Daily Tanya Shabbos, 26th Kisleiv: Chapter 2: The G-dly soul


Chapter 2: The G-dly soul of a Jew-Root & Level

(LY) 26th Kisleiv

  1. The second soul-A portion of G-d above:
  • The second soul found within a Jew is the G-dly soul which is an actual portion from G-d above
  • A breath from G-d: The scriptural proof for this G-dly derivative of this soul is from the verse which states that G-d blew into man a soul of life, and the Zohar states that the effort of blowing involves one’s internal energy [and hence G-d blew His internal energy into us].
  • Rooted in the thought of G-d: This G-dly soul derives from G-d’s level of thought where it was first contemplated.
  • The son of G-d: It is due to this G-dly soul that the Jewish people are called G-d’s firstborn and the son of G-d, as we will now explain.
  • Rooted in wisdom of G-d: Just as a child is created from [the semen of his father which is derived from] his father’s brain so too the G-dly soul found in every Jew is created from the thought and wisdom of G-d.
  • G-d and His wisdom are one and the same: G-d and His wisdom are considered one and the same, as He is united with His wisdom, as Maimonides has stated in his description of G-d [and hence saying that the G-dly soul of a Jew derives from G-d’s wisdom is in essence synonymous with saying that it derives from G-d himself].
  • It is not possible to properly understand how G-d is united with His knowledge, as He is the knowledge and the one comprehending the knowledge and the source of the knowledge. On this the verse states that a researcher cannot comprehend G-d and that His thoughts are not like our thoughts.
  • Gloss-the Kabbalists agree with Maimonides: The sages of Kabbalah agreed with the above words of Maimonides, and his words also hold true according to the Kabbalah of the Arizal in the level of Atzilus, where the infinite light of G-d unites with the vessels of the Sefiros of Atzilus, after this light passes through the various intense contractions. However, it does not apply above the world of Atzilus in which the infinite light of G-d has no definition and is infinitely above the concept of intellect which is considered like actual corporeal action in its view from that level.

2.       The many soul levels and their common root in Chochmah Ilah:

  • The Hierarchy of souls: Despite the above statement that the G-dly soul of the Jew derives from the level of thought and intellect of G-d, there in truth still exists many diverse levels and gradations of souls, with a hierarchy system of one higher than the other.
    • The souls of Moshe and the Avos: Such as for example the souls of the patriarchs, Abraham Isaac and Jacob, and of Moshe Rabbeinu are much higher than the souls of our generation, which is the generation of the Messiah which contains souls that are of the level of a heel in comparison to the head and brain.
    • The souls of the leaders in each generation: Likewise, in every generation there are Jewish leaders whose souls are considered the head and brain in relation to all the other souls of the generation.
    • The Nefesh, Ruach and Neshama: This difference in soul level is found both in the level of soul known as Nefesh and Neshama, as every Nefesh includes within it a Nefesh, Ruach and Neshama.
  • The root of all souls is in Chochmah: Despite the above differentiation found within soul levels, the root of all the souls Nefesh, Ruach and Neshama, from the highest to the lowest, comes from the level of supernal and Divine intellect which is the level of Chochmah Ilah. This includes even the souls that are invested within the bodies of the ignoramuses and the lowest of the low of the Jewish people.

3.       A Mashal-Like a child develops from the father’s seed:

  • Even nails develop from the seed of father: The above hierarchy found within souls’ levels despite all souls being rooted in the same level of supernal intellect, can be understood from the development of a child from his father seed. The entire physical body of the child, including even the toenails, are developed from the actual seed of the father as the Talmud states that from the white seed of the father the bone, sinews, and nails are created.
  • How it is formed from the seed: The seed of the father goes through stages of gestation and development throughout its nine-month stay within the womb of the mother. It descends and changes from level to level until eventually nails are formed from it.
  • Remains united with original seed of father: Despite the above changes and development of the fathers seed to eventually create even the nails of the child, nonetheless [the seed which created the nails] still remains attached in a complete and great unity with its original core and essence which was a drop from the brain of the father.
  • Remains united with brain of child and father: Furthermore, even after birth, and at every moment thereafter, the nails receive their energy and vitality from the brain that is in the head of the child [and hence retain a direct connection with the level of intellect of both the child and his father].
  • The nail garment of Adam: A further mystical connection between the nails and the brain can be found in the Eitz Chaim which writes that the garment of Adam in the garden of Eden was a nail, as the nail comes from the aspect of intellect.

4.       The Nimshal-How the different soul levels developed from their common root in Chochmah:

  • The above understanding of the development of a child from the seed of his father can likewise be applied regarding the development of the various levels of souls from their common root in the Divine intellect.
  • The descent of the soul from Atzilus to Assiyah causes the development of low-level souls: While the root of the Nefesh, Ruach and Neshama of every single Jew is in Divine intellect, Chochmah of Hashem from which its creation began, nonetheless, as a result of the souls descent through the spiritual worlds of Atzilus, Beriyah, Yetzirah and Assiyah, the souls of the ignoramuses and the lowest of the low were developed and created.
  • Remains united with original source in Chochmah of Atzilus: Despite the above changes and development that the soul experiences to the point that it eventually metamorphosizes into the low-level souls of the ignoramuses, nonetheless even on this level it still remains attached in a complete and great unity with its original core and essence which is the supernal Chochmah.

5.       The souls retain connected to their root through the Tzadikim:

  • Connected with the Tzadikim: How do the souls of the ignoramuses and lowliest of the Jewish people still retain their unity with the supernal wisdom? This is because even the souls of these individuals receive their nurture and sustenance from the souls of the Tzadikim, and sages and leaders of their generation.
  • The Mitzvah to attach to Tzadikim: Based on this, we can understand that which the sages taught us that whoever attaches himself to a Torah scholar is considered to have attached himself to the Divine presence. The reason for this is because through attaching oneself to the Torah scholar one attaches his soul to [the soul of the scholar whose own soul consciously retains its original root level of supernal wisdom, and hence it is found that as a result his soul is now attached to] its original essence and root in the Divine wisdom, as G-d and His wisdom are one.
  • The connection of those who rebel against the Torah scholars: Even those individuals who rebel against the Torah scholars, receive nurture from the external aspects of the souls of the Torah scholars [hence it is found that all Jews retain some level of attachment to their original root and essence which is in the Divine wisdom of Atzilus which is one with G-d Himself].

6.       The soul of a child is affected by the sanctity of the marital union:

  • It states in the Zohar that the level of soul that a child will receive is dependent on the quality of holiness found within the marital union that led to the conception of that child, and that it is for this reason that the ignoramuses draw down low-level souls for their children as the quality of their marital union is bereft of holiness.
  • The intent is regarding the garment of the soul and not its essential level: In truth, however, the intent of the above Zoharic statement is in reference to the garments of the soul of the child and not to the actual essential soul level that the child will receive.
  • The quality of the garment is dependent on the sanctity of the union: If the parent sanctifies himself during the intimacy, then he will draw down a holy garment for the soul of the son. Accordingly, even a high holy soul which is being sent down into the body of a child requires that the parent sanctifies themselves during the intercourse in order to draw down a high and refined garment for the soul.
  • A high soul can be found in a lowly person: All the above however is only regarding the garment of the soul, however, regarding the soul itself, on occasion a very infinitely high soul descends into the body of the child of a lowlife, as explained in the writings of the Arizal.


7.       The garment of the soul:

  • Every soul has a garment from its parents: Every soul contains a garment of expression which derives from the essence of his father and mother.
  • The garment performs the Mitzvos: All the Mitzvos that a person performs are performed through this garment.

The garment receives the heavenly blessing: Even the Divine energy and blessing that a person receives from heaven is received through this garment

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