Monday-Daily Chitas [Chumash, Tanya] & Rambam Summaries [17th Iyar 5783]

Monday, 17th Iyar 5783/May 8, 2023


Parshas Behar Bechukosai

Sheiyni when connected to Bechukosai

  1. Sustenance during years of Shemitah:
  • The land will give plentiful of produce and you will eat to satisfaction and dwell securely on it. Now, if you ask “What shall we eat in the 7th year if we cannot sow the land or harvest our grain” I promise you my blessing to support the Jewish people during Shemitah year by making the 6th year grow plenty of produce. You will sow in the 8th year and still eat from the 7th years produce until the new crop arrives in the 9th


  1. Selling and redeeming ancestral fields:
  • A property of ancestral heritage may not be sold eternally, for it belongs to Hashem. It is rather to be redeemed.
  • Redeeming: If one becomes poor and sells his plot of ancestral heritage then his relative is to come to his aid and redeem it. If a relative cannot redeem it, and the original owner comes to redeem it, then he is to pay the buyer in accordance to the amount of years remaining towards his lease.
  • Returns by Yovel: If he is unable to redeem it, then the property is to remain in the hands of the buyer until the Yovel, and in the Yovel year it is to be returned to its owner.

Tanya end of Chapter 48

1.  The G-dly knowledge which surrounds earth:

  • Planet Earth is surrounded by G-d’s knowledge: A parable of the above concept that Hashem’s knowledge encompasses the creations but does not internally affect it can be seen from the earth. Planet earth is encompassed by G-d’s knowledge and this knowledge actually reaches everywhere throughout the earth, and to everything that is in it to every last detail.
  • G-d’s knowledge enlivens the Earth: This knowledge serves as the vitality of the entire earth and is responsible for its creation ex nihilo.
  • The contractions of The G-dly light permit for a limited world to be created: Now, if not for the fact that this infinite light was contracted, the world would never have been created as it appears now with all its limitations and boundaries, containing creations that have very minute spiritual life such as the inanimate and vegetation. The many intense contractions which contracted the light and vitality which became invested into the world allowed a limited and finite creation to take place as we know of it today, which incorporates even the inanimate and vegetative properties. [Thus, while the knowledge of G-d of the world contains an infinite revelation and is in truth responsible for its general creation ex-nihilo, it remains in an encompassing way and thus does not contradict the worlds finite status which is caused by a small contracted revelation that has become internalized within the world. Accordingly, the encompassing light is responsible for the creation of matter while the internal light is responsible for its form and detailed limitations.]

2. Hashem and His wisdom are united and infinite:   

  • G-d’s knowledge causes an infinite revelation which needs contraction: Above we stated that Hashem’s knowledge brings an infinite revelation which if not for the contractions, would cause an infinite world.
  • G-d’s knowledge is united with his essence: The reason for this is as follows: Hashem’s knowledge is united with His essence. He is the knowledge, the knower and the known. Through Him knowing Himself so to say, He knows all the creations. It is not through an external source as is the case with humans, as everything is found from Him. This matter cannot be properly comprehended by the human mind. *Gloss: This was the Rambam’s perspective and was agreed to by the Kablists in the level that G-d contracts and invests Himself in the world of Atzilus. [Although above Atzilus Hashem is infinite and beyond and definition at all, even knowledge, in the world of Atzilus He is united with His knowledge, His Chochmah. Now, in this world, through Him knowing Himself He knows all of creation, as everything was created from His knowledge. It is unlike human knowledge which is derived from external sources outside of him. For example, for one to discover a certain breaking news event he needs to rely on journalists and media outlets. However, Hashem, who creates everything from His knowledge automatically knows everything that occurs with them. The novelty here is that Hashem and His knowledge are one and the same, and His knowledge is not an external tool that He uses to know. Accordingly, when Hashem knows something, it is not just His knowledge that surrounds the item, but He Himself.]


3. The infinite knowledge is in an encompassing form:

  • The knowledge of G-d which is united with Him and contains an infinite power of revelation of G-dliness is not considered to be invested within the earth, which is limited and finite, but rather encompassing it. This is despite the fact that His knowledge [and infinite light that it carries] is actually found everywhere in the world in actuality and is responsible for the general creation of the world’s matter ex-nihilo.

Rambam, Hilchos Yesodei Hatorah Chapter 4

 Chapter 4: Maaseh Bereishis-The wisdom & science behind creation [partial summary]

Halacha 1: All creations are made up of the four elements

  • The four elements: There are four fundamental elements of creation which are: fire, wind, water, and earth
  • All earthly creations are made up of these four elements. This includes man, animals, birds, insects, fish, plant, metal and precious stones, all rocks and mountains and earth. They are all made up of a combination of the above four elements.
  • The elements themselves: An exception to the above are the four elements themselves which are not made up of any other element other than themselves.
  • Golem and Tzura-matter and form: All earthly creations contain both matter and form, and it is the matter of every creation that is made up of a combination of the above four elements.

Halacha 2: The nature of the four elements and the result of their combinations

  • Fire and wind-upwards: The nature of fire and wind is to ascend upwards from the earth to the sky.
  • Water and earth-downwards: The nature of water and earth is to descend from the sky onto earth.
  • The midpoint of the universe is its lowest point: The center of the sky is its lowest point [as the universe expands from every direction and hence its middle point is the bottom point from each direction].
  • Nature is not by choice: The nature of all these elements are not consciously or willfully decided by them, and it is rather an embedded nature of which they have no choice in.
  • Fire: Fire is the lightest of the four elements and has the nature of being hot and dry.
  • Wind: Wind is both hot and wet. Wind is lighter than water and therefore hovers over it.
  • Water: Water is both cold and wet. Water is lighter than earth and therefore floats on top of it.
  • Earth: Earth is both dry and cold and is the heaviest of all the elements.
  • The combination of the elements create the various different creations: Being that every creation is made up of these four elements of fire, wind, water, and earth, it is the combination of these four elements that is responsible for the different creations.
  • The elements change through their combination: When the elements are combined with each other, they just change from their natural state, and hence the combined elements do not contain any actual fire, water, wind, or earth.
  • The nature of all creations: Being that all creations contain the four elements within them to different degrees, therefore, they all contain different degrees of heat versus coldness, and moisture versus dryness, even though they all contain some level of each. Hence, when we witness a creation containing more of one aspect over the other, it is a sign that there stronger and more abundant element is from that aspect.
  • Animals contain more of the element of fire: For example, animals derive more from the element of fire, and therefore are more hot-blooded.
  • Stones contain more of the element of earth: Stones contain more of the element of earth, and are therefore very dry.
  • Stronger element of water: Those creations that are more moist contain a stronger element of water.

Halacha 3: The eventual disintegration of the four elements

  • Every creation that is made of the four elements will eventually decompose and have its elements return to their main root and source in the four elements. This applies even towards gold and hard rock, which will eventually decompose.
  • The time span of disintegration: Every creation has a different time span for its disintegration of its elements with some taking a mere few years and others taking many years.
  • What happens to the decomposed elements: The four elements which made up the creation upon decomposition return to their elements. For example, the element of fire found within creation returns to the main element of fire when the creation decomposes and so on and so forth with all the elements.

Halacha 4: Man returning to earth

  • Although Scripture teaches us that upon his death man will return to earth, which is only one of the four elements, in truth all four elements that he is composed of will return to their corresponding element.
  • Man is mainly composed of the element of earth: The reason for this depiction of Scripture is because man is mainly composed of the element of earth, and hence most of his existence will return to the element of earth.
  • A gradual decomposition: Upon the decomposition of creations, the elements do not immediately return to their main element, but rather evolved into other entities, and those entities evolve into other entities, until eventually they return to their main element.

Halacha 5: The evolution of the four elements

Halacha 6: What affects the evolution

Halacha 7: Man can only see the physical

Halacha 8: The soul of man

Halacha 9: The eternity of the soul

Halacha 10: The content of this chapter is Maaseh Bereishis

Halacha 11: The difference between Maaseh Merkava and Maaseh Bereishis

Halacha 12: Arousing love for God through contemplating the above

Halacha 13: Pardes-Not to dwell too much on these matters

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