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Introduction

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   Kimei Tzeischa (1)

   Foreword

Chapters 1-3

Chapters 4-6

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Text of the Passover Haggadah

 
 Chapters 1-3 Chapters 7-12


Chapters 4-6

IV

The difference between the two explanations [given above] for the advantage of the miracles which are enclothed within nature can be understood by prefacing [an explanation of] a passage from the Akeidah [1] which states that [not only through miracles, but] also through the natural order is it possible to recognize the greatness of the Creator.

Not only does contemplation of the course of the activity of the universe (e.g., the movement of the celestial bodies,) bring one to an awareness that "there is a Master to this structure," [2] but [even more impressive is that] the activity of the natural order is constant, without change, as it is written: [3] "[...Day and night] will not cease."

Although almost 6000 years have past since creation, the activity of the natural order continues without ebb. {Moreover, throughout this entire time, even the energy [maintaining] the created beings has not ebbed. For the existence of each one of the heavenly hosts and each species of the earthly hosts has remained constant; they are as powerful as the day on which they were created. [4]}

[Awareness of these truths] endows us with knowledge of the greatness of the Creator, that His power (from which His influence is drawn down into the world) in truly infinite.

The life energy of every particular created being is limited. For the nature of every created being is dependent on the Divine life energy enclothed within them. Since we see that the nature of every created being is defined according to the life energy it [is granted, we can assume that this life energy itself is defined and limited]. [5]

This, however, refers to the nature [of the specific created beings].

The [activity of] the natural order [as a whole] and the fact that it continues without change or weakness, [is, by contrast, an obvious expression] of [G-d's] infinite power that is not enclothed within the world.

Nevertheless, to appreciate the greatness of G-d [by observing] the natural order requires meditation. When, by contrast, one sees a miracle, a deviation from the natural order, one perceives immediately (without the need for meditation) the expression of [G-d's] infinity which is not limited to the framework of the world.

There is another advantage to miracles over nature: (Even after meditation, [there is a drawback to the appreciation of G-dliness that stems from the natural order]). The infinite power which is revealed through the constancy of the natural order is enclothed within the limitations of nature; [it is an awareness that] nature (i.e., limitation) persists without end or change.

Through miracles, by contrast, the revelation of the infinity of the Or Ein Sof which transcends [all possibility of] being enclothed in limitation becomes manifest.

In this regard, nevertheless, there is an advantage to the revelation of [G-d's] infinite power through the constancy of the natural order over the revelation through miracles.

For the revelation of G-d's infinity through miracles disrupts the natural order and thus does not relate to the world [within its own context]. The constancy of the natural order, by contrast, reveals how even the (limited) life energy of the world is connected with the infinity of Or Ein Sof.

The above can be explained based on the statements in the series of maamarim [entitled Yom Tov Shel Rosh HaShanah,] 5666. [6]

There it is stated that the constancy of the natural order - ([which is an expression of G-d's infinity] although as explained above, the natural [order itself] comes from the Divine life energy invested in the created beings, and this life energy is limited in nature) - comes about because the source for the life energy enclothed in the created beings is (not from the keilim, but rather) from the light of the kav, whose source is the Or Ein Sof that existed before the tzimtzum.

As explained in several sources, [7] the source for the keilim is the tzimtzum itself, while the source of the kav is the Or Ein Sof that existed before the tzimtzum (but it is, nevertheless, drawn down [into existence] via the tzimtzum, [and thus effected by the tzimtzum].

As the Eitz Chayim states: [8] After the tzimtzum, He drew down from the Or Ein Sof one straight line from its sphere. [9] As is well known, [10] the kav broke through the darkness of the tzimtzum, and any breakthrough stems from the power of gevurah, might. [11] For the source for the kav is the attribute of tiferes [12] which is hidden, i.e., a level that transcends the light which shines (in revelation) before the tzimtzum.

On this basis, we can explain the advantage to the revelation of the power of the Ein Sof through the constancy of the natural order over the revelation of the Ein Sof through miracles.

For the light that exists before the tzimtzum is also limited in that it is infinite, and it is impossible for it to be revealed within the limited context of the worlds. [13] Therefore the light which is sovev [kol almin] {which is a revelation of the light which exists before the tzimtzum} [14] which is the source for miracles, is revealed through a disruption of the natural order, negating the nature (limitations) of the world.

The light of the kav, by contrast, because its source is the attribute of tiferes which is hidden, includes and combines the two opposites of infinity and limitation.

Accordingly, the revelation of infinity which the light of the kav brings about, ([the fact that the natural order continues] endlessly) also is expressed within limitation (nature).

V

In the previous section, it was explained that also the constancy of the natural order is an expression of the infinity of Or Ein Sof which transcends the world and the advantage of miracles is that through them is revealed the infinite dimensions of Or Ein Sof which transcend the possibility of being enclothed within the world.

On this basis, it is possible to say that the two types of miracles mentioned previously, the miracles which transcend nature, and the miracles which are enclothed in nature reflect two expressions of the revelation of infinite dimensions of Or Ein Sof which transcend the possibility of being enclothed within the world.

According to this explanation, the statement in sec. III, that the advantage of the miracles enclothed in the natural order is that the revelation of the Or Ein Sof is enclothed within the natural order is that these miracles also involve the advantage of relating to the natural order.

Thus, within the context of miracles (i.e., the revelation of the infinite dimensions of Or Ein Sof which transcend [the possibility of] being enclothed [within the natural order]), the advantage of the miracles enclothed in the natural order is that through them it is revealed that the infinite dimensions of Or Ein Sof (which transcend [the possibility of] being enclothed [within the natural order]) control and dominate nature in a manner which causes nature itself to reflect His will (the second explanation given in sec. III).

Similar concepts also apply with regard to the miracles which transcend nature.

The advantage of these miracles is that they are overtly revealed. And also that with regard to these miracles, there is (one dimension) in which the concept that the infinite dimensions of Or Ein Sof control and dominate nature is revealed more powerfully.

With regard to the miracles that are enclothed within nature, the natural order retains its power. The dominion of Or Ein Sof over nature is (only) that nature [is compelled] to do His will. With regard to the miracles that transcend nature, by contrast, the natural order becomes nullified entirely and the dominion over nature is complete, effecting the very essence of its existence.

It is possible to explain that the difference between these two types of miracles [is dependent on the difference] in their source.

The source for the miracles that are enclothed in the natural order is the revelation of the infinite dimensions of Or Ein Sof as it allows for the existence of limitation. Therefore the revelation of this light allows for the existence of nature (i.e., limitation), except that [it dictates that] this limited framework will reflect the will of the infinite dimensions of Or Ein Sof.

The miracles which transcend nature, by contrast, have their source in the infinite dimensions of Or Ein Sof which transcend limitation entirely. Therefore, in the face of the revelation of this light, nature is utterly nullified.

{To cite a parallel, in other sources, [15] it is explained that will and intellect serve as an analogy for the light of soveiv [kol almin] (the source for miracles) and memaleh [kol almin] (the source for nature).

The dimension of the will which is drawn down to the level of intellect and which effects it, creating a rationale for the will, is only the external dimension of the will. The essence of the will is not drawn down into intellect. It is said: "There is no reason for will."

There is, nevertheless, an advantage to the miracles which are enclothed in nature: that these miracles reveal the dominion which Or Ein Sof has over (the manner) of nature itself.

It is possible to say that the difference between these two types of miracles parallels the difference between the bittul of the sublime unity, and the bittul produced by kabbalas ol.

The fact that nature becomes utterly nullified in the face of the revelation of the infinite dimensions of Or Ein Sof (i.e., the miracles which transcend the natural order) resembles the complete and total bittul of the sublime unity which results from the contemplation that "everything is of utterly no importance before Him." [16]

And the fact that the natural order can continue to follow its pattern and yet its pattern will [be altered] - that instead of following its [ordinary] rules and tendencies, it will conform to His will (i.e., the miracles which are enclothed in nature) - resembles the bittul of kabbalas ol.

[For a servant who has kabbalas ol] retains his individual identity - indeed, "a servant desires to be unrestrained" - [17] and, nevertheless, in practice, his conduct does not reflect his own will, but that of his master.

VI

It is well known [18] that the advantage of the bittul of the sublime unity is that it is all encompassing, (no dimension of one's being remains that is not nullified.

With regard to the bittul produced by kabbalas ol, by contrast, the bittul affects only the person's conduct. [His sense of personal identity remains intact.])

[There is, however, an advantage to] the bittul of kabbalas ol, that advantage being the quality of the bittul.

The person truly goes beyond himself, expressing self-nullification which is not at all related to his personal identity.

[To explain:] Since the bittul of the sublime unity is contingent on a person's recognition and appreciation that "everything is of utterly no importance before Him," the person's self-nullification depends on his selfhood (his understanding) and does not represent true bittul.

The bittul of kabbalas ol, by contrast, involves the acceptance of G-d's commandments even when they run contrary to one's own will, like a servant who is compelled to carry out the will of his master. Since this type of bittul does not leave room for his own selfhood, it is true bittul.

It is possible to say that similar concepts apply with regard to the miracles which are enclothed in nature.

The nullification of the natural order to Or Ein Sof with regard to these miracles effects only the course of the natural order, and not its essence. Nevertheless, the ordinary tendency of nature does not allow for the course of nature to lead to a miracle.

The deviation from the natural order, (i.e., the miracle) comes about because Or Ein Sof rules over nature and controls it as it sees fit. Thus the nullification of the natural order reflected by these miracles is thoroughly genuine.

Footnotes:

  1. (Back to text) Shaar 38, commenting on the verse (Shmos 12:2): "This month shall be...." This concept is quoted and explained in Or HaTorah, Bereishis 18b ff., and in the maamarim entitled HaChodesh HaZeh Lechem, 5654 (Sefer HaMaamarim 5654, p. 131ff.), 5666 (the series of maamarim entitled Yom Tov Shel Rosh HaShanah, 5666, p. 156ff.), 5678 (Sefer HaMaamarim 5678, p. 225ff.). See also the explanation in Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XVII, p. 150ff.

  2. (Back to text) See Bereishis Rabbah 39:1; Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Avodas Kochavim 1:3.

  3. (Back to text) Bereishis 8:22.

  4. (Back to text) Jerusalem Talmud, Berachos 1:1.

  5. (Back to text) [Another proof that the life energy itself is defined and limited is from the fact that the body is limited.] It is impossible for infinite life energy to be enclothed in a finite body (Moreh Nevuchim, Volume 2, Preface 12).

  6. (Back to text) The conclusion of the maamar entitled HaChodesh HaZeh Lechem, p. 163.

  7. (Back to text) See the series of maamarim entitled BeShaah SheHikdimu, 5672, Vol. I, sec. 8.

  8. (Back to text) Shaar 1, (the treatise on Iggulim ViYoshar), sec. 2; see also Mevo HaShaarim (Shaar 1, Vol. I, ch. 2).

  9. (Back to text) [I.e., the light before the tzimtzum, is described as being spherical in nature.] See the series of maamarim [entitled Yom Tov Shel Rosh HaShanah,] 5666, p. 164.

  10. (Back to text) See the series of maamarim entitled BeShaah SheHikdimu, 5672, Vol. I, sec. 273; see also Sefer HaMaamarim Meluket, Vol. III, p. 223.

  11. (Back to text) See Siddur Im Dach, p. 248a.

  12. (Back to text) [And the attribute of tiferes (beauty) combines both chesed (kindness) and gevurah (might).]

  13. (Back to text) [I.e., although the light is infinite, that infinity is itself a definite limit. The light is not finite and is separate from all finite conceptions.]

  14. (Back to text) See Sefer HaMaamarim Meluket, Vol. II, p. 231.

  15. (Back to text) See the series of maamarim entitled BeShaah SheHikdimu, 5672, Vol. I, sec. 125.

  16. (Back to text) Cf. Zohar, Vol. I, p. 11b.

  17. (Back to text) Gittin 13a.

  18. (Back to text) See the explanation in Likkutei Sichos, Vol. IX, p. 73ff.
 Chapters 1-3 Chapters 7-12



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