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Tanya for Tuesday, 21 Elul, 5777 - September 12, 2017

Tanya
As Divided for a Regular Year

Tanya for 21 Elul

20 Elul, 5777 - September 11, 201722 Elul, 5777 - September 13, 2017


[Up to this point the Alter Rebbe has explained how the seven middot exist within the Jew's G-dly soul. These emotive attributes are activated by the three intellective faculties - the Sefirot of ChaBaD (Chochmah, Binah and Daat), which are now to be explained.]

Now, the source and root of all the attributes are in the ChaBaD. That is: Chochmah is the source of the intellect which apprehends G-d and His wisdom, His greatness, and the holy attributes wherewith He conducts and animates all the higher and lower worlds;

Binah is the contemplation of this apprehension [of G-d's greatness and His holy attributes] in the length, breadth, and depth of one's understanding, in order [62] "to understand [or deduce] one matter out of another, [63] and from this apprehension to beget its offspring, which are the attributes of love and awe,

[The "length" of a particular concept - in this case, the greatness of the Creator - entails drawing it down from its lofty abstraction (by way of a parable, for example) to a level of intelligibility. The "breadth" of the concept refers to the multitudinous components and ramifications that await one's mastery. Its "depth" refers to the challenge of plumbing its seemingly limitless profundity.

The thinker's understanding of the greatness of G-d gives birth to emotions - a love and a fear of Him.] And the other attributes born in the divine soul which contemplates and meditates upon G-d's greatness, as to how [64] "His greatness is unfathomable."

One aspect of G-d's greatness is such that the divine soul, when contemplating it, is overwhelmed by a fear and dread. This is yirah tataah ["the lower level of fear"], which is an aspect of Malchut.

There is another aspect of the greatness of G-d from [the contemplation of] which derives yirah ilaah ["the superior level of fear"], in which one is awed out of bashfulness.

There is also an aspect [of G-d's greatness] from [the contemplation of] which derives ahavah rabbah ["the great love"], and still another aspect [of G-d's greatness], from [the contemplation of] which derives ahavah zutta ["the lesser love". All these levels of ahavah and yirah are internal emotive attributes that are fathered by ChaBaD.]

The same applies to the external attributes, i.e., Chesed and so on; [they, too, emanate from ChaBaD.]

Now, the faculty of Daat must be vested within all these [emotive attributes], for it represents the bond with which the soul is bound and embedded in this apprehension as it apprehends some aspect of G-d's greatness, from which one of these attributes is born within it.

[Once the soul has apprehended some aspect of G-d's greatness it must bind itself to this comprehension through the faculty of Daat.]

For by a momentary removal of Daat from this apprehension, the emotion born of it is also withdrawn from its [prior] state of manifestation in the soul [back] into concealment [within the soul], to exist there in potentia but not in actuality.

[It is the faculty of Daat - a prolonged and constant involvement in the subject being contemplated - that reveals and actualizes the emotive experience of love or fear.]

That is why the term Daat is applied to coition, [65] for it signifies a bond [that results in issue, just as out of Daat are born the emotions.]

This is the faculty of Daat Tachton, the lower level of Daat, which extends into the attributes and vests itself in them to animate and sustain them.

There is also a faculty of Daat Elyon, a superior level of Daat, through which the source of the intellect that apprehends the profundity of a concept is bound and connected [to it] - like a point or a flash of lightning that flashes over one's mind - so that [the concept] will extend downward.

The profundity of the apprehended concept will thereby come to be understood with extensive clarification, in length and breadth, this stage being the function of the faculty of Binah, which is known as rechovot hanahar [lit., "the expanses of the river"], as will be explained in its place. [66]

[The faculty of Daat Elyon unifies Chochmah with Binah. For Chochmah is the intuitive flash of illumination that would vanish as quickly as it appeared, if it were not anchored by Daat in the comprehension of Binah, whereby this seminal point assumes length and breadth.

Chochmah is thus likened to a wellspring whose waters issue forth drop by drop, while Binah is likened to a broad and deep river. It is the function of Daat Elyon to draw the wellsprings of Chochmah into the river of Binah.

The function of Daat Tachton, by contrast, is that of binding the intellective faculties of ChaBaD with their resultant emotions, so that one's intellectual activity will illuminate them, and provide them with vitality and continuity.

In summary, this discourse demonstrates how all the ten faculties of the divine soul engage in an ongoing relationship with their G-dly source. Indeed, to recall the Alter Rebbe's opening lines, an understanding of this dynamic within oneself, enables one to experience the truth of the verse, "From my flesh shall I behold G-d," and to gain some measure of understanding of the Supernal Sefirot.]

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) Chagigah 14a.

  2. (Back to text) Note of the Rebbe Shlita: Two explanations (Or HaTorah, Bereishit, p. 2048ff.).

  3. (Back to text) Tehillim 145:3.

  4. (Back to text) Note of the Rebbe Shlita:See [Tanya,] Part I, conclusion of ch.3.

  5. (Back to text) Note of the Rebbe Shlita: The intent of `in its place' is problematic. Possibly this refers to the relevant places in [Tanya,] Part I (see its indexes), and likewise in Likkutei Torah, etc.



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