Shaar HaYichud The Gate of Unity Chapter 11

Shaar HaYichud

The Gate of Unity


The Holy Rabbi Dov Ber of Lubavitch

Translated and Annotated by Shimon Markel

Edited by Rabbi A. Markel

Copyright © 2004

Chapter Eleven



והנמשל מכל הנ''ל בנפש יובן למשכיל למעלה בעצמות אא''ס שלפני הצמצום שנק' יחיד

Now, the analogue for all that was mentioned above[1] about the soul [of man] may be understood by [a person who conceptualizes [how it is] above in the Essence of the Infinite Light before the Tzimtzum, which is called Yachid - Singular. 

וכלול גם שם מע''ס, ונק' ע''ס הגנוזות בהעלם העצמות ממש

Included [in the level of Yachid] there are also ten sefirot.  These are called “the ten sefirot which are concealed.”[2] [They are] hidden in the Essence, literally. 

כמו בחי' חפץ חסד שכלול בבחי' עצמיות דאא''ס, שמחמתו וסיבתו היה הרצון הפשוט לכל ההשתלשלות, שזהו בדבר פרט

For example, the simple desire for the entire chaining down, which is a specific [line of revelation], arose because of the desire for kindness included in the aspect of the Essence of the Infinite Light. 

כמ''ש בע''ח בהקדמה, כשעלה ברצונו הפשוט כו' 

This is as stated in the introduction of Etz Chaim[3], “When it arose in His simple desire”. 

ובודאי סיבת עליית הרצון הפשוט בעצמותו היינו רק כי חפץ חסד הוא בעצמו

Certainly the reason for this arousal of the simple desire of His Essence is only because “He desires kindness” within His Essential self. 

ע''כ עלה ברצונו להטיב חסדו להיות מקור למקור להשתלשלות דקו''ח כו'

It therefore arose in His desire to bestow His goodness and kindness, to be a source for the source of the chaining down of the line and thread (Kav V’Chut).

וה''ז ע''ד דוגמא כשמחמת עצמיות המדה דחפץ חסד הכלולה בבחי' יחידה כנ''ל, עולה ברצונו לעשות טוב וחסד בדבר פרט כנ''ל

This is like the aforementioned analogy, where, because of the essential attribute of the [Heyulie] desire for kindness which is included in the aspect of the Yechidah [of the soul], it arises in [a person’s] desire to do goodness and kindness through a specific act, as explained previously. 

שבא בגלוי מן העלמו ההיולי דחפץ חסד, לכלול כל מה שיעלה בפרט ברצונו להטיב

[That is,] it becomes revealed from its concealment in the Heyulie for the desire of kindness, to include every particular that will ever arise in his desire to bestow goodness. 

הכל בא מחמתו וכחו כו'

Everything [that becomes revealed] comes because of [this Heyulie], and because of its strength. 

וכמו שבגלוי רצון שבא מחמת חפץ חסד זה, כלול מי', חב''ד ומדות כו'

Furthermore, the revelation of the desire which comes because of this [Heyulie] desire for kindness includes ten [sefirot]; ChaBa”D[4], emotions etc. 

מזה מוכרח שגם בבחי' חפץ חסד ההיולי שכלול בעצמות ממש, כלול מי', חכמה ומדות כו'

From this we must conclude that also the aspect of the Heyulie desire for kindness which is literally included in the Essence, likewise includes ten [sefirot]; intellect and emotions etc. 

רק שלא יתכן בהם לומר גם ענין ההתכללות והאחדות, אחר שכלול בעצמות בבחי' היולי עדיין כו'

However, it is not fitting to speak of them using a terminology of “inclusion” or “unification”, since they are still included in the Essence in the way of a Heyulie[5].

וכמ''כ במדה זולתה, כמו מדת הגבורה או הנצח והת''ת וכה''ג

This is likewise the case in regard to the other qualities such as the qualities of Gevurah, Netzach or Tiferet etc. 

הכל הוא כלול בעצמיות דאא''ס שנק' טה''ע

They are all included in the Essence of the Infinite Light which is called the “Upper Purity”. 

והוא הנק' יחיד שלמעלה מאחד פשוט כו'

It is this [level] which is called Yachid – Singular, and is higher then Echad Pashut – Simple Oneness [or Unity][6]. 

עד בחי' מדת המלוכה בעצמות אא''ס שנק' מל' דא''ס

This [inclusion] is so, until the quality of Kingship in the Essence of the Infinite Light, which is called Malchut of the Infinite.

גם הוא כלול בבחי' היולי העצמי דעצמות אא''ס

It too is included in the aspect of the essential Heyulie of the essence of the Infinite Light. 

שהוא בבחי' א''ס ממש

[Furthermore,] it is literally unlimited. 

וכמו שחפץ חסד בבחי' א''ס ממש בעצמות, או לחכמתו א''ס, כך מדת ההתנשאות שכלול בעצמות אא''ס הוא בבחי' א''ס 

Just as the desire for kindness of the Essence is completely unlimited, and [just as] there is no limit to His wisdom, likewise, the attribute of “ruling over” (Malchut) which is included in the Essence of the Infinite Light, is unlimited. 

וכלול מי' בהעלם העצמות, שהוא בחי' הרצון והתענוג וחכמה ומדות שבמדות המלוכה

Moreover, in the concealment of the Essence it [too] includes ten [sefirot].  These are the desire, pleasure, wisdom and emotions of the quality of Kingship – Malchut.

אך ענין אנא אמלוך שעלה ברצונו ומחשבתו הפשוט, היינו כשבא בדבר פרט, לבחי' ההשתלשלות בגלוי מהעלמו ההיולי

However, the matter of “I shall rule” which arose in His simple desire and thought, represents [the essential Heyulie desire for kingship] as it comes out of the concealment of the Heyulie[7], to be revealed in a particular thing; [namely,] the entire chaining down of the worlds[8]. 

כנ''ל במדה דחפץ חסד באדם למטה, וכנ''ל במשל י' כחות הכלולים שבבחי' יחידה, בבחי' היולי ועצמיות כו'

This is similar to what was explained above in regard to the quality of the desire for kindness in a human being below, and as explained in the analogy of the ten powers which are included in the aspect of the Yechidah [of the soul], [that they are there] in a way of an essential Heyulie. 

שאינן נבדלים מן העצם כלל

[That is,] they are not at all separate from the essence. 

וכמו כח התנועה שכלול בעצם החי, וכהתפשטות החיות ההיולי הכלול בעצם הנפש ממש כנ''ל

Similarly, [analogies were given of] the power of movement which is included in the essence of an animal, and the Heyulie ability to spread forth life force [and enliven], which is included in the essence of the soul, literally, as previously explained.

ולמטה מזה הוא בחי' אא''ס המאיר ומתפשט

Lower than this [level] is the aspect of the Infinite Light which radiates and spreads forth[9]. 

והכל עדיין בבחי' עצמותו לפני הצמצום

However, this is all still in the aspect of His Essence, before the Tzimtzum[10]. 

וזהו הנק' אחדות הפשוטה

This [level] is what is called “Achdut HaPshuta – Simple Oneness [or Unity]”. 

שיתכן שם בחי' התכללות ואחדות בע''ס וגם הם נק' ע''ס בלי מה, כי הוא למעלה גם מבחי' הכנה להשפעה למטה בגלוי עדיין

Here it is possible [to speak of the] “inclusion” and “unification” of the ten sefirot, [however,] they too are called[11] “ten sefirot without ‘whatness’”[12], because, nonetheless, they are still beyond the aspect of preparing to influence below, in [actual] revelation.

רק שמוכן לצאת מההיולי בדבר פרט

However, it is ready to come out of the Heyulie state [into revelation] in a particular matter. 

כמו חפץ חסד ההיולי הנ''ל, כשבא לענין הרצון וחפץ חסד בהשתלשלות דקו כו'


For example, in the aforementioned analogy of the Heyulie desire for kindness, [this is] when it comes to the realm of will and desire [to be expressed in actuality] in the chaining down of a line [of action]. 

גם שלא יצא עדיין בגלוי גמור, גם בעצמו, עכ''פ שם יתכן בחינת אחדות והתכללות

Although, even within Himself, this has not yet come out into complete revelation, nonetheless, here the aspects of “unity” and “inclusion” are applicable. 

רק שנק' אחדות הפשוטה בהיותו עדיין באור עצמותו הפשוט בתכלית

However, it is called a “Simple Unity” because it is still within the light of the Essence, which is of the ultimate simplicity. 

וכמו בחי' התחלקות שכל ומדות כו' שבחפץ חסד זה, שמחמתו הוא שעלה ברצונו וחכמתו להטיב כו' גם טרם בואו לגלוי כלל וכלל כו', וכנ''ל במדריגה הב' בהפש האדם.

For example, in the [Heyulie] desire for kindness there are the aspects of division of intellect and emotions etc, even before it comes into any [actual] revelation whatsoever.  [It is] because of [these concealed qualities] that it arose in His [revealed] desire and wisdom to bestow goodness, as was previously explained in regard to the second level in the soul of man[13].

והג' כאשר מבחי' חפץ חסד זה הוא שעלה כבר ברצון ושכל כו'

Now, the third [level] is when from the aspect of this desire for kindness, it already arose in the desire and intellect etc. 

והוכן בכל השיעור באותיות ששיער בעצמו איך יהיה איכות אופן ההשפעה ממש לחוץ מעצמותו

An entire estimation is ready in “letters”,[14] which He estimates within Himself of how the influence will actually be drawn outside of His Essence. 

ע''ד דוגמא מכח התנועה המוכן איך להניע

For example, in the analogy of the power of movement, [this is when he] prepares how to move[15]. 

וכח החיות המוכן איך להחיות

[This may also be compared] to the power of the life force of the soul, as it is ready to enliven. 

כשמוכנים כבר בשיעור ואופן מוגבל, כנ''ל בענין מדריגה הג' בנפש

[This is to say that] they are already ready and estimated in a limited way, as previously explained in regard to the third level in the soul [of man]. 

ולמעלה, היינו מה ששיער בעצמות אא''ס שנק' טה''ע

Similarly, [in regard to G-d] above, this [level] is what He estimated within the Essence of the Infinite Light, which is called the “Upper Purity”. 

באופן ושיעור מה שרוצה בהשתלשלות בפועל התגלות דקו עד סוף עולם העשיה

[That is, He makes] an estimation of how everything that he desires in the entire chaining down [will be revealed], as an actual line of revelation, all the way until the end of world of Asiyah[16]. 

שזהו מ''ש גליף גליפו בטה''ע כנ''ל

This, then, is [the meaning of] the statement, “He engraved an engraving in the Upper Purity”, as mentioned previously. 

והוא הנק' בחי' קדמון, דהיינו מה שקדם אופן הרצון להשפיע טרם שמשפיע עדיין בגלוי ממש

This level is called Kadmon – Primordial [or Preceding].  In other words, this is the desire for the manner of the influence, which precedes any actual revealed influence.

וזהו עדיין לפני הצמצום הראשון הנק' מק''פ וחלל כו' כנ''ל וד''ל.

[All] this is still prior to the first Tzimtzum, which is called the “Void” or “Empty Place”, [17] as mentioned previously.  This will suffice for those of understanding.

ומדריגה הד' הוא מה שאחר הצמצום הנ''ל נשאר בחי' הרשימו ונמשך ממנו הקו

Now, the fourth level[18] is how after the Tzimtzum (withdrawal), there remained an aspect of an impression (Reshimu), from which the line [of limited revelation] was drawn.

שהוא בכללות בחי' טה''ע, בחי' מקיף כללי לכל השתלשלות דקו כו'

This is generally [called] the “Lower Purity”, which is the general encompassing [light] for the entire chaining down of the line[19]. 

שזהו הבא בבחי' השפעה למטה מן העצמות, כמשל חיות המתפשט בגלוי להחיות כו'

[The line] comes as an aspect of influence lower than the Essence, as in the analogy of the life force which spreads forth in revelation, to enliven [the body]. 

וככח התנועה שמתפשטת להניע הנפעל בגלוי כו'

It is also similar to the power of movement which spreads forth to actually move [the body], in a revealed way. 

שמשתנה ממהות רוחני למהות הגשמה כנ''ל

[Here], there is a change from spiritual existence to physical existence, as previously mentioned. 

וכמו צמיחה גשמית מצמיחה רוחנית

This is [also] similar to the physical growth [of a plant, which comes] from the spiritual [power] of growth. 

כך הוא ערך האור שאחר הצמצום לגבי האור העצמי שלפני הצמצום

Likewise, this is the difference between the light which follows Tzimtzum compared to the Essential Light which precedes Tzimtzum[20].

דמשום זה הוצרך להיות ענין הצמצום הזה, רק בשביל שיוכל להיות הארת האור שבקו, שבא בשביל מקור לאבי''ע כידוע

Because of this [infinite difference], the matter of Tzimtzum was necessary. It was specifically so that there could be a [limited] ray and line of light[21], the purpose of which is to be the source of the worlds of ABY”A[22], as is known.

אך עכ''ז הרי כל פרטי הע''ס דאבי''ע, הכל כלולים מתחלה בעצמות אא''ס בבחי' היולי ועצמי 

Nevertheless[23], all the particular specifics of the ten sefirot of ABY”A were originally included in the Essence of the Infinite Light, in the aspect of an Essential Heyulie. 

ואח''כ ע''י הצמצום משתנה לפי אופן מוגבל בהשפעה הכללית דקו בבחי' סובב

Afterwards, by means of the Tzimtzum, it changes [to be revealed] in a limited fashion, according to the general influence of the line[24], which is the aspect of the [general] encompassing [light]. 

וה''ז כדוגמת חיות הנפש הרוחנית כשבאה להחיות הגוף

This is similar to the spiritual life force of the soul when it comes to enliven the body. 

שכלולה ברוחניות מכל פרטי חיות הגשמיות, ראיה ושמיעה שבגוף הגשמי כנ''ל

Included in the spiritual [life force] are all the particular specifics of the physical life force, such as the physical sight and hearing etc, as explained previously[25]. 

(וענין הצמצום והרשימה יתבאר בסמוך)

(The matter of the Tzimtzum and the Impression – Reshimu which remained, will be explained in the next chapter.)

(וזהו פירוש כללי למ''ש ברוך שאמר והיה העולם

(This,[26] then, is the general explanation for that which is written[27], “Blessed is He who said and the world came into being”. 

פירוש שאמר בהעלם, ברצונו הפשוט שבמל' דאין סוף, בהיותו עדיין כלול בחפץ חסד העצמי הנ''ל  

The explanation is that “He said[28]” in concealment, in His simple desire in Malchut of Ein Sof (The Infinite), as it still is included within the aforementioned essential [Heyulie] desire for kindness. 

ואח''כ והיה, בגלוי אור המתפשט לדבר פרט להשתלשלות, להיות מקור לכל העולמות

Afterwards, “[and the world] came into being”, [refers to] the revelation of light which spreads forth for a specific matter to chain down, to become the source of all the worlds. 

ופי' והיה העולם, היינו דווקא מן מה ששיער בעצמו בכח

The explanation of “the world came to be”, is [that it came to be] specifically from that which He estimated within Himself in potential etc. 

שהוא שרש מה שמתהווה אח''כ העולם הכללי שנמשך מן הקו וכו' וכנ''ל וד''ל.

For, this is the source for what comes into existence afterwards, i.e. the general world which is drawn from the Kav - Line, as mentioned above.  This will suffice for those of understanding.

וברוך הוא, נסתר, היינו בחי' קדמונו של עולם

[The prayer then continues,] “Blessed is He”.  [The word “He”] is in the third person.  This refers to the aspect of the Predecessor of the world – Kadmono Shel Olam[29]. 

דהיינו מה ששיער בעצמו בכח כו'

In other words, this is the aspect of [Kadmon, which is] the estimation within Himself in potential. 

וכמ''ש מגיד מראשית אחרית, מראשית הקו עד סופו כו'

This is as stated[30], “He declares the end from the beginning”, i.e. from the “beginning” of the Kav-Line, to its end. 

ומקדם אשר לא נעשה עדיין

The verse then continues, “Umikedem Asher Lo Na’aseh – And from antiquity,[31] [He declares] that which has yet to been done”. 

היינו מקדמונו של עולם הנ''ל ונק' ימי קדם, שקודם למה שנמשך בקו

This [too] means, from the Predecessor of the world – Kadmono Shel Olam. [This] is also called[32], “Yemei Kedem – The days of antiquity”.  That is, it precedes that which is drawn in the Kav [the limited line of revelation]. 

והוא מה שקדם בעצמו בכח, מה שעתיד להיות בפועל כו' וד''ל.

This refers to the fact that He preceded [and prepared] within himself in potential, that which is destined to come out in actuality.  This will suffice for those of understanding.

ומ''ש ברוך אומר ועושה כו', היינו מה שנמשך בקו בפו''מ

[The prayer] then states, “Blessed is He who says and does”.  This refers to what is actually drawn into the Kav. 

ועושה בראשית כו', הוא כל שיעור קומת א''ק כו'

[The prayer continues,] “Blessed is He who makes the Beginning”.  This refers to the entire measure of the stature of Adam Kadmon[33] (Primordial Man) etc. 

וגוזר ומקיים, בתחלה, הוא בחי' קו המדה שלפני א''ק 

[The prayer continues,] “Blessed is He who decrees and fulfills” – in the beginning.  This refers to the aspect of the Kav HaMidah (The Measuring Line), which precedes Adam Kadmon. 

שהוא בחי' צמצום דרשימו שנמשך ממנו הקו כידוע, וכמשי''ת בעז''ה בסמוך):

This is the aspect of the Tzimtzum[34] of the Reshimu (Impression), from which the Kav-line is drawn, as is known, and as will soon be explained with the help of G-d.)

End of Chapter Eleven

[1] In chapter ten the Rebbe explained the concept of Heyulie, and how everything which comes from the essence of the soul must be included there in the way of a Heyulie.  He gave various allegories, such as the act of kindness, the power of movement, and the spreading forth of life force to enliven the body etc.  Furthermore, he explained the three levels in the essence of the soul, before any revelation in a defined line of action.  He now will relate these analogies to the three aforementioned levels and the ten sefirot as they exist within the Essence of the Infinite Light (Ohr Ein Sof) before the Tzimtzum.
[2] In Hebrew this is “Eser Sefirot Hagnoozot BeHelem Ha’Atzmoot”.
[3] See Etz Chaim, Shaar 1, Anaf 2.  Also see, Etz Chaim Shaar HaKlallim, chapter 1.  There it states, “When it arose in His desire to create the world, blessed be His name, in order to bestow goodness unto His creatures…”  This indicates that the desire for creation comes from a desire to bestow kindness and goodness.
[4] This is an acronym for the three intellectual sefirot, Chochmah, Binah and Da’at.
[5] That is, they have no actual existence separate from the Essence itself, and can therefore not be said to be “included” or “unified” with the essence.
[6] Yachid – Singular connotes an aspect of aloneness and absolute singularity of existence.  In contrast, as mentioned previously, Echad – One, connotes a unity of parts to form a single whole.  This level of existence, the very Essence of the Infinite Light, is the level called Yachid – Singular.  That is, only G-d exists, as a simple singularity, and there is nothing besides Him.
[7] That is, this is lower than the above mentioned level of Yachid, which only includes within it the Heyulie ability for this revelation etc.
[8] That is, the entire chaining down of the worlds (Seder Hishtalshelut) is like a single line of action or revelation.  As in the aforementioned example of “movement”, it is like a single line of movement and revelation from the concealed Heyulie power of movement.
[9] That is, there is a spreading forth and revelation from these “ten concealed Heyulie sefirot” of the Essence of the Infinite Light.
[10] In other words, this “light” and revelation is not outside of Him.  Rather, it is a revelation, to Himself, of what will be revealed after the Tzimtzum.  This means that it is the revelation of what will be revealed, however, it is before any actual revelation to a recipient.
[11] See Sefer Yetzirah Chapter 1, Mishnah 2
[12] That is, they are still totally beyond description.  This is because, until the first Tzimtzum, the essence of G-d is totally revealed and, therefore, their existence is not at all separate from Him.  Therefore, because His Essence is beyond description, the revelation of His Essence is also beyond description.  As mentioned above, these sefirot still precede any actual revelation.  Furthermore, as will now be explained, this revelation still precedes the aspect of the aforementioned “estimation”.
[13] That is, if the particulars did not exist in this concealed Heyulie desire of the essence, which is the source, then where did these particulars come from when they are revealed?  We must therefore say that they certainly are included there, only that they are concealed in the Heyulie of the desire for kindness of the essence.
[14] As previously mentioned and as will later be explained at great length, “letters” refers to a definition or “containment” of something.  Here, these particular “letters” refer to the “letters” of the simple essential desire which arose in the Essence.  That is, this is an actual estimation, in potential, of everything that will be revealed after the Tzimtzum, as an actual revelation of the entire chaining down of the “line” of influence to the recipient.  The Rebbe will now compare this to the aforementioned allegory of movement.  The previous level to this is called “Ratzon HaPashut – The Simple Desire”, which does not yet have any definite form of how it will come to be expressed.  In contrast, this level is called “Ratzon HaMuchlat – The Determined Desire”.  That is, He has already determined, estimated and prepared within Himself how the influence will be expressed.
[15] For example, when one reaches for something, like a glass of water, he estimates within himself the entire line of action, (i.e. how much energy to apply, in which direction to move etc…) before he makes any actual movement at all.
[16] The world of Actualization.
[17] The first Tzimtzum is called the Challal – Void, and Makom Panooy – Empty Space.
[18] The Rebbe has now completed explaining the three levels in the Upper Purity before the Tzimtzum.  He will now begin to explain the following levels in the chaining down, which is the Tzimtzum itself, and the Reshimu – Impression which remains etc.  Analogies and broader explanations will be given in the following chapters.
[19] In other words, this desire encompasses the entire chaining down of the line of revelation, equally.  Were this desire to be removed, the entire chaining down would cease to be.  One’s desire encompasses all of one’s actions, and is the cause and source of them all.  This concept will be explained further in chapters 17 and 18.
[20] In the analogy of movement there is an absolute difference between the light of the Infinite ability to move and an actual single line of movement.  This is likewise the difference between the Infinite Light which precedes the Tzimtzum in comparison to the single ray of limited revelation which follows Tzimtzum.  This is to say that the entire chaining down of the worlds is comparable to a single line of action, and is literally like nothing in comparison the Essential Heyulie ability of the Essence of the Infinite Light.
[21] For example, in order for one to bring forth a single limited line of movement from his essential infinite ability for movement, he must restrain himself to a single line of movement.  This can be seen by a situation in which a person is attacked (G-d forbid) by a wild animal.  Because he is so frightened, he freezes and is incapable of moving.  This is because his desire is to run in all directions at once.  However, because at this point he is not in control of his senses, he cannot focus and restrain himself to a single line of movement.  He, therefore, cannot move at all (because of the limitations of his body which force him to do a single action at a time.)  This may also be observed in people who stutter. It comes about because of a difficulty in deciding upon a single line of speech.  Likewise above, in order for there to be a limited line of revelation, it is necessary for there to be this aspect of Tzimtzum – restraint.
[22] This is an acronym for the worlds Atzilut, Briyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah.
[23] This means to say; although there is such an awesome difference between the light which precedes Tzimtzum and that which follows it…
[24] In other words, by means of Tzimtzum there is a change from infinite revelation to a finite band of revelation, as in the aforementioned analogy of the power of movement and an actual line of movement.
[25] If these particulars were not included in the original estimation for the line of revelation and higher, then it would be impossible for them to be revealed from there.  Rather, it is through the restraint of the whole of the power of movement that revelation of a specific limited movement is possible.
[26] This parenthesis may be skipped by the beginner, since many of the concepts mentioned within it will only be explained later in the book.)
[27] See the beginning of the daily prayers, “Baruch She’amar”.
[28] In Kabbalah, the Hebrew word “Amar - Said” refers to one’s thoughts to himself, whereas “Dibur – Speech” refers to actual speech, as will later be explained.
[29] The usage of the third person “He” indicates that the one spoken of is not present.  Rather, He is concealed.  This refers to the estimation, in potential, for the entire creation as it is before any creation is revealed.  In contrast, the usage of “You” indicates the G-dliness which is immediate and vested within Creation.
[30] Isaiah 46:10
[31] The Hebrew word used here is Kedem, which refers to the aspect of Kadmon.
[32] Micha 7:20
[33] This includes the entirety of creation, from beginning to end, as will be explained later.
[34] This is not referring to the first Tzimtzum, but to a secondary Tzimtzum – a lessening of the Reshimu, from which the Kav is drawn.