BASI L’GANI – 5718 –
January 9, 2018
The Rebbe in #1101, Basi L'Gani, D'var Malchus

Beis Moshiach presents the maamer the Rebbe MHM delivered on Yud-Alef Shvat 5718, in accordance with the custom established by the Rebbe to review each year a section of the Rebbe Rayatzs hemshechBasi LGaniof 5710. • This year we focus on the eighth section of the profound and foundational Chassidic discourse. * Section 6 of 8.

Translated by Boruch Merkur


6. The Rebbe continues in the maamer, citing the verse, “the pit was empty (reik); there was no water in it” (VaYeishev 37:24). “Reik” is spelled Kuf-Reish. The Torah teaches that these letters have “no water” within them [i.e., they are devoid of “soul,” as follows].

The Rebbe distinguishes between “pit” [which is “empty” and contains “no water”] and “well,” which refers to the soul: “A garden fountain, a well of living waters” (Shir HaShirim 4:15). Well water originates from saltwater, but they become “living waters” by passing through the constricting force and pressure of the earth and its fissures. The same is true of the soul: by descending into the physical world and investing itself within the “constriction” and “pressure” of the body and the Animal Soul, the soul channels a “wellspring” of “living waters” into the Higher Gan Eden, which is a “trough of water.” This then is the meaning of the verse, “A garden fountain, a well of living waters.”

But how is it possible that the service of the soul below in the physical world can bring about an increase in G-dly light in the Higher Gan Eden? The explanation hinges on what our Sages say, “One moment of repentance and good deeds in this world is better than all the life of Olam HaBa.” The Rebbe Maharash explains that Divine service done specifically in the physical world reaches the spiritual heights of Ohr HaSovev.

In general, there are three levels relevant to this discussion: Olam HaZeh (the physical world), the Lower Gan Eden, which is still within the realm of Asiya, and the Higher Gan Eden, which is beyond time and space. But there is an even higher level, and that is what is innovated through avoda.

The fact is that the decent of the soul into the physical world actually casts the soul down from the Higher Gan Eden to the Lower Gan Eden. Illustrating this point, there is the interpretation of the saying of our Sages, “Da mei’ayin basa v’l’an ata holech – Know your place of origin and where you are going”: The soul comes from “ayin” (“mei’ayin basa). “Ayin” (spelled Alef-Yud-Nun) contains a Yud, referring to the Higher Gan Eden, as our Sages said, “With a Yud Olam HaBa was created.” Yet through avoda the soul only reaches “ahn” (Alef-Nun – “v’l’an ata holech”), which does not have a Yud, referring to the Lower Gan Eden.

The Lower Gan Eden is within the realm of Asiya, meaning within the realm of time and space. The descent of the soul is especially prominent in its actual descent to Olam HaZeh [where it is enclothed in a physical body], the physical world, being totally incomparable to Olam HaBa, the Higher Gan Eden. Nevertheless, avoda brings about the concept of innovation (his’chadshus), as will be explained.

The creation of the worlds is associated with the Divine middos [such as mercy and kindness], as it is written, “Remember Your mercy and Your kindness, for they are eternal (ki mei’olam heima)” (T’hillim 25:6). Gan Eden, however, is comprised of the Gimmel Rishonos of each world (the three aspects of the “mind,” Chochma-Bina-Daas). The preeminence of Gan Eden over the physical world is thus akin to the superiority of the mind over emotions.

The general Hishtalshlus (the order of the worlds) is divisible into three levels, paralleling the physical body of man: head, torso, and legs. The head houses the brain, the most exalted organ, the torso refers to middos, the emotional attributes, and the legs are merely the power of action, the lowest faculty.

Of course, the legs have an advantage over the other parts of the body, as they allow the person to walk, carrying the torso and the rest of the body, even the head. On their own, the body and the head are incapable of moving through space to grasp what they desire; they are dependent on the legs for locomotion. Nevertheless, bringing the head to where it wants to go comes about through the decision of the mind to reach particular destinations. And the cognizance and resolve of the mind reaches the legs through the emotions of the heart. It is only then [at the final stage of the process] that the legs take the heart and the brain to the object they desire. Thus, the legs must receive from the head and the torso, for the legs embody the lowest of the three sections.

[Reflecting the superiority of emotion over action] the torso is positioned above the legs, though the heart does possess an advantage over the brain. The advantage of emotions over intellect is reflected in the spiritual height called Raava D’Raavin, which transcends reason. However, although Raava D’Raavin transcends reason, it is manifest specifically as a result of prior meditation. It is just that the meditation itself is about the concept of haflaa, how G-dliness is beyond any frame of reference. [So the intellectual aspect that is required to attain this level itself deals with what is beyond intellect.] Even the aspect of Raava D’Raavin that entirely transcends reason is derived from the mind. Take for example the concept of self-sacrifice. Although it is an essential force that is beyond the intellect, in truth self-sacrifice is actually the strength of the mind, daas. That is, self-sacrifice is fueled by a forceful, powerful daas (focus of thought) that can lead to the point of the literal sacrifice of self.

Thus, all of the body – it’s legs (action) and even the torso (emotion) – receives from the brain (mind).

The same understanding applies to the spiritual worlds, shedding light on the concept of Gan Eden, which is at the level of the Gimmel Rishonos [possessing the advantage of mind]. But all this is as Gan Eden exists unto itself. Through avoda specifically in Olam HaZeh, however, there is an increase of G-dly light in the Higher Gan Eden.

This is the meaning of a “garden fountain – mayan ganim” – that as it exists unto itself, only Ohr HaMemalei shines in Gan Eden. Thus, it is said of Gan Eden that there the souls “sit and bask in the radiance of the Sh’china” – that the grasp is only at the level of Memalei (which also explains why t’shuva, repentance [which surpasses Ohr HaMemalei], has no effect in Gan Eden) . But through avoda in Olam HaZeh, Ohr HaSovev is manifest.

(To be continued.)


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