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As Divided for a Leap Year
Tanya for 8 Adar II
The purpose of the Hishtalshelut of the worlds, and of their descent from level to level, is not for the sake of the higher worlds, since for them this constitutes a descent from the light of His Countenance. Rather, the purpose of Hishtalshelut is this lowest world.
[The very word "world" (Olam) in Hebrew denotes concealment. Thus, even the highest worlds constitute, by their very existence, a descent from the pervading level of G-dliness that preceded their creation.
It is illogical, then, to say that the revelation which these higher worlds represent is the purpose of the Hishtalshelut, since their revelation is actually concealment - and the ultimate purpose of creation lies in revelation, not concealment.
All the higher worlds are merely steps in the descent of the divine creative power; in each of them the light is veiled yet further, until it is finally reduced to the minute degree of revelation that this physical world is capable of receiving.
Thus, the purpose of the Hishtalshelut is this world], for such was His will - that He find it pleasurable when the sitra achra is subjugated [to holiness], and the darkness of [kelipah] is transformed into [holy] light, so that in the place of the darkness and sitra achra [prevailing] throughout this world, the Ein Sof-light of G-d will shine forth with greater strength and intensity, and with the superior quality of light that emerges from the darkness.
[I.e., when darkness is transformed into light, the resulting light is superior to ordinary light; it will thus shine with greater intensity] than its radiance in the higher worlds. 
There, [in the higher worlds], it shines through garments and [through] concealment of the Countenance [a concealment of the pnimiyut - i.e., the internal aspect - of the light] which conceal and screen the Ein Sof-light, so that [the worlds] do not dissolve out of existence.
[For were the Ein Sof-light not screened by garments, the worlds could not bear it, and would dissolve.
Thus, the revelation wrought by subjugation of the kelipot in this world, is greater than that of the higher worlds; there the Ein Sof- light is hidden, whereas here in this world it is revealed in all its strength.
A question arises, however. How is it possible (even upon subjugating the kelipot and transforming them into holiness) that we in this world should experience a revelation of the Ein Sof-light without veil or concealment, when even the higher worlds cannot receive such revelation without dissolving into nothingness?
In answer, the Alter Rebbe writes]:
- (Back to text) The Rebbe Shlita explains why the Alter Rebbe adds the words, "than its radiance in the higher worlds," and is not satisfied with simply stating that the ultimate purpose of creation is this world, "for such was His will - that He find it pleasurable...."
In doing so the Alter Rebbe answers a well-known question. How can we possibly say that the higher worlds, which are illuminated with such a revelation of G-dliness, exist for the purpose of this world, where G-dliness is so concealed? One does not create a significant thing to serve something insignificant. The Alter Rebbe therefore explains that through the transformation of darkness into light - a form of divine service which can be achieved only in this world - the world becomes so holy that it is illuminated with a degree of G-dliness far superior to that which is manifest in the higher worlds.
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