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Tuesday
Mar132012

ZACH ADAR: PURIFYING THE TZIMTZUM ITSELF 

What did the Rebbe say about Chaf-Zayin Adar? * The letters Chaf-Zayin spell “zach – pure,” with all the connotations of cleansing, refining, and purifying said of the Era of Redemption. Indeed, the ultimate state of purification and refinement is accomplished by revealing the intent underlying the tzimtzum itself, the contraction and concealment of G-dliness associated with the Divine name Elokim.

Translated by Boruch Merkur

May it be G-d’s will that the good resolutions spoken about above–– Namely, increasing in faith in Moshiach and anticipating his coming, as well as speeding up the advent of Moshiach by giving additional charity and helping others with the costs of preparing for Pesach. May it be G-d’s will that this immediately brings about the true reward, the true and complete redemption, on this Shabbos Kodesh, the 27th* of Adar 5750.

(*Footnote 110: To note the special quality of the 27th day of the month, whose letters, Chaf-Zayin, when reversed spell “zach – pure,” with all the connotations of cleansing, refining, and purifying said of the Era of Redemption: “Many shall refine themselves and make themselves white, and be purified” (Daniel 12:10). Indeed, the ultimate state of purification and refinement is accomplished by revealing the intent underlying the tzimtzum itself, the contraction and concealment of G-dliness associated with the Divine name Elokim.

(There is added significance in the fact that the 27th day (zach) follows the 26th, which is numerically equivalent to G-d’s name Havaya. This progression alludes to the order of Divine service whereby first there is the revelation of G-d’s name Havaya (and the purpose of the tzimtzum is to set the stage for this revelation), following which they reveal the intent of the tzimtzum itself, the intrinsic purpose of the contraction and concealment of the name Elokim.)

[These esoteric concepts are elaborated upon earlier in the Rebbe’s address, as follows.]

TZIMTZUM AS AN END UNTO ITSELF

Regarding the daily lesson in Rambam on the Laws of Gifts to the Poor – the inner dimension of Peia, the Mitzva to leave a section of one’s field for the poor, is expressed by its numerical equivalent of 86, which also equals the Divine name Elokim. Elokim signifies the attribute of Severity and Tzimtzum, which gives rise to poverty. (The revelation of G-d’s name Havaya, on the other hand, associated with Benevolence and Generosity, brings about affluence.)

Of course, the seemingly negative quality of Severity/Tzimtzum, being of Divine origin, deriving from the Divine name Elokim, obviously has a G-dly intent. In fact, there is a dual intent to the G-dly power of tzimtzum: a) The purpose of tzimtzum is for the sake of a subsequent revelation. That is, by means of the preceding tzimtzum, there can be a revelation of unconstrained G-dly light within the universe. b) The intent of the tzimtzum is (not only for the sake of a subsequent revelation but) also for the virtue inherent to the tzimtzum itself. That is, the perfection of the Alm-ghty is revealed through the tzimtzum insofar as He is revealed as being not limited to revelation; G-d possesses the power of concealment as well as revelation [and thus He is truly perfect and omnipotent].

In accordance with this dual intent of tzimtzum, there are two ways to understand the name Elokim:

Regarding tzimtzum as it is recognized as being for the sake of a subsequent revelation, it is written, “for a sun and a sheath is Havaya Elokim” (T’hillim 84:12) – “‘A sheath’ refers to the shielding of the sun, providing protection, so that the creations are able to withstand it[s powerful rays] … Thus, the Divine name Elokim acts as a sheath to the name Havaya … so that it is not revealed [in its full force] to the creations, which would cause them to be nullified out of existence” (Shaar HaYichud V’HaEmuna, beg. Ch. 4-6). In this sense, the name Elokim (tzimtzum) is secondary to the name Havaya, being solely for the sake of revealing Havaya. Indeed, it is explained in several places that the two Divine names, Havaya and Elokim, are analogous to light and the vessel that contains the light – internal and external – for the vessel and external aspect are nullified and secondary to the light and the internal dimension.

However, upon recognizing the virtue inherent to tzimtzum, the name Elokim is a Divine name unto itself, one of the seven names that are not to be erased. From this perspective, the name Elokim is not secondary to the name Havaya. In fact, by means of the name Elokim, the full power of the Alm-ghty is revealed. […]

THE PERFECTION IN ALL “YOUR” WAYS

To explain the above in terms of the service of G-d:

Among the differences between the two approaches to the intent of the tzimtzum with regard to the Divine service of man: Considering the intent of tzimtzum as being only for the sake of a subsequent revelation, the Divine service within the context of worldly experience (“world – olam” meaning “concealment – helem,” which was created through the name Elokim, “B’Reishis bara Elokim”) is in a manner of “all of your deeds shall be for the sake of Heaven.” That is, worldly matters (tzimtzum) have worth only insofar as they are done “for the sake of Heaven,” for in this manner benefit accrues regarding matters of holiness. Worldliness/tzimtzum is thus tolerated or even uplifted for the sake of the revelation it can engender. On the other hand, recognizing that the tzimtzum itself reveals the perfection of G-d – that He has the power of limitation as well as revelation – the service is in a manner of “in all your ways you shall know Him,” meaning that “all your ways” (referring to non-obligatory, yet permissible activities) themselves reveal the perfection of G-d (“know Him”) through acknowledging the G-dly power of limitation.

(Seifer HaSichos 5750, 
pg. 376-7 and 371-2, muga)

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