Sunteți pe pagina 1din 27

Dei Chochmah LNafshechah

Parshas Chayei Sora

Shalosh Seudos1 of Parshas Chayei Sora 5767


. , " ". ;
And the life of Sora was one hundred and twenty and seven years, these were the years of Soras life. And Sora died in Kiryas Arba, which is Chevron in the land of Canaan; and Avraham came to mourn Sora and weep for her.2

Rashi explains that the burial place was called Kiryas Arba after the four giants that were there: Achiman, Sheishai, Talmai, and their father. Another possible reason was on account of the four couples who would rest there: 1) Adam and Chava; 2) Avraham and Sora; 3) Yitzchak and Rivkah; and 4) Yaakov and Leah. Rashi also explains that Avaraham came from Beer Sheva. In addition, he elucidates why the death of Sora is recorded immediately after the akeidah: Sora expired upon hearing the news that her son was prepared for the slaughter and had barely escaped from the knife. [The actual term in Rashi is: , which translates as he was nearly not slaughtered. This requires further explanation.] Maaras HaMachpelah: The Four Hundred Worlds of Yearning The commentaries are perplexed about the language used by Rashi: he was nearly not slaughtered.3 It would appear as though he should have said, he was nearly slaughtered. The verse continues: a k - a , " " , - ; - e Efron said, My master, hear me; a piece of land
1 2

The lesson was delivered at the third meal of Shabbos. Bereishis 23:1-2 3 See Maskil Ldovid and Gur Aryeh 3

Dei Chochmah LNafshechah

Parshas Chayei Sora

worth four hundred shekel of silver, what is that between us? Therefore, bury your dead.4 [Although Efron first protested that Avraham did not have to pay him, when pressed he specified a sum of four hundred silver pieces.] The Zohar HaKadosh explains the significance of this amount. The four hundred silver [kessef] shekel pieces correspond to the four hundred worlds of yearning [kissufin] that are drawn down from the four rows of white between the hairs of Kesser / Crown. This is an aspect of the Loven Haelyonthe Supernal Whiteness.5 " q k a ... k - i " ...And Avraham weighed out to Efron the silver...four hundred shekel of silver, money negotiable with the merchant.6 [The original of this last phrase is oveir lasocheir literally, transferable to the merchant.] Socheir also implies circular () and alludes to the whiteness of Kesser which encircles the [Supernal] Head, as it were.7 This represents the makif, the level just beyond what one can grasp intellectually, which circles the mind without being fully absorbed within. The Chessed LAvaraham writes that Maaras HaMachpelah is the entry to the lower Gan Eden, which is itself the path to the higher Gan Eden.8 Rav Aharon of Strashuleh writes that the Maaras HaMachpelah is an aspect of the Shem HaVaYaH in its 52-permutation form. [ " " " "= 52] In this particular permutation, the root letters [---] and the additional letters for articulation are the same. (Although it appears as though the articulation letters vav and dalet that fill out the first yud are not the same, we do see that they share the same numerical value as their root letter, which is ten.) When one connects to Hashem, he grasps Hashem in an aspect of Chochmah / Wisdom, which is symbolized by the expansion of the Name in which his experience is rooted. [The plain unexpanded Name represents the undiluted light of Kesser, while the
4 5

Bereishis 23:15 Zohar I:123b 6 Bereishis 23:16 7 See Shaar Maamarei Rashbi, Peirush HaIdra Rabbah Kadisha 8 Chessed LAvraham 3:10 4

Dei Chochmah LNafshechah

Parshas Chayei Sora

expansion is associated with Chochmah. The expansion could be considered less pure than the undiluted light of Kesser, since at that level one is completely subsumed in the Creator without the mediation of a personal experience or sense of self. Absolute selfnullification is represented by the Shem HaVaYaH without any articulation. Someone who experiences the revelation associated with the 52-Name, where the root letters and the expansion letters are identical, reaches a state of self-nullification that is equivalent to that which is found in Kesser. When one enters the aspect of the 52-Name, Maaras HaMachpelah, he attains the level of the four hundred worlds of yearning. At this point, he is completely filled with a powerful yearning to learn and understand Torah. This feeling is what the sages referred to when they said, The jealousy of sofrim / scholars increases wisdom. [The term jealousy is meant to convey yearning. The Gemara writes that the sages were called sofrim (scribes) which literally means counters, since they counted every letter of the Torah.] A person on this level contemplates the paths of the tzaddikim and their longing to plumb the great depths of Torah, and he longs to merit this. Sora Imeinu and the Divine Service of Yearning This was the level of our mother Sora, who was an aspect of holy child-like freshness and renewal. Our sages taught: When Sora was one hundred, she was as twenty; and when she was twenty, she was as seven.9 Similarly, every person must attain this element of holy child-like freshness and determination to pursue his spiritual objectives. Like a child, he must be relentlessly single-minded and never rest until he achieves his goal. One should never allow his personal satisfaction with his present level to devolve into complacency that keeps him from attaining his further goals and fulfilling his full potential in learning. He must persevere until he truly acquires mastery in all

Bereishis Rabbah Parsha 58:1, as brought in Rashis comments on Bereishis 23:1. 5

Dei Chochmah LNafshechah

Parshas Chayei Sora

aspects of Torah and grasps the entire contents of the Kings treasury, until he is able to tour all the palaces of the King. He will not rest until he has tasted all the spiritual delights, until he has attained the greatness of the tzaddikim. He will continue to yearn until he finally merits what the Zohar describes as complete incorporation into the body of the King.10 [This means being completely subsumed in Hashem, without a sense of individuated self.] Such a person would never allow himself to feel old [emotionally worn out], which is the result of laziness. As most people get older, they give up on ever achieving their spiritual potential. Their yearning wanes because they feel sure that they will never be truly close to Hashem. However, one who has this attribute of our mother Sora never gives up and is filled with ever stronger yearning to draw near to Hashem. He continues yearning until he draws down a revelation of Hashems light in this lower world. This is the secret of the Divine service of Dovid HaMelech. As the verse states: "' k - "My heart and soul were consumed with longing for the courtyards of Hashem.11 Even so, the Midrash teaches that whatever Dovid tried to do, did not work out as he had planned.12 z " " - I planned my ways, and I returned my feet to [the path of] Your laws.13 The sages explained that even when Dovid wished to go somewhere. his feet took him to the beis medrash. The Vilna Gaon added that this indicates that although things often didnt go his way, he never gave up on fulfilling his potential in Divine service. [Although he planned his ways and was diverted, nevertheless every step was toward the house of studythe house of Divine service.] The Root of Yearning and the Tzimtzum After one traverses the four hundred worlds of yearning he ascends to the very first tzimzum or primordial constriction of the Divine presence, which is an aspect of
10 11

Zohar I:217b Tehillim 84:3 12 Yalkut Shmuel 22 13 Tehillim 119:59 6

Dei Chochmah LNafshechah

Parshas Chayei Sora

tehiru ilaah. [The Ramah MiPano explains that when Hashem wished to create the universe, He required a vacated space that would be free of overt G-dliness so that free will could exist. For this purpose, He constricted His essence, as it were, and formed a space that could appear void of G-dliness. Of course, the G-dliness was still there, only hidden. This first place void of all overt G-dliness is called tehiru ilaah.14] This aspect is alluded to in the phrase, "e z - "and to dust you [Adam] shall return.15 Through deep contemplation, one ascends to the source of all Malchus / Kingship which is an aspect of absolute darkness and symbolizes someone who is patiently yearning with the deep understanding that he is powerless to do anything without the Creators help. He recognizes that although he has not attained what he desired in avodas Hashem, he still must wait patiently for Hashems deliverance. This is the deeper meaning of when one sees that he cannot do everything that he planned and hoped to accomplishmuch like Avraham Avinu, who despite all of his preparation and willingness could not sacrifice Yitzchak. He Was Nearly Not Slaughtered This is actually the highest possible level in holiness, and one only comes to it after being completely subsumed in holy longing for Hashem. One must internalize that he cannot fulfill his longings in Divine service without Hashems help. This level is the absolute root of all Malchus / Kingship, since one who reaches this level feels as though he is as powerless as a dead man. Just as he knows that only Hashem can revive a dead man, so does he truly grasp that without Divine assistance he can achieve nothing. [This is Malchuswhen one knows that all power is His.] This is what Rashi meant to convey in his phrasing that Yitzchak was nearly not slaughtered. This is the path of the tzaddikim who always increase their yearning for Hashembut even though they are wiling to die for Hashem in order to achieve their spiritual goals, their offer is not accepted. They bow to Hashem by accepting
14 15

See Kanfei Yonah I:1; Emek HaMelech I:57 Bereishis 3:19 7

Dei Chochmah LNafshechah

Parshas Chayei Sora

their limitations and waiting for Him to help. In this manner, they rectify the sin of Adam who acted hastily on his impulse to take a path in Divine service. [Quite the contrary; although he thought that eating from the fruit would create obstacles that he could overcome so that he could make a great kiddush Hashem, Adam erred. His actions actually distanced him and all of creation from Hashem. If only he had waited another few hours in the state of longing for Hashem, he would have been able to eat the fruit safely.] Similarly, many people believe that they can decide what direction their avodas Hashem will take. They make many plans: to learn a certain amount of pages or hours a week, or to perform various mitzvos. Although this is certainly Hashems will, they often cannot seem to manage to keep to their resolutions. This is because although Hashem wants us to be filled with good desires and to be elevated through them like the angels, we are all nevertheless tainted with Adams sin. If things were to go our way and we could carry out our spiritual desires, we would risk falling into the trap of the Tree of Knowledge that resides within each of us. [Success would make us feel that we had accomplished our spiritual goals, rather than Hashem having enabled us to succeed.] The source of the four hundred worlds of yearning is Arich Anpin, in its aspect of Raavah Draavin. [Arich Anpin is an aspect of Kesser, and it is associated with patience. Raavah Draavin literally means will of wills, but it really means intense longing for Hashem.] It is from this aspect of holy desire that the world of Binah / Understanding descends and is formed. And from Binah, the outer aspect of Malchus is formed. This outer aspect of Malchus is holy yeish [existence, or the sense of self]. When, after ascending in holiness for a time, one suddenly feels that despite his desires and plans for holiness he is not getting anywhere, this is not necessarily a sign of descent. Although he feels that he has fallen from an aspect of Atzilus [the highest world of Emanation, and the place of those who are truly holy] to the lower three worlds of Beriyah, Yetzirah, and Asiyah, the truth is that this is not a descent at all. Instead, he has ascended to the aspect of tehiru, the very first product of the primordial tzimtzum, where

Dei Chochmah LNafshechah

Parshas Chayei Sora

one is freed of all vestiges of arrogance since he realizes that alone he can achieve nothingeverything is truly in Hashems hands. This is the yud that the Zohar states is found in the hidden place of darkness. [This is the G-dliness hiding within the tzimtzum, as the Ramah MiPano explains. 16] The Point of the Tzimtzum and the Hidden Mind Our rabbis taught that Hashem constricted His presence between the poles of the aron hakodesh, the holy ark of the law.17 This alludes to the first tzimtzum and can be explained on the personal level as well. Every person is surrounded with the light of his makif [the next level that is still beyond him], which appears to him to be endless. After this, his own aspect of Chessed within Atik is drawn into his aspect of Kesser. The aspect of Daas within Atik is drawn into his aspect of avirah [literally airspace, the space above ones brain that symbolizes ones ability to grasp levels of Elokus above his understanding]. In addition, the aspect of Gevurah within Atik enters his Mocha Sesimaah, the hidden mind which is inside the skull, so to speak. All these levels represent each persons ability to experience the Divine and are known as botzinah dkardinusah. [The Ramak explains that botzinah dkardinusah indicates the levels of Ain Sof in Kesser, since botzinah dkardinusah literally means a lamp fueled by sulfur. Just as the flame adheres strongly to sulfur, the aspect of Ein Sof is completely connected to the light of Kesser.]18 Through these illuminations each Jew can feel that the Shechinah rests within him. One must be very vigilant to yearn as much as he can for holiness and not to fall into the trap of those who say that today one can no longer attain the greatness of earlier tzaddikim. Instead, one should follow the path of our forefathers and yearn for Hashem with his entire might every day anew. He should say to himself, Why should I lose out?

16 17

See Kanfei Yonah I:1 and Emek HaMelech Shaar I:57 Yalkut Shimoni, Shir HaShirim I:983 18 Pardes RimonimShaar Atzmus VKeilim chapter 37 9

Dei Chochmah LNafshechah

Parshas Chayei Sora

Why shouldnt my portion be with them? Although the aspect of Mocha Sesimaah is very hidden and difficult to achieve, one will come to it if he years and searches for it. The Two Forms of Dovids Name The yud that was there before the tzimtum and was hidden inside the space is what is drawn into the kav [the channel of G-dlines through which Hashem filled the empty space with just enough of His presence to enable free will]. This is the deeper meaning of the name, Dovidwhen it is articulated with yud. The first dalet represents the boundless light of Hashem. [Although dalet usually means poor, here it refers to the boundless light which was constricted since we are not equipped, or are too poor, to receive it.] The letter vav represent the kav, the line of G-dliness that extends into the center of the tzimtzum, and the final dalet represents the vessels which received the G-dliness [and have nothing of their own, only what they receive from the Divine illumination, each according to its level]. Sometimes the name Dovid is spelled with a yud. This is the yud that is the source of the G-dliness within the kav, yet it itself is in the place of darkness and desolation. There are many souls whose source is Dovid HaMelech. These people are often filled with holy yearning, yet they cannot seem to achieve what they set out to accomplish. These people demonstrate that one cannot do anything without Hashems consent. Many people embarrass such people because of their lack of success in their Divine service. It is forbidden to shame such souls, however, since they represent the hidden yud. One who connects with these unfortunate souls, or when one is himself going through a period where nothing seems to go as he would like, can attain the aspect of absolute truth which is the even hashesiyah [the Foundation Stone from which the world unfolded]. In the place of experiencing the truth of Hashems absolute power, one can transform these disappointments into a true understanding of the light of Chanukah. [The Chanukah miracle is a reconnection with the even hashesiyah which underlies the Beis HaMikdash.] This light reaches the first tzimtzum and teaches that one who
10

Dei Chochmah LNafshechah

Parshas Chayei Sora

searches within the difficulty will find the ultimate truth: that everything is from Hashem. He has jumped to the highest levels of absolute self-nullification and merits the light of " "Dovid, King of Israel, exists and is alive! The Three Aspects of the Hidden Torah There are three major aspects of the deeper secrets of Torah: 1) the Ramak, who embodied the revelation of Binah / Understanding, which explains all the aspects but not precisely how they are all unified. This is associated with the world of nikkudim [points, or individual points that are still not connected]; 2) the Arizal, who embodied the revelation of Chochmah / Wisdom. At this level, all of the aspects are unified and connected into a single entity. This is an aspect of hislabshus or enclothing [where one aspect is superimposed on another], and is associated with the world of verudim [literally fleckedlike an animals coat that is a combination of different tones in such close proximity that it has a flecked or grizzled appearance]; 3) the path of the Baal Shem Tov, which is the way of bringing the light down to ones level. It is an aspect of Kesser associated with the world of akudim [the banded, where the color extends in a single unified and unbroken circle].19 [These three worlds represent successively the stages of the shevirah, the tikkun, and the state of absolute unity that predated the shevirah. The terms used to describe these states are the ones employed by the Torah to discuss the three types of livestock that Yaakov identified as his from out of Lavans flock.] The Light of Kesser Shining in the Darkness This aspect of Kesser manifests as the realization that one is truly powerless and, in so doing, one connects to the light hidden in the original tzimtum. Through this, one merits Daas / Knolwedge or Awareness, which is the balanced combination of Chochmah and Binah. One can attain true completion in avodas Hashem only through this awareness of ones powerlessness. This is reflected in the statement: And Sora
19

See end of Maamar Hashiflus Vhasimchah of Rav Yitzchak Izak of Homel. 11

Dei Chochmah LNafshechah

Parshas Chayei Sora

died in Kiryas Arba...20 [This death is the acceptance of ones absolute powerlessness.] Once one attains this level he can come to the aspect of, And Avraham came to mourn Sora and weep for her. The word d k is written with a small chaf. Without the chaf, the word reads ""And to her daughter. The sages explained that this refers to the daughter of Avraham who was alluded to in the verse: " "k a - a ' ; ia a And Avraham was old, come into [his] days, and Hashem blessed Avraham with everything [Bakol].21 Avraham also had a daughter, and Bakol was her name.22 This daughter represents Malchus, which is the natural result of feeling the powerlessness of Sora. In this context, Malchus means the ability to always imagine holy constructs and that one is in the presence of the Shechinah. This is the main work of the tzaddikim, to contemplate the Shechinah. Regarding this, the verse states, i " " a And Yitzchak dwelled by Beer Lachai Roi.23 This teaches us that Yitzchak always saw the Shechinah, which is symbolized by a well (beer), as is known. The main purpose is to truly see the spiritual at all times, not as many distinct elements, but as a complete unity that one experiences and sees. Similarly, when one sees his fellow Jews as separate entities, he cannot truly grasp divinity. One must unify the many into one. We find this expressed in the fact that Elisha the prophet was only called Ish Elokim, a man of G-d, when he was with people, not when he was alone.24 It is only when one takes the aspect of Chochmah and connects it to the aspect of Binah that one merits to truly feel the Shechinah. This is the ultimate Ias Hashem said: " a a ' k " For I am Hashem, who dwells (shochein) among the Jewish people.25 One must unify the many into one, both on the level of
20 21

Bereishis 23:2 Ibid., 24:1 22 Bava Basra 16b 23 Bereishis 25:11 24 Zohar Beshalach; see Likutei Moharan I:115 25 Bamidbar 35:34 12

Dei Chochmah LNafshechah

Parshas Chayei Sora

uniting many Jews into their Source, and by seeing the One even in the seeming diversity concepts or experiences. It is especially important that when one speaks, every word should be with complete connection to faith in Hashem. Let Your Soul Know Wisdom This is the meaning of: " "Let your soul (nefesh) know (dei) wisdom (Chochmah) and it will be a crown (Kesser) for your head.26 One must shine the light of continuous yearning and waiting for Hashems deliverance, into the aspect of nefesh, the lowest level which represents receiving Hashems Kingship. In this way, one follows the path of Moshe Rabbeinu by uniting all of the Jewish people to Hashem entering into the holy of holies every day. And it will be a crown / Kesser for your head. Kesser is the aspect of drawing the Shechinah into the lower worlds. One must always search to connect to the light of true faith and holiness. Even when one feels like giving up, he should connect to other Jewish souls, just like Dovid HaMelech. He should nullify himself and accept his true powerlessness. This brings one to feel such joy that he is filled with alacrity and can truly internalize the path of the Baal Shem Tov which unifies Chochmah and Binah, the seemingly diverse attributes, into a single unity. One must have the holy child-like aspect of Sorah together with the aspect of the elder of holiness. "' - e - "Elders and youngsters will praise the Name of Hashem...27 One must do what he can to achieve his goals in holiness while at the same time continuously yearning for what he cannot yet accomplish. Through this path, we will merit to connect to Sora Imeinu, whose every day was equally good because she attained absolute good. Hashem should help that through our powerful yearning we merit to sweeten all judgments until we attain the highest levels and merit the fulfillment of the verse: "

26 27

From the Shabbos zemer Dror Yikrah, based on Mishlei 24:14. Tehilim 148:12-13 13

Dei Chochmah LNafshechah

Parshas Chayei Sora

" e ' e i a -k - 'And Hashem will be King over all the earth, on that day He will be one, and His Name will be one.28 Amen!

Translated and Adapted by Rav Micha Golshevsky.

28

Zechariyah 14:9 14

Yam Hachochmah 5772

Maamar Ohr Zarua laTzaddik

Yam Hachochmah 5772


Light is Sown for the Righteous, Part 51
Kuntres Hahishtatchus of the Mittler Rebbe of Lubavitch This and the final section of the maamar are direct translations of the Mittler Rebbes famous Kuntres Hahishtatchus, which is probably the most comprehensive original source that we have on the spiritual avodah of praying at the graves of tzaddikim. The previous segment ended with a translation of the Baal HaTanyas teachings on the matter, as published in Igeres Hakodesh. In the ensuing kuntres, the Mittler Rebbe elaborates on those ideas and helps us to understand them more clearly, since in their original form they are very distilled and somewhat impenetrable.

[This kuntres is meant to help us] understand the concept of prostrating oneself at the graves of tzaddikim. There are several levels and ways of appreciating the concept of prostrating oneself at a grave. In general, there are five rationales: 1) We find in the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim, Hilchos Tishah BAv, that it is customary to visit graves in order to arouse feelings of mourning, to humble the evil inclination and [to be inspired to] turn to G-d in teshuvah.2 This reflects our sages statement that one should recall the day of death to ones yetzer in order to subdue it.3 It is also written: It is better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of

This lesson is found in Yam Hachochmah 5772, Maamar Ohr Zarua laTzaddik, p. 722-760. This and the final section of the maamar are straight translations of the Mittler Rebbes famous Kuntres Hahishtatchus, which is probably the most comprehensive original source that we have on the spiritual avodah of praying at the graves of tzaddikim. 2 Ramah, Orach Chayim 559:10. Note the commentaries which explain that for this reason, one may even go to a non-Jewish cemetery. 3 Berachos 5a 15

Yam Hachochmah 5772

Maamar Ohr Zarua laTzaddik

rejoicing [so that] the living take it to heart.4 [Such a stark reminder of mortality] will surely make ones heart contrite. 2) As mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch, Hilchos Rosh Hashanah, it is customary to go to the cemetery [on the day before Rosh HaShanah] to offer up many pleading prayers.5 The rationale is given that, the cemetery is the resting place of the tzaddikim. As such, it is a holy and pure place, and a prayer recited there will be more acceptable. [A person] should ask G-d for mercy in the merit of the tzaddikim who rest in the dust.6 Two reasons in particular are given: a) the place is holy and pure, and this will cause the persons prayers to be accepted; b) surely, the person will pray there with a desirable intent as a result of being aroused to teshuvah, because, the living will take it to heart. This will cause his prayers to be desirable and acceptable. 3) [Another reason is because of the emotional arousal that comes from] visiting the resting place of ones father, ones only son, or the like, which inspires grieving and lament. It opens ones heart entirely, just as when a persons dead is actually lying before him. At such a time, his heart is truly broken by the sorrow that penetrates to the depths of his heart, causing him to cry bitterly. Rabbi Yochanan would carry [a portion of] a bone of his sons [body] with him, and would tell others, This is a bone from my tenth son.7 He would carry the bone with him to arouse his grief so that he would not forget his son who died, and as a result, his heart would always be contrite before Hashem. [Note: Some say that he did this in order to make it possible to comfort other mourners, to demonstrate his constant empathy with those who grieve.] Similarly, Yaakov our Patriarch, mourned for his son for many days.8 He would grieve bitterly over his sons passing because it was
Koheles 7:2 Ramah, Orach Chayim 581:4 6 See Beer Heitev 581:17. 7 Berachos 5b; see Rashis commentary there. Rabbi Yochanan had ten sons, and they all died in his lifetime 8 Bereishis 37:34
5 4

16

Yam Hachochmah 5772

Maamar Ohr Zarua laTzaddik

something which he could not forget at all. Similarly, when a person goes to the grave [of a tzaddik], although [the passing of the tzaddik] took place long before [and the memory of grieving over his loss is faded], the person will remember [and re-experience the loss of the tzaddik and his absence], to the extent that he will cry very bitterly [because he has taken it to heart]. This will cause his heart to open entirely, enabling him to cry over his sins, until his heart is completely contrite and crushed, [leading him to shed] a great many [precious] tears. [Note: Here, the Mittler Rebbe is speaking of visiting the grave of a tzaddik with whom one did not have personal contact.] This experience can bring a person to complete teshuvah, as is well known. Teshuvah is held back because of a persons coarseness and pride. When, however, a persons heart is thoroughly and truly broken, for whatever reason, he has the potential to be aroused to complete teshuvah. This reflects the type of sorrow referred to as the sorrows of love which afflict a person with regard to his children, his health, and his livelihood.9 The person is crushed in order to motivate him to complete teshuvah, from his inner dimensions, and the depths of his heart.10 This is evidenced by Rabbi Yochanan who would say, This is a bone from my tenth son. In Rabbi Yochanans instance, these were surely yesurim shel ahavah. 4) The fourth rationale relates to those who visit the graves of the tzaddikim whom they knew and with whom they had a relationship during their lifetime. During the lifetime of the tzaddik, the faith with which the person believed in [the tzaddik] because he was a G-dly manwhom [all] would describe as holy11generated a powerful bond. When the person would enter the presence [of the tzaddik] he would lose all self-concern, [feeling] overwhelming shame and contriteness. He would be embarrassed and would shrink in the presence of the tzaddik, becoming lifeless, like a
Berachos 5a; The term that is being used here is yesurim shel ahavah, which is not an easy concept for us to relate to, since it is generally the realm of tzaddikim. Here, the Mittler Rebbe is offering a novel way of understanding yesurim shel ahavahthat they are the sorrows that break us enough to repent completely, through longing and yearning for Hashem. See also Maamarei Admor HaEmtzaI, Devarim, Vol. II, p. 614. 10 Tehillim 64:7 11 Yeshayahu 4:3 17
9

Yam Hachochmah 5772

Maamar Ohr Zarua laTzaddik

stone, without the ability to speak. This is a genuine reflection of self-negation, [i.e. bitul, as explained in chassidus, with regard to prefacing our prayers with the verse:] G-d, open my lips, and let my mouth speak Your praise.12 Similarly, when a person goes to holy resting place [of the tzaddik], he should lose all self-concern in an even more powerful manner. For the righteous are greater after their death than in their lifetime.13 [These feelings stem from] the great faith with which the person believes in the holiness and purity of soul [of the tzaddik] which ascended to [its] place in the most sublime [spiritual realms], and from the residual influence of the soul which remains associated with the body in the grave, as [the Arizal] explains in Likutei Torah, commenting on the verse: His soul will mourn over him.14 Moreover, even the [higher surrounding makifin] of the soul of the tzaddik establish a connection with [the portion of] the soul [that remains associated with the body in the grave]. This is one of the reasons for erecting a gravestone over the grave, creating a seat for [the souls] makifin, as explained in Likutei Torah. Surely, then, when one comes to the holy resting place of a tzaddik and pictures the image of his holy and pure countenance, he will be overwhelmed with fear and awe more than he was in his lifetime. For then, the soul of the tzaddik was [contained] in a physical body, but now it is in its pure spiritual state. This enables a person to come to a complete state of bitul and yirah ilaah, a sublime state of reverence and awe. As explained in the siddur in the note to the section on Tikkun Chatzos, yirah ilaah is the inner dimension of fear, fear coupled with shamefacedness. Just as a person feels embarrassed in the presence of a great and righteous man because of his own humble stature and this causes him to completely let go of his self-absorption to the extent that he feels like nothing, so too, with regard to yirah ilaah, he feels shame because of Gds greatness. For G-ds greatness is without limit, for the Ohr Ein Sof, G-ds infinite
12

Tehillim 51:7; See Siddur Im Dach, Tefillas Rosh HaShanah, p. 237d, and other sources, which explain that before Shemoneh Esreh, a person should reach a state of self-abnegation so complete that he cannot speak at all, and it is G-d who opens [his] lips and let[s his] mouth speak. 13 Chulin 7b 14 Iyov 14:22; See Taamei HaMitzvos, Parshas Vayechi. 18

Yam Hachochmah 5772

Maamar Ohr Zarua laTzaddik

light, extends upward without any bounds, and downward without any end.15 This level of fear is alluded to in our sages statement: If there is no wisdom, there is no fear.16 For Chochmah is the power of nothingness [] , the attribute of self-negation or bitul, and this leads to yirah ilaah as explained. Similarly, when a person goes to the grave of a holy tzaddik, he can feel great shame and lose all sense of self-absorption because he feels great embarrassment over all his deeds and thoughts which he performed until the present day, for they are all revealed before [the tzaddik]. For even in his lifetime, a tzaddik is aware of another persons thoughts and designs, as is well known. Surely, this applies after the passing of the tzaddik, for then [his existence] is [entirely] spiritual. The bitul and shamefacedness [which a person feels] is also a result of the Ohr Ein Sof which actually gives life to the soul of this tzaddik. For the soul of the tzaddik is an actual part of G-d, totally subordinated to the Ohr Ein Sof, as explained in other sources.17 In this manner, a person can arouse abundant mercies on the G-dly spark within his soul when becoming conscious of his own low level. This reflects the rung of teshuvah ilaah, sublime teshuvah, as explained in other sources. For the bitul with which he subordinates himself to a Torah sage is, in fact, a negation of himself to G-d. As our sages said: Is it possible to cling to the Divine Presence? Instead, he who clings to a Torah sage [is considered as if he clings to the Divine Presence], as explained in the Tanya.18 (We find in the Talmud that a similar concept applies with regard to the appointment of a Jewish king.19 [His sovereignty is an reflection ofand a medium to enable people to relate toG-ds Malchus.]) This represents teshuvah ilaah, a far
Tehillim 145:3; Zohar Chadash, Yisro 34c; Tikkunei Zohar, Tikkun 19, and Tikkun 57. Avos 3:17; See Zohar (Raya Mehemna), III:28a 17 Sefer Tanya, Chapter 2 18 Ibid.; See Kesuvos 111b; Sifri, commenting on Devarim 11:22. 19 It is not apparent which Talmudic reference is intended. See Derech Mitzvosecha, Mitzvas Minui Melech, and Likutei Sichos, Vol. IV, p. 1050, where this concept is explained. Significantly, certain texts of the maamar state as explained in another place, without attributing the source to the Talmud.
16 15

19

Yam Hachochmah 5772

Maamar Ohr Zarua laTzaddik

higher level of teshuvah than that discussed with regard to the third level described above. Moreover, the powerful bond of faith tying the soul of the tzaddik to the inner core of the persons heart, [as amplified by] the power which conceives of the image [of the tzaddik] in a spiritual sense and the tremendous experience of bitul, makes it possible for the persons soul to cling to a particular dimension of the soul of the tzaddik resting there. This resembles the level of the spirit clinging to the spirit which is mentioned with regard to the tzaddikim, as will be explained in connection with the fifth rationale. This will also enable the prayers one recites there to ascend to the higher planes as the soul of the tzaddik ascends. And his prayer can bear fruit which will be evident in both the spiritual and material realms. This is [the power of] the faith in the tzaddikim, [and the reason why] people visit their graves even when they do not appreciate [these spiritual concepts] at all, as will be explained. 5) The fifth rationale [for visiting the grave of a tzaddik] relates to a very high [spiritual] level, one which is really not surpassed by any other. This is the hishtatchus at the graves of the tzaddikim as described in Sefer HaChassidim.20 This is such a high level that it enables a person to comprehend concepts [on the spiritual plane]. [To explain this point:] The person is able to cause his soul to ascend to the level in which the soul of the tzaddik is attached to the soul of Adam HaRishon, which is a comprehensive soul. [Meaning, the soul of the tzaddik at its ultimate root.] And this will serve as a stimulus, as their souls ascend in this mystic process, generating an arousal from below [mayin nukvin]. This enables their souls to descend to their bodies and speak to them, thus bringing about an actual clinging of the spirit to the spirit. [Meaning, this lofty level of hishtatchus and bitul at the grave of a tzaddik allows a person to receive a flow of information from the root of his own soul, in its attachment
20

All of the manuscript copies of the maamar cite the reference as above. This, however, appears to be an error of transcription. The actual intent seems to be, as stated in Mishnas Chassidim. This concept is explained in Maseches HaYichudim 1:2 of that text. 20

Yam Hachochmah 5772

Maamar Ohr Zarua laTzaddik

to the soul of the tzaddik at its root.] And this enables [a person visiting the grave of a tzaddik] to comprehend lofty concepts with regard to the secrets of the Torah, and to become encompassed in yichuda ilaah, the ultimate unification, as mentioned in the text Emek HaMelech.21 It is explained there that the Arizal would teach his students mystic secrets to recite [at the graves of] the great tzaddikim, so that they could, in this manner, comprehend sublime concepts. Indeed, this was the greatness of the Arizal, that the loftiest souls would reveal the secrets of the Torah to him [such as Eliyahu HaNavi, and others]. This rung is extremely exalted, surpassing [the experience of] the revelation of Eliyahu or ruach hakodesh (the holy spirit), as stated in Shaar Hakedushah of Rav Chayim Vital.22 We find in the Emek HaMelech, that Chayim Vitals [greatness stemmed from the fact] that the soul of Benayahu ben Yehoyada enclothed itself within him, and shined inwardly within him.23 This was achieved through these mystic secrets [which he repeated] at his grave on numerous occasions. For the [souls of two] shared a connection to each other, as explained there. With regard to this rung, there are surely extensive levels. [The common factor shared by] all is that these are relevant to men of stature whose souls have not been blemished at all, but rather are pure and pristine, and whose nefesh, ruach, and neshamah shine forth. Or at least, the levels of ruach and nefesh have not been blemished at all. This level is far more exalted and lofty than the fourth level described above. [For the individuals who visit the graves of the tzaddikim because of the fourth rationale] do not have a conscious appreciation of the spiritual process involved. On this [fifth] level, even lowly individuals can grasp [sublime] concepts and enter into

See the authors introduction, Hakdamah Shlishi, Chapters 3-5. See Vol. III, Shaar 5 and 77; See also Maamarei Admor HaEmtzaI, Devarim, Vol. II, p. 491. 23 Emek HaMelech, Chapter 4.
22

21

21

Yam Hachochmah 5772

Maamar Ohr Zarua laTzaddik

[sublime experiences of spiritual] unity according to the [spiritual] rung of the tzaddik [whose grave they are visiting]. This reflects one spirit actually clinging to the another, i.e., the person joins and binds his spirit to the spirit of the tzaddik, and the two ascend in the mystic process which generates an arousal from below. We find in the Mishnas Chassidim with regard to the mystic secret of spiritual unity: If he merits, his nefesh, ruach, and neshamah will be fused to the nefesh, ruach, and neshamah of these tzaddikim when they ascend.24 See the extensive explanation there, and a word to the wise is sufficient. All of the above can be understood with greater clarity based on the explanation of Iggeres HaKodesh on the statement of the holy Zohar that a tzaddik who departs from the world is present in all the worlds more than during his lifetime.25 The fundamental point of these statements is based on our sages description of death: He has left life to all the living.26 For the life of a tzaddik is spiritual, [encompassing] emunah, Divine love, and yirah [of G-d]. While the tzaddik was alive on earth, these three attributes were contained in their vessel and garment i.e., the nefesh which is attached to the body.27 And all of the students [of the tzaddik] would receive merely a glimmer of these attributes and an illumination of them which shone beyond the vessel by means of his holy words and thoughts. [Note: The inner qualities of a tzaddik are not contained by his physicality or even by his nefesh; rather, they radiate from him and each student is able to sense a glimmer of them in accordance with the degree of his ability to receive.

See Mishnas Chassidim, 1:3 Zohar III:71b; See Sefer Tanya, Iggeres HaKodesh , Epistle 27. 26 See similar expressions in the works of Rabbeinu Yitzchak Alfasi, Yevamos, the conclusion of Chapter 12; and the Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Yibum uChalitzah, the conclusion of Chapter 4. 27 The terms nefesh, ruach, and neshamah are all loosely translated as soul. According to Kabbalah, however, there are specific meanings for each of these terms. Nefesh refers to the level of the soul attached more closely to the body, while ruach and neshamah refer to higher levels.
25

24

22

Yam Hachochmah 5772

Maamar Ohr Zarua laTzaddik

Although this is the situation during the lifetime of the tzaddik, the Mittler Rebbe goes on to explain that receiving from this makif becomes easier after the tzaddik has left this world.] After his passing, as the nefesh which remains in the grave becomes separate from the ruach, [which ascends to] Gan Eden. [The ruach of the tzaddik is expressed] in these three attributes [of faith, love and fear of G-d]. [These three attributes parallel the qualities of] Chessed, Gevurah, and Tiferes which are associated with the ruach. Faith is identified with the attribute of Daas, the middle vector [of balance within the hierarchy of the middos], and it is [expressed in] the attribute of Tiferes [which is also at the middle line of balance.]28 [Love and fear are identified

with Chessed and Gevurah.] [Because the ruach has been freed of the limitations of the nefesh,] each one of the students [of the tzaddik] and all those who are close to him to receive a portion of his spirit in Gan Eden. For it is no longer material, nor is it contained within a vessel. (And for this reason, this illumination can radiate in the surroundings [of the gravesite], because it is spiritual and it is not enclothed in a material vessel.) In contrast, during the lifetime of the tzaddik, when his ruach was enclothed in his soul, and his soul attached to his body, his students and the Jewish people as a whole could only receive [his influence] through his holy words and thoughts. When, however, the ruach is separated from the nefesh, [the ruach] can shine forth to every one of his students according to his individual level. As support for this concept, Iggeres HaKodesh cites the story of Yaakov Avinu, of whom it is said: Gan Eden entered with him [when he approached his father for the blessing].29 We find in the work Asarah Maamaros that the atmosphere of Gan Eden radiates around every person.30 All of ones holy thoughts and words of Torah and

28 29

See Hashmatos LaZohar, Vol. I, p. 257a. Bereishis Rabbah 65:22 30 Asarah Maamaros, Maamar Chikur Din, Section 2, Chapter 12 23

Yam Hachochmah 5772

Maamar Ohr Zarua laTzaddik

avodah are ingrained within that surround light or makif.31 This is definite proof that spiritual influence can radiate in all places. It is therefore very easy for the students of the tzaddik to receive their portion of the essence of the ruach of their master and that love, fear, and faith that he achieved [after his passing], rather than merely a glimmer of these attributes [as was the case during his lifetime]. (For [they receive] his ruach, i.e., his attributes of Chessed, Gevurah, and Tiferes, as explained above, and not merely the level of nefesh.) The essential ruach [of the tzaddik] ascends to very high peaks, and is absorbed in the neshamah, in the higher plane of Gan Eden, and other lofty [spiritual] worlds. [Nevertheless,] it is known that all holy potentials are never entirely detached from their initial level, even after they have ascended to far higher rungs.32 Their initial level remains in its place in the lowly realms, [and yet receives influences from the higher rungs to which the potential ascends]. And this initial level radiates within the students of the tzaddik, each one according to the extent of the connection and closeness he shared with him, with abundant love, as explained [in Sefer Tanya]. Receiving the entire spiritual [influence of the tzaddik] is only possible through a great arousal of abundant love and awesome submission. [This enables] the spirit of the will of ones heart to draw down a spirit from above. Note [the full explanation] in that source. From the above, it can be understood that any one of the students of the tzaddik can receive their portion and their teachings from the ruach of their master in any place via the aura or atmosphere of Gan Eden which radiates around each individual. Accordingly, it [would appear] not to be necessary to travel to his holy resting place at all, nor to prostrate oneself at his grave. When, however, would the above apply? When the bond of connection and abundant love for ones master has not been severed, and it remains the same as it was when his master was alive, and he continues to conduct his Divine service with love,
31

This is a translation of the Hebrew term ohr employed in this maamar. In Tanya, the term avir, atmosphere, is used. 32 See Pardes Rimonim, Shaar HaMetziyus, Chapter 1. 24

Yam Hachochmah 5772

Maamar Ohr Zarua laTzaddik

fear, and faith as his master instructed him. This enables him to receive his portion of his masters spirit as explained in that source. There is, however, [the possibility that] the thick cords of love will have been severed, chas vshalom, because of the vagaries and challenges of this life, and [the involvement] with worldly concerns and material affairs which cause the light of his masters Torah and the love and the fear which he radiated to [his students] during his lifetime to almost become quenched. [Indeed,] with the passage of time, [this light] could be extinguished and forgotten entirely, as is well known. For this reason, even when [the tzaddik] was alive, it was necessary to visit him frequently, and hear the words of the living G-d from his mouth. For even if his words are recorded, hearing from a distance cannot at all be compared to seeing his face. For the radiance of his countenance far surpasses the concepts received from him. Both of these influences [i.e. the experience of seeing ones master and the study of his teachings] are most beneficial together, and they generate a powerful bond of abundant love, [empowered by] a marvelous desire. This is what is meant by our sages statement, All those who cling to a Torah sage are considered as if they cling to the Divine Presence. For through the students clinging and connection [to the tzaddik], he can receive from the radiance (of the ruach of the tzaddik through his holy thoughts and speech by way of the students makif of Torah and Divine service, and this influence can be received and secured within his mind and heart). The radiance of the love and fear of the tzaddik can be acquired [by his disciple], as can be appreciated by an extended interpretation of our sages statement: Words which emanate from the heart penetrate to the heart.33 This is the point of our sages statement: A person is obligated to encounter his master during [each of] the festivals.34 At that time, [the person] receives an increased light [makif] from the spirit of his master which shines within him with greater power and intensity. [This additional influence] endows him with the strength and the power to
33 34

Sefer HaYashar of Rabbeinu Tam, Shaar 13 Rosh HaShanah 16b 25

Yam Hachochmah 5772

Maamar Ohr Zarua laTzaddik

continue to advance in his Divine service with love and fear after parting from his master, according to [the influence] he received from him. All of this is generated by the power of the radiance of [his masters] countenance. This is evidenced by the fact that if he remains separate from his master for a prolonged period, even during [his masters] lifetime, the cords of connection with abundant love are severed and [the person] slides from his level of abundant love in his Divine service. Indeed, this has happened with regard to several individuals. This is the real reason why [chassidim] always travel to hear the words of the living G-d from their master personally, although they have previously heard teachings, and have seen and possess transcripts. They, nevertheless, travel to visit their master, and receive an increased light from his shining and welcoming countenance,35 through which is revealed to them the light of the Torah of truth. Through this, their souls receive light [which inspires] their Divine service with love and fear, for through their bond of love and fear their souls become bonded to the soul of the tzaddik, as can be inferred from the verse: His soul is tied to his soul.36 Although seemingly there is no comparison between [the student] and the soul of the master, there must be some point of connection, for the student binds himself to him and believes in him. [Indeed, there is surely a point of connection.] And through [this connection] he can receive his portion from the ruach of his master as explained above. [The relevance of] the above, can be understood, and indeed even more poignantly so, in a situation when [the master] has left life to all the living. Although life of the tzaddik, i.e., his faith, his love, and his fear, exist on all planes of existence and his students can receive their portion, nevertheless, over the passage of time, because of many immediate problems and financial pressures and tension, the light of the teachings and Divine service of the tzaddik may be dimmed entirely for his students.

Note Maamarei Admor HaEmtzai, Shemos, Vol. 1, p. 65, and sources quoted there [Toras Chaim, Chayei Sarah, 134a; Vayeitzei 34b]. 36 Bereishis 44:30 26

35

Yam Hachochmah 5772

Maamar Ohr Zarua laTzaddik

Therefore, it is necessary to travel to his resting place, and prostrate oneself at his grave to arouse the love within [the] persons inner dimensions, and the depths of his heart. For surely this love has not ceased entirely, and traces still remain. In this vein, we find the expression: his spirit which he imparted within her.37 ([This is mentioned in regard to our sages statement:] A woman does not establish a covenant with anyone except the one who made her a vessel [i.e., her first husband].38 For this reason, even if she parts from him, his spirit still resonates within her, and she cannot [easily] receive [another mans influence]. For this reason, the Zohar emphatically counsels against marrying a widow.)39 Indeed, [these traces of love are what motivates] the persons desire to travel to the resting place of the tzaddik to arouse his love. For if the love had ceased entirely, he would not have a desire for this [journey]. This spirit which he imparted within therefore has the potential to arouse the ruach of his master anew, with abundant love, awesome submission, and great effort. [It is possible again] to receive the three attributes of faith, love, and fear, as above, according to the path which his master instructed him.

To be continued

37 38

See Zohar, II:99b. Sanhedrin 22b 39 Zohar II:102a 27