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Tanya for Wednesday, 28 Tishrei, 5778 - October 18, 2017

Tanya
As Divided for a Regular Year

Tanya for 28 Tishrei

27 Tishrei, 5778 - October 17, 201729 Tishrei, 5778 - October 19, 2017


([25] However, outside the Land of Israel, [28] the life-force is [bestowed] by [means of "the word of G-d"] being invested within the extraneous patron-angels that are appointed over the seventy nations).

I.e., a [mere] spark from the "word of G-d," which is called Malchut of Asiyah, descends and radiates over the supernal patron-angels by encompassing them from above.

I.e., it does not truly vest itself within them; rather, the life-force issues to them from this radiation which shines over them from above, in an encompassing manner.

And from the patron-angels, life-force issues to the nations, and to the cattle, beasts and fowl that are in their lands, and to the physical world, and the physical heavens, i.e., the spheres [in which the stars orbit]. [30]

([25] However, [there are distinctions between the various categories of created beings]: the heavens and the earth, and the cattle, beasts and fowl that are pure (i.e., kosher), are nurtured by kelipat nogah, whereas the impure [creatures] and the souls of the nations are [nurtured] by the other kelipot.)

[Kelipat nogah represents a finely-balanced tension between potential good (which can also be misused) and potential evil (which can also be sublimated). The other three completely impure kelipot are entirely evil, as explained at length in Tanya, chapter 6].

Now, outside the Land of Israel, [29] the heavens and the earth and all they contain are all esteemed as truly nothing, in relation to the patron-angels which are [the conduits for] their life-force and continued existence.

The patron-angels themselves are esteemed as truly nothing in relation to the life-force issuing to them from the spark of the "word of G-d" which radiates over them from above, [transcending them].

And even so, the life-force issuing to them from this radiation, is in in a state of exile within them.

That is why they are called elohim acherim "[other gods]", while they call Him, [31] "G-d of the gods," since they consider themselves as deities.

Therefore, [in view of their source], the nations which receive their life-force through [their patron-angels] are truly idolaters - [but only] until the time of the "end", [until the time of the imminent Redemption], when death and the sitra achra (i.e., the "other side," the unholy aspect of the universe) will be swallowed up.

[Of that time G-d promises], [32] "Then shall I make the nations [pure of speech] so that they will all call upon the Name of G-d."

[The Alter Rebbe now returns to the theme of the Divine spark in exile]:

This [sustenance of idolaters through the Divine spark] is also called "the exile of the Shechinah."

For this life-force, which is in a state of exile within them, [as previously explained], stems from the radiation issuing to them from the spark of the "word of G-d," which is called Shechinah [in the terminology of the Sages, as mentioned above.

According to the above, however, it would seem that this state of exile has existed since the creation of the world, with all its impure animals, etc.

What do we mean, then, when we say that "the Shechinah was exiled"?

This question is answered in th e following parenthetical passage].

([25] And this exile, [brought about by the fact that the kelipot derive their life-force from a spark of G-d's creative speech], stems from the sin of the Tree of Knowledge and onwards, [for from that time kelipot were able to receive a degree of vitality that they did not have until that point].

However, [they receive their vitality] only from the hindmost (i.e., from the lowest and most external) dimension of holiness.

But when the Jewish people were exiled among the nations - and the Jewish people are attached and rooted in the Supernal Countenance [the panim, or pnimiyus, i.e., the innermost aspect of Divinity] - this became a total exile.

[For then the innermost aspect of Divinity was also drawn down to the patron-angels and the nations, as explained at length in Iggeret HaTeshuvah, ch. 6; see there].

Of this our Sages, of blessed memory, said, [33] "When [the Jewish people] were exiled to Edom, the Shechinah accompanied them."))

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) Parenthesis in the original text.

  2. (Back to text) Cf. Shmot 20:4.

  3. (Back to text) Following Luach HaTikkun, the standard (i.e., censored) printed text of Tanya has been emended in this edition from the phrase ("in the lands of the heathens") to the original phrase, ("outside the Land of Israel"). Likewise, in many places in the present letter, ("heathens") has been corrected to ("nations").

  4. (Back to text) See Rambam, Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah, ch. 3.

  5. (Back to text) Menachot 110a, and see Chiddushei Aggadot of the Maharsha there.

  6. (Back to text) Zephaniah 3:9.

  7. (Back to text) Megillah 29b (in the version of Ein Yaakov); Mechilta, Parshat Bo 12:41, et al.



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