Shaar HaYichud The Gate of Unity Chapter 17

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 Seventeen



והנה מעתה יש להבין בפרטי ענין הקו כמו שהוא בבחי' עגולים כו'.

We must now understand the particulars of the matter of the Kav-Line, as it is in an aspect of “Igullim-Circles” [and “Yosher-Upright”] etc.[1] 

והנה תחלה יש להקדים בבחי' ראשית הקו הזה שבא בבחי' או''פ ואח''כ מתעגל ונמשך בבחי' או''פ וחוזר ומתעגל כו'

However, we must preface with [an explanation] of the aspect of the beginning of this Kav-Line, which comes in an aspect of a pervading, inner light (Ohr Pnimi), and then encircles and [once again] is drawn down as a pervading, inner light. Then it once again encircles etc.  

ומבואר בע''ח שבבחי' ע''ס דעגולים, העליון מכולם משובח מכולם והפנימי מכולם גרוע כו', ובבחי' ע''ס דיושר להיפך, העליון גרוע והפנימי משובח כו'.

It is explained in Etz Chaim[2] that in the aspect of the ten sefirot of Igullim – The circles of desire, the uppermost is the most superior, while the innermost is the [most] inferior, whereas in the aspect of the ten sefirot of Yosher- The upright sefirot, the opposite is true. [This is to say that] the uppermost is the [most] inferior, while the innermost is the [most] superior.

וביאור הדברים הנה ידוע שבחי' רצון קדום זה, הגם שלגבי בחי' רצון הפשוט המוחלט בעצמות נק' התפשטות רצון, אבל עדיין הוא בהעלם ולא בגלוי כלל

Now, the explanation of these matters is as follows:  It is known, that although in relation to the aspect of the simple determined desire of the Essence[3] (Atzmoot), the aspect of this Primal Desire (Ratzon HaKadoom) is called a spreading forth of the desire. However, it too is still concealed, and not at all revealed. 

כי אינו רק השפעת והמשכת רצון הפשוט של חפץ חסד שהוחלט בעצמות מכבר, כך יהיה בפו''מ

This is because [the Ratzon HaKadoom-the Primal Desire] is only the influence and expression of the Simple Desire for kindness, which has already been determined in the Essence (Atzmoot) that it should come into actuality in a particular way.

ומיד שעולה במח' זאת שיהיה הכל, הוא הנק' מח' ורצון קדום שכולל כל מה שבתוכו רצונות פרטים כנ''ל במשל הבנין

Immediately, when it arises in thought how everything should be, it is called the “Primal Thought and Desire” (Machshava V’Ratzon Kadoom). [This thought] includes within itself every particular desire [of the entire chaining down of the worlds], as explained previously in the analogy of a building. [4] 

א''כ עדיין רצון קדום זה הכל בעצמו בלתי התגלות לחוץ, אבל ממנו נעשה הכל אח''כ

If this is the case, this entire Primal Desire is still within Himself, without being revealed outside [of Himself].  Nonetheless, afterwards, everything is actualized from this ]Primal Desire].[5] 

וזהו כי הוא אמר, במח' הקדומה, ויהי כו'  

This, then, is the meaning of [the verse][6], “For He spoke”, within the Primal Thought, “and it was”.[7] 

ונק' חיי כל העולמים מראש דא''ק עד עקב א''ק בסוף עשיה, והיינו כל היצור לא נכחד כו'

This [Primal Thought] is called “The life of all the worlds”, from the “head” of Adam Kadmon to the “heel” of Adam Kadmon [which is] at the end of the world of Asiyah (Actualization).[8]  This is the meaning of [the statement], “All of Creation is not concealed from You”. 

שאין פרט היותר אחרון שלא קדם להיות ברצון ובמח' זו

[This means that] there is [not a single particular detail], even the most final of details, which did not originally exist within this [Primal] Desire and Thought. 

ואדרבה סוף מעשה, כמו בסוף אלף הז', עלה במח' קדומה זו תחלה כמ''ש במ''א באריכות

On the contrary, [as it states[9], “The end action arose first in thought”].  [This is to say that] “The end action”, such as the end of the seventh millennium[10], “arose” within the Primal Thought “first”, as explained elsewhere at length.[11]

(ובל' הזהר נק' עתיקא דעתיקין או עתיקא סתימאה והוא בחי' רעוא דכ''ר עילאין דאתגליין במצחא דע''ק כו'

(In[12] the terminology of the Zohar this [Primal Thought] is called “Ateeka D’Ateekin-The Ancient of the Ancients”[13] or [14]“Ateeka Stima’ah -The Concealed Ancient One”.[15]  This is the aspect of, “The Supernal Desire of all Desires, which is revealed in the forehead of the Holy Ancient One (Atika Kadisha)”.[16]

כי ברצון מלובש התענוג, והיו לאחדים ממש

This is because pleasure is invested within desire, so that they are literally as one.[17] 

וברצון הפשוט ההיולי שבחפץ חסד ההיולי (הנ''ל באות יוד ואות יא) היה כלול בו התענוג הפשוט שבעצמות שנק' שעשועי המלך בעצמותו כו'

Likewise, the simple [essential] heyulie desire of the heyulie desire for kindness (which was mentioned previously in chapters 10 and 11), included the simple pleasure of the Essence (Atzmoot).  This is called, “the delight of the King in Himself (Sha’ashoo’aiy HaMelech B’Atzmooto)”. 

וגם בג' מדריגות עד שבא בדבר פרט, אנא אמלוך, שזה בחי' מל' דא''ס שלפני הצמצום כמ''ש שם

This is also [the case] in regard to the three levels of [Yachid, Echad and Kadmon[18]], until [the Essential desire] came to the particular matter of “Ana Emloch-I shall rule”. This is the aspect of Malchut (Kingdom) of The Infinite (Ayn Sof), which preceded the Tzimtzum, as explained there.[19] 

הכל בחי' שעשועי המלך בעצמו בטה''ע

All [these levels] are the aspect of “The delight of the King in Himself, within the Upper Purity.[20] 

אך עתיקא דעתיקין מקור כל התענוגים או רעוא דכ''ר כו', היינו בבחי' הקו שאחר הצמצום שכולל כמה רצונות ותענוגים שעתידים לבוא בגלוי

However, “Ateeka D’Ateekin – The Ancient of the Ancients”, which is the source of all pleasures, and [is also known as] “The Supernal Desire of all Desires”, refers to the aspect of the Line-Kav which follows Tzimtzum.  It includes [all] the various desires and pleasures that are destined to be revealed. 

ועתיקא סתימאה הוא בבחי' כתר דא''ק שהוא בהעלם הרצון והתענוג לעצמו עדיין, רק שחושב להיות הדבר כך בפועל הגילוי

“Atika Stima’ah-The Concealed Ancient One” is the aspect of Keter of Adam Kadmon [and] is the concealed desire and pleasure, as it still relates to Himself, except that [now, after the Tzimtzum,] He thinks [and considers] to bring this [desire] into actual revelation.

כמו להיות גילוי הרצון והתענוג להאציל ע''ס כו' ולהיות הרצון והתענוג לברוא כו'

[For example,] this is like [the desire] that there should be a revelation of the desire and pleasure to emanate the ten sefirot [of the world of Atzilut-Emanation],[21] or that there should be the desire and pleasure to create [the world of Briyah] etc.[22] 

וע''ק הוא התענוג שבחכמה

[The aspect of] “Atika Kadisha-The Holy Ancient One” is the pleasure which [becomes invested] within Chochmah (Insight). 

והוא בחי' ע''י וא''א דאצי' שהרצון והתענוג בא בגלוי כמשי''ת הכל דרך פרט)

This is the aspect of Atik Yomin (“The Ancient of Days”) and Arich Anpin (“The Long Face”) [which are the Keter (pleasure and desire)] of [the world of] Atzilut (Emanation).[23] [This is when] the pleasure and desire become revealed, all of which will be explained in a specific manner.)

והנה בחי' ע''ס דעגולים זת''ז הוא כידוע שכל עילה מקפת לעלול ועלול לא ישיג לעילה שלו כ''א בריחוק מקום ממנו כאשר יהיה האופן בתוך כו'

Now, the [explanation of the] aspect of the ten sefirot of Igullim-Circles of desire, one within the other, is, as known, that every cause encompasses its effect, “like a circle within a circle”[24], and that the effect can never grasp its cause, except in a way of distance from it.

ויובן זה מהרצון הבא בגלוי גמור

This may be understood from a desire which becomes completely revealed.[25] 

שגם שכלול הרצון הזה מי', חכמה ומדות, אבל תחלתו בא רק בהסכם א' בלי התחלקות ניכר בו 

Although this [revealed desire] includes ten [sefirot within it, such as] intellect and emotions etc, nonetheless, it initially comes about as a single decision, without any apparent divisions [into ten sefirot].[26] 

והוא הנק' עיגול רצון כללי מקיף לכל מה שבא בתוכו מכחו דוקא, אך בריחוק מקום

This is called, “The General Circle of Desire” which encompasses [and] contains all [the particulars which will become revealed], within it. [Every subsequent “circle of desire”] comes about specifically from its power. However, [it encompasses these subsequent “circles of desire”] from a distance. 

כמו הטעם ושכל לרצון זה, שנק' עלול שלו

An example is the reasoning and intellect for this desire, which is called its effect.

א''א שיהיה קרוב בערך אל עילתו, שהוא הרצון, כי הרי אין טעם לרצון כלל כידוע, ולעולם לא ישיגנו

It is impossible for it to be close [in a way of] comparison, to its cause, which is the desire, because, as is known,  “desire is altogether beyond reason”,[27] [and, therefore] it can never be comprehended [through reasoning].

אבל מ''מ מכח הרצון נעשה עיגול החכמה ג''כ בלי התחלקות ניכר לי' כו'

Nevertheless, it is from the power of desire that the “circle” of Chochmah-Insight comes about, though, it too has no recognizable divisions into ten [sefirot].[28] 

כמו משל השוחד, שימצא טעם לרצון

This is similar to the analogy of [a judge] who, [because he] has been bribed, will find a rationalization for the desire.[29] 

וגם שבטעם זה כלול ג''כ מיו''ד, רצון ושכל ומדות, אבל נעשה בבחי' כללי כו'  

Although this [desire for] reasoning also includes ten [sefirot], i.e. desire, intellect, and emotions, nonetheless, it is comes about in a general fashion etc.[30] 

ועד''ז לא ישיגנו העיגול דבינה שנעשה מכחו, ועד''ז המדות זת''ז עד סוף מעשה שהוא עיגול האחרון  

Likewise, the “circle” of Binah-Comprehension, which comes about from the power [of the “circle” of Chochmah], can never grasp [its cause]. In this manner, the [“circles of the desire” for the] emotions [are also drawn forth,] one within the other. [This continues] until the [“circle of the desire” for the] end action, which is the final circle [of desire]. 

והכל ברצונו לעצמו כלול הכל עד סוף מעשה שהוא הפנימי מכולם כו'

All of this is included in the desire for Himself, until the end action which is the innermost [circle of desire] etc.

וכך הוא ברצון הנעלם הנק' רצון הקדום הנ''ל, מקור כל הרצונות

Likewise this is how it is in the aforementioned concealed desire, which is called the Primal Desire (Ratzon HaKadoom), the source of all the desires [for the entire chaining down of the worlds].[31] 

כלול מי''ס עד''ז עיגול בתוך עיגול עד עיגול דסוף מעשה, שהוא הרצון לסוף מעשה להיות כל אשר חפץ עושה בפו''מ כו'

It includes ten sefirot, one circle [of desire] within the other circle [of desire], until the circle [of the desire] for the end action. This is the desire for the end action, since “everything that He desires, He does” in actuality.

והעיגול העליון הכולל הכל הוא רצון הקדום הנ''ל

The aforementioned Primal Desire (Ratzon HaKadoom) is the uppermost circle [of desire], which includes [and encompasses] everything [that is desired in the entire chaining down of the worlds.][32]

וכשבא הרצון לעצמו הזה להיות בפו''מ הרי הוא להיפוך

[Now, all this is in the aspect of desire], however, when this desire for Himself comes to be actualized, it is the other way around.

שהרצון מתעלם ומתלבש בשכל והשכל מקיפו

[This is to say that] the desire becomes concealed and invested in the intellect, and the intellect encompasses it.

והשכל מתעלם ומתלבש במדות זת''ז עד סוף מעשה, הוא העליון מהכל

Then the intellect becomes concealed and invested in the emotions, one within the other, until the end action, which is the uppermost.[33] 

דהיינו כח המעשה בפו''מ הרי בו מלובש המח' ובמח' מלובש המדות ובמדות מלובש החו''ב ובחכ' מלובש הרצון והתענוג

In other words, invested within the actual power of the action are the thoughts. Invested within the thoughts are the emotions. Invested within the emotions are Chochmah-Insight and Binah-Comprehension, and invested within Chochmah is the desire (Arich) and pleasure (Atik).

ונמצא פנימי מכולם הוא הרצון והתענוג, וחיצון שבכולם הוא המעשה גרוע כו'

[Here] we find that the innermost of them all is the desire and pleasure, while the most external of them all is the action [which is the most] inferior one. 

והוא בבחי' היושר כשבא בבחי' התלבשות העליון בתחתון כו'

This is the aspect of Yosher-Upright, which comes in an aspect of the upper being invested in the lower.

אבל בבחי' רצון הקדום הנ''ל שעדיין הוא בעצמו, ע''כ נמשך בבחי' עיגולים שהעליון מהכל הוא העלם הרצון הכולל הזה

However, in the aspect of the aforementioned Primal Desire (Ratzon Kadoom), because it is still within Himself, it is therefore drawn forth in an aspect of Igullim-Circles, in which the uppermost is this concealed all encompassing desire.[34] 

ועיגול הראשון שבו הוא הרצון ותענוג לכללות כל השתלשלות שבתוכו, ועיגול זה מקיף כללי לאבי''ע כנ''ל

The first circle [in the scheme of Igullim – Circles] is the desire and pleasure for the whole chaining down [of the worlds] which is within it.  This circle is the general encompassing [light] of the [four worlds of] ABY”A, as mentioned previously.

וראשית הקו הוא בחי' המשכה היולית כמו קו קצר המתצמצם מעילה לעלול, כמו מן הרצון לחכמה וכה''ג

The beginning of the Kav-Line is the aspect of a Heyulie drawing down [of influence], like a short line which diminishes (by way of Tzimtzum) from cause to affect, such as from Ratzon-Desire to Chochmah-Insight, and the like.[35] 

כך מבחי' הרשימו הנ''ל נמשך קו בצמצום גדול מאד

Likewise, from the aspect of the aforementioned Reshimu-Impression, a Kav –Line is drawn with very great diminishment.[36] 

דהגם שהרשימו הוא בא בהגבלה כנ''ל, אבל הוא מבחי' עולם הא''ס עכ''פ, רק שהוא בחי' האחרונה שנעשה בקיצור כו'

For, although the Reshimu-Impression comes about in [a way of] limitation [of the Infinite Light], as explained previously, nonetheless, it is still from the aspect of the Infinite World,[37] except that it is the last aspect [of the Infinite], which comes about with brevity. 

משא''כ להיות רצון קדום שהוא בא לכלל השפעה חוץ מעולם הא''ס

This is not the case with the Primal Desire (Ratzon HaKadoom) which comes into the category of [expressing] influence outside of the Infinite World. 

רק שהוא היולי כולל הכל כו' ע''כ נמשך דרך קו קצר כו' וד''ל

However, [because] it [still] is an all encompassing Heyulie [for the entire chaining down of the worlds], therefore it is drawn out by way of a short line. [38]  This will suffice for those of understanding.[39]

(והוא מ''ש בע''ח דכל עיקר הארת הקו אינו רק להיות בחי' מעלה ומטה כמו ביו''ד עגולים עד סוף מעשה כו'

(This is [in accordance with] the statement in Etz Chaim; that the essential purpose of the radiance of the Kav-Line, is solely to bring about the aspects of “above” and “below” such as the ten Igullim-Circles, [which follow a progression of higher and lower] until the end action.[40] 

משא''כ בעולם הא''ס אין שם אפי' בחי' מעלה ומטה, רק אח''פ בתכלית כנ''ל

In contrast, in the Infinite World, even the aspects of “above” or “below” do not exist. Rather, there is only absolutely simple singularity, as previously explained. 

וגם ששיער בעצמו מה שעתיד כו' הכל הוא בעצמותו ממש שהוא בבחי' א''ס ממש

Furthermore, even though [in potential] He estimated within Himself that which is destined to be, it all is actually still within Himself and is literally in an aspect of being infinite.

ולזה א' בע''ח דגם בבחי' מל' דא''ס אין רשאים לדבר כו'

Because of this it states in Etz Chaim[41] that it is forbidden to speak even in regard to the aspect of Malchut of the Infinite (Malchut D’Ein Sof).[42]   

רק בבחי' הקו ובחי' א''ק כו' שהוא בחי' מקור הראשון לכל ההשתלשלות, יוכל לבא בהשגה בריבוי ההשתלשלות עד ע''ס שבאצי' בבי''ע כו'

Rather, we are permitted to speak in regard to the aspect of the Kav-Line and the aspect of Adam Kadmon (Primordial Man). [Since] this is the aspect of the first source of the entire chaining down [of the worlds], it may, therefore, be comprehended in [relation to] the many descents [that take place] until [the comprehension of how] the ten sefirot of [the world of] Atzilut become [invested] within BY”A.[43] 

מאחר שנק' בשם עילות כל העילות כו' או קדמון כו'

This is because they [the kav and particularly Adam Kadmon ] are called by the name, “the Cause of all Causes” (Eelot Kol HaEelot)[44] and[45] “the Primordial of all the Primordials” (Kadmon L’Kol HaKedoomin).[46] 

אבל בעצמות אא''ס לית מח' ת''ב, אפי' מח' הקדומה הנ''ל

However, [in regard to] the Essence of the Infinite Light (Atzmoot Ohr Ein Sof) [it states,[47]] “No thought that can grasp Him”, [which includes] even the aforementioned Primal Thought (Machshava HaKedooma).

להיות כי העולם הא''ס נבדל בערך ונק' קדוש לגמרי מצד הצמצום הנ''ל

This is because the Infinite World is qualitatively beyond and is called “Totally Holy” [and transcendant], as a result of the aforementioned Tzimtzum. 

ובחי' רצון קדום הנ''ל נק' שמו הגדול, שמו גי' רצון, והוא ענין יהא שמיה רבה מברך כו'

[In contrast], the aforementioned aspect of the Primal Desire (Ratzon Kadoom) is called “His Great Name”.  “His Name-Shmo (שמו)” is the same numerical value as “Desire-Ratzon (רצון)”.[48]  This is the [explanation] of the matter of [the verse in the Kaddish prayer[49]], “May His Great Name be blessed etc”.[50])

(וכידוע דבחי' א''ק נק' אדם דבריאה כו' וכמשי''ת 

(Furthermore, as is known, the aspect of Adam Kadmon is called “Adam D’Briyah-Man of Creation”, as will be explained [in the following chapter].

משא''כ בעצמות אא''ס נאמר כי לא אדם הוא כו'

This is in contradistinction to the Essence of the Infinite Light (Atzmoot Ohr Ein Sof), [about which] it states, “For He is not a man”.[51] 

וכידוע בכונות דנשמת כל חי, שהוא בחי' א''ק כו' וד''ל): 

As known, this is also [in accordance] with the intentions of the prayer, “Nishmat Kol Chai – The Soul of all living beings”, which is the aspect of Adam Kadmon.[52]  This will suffice for those of understanding.[53])

End of Chapter Seventeen

[1] As explained in the previous chapter, the scheme of Igullim-Circles, refers to the “circles” of desire, in which the most general desire encompasses all the particular desires within it.  In contrast, the scheme of Yosher-Upright, refers to the actualization of the desire for Creation.  The difference will soon be explained.
[2] See Etz Chaim (Drush Igullim V’Yosher), Shaar 1, Anaf 2, 3.
[3] Ratzon HaPashoot HaMoochlat Ba’Atzmoot.  This refers to the simple Essential desire which was explained in chapters ten and eleven.
[4] As explained in the previous chapter, the first general “Primal Desire” for the building includes within it all the particular desires for all of the specific details of the building.  However, in truth, the first primal desire for the building is not actually for the building altogether.  In truth, the first primal thought and desire for the building is that of his own pleasure residing in it.  This is to say that, at this point, the desire is not yet for anything external to himself, but is rather actually for the self.  It is for this reason that the Rebbe continues his next sentence and states, “If this is the case, this entire primal desire is still within himself, without being revealed outside.”  In other words, the desire is the thought of the pleasure he will derive through its actualization.  Therefore, although it is an expression of the self, it is still entirely focused on the self, and, therefore, cannot be considered to be outside of it.  This is in contrast to the desire for the building itself.  For example, in the desire for a chair there are really two desires, one more essential than the other.  The first and most primal desire is the desire to sit, and the pleasure which will be derived from that.  The second, more external desire is the desire for the chair itself.  The desire for the chair only follows from the desire and pleasure derived from sitting.  Likewise, in Creation, this first Primal Desire is not yet the desire for Creation itself, but for the pleasure which will ultimately be derived from it.  All subsequent desires follow from this Primal Desire.  (In other words, in the above example of the desire for a building or a house, the desire is not really for a house, but rather, it is for a home etc.)
[5] In other words, it is from this Primal Desire and pleasure of  Self, from which all the specific desires are drawn out afterwards, such as the desire for the building itself, and all its details.
[6] Psalms 33:9
[7] In Hebrew the verse reads, “Ki Hoo Amar VaYehee – For He spoke, and it was”.  The word used for “Spoke” is “Amar”.  As will be explained later in the book, generally, when the word “Amar” is used, it refers to thought.  When the word “Daber” (which also means “to speak”) is used, it refers to actual speech, which is the actualization.  All of this will be explained later at great length.
[8] The reason it is called “the life of all the worlds” is because it is this thought of pleasure of the self, which is the essential motivation of all the subsequent desires for all the particulars in Creation, from the “head” of Adam Kadmon, until the “heel” of Adam Kadmon, which is at the end of the world of Actualization-Asiyah.
[9] See Lecha Dodee prayer of Friday night.
[10] It is explained that corresponding to the days of the week and the days of creation, there are six millenniums in Creation in which the world has not yet reached its absolute perfection.  These are the six “work days”, so to speak.  Then, the seventh day, or millennium, is when the world reaches its perfection, and is called Shabbat-the day of rest.  It is at the end of the seventh millennium when Creation reaches its ultimate fulfillment and purpose, and becomes a dwelling place for the Holy One Blessed Be He.  This corresponds to the holiest time of the day of Shabbat, which is at the end of Shabbat.  This time period of the Shabbat is called “a foretaste of the world to come” (M’Ein Olam HaBa).  It is for this reason that in some Chassidic groups it is customary not to eat during this period, but, instead, to learn the teachings of Chassidut, which is the “Knowledge of G-d”.  This is because at that time, when the world becomes a perfect receptacle for G-dliness, “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of G-d, like the waters cover the ocean floor etc.”  This is the pleasure that G-d derives from, “dwelling below” which is what originally arose in His Primal Thought. 
[11] This means that the final action, which is the realization of G-d’s pleasure in dwelling in the world , arose first in thought.  This is the Primal Thought (Ratzon Kadoom), which is the first all encompassing “circle” for all of Creation.  It is this Primal Thought which is the inner motivation for all the particular desires which follow.  In the analogy of the house or building, the first things that arise in one’s mind are actually the most final details, such as the wallpaper, the color of the paint, the furniture  etc.  Moreover, what one is thinking of when the desire for a house first arises, is the thought of himself in the house, and the pleasure he will derive from it.  He is not thinking of the building of the house, and the plywood or cement and insulation or wires in the walls, but is really thinking about the most external and final details, like the chandeliers or the color of the paint etc.  Most essentially though, he is thinking of his own pleasure.  This is the meaning of “the end action arose first in thought”.  At this stage the particular desires for the materials and tools to build the house are totally concealed within this thought and primal desire for his own pleasure, which, really, is the main consideration.
[12] This parenthesis may be difficult for a beginner who is going over the material for the first time. It may be skipped for the time being, until one has studied the book thoroughly.
[13] This is the terminology of the Zohar in various places.  See Troomah 165b, Naso (Idra Rabba) 128a-b, and other places.
[14] See Zohar, Naso (Idra Rabba) 129a, 132a, and other places.
[15] As will be explained in chapter 23, Atik refers to pleasure, while Arich refers to desire.  It is explained there that these two facets of the sefirah of Keter are truly inseparable.  It is impossible to have a desire without a pleasure, or a pleasure without a desire.  (This will be explained later at great length.)  Here though, the aspect of Atika D’Atikin – The Ancient of the Ancient, refers to the Primal Thought, which is the thought of the pleasure of G-d Himself, which will be derived from all of Creation, as this arises in thought as a whole.  It is this “Supernal Desire of all Desires (Ra’ava D’Kol Ra’avin Ila’in)” which is the source of any particular pleasure and desire in the rest of the chaining down of the worlds.  (It is also worthy to note that the word Atik-Ancient, may also be translated as “Copy”.  This Primal Desire for all of Creation is like a carbon copy of the “letters” which were “engraved” in the Essence of the Infinite Light (Atzmoot Ohr Ein Sof), and is essentially the same desire, except that now, it comes out as a desire, while in the Essential Light of the Self of G-d there was no “desire”, but only G-d Himself, as previously explained.)
[16] See Zohar, Naso (Idra Rabba) 129a, 136b.  “Rayva D’Kol Rayvin Ila’een, D’Itgalyn B’Metzcha D’Atika Kadisha.”  The Metzcha – Forehead, refers to Da’at.  As mentioned previously (chapter 1), the faculty of Da’at is focus and concentration.  Therefore, the explanation of the above statement can be understood as follows:  Even when the actual particular desire for the external “object” becomes revealed, His focus the entire time is on the “Supernal Desire of all Desires”, which is the desire for the pleasure of the Self.
[17] This will be explained later, in chapter 23.
[18] These three levels were explained in chapters 10 and 11.
[19] That is, as explained in chapters 10 and 11.
[20] This is to say that all these levels are still within the Upper Purity, within the Light of the Essential Self of G-d.  They are therefore indistinguishable from His Essential Singularity, for only He exists. Therefore, they cannot actually be defined as being “general” or “particulars”.  Only after Tzimtzum, when the Kav is revealed can this general desire and pleasure for all of Creation become apparent and revealed.  However, even in this revelation, it is still considered to be completely within Himself, as the entire thought is totally focused towards the Self of G-d.  This is to say that this desire or thought is not yet a thought or desire for the particular creatures themselves, but is only the thought of the pleasure that G-d will derive from all of Creation.  It is only afterwards that the particular pleasures and desires for each and every specific in Creation become revealed from this general desire.
[21] Parenthesis of the Rebbe:  (It is for this reason that “Atika Stima’ah – The Concealed Ancient One” is considered to be an aspect of “concealment which is at least subject to revelation”.  This is not the case with the beginning of the Kav, which is called “The Concealment of all Concealments – Steema D’Kol Steemeen”, for even the thought of Adam Kadmon cannot grasp Him.)
[22] The desire for the worlds of Atzilut or Briyah etc, are not yet revealed out of this general desire.  This is similar to the aforementioned analogy of one who has a pleasure and desire to sit, before the desire for the chair arises in his thoughts.  The difference between these two desires is profound.  The first most primal desire is for his pleasure, while the second more external desire that follows it is for the external object, the chair.  Likewise above, the Primal Desire is for the pleasure of G-d Himself, and not yet for the worlds of ABY”A.  It is only afterwards (with the revelation of Atik Yomin and Arich Anpin) that the desire for the worlds themselves comes forth into revelation from this Primal Desire. 
[23] This will soon be explained, in chapters 23 and 24.
[24] Ezekiel 1:16, 10:10
[25] That is to say, by understanding how it is in the revealed desire, such as the desire for the world of Atzilut or any other revealed desire, we will be able to understand how these “circles of desire” exist in the concealed desire, the Primal Desire.  This is because all desires are included in the aspect of Igullim – Circles.
[26] At first all that is revealed is the desire, such as, “I want a house” etc.  Only afterwards, does the wisdom or conceptualization of how to build the house become revealed from this desire for the house.  In other words, the “circle of the desire” encompasses the circle of wisdom or insight etc.  The desire to conceptualize how to build the house only follows the desire for the house etc.  Furthermore, the “circle” of desire only empowers the “circle” of wisdom or insight from afar.  This means that the “reasoning of the intellect” can never fully capture the desire or the essential truth of it, for “desire is altogether beyond reason”.
[27] See Shney Luchot HaBrit, Beit HaShem 4b.  See footnote in the name of Rabbi Yosef Al Kastilia.  See also Yonat Elem (of Rabbi Menachem Azaria from Pano) Chapter 2.  See also Torat Chayim 63a, footnote 7.
[28] This is to say that it is the desire to conceptualize a reasoning etc.  However, it too, is just a simple desire for reasoning, which has not yet divided into ten sefirot of actual reasoning.
[29] Because he has received a bribe he has a desire to exonerate the defendant.  Now, because of his desire to exonerate the defendant, this brings up a secondary desire to come up with an intellectual line of reasoning through which to exonerate him.  Nonetheless, this secondary desire is not the totality of his desire, but is only a secondary, subsequent circle of desire, the sole purpose of which is to bring about his true desire.  However, his true desire is not even to exonerate the defendant. Rather, it is the desire for the pleasure which he derives from the bribe money.
[30] That is to say, its particulars have not yet been revealed from the desire.  As of yet, it is not an actual intellectual line of reasoning altogether, but only the simple and general desire for reason.
[31] In contrast to the revealed desire for something, the Primal Desire is the most essential and all encompassing of all desires.  As explained previously, the Primal Desire is not yet the desire for Creation itself, but is rather the desire and thought of the pleasure which will be derived at the end action.  Likewise, the subsequent circles of the Primal Desire, i.e. its ten sefirot, are also Primal Desires still completely focused towards Himself.  So, in contrast to the revealed desire for wisdom, for a particular reasoning, the Primal Desire of Wisdom, the circle of Chochmah, is the Primal Desire and Pleasure in being wise etc.  This is likewise the case with the other ten sefirot of the Primal Desire (Ratzon Kadoom).  (Nevertheless, all desires, both concealed and revealed, are from the aspect of Igullim – Circles, and all desires function in such a manner.  In contrast, the actualization of the desire functions in an entirely different manner, which is called Yosher – Upright.  This is the system of investments, in which the upper sefirah or realm becomes invested within the lower one, as will be explained.)
[32] That is, the uppermost circle is the most all encompassing desire for His own pleasure, while the innermost desire which follows is the desire for the external action itself, which brings His pleasure to fruition.  Therefore, the statement of the Etz Chaim that, “in the aspect of the ten sefirot of Igullim – Circles, the uppermost is the most superior, while the innermost is the [most] inferior”, is now understood.
[33] In other words, in the actualization of the desire the most external and revealed of them all is the action itself.  Contained within the action is the thought, which contains the emotions.  The emotions contain the intellect, and the intellect contains the desire.  We find that in the case of the actualization of the desire, the final action contains everything within it and is “uppermost”, while the desire does not contain the action, but is most internal to it.  This is the explanation for the statement in the beginning of the chapter that, “In the aspect of the ten sefirot of Yosher – Upright, it is the opposite, the uppermost is the [most] inferior, while the innermost is the [most] superior”. 
[34] In other words, the aspect of the Primal Desire is still within the realm of desire, and has not yet come into the realm of actualization.  Therefore, because it is still within the realm of desire it functions according to the scheme of Igullim – Circles, in which the uppermost is the most all encompassing, general desire and the innermost is the most specific.
[35] We previously explained that the issuance of the short Kav-Line creates the “dimensions” of “above” and “below”.  This creates the possibility of cause and effect.  That is to say, the line of measurement (Kav HaMidah) creates a diminishment between one attribute and the next, so that one is “above” and one is “below”.  (As will later be explained, the lower level receives only from the external letters (Malchut) of the higher level.  This is analogous to the speech of a King, in which the servants receive only the speech of the command, but not the reasoning or emotions or any of the inner light etc.) For example, if there was no diminishment between Keter-the Desire and Chochmah-Insight, there would be no such thing as insight, but only desire.  It is this limitation of the line which creates the dimension of above and below, thereby creating the possibility for “general” and “particular”.
[36] This is to say that while the Reshimu-Impression is still totally infinite, the Kav-Line is already a limited line of revelation, outside of the Essential Self.  Therefore, the issuance of the Kav-Line is incomparably diminished relative even to the Reshimu-Impression, which is still totally infinite.
[37] As explained previously, the Reshimu-Impression is like a point, where there is no “above” or “below”.  Furthermore, as explained before, and as the Rebbe states in the next sentence, the Reshimu-Impression contains the whole of the Infinite Light within it.  It, therefore, cannot be considered a “general” to a “particular” whatsoever, for it is still an absolute Heyulie, and there is no above or below.
[38] That is to say, in order for the Primal Desire (Ratzon Kadoom) to be considered a “general desire” for all the “particular desires” in the chaining down, it is necessary for it to come out of the issuance of the Kav –Line, in order for there to be the aspects of “above” and “below”.  This is not the case with the point of the Reshimu – Impression, where there is no “above” or “below”.
[39] In this paragraph the Rebbe brings out the fact that there needs to be additional Tzimtzum lessening, from the Reshimu which is still completely infinite and the Primal Desire.  As explained in Shaar HaEmunah (in the explanation of the difference between the word Yachid - Singular and the word Kadmon – Primordial), the word “Primordial - Kadoom” (or Kadmon) denotes that it is “primordial” to everything which comes from it.  This denotes a “general” and “particulars” which come out of the “general”.  This necessitates a second Tzimtzum lessening between the Reshimu and the Primal Desire (Ratzon Kadoom).  This is because, as explained, the Reshimu contains the whole of the Infinite Light within it, and therefore possesses the potential for infinite revelation.  Furthermore, it is a point, and as previously explained, a point has no “above” or “below” or “beginning”, “middle” or “end”.  Therefore, although the Primal Desire is the same desire as before Tzimtzum, that is, the desire for the pleasure of G-d Himself at the fulfillment of the desire of, “I shall rule”, which was initially predetermined in the Essence, nonetheless, there is an incomparably qualitative difference between the desire as it exists before Tzimtzum, where it is literally one with the Self of G-d, and as it exists after Tzimtzum, where it is already defined as the general desire which includes the whole of Creation “In one glance”.  This will now be further explained in the parenthesis of the Rebbe.
[40] In other words, it is the Kav-Line which allows the sefirot to progress from one to the next, where one is “above” and the other is “below”.
[41] See Etz Chaim, (Drush Igullim V’Yosher) Shaar 1, Anaf 5, and the end of Anaf 2.
[42] This is because it is inseparable from the Essential Self of G-d, as stated in the Zohar, “Anyone who separates one [sefirah] from another, it is as if he separated You”.  Therefore, it is impossible to speak of any of the sefirot of the Essence as anything separate from the Essential Self of G-d, since they are one with Him.  This was explained in previous chapters.
[43] This is an acronym for the worlds, Briyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah.
[44] See Zohar Bereshit 22b, and Pardes, Shaar 3, Chapter 1.
[45] See Tikkunei Zohar, Tikkun 19 (42a).
[46] That is to say, they are already the beginning of the limited line of revelation of the chaining down of the worlds, and there is therefore some relationship between them and the worlds.  This is not the case with the Essential Singularity of G-d.
[47] See Introduction to Tikkunei Zohar, 17a.
[48] See Pri Etz Chaim (Shaar Kriyat Shma), Shaar 8, and end of chapter 28.
[49] See the Kadish prayer.
[50] As mentioned previously, the word “Blessed – Baruch” also means to “draw down”.  Therefore, what we are praying for when we say this prayer is that the Primal Desire for the culmination of the entirety of Creation should be drawn down into actuality and become fully realized.
[51] In other words, Adam Kadmon – Primordial Man is called “Man” (or “Man of Creation – Adam D’Briyah), as will be explained in the following chapter.  It therefore possesses some relationship to man below, and may be comprehended.  However, regarding the absolutely singular and unlimited Essence of G-d it states, “For He is not a man”, and possesses no relationship whatsoever to limited beings who have form, and therefore, “no thought can grasp Him”.
[52] This is to say that Adam Kadmon is considered to be the soul of all living beings, because beginning with Adam Kadmon there is a relation to Creation.  This is the reason that it is called “Man of Creation – Adam D’Briyah”, to signify that it is like a completely new creation relative to the Ohr Ein Sof, as will be explained in the next chapter.
[53] It is understood from this chapter that although the Primal Desire is already an external expression relative to the Self, it is still entirely focused towards the self.  The aforementioned analogy for this was the difference between the pleasure and desire for sitting, and one’s desire for a chair upon which to sit etc.