Thursday, February 13, 2014

How This World Brings the Soul to a Greater Love and Fear of G-d - Explaining Chassidic Concepts Based on the Discourses of the Lubavitcher Rebbe

In his first Ma'amar for the Torah portion of Ekev, related on Shabat Mevarchim Elul, 5711, the Rebbe explains the verse from the Zohar which states that "three 'knots' are tied together: Israel with the Torah, and the Torah with Hashem, one with each other, all together, level upon level, hidden and revealed.

The language used, tied, knotted (Hitkashrut), implies three separate entities. Would it not be better to speak in terms of Dveikut, which implies complete oneness? The Rebbe explains that the reality of the matter is that once the soul comes down to this world it is no longer completely one with Hashem as it was in the upper worlds.

However, there are advantages to the soul coming down to this world. The Rebbe illustrates this by bringing a verse from the Song of Songs, "Shechorah Ani veNa'avah, Benot Yerushalayim," I am darkened yet I am beautiful, daughters of Jerusalem." Yerushalayim refers to the level of Yirah Shalem, fear of Hashem that is whole, complete. This can only be achieved in the higher worlds. The soul in this lowly world is speaking to those in the higher world, stating that it has been darkened, it no longer has the same closeness and fear, yet it is beautiful, in the sense that in this world the soul can climb even higher. Once the soul is separated from Hashem and placed in a body, it feels that it is distant from G-d, and that it lives in a dry land without water, and that it could even sin, bringing it even further from G-d. This creates within it a thirst and a love for G-d that is higher than before.

The Rebbe also explains that even regarding fear, even though it is impossible that the quantity of the fear be greater in this lowly world, where one does not fully grasp G-dliness, nevertheless the quality of the fear can become greater. Fear of G-d comes from the idea of Bittul, nullification. There are two level of nullification. The first is when the individual believes that the worlds are nothing compared to Hashem, Kula Kamei Kelo Chashiv, and the second is when one realizes that there is nothing but Him, Ein Od Milevadoh. When the soul is in the upper worlds, it is at the first level - it absorbs G-dliness, but to an extent still sees itself as a separate entity. In this world, once the soul realizes that everything that masks and hides Hashem's oneness is a lie, this brings to an even greater nullification than before.

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