Chapter 37: Dira Betachtonim-Accomplishing it through Torah and Mitzvos
23rd Adar/(LY)12th Adar 2
- As stated in the previous chapter, the purpose of the world’s creation will become realized in the times of the Messiah and the resurrection in which there will be a revelation of the infinite light of G-d in this physical world.
- This future revelation of the infinite light of G-d in this world is dependent on our work and service of G-d throughout the times of exile.
- The reward of the mitzvah is the mitzvah itself: The explanation behind why the revelation of the future era is dependent on our service of G-d now during the exile is because the reward of the mitzvah is the mitzvah itself.
- The mitzvah draws G-dliness below into objects that received from the side of evil: Every time one fulfills a mitzvah one draws down the infinite light of G-d from above to below, to become invested in this physical world. This light of G-d invests itself within the pure and permitted items that one used to fulfill the mitzvah which were previously under the rule of the side of evil and had received their vitality through evil. For example, the parchment which is used to write the Tefillin and Mezuzos and Torah scroll, and an Esrog which is used to shake Daled Minim on Sukkos, and charity which is distributed to the poor, which was previously under the rule of the side of evil, now becomes penetrated with holiness and G-dliness.
- Only pure and kosher items can be elevated: Nonetheless, this ability to draw G-dliness below into the physical items only applies to items that are pure and kosher, as the sages teach us that only pure and kosher items that are permitted to be eaten can be used for the sake of the mitzvah. Thus, only the parchment made of skin of a kosher animal, and an Esrog which is not Arla, is able to become penetrated with holiness and G-dliness through fulfillment of the mitzvah.
- Gloss-The reason: The reason for this is because Arla [and all other forbidden items], comes from the three completely unclean Kelipos which can never be elevated. The same likewise applies to all mitzvah’s that are fulfilled as a result of a transgression, that they cannot be elevated.
(LY)13th Adar 2
- Charity from money that has not been stolen: Likewise, only money which was not stolen and given to charity, is able to become penetrated with holiness and G-dliness through fulfillment of the mitzvah.
- How the pure items become elevated through the mitzvah: When one fulfills the will of G-d with a valid object, the vitality and energy found within that object becomes nullified and incorporated within the infinite light of G-d which is the will of G-d invested within this mitzvah. This is able to be accomplished being that the mitzvah’s which are the will of G-d do not conceal at all the infinite light of G-d.
- Aside from the elevation of the physical object used for the mitzvah, the energy of the animal soul that is found within the limbs of the body which performs the mitzvah is also elevated, as this energy participated in the fulfillment of the mitzvah. This energy from the animal soul hence becomes elevated from the side of evil and becomes incorporated in the holiness of the mitzvah which is the will of G-d and becomes nullified to the infinite light of G-d that is within the mitzvah.
- Mitzvahs fulfilled through speech also elevate the animal soul: Furthermore, even those Mitzvos that are fulfilled through speech, such as study of Torah and the recital of the Shema and prayer and the like, elevate the energy of the animal soul. Although there is no true physical action or object which is under the governance of the side of evil which is involved in these Mitzvos, nonetheless, speech does contain some element of action and hence has ability to elevate some of the energy of the animal soul.
- Speech is the action which elevates the animal soul: We find in Jewish law that speech is not like mere thought, and hence thought alone does not fulfill the speech related mitzvah’s until he actually verbalizes them with his lips. On this the sages state that the movement of the lips are considered like an action which have the ability to elevate the animal soul.
- The G-dly soul alone cannot perform Mitzvos: The reason for this is because it is not possible for the G-dly soul to make the necessary bodily movements required for speech such as the movement of the lips and mouth and tongue and teeth. This can only physically be done through the animal soul which is actually invested within the limbs of the body.
- The more intense the speech the greater the elevation of the energy of the animal soul: The more forcefully and intensely that one speaks when fulfilling the mitzvah’s of speech, the more energy of his animal soul that is entered into this speech [and hence ends up elevating more of the energy of the animal soul]. Thus, Scripture states that one should speak with all of his bones, and the sages teach us that only if the Torah is studied with all 248 of one’s limbs is it properly preserved, and if not studied in this manner than it is forgotten.
- Energy-less learning of Torah and prayer causes forgetfulness: [The reason the Torah can only be retained in one’s memory if he studies it with all 248 of his limbs is] because forgetfulness comes from the coarseness and evil of the body and animal soul which comes from Kelipas Noga which occasionally becomes elevated to holiness, [and hence when not all 248 of the limbs were involved in the study of Torah, these limbs will influence one to forget that which he learned. However], when one studies Torah or prays with all of his limbs, then they all become included within holiness, and are weakened, hence disabling their effect to cause one to forget his Torah learning.
24th Adar/(LY)14th Adar 2
- The Mitzvah’s also elevate the general physical world:
- Speech and action derive their energy from one’s blood: There is an additional reason for why the speech of Torah and prayer and action of mitzvah’s has the ability to elevate the energy of the side of evil, and this is due to the fact that the energy of the animal soul which is invested in the words of speech of Torah and prayer and the like, and in the physical Mitzvos, derives from the energy found in one’s blood, and the blood comes from the actual Kelipas Nogah itself.
- The energy found in one’s blood comes from the produce of the world: The energy that one contains within his blood all comes from the food and drink that he ate and drank and hence turned into blood. These foods and drinks were originally under the governance of Kelipas Nogah and received their sustenance from the source of evil.
- The food and drink of the world become elevated through the mitzvah: Accordingly, it is found that at the time of the fulfillment of the mitzvah, this energy that was in the foods and originally from the side of Kelipas Nogah now becomes transformed into good and incorporated within holiness. This comes as a result of the animal soul investing itself in the mitzvah of action or speech, which expresses G-d’s inner will without any concealment, as the animal soul itself derived its energy from this energy of the food and drink, and hence this energy of the food also becomes incorporated within the infinite light of G-d, which is expressed in his will. In fact, it is due to the elevation of this energy from the food that is found within the animal soul, that the animal soul itself also becomes elevated with it.
- All Kelipas Nogah becomes elevated as a result: As a result of the elevation of the energy of the animal soul and the foods which energized it, the entire realm of Kelipas Nogah also becomes elevated.
- All of the world becomes elevated as a result: Kelipas Nogah is the general source of vitality and energy of the entire world. Hence, through the elevation of Kelipas Nogah all the general vitality and energy of this physical world is elevated.
(LY)15th Adar 2
- The complete elevation of the entire world:
- The complete elevation of the entire world will be fully accomplished when every single G-dly soul within every single Jew, which is divided into 600,000 souls, fulfills all the 613 commands of the Torah.
- The fulfillment of all the 365 negative commands: When all the Jewish people fulfill all of the 365 negative commands this will elevate the entire world. The fulfillment of the 365 negative commands prevents the 365 sinews of blood that are within the animal soul that is in the body from nurturing from one of the three completely unclean forces of evil from which each of the 365 negative commands, and their rabbinical offshoots, derive from. If a person does sin with one of these commands, then the animal soul can no longer be elevated to G-d as it has now been tainted with the three completely unclean forces of evil which will never see an elevation. The only way to get rid of the three unclean forces of evil is to completely eradicate them from the world as the verse states, “and I will remove the spirit of impurity from the earth.”
- The fulfillment of all the 248 positive commands: When all the Jewish people fulfill all of the 248 positive commands then the world will be elevated. The fulfillment of the 248 positive commands draws the infinite light of G-d down here below and elevates the general energy of the animal soul that is found within the 248 limbs of the body and have it become unified in a complete unity with G-d.
- A dwelling place for G-d: This is precisely what G-d has desired all along, to have a dwelling place made for him below.
- A chariot for G-d: When we accomplish the above, then our actual limbs will become a chariot for G-d just like our forefathers.
- The elevation of the animal souls of the Jewish people will consequently elevate the entire world:
- After the animal souls of all of the Jewish people will become a holy chariot for G-d, this will then cause that all of the life force of this world, which comes from Kelipas Noga, will also leave its impurity and become elevated to holiness and become a chariot for G-d.
- Experiencing the sight of G-d: G-d’s glory will then become revealed within the world and become apparent to everyone. The Jewish people will then experience G-d like a human sees something with his eye, as they experienced by the giving of the Torah in which Scripture states that we were shown to know that there is nothing else other than G-d.
- The annihilation of the evil forces: This will then affect the annihilation of all of the three completely evil forces, which nurture their life force from holiness, through the medium of Kelipas Noga. Once Kelipas Noga will become elevated to holiness, there medium through which they nurture their energy will no longer exist, thus leading to their extinction.
(LY)17th Adar 2
- The world’s elevation and future revelation of G-d is dependent on the current service of the Jewish people in refining our animal soul:
- Based on the above, it is found that the entire purpose of the messianic era and the time of the resurrection which is for there to be a revelation of G-d in this world, and to eradicate the forces of evil, is dependent on the drawing down of G-dliness and the infinite light of G-d onto the animal soul of the Jew and it’s 248 limbs and removing the impure spirit with guarding the negative commands.
- The positive commands draw G-dliness while the negative commands prevent evil: The drawing down of G-dliness and the infinite light of G-d onto the world is accomplished through the fulfillment of the 248 positive commands, while the eradication of the forces of evil is accomplished through guarding the 365 negative commands, which prevents the 365 sinews [of the animal soul] from nurturing from evil.
(LY)18th Adar 2
- Each soul has its unique mission of elevating of world-The 600,000 souls elevate the 600,000 parts of world: The general souls of Israel, which comprise of 600,000 thousand unique souls, are the general life force of the entire world, as it is for them that the world is created. Every soul of the 600,000 souls contains a part of the world there corresponds to him, as there are 600,000 general parts of the world corresponding to the 600,000 Jewish souls. When a soul elevates his animal soul that is within his body, it also elevates its corresponding aspect of the world, and hence it is found that the elevation of the world is literally dependent on the elevation of the animal soul.
- In detail, whatever a person uses for the sake of his body and animal soul to serve G-d, such as eating and drinking and the like, as well as his living quarters and other living accessories, all become elevated as the result of the elevation of his animal soul.
- There are many more than 600,000 souls: In truth, the 600,000 unique souls are only the roots of all the souls, as each of the 600,000 unique souls is divided into 600,000 sparks with each spark being one soul [for a total of 360,000,000,000 billion souls, and hence there are many more than just 600,000 Jewish souls in existence throughout history]. This occurs also on the level of Nefesh and Ruach in each of the four spiritual worlds of Atzilus, Beriya, Yetzirah and Assiyah. [Thus, each of the 600,000 souls has 1/600,000th of the world dependent on it to elevate to Hashem through using that part of the world for serving G-d, such as eating and drinking and living quarters, and all if one’s belongings.]
26th Adar/(LY)19th Adar 2
- The purpose of the descent of the G-dly soul is not for its own benefit:
- This world is a descent in level for the G-dly soul: The spark of the G-dly soul did not descend into this world for its own sake and purpose, as in truth it’s embodiment in this physical world is a great descent from its previous level.
- The G-dly soul is in exile in this world: In this world, the G-dly soul is found in a state of actual exile [as it no longer experiences a connection to G-d and love and fear as it did previously prior to its descent].
- This applies even by a complete Tzadik: This would hold true even if one were to reach the level of a complete Tzaddik who serves G-d with fear and love of the highest level of pleasure, nonetheless, he would fail to reach the level of attachment to G-d, and fear and love that he had for G-d, prior to his descent into this physical world. In fact, he doesn’t even reach a fraction of his previous state of emotions, and the two levels cannot be compared to each other at all. The reason for this is because the physical body cannot contain the level of emotions experienced by the soul in heaven prior to its descent below.
- The entire purpose of the descent of the G-dly soul below is to elevate and refine the animal soul and world:
- The purpose of the descent is to fix the animal soul and world: Rather, the entire purpose of the descent of the G-dly soul below to this world, to become invested within a physical body and animal soul, is simply for the sake of fixing them alone.
- It’s job to separate it from evil: The job of the G-dly soul is to separate its body and animal soul from the three levels of complete impurity. This is accomplished through guarding the 365 negative commands and their offshoots.
- It’s job to elevate and unite it with G-d: Likewise, its purpose is to elevate the animal soul, together with its corresponding portion in this world, and to connect them and unite them with the infinite light of G-d. This connection and unity with the animal soul and its corresponding parts of the world is accomplished through the performance of the 248 positive commands, of which the animal soul is a partner in, as it is the animal soul which performs all of the actions of the commands.
- The G-dly soul needs no elevation: In addition to the fact that this world does not cause any elevation in the G-dly soul, it furthermore essentially does not even need an elevation, as it states in the Eitz Chaim that the G-dly soul does not need any fixing at all. It’s entire purpose of coming down here is to draw down the G-dly light to fix its body and animal soul. In this respect, it is exactly similar to the descent of the divine presence into exile in the lower world in order to refine the sparks.
27th Adar/(LY)20th Adar 2
- Charity-The greatest of the Mitzvahs which elevates the entire animal soul:
- Charity is equal to all the other mitzvot: Based on the above, we can now understand why the sages praised and extolled the virtue of charity to such a great extent even stating that it is equal in weight to all the other mitzvahs. In fact, throughout the entire Jerusalem Talmud the word mitzvah refers to this mitzvah of charity.
- Charity is the main mitzvah of the mitzvah’s: The reason for this great virtue of charity is because it is considered the main mitzvah of the practical mitzvahs and surpasses them all.
- Charity elevates the entire animal soul: The purpose of all the mitzvah’s is simply to elevate the animal soul which fulfills them and is invested in them, and have it be incorporated within the infinite light of G-d which is invested within them. Now, there is no greater mitzvah than the mitzvah of charity in which the animal soul is so invested, and hence the elevation of the animal soul affected by charity is much greater than any other mitzvah. By all other mitzvah’s, there’s only one soul power of the animal soul that is invested within the fulfillment of that mitzvah, and thereby elevated, and even then, it is only elevated during the actual fulfillment of the mitzvah itself. However, by the mitzvah of charity a person invests all of his energy, as all of his energy was invested in earning the income which he now has donated to charity. Hence, when he now donates his hard-earned money to charity, all of the energy of his animal soul becomes elevated to G-d.
- One who earns money effortlessly: Even one who earns money effortlessly is considered to be investing and elevating his entire animal soul with his donation, being that he could have used this money to purchase necessary bodily needs. It is thus found that he is donating the life of his soul to G-d.
- Hastens the redemption: It is due to this reason that the sages state that charity hastens the redemption, as when one donates to charity one elevates a great amount of energy of his animal soul. This energy would not have been able to be elevated in any other way, even in the fulfillment of many other mitzvahs.
- The sages state that the study of Torah is greater than all the other commands [which seems to contradict the above statement that the mitzvah of charity is the greatest mitzvah of all].
- Elevates the inner garments of thought and speech: The reason that Torah learning is the greatest of all Mitzvos is due to the great elevation effected through learning Torah. When one performs a Mitzvah, he only elevates the external garments of his animal soul, which is the garment of action. However, when one learns Torah, he elevates his inner soul garments, which are speech and thoughts.
- Elevating the essence of the intellect of the animal soul: Furthermore, when learning Torah with intellectual depth one elevates not only his soul garments, but the essence of his Chabad/intellect which derive from the forces of Kelipas Noga of one’s animal soul. Through learning Torah in-depth, this intellect of the animal soul is now literally incorporated within holiness.
- Why the intellect can be elevated, but not the emotions: Although it has already been explained that it is not possible for a Beinoni to transform the essence of his character traits and emotions of Chesed, Gevura, Tiferes etc. into holiness, nonetheless, one is able to transform the essence of one’s intellect into holiness. The reason for this is because evil is more intense within one’s emotions than it is within intellect. This itself, that the evil is more intense in one’s emotions, is because it nurtures more from holiness.
- The study of Torah draws down greater G-dly revelation than Mitzvos: An additional reason, which is the most important of reasons, for why the study of Torah is greater than all the other commands is because one cannot compare the revelation of G-dliness that is drawn below through the fulfillment of a mitzvah to the revelation of G-dliness drawn below through the study of Torah. Just as one cannot compare the amount of energy and vitality of the soul that is found in the 248 limbs to the amount of energy and vitality of the soul that is found in the intellect which is split to three aspects, Chochma Bina Daas, all the more so with a most infinite difference, one cannot compare the amount of revelation of the infinite light of G-d that is invested in the mitzvahs, which are the 248 limbs of G-d, to the amount of G-dly revelation found in Torah which is His wisdom, the Chochma, Bina and Daas of Torah.
- The revelation is within each person according to his understanding: The illumination of G-dliness found within the study of Torah is in each person commensurate with his level of understanding [and hence the deeper and wider the level of understanding the more revelation he has in his Torah learning].
- The Torah is like water-In understanding the physical one grasps the spiritual: Although in the study of Torah below in our world one does not actually understand the wisdom of G-d above in the spiritual world, and his understanding is limited to its physical counterpart, nonetheless, the Torah is compared to water which travels from above to below [and hence even the Torah study of this physical world contains the same G-dly revelation].
- Despite the above advantage of Torah study over the Mitzvos, the Sages state that learning Torah is not the main purpose but rather the action of Mitzvos, as the verse states “Vehayom La’asosom.”
- Stopping Torah learning to fulfill a Mitzvah: For this reason, we stop our Torah learning for the sake of fulfilling the physical Mitzvos, if the Mitzvah is unable to be fulfilled by others.
- Only mitzvah’s make for G-d a dwelling place below: The physical Mitzvos is the entire essence of man, and the main purpose of his creation and descent to the physical world. The entire purpose of man is to make Hashem a dwelling place below in this world and turn darkness into light, filling the entire physical world with the glory of G-d, and making it tangible to the human eye.
- Torah learning has infinitely greater revelation-Continue learning if the action can be done by others:
- Whenever a Mitzvah is able to be fulfilled by others, then one is not to stop learning Torah for the sake of fulfilling the physical Mitzvos. This is despite the fact that the entire Torah is only an explanation of the physical mitzvahs.
- The reason for this is because the Torah contains the level of Chabad of Or Ein Sof, and through learning it one draws upon himself an infinitely greater level of Or Ein Sof than is drawn through the Mitzvos, which are the limbs of the King. [Hence, Torah learning has the advantage that it draws down an infinitely greater divine light onto the person, while the fulfillment of practical mitzvahs has the advantage that it draws divine light into the physical creations and makes for G-d a dwelling place below. Hence, whenever a mitzvah cannot be fulfilled by another, even a Torah learner must stop and fulfill it in order to fulfill the purpose of the world in making G-d a dwelling place below. However, whenever A Mitzvah can be fulfilled by others, then he should continue engaging in Torah learning which draws down a greater divine light.]
- It is due to this advantage of Torah study over the mitzvahs that Rav Sheishes stated that “rejoice my soul, for you do I study Torah,” as explained in length elsewhere.
- Torah draws infinite divinity to the souls of all the Jewish people: As stated above, study of Torah draws below a great revelation of the infinite light of G-d. This revelation is drawn onto one’s soul as well as onto the souls of all the Jewish people which is also the divine presence and is referred to as Kneses Yisrael, as will be explained in chapter 40.
- Keriah-calling G-d like calling a friend: This capability to draw G-d below through Torah learning is referred to as “Keriah,” as through the study of G-d one so to say calls G-d to come to him similar to a person who calls his friend to come to him, and like a small child who calls his father to come to him, to be together with him and not leave him alone, heaven forbid.
- Calling G-d with the truth of Torah: On this the verse states that “G-d is close to whoever calls to Him with truth.” This calling can only take place through Torah study, and this is the truthful calling that is referenced to in the verse. This comes to exclude one who does not study Torah and simply screams to G-d, “father, father, come to me” as this is not the way of how to get G-d’s attention to come be with Him below. This is only accomplished through the study of Torah. It is regarding this matter that the prophet complained that there is no one who is calling the name of G-d, as explained elsewhere.
- Drawing fear when learning Torah: Based on this, every individual should contemplate this great power that is found within Torah learning, while he is learning Torah, and thus draw upon himself a great awe and fear of G-d during his study, as explained in chapter 23.