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Tanya for Friday, 13 Elul, 5779 - September 13, 2019

As Divided for a Leap Year

Tanya for 13 Elul

12 Elul, 5779 - September 12, 201914 Elul, 5779 - September 14, 2019

And every year there descends and radiates a new and renewed light which has never yet shone, from the Supreme Chochmah [4] to the Eretz HaElyonah.

[The light that reaches down to this level is here described as "new and renewed," for in the first instance a new light radiates into Chochmah from the Ein Sof that transcends it, and then a new light issues from Chochmah and irradiates the Eretz Ha-Elyonah.]

For the light of every year withdraws to its source [in the Essence of the Ein Sof] on the eve of every Rosh HaShanah, "when the moon is covered."

[Rosh HaShanah is known as [5] "the holiday when the new moon is covered," and is not seen. In a spiritual context this means that the Sefirah of Malchut (represented in the Kabbalah by the moon), the light that animates the worlds and created beings, is concealed and withdraws to its source.]

Afterwards, by means of the sounding of the Shofar and by means of the prayers, a new and superior light is elicited, [a light] of a yet higher rank in the sphere of the Supreme Chochmah, to radiate to the Eretz Elyonah and those who dwell upon it, i.e.' to all the higher and lower worlds that receive their vitality from it, i.e., from the [infinite] Ein Sof-light, and from [G-d's] Chochmah which is vested in it, [i.e., in "the Higher Land"]; as it is written, [6] "For with You is the source of life; in Your light shall we see light."

[Supreme Chochmah, which is the source of life, is "with You," i.e., nullified and unified with the Ein Sof; "in Your light" (i.e., in the light that radiates from Chochmah to "the Higher Land") "we shall see light" (i.e., the light that descends from "the Higher Land" and illumines all the created beings which receive their vitality from it)].

This refers to the light that radiates from Supreme Chochmah, the source of life. ( [7] And, as is known to the scholars of the Hidden Wisdom, [i.e., the Kabbalists,] every Rosh HaShanah the nesirah takes place, and [the Sefirah of Malchut] receives new, more sublime Mochin, and so on.)

[This is a Kabbalistic theme regarding the "rebuilding" of the Sefirah of Malchut that takes place every Rosh HaShanah. The paradigm of this sequence is the slumber that G-d brought upon Adam [8] on the day of his creation, which took place on the day of Rosh HaShanah, and the subsequent excision (nesirah) of the rib from which Eve was then formed.

The Kabbalah explains that Adam is a terrestrial echo of Supernal Man, i.e., the bracket of Sefirot known collectively as Za (acronym for Ze-er Anpin) of the World of Atzilut. "Slumber" alludes to the withdrawal of the Supernal intellectual attributes, or Mochin, from Za (just as man's intellect withdraws during sleep). The new and more sublime Mochin which are then drawn down into Malchut are far superior to the Mochin that Malchut had previously received from Za.]

In a very specific way, this takes place every day. More sublime Mochin are elicited by every morning-prayer, which are not the original Mochin that withdrew after the prayer [of the previous day], but more sublime ones.

In general terms, with respect to the world as a whole - [and not only with regard to the daily elicitation of new Mochin during prayer as experienced by an individual man] - during the six thousand years [of the world's existence [9]], this occurs every Rosh HaShanah.

And this is the meaning of the above-quoted verse, "Forever are the eyes of the L-rd your G-d upon it," for "eyes" is an epithet for the efflux and radiation of the light of Chochmah, for which reason sages are referred to as [10] "the eyes of the congregation," [for they are illumined by the light of Chochmah which is known by the epithet "eyes".]

And [this, too, is the meaning of the teaching], [11] "The atmosphere of the Land of Israel makes one wise" [- for the Land of Israel, too, is illumined by Chochmah. As was stated above, "Forever are the eyes of the L-rd your G-d upon it" refers to a constant illumination by Chochmah."

Now, this radiation and efflux, though it is continuous, nevertheless, it is not only on one and the same plane and level since the beginning of the world. Rather, every year there is a new and superior light, because the light which was generated and which shone on this Rosh HaShanah withdraws to its source on the eve of the next Rosh HaShanah.

This enables us to understand the verse that says [that "the eyes of G-d" are upon the Land] "from the beginning of the year to the end of the year" only.

[The verse does not state that they are there "everlastingly", for the efflux that descends on Rosh HaShanah lasts only to the end of the year, at which time it withdraws and makes way for the descent of a new and more sublime light.]

And that is why meireishit ["from the beginning"] is written without an alef: it alludes to the withdrawal of the light, [signified by the alef, [12] ] which withdraws on the night of Rosh HaShanah, [At that time the innermost element of the world's vitality is in a state of withdrawal due to the "ascent of Malchut"; i.e., the innermost core of Malchut is then in a state of elevation and withdrawal,] until after the sounding of the Shofar, when there descends a new and more sublime light that has never yet shone since the beginning of the world.

It vests itself and conceals itself in the Eretz HaChayim which is above - [i.e., in Malchut of Atzilut, the source of all worlds and created beings] - and in the Eretz HaChayim which is below, [in the Land of Israel,

For the light that animates this world first passes through the Holy Land, and from there it is diffused throughout the world at large.] in order to animate all the worlds for the duration of that year.

Its manifestation, however, [for the light became concealed in the Eretz HaChayim above and below, so that its further descent and the revelation of its creative life-force to the world and to all its created beings:] depends on the actions of those below, and on their merits and penitence during the Ten Days of Penitence.

This will suffice for the initiated.

[In summary: The Divine light issuing from the Sefirah of Chochmah in the World of Atzilut that radiates within the Land of Israel throughout the year, increases yearly both in quantity and in quality. Similarly, the tzedakah given for the Holy Land should be increased every year both quantitatively and qualitatively.

The conclusion of the above letter makes it clear that this mortal initiative makes an impact on the revelation of this light: the ever- increasing revelation of the light that descends in a concealed form is dependent on the ever-increasing contributions of tzedakah given for the Land of Israel.



  1. (Back to text) Note of the Rebbe Shlita: Cf. Likkutei Torah (Shir HaShirim 50b): "Surely in Supreme Chochmah too this new light is drawn down from Above...."

  2. (Back to text) Rosh HaShanah 8a.

  3. (Back to text) Tehillim 36:10.

  4. (Back to text) Parentheses are in the original text.

  5. (Back to text) Bereishit 2:21.

  6. (Back to text) Rosh HaShanah 31a.

  7. (Back to text) See Bamidbar 15:24; Taanit 24a.

  8. (Back to text) Bava Batra 158b.

  9. (Back to text) Cf. Zohar II, 34a; ibid., 123a.

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