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Tanya for Monday, 14 Tamuz, 5780 - July 6, 2020

As Divided for a Regular Year

Tanya for 14 Tamuz

13 Tamuz, 5780 - July 5, 202015 Tamuz, 5780 - July 7, 2020

The key to this will be found in the phrase, [14] "For [G-d's] people are part of G-d....", [they are] part of the Four-Letter Name of G-d.

Thus, [describing G-d's infusion of a soul into the body of Adam], it is written: [15] "And He blew into his nostrils a soul of life," and, [as the Zohar comments], [16] "He who blows, does so from within him, etc." [17]

[The metaphor of blowing signifies that the soul of a Jew originates in the innermost aspect of G-dliness - in the Tetragrammaton, as shall be soon explained].

Now [G-d] has no bodily form, and so on, [18] G-d forbid.

[How, then, is it possible to say that G-d "blew", and to speak of a "part" of Himself?]

However, the Torah [19] "speaks as in the language of men," [i.e., anthropomorphically].

By way of analogy: There exists a vast difference in the case of mortal man between the breath issuing from his mouth while speaking and the breath of forceful blowing.

The breath that issues with his speech embodies the soul's power and life-force only minimally, and that is only from the superficial aspect of the soul that dwells within him.

But the breath that issues when he blows forcefully, from deep within himself, embodies the internal power and life-force of the vivifying soul....

[Just as there exists a vast difference between man's speaking and forceful blowing]:

Precisely so in the analogy [of Creation], allowing for the infinite differentiations involved [between Creator and created], there exists a prodigious difference Above, between all the hosts of heaven, even the spiritual beings like angels, who were created ex nihilo, [and the soul of man].

They derive their life and existence from the external aspect of the life-force issuing forth from the Infinite One to vitalize creation.

His [external] aspect of the life-giving power is called the "breath of His mouth," as it were, as the verse states: [20] "By the breath of His mouth all their hosts [were created]."

This is the creative power embodied in the letters of the Ten Utterances [21] (these letters being in the nature of vessels, and a drawing down and so forth of the life-force, as explained in Likutei Amarim, Part II, chapter 11).

In contrast, the soul of man derives initially from the innermost dimension of the life-force and flow issuing from the Infinite One, as in the verse [quoted above], "And He blew...."

[As mentioned earlier, this verb indicates the internal aspect of the Divine flow of life-force, for "he who blows, does so from his innermost being."

Thus, the soul originated in the internal aspect of the life-force and flow issuing from G-d.

It is only afterwards, in order to enable it to be invested within the body, that the soul descended to a more external level, as the Alter Rebbe now goes on to say].

It then descended through ever more concealing planes, also [like the angels who were created by means of "letters"] by means of the letters that comprise the Divine Utterance, [22] "Let us make man ....," in order that it could eventually be invested in a body in this inferior, [physical] world.

[This, then, is the difference between souls and angels:

Souls derive from the innermost aspect of G-dliness, the Tetragrammaton, while angels are rooted in the external aspect of G-dliness, the Divine Name Elokim, as is now explained].

For this reason Scripture calls the angels "Elokim", as [23] in the phrase, [24] "For the L-rd your G-d, [25] He is the G-d of G-ds (Elokim)...," the last word here referring to angels, [and likewise], [26] "Praise the G-d of G-ds (Elokim)....," [once again referring to angels by the name "Elokim"], and [in yet another reference to angels], [27] "The sons of G-d (Elokim) came to present themselves...."

[The Name Elokim is applied to angels]:

Because they derive their nurture from the external degree [of G-dliness], which is merely the state of "letters".

Similarly, the Name Elokim is an external state relative to the Tetragrammaton.

But the soul of man, deriving from the internal aspect of the G-dly vivifying power, is a part of the Tetragrammaton, for the Tetragrammaton indicates the innermost dimension of the life-giving power, which far transcends the state of letters.



  1. (Back to text) Devarim 32:9.

  2. (Back to text) Bereishit 2:7.

  3. (Back to text) See above, Part I, beg. of chapter 2, citing the Zohar.

  4. (Back to text) The Rebbe Shlita suggests that "etc." alludes to the continuation of this statement above, Part I, beg. of chapter 2: ".... from his inwardness and his innermost being."

  5. (Back to text) Note of the Rebbe Shlita: " `Etc.' signifies `nor body' - from the hymn entitled Yigdal. See also beginning of Likutei Torah leGimmel Parshiyot."

  6. (Back to text) Berachot 31b.

  7. (Back to text) Tehillim 33:6.

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

  9. (Back to text) Bereishit 1:26.

  10. (Back to text) The Rebbe Shlita notes that the Alter Rebbe cites three verses to adduce that angels are called Elokim, possibly in order to allude to the three general categories of angels - in the Worlds of Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah.

    The angels closest to souls (souls having "arisen in the Divine thought") are those of the World of Beriah, the World of Thought.

    They are alluded to in the first verse, which states that "Your G-d," i.e., the G-d of souls, is "the G-d of angels."

    The second verse, which mentions neither "Your G-d" nor the Tetragrammaton, may be said to refer to the angels in the World of Yetzirah. The final verse, which speaks of the angels who give testimony with regard to the worldly affairs of man, may be said to apply to the angels of the nethermost world, the World of Asiyah.

  11. (Back to text) Devarim 10:17.

  12. (Back to text) In line with Scripture, the Rebbe Shlita restored the word "He" to the paraphrase in the text.

  13. (Back to text) Tehillim 136:2.

  14. (Back to text) Iyov 1:6.

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