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Tanya for Monday, 22 Av, 5777 - August 14, 2017

As Divided for a Regular Year

Tanya for 22 Av

21 Av, 5777 - August 13, 201723 Av, 5777 - August 15, 2017

Now although above, [in the lofty worlds of infinitude,] this illumination radiates and extends itself in unlimited and infinite fashion, to animate worlds that are infinitely concealed, [I.e., there are infinite kinds of worlds, each of which is of infinite degree,] as is written in the Idra Rabba, [10] nevertheless, as [this radiation] descends by means of numerous contractions, to animate the beings that have been created, formed and made, [In their Hebrew original, these three verbs allude respectively to the beings that inhabit the Worlds of Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah.

Accordingly, we understand that previously reference was being made to the World of Atzilut and to those infinite worlds that are "higher" than Atzilut.] it is divided primarily into 613 [rays], corresponding to the 613 commandments of the Torah.

These [commandments] are in fact 613 kinds of conduits which transmit this radiation from the [infinite] Ein Sof-light, [whose function is] to illumine man's soul, which comprises 248 "organs" and 365 "sinews", totalling 613 elements.

For it was mainly for the sake of [man's soul] that this radiation was caused to flow down below to all those beings which have been created, formed and made, [their respective locations in the Worlds of Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah being "below" the loftier worlds of infinite degree,] since the ultimate purpose of all these [beings], as is known, is man.

[Thus, G-d's Being is indeed utterly uncompounded, so that there cannot possibly be any division into "parts". Nevertheless, with regard to the radiation that descends below, (whose main purpose is that it permeate the Jewish soul,) the concept of "parts" does apply.

The above-mentioned rays are the 613 basic "parts" into which the radiance is diffused. More specifically, as the Alter Rebbe now goes on to say, each of these general "parts" sub-divides into an infinite number of smaller "parts".]

Now this number - [i.e., the above division of the Divine radiance into 613 "parts", corresponding to the 613 commandments] - is the primary, basic division. More specifically, however, every single commandment subdivides into infinite details.

These are the essentials of the detailed rulings of every commandment, which are without number, as it is written, [11] "Sixty are the queens," which [as our Sages [12] comment] alludes to the sixty tractates....

[The same verse continues:] "...and maidens without number," which [as our Sages comment] alludes to the innumerable rulings of the individual laws, for they are a downward flow from the Supreme Will..., [which is infinite.]

[The Alter Rebbe now goes on to say that just as the soul is made up of 248 "organs" and 365 "sinews" so that it may absorb the luminosity of the 613 general radiations, so, too, are souls further divisible, so that they may absorb the infinite degrees of the more differentiated radiations.]

It is precisely so with man's soul, [which has the means to absorb the innumerable details of the downward flow of Divine radiance.]

For all the souls in the world were comprised in Adam. [13] Basically, his soul was divisible into 613 elements, consisting of 248 "organs" and 365 "sinews".

More specifically, however, his soul was divisible into innumerable sparks, which are the souls of all of Israel from the days of the Patriarchs and the [founders of the Twelve] Tribes, up to and including the time of the coming of Mashiach, when [the promise of] Scripture will be fulfilled: "And the number of the Children of Israel will be like the sand of the sea, that cannot be measured nor counted," [14] "because of its great quantity." [15]

[We understand from the above that Adam's soul (which comprised the innumerable sparks of individual souls) was capable of receiving the infinitely numerous detailed emanations from the radiance of the Supreme Will, which ultimately animates all of the individual Jewish souls.]



  1. (Back to text) Zohar III, 127b ff.

  2. (Back to text) Shir HaShirim 6:8.

  3. (Back to text) Cf. Shir HaShirim Rabbah 6:9.

  4. (Back to text) See Bereishit Rabbah 40:2.

  5. (Back to text) Hoshea 2:1.

  6. (Back to text) Note of the Rebbe Shlita: The conclusion of this quotation is drawn from another verse [viz., Bereishit 16:10].

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