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Tanya for Thursday, 12 Elul, 5779 - September 12, 2019

Tanya
As Divided for a Leap Year

Tanya for 12 Elul

11 Elul, 5779 - September 11, 201913 Elul, 5779 - September 13, 2019


Epistle Fourteen

[Many of the letters that together constitute Iggeret HaKodesh were written in order to rouse Jewry to contribute generously to tzedakah in general and in particular for the Holy Land. More specifically, the Alter Rebbe strongly encouraged the support of Rabbi Mendele Horodoker and Rabbi Avraham Kalisker and their followers, who had settled there, through the Kollel Chabad Fund that he had founded.

In the present letter the Alter Rebbe places singular emphasis on the merit of tzedakah for the Holy Land. Every year, he declares, it should be given with more vitality and in greater volume, thus echoing the rhythm of the annually-renewed life-force that emanates from On High to the Holy Land, as he explains in this letter.

The Alter Rebbe begins here by stating that his purpose is "to arouse the old love and fondness for our Holy Land...." It would seem that "the old love" refers to the ardent enthusiasm which his chassidim had originally felt for the fund when it was freshly founded, and which had faded somewhat with the passage of years. It was this "old love" that the Alter Rebbe sought here to reawaken.]

[This letter is written] to arouse the old love and fondness for the Holy Land, so that it burn like fiery flames from the inwardness of man and from the depths of his heart, as if this very day G-d had set His spirit upon us, a spirit of generosity, so that people volunteer to consecrate themselves to G-d with a full and generous hand, with one increase after another, from year to year, continually rising and excelling themselves, in keeping with the measure of [the level of Divinity called] Kodesh HaElyon ["Supreme Holiness", another name for the attribute of Chochmah,] which radiates to the Holy Land and is constantly renewed [qualitatively] and increased [quantitatively], as it is written, [1] "Forever are the eyes of the L-rd your G-d upon it [i.e., upon the Land of Israel], from the beginning of the year to the end of the year."

[As the Alter Rebbe will soon say, the term "eyes" alludes to the Divine attribute of Chochmah, or Kodesh HaElyon, which irradiates the Land of Israel constantly, from the beginning of the year to its end.

In order to explain how we derive from this verse that the level of Chochmah that radiates to the Holy Land is constantly renewed and increased, the Alter Rebbe first raises the following query:]

Now, this phrase "to the end..." appears to be problematic, for at the end of one year begins another year. Thus it should surely have said [that the eyes of G-d are upon the Land of Israel] "everlastingly".

However, this matter will be understood by considering the verse, [2] "G-d by Chochmah established the earth." That is, the foundation of Eretz HaElyonah [lit., "the Higher Earth" or "the Higher Land"; i.e., the heavenly model of the terrestrial Holy Land], which is the mode of [creative Divine influence which is immanent and therefore called] memaleh kol almin [lit., "filling all worlds".

This refers to the Sefirah of Malchut of the World of Atzilut, called "land" for it is the last and (so to speak) lowest of the Supernal Sefirot, and it vests itself in created worlds and beings so as to vitalize them.] and [likewise the foundation] of the nether [land], which is [the Land of Israel which is known as] Eretz Chefetz ["the land of [G-d's] desire"], which truly corresponds to it[s heavenly counterpart], [viz., Eretz HaElyonah,] and is called by its name, Eretz HaChayim [the land of life], - [the foundation, then, of the higher and the lower lands] issues from the downward flow and radiation from the Supreme Chochmah which is the source of Supernal life; as it is written, [3] "Chochmah animates those who possess it...."

["G-d by Chochmah established the earth" thus means, that the Sefirah of Chochmah diffuses its creative light upon Eretz HaElyonah ("the Higher Land," i.e., Malchut of Atzilut), as well as upon its terrestrial counterpart, the Land of Israel.]

This radiation and efflux from Supreme Chochmah, that irradiates the "land" at both these levels, is renewed annually by a truly new light. For G-d [blessed be He] and His Chochmah are one, in an absolute unity which is called "the [infinite] Ein Sof-light," because there is no limit nor end to the quality and greatness of the light and vitality that issues forth from Him and from His Chochmah, in elevation upon elevation, to no end or limit, to the peak of the loftiest levels.

[Since the life-giving light that issues from Supreme Chochmah is infinite, it follows that whatever the intensity of the light drawn down in the previous year, it is still possible that a greater degree of light be drawn down in the new year.]

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) Devarim 11:12.

  2. (Back to text) Mishlei 3:19.

  3. (Back to text) Kohelet 7:12.



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