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Tanya for Tuesday, 17 Sivan, 5783 - June 6, 2023

As Divided for a Regular Year

Tanya for 17 Sivan

16 Sivan, 5783 - June 5, 202318 Sivan, 5783 - June 7, 2023

From the mutual inclusion of the attributes, [their opposite natures notwithstanding], it is evident that "He and His causations" - i.e., His attributes - "are One," for since they are in complete unity with Him, they therefore unite with each other and are comprised of each other.

As Eliyahu said, [in the passage beginning Patach Eliyahu, in the introduction to Tikkunei Zohar], "And You are He Who binds them [i.e., the Sefirot and the attributes] together and unites them ....; and apart from You there is no unity among those [attributes] above...."

[The Alter Rebbe will say a little later that since the Divine Name Elokim, signifying the attribute of tzimtzum and concealment, is one with the Name Havayah, it follows that the concealment brought about by the Name Elokim is not a true concealment, for "an entity cannot conceal its own self." Created beings are therefore absolutely nullified in relation to their source].

This, then, is the meaning of the Scriptural phrase, [6] "and take it unto your heart that Havayah is Elokim."

[Concerning this verse the question was asked in the first chapter:

"Would it occur to you that there is a god dwelling in the waters beneath the earth, so that it is necessary to caution so strongly [and negate this thought by stating that one should] `take it unto your heart'?"

According to the explanation given here this question is answered: The statement that "in the heavens above and upon the earth below, there is no other," is not intended to negate the existence of another god. Rather, the verse is telling us that there is nothing else besides G-d: He alone enjoys true existence; everything else is totally nullified in relation to Him. And for this concept to be understood well, one must indeed "take it unto his heart]."

That is, these two Names are actually one; [i.e., although Havayah represents Chesed and revelation, and Elokim represents tzimtzum and concealment, they are nevertheless truly one], for even the Name Elokim, which conceals and contracts the light [of the Divine life-force that is responsible for creation], is a quality of Chesed, just like the Name Havayah.

For the attributes of the Holy One, blessed be He, unite with Him in a complete unity, and "He and His Name are One," for His attributes are His Names; [i.e., the attributes correspond to His specific Names].

Since this is so, [i.e., once you understand that Elokim is one with Havayah], you will consequently know that "in the heavens above and on the earth below, ein od" - [there exists nothing else besides G-d].

This [Hebrew phrase "...ein od"] means that even the material earth, which appears to everyone's eyes to be actually existing, is naught and utter nothingness in relation to the Holy One, blessed be He.

For the Name Elokim obscures and contracts [the light and life-force] only for the nether creatures, [so that they perceive themselves as possessing independent existence], but not for the Holy One, blessed be He, since He and His Name Elokim are One. [Hence the Name Elokim cannot possibly act as a concealment for Him].

Therefore, even the earth and that which is below it are naught and utter nothingness in relation to the Holy One, blessed be He, and are not called by any name at all, not even by the name Od "[else]", which would indicate a subordinate status, as in the statement of our Sages, of blessed memory: [7] Yehudah ve'od likra - "Does a verse in the Torah require secondary (od) substantiation from [the customs of] the Land of Judah?!" [We thus see that the term od signifies secondary status].

This too is the case with the body, which is subordinate to the soul and life-force within it, [for which reason it is referred to as od].

[8] (And this is the meaning of the verse, [9] "I will praise Havayah with my life, [i.e., with my soul]; I will sing to Elokai "[my L-rd]" be'odi, [i.e., with my body]."

[We thus see that the body is termed Od, inasmuch as it is subservient to the soul.

The reason the term Elokai is used in connection with the body's song is this]:

For the life, [i.e., the soul], is derived from the Name Havayah, and the od, which is the body, its subordinate, from the Name Elokim.)

[We thus see that the body is nullified in relation to the soul to the extent of od, i.e., it is subordinate to it; it is not, however, nullified out of existence in relation to the soul.

The reason for this]:

For the soul does not bring the body into existence ex nihilo: [it only provides it with life. The body is therefore called od, i.e., secondary to the soul, inasmuch as it is the soul that provides the body with life].

But as to the Holy One, blessed be He, Who brings everything into existence ex nihilo, everything is absolutely nullified in relation to Him, just as the light of the sun is absolutely nullified in the sun.



  1. (Back to text) Devarim 4:39.

  2. (Back to text) Kiddushin 6a.

  3. (Back to text) The parentheses are in the original text.

  4. (Back to text) Tehillim 146:2.

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