Daily Tanya Shabbos 17th Shevat: Chapter 22: The creation of Kelipa and definition of idolatry

Chapter 22: The creation of Kelipa and definition of idolatry

(LY) 17th Shevat

1.       Why the term speech is used regarding creation:

  • The Torah refers to the speech of G-d in the human language in order to describe how He created the world being that in truth in the eyes of man, His speech is exactly similar to the speech of man, being that it goes through various descents and a multitude of powerful contractions of different qualities and quantities in order to create the many creations, each in accordance to their species. [Now, these creations feel themselves as separate entities from G-d, which is similar to the speech of man which is a separate entity from man.]

  1. How the Kelipos come into existence:
  • Intense concealment and contractions: The intensity of the contractions and concealment of G-d’s countenance are so great that even impure entities and the side of evil were able to be created from the drastically contracted and concealed form of Divine energy. The evil forces receive their energy and existence from the word of G-d and the spirit of His mouth in a completely concealed manner and after downward gradations.

  1. The Kelipos are despised by G-d and enlivened against His true will:
  • Being called “Other G-ds”: It is for this reason that the side of evil and its evil forces are referred to as a foreign G-d, this is due to that their nurture of Divine energy is not from the inner countenance of G-d but rather from the external parts of holiness, which are distanced and foreign from G-d’s inner countenance. This is known as the aspect of “Achurayim” and comes from the term “Elokim Acheirim.”
  • A “coerced” giving of Divine energy like one who gifts his enemy: The term “Achurayim” hints to the idea that the Divine energy given to the forces of evil, the foreign G-ds, is given to them unwillingly and is coerced to be given simply so they exist. This is similar to one who is coerced to give his enemy a gift against his will, and thus when he does so he throws the gift to the recipient from behind his back, in a way that he does not show his face to the individual, being that he hates him.
  • Holiness is G-d’s friend which receives from the inner countenance of G-d: Just as below in this world there exists a friend who one has a desire to give a gift to, and an enemy who one may be coerced to give a gift to, so too it is above in heaven. G-d’s “friend” whom He desires to gift to is the side of holiness. G-d desires to give His Divine energy to all those who are close to the side of holiness, and He gives to them from His inner countenance, from His inner sublime will and true desire.
  • The side of evil is G-d’s enemy which receives from G-d’s external light: The side of evil and impurity is an abomination in the eyes of G-d and is hated by Him. Accordingly, G-d does not give it Divine energy from His inner will and with a true desire, in which He actually desires its existence, G-d forbid. Rather he gives it to them unwillingly, like one who throws an item to his enemy from behind his back being that he can’t face to look at him due to his disgust.
  • Why then did G-d create evil? Why then did G-d create the side of evil if he hates it so much? This is in order to give punishment to the Reshaim and give good reward to the righteous who subjugate the side of evil and overcome it. This is why its creation is considered to come from the external part of G-d’s supernal will, as He does not truly desire their existence and so to say is coerced to create them in order to create the function that they provide. [Meaning, the side of evil has two functions: 1) To give out punishment which is something that G-d Himself cannot so to say personally do being that He is the ultimate of kindness, although even this creation of evil to give out punishment is in truth a kindness of G-d to help refine the creation and bring them to repentance. 2) To create freedom of choice between good and evil, and hence create the possibility for the righteous to be rewarded.]
  1. Why the Sitra Achra feels independent from G-d:
  • No inner will by evil, and even the external will is encompassing: The inner supernal will of G-d is the source of life which enlivens all the world’s [with exception to the side of evil]. Now, since this inner will does not reside at all on the side of evil, and even the external supernal will of G-d is not actually invested within the side of evil and simply encompasses it from above, therefore, the side of evil is the place of death and impurity, may G-d protect us. [Although G-d represents only kindness and life, the side of evil does not receive this natural personality trait from the G-dly energy that enlivens it, and on the contrary enjoys causing death and cruelty and evil, being that it does not consciously experience the G-dly energy that is enlivening it.]
  • Divine energy is exiled within evil: This is because the minuscule amount of divinity and energy that the side of evil nurtures and receives from the external part of the holiness of above is in a state of actual exile within it, in the mystical secret of the exile of the Divine presence.
  • Summary: The reason the Sitra Achra feels independent of Hashem is because it has no Elokus shining inside of it in a revealed way, as a) It contains no revelation from Penimiyus of Ratzon/Elokus, not even in a Makif way and b) Even the Chitzoniyus of Ratzon which it does receive revelation of, is in a way of Makif and it only internalizes a mere glimmer of that revelation which is in a state of exile within Him.

  1. The Side of evil is actual idolatry:
  • The side of evil denies G-d’s unity: The side of evil is referred to by the term “foreign G-ds” being that it is actual idolatry, being that it denies the unity of G-d, the king of all kings.
  • Not nullified to G-d or holiness: The reason for this is as follows: Being that the Divine light and energy from holiness is found in a state of exile within the side of evil, therefore the side of evil is not nullified at all the holiness of G-d.
  • Arrogant and self-centered: On the contrary, the side of evil elevates itself arrogantly like an eagle who hovers above everyone else, having the feeling that it is the only existence in the world and that the world must surround around him and that he is responsible for his own existence, as it states in scripture regarding Pharaoh that he stated that the entire Nile belongs to him and that he created himself.
  • Arrogance is idolatry: It is for this reason that the sages teach us that arrogance is equivalent to actual idolatry as the main root and source of idolatry is the fact that a person feels himself as a separate entity from the holiness of G-d who is in truth responsible for his existence.
  • Idolatry is not a denial of the existence of G-d, but a denial of His sole existence: According to the above definition, it’s understood that idolatry does not mean that one completely denies the existence of G-d, but simply that he considers himself separate from G-d, as it states in the Talmud that even the side of evil calls G-d the G-d of all G-ds. Meaning, that even they agree that there is one ultimate G-d, although they believe that they also retain some importance and independent existence, and hence are called G-ds as well. This false belief of independence causes the side of evil to be separated from the holiness of G-d, as this causes them to not be nullified to G-d, and the supernal holiness only resides on that which is nullified to G-d, as explained above. It is for this reason that the Zohar refers to the side of evil as separate mountains, as they arrogantly elevate themselves like a mountain and separate themselves from G-dliness.
  • A denial of G-d’s unity: The above false belief of independency by the side of evil is a denial of G-d’s true unity, as in truth everything is considered like naught in His presence and is truly nullified in His perspective, as He is the one who enlivens them all and creates and from nothing at every moment.

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