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.

והנה כל מדרגת אהבה מב׳ מדרגות אלו, אהבה רבה ואהבת עולם, נחלקת לכמה בחינות ומדרגות לאין קץ, כל חד לפום שיעורא דיליה

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,

כמו שכתוב בזהר הקדוש על פסוק: נודע בשערים בעלה, דא קודשא בריך הוא, דאיהו אתידע ואתדבק לכל חד לפום מה דמשער בלביה וכו׳

As it is written in the holy Zohar1 on the verse,2 “Her husband is known in the gates,” 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....”

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

ולכן נקראים דחילו ורחימו: הנסתרות לה׳ אלקינו

Therefore, fear and love are called3 “the secret things [known] to the L‑rd our G‑d,” for people cannot know the varying degrees of love of G‑d harbored in the hearts of others,

ותורה ומצות הן הנגלות לנו ולבנינו לעשות כו׳

while the Torah and mitzvot are those things which are4 “revealed to us and to our children to do....”

They are found in all Jews equally,

כי תורה אחת ומשפט אחד לכולנו, בקיום כל התורה ומצות בבחינת מעשה

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.

מה שאין כן בדחילו ורחימו, שהם לפי הדעת את ה׳ שבמוח ולב

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

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.

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.

אך אחת היא אהבה הכלולה מכל בחינות ומדרגות אהבה רבה ואהבת עולם, והיא שוה לכל נפש מישראל, וירושה לנו מאבותינו

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.

והיינו מה שכתב הזהר על פסוק: נפשי אויתיך בלילה וגו׳

And that is what the Zohar says on the verse:5 “My soul, I desire You at night.”

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 Zohar6 goes on to say:

דירחים לקודשא בריך הוא רחימותא דנפשא ורוחא, כמה דאתדבקו אילין בגופא, וגופא רחים לון וכו׳, וזהו שכתוב: נפשי אויתיך, כלומר: מפני שאתה ה׳ נפשי וחיי האמיתים, לכך אויתיך, פירוש: שאני מתאוה ותאב לך כאדם המתאוה לחיי נפשו, וכשהוא חלש ומעונה מתאוה ותאב שתשוב נפשו אליו

“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....” 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’).

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.

וכן כשהוא הולך לישן מתאוה וחפץ שתשוב נפשו אליו כשיעור משנתו, כך אני מתאוה ותאב לאור אין סוף ברוך הוא, חיי החיים האמיתיים, להמשיכו בקרבי על ידי עסק התורה בהקיצי משנתי בלילה, דאורייתא וקודשא בריך הוא כולא חד

“Likewise when he goes to sleep, at which time his life-force is in a state of concealment, for7 ‘Sleep is one sixtieth of death,’ 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.

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 (8“In His goodness He renews each day, continuously, the work of Creation”), Torah, too,9 “should be viewed every day as if it were new.” 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.

כמו שכתב הזהר שם: דבעי בר נש מרחימותא דקודשא בריך הוא למיקם בכל לילא לאשתדלא בפולחניה עד צפרא כו׳

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....”

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.

ואהבה רבה וגדולה מזו, והיא מסותרת גם כן בכל נפש מישראל בירושה מאבותינו, היא מה שכתוב ברעיא מהימנא: כברא דאשתדל בתר אבוי ואימיה, דרחים לון יתיר מגרמיה ונפשיה ורוחיה כו׳

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 Ra‘aya Mehemna,10 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.”

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

כי הלא אב אחד לכולנו

for11 “have we not all one Father?”

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.

ואף כי מי הוא זה ואיזהו אשר ערב לבו לגשת להשיג אפילו חלק אחד מני אלף ממדרגת אהבת רעיא מהימנא

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,”

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

מכל מקום הרי אפס קצהו ושמץ מנהו מרב טובו ואורו מאיר לכללות ישראל בכל דור ודור, כמו שכתוב בתיקונים: דאתפשטותיה בכל דרא ודרא, לאנהרא לון וכו׳

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,12 that “an emanation from him Moses is present in every generation,”...13 “To illumine them.”

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.14

רק שהארה זו היא בבחינת הסתר והעלם גדול בנפשות כל בית ישראל, ולהוציא אהבה זו המסותרת מההעלם וההסתר אל הגילוי, להיות בהתגלות לבו ומוחו, לא נפלאת ולא רחוקה היא, אלא קרוב הדבר מאד בפיך ובלבבך

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, is15 “not beyond reach, nor is it afar off, but it is very close to you, in your mouth and heart.”

דהיינו להיות רגיל על לשונו וקולו לעורר כוונת לבו ומוחו

That is to say, it should be habitual with his tongue and voice to arouse the intention of his heart and mind, for16 “the sound of one’s voice arouses the devout concentration” of heart and mind,

להעמיק מחשבתו בחיי החיים, אין סוף ברוך הוא, כי הוא אבינו ממש האמיתי ומקור חיינו, ולעורר אליו האהבה כאהבת הבן אל האב

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.

וכשירגיל עצמו כן תמיד, הרי ההרגל נעשה טבע

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

ואף אם נדמה לו לכאורה שהוא כח דמיוני

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,

לא יחוש, מאחר שהוא אמת לאמיתו מצד עצמו בבחינת אהבה מסותרת

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.

רק שתועלת יציאתה אל הגילוי: כדי להביאה לידי מעשה

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.

שהוא עסק התורה והמצות שלומד ומקיים על ידי זה, כדי לעשות נחת רוח לפניו יתברך, כבן העובד את אביו

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.

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.

ועל זה אמרו: מחשבה טובה, הקב״ה מצרפה למעשה, להיות גדפין לפרחא כנ״ל

Concerning this it was said that17 “a good thought is joined by the Holy One, blessed be He, to a deed,” providing it with the “wings” to soar upwards, as explained earlier, in ch. 16.

“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.”

והנחת רוח הוא כמשל שמחת המלך מבנו שבא אליו בצאתו מבית האסורים כנ״ל

The gratification he provides G‑d is akin, by way of the illustration used earlier,18 to the joy of a king whose son returns to him after liberation from captivity;

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.

או להיות לו דירה בתחתונים כנ״ל

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.

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.”

והנה גם לבחינת נפשי אויתיך הנ״ל, קרוב הדבר מאד להוציאה מההעלם אל הגילוי על ידי ההרגל תמיד, בפיו ולבו שוין

Even in regard to the above-mentioned 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.19

אך אם אינו יכול להוציאה אל הגילוי בלבו, אף על פי כן יכול לעסוק בתורה ומצות לשמן על ידי ציור ענין אהבה זו במחשבה שבמוחו, ומחשבה טובה, הקב״ה מצרפה כו׳

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....”

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 preeminent.

The Alter Rebbe now goes on to say that although the two above-mentioned 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, yet 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:

והנה ב׳ בחינות אהבות אלו

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 —

אף שהן ירושה לנו מאבותינו, וכמו טבע בנפשותינו, וכן היראה הכלולה בהן, שהיא לירא מליפרד, חס ושלום, ממקור חיינו ואבינו האמיתי, ברוך הוא

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),

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 above-mentioned degrees of love and fear are instinctively found within Jews,

אף על פי כן אינן נקראות בשם דחילו ורחימו טבעיים, אלא כשהן במוחו ומחשבתו לבד ותעלומות לבו, ואז מקומן בי׳ ספירות דיצירה, ולשם הן מעלות עמהן התורה והמצות הבאות מחמתן ובסיבתן

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, whither they raise up with them the Torah and mitzvot of which they have been the inspiration and cause.

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.

אבל כשהן בהתגלות לבו, נקראים רעותא דלבא בזהר

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 delibba (“the heart’s desire” — a more exalted love than “natural” love),

ומקומן בי׳ ספירות דבריאה, ולשם הן מעלות עמהן התורה והמצות הבאות מחמתן

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.

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

מפני שיציאתן מההעלם והסתר הלב אל בחינת גילוי היא על ידי הדעת, ותקיעת המחשבה בחוזק והתבוננות עצומה מעומקא דלבא יתיר ותדיר באין סוף ברוך הוא, איך הוא חיינו ממש ואבינו האמיתי, ברוך הוא

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:

ומודעת זאת מה שכתוב בתיקונים כי בעולם הבריאה מקננא תמן אימא עילאה שהיא ההתבוננות באור אין סוף חיי החיים ברוך הוא, וכמאמר אליהו: בינה לבא, ובה הלב מבין

Moreover, what is written in the Tikkunim20 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,21 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.

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.

ולא עוד, אלא שב׳ בחינות אהבות אלו הנזכרות למעלה הן כלולות מן בחינת אהבה רבה וגדולה ומעולה מדחילו ורחימו שכליים, אשר האהבה נקראת לעיל בשם אהבת עולם

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.

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.

רק שאף על פי כן צריך לטרוח בשכלו להשיג ולהגיע גם לבחינת אהבת עולם הנזכרת למעלה, הבאה מהתבונה ודעת בגדולת ה׳

Nonetheless a person must strain his intellect to apprehend and attain also the above-mentioned22 level of ahavat olam, which stems from an understanding and knowledge of the greatness of G‑d,

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

כדי להגדיל מדורת אש האהבה ברשפי אש ושלהבת עזה ולהב העולה השמימה, עד שמים רבים לא יוכלו לכבות וגו׳ ונהרות לא ישטפוה וגו׳

in order to fan the blaze of the fiery love, with glowing coals and an intense fire and a flame that rises heavenwards, so that23 “not even many waters which are enemies of the love can extinguish it..., nor rivers quench it....”

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.

כי יש יתרון ומעלה לבחינת אהבה כרשפי אש ושלהבת עזה וכו׳ הבאה מהתבונה ודעת בגדולת אין סוף ברוך הוא, על שתי בחינות אהבה הנזכרות למעלה כאשר אינן כרשפי אש ושלהבת כו׳

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 coals24 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:

כיתרון ומעלת הזהב על הכסף וכו׳ כמו שכתוב לקמן

similar to the superiority and excellence of gold over silver, and so forth, as will be explained later.25

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.

וגם כי זה כל האדם ותכליתו

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

למען דעת את כבוד ה׳ ויקר תפארת גדולתו, איש איש כפי אשר יוכל שאת, כמו שכתוב ברעיא מהימנא, פרשת בא: בגין דישתמודעון ליה וכו׳ וכנודע

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 Ra‘aya Mehemna, Parshat Bo: “In order that they may know Him,” and so forth, as is known.

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.