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As Divided for a Leap Year
Tanya for 27 Elul
Now, the aspect of the blessed Divine Chochmah that is vested in the 613 commandments of the Torah, is referred to as the hindmost aspect of Chochmah.
[The Alter Rebbe had previously said that (a) Moses' prophetic comprehension of the Sefirah of Chochmah consisted merely of the achorayim (the hindmost aspect) of Chochmah. He then went on to say that (b) the source of the Torah in Chochmah is the same, for it too transcends reason. The Alter Rebbe is now saying that (c) even the Chochmah vested in the 613 commandments is referred to as no more than the achorayim of Chochmah.]
For the achorayim of any one of the Sefirot are the external and lower levels within that Sefirah, which are capable of descending and extending downwards, to become vested in created beings in order to animate them.
The aspect of the panim (the "face" or inner dimension) of the Sefirah is the Sefirah itself as it is united with its Emanator, the blessed Ein Sof, in an absolute union.
As, for example, the Sefirah of Chochmah, [the Sefirah now under discussion]: It is united with its Emanator, the blessed Ein Sof, in absolute unity, for the Holy One, blessed be He, and His Wisdom, are One  (as explained above) - [evidently in reference to Part I, chs. 2 and 52.]
But that which radiates and extends from His blessed Chochmah to the limited and finite nether beings below, and becomes vested in them, [is called achorayim; [Light that merely "radiates" and "extends" does not necessarily contract according to the limitations of the recipient of the light; it may "radiate" and "extend" in an encompassing manner (makkif) and thus not be subject to them. However, when the illumination is "vested" within a receptor, this implies adjustment to its limitations.
Hence, a light that becomes vested within finite created beings cannot possibly be infinite, as would be the case if the actual Sefirah as united with its Emanator - and thus as infinite as its Emanator - would descend into created beings. Therefore, the life- giving force which is vested within creation] - is called achorayim: [it is the external aspect of the Sefirah and not the Sefirah itself], and it is also called the aspect of Asiyah within Atzilut.
[The external aspect of Chochmah - Chochmah here being an allusion to the World of Atzilut - is termed the level of Asiyah within Atzilut,  i.e., that level of Atzilut that is capable of descending below.]
The meaning of this will be understood by way of analogy with terrestrial man, whose soul spans five ranks, one lower than the other.
These are: the faculties of the intellect; the emotive attributes; thought; speech; and action; with action the lowest of them all. [I.e., the soul manifests itself in action to a much lesser degree than it does in the other four levels.]
For the life-force that extends from the soul and is vested in the faculty of action, is as nothing compared to the life-force that extends from it and is vested in the faculty of speech.
The latter [in turn] is as nothing compared to the life-force that extends from [the soul] and is vested in thought, in the emotive attributes, and in the intellect.
[The latter three faculties are always united with the soul. Even the faculty of thought, which is merely a "garment" of the soul [i.e., one of its means of expression], is always united with it, and therefore, like the soul itself, always in a manifest state. Speech and action, however, are "garments" that are separate from the soul. Thus, insofar as speech is concerned, there is  "A time to speak and a time to refrain from speech," while action is even more distant from the soul than speech.]
- (Back to text) Parentheses appear in the original text.
- (Back to text) Note of the Rebbe Shlita: So it is written in the editions that I have seen. It would seem, however, that the text should have stated `Asiyah of Chochmah.' Possibly, however, since the Alter Rebbe is speaking here of the difference between the finite and the infinite - the Torah at the level of Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah, as compared to the Torah at the level of Atzilut (where "Toratcha" - "Your Torah," refers to the Torah of Atzilut, while "Sheli-madet-anu" - "that You have taught us" refers to the Torah of Beriah) - he therefore stresses `of Atzilut'.
As to the relevance of this subject to our text: The infinity of the World of Atzilut lies in its correspondence to the Sefirah of Chochmah (i.e., the letter yud of the Four-Letter Name), while the Worlds of Beriah-Yetzirah-Asiyah correspond to the other [lower] Sefirot.
- (Back to text) See Kohelet 3:7.
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