January 10, 2019
The Rebbe in #1149, Basi L'Gani, D'var Malchus, Yud Shvat

Beis Moshiach presents the maamer the Rebbe MHM delivered on Yud Shvat 5719, 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 ninth section of the profound and foundational Chassidic discourse. * Section 7 of 9 continues.

Translated by Boruch Merkur

The significance of serving G-d through avoda in physical bodies is further brought to light in the teaching of the Rebbe Maharash, nishmaso Eden, on the verse, “Ahavas olam ahavtich, al ken mesachtich chased – I have loved you with everlasting love, therefore I have drawn you to Me with lovingkindness” (Yermiyahu 31:2). It says in Tikkunei D’Vei Eliyahu on this verse: “G-d’s love for the Jewish people [is not fleeting, transient; it] is not the love of three years, ten years, a hundred years. Rather, ‘I have loved you with everlasting love.’” In the Hemshech Mayim Rabbim, the Rebbe Maharash explains that “olam” – in the expression “ahavas olam” – means “eternal.” “Ahavas olam” means eternal, everlasting love.

This interpretation, however, does not contradict what it says in several places – that ahavas olam is lower than ahava rabba (great love), for there are two levels of ahavas olam, corresponding to two meanings of the word “olam”: “Olam” can mean “eternal” or it can mean “world.” “Ahavas olam – eternal love” is the greatest love of all, whereas a love that derives from G-dliness that shines within the worlds is a lower, finite expression of love.

There is a countless multitude of worlds, as it is written, “v’alamos ein mispar – maidens without number” – Don’t read ‘alamos-maidens’ but ‘olamos-worlds (without number).’” But the worlds are conceived as dividing into two general categories – the revealed world and the concealed world – alluded to in the verse in T’hillim (106:48), “Blessed is G-d, L-rd of Yisroel, min ha’olam v’ad ha’olam (“forever and ever,” but literally meaning, “from the world, until the world”).

The revealed world is measured and confined, subject to a great tzimtzum, a great contraction or concealment of G-dly light. Contemplating G-d’s light as it exists at the level of the revealed world, of Memalei Kol Almin, which is measured and limited, contracted within the universe, gives rise to a love of G-d that is likewise measured, limited, and constrained. This is the ahavas olam that is lower than ahava rabba.

The concealed world on the other hand, is beyond measure and limit. This boundless world has the advantage of something that is hidden, as stated in Gemara Taanis (8b) regarding how blessings reside upon “davar ha’samui min ha’ayin – something that is hidden from the eye” [not something that is visible to all; public miracles, for example, which are exceedingly rare]. The lofty, concealed world corresponds to the concept of ahavas olam meaning “eternal love,” transcending not only the limited aspect of ahavas olam, at the level of Memalei Kol Almin, but also the boundless level of Divinity known as Sovev Kol Almin.

This background provides the basis for understanding “the love of three years, ten years, a hundred years.” “Three years” refers to G-dly vitality as it is constrained within the three worlds Bria-Yetzira-Asiya. Since the dimensions of olam-shana-nefesh (space-time-soul) exist in every world, the three worlds are referred to as “three years.”

The love of “ten years” is at the level of Atzilus, for Atzilus is identified with the ten S’firos, “ten years.” Atzilus is distinguished and higher than Bria-Yetzira-Asiya insofar as its ten S’firos are described as being “eser S’firos bli ma” (see Seifer Yetzira 1:4) [a completely transparent world where the S’firos do not conceal G-dliness]. In contrast to the direct revelation of G-dliness in the world of Atzilus, the hamshacha from Atzilus to Bria-Yetzira-Asiya happens by means of the Parsa, a Divine curtain that conceals G-dly light. Atzilus, on the other hand, means “etzlo v’samoch – with Him and close,” and it is called the world of unity [where the reality of the oneness of G-d is perceived]. But even Atzilus is limited and is not the ultimate expression of love.

The love of “a hundred years” is G-dly light at the level of Kesser, which transcends even Atzilus. Kesser includes the general worlds of Ein Sof, which are higher than Atzilus. The Zohar (Zohar I 123a) sheds light on the concept of “a hundred years,” interpreting the verse, “And the life of Sara was a hundred years, etc.”: “A hundred years” alludes to Kesser, a realm that includes everything. In Kesser, each of the ten S’firos include all ten, which is the concept of “a hundred years.”

Notwithstanding all these G-dly distinctions, even Kesser pertains to “worlds.” Although relative to the [other] worlds, Kesser is Sovev, transcendent, this transcendence itself is a kind of connection to the worlds. Thus, it is called Sovev L’Almin.

The higher level of ahavas olam, which means “eternal love,” stems from Atzmus, which is truly boundless. Eternal love transcends even the love of “a hundred years.” In general, it is the concept of the ten S’firos Sh’B’Maatzil, Eser S’firos HaG’nuzos. This essential G-dly height is the source of eternal love.

[However, G-d does not suffice, as it were, with His eternal love to remain utterly transcendent. His will is to reveal it in the lower worlds, as we see from the concept of] “Blessed is G-d the L-rd of Yisroel, min ha’olam ad ha’olam,” which means that one must draw down from the highest world until the lowest world. It must be perceived in the finite world itself that all is one, as the maamer says: the ceiling and the floor are literally one.

Despite the divergent interpretations of “ahavas olam,” “the text does not depart from its literal meaning.” [Rather, both interpretations of “olam” are linked, as follows.] The aspect of “olam” meaning “eternal” draws down into “olam” in the literal sense, into the physical world.

As explained above, Atzmus is the essence of G-d that defies all change or sense of impermanence – “I, G-d, have not changed.” Atzmus transcends all G-dly emanations, for all aspects of light are subject to change. But in the Future Era, the Divine core – “I, G-d, have not changed” – will be manifest in the physical world.

(To be continued, b’ezras Hashem)

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