He, so called since He is the “husband” of the “Congregation of Israel,” Who makes Himself known and attaches Himself to every one according to the extent which one measures in one’s heart….”

כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב בַּזֹּהַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ עַל פָּסוּק: "נוֹדָע בַּשְּׁעָרִים בַּעְלָהּ" – "דָּא קוּדְשָׁא־בְּרִיךְ־הוּא, דְּאִיהוּ אִתְיְדַע וְאִתְדַּבֵּק לְכָל חַד לְפוּם מַה דִמְשַׁעֵר בְּלִבֵּיהּ וְכוּ'".

Thus, two individuals may have the same general level of love of G‑d, yet their particular, individual levels of love will differ.

Therefore, fear and love are called “the secret things [known] to the L-rd our G‑d,”3 for people cannot know the varying degrees of love of G‑d harbored in the hearts of others,

וְלָכֵן נִקְרָאִים דְּחִילוּ וּרְחִימוּ – "הַנִּסְתָּרוֹת לַה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ",

while the Torah and mitzvot are those things which are “revealed to us and to our children to do….”3

וְתוֹרָה וּמִצְוֹת – הֵן "הַנִּגְלוֹת לָנוּ וּלְבָנֵינוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת כוּ'".

They are found in all Jews equally,

for we have all one Torah and one law insofar as the fulfillment of all the Torah and mitzvot in actual performance is concerned. All Jews perform mitzvot in the very same manner; the greatest Jew and the smallest both put on the same tefillin.

כִּי תּוֹרָה אַחַת וּמִשְׁפָּט אֶחָד לְכוּלָּנוּ, בְּקִיּוּם כָּל הַתּוֹרָה וּמִצְוֹת בִּבְחִינַת מַעֲשֶׂה,

It is otherwise with fear and love, which vary according to the knowledge of G‑d in the mind and heart,

מַה־שֶּׁאֵין־כֵּן בִּדְחִילוּ וּרְחִימוּ שֶׁהֵם לְפִי הַדַּעַת אֶת ה' שֶׁבְּמוֹחַ וָלֵב,

Here, Jews are not equal. He whose knowledge of G‑dliness is greater will experience the love and fear of G‑d to a greater degree than his less knowledgeable colleague.

as has been explained earlier, in ch. 42.

כַּנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל.

The Alter Rebbe explained in the previous chapter that ahavah rabbah cannot be attained alone, while ahavat olam can. He now goes on to explain that there is a manner of love of G‑d which incorporates the qualities of both ahavah rabbah and ahavat olam. It has the qualities of the former since it comes from above and exists in the soul of every Jew in the form of an inheritance from the Patriarchs. However, in order for this love to be revealed, it is necessary for the individual to contemplate and comprehend G‑dliness, as is the case with ahavat olam, which is revealed through man’s service.

Yet, there is one singular and unique love which incorporates something of all the distinctions and gradations of both ahavah rabbah and ahavat olam and is found equally in every Jewish soul as our inheritance from our Patriarchs.

אַךְ אַחַת הִיא אַהֲבָה הַכְּלוּלָה מִכָּל בְּחִינוֹת וּמַדְרֵגוֹת "אַהֲבָה רַבָּה" וְ"אַהֲבַת עוֹלָם", וְהִיא שָׁוָה לְכָל נֶפֶשׁ מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל, וִירוּשָּׁה לָנוּ מֵאֲבוֹתֵינוּ.

And that is what the Zohar says on the verse: “My soul, I desire You at night.”4

וְהַיְינוּ, מַה שֶּׁכָּתַב הַזֹּהַר עַל פָּסוּק: "נַפְשִׁי אִוִּיתִיךָ בַּלַּיְלָה וְגוֹ'" –

The Zohar notes that the verse is grammatically anomalous. It should either say, “My soul desires You,” or alternatively, “I desire You.” Therefore, the Zohar explains that “My soul” refers to G‑d, the Soul of all beings. In effect, the Jew says to G‑d: “You are my Soul; therefore, I desire you.” And as the Zohar goes on to say:

“One should love G‑d with a love of the soul and the spirit as they are attached to the body and the body loves them….”5 This is the interpretation of the verse: “My soul, I desire You,” which means, “Since you, G‑d, are my true soul and life, therefore do I desire You.” That is to say, “I long and yearn for You like a man who craves the life of his soul, and when he is weak and exhausted, he longs and yearns for his soul to revive in him (lit., ‘to return to him’).

"דְּיַרְחִים לְקוּדְשָׁא־בְּרִיךְ־הוּא רְחִימוּתָא דְנַפְשָׁא וְרוּחָא כְּמָה דְאִתְדַּבְּקוּ אִילֵּין בְּגוּפָא וְגוּפָא רָחִים לוֹן וְכוּ'". וְזֶהוּ שֶׁכָּתוּב: "נַפְשִׁי אִוִּיתִיךָ", כְּלוֹמַר, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאַתָּה ה' "נַפְשִׁי" וְחַיַּי הָאֲמִתִּים, לְכָךְ – "אִוִּיתִיךָ", פֵּירוּשׁ, שֶׁאֲנִי מִתְאַוֶּה וְתָאֵב לְךָ כְּאָדָם הַמִּתְאַוֶּה לְחַיֵּי נַפְשׁוֹ, וּכְשֶׁהוּא חַלָּשׁ וּמְעוּנֶּה – מִתְאַוֶּה וְתָאֵב שֶׁתָּשׁוּב נַפְשׁוֹ אֵלָיו,

Truly, the pleasure of living is the greatest pleasure of all, and a man will forgo all manner of pleasure in order to stay alive. Nevertheless, we do not feel the pleasure of simply being alive because “a constant pleasure is not felt to be pleasurable.” However, when a person is weak and tired and his life-force is not as manifest as it should be, then he feels the desire to live and senses the pleasure of simply being alive.

“Likewise, when he goes to sleep, at which time his life-force is in a state of concealment, for ‘Sleep is one sixtieth of death,’6 he longs and yearns for his soul to be restored to him when he awakens from his sleep. So do I long and yearn to draw within me the infinite light of the blessed Ein Sof, the Life of true life, through engaging in the [study of the] Torah when I awaken during the night from my sleep”, for the Torah and the Holy One, blessed be He, are one and the same.

וְכֵן כְּשֶׁהוּא הוֹלֵךְ לִישֹׁן – מִתְאַוֶּה וְחָפֵץ שֶׁתָּשׁוּב נַפְשׁוֹ אֵלָיו כְּשֶׁיֵּעוֹר מִשְּׁנָתוֹ, כָּךְ, אֲנִי מִתְאַוֶּה וְתָאֵב לְאוֹר אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא, חַיֵּי הַחַיִּים הָאֲמִתִּיִּים, לְהַמְשִׁיכוֹ בְּקִרְבִּי עַל יְדֵי עֵסֶק הַתּוֹרָה בַּהֲקִיצִי מִשְּׁנָתִי בַּלַּיְלָה, דְּאוֹרַיְיתָא וְקוּדְשָׁא־בְּרִיךְ־הוּא כּוּלָּא חַד.

Thus, the individual’s love of G‑d will encourage him in his Torah study, since He realizes that this will enable him to draw down the infinite light of the Ein Sof and become united with G‑d. Just as creation is renewed continuously (“In His goodness, He renews each day, continuously, the work of creation,”7) Torah, too, “should be viewed every day as if it were new.”8 So, too, regarding the love and yearning for G‑d brought about through the study of Torah: he should experience this just as one yearns and desires for the full restoration of his vitality—a desire which is both revealed and powerful.

So the Zohar says (ibid.), “Out of love for the Holy One, blessed be He, a man should rise each night and exert himself in His service until the morning….”

כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתַב הַזֹּהַר שָׁם: "דְּבָעֵי בַּר נַשׁ מֵרְחִימוּתָא דְקוּדְשָׁא־בְּרִיךְ־הוּא לְמֵיקַם בְּכָל לֵילָא, לְאִשְׁתַּדְּלָא בְּפוּלְחָנֵיהּ עַד צַפְרָא כוּ'".

This, then, is the love expressed in the phrase, “My soul, I desire You,” the innate love that a Jew feels when he realizes that G‑d is his true soul and Source of life. This love must be revealed by pondering deeply and often how G‑d is the Source of all life, as will be explained later on in this chapter.

A greater and more intense love than this (i.e., than the love which results from realizing that G‑d is one’s true soul and life), a love which is likewise concealed in every soul of Israel as an inheritance from our ancestors, is that which is defined in Raaya Mehemna in description of Moses’ divine service: “Like a son who strives for the sake of his father and mother, whom he loves even more than his own body, soul, and spirit…sacrificing his life for his father and mother in order to redeem them from captivity.9

וְאַהֲבָה רַבָּה וּגְדוֹלָה מִזּוֹ, וְהִיא מְסוּתֶּרֶת גַּם כֵּן בְּכָל נֶפֶשׁ מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל בִּירוּשָּׁה מֵאֲבוֹתֵינוּ, הִיא, מַה שֶּׁכָּתוּב בְּרַעְיָא מְהֵימְנָא: "כִּבְרָא דְּאִשְׁתַּדֵּל בָּתַר אֲבוֹי וְאִימֵּיהּ, דְּרָחִים לוֹן יַתִּיר מִגַּרְמֵיהּ וְנַפְשֵׁיהּ וְרוּחֵיהּ כוּ'",

This manner of service is not limited to Moses alone: it is within the province of every Jew,

for “have we not all one Father?”10

כִּי הֲלֹא אָב אֶחָד לְכוּלָּנוּ.

Just as Moses possessed this love because G‑d is his Father, so, too, every Jew can possess this love, for G‑d is equally our Father.

This level of love is more selfless than that described by the phrase, “My soul, I desire You.” For love which results from realizing that G‑d is one’s true life will only be as intense as a person’s desire for life itself. It will not demand total self-sacrifice, which is the opposite of life. The love of a child for his parent, however, is not limited to his love for life; his parents’ lives take precedence over his own, and he is ready to give his very life in order to save theirs.

And although one may ask, who is the man and where is he, who would dare presume in his heart to approach and attain even a thousandth part of the degree of love felt by Moses, “The Faithful Shepherd,”

וְאַף כִּי מִי הוּא זֶה וְאֵיזֶהוּ אֲשֶׁר עָרַב לִבּוֹ לָגֶשֶׁת לְהַשִּׂיג אֲפִילוּ חֵלֶק אֶחָד מִנִּי אֶלֶף מִמַּדְרֵגַת אַהֲבַת "רַעְיָא מְהֵימְנָא"?

How, then, do we say that every Jew can feel the same love of G‑d that Moses felt?

nevertheless, a minute portion and particle of his great goodness and light illumines the community of Israel in each generation, as it is stated in the Tikkunim,11 that “an emanation from him (Moses) is present in every generation” “to illumine them….”12

מִכָּל מָקוֹם, הֲרֵי אֶפֶס קָצֵהוּ וְשֶׁמֶץ מֶנְהוּ מֵרַב טוּבוֹ וְאוֹרוֹ – מֵאִיר לִכְלָלוּת יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר, כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב בַּתִּיקּוּנִים, דְּ"אִתְפַּשְּׁטוּתֵיהּ בְּכָל דָּרָא וְדָרָא לְאַנְהָרָא לוֹן וְכוּ'".

Since this luminous particle is found in all Jews in all generations, it thus becomes possible for every Jew—through Moses’ goodness and light—to feel the love that he possesses as an inheritance from the Patriarchs in a manner similar to that of Moses.13

Only the glow from Moses’ soul is present in the souls of all Israel in a manner of great obscurity and concealment. But to bring forth this hidden love from its latency and concealment to a state of revelation so that it will be manifest in his heart and mind is “not beyond reach, nor is it far off, but it is very close to you, in your mouth and heart.”14

רַק שֶׁהֶאָרָה זוֹ הִיא בִּבְחִינַת הֶסְתֵּר וְהֶעְלֵם גָּדוֹל בְּנַפְשׁוֹת כָּל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל, וּלְהוֹצִיא אַהֲבָה זוֹ הַמְסוּתֶּרֶת מֵהַהֶעְלֵם וְהַהֶסְתֵּר אֶל הַגִּילּוּי, לִהְיוֹת בְּהִתְגַּלּוּת לִבּוֹ וּמוֹחוֹ – "לֹא נִפְלֵאת וְלֹא רְחוֹקָה הִיא", אֶלָּא "קָרוֹב הַדָּבָר מְאֹד בְּפִיךָ וּבִלְבָבְךָ",

That is to say, it should be habitual with his tongue and voice to arouse the intention of his heart and mind, for “the sound of one’s voice arouses the devout concentration”15 of heart and mind,

דְּהַיְינוּ, לִהְיוֹת רָגִיל עַל לְשׁוֹנוֹ וְקוֹלוֹ – לְעוֹרֵר כַּוָּונַת לִבּוֹ וּמוֹחוֹ,

so as to immerse his thought in the Life of life, the blessed Ein Sof, for He is literally our true Father and the Source of our life, and to awaken our love for Him like the love of a son for his father.

לְהַעֲמִיק מַחֲשַׁבְתּוֹ בְּחַיֵּי הַחַיִּים אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא, כִּי הוּא אָבִינוּ מַמָּשׁ הָאֲמִיתִּי וּמְקוֹר חַיֵּינוּ, וּלְעוֹרֵר אֵלָיו הָאַהֲבָה כְּאַהֲבַת הַבֵּן אֶל הָאָב.

And when one accustoms himself to this continually, habit will become nature.

וּכְשֶׁיַּרְגִּיל עַצְמוֹ כֵּן תָּמִיד הֲרֵי הַהֶרְגֵּל נַעֲשֶׂה טֶבַע.

Even if it appears to him at first sight that this is an illusion, and that in truth, he does not possess this love for G‑d, and thinking that he does is nothing less than deluding himself as to his true spiritual status,

וְאַף אִם נִדְמֶה לוֹ לִכְאוֹרָה, שֶׁהוּא כֹּחַ דִּמְיוֹנִי –

he need not be concerned, because it is intrinsically the absolute truth even without his own spiritual service by virtue of the “hidden love” which his soul possesses for G‑d.

לֹא יָחוּשׁ, מֵאַחַר שֶׁהוּא אֱמֶת לַאֲמִיתּוֹ מִצַּד עַצְמוֹ בִּבְחִינַת "אַהֲבָה מְסוּתֶּרֶת".

But the benefit derived from the spiritual service through which he effects its emergence into the open is that he should translate it into action, and when his love is in a state of concealment, it cannot affect his actions.

רַק שֶׁתּוֹעֶלֶת יְצִיאָתָהּ אֶל הַגִּילּוּי כְּדֵי לַהֲבִיאָהּ לִידֵי מַעֲשֶׂה,

This means being occupied with the Torah and the mitzvot, which he studies and performs as a result of it, i.e., as a result of revealing this love, with the intention of causing gratification to G‑d, like a son serving his father, who does so in order to cause him gratification.

שֶׁהוּא עֵסֶק הַתּוֹרָה וְהַמִּצְוֹת שֶׁלּוֹמֵד וּמְקַיֵּים עַל יְדֵי זֶה, כְּדֵי לַעֲשׂוֹת נַחַת רוּחַ לְפָנָיו יִתְבָּרֵךְ כְּבֵן הָעוֹבֵד אֶת אָבִיו.

Since the revelation of this love leads in fact to increased performance, he should not be troubled by the fact that he may be deluding himself in thinking that he possesses this love when in actuality he does not—particularly since his soul does truly love G‑d.

Concerning this, it was said that “a good thought is joined by the Holy One, blessed be He, to a deed,”16 providing it with the “wings” to soar upward, as explained earlier, in ch. 16.

וְעַל זֶה אָמְרוּ: "מַחֲשָׁבָה טוֹבָה הַקָּדוֹשׁ־בָּרוּךְ־הוּא מְצָרְפָהּ לְמַעֲשֶׂה", לִהְיוֹת גַּדְפִין לְפָרְחָא, כַּנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל.

“A good thought is joined…to a deed” cannot simply mean that when one thinks about doing a good deed and then, through no fault of his own, he is unable to do it, G‑d considers it as if he had actually done it. For if this were so, the expression should be, “A good thought is considered by G‑d as an actual deed.” Rather, the term “joined to” indicates that the deed was actually done but that the thought and deed were unconnected, G‑d, in His goodness, therefore connects the thought and the deed.

When a love of G‑d is revealed within one’s heart, there is an actual connection between the thought and the deed, for the revealed love adds vitality to the performance of the deed.

However, when love of G‑d is not revealed in one’s heart and is limited to one’s mind, it is considered to be a “good thought” that is not connected to a deed. Thus, when one understands that something ought to be done but he has no love for it, then the deed will be performed without fervor. It is therefore necessary for G‑d to connect the “good thought” with the deed, thereby ensuring that the “good thought”—the love and fear of G‑d in his mind—will elevate the Torah and mitzvot which result from it to the world and level of the “good thought.”

The gratification he provides G‑d is akin, by way of the illustration used earlier,17 to the joy of a king whose son returns to him after liberation from captivity,

וְהַנַּחַת רוּחַ הוּא, כִּמְשַׁל שִׂמְחַת הַמֶּלֶךְ מִבְּנוֹ שֶׁבָּא אֵלָיו בְּצֵאתוֹ מִבֵּית הָאֲסוּרִים כַּנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל,

When the soul, G‑d’s child, is clothed in the body and animal soul, it is in a state of captivity. Through Torah and mitzvot, it is liberated from this captivity and is joined with G‑d. This causes Him a joy similar to that experienced by the mortal king in the analogy.

or G‑d’s gratification may be from the fact that it has been made possible for Him to have a habitation among mortals, as already mentioned.

אוֹ "לִהְיוֹת לוֹ דִּירָה בַּתַּחְתּוֹנִים", כַּנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל.

Thus, the love which is “like a son who strives for the sake of his father” can be revealed by habituating oneself (with his tongue and voice) to arouse the intention of heart and mind. The Alter Rebbe soon goes on to explain that the love of “My soul, I desire You” may also be revealed and awakened through habitually speaking about it when one does so in a manner where the heart will feel that G‑d is his true life, the “Life of life.”

Even in regard to the abovementioned love of the category of “My soul, I desire You,” it is readily possible to bring it out of its concealment into the open through constant practice, with mouth and heart in full accord, so that one’s heart should feel what his mouth utters about G‑d’s being his true life.18

וְהִנֵּה, גַּם לִבְחִינַת "נַפְשִׁי אִוִּיתִיךָ" הַנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל, קָרוֹב הַדָּבָר מְאֹד לְהוֹצִיאָהּ מֵהַהֶעְלֵם אֶל הַגִּילּוּי, עַל יְדֵי הַהֶרְגֵּל תָּמִיד בְּפִיו וְלִבּוֹ שָׁוִין.

However, even if he cannot bring it (the love) into a revealed state in his heart, nevertheless, he can occupy himself because of this love in the Torah and mitzvot “for their own sake” through portraying the idea of this love in his mind—and “a good thought is united by G‑d….”

אַךְ אִם אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהוֹצִיאָהּ אֶל הַגִּילּוּי בְּלִבּוֹ, אַף־עַל־פִּי־כֵן, יָכוֹל לַעֲסוֹק בַּתּוֹרָה וּמִצְוֹת לִשְׁמָן, עַל יְדֵי צִיּוּר עִנְיַן אַהֲבָה זוֹ בַּמַּחֲשָׁבָה שֶׁבְּמוֹחוֹ, וּ"מַחֲשָׁבָה טוֹבָה – הַקָּדוֹשׁ־בָּרוּךְ־הוּא מְצָרְפָהּ כוּ'":

It is therefore possible for his Torah and mitzvot to be elevated to the supernal sefirot just as if he had fulfilled them with a love revealed in his heart.

As explained in the previous chapters, the love and fear that lead to performance of Torah and mitzvot elevate them to the supernal sefirot.

If the love and fear are “natural”—i.e., they do not result from contemplating G‑d’s greatness but from the soul’s natural resources—then the Torah and mitzvot are elevated only as far as the World of Yetzirah, the World of emotion. For since the level of “natural” love and fear of G‑d belongs in that World, it follows that the Torah and mitzvot performed as a result of that level will be elevated there as well.

However, if the love and fear are “intellectual”—created by one’s reflection on G‑d’s greatness—then the Torah and mitzvot performed as a result of this contemplation will be elevated to the sefirot of the World of Beriah, the World where the sefirah of binah (“understanding”) is pre-eminent.

The Alter Rebbe now goes on to say that although the two abovementioned loves (“My soul…” and “Like a son…”) are naturally found in a Jew’s soul, deriving as they do from the Patriarchs, still, when they are in a revealed state in one’s heart, they are able to elevate the Torah and mitzvot that result from them to the World of Beriah. Only when “natural” love remains concealed in the mind is it restricted to elevating Torah and mitzvot no higher than Yetzirah. When, however, it is in a revealed state, they are elevated to the World of Beriah.

For while it is true that these loves are natural, in order for them to be revealed, there must be profound contemplation on the theme of G‑d as our true Father and Source of life. Such contemplation gives this natural love, the additional qualitative trait achieved by “intellectual” love, so that the Torah and mitzvot which result from this love are elevated to the World of Beriah, the World of knowledge. This is now going to be discussed:

The said two categories of love—that of “My soul…,” the love a Jew feels for G‑d upon realizing that He is his true life, and that which is “Like a son…,” loving G‑d as one’s true father—

וְהִנֵּה, בּ' בְּחִינוֹת אֲהָבוֹת אֵלּוּ,

though they are an inheritance unto us from our Patriarchs, and like a natural instinct in our souls (and so, too, as a natural instinct, is the fear that is comprised in them, namely, the fear of being sundered, G‑d forbid, from the Source of our life and our true Father, blessed be He),

אַף שֶׁהֵן יְרוּשָּׁה לָנוּ מֵאֲבוֹתֵינוּ וּכְמוֹ טֶבַע בְּנַפְשׁוֹתֵינוּ, וְכֵן הַיִּרְאָה הַכְּלוּלָה בָּהֶן, שֶׁהִיא, לִירֹא מִלִּיפָּרֵד חַס וְשָׁלוֹם מִמְּקוֹר חַיֵּינוּ וְאָבִינוּ הָאֲמִיתִּי בָּרוּךְ־הוּא,

When one feels that G‑d is the true Source of his life, he will fear to transgress so as not to become separated from his source of life. The feeling of G‑d being one’s true father will likewise keep him from sinning, since he does not want to be torn away from his father.

Although both the abovementioned degrees of love and fear are instinctively found within Jews,

they are, nevertheless, not termed “natural” fear and love unless they be in the mind and thought alone and in the latency of the heart. Then their place is in the ten sefirot of Yetzirah, the place and level of the “natural” emotions, to where they raise up with them the Torah and mitzvot of which they have been the inspiration and cause.

אַף־עַל־פִּי־כֵן, אֵינָן נִקְרָאוֹת בְּשֵׁם "דְּחִילוּ וּרְחִימוּ טִבְעִיִּים", אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁהֵן בְּמוֹחוֹ וּמַחֲשַׁבְתּוֹ לְבַד וְתַעֲלוּמוֹת לִבּוֹ, וְאָז, מְקוֹמָן בְּי' סְפִירוֹת דִּיצִירָה, וּלְשָׁם הֵן מַעֲלוֹת עִמָּהֶן הַתּוֹרָה וְהַמִּצְוֹת הַבָּאוֹת מֵחֲמָתָן וּבְסִיבָּתָן.

These levels of love are the cause of the performance of one’s Torah and mitzvot, for they result from the portrayal of this love in his mind.

But when they (the two degrees of love) are in a manifest state in the heart as a result of his contemplation, they are called in the Zohar re’uta deliba (“the heart’s desire”—a more exalted love than “natural” love),

אֲבָל כְּשֶׁהֵן בְּהִתְגַּלּוּת לִבּוֹ – נִקְרָאִים "רְעוּתָא דְלִבָּא" בַּזּוֹהַר,

and their place is in the ten sefirot of Beriah, where they raise up with them the Torah and mitzvot of which they have been the cause, i.e., which have been performed with the ardor of this love.

וּמְקוֹמָן – בְּי' סְפִירוֹת דִּבְרִיאָה, וּלְשָׁם הֵן מַעֲלוֹת עִמָּהֶן הַתּוֹרָה וְהַמִּצְוֹת הַבָּאוֹת מֵחֲמָתָן.

The reason this is indeed so, notwithstanding the fact that they are “naturally” found with the soul of every Jew, is now given:

For their emergence from the latency and concealment of the heart into a state of revelation comes through the faculty of daat, i.e., through a powerful fixation of the mind and an intense concentration—from the depths of the heart, powerfully and frequently—on the blessed Ein Sof, as to how He is our very life and our blessed true Father. And since his contemplation is so powerful and deep:

מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיְּצִיאָתָן מֵהַהֶעְלֵם וְהֶסְתֵּר הַלֵּב אֶל בְּחִינַת גִּילּוּי, הִיא עַל יְדֵי הַדַּעַת וּתְקִיעַת הַמַּחֲשָׁבָה בְּחוֹזֶק וְהִתְבּוֹנְנוּת עֲצוּמָה מֵעוּמְקָא דְלִבָּא, יַתִּיר וְתָדִיר, בְּאֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא, אֵיךְ הוּא חַיֵּינוּ מַמָּשׁ וְאָבִינוּ הָאֲמִיתִּי בָּרוּךְ־הוּא.

Moreover, what is written in the Tikkunim19 is well known, that “there, in the World of Beriah, nests the ‘supernal Mother,’” i.e., the level of binah of Atzilut, which, in terms of man’s spiritual service, is the contemplation of the (infinite) light of the blessed Ein Sof, the Giver of life, blessed be He. And this is in accordance with the teaching of Elijah in Tikkunei Zohar,20 in the section beginning Patach Eliyahu: Binah is the heart, and with it, the heart understands.” This means to say that the meditation and understanding taking place in the mind illuminate the heart.

וּמוּדַעַת זֹאת מַה שֶּׁכָּתוּב בַּתִּיקּוּנִים: כִּי "בְּעוֹלַם הַבְּרִיאָה מְקַנְּנָא תַּמָּן אִימָּא עִילָּאָה", שֶׁהִיא הַהִתְבּוֹנְנוּת בְּאוֹר־אֵין־סוֹף חַיֵּי־הַחַיִּים בָּרוּךְ־הוּא, וּכְמַאֲמַר אֵלִיָּהוּ: "בִּינָה לִבָּא וּבָהּ הַלֵּב מֵבִין".

Since the contemplation of G‑dliness is related to the World of Beriah, the World which is illuminated by binah of Atzilut, it follows that the various forms of love which are revealed through such contemplation have their place in that World as well, and it is there that they elevate one’s Torah and mitzvot.

The Alter Rebbe now goes on to say that the two kinds of love—“My soul…” and “Like a son…”—not only have the quality of love that results from contemplation, but they also have the quality of ahavah rabbah, the love that is granted from above. For they, too, are granted from above inasmuch as Jews inherit them from the Patriarchs, as explained earlier.

Since these two kinds of love possess all these qualities, it would seem that they should suffice, and love born wholly of intellect is superfluous. Nevertheless, the Alter Rebbe concludes that a Jew should also strive to attain the love that results wholly from contemplating G‑d’s greatness because of the reasons he will soon give.

Furthermore, these two categories of love that have been referred to above, the love of “My soul…” and the love of “Like a son…,” incorporate a quality of love which is greater and more sublime than intelligent fear and love, the kind that result from contemplating G‑d’s greatness, the love termed above ahavat olam; these two kinds of love also partake of the quality of ahavah rabbah, which is loftier than ahavat olam.

וְלֹא עוֹד, אֶלָּא שֶׁבּ' בְּחִינוֹת אֲהָבוֹת אֵלּוּ הַנִּזְכָּרוֹת לְעֵיל, הֵן כְּלוּלוֹת מִן בְּחִינַת "אַהֲבָה רַבָּה", וּגְדוֹלָה וּמְעוּלָּה מִ"דְּחִילוּ וּרְחִימוּ שִׂכְלִיִּים" – אֲשֶׁר הָאַהֲבָה נִקְרֵאת לְעֵיל בְּשֵׁם "אַהֲבַת עוֹלָם".

The Rebbe explains that ahavah rabbah is rooted in Atzilut, which is far superior to Beriah, where ahavat olam is rooted. The Alter Rebbe alludes to this by saying “Furthermore,” i.e., these loves not only have the qualities of “natural” love and “intellectual” love, found in the Worlds of Yetzirah and Beriah respectively, but they also have the quality of the love of ahavah rabbah found in the World of Atzilut. This tremendous quality notwithstanding, the Alter Rebbe concludes that it is necessary to achieve the love brought about wholly through contemplation, for this love is unique in its passion and yearning for G‑dliness.

Nonetheless, a person must strain his intellect to apprehend and attain also the abovementioned21 level of ahavat olam, which stems from an understanding and knowledge of the greatness of G‑d,

רַק שֶׁאַף־עַל־פִּי־כֵן, צָרִיךְ לִטְרוֹחַ בְּשִׂכְלוֹ לְהַשִּׂיג וּלְהַגִּיעַ גַּם לִבְחִינַת "אַהֲבַת עוֹלָם" הַנִּזְכֶּרֶת לְעֵיל, הַבָּאָה מֵהַתְּבוּנָה וָדַעַת בִּגְדוּלַּת ה',

As such, it differs from the loves of “My soul…” and “Like a son…,” which essentially are inherited and are only revealed through contemplation.

in order to fan the blaze of the fiery love with glowing coals and an intense fire and a flame that rises heavenward so that22 “not even many waters which are enemies of the love can extinguish it…, nor rivers quench it….”

כְּדֵי לְהַגְדִּיל מְדוּרַת אֵשׁ הָאַהֲבָה בְּרִשְׁפֵּי אֵשׁ וְשַׁלְהֶבֶת עַזָּה וְלַהַב הָעוֹלֶה הַשָּׁמַיְמָה, עַד שֶׁ"מַּיִם רַבִּים לֹא יוּכְלוּ לְכַבּוֹת וְכוּ' וּנְהָרוֹת לֹא יִשְׁטְפוּהָ וְכוּ'".

Love created purely as a result of contemplation is more passionate and fiery than love which is essentially inherited, even when the inherited love is revealed through contemplation.

For there is a superiority and excellence in the quality of love burning like fiery coals and an intense flame…which comes from an understanding and knowledge of the greatness and transcendence of the blessed Ein Sof over the two categories of love referred to above when they are not like fiery coals23 and a blaze…but merely result from feeling (or contemplating) G‑d’s closeness to a Jew inasmuch as He is “the Source of our life” and “our true Father.” The superiority of this love is

כִּי יֵשׁ יִתְרוֹן וּמַעֲלָה לִבְחִינַת אַהֲבָה כְּרִשְׁפֵּי אֵשׁ וְשַׁלְהֶבֶת עַזָּה וְכוּ', הַבָּאָה מֵהַתְּבוּנָה וָדַעַת בִּגְדוּלַּת אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא, עַל שְׁתֵּי בְּחִינוֹת אַהֲבָה הַנִּזְכָּרוֹת לְעֵיל – כַּאֲשֶׁר אֵינָן כְּרִשְׁפֵּי אֵשׁ וְשַׁלְהֶבֶת כוּ',

similar to the superiority and excellence of gold over silver, and so forth, as will be explained later.24

כְּיִתְרוֹן וּמַעֲלַת הַזָּהָב עַל הַכֶּסֶף וְכוּ', כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר לְקַמָּן.

Not only is gold worth more than silver ounce for ounce, in which case a preponderance of silver would be more valuable, but gold is intrinsically of greater value in that it possesses a distinctive gleam, which people find highly attractive.

So, too, with regard to love that results wholly from contemplation: it is not a higher level of love; on the contrary, the level of love that comes from above and is termed ahavah rabbah, “great love,” is the higher form of love. The superiority of love that results entirely from contemplation lies in its fiery passion and yearning of the soul. This is one reason why the two previously mentioned kinds of love that Jews inherit do not suffice; they lack passion when compared to love emanating entirely from one’s intellect.

The Alter Rebbe now provides yet another reason why wholly contemplative love is necessary: It is important to attain contemplative love not only because of the superiority of the resulting passion, but because the contemplation is an end unto itself. By contemplating G‑d’s greatness, one fulfills the whole purpose of creation—that created beings should come to know and understand G‑d’s greatness.

Besides, this is the whole man and his raison d’être:

וְגַם, "כִּי זֶה כָּל הָאָדָם" וְתַכְלִיתוֹ,

that one may know the glory of G‑d and the majestic splendor of His greatness, each according to the limit of his capacity, as is written in Raaya Mehemna, Parashat Bo: “In order that they may know Him,” and so forth, as is known.

לְמַעַן דַּעַת אֶת כְּבוֹד ה' וִיקַר תִּפְאֶרֶת גְּדוּלָּתוֹ, אִישׁ אִישׁ כְּפִי אֲשֶׁר יוּכַל שְׂאֵת, כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב בְּרַעְיָא מְהֵימְנָא פָּרָשַׁת בֹּא: "בְּגִין דְּיִשְׁתְּמוֹדְעוּן לֵיהּ וְכוּ'", וְכַנּוֹדָע:

Thus, there is a special quality and purpose in contemplation (that leads to love) itself. Contemplation of G‑d’s greatness is exercised to a much greater degree in the love that is created from contemplation than it is found in a love which is merely revealed through contemplation, as is the case in the two aforementioned kinds of love.

In order to merely reveal the love of “My soul…” by contemplating how G‑d is the “true Source of life” or to reveal the love of “Like a son…” by contemplating how G‑d is “our true Father,” one’s meditation need not be exceedingly profound. A much deeper understanding and more profound mode of meditation is necessary in order to create a love of G‑d based solely on intellectual comprehension.

As a result, the divine intention “that they may know Him”—that created beings come to know G‑dliness—is realized to a much greater extent through wholly contemplative love. This is the additional reason as to why the kinds of love inherited from the Patriarchs do not suffice, and it is necessary to exert oneself to attain a love of G‑d that stems entirely from contemplating His greatness.