Shaar HaYichud The Gate of Unity Chapter 30

Shaar HaYichud

The Gate of Unity

By

The Holy Rabbi Dov Ber of Lubavitch

Translated and Annotated by Shimon Markel

Edited by Rabbi A. Markel

Copyright © 2004

Chapter Thirty

 

 

ובזה יובן המאמר וכד אנת תסתלק מנייהו אשתארו כו' כגופא בלא נשמתא

From the above we may understand the statement,[1] “If You would withdraw from them, all [the names] would remain as a body without a soul”. 

שהוא בחי' הכלים דמוחא ולבא כו' שנק' גופא בלא נשמתא

This refers to the aspect of the vessels of the Brain, the Heart and [the Liver], which [by themselves] are called “A body without the soul”. 

שהן בחי' האורות דנר''נ כו'

[The soul] refers to the aspect of the Lights of the Nefesh, Ruach and Neshamah etc. 

אך מאין ימצא מציאת כלי בלא אור, מאחר שמהתעבות האור נעשה כלי כנ''ל

However, after having previously stated that the Vessels (Kelim) come from the thickening of the Lights (Orot), how then is it possible for there to be a Vessel (Keli) without Light (Ohr)?[2] 

אבל לפי הנ''ל דשרש הכלים קדם לשרש האורות כו', אם כן יש מציאות לכלים בפני עצמם, ועל זה אמר דאיהו וגרמוהי חד כו' 

Rather, according to what was stated above[3] that the source of the Vessels (Kelim) preceded the source of the Lights (Orot), therefore the Vessels have their own existence, independent [of the lights].  Regarding this it states, “He and His organs are one”.[4]

(ולפי זה המכוין בשם הוי', כמו בח''י ברכאן דצלותא, יכוין למקור התהוות הכלי, שהוא עיקר בחי' השם, דאיהו וגרמוהי חד כו' 

(Accordingly, a person who directs his intentions to the name Havayah, such as during the eighteen benedictions of the Amidah prayer, should direct his intention to the source of the vessel, which is the main aspect of the name,[5] since “He and His organs are one”. 

וממילא נמשך האור אחר הכלי, כי דרכו של איש כו' וד''ל).

This automatically brings about that the Light (Ohr) is drawn toward the Vessel (Keli), since,[6] “It is the nature of a man to [pursue the woman]”.[7]  This will suffice for those of understanding.)

והנה יש ג' מדריגות בכלים, פנימים ואמצעים וחיצוניות. 

Now, there are three levels in the vessels; the inner, the intermediary, and the outer.[8] 

והענין ידוע כי לנגד ט''ס חב''ד חג''ת נה''י, יש ג' מיני כלים

The [explanation of this] matter is known that corresponding to the nine sefirot, ChaBa”D, ChaGa”T and NeHi”Y, there are three kinds of vessels.

פנימית הכלים הוא בחי' הגבלת האור דחב''ד שבאור

The innerness of the Vessels is the aspect of the restriction of the light of ChaBa”D of the Light (Ohr).[9] 

ואמצעות הכלים הגבלת חג''ת דאור, וחיצוניות הכלים הוא הגבלת נה''י דאור כו'

The intermediary aspect of the Vessels is the restriction of the ChaGa”T of the Light,[10]and the externality of the vessels is the limitation of the NeHi”Y[11] of the Light.[12]

והיינו אתה סתר למפרע דרת''ס, שעיקר ההגבלה וההסתר בחיצוניות הכלים כו'

This is the meaning of [the verse],[13] “You conceal – Atah Seter (אתה סתר)”.  [The word Seter – Conceal (סתר)] is a backwards spelling of [the acronym] Rosh – Beginning (ראש), Toch – Middle (תוך), and Sof – End (סוף),[14] because the main restriction and concealment [of the Light] is in the externality of the vessels.[15]

וגם בענין מה שיש בכלי בחי' השפעת וירידת השפע למקבל דוקא כנ''ל, ג''כ כלול מג' מדריגות

Furthermore, in regard to the matter that the aspect of influence and the lowering of [that] influence to the recipients [comes about] specifically through Vessels (Kelim), there also are three levels.[16] 

פנימית הכלי הוא בחי' הבאת אור שפע דחב''ד

The innerness of the vessels is the aspect of the bringing [down] the Light of the influence of ChaBa”D. 

ואמצעית להבאת והמשכת אור דחג''ת, וחיצוניות להבאת שפע דנה''י כו'

The Middle [aspect] is the bringing [down] and drawing forth of the Light of ChaGa”T, and the Externality is the bringing [down] of the influence of NeHi”Y.

ועל דרך משל ט''ס שבאור מדת החסד, המוגבל בג' מיני אותיות

By way of analogy, [this is like] the nine sefirot of the Light of the quality of Chessed – Kindness, as it is limited within three kinds of “letters”.[17] 

אותיות המח' בחי' פנימית הכלי לחב''ד שבחסד

The letters of Thought (Machshavah) is the aspect of the inner vessel for the ChaBa”D of Chessed – Kindness. 

ואותיות הדבור אמצעית כלי לחג''ת שבחסד, ואותיות המעשה לבחי' נה''י שבאור החסד

The letters of Speech (Deeboor) is the intermediary vessel for ChaGa”T of Chessed – Kindness, and the letters of the Action (Ma’aseh) is [the outer vessel for] the aspect of NeHi”Y of the Light of Chessed – Kindness. 

שהוא בחי' כח המעשה שבחסד, לעשותו בפועל ממש

[In other words, this outer vessel] is the power to actualize the kindness, to do it in actual deed. 

יש לו כלי מיוחד, ואהבה שבחסד יש לו כלי מיוחד, ושכל וטעם שבחסד יש לו כלי מיוחד כו'  

This [actualization of the kindness] has a vessel specific to it.  Likewise, the love of the kindness has a vessel specific to it, and the intellect and reasoning of the kindness has a vessel specific to it.

ועל הרוב השכל והטעם שבחסד מהרהר במח', והאהבה שבו יאמר בדיבור, וכח המעשה שבו יעשה בפועל ממש 

In most cases, the intellect and reasoning of the kindness are entertained in one’s Thought (Machshavah), the love [of the kindness] is said in Speech (Deeboor) and the power to actualize [the kindness] is actualized in Deed (Ma’aseh).

(אמנם כשבא בג' מיני אותיות דמחדו''מ נק' לבושין דמנהון כו' 

(However, when [the Light of Chessed – Kindness] comes [to actually be expressed] in the three types of Letters (Otiot) of Thought, Speech and Action, they are [only] called “Garments – Levooshin”. 

שלמטה מבחי' כלים דעליהם אמר איהו וגרמוהי חד כו', ולא על הלבושין

This is lower than the aspect of the vessels about which it states “He and His organs are one”, which is not the case with the Garments - Levooshin.[18] 

אבל בחי' הכלים לנר''נ הוא מוחא ולבא כו'

Rather, [this statement] refers to the Vessels (Kelim) for the Nefesh, Ruach and Neshamah, which are the Brain, the Heart [and the Liver].[19]

ובלב יש ג' מדריגות, פנימים ואמצעים וחיצוניות לנגד ט''ס כו'

Now, in the [vessel of the] Heart there are [also] three levels; inner, middle and outer, corresponding to the nine sefirot.[20] 

בחי' חב''ד שבמדת האהבה או היראה כו' שנק' מושכל של המדות כו'

There is the aspect of ChaBa”D of the emotional qualities of love or fear, which is called the “Intellect of the Emotions” (Mooskal Shel HaMeedot). 

הוא בחלל הימיני שבלב שמאיר בו ממוח החכמה ששליט על הלב כו'

This is in the right ventricle of the heart, within which light radiates from the brain of Chochmah which rules over the heart.[21]

וחג''ת שבאהבה ויראה כו' שהוא הנק' מורגש

The ChaGa”T of the love and fear is called the “Feeling” (Moorgash). 

היינו בבחי' אמצעית כלי הלב, שהוא רוח החיים שדופק בחלל השמאלי 

This is the aspect of the intermediary vessel of the heart, which is the Spirit of Life (Ruach HaChayim) which beats in the left ventricle. 

שנמשך ממוח בינה שנק' רוח

This is drawn from the brain of Binah which is called “Ruach”.[22] 

והוא בחי' כלי הרגש החיות של המדות בהתפעלותם כו'

This is the aspect of the vessel of the felt vitality of the emotions, when they become aroused.[23]

וחיצוניות הלב הוא הבל החזה כו', ששם כלי הטבעת המדות כו'

The externality of the heart is the “Breath of the Chest” (Havel HaChazeh), which is the vessel for the natural [reactions] of the emotions. 

שהוא לנגד בחי' נפש, בחי' נה''י שבמדות כו'

This corresponds to the aspect of Nefesh, i.e. the aspect of NeHi”Y of the [heartfelt] emotions. 

ומשם מאיר בנפש שבדם, שהוא מרכבה לגבי רוח שבלב בכלל

It is this [level] which radiates into the Nefesh which is “in the blood”, which, generally, is a vehicle for the Ruach of the heart.[24]

וגם בחי' נפש שבכבדא כלול מג' מדריגות, פנימי ואמצעי וחיצון כו'.

Likewise, the aspect of the Nefesh in the Liver includes three levels; inner, middle and outer etc.[25] 

פנימי הוא הנק' בזוהר קיסטא דחיותא

The Zohar calls the inner [level], “The Impression of Life – Keesta D’Chayoota”. 

דהיינו בחי' רשימו שנשאר מבחי' רוח בשעת השינה כו'

This refers to the aspect of the impression (Reshimoo) which remains of the aspect of the Ruach during sleep. 

והוא בחי' מוחין חב''ד דקטנות שבנפש כו'

This is the aspect of the intellect of ChaBa”D in their immature state (Katnoot), [as they are] in the Nefesh.[26]

ואמצעי היינו התפעלות חיות גשמי של כח התנועה וההרגש שבדם, הוא הנפש, כמו בדפק שביד כו' 

The middle [aspect of the Nefesh in the Liver] is the arousal of the physical life force of the power of movement and feeling which is in the blood, “which is the Nefesh”, such as the pulse of the hand. 

והחיצון הוא בחי' נה''י שבכבד ששולח חיצוניות החיות בכל האברים

The outer [aspect of the Nefesh] is the aspect of NeHi”Y of the Liver, which sends the external life force to all of the limbs.[27]

והפנימי' מבדיל כו' כמ''ש במ''א באריכות

Now, the inner [aspects, may become] separated, as explained elsewhere at length.[28]  

שבזמן הגלות שנק' שינה, אין ההארה דמלכות דאצילות, בחי' נפש בעולמות דבי''ע, רק בחי' קיסטא דחיותא  

[This is to say] that during the time of exile which is called “sleep”, the radiance of Malchut of Atzilut [which is] the aspect of the soul of the worlds of BY”A, is only in an aspect of an “Impression of Life – Keesta D’Chayoota”.[29] 

רשימו דבחי' רוח שבלב אדם העליון כו'

[It is only] an impression-Reshimoo of the aspect of Ruach of the Heart of the “Upper Man-Adam HaElyon”.

וכנסת ישראל, שנמשלים לבחי' עיבור בגלות 

[This is because] during the exile the Assembly of Israel[30] is compared to a fetus. 

היינו כמו הולד שמקופל ראשו בין ברכיו כו', תלת גו תלת כו' 

In other words, they are similar a fetus whose head is folded between its knees, “three inside of three”. 

שהמוחין חב''ד בהעלם בחג''ת וחג''ת בנה''י כו' וכמ''ש במ''א).

[This is to say] that the Brains of ChaBa”D are concealed within ChaGa”T, and ChaGat is [concealed] within NeHi”Y, as stated elsewhere.[31])

והנה בענין המצות שנק' רמ''ח אברין דמלכא כידוע, הרי ג''פ טפ''ט בג' מיני מדריגות דרת''ס שבכלים, כנ''ל עולה רמ''ג  

Now, regarding the matter of the Commandments (Mitzvot), which are called the two-hundred and forty-eight limbs of the King, as is known, three times nine times nine, corresponding to the three levels of beginning, middle and end of the vessels, equals two-hundred and forty-three, as previously mentioned.[32] 

וה' חסדים המגדילים, הן רמ''ח כו'

[Now], with the inclusion of the five kindnesses which bring about growth, they are two-hundred and forty-eight.[33]

ובחי' חב''ד היינו אור הכוונה שבמצות

The aspect of ChaBa”D is the light of the devotional intent in the [performance of the] commandment (Mitzvah). 

שיש לזה כלי פנימי' מיוחד, ובהגבלה כו'

There is a specific inner vessel for this, [with a specific restriction and] limitation. 

ובחי' חג''ת, אהבה ויראה וביטול כו', יש לזה כלי אמצעי כו'

The aspect of ChaGa”T is the love and awe and the sublimation, for which there is an intermediary vessel etc. 

ובחי' נה''י בחי' כח המעשה, לעשות רצון המלך בלבד כו', יש לזה כלי החיצוני 

The aspect of NeHi”Y is the aspect of the power to actualize, [i.e.] to only do the will of the King, for which there is an external vessel.[34] 

(ובכלל היינו כונה וברכה ומעשה או יחוד ברכה וקדושה, שנק' יב''ק כו'

(Generally, these are called Intent – Kavanah, Blessing – Brachah, and Action – Ma’aseh or Unification – Yichud, Blessing – Brachah, and Holiness – Kedushah, which are called [by the acronym] YaBo”K. 

שהוא ענין בשר וגידין ועצמות שבכל אבר כמ''ש במ''א באריכות)

As is explained elsewhere at length, these are [also represented by] the matter of the Flesh (Basar), Veins (Geedin) and Bones (Atzamot) of every limb.[35])

וה' חסדים המגדילים כו' היינו בחי' כללות המשכת גלוי אור אלקי שעל ידי כל מצוה 

Now, the Five Kindnesses which bring about growth (Heh Chassadim HaMagdeelim) are the aspect of the general drawing down and revelation of the G-dly Light through [the fulfillment of] each [particular] commandment.[36] 

על ידי המשכת הקו שממשיך למקור כל החסדים, דאיהו שקיו דאילנא כו', וכמאמר אנת  ממלא כל שמהן כו'

This is by way of the drawing down of the Kav – Line, which draws from the Source of all kindnesses, for “He[37] water’s the tree”, similar to the statement, “You fill all the names” etc.[38]

(ולפ''ז מ''ש אשתאר כגופא כו', משום דגם בחי' גופא בג' כלים הנ''ל, צריך להארת אא''ס שבקו, שממלא כל שמהן 

(Now, according to this, the statement, “They would remain as a body [without a soul” becomes understood]. This is because even the aspect of the “Body – Goofa”, with the aforementioned three vessels, requires the radiance of the Infinite Light within the Kav, which “fills all the names”.[39] 

לפי שיש שרש להתהוות הכלים בפ''ע כנ''ל.

This is because there is an independent source for the existence of the Vessels (Kelim), as previously explained. 

אך אם כן, למה תלה הדבר במה שאינו עיקר הדבר, שהוא מ''ש בלא נשמתא?

However, if this is the case, then why is this statement made dependant upon something which [at first glance] is not the essence of the matter, which is the statement “they will remain like a body without a soul”. 

אך להיות שעיקר הכלים הן לנגד ט''ס דנר''נ, ובסיבת הגדלת האור יבא הגדלת הכלי, בשביל הבאת אור השפע למטה, ואי אנת תסתלק כו'   

However, since the essential matter of the vessels is that they correspond to the nine sefirot of the Nefesh, Ruach and Neshamah, and it is because of the increase of the light that there is growth in the vessels, in order for the light of the influence to be brought down, [therefore,] “If You would withdraw [from them, they would remain as a body without a soul”]. 

ישאר הכלי כגוף בלא נשמה, בלא התפשטות כלל וד''ל):

[In other words], the vessel would remain like a body without a soul; i.e. it could not spread forth, whatsoever.  This will suffice for those of understanding.)

 

End of Chapter Thirty



[1] See Introduction of Tikkunei Zohar 17b.
[2] In other words, after having stated that the vessels are made from the thickening of the lights, then at first glance, how is it possible for there to be a Vessel without Light?  If this was entirely the case, then with the withdrawal of the light, the vessel would revert to nothingness.  How then does the Zohar state that “they remain as a body without a soul”?
[3] See previous chapter.
[4] This is to say that the vessels have a source and power from the Essence of the Infinite One, independent of the source of the Lights.  As explained previously, the source of the vessels is the aspect of the Reshimu which precedes the source of the revelation of line of light-Kav within the chaining down of the worlds.  Therefore, there is an independent chaining down specific to the vessels, directly from the aspect of Gevurah of the Infinite Light which is vested within the aspect of the limitations of the Line of Measurement (Kav HaMidah).  However, as explained in chapters ten and eleven, the power of Gevurah of the Infinite Light is totally bound up with the essence of the Infinite Light, and has no independent existence from Him, whatsoever.  That is, “He and His organs”, which are the Vessels of the world of Atzilut, “are one”.  Hence, when the Lights of the sefirot are withdrawn from the Vessels, they still remain intact “as a body without a soul”.
[5] That is, it was previously explained that when one devotes his intention to the external names of the world of Atzilut, his true intention is actually to the Essential Light of G-d, Himself.  This is similar to the fact that when one grasps the depth of a concept he immediately grasps the essential light of the concept.  This is also comparable to the matter of names.  When one says a name, such as the name of a person who he knows well, the thought which is conjured in his mind at the mention of that person’s name, is the external vessel of the light of the essence of the totality of that person, to which his mind literally becomes bound to. Here, however, the Rebbe is making a different point.  Here he states that when one devotes his intentions to the external names, his intention should specifically be directed to the source of the vessels, which is the principle aspect of the name.  As explained before, the source of the vessels is the Reshimu (which is the impression and “engraving” of the essential simple desire of the Essence of the Infinite Light. This essential desire is, “Ana Emloch – I Shall Rule”, which is G-d’s desire to have a “dwelling place in the lower worlds” (Dirah B’Tachtonim) and is the ultimate purpose of all of Creation. 

 

When one reaches the Shemoneh Esreh prayer, his entire intent and desire should be only to fulfill this essential will and desire of G-d.  This is to say that when he makes his requests during prayer, such as, “Grace us with wisdom, understanding and knowledge”, “Return us, our Father, to your Torah etc.”, “Forgive us our Father, for we have sinned etc.”, “Redeem us speedily etc.”, “Heal us etc.”, “Bless us HaShem during this year etc.”, “Blast the great Shofar of our liberation etc.”, “Return our judges as of yore etc”, “Speedily uproot the dominion of evil etc.”, “Let your mercies please be upon us etc.”, “Return to Jerusalem, your city, with mercy etc.”, “Cause the plant of you servant David to speedily grow etc.”, “Listen to our voice, HaShem our G-d etc.”, “Return the service to the sanctuary of your house etc.”, his own intention and desire should literally be identical to the ultimate intention and desire of G-d in creating His world, which is to bring about a “dwelling place” for G-d in this physical world.  That is, during the Shemoneh Esreh prayer a Jew literally stands before G-d, with true and complete sublimation to Him. At this time, the very essence of his soul, the Yechidah, is revealed, and therefore his desire and G-d’s desire are literally one.  (Because A Jew is totally sublimated and bound up with the Essence of G-d during the Shemoneh Esreh prayer, that it why it begins with the words “HaShem, you open my lips”, that is, he is so sublimated and nullified to G-d at this point that G-d Himself must “open his lips” and then will, “my mouth speak your praises” etc.)  Now, when his desire and G-d’s desire are equal, G-d then grants his request, and He bestows His blessings, influence and beneficence upon the world.  (This explains the statement of our sages in Pirkei Avot, “Make His will as your will, so that He will make your will as His will”.) 

 

This matter may be further understood as follows:  There are several stages in the actualization of any desire.  The first stage is the matter of the actual limitation of his desire to a specific desire.  This is the original point of the desire and thought for the end action, and arises before any action at all.  Obviously, this is not the end action itself.  However, immediately upon the determination of the desire, and the resolve to actualize it, a line of action is immediately drawn forth from this point.  This is as previously explained in regard to how the Kav – the Limited Ray of Light, is drawn from the Reshimu (which is the “letters” of the Essential Desire of G-d) automatically.  This line of Light vests within the Vessels which have their source in the Reshimu. The merging of the light with the vessels constitutes the actualization of the desire and its fulfillment. It therefore follows, that the merging of the light with the final vessel constitutes the actualization and fulfillment of the ultimate desire.  An analogy for all of this is that when one desires to move his hand, he does not begin by contemplating how to draw forth the light of his soul so that it should spread forth in movement.  Rather, immediately upon the establishment of the end action within his essential desire, the light of his soul is automatically and instantaneously drawn forth through the entire chaining down to the actualization of the desire, until it is fulfilled in actuality. 

 

In the Shemoneh Esreh prayer, because of a Jew’s complete sublimation and nullification to G-d’s will, the essence of his soul, the Yechidah, which is literally bound to G-d, becomes revealed.  When this is the case, he shares the very same desire as G-d with every fiber of his being (as explained in Kuntres HaHitpaalut).  Therefore, when he requests physical beneficence from the Essence of G-d, his true desire and intention is purely to utilize this beneficence to fulfill the ultimate will of G-d and create a “dwelling place for the Holy One Blessed Be He, below in this physical world”.  This principle applies not only to the Shemoneh Esreh prayer, which was just given as the prime example, but to all the prayers or blessings that a person may say throughout the day. (Furthermore, this principle may be extended to include all the mitzvot that a person may perform. Ultimately it may even be applied to all permissible matters, such as all of a person’s thought, speech and actions. In such a case it would fall into the category of Kadesh Atzmecha BaMootar Lach-“Sanctify yourself [even] in matters that are permitted to you.)

 

(Now, according to the above explanation, both aspects of devotional intent are absolutely necessary. One must bind himself to the Essence of the Infinite Light (Atzmoot Ohr Ein Sof) from the angle of the Lights and one must also bind himself to the Essence of the Infinite light (Atzmoot Ohr Ein Sof) from the angle of the Vessels.  The difference between the two is that the devotional intent into the Essence of the Lights is the act of binding himself to the Essence of G-d, as an arousal from below to above (which is called Ratzo – Running towards G-d, and is connected to the Chaya level of the soul).  In contrast, once he is truly bound up and one with G-d, his desire and G-d’s desire literally become one.  Because G-d’s desire is specifically for a dwelling place in this physical world, his desire too is that G-d have a dwelling place in this world. Since G-d’s upper desire and man’s lowers desire are in full agreement, this brings about an arousal from above to below, and the Infinite Light is drawn down to dwell within Creation, drawing down abundant blessings of Divine Influence and revelation to all the worlds.  (This matter is called Shuv – Returning back, to drawn down G-dliness into this world, and is connected to the Yechidah level of the soul).  From the above, we see that these two matters are interdependent and that the Ratzo-running to G-d, must precede the Shuv-Returning back. In other words, just as when you mention the name of a person, you must first know him, and understand who and what he is, before you can know his inner wants and desires, likewise, one must first bind himself to the source of the lights before he can bind himself to the source of the vessels. This is also the meaning of the Talmudic statement (Tractate Yevamot 105b) regarding prayer that, “One who prays must direct his eyes down and his heart up”. Furthermore, this is the reason why the contemplation-Hitbonenut of G-d’s unity during the recitation of the Shma must precede the requests for beneficence during Shemoneh Esreh.
[6] See Tractate Kiddushin 2b.
[7] This may be understood according to the previous footnote, that as soon as one creates the source of the vessel, the light is immediately drawn forth to actualize it.  Here the comparison is in regard to the nature of a man (light) to pursue the woman (the vessel or recipient).
[8] As mentioned before, there are three general vessels; the Brain (ChaBa”D), the Heart (ChaGa”T) and the Liver (NeHi”Y).  These three vessels also include subdivision, i.e. nine times nine, equals eighty one particular vessels.  Now, each of the eighty one particular vessels possesses an internal, intermediate and outer aspect.  Thus, eighty-one times three, equals two-hundred and forty-three.  With the addition of the five kindnesses which spawn growth (Heh Chassadim HaMagdeelim) they equal two-hundred and forty-eight limbs.  This matter will now be explained fully, throughout the rest of this chapter.  In this paragraph the Rebbe is not yet explaining the matter of the inner, intermediate and external aspects of each of the particular vessels.  Rather, he is saying that the brain is the general internal vessel which limits the light of ChaBa”D, the heart is the general intermediate vessel which limits the light of ChaGa”T, and the liver is the general external vessel which limits the light of NeHi”Y.  (More particularly though, each of these also possesses three aspects of internal, intermediate and external, as will soon be explained in detail.)
[9] This refers to the vessel of the Brain, which is the vessel for ChaBa”D of the Light.
[10] This refers to the vessel of the Heart, which is the vessel for ChaGa”T of the Light.
[11] This refers to the vessel of the Liver, which is the vessel for NeHi”Y of the Light.
[12] In other words, there are three aspects in the Lights, which are ChaBa”D, ChaGa”T and NeHi”Y.  Corresponding to these three general influences of Light there are the three general Vessels; the Brain, the Heart and the Liver.  In other words, although the Lights are of the ultimate in simplicity, there are also the divisions of levels of ChaBa”D, ChaGa”T and NeHi”Y in the lights.  This may be understood by way of analogy from the sun whose light possesses three levels.  The first level is as the light is totally sublimated and included within the essence of the sun.  At this point, it is as if it has no existence at all, and it is called the “Concealment of Light – He’elem Ohr”.  The second level is the aspect of the revelation of the light, in that it is revealed from its concealment in the essence.  Now, this aspect itself has two levels.  The first aspect is how the light radiates as it is, in and of itself.  This is called a Revelation of Light – Giluy Ohr.  The second level (which is the third of the three levels) is that since it radiates in and of itself, it therefore also radiates to recipients.  This level is called a “Ray – Zeev” and spreading forth of Light. 

 

It is similarly understood that in the spiritual light of the soul there are ten powers which are called “Lights – Orot”, each of which includes three aspects.  The first level, for example, is the aspect of the sublimation of the Light of the power of Chochmah, as it is in the essence of the soul.  This is the power of Chochmah as it is absolutely included and embedded in the very essence of the soul, as explained in chapters ten and eleven.  It has no existence separate and apart from the essence of the soul at all.  This is called the aspect of ChaBa”D of the Light of Chochmah.  The second level is the aspect of the revelation of the Light from the essence.  This is the matter of the desire for the desire (Ratzon L’Ratzon) of Chochmah, which was explained in chapter twenty eight (and previous chapters).  In other words, this is how the Light radiates in and of itself, and is not yet a revelation of any particular desire, but only a general desire and life force which encompasses the entirety of the one’s life.  This is the aspect of ChaGa”T of the light of Chochmah.  The third level is the aspect of the revelation, as it is revealed as a particular desire, like a ray (Zeev).  For instance, this is how each and every day, as a person matures, the aspect of the Chochmah of his soul dwells upon the body in a different manner.  This is similar to the explanation above of the verse, “Days speak and years relate wisdom”.  This is the aspect of NeHi”Y of the Light of Chochmah.  That is, it is the aspect of the revelation of the light as it spreads forth to the recipient, which is the vessel of the body. 

 

Now, corresponding to these three levels in the light there are three aspects in the vessels.  (This is because it is from the thickening of the light that the vessels are made.  Now, although the source of the vessels is higher than that of the lights, nevertheless, that is only as they are in a concealed state.  However, they can only be revealed through the aspect of light.  This is analogous to a person lighting a candle in a dark house.  Everything that is concealed becomes revealed.  However, this analogy is not entirely similar to the analogue, since in the analogy the various objects in the house which are revealed are not actually affected or changed by the radiance of the candle.  Prior to their revelation they were physical and subsequent to their revelation they remain physical.  However, above, the source of the vessels is from the aspect of the primal concealment and darkness called the Reshimu.  The Reshimu is in a state of ultimate closeness to the Essence (Atzmut) and as the vessels exist in their source (the Reshimu) they are completely beyond even being a source of influence.  However, through the aspect of the light they become revealed in the way of a tangible “somethingness”.  This is to say that the Reshimu is called the aspect of the “True Something” only because it is the source of all “somethingness”, not because it itself is a tangible entity, Heaven forbid.) 

 

Now, the three levels of the vessels are the innerness of the vessels, the intermediary aspect of the vessels and the externality of the vessels.  However, before these three levels may be explained in a manner of particulars, we must first categorize these three levels generally as follows:  The inner aspect of the vessels is the aspect of the Sublimation (Bitul) of the Vessel to the Light.  The intermediary aspect of the vessels is the aspect of the revelation and Feeling (Hergesh) of that particular Light (Ohr), which is brought forth by the general revelation of that Light within the intermediary aspect of the Vessel (Keli).  The external aspect of the Vessel (Keli) is the power of the vessel to spread out (Hitpashtoot) influence to that which is below it. 

 

This may generally be understood as follows:  According to what was explained (in chapter twenty nine), we understand that in each particular of the three levels of the vessels there are two aspects.  The first is the aspect of the Gevurot – sternness, which comes about from their source in the Reshimu.  This is the matter of the power of the vessel to limit and conceal the light.  The second, which is the aspect of their ability to reveal influence downward, is the aspect of Chassadim – Kindnesses, and comes from the aspect of the Light of the Kav-Line.  That is, the vessels bring forth all kinds of influence of light below, to the recipient.  According to this, the inner aspect of the vessels is the restraint and limitation of the aspect of ChaBa”D of the light, which is the aspect of the light’s sublimation and inclusion in the luminary.  Through this sublimation to the luminary (i.e. the essence) there is an automatic drawing forth of the light to the recipient who is sublimated (i.e. the body).  This is the matter of the sublimation of the recipient to the influencer.  (A general analogy for this is the sublimation of the limbs of the body to the desire of the soul, in that they act totally according to the soul’s desire.  This is brought about by the aspect of the innerness of the vessels, which is the matter of the “sinews of feeling – Geedey Hargasha”, i.e. the “nerves”, which become revealed through the aspect of ChaBa”D of the Light (i.e. the light of the Brain), and the sublimation of the brain to the soul. 

 

However, this analogy is only in general.  A better analogy for this is that it is specifically through the sublimation of a person’s intellect to the essential depth of the concept (Omek HaMoosag) that the flash of the light of insight is drawn forth into the vessel of his brain, as explained in previous chapters.)  The intermediary aspect of the vessels limits the aspect of ChaGa”T of the Light.  This is the matter of the revelation of the light from the concealment of the soul.  Through this, an aspect of revelation of light and influence is drawn down to the recipient (i.e. the body).  (This is the matter of the Feeling of Vitality – Hargashat HaChayoot, which is found throughout all the limbs of the body.  In other words, the previous, more internal level of the vessels is like the sublimation of the body to the essence of the soul.  However, this intermediate level is like the general revelation of the life force of the soul throughout the body, which is subsequent to the sublimation of the body to the soul.) 

 

The external aspect of the vessels is what limits the aspect of NeHi”Y of the light. This is the matter of the “Ray – Zeev” and its spreading forth (Hitpashtoot) to the receptacle of the body.  It is in this aspect that the main limitation and concealment takes place.  (This is because, as explained above at length, in the essential light there is no change from how it is before the Tzimtzum to how it is after the Tzimtzum.)  By means of the limitation a particular power is drawn forth to the recipient (i.e. the body).  In other words, this is similar to the revelation of a particular power from the general life force and vitality of the soul.  This is the difference between this level and the previous level.  For example, it is because of this external aspect of the vessels that it is within the power of the limbs of the body to draw forth the power of movement into an actual movement. This is the matter of the revelation of their influence to a recipient outside of themselves.  In other words, there is now a complete merging of the lights within the vessels and limbs of the body, causing a change of existence from spiritual potential power of movement to actual physical movement. 

 

(However, all of the above is only in general, and the particulars will be explained soon.  In other words, the above is actually speaking in regard to the three general Vessels of the Light, which are called the Brain, the Heart and the Liver.  However, as will soon be explained in a particular manner, each of these three general vessels also possesses the three aspects of inner, intermediate and external.  Moreover, it must be understood that all the above is only an analogy in order to understand this concept below in man.  The analogue of how it is in Divine Service or how it is above in G-dliness has yet to be explained.)
[13] Psalms 32:7
[14] See Emek HaMelech, Shaar 12, Chapter 4.
[15] It is clearly understood that the greatest restriction of the essential light of the soul is in the most external aspect of the vessels (which is the NeHi”Y or the Liver).  This is because the gut emotions (NeHi”Y) of the Liver only receive a radiance of light from the Heart, which only receives a radiance of light from the Brain, which only receives a radiance of the encompassing life force of the soul.  Thus, the external aspect of the vessel of NeHi”Y only receives a radiance of a radiance of a radiance etc.  Likewise, as explained before regarding the sefirot of Yosher (about which we are now speaking), the most external action is only the most finite radiance of the essentiality of the soul, and is only a glimmer of a glimmer.  In contrast, the heartfelt emotions reveal the essence to a greater degree, and thoughts and desires reveal it even more.  Hence, the greatest concealment is in the externality of the Vessels, i.e. on the level of action.
[16] In footnote ten of this chapter (and in previous chapters) it was explained that there are two aspects in the vessels.  The first is the aspect of the Gevurot - Sternness because their source is the Reshimu.  This is the matter of the power of the vessels to limit and conceal the light.  The second, which is the aspect of their revelation downward, is the aspect of Chassadim – Kindnesses, which comes from the aspect of the Light of the Kav.  That is, they bring forth all kinds of influence of light below, to the recipient.  This is the inner aspect of the vessel and the outer aspect of the vessel. The matter of how the vessels limit the light has already been explained.  The Rebbe will now explain the matter of how the vessels draw the light forth to that which is below them.  (These two aspects are the difference between the inner aspect of the three vessels of the Brain, the Heart and the Liver, and the external aspect of the vessels of the Brain, the Heart and the Liver.)
[17] This is only an analogy because it refers not to the aspect of the vessels (Kelim) but to the aspect of the garments (Levooshin). The Rebbe brings a proof for the fact that the vessel of the Brain limits and brings forth the Light of ChaBa”D and that the vessel of the Heart limits and brings forth the light of ChaGa”T and that the vessel of the Liver limits and brings forth the light of NeHi”Y, from the matter of the three Garments – Levooshim (thought, speech and action).  By way of analogy, this is like the light of Chessed – Kindness.  The aspect of ChaBa”D, the intellect of the kindness, generally vests within the letters of thought which is the internal garment.  The aspect of ChaGa”T of the kindness, which is the aspect of the emotions of love etc, generally vests within the aspect of speech, which is the intermediary garment.  The aspect of NeHi”Y of the kindness is the power for the actualization of this kindness, to actually do an act of kindness.  This becomes vested within the aspect of the power of the letters of action, which is the most external garment. 

 

The same is true of the matter of the vessels, that the light of ChaBa”D is limited and drawn forth into revelation by the internal aspect of the vessels which is the Brain.  The light of ChaGa”T is limited and drawn forth by the intermediary aspect of the vessels which is the Heart.  The light of NeHi”Y is limited and drawn forth by the external aspect of the vessels, which is the vessel of the Liver.  Nevertheless, there is a great difference between the aspect of Vessels (Kelim) and Garments (Levushim), as will be explained later in chapter thirty-eight.

 
[18] The difference between the two will be explained in chapter thirty eight and thirty nine at length.
[19] In the next paragraph the Rebbe begins to explain the particulars of the vessels.  However, because he previously explained the internal, intermediate and external aspects of the intellectual sefirot of Chochmah, Binah and Da’at of the vessel of the Brain, he skips to explain the vessel of the Heart.  For the sake of clarity, however, we will explain these three aspects of the intellectual sefirot as follows: 

 

Chochmah is the aspect of the beginning of the revelation of the soul in a way of “something from nothing” (Yesh Me’Ein).  This is to say that it is the depth and point of the intellect, which dwells upon and vests within the right hemisphere of the brain.  There are three aspects in this:  The first is the concealed depth of Chochmah which is not revealed or invested within the vessel of the brain at all, even for the brain itself.  (This is in accordance with what was previously stated regarding the matter of “Rav was silent” but could not acknowledge the position of his opponents.  This is because he felt the essential depth of the matter with his intellect, and ruled on that particular matter accordingly.  Nevertheless, he was unable to bring this intellectual matter to vest in an aspect of letters, to respond to his opponents.  This is because the matter was not revealed to him in a way of the revelation of light.)  This is the aspect of the light of Chochmah as it is in the inner vessel of the brain. 

 

The second level is the revelation of the Chochmah in a way that it dwells within the vessel of the brain.  This is what is called the flash of insight, which comes about through the merging of the light of Chochmah within its intermediary vessel.  The third level is the fact that the essential intellect has the power to bring forth comprehendible explanations which, in and of themselves, are separate from the essence of the matter.  This is the aforementioned matter of “Be understanding in wisdom etc”.  (This also explains the concept of the “upper thorn, the middle body and the lower thorn of the letter Yud - י.)

 

 This power of “understand in wisdom” comes about because the light of Chochmah dwells within the externality of the vessel of the right hemisphere of the brain.  The above explains the aspects of the inner, intermediary and external levels of the vessel of Chochmah.  This is the matter of the beginning, middle and end of the vessel of Chochmah (which was previously called the depth, width, and length of Chochmah). 

 

Now, the same is likewise true of the left hemisphere of the brain, within which the light of the soul becomes invested to bring forth new comprehensions.  That is, this is the investment of the essence of the concept into many different explanations, and is called Binah.  Now, there are also three aspects in the vessel of Binah:  There is the depth of the comprehension which unifies with the depth of Chochmah.  (This is in accordance with what was explained previously, that “Abba and Imma dwell as one”.)  This is called the “point of the comprehension and reasoning” (Omek HaMoosag).  Now, the revelation of the explanation in an aspect of “letters” is the intermediary aspect of the vessel of Binah, whereas the power of the comprehension to arrive at an actual leaning towards either kindness or judgment, is the external aspect of the vessel of Binah.  These are the inner, intermediary, and external aspects of the vessel of Binah and are similar to what was said regarding the aspect of Chochmah (i.e. that these correspond to length, width and depth of Binah). 

 

This is likewise the case in regard to the aspect of Da’at, which is the light of the soul as it becomes vested within the vessel of the brain when one leans their head backwards.  In other words, Da’at is the matter of memory.  (As is known, Da’at is the aspect of the connection to the comprehension or concept, and generally, the strength of the memory is according to this connection.)  In Da’at there are also three aspects; inner, middle and external:  The depth of Da’at is the matter of the connection to the essential depth of the comprehension or the depth of the concept, as the concept is before it vests within the aspect of “letters”.  This is the innerness of the vessel of Da’at.  The second level is the aspect of the width of Da’at, which is the intermediate aspect of the vessel of Da’at.  This is the matter of the intellectual connection to the length and width of the comprehended concept and explanation, that is, to the particulars of the concept and its “letters”.  The third level is the aspect of the connection to the entirety of the comprehension or concept, to actually bring forth emotions or action.  This is the externality of the vessel of Da’at.  All the above explains the three powers of ChaBa”D (or the general level of Neshamah) which dwells within the general vessel of the Brain, and how each one includes an inner, intermediate and external aspect. In other words, each one possesses the inner sublimation (Bitul), the feeling and somethingness (Moorgash), and the spreading forth to below (Hitpashtoot).
[20] The Rebbe now begins to explain the aspect of the vessel of the Heart, which includes the three emotional sefirot of ChaGa”T for which it is the vessel.  These emotional sefirot are the heartfelt emotions of attraction or love, repulsion or hate and the intermediate composite of the two, which is mercy.  In other words, the matter of mercy is that even though it may be fitting to hate and be repulsed by such and such a person, nonetheless, because of the aspect of mercy he will actually act kindly and with goodness toward him.  These three general levels become merged within the vessel of the Heart.  Now, in the vessel of the heart there are also three aspects of inner (ChaBa”D of the Heart), intermediate (ChaGa”T of the Heart) and external (NeHi”Y of the Heart).  These will now be explained in a particular manner.
[21] The first aspect of the Heart is in the right ventricle, which is the dwelling place for the innerness and depth of these three emotions (of ChaGa”T), and is their main essence.  It is clearly observable that immediately upon a person’s conceptualization of something as good and desirable, a power is aroused in his heart which draws his emotions towards this good and desirable thing.  This drawing of the heart towards the desirable thing is aroused immediately upon his conceptualization of it.  It is therefore clear that it becomes one with the intellect, and is not separate from it at all.  This is the matter of the investment of the soul into the aspect of the innerness of the vessel of the heart, which is the right ventricle as mentioned above.  (Likewise, the same is true of the opposite emotional power which draws the heart to be repulsed, or the intermediate emotional power which draws the heart to be merciful.)  We find that the essential light of the intellect, which is drawn from the brain of Chochmah (i.e. the intuition towards the thing), radiates within the aspect of the innerness of the emotions.  In other words, the “Brain of Chochmah rules over the heart” and therefore, the emotions of the heart respond entirely according to the dictates of the intellect, and cannot stray from it even in the slightest way.  This is the aspect of ChaBa”D of the emotions, in the right ventricle of the Heart.  In other words, this is the inner aspect of the heart, which is the sublimation (Bitul) of the heart to the brain. In other words this is the sublimation of the emotions to the intellect, which encompasses the emotions from above.
[22] Isaiah 29:24; See also Tanya, Chapters 5, 9 and 16.
[23] The second (intermediate) level of the vessel of the heart is the aspect of how the light of the emotions become merged within the left ventricle of the heart, which is the dwelling place of the “Spirit of Life – Ruach HaChayim” of the heart.  This refers to the life force, as it is before it vests within the blood (which is the aspect of the Nefesh, as will soon be explained).  Rather, it encompasses and rests upon the blood, but does not yet completely vest within the blood.  It is in this intermediate vessel of the heart that the emotions become merged in the heart in a completely felt way (Moorgash).  That is, this is the matter of the felt arousal of the emotions of love or hate etc, which is influenced by the brain of Binah, which is called “Ruach”.  This is the somethingness of the emotions of the heart itself (the Moorgash).  (The essence of the emotions comes from the aspect of Chochmah. However, the feeling and excitement of the emotions comes from the aspect of Binah.  This is similar to a newborn infant.  That is, the essence of the infant comes from the seminal drop of the father (Abba). Nonetheless, the spreading forth and development of this infant into two hundred and forty eight distinct limbs and organs takes place in the womb of the mother (Imma), and comes from her, as is known.)  This arousal of the emotions comes from the unification of the innerness of Chochmah and Binah (which is the level of a Chacham-wise man, as previously explained.)
[24] The third and most external level of the emotions is the aspect of the natural reactions of the emotions which become merged with the externality of the vessel of the heart.  This is the matter of the “Breath of the Chest – Havel HaChazeh”, which is the aspect of the sefirot NeHi”Y of the emotions.  In other words, it is from this aspect of the heart that the actual investment of the heartfelt emotions within the blood comes about, i.e. the physical responses of the body (such as rapid heart beat, hyperventilation or an adrenaline rush etc.).  These are called the “Natural Emotions – Meedot Teeviyot” of the aspect of the Nefesh in the liver, as will be explained.  The power which brings these natural responses forth is in the breath of the chest.  (The Nefesh in the liver is a vehicle to bring forth the emotions of the heart, which is the general Ruach of the heart.)  In other words, this is similar to the nature of a child to flee from danger because it opposes the life force of his soul which he feels in his heart.  In other words, this is the external aspect of the heart, which is the spreading forth of the emotions of the heart (Hitpashtoot) to that which is below the heartfelt emotions.  (All of the above regarding the heart explains the inner, intermediate and external aspects of the general vessel of the heart, which is the seat of the general Ruach.)
[25] The third general level is the aspect of the Nefesh in the Liver.  It too includes the three aforementioned levels of inner, intermediate and external:  The liver is the aspect of the vessel for the gut emotions of NeHi”Y which come into revelation from the aspect of the Heart.  That is, the heartfelt emotions vest within the blood of the liver, to bring the arousal toward putting something into action, such as actually fleeing from danger, or actually drawing oneself close to something desirable, as mentioned above.  This is the meaning of NeHi”Y (Netzach, Hod and Yesod).

 

 Netzach is the attribute of conquest, which is the great strength in this quality to bring a matter into actuality.  This comes from the concealed intellect and emotions, since Netzach is a branch of Chessed which is a branch of Chochmah etc, as previously explained.  Likewise, Hod, which shares the same grammatical root as Hoda’ah – Submission, is the aspect of sublimation which comes out in actuality.  In other words, although the intellect and emotions become completely concealed, nevertheless, the action will be sublimated to the matter, coming forth literally exactly according to the dictates of the intellect.  In other words, although the intellect is completely concealed relative to the action, nevertheless, the intellect radiates within the action in a way of “a glimmer of a glimmer”.  The sefirah of Yesod is the aspect of the connection to the actualization of the matter.  (In contrast, Da’at is the intellectual connection to the subject matter and the concept.) 

 

Now, generally speaking, these three attributes are called the “emotions of action” (or the gut emotions which compel one to act upon his heartfelt feelings), and they become merged within the vessel of the liver.  In other words, this is the aspect of natural response to the heartfelt emotions which dwell within the intermediate vessel of the heart, which is the left ventricle that receives from the light of Binah, as previously explained.
[26] The innerness of the vessel of the Liver is what is called by the Zohar the “Impression of Life”.  This is the impression which remains from the Ruach (i.e. the left ventricle of the heart) during sleep.  Within this impression there is also a radiance from the aspect of ChaBa”D of the soul, except that it is called ChaBa”D D’Katnoot – The Immature ChaBa”D.  (This is evidenced from the fact that the letters of thought radiate during the time of sleep, and as is known, the letters of thought are aroused by the Chochmah and Binah of the soul.  This is the matter of dreams.  Nevertheless, in the dreams, the letters are not in their correct order, because the proper ordering of the letters is a function of the revealed intellect which radiates within them.  However, during sleep the intellect is generally withdrawn and only radiates in a diminished and “immature” manner. This is why dreams are generally confused. Nevertheless, there is still a tiny radiance of the intellect within the letters of dreams, as can be discerned by the fact that dreams may be interpreted.) 

 

Now, this phenomenon likewise exists during the waking state.  That is, when one does an action, the radiance of the intellect and the emotions must withdraw, so that only an impression of the intellect remains revealed.  (Furthermore, in the action, the impression of the intellect is not received directly from the brain. Rather, only a glimmer of the intellect which radiates within the emotions is transferred to the action.  Thus, the intellect of the action (i.e. ChaBa”D of NeHi”Y) only receives a glimmer of a glimmer of the intellect.  (This is in accordance to the Talmudic dictum that, “At night, one will only dream about that which he thought in his heart during the day”.  In other words, he will dream about things which his heart became aroused by during the day, (which is only because of that which he thought about in his brain. 

 

From this it is understood that although the liver receives a glimmer of intellect from the brain, nonetheless, generally, it is only through the intermediary of the heart.)  This explains the inner aspect of the Liver, which is the aspect of the sublimation (Bitul) of the gut emotion which leads to actions (NeHi”Y), to that which is above the gut emotions, namely, the heartfelt emotions and the intellect.
 

[27] The middle aspect of the vessel of the liver is the felt arousal in the action.  In other words, this is the sense of feeling and vitality in the blood itself, within which the Nefesh vests.  That is, he feels the arousal which spreads forth within his blood, in the heightening of his blood pressure or a quickening of his pulse.  (We can clearly observe that when one performs an act with a great arousal of emotion, there is much greater vitality to his actions.  In contrast, when he performs an act without much emotional arousal, there is diminished vitality to his actions.)  This explains the intermediate aspect of the heart, which is the feeling (Moorgash) of actual vitality (i.e. ChaGa”T of NeHi”Y).  The external aspect of the vessel of the liver is the aspect of NeHi”Y of the liver (i.e. NeHi”Y of NeHi”Y), which is the actual spreading forth of the external life force and vitality throughout all of the limbs and organs.
[28] In order to understand this statement, and the rest of this paragraph, it is necessary to first understand the explanation of the various levels of the soul according to their states of arousal in the service of G-d, which is Hitbonenut – Contemplation.  This may be generally understood in accordance with the previous explanations of the various levels of the soul and their vestment within the various organs of the body. 

 

There are three general vessels: the Brain, the Heart and the Liver.  These are vessels for the general inner lights of the soul which vest within the vessels.  The inner lights of the soul are called (in ascending order) Nefesh, Ruach and Neshamah.  Now, the Nefesh which vests in the Liver also possesses three levels, i.e. three inner lights.  That is, in the general soul of the Nefesh there are also three levels of Nefesh, Ruach, Neshamah:  The Nefesh of the Nefesh is the actual spreading forth of vitality throughout all of the limbs and organs of the body and the spreading forth of the external vitality in the actual performance of the Mitzvot- commandments of G-d (Hitpashtoot).  The Ruach of the Nefesh is the feeling of vitality, i.e. the blood pressure and pulse of the blood, in the performance of the Mitzvot-commandments (Moorgash).  The Neshamah of the Nefesh is the “impression of life-Keesta D’Chayoota”, and the sublimation of the gut emotions of the Liver to the arousal of the Heart towards G-d and His Mitzvot-commandments (Bitul).  (The encompassing light of the Chayah of the Liver (Nefesh) is the aspect of the “breath of the chest” (Havel HaChazeh) from which it directly receives the “impression” of the emotions of the Heart towards G-d.)

 

 Likewise, the Ruach which vests within the Heart also possesses three inner, pervading lights:  The Nefesh of the Ruac

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