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As Divided for a Leap Year
Tanya for 20 Tamuz
Precisely so in the analogy [of Creation], allowing for the infinite differentiations involved [between Creator and created], there exists a prodigious difference Above, between all the hosts of heaven, even the spiritual beings like angels, who were created ex nihilo, [and the soul of man].
They derive their life and existence from the external aspect of the life-force issuing forth from the Infinite One to vitalize creation.
His [external] aspect of the life-giving power is called the "breath of His mouth," as it were, as the verse states:  "By the breath of His mouth all their hosts [were created]."
This is the creative power embodied in the letters of the Ten Utterances  (these letters being in the nature of vessels, and a drawing down and so forth of the life-force, as explained in Likutei Amarim, Part II, chapter 11).
In contrast, the soul of man derives initially from the innermost dimension of the life-force and flow issuing from the Infinite One, as in the verse [quoted above], "And He blew...."
[As mentioned earlier, this verb indicates the internal aspect of the Divine flow of life-force, for "he who blows, does so from his innermost being."
Thus, the soul originated in the internal aspect of the life-force and flow issuing from G-d.
It is only afterwards, in order to enable it to be invested within the body, that the soul descended to a more external level, as the Alter Rebbe now goes on to say].
It then descended through ever more concealing planes, also [like the angels who were created by means of "letters"] by means of the letters that comprise the Divine Utterance,  "Let us make man ....," in order that it could eventually be invested in a body in this inferior, [physical] world.
[This, then, is the difference between souls and angels:
Souls derive from the innermost aspect of G-dliness, the Tetragrammaton, while angels are rooted in the external aspect of G-dliness, the Divine Name Elokim, as is now explained].
For this reason Scripture calls the angels "Elokim", as  in the phrase,  "For the L-rd your G-d,  He is the G-d of G-ds (Elokim)...," the last word here referring to angels, [and likewise],  "Praise the G-d of G-ds (Elokim)....," [once again referring to angels by the name "Elokim"], and [in yet another reference to angels],  "The sons of G-d (Elokim) came to present themselves...."
[The Name Elokim is applied to angels]:
Because they derive their nurture from the external degree [of G-dliness], which is merely the state of "letters".
Similarly, the Name Elokim is an external state relative to the Tetragrammaton.
But the soul of man, deriving from the internal aspect of the G-dly vivifying power, is a part of the Tetragrammaton, for the Tetragrammaton indicates the innermost dimension of the life-giving power, which far transcends the state of letters.
- (Back to text) Tehillim 33:6.
- (Back to text) Parentheses are in the original text.
- (Back to text) Bereishit 1:26.
- (Back to text) The Rebbe Shlita notes that the Alter Rebbe cites three verses to adduce that angels are called Elokim, possibly in order to allude to the three general categories of angels - in the Worlds of Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah.
The angels closest to souls (souls having "arisen in the Divine thought") are those of the World of Beriah, the World of Thought. They are alluded to in the first verse, which states that "Your G-d," i.e., the G-d of souls, is "the G-d of angels."
The second verse, which mentions neither "Your G-d" nor the Tetragrammaton, may be said to refer to the angels in the World of Yetzirah. The final verse, which speaks of the angels who give testimony with regard to the worldly affairs of man, may be said to apply to the angels of the nethermost world, the World of Asiyah.
- (Back to text) Devarim 10:17.
- (Back to text) In line with Scripture, the Rebbe Shlita restored the word "He" to the paraphrase in the text.
- (Back to text) Tehillim 136:2.
- (Back to text) Iyov 1:6.
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