Weekly Tanya video\lecture: The Gate to Faith

Date09 March 2021
Published date09 March 2021
Note: Each lecture can be studied on its own, but previous ones can be accessed through the link below.


In truth, however, the supernal letters of speech are far higher than the level and essence of the wisdom and intellect of created beings.

אֲבָל בֶּאֱמֶת, בְּחִינַת אוֹתִיּוֹת הַדִּבּוּר שֶׁל מַעְלָה – הִיא לְמַעְלָה מַּעְלָה מִמַּדְרֵגַת וּמַהוּת חָכְמָה וְשֵׂכֶל הַנִּבְרָאִים,

In this, they differ from the letters of man's thought and speech, which are "inanimate" and belong to a level far lower than intellect.

The Alter Rebbe now demonstrates that the supernal letters of speech transcend man's intellect and wisdom:

For man, possessor of wisdom and intellect, was created by the utterance and the letters of [the phrase], "Let us make man in our image…,"2

שֶׁהֲרֵי בְּמַאֲמַר וְאוֹתִיּוֹת "נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵינוּ וְגוֹ'" – נִבְרָא הָאָדָם בַּעַל חָכְמָה וָשֵׂכֶל,

Since wisdom and intellect are derived from these letters, it is obvious that the letters themselves are far superior to them.

or [man, possessor of wisdom and intellect, was created] even3 by the Divine breath alone, as it is written, "And He breathed into his nostrils a soul of life."4

אוֹ אֲפִילוּ בַּהֶבֶל הָעֶלְיוֹן לְבַד, כְּדִכְתִיב: "וַיִּפַּח בְּאַפָּיו נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים",

It was from this "breath" that was breathed into man that he became a rational being.

Hence, since Divine speech and breath create man, who possesses wisdom and intellect, it follows that the Divine speech and breath are the source of wisdom and intellect in the soul of Adam,

וְאִם כֵּן, הַדִּבּוּר וְהֶבֶל הָעֶלְיוֹן, הוּא מְקוֹר הַחָכְמָה וְהַשֵּׂכֶל שֶׁבְּנִשְׁמַת אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן,

which contains all the souls of the tzaddikim, who are superior to the ministering angels and whose intellect too is superior to that of the angels. All this came forth from the Divine speech and breath.

הַכּוֹלֶלֶת כָּל נִשְׁמוֹת הַצַּדִּיקִים, שֶׁהֵם גְּדוֹלִים מִמַּלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת.

The reason [for the transcendence of the supernal letters over the soul] is that the letters of [G‑d's] speech are effluences of power and life-force from His emotive attributes,

וְהַיְינוּ, לְפִי שֶׁאוֹתִיּוֹת דִּיבּוּרוֹ יִתְבָּרֵךְ הֵן בְּחִינוֹת הַמְשָׁכוֹת כֹּחוֹת וְחַיּוּת מִמִּדּוֹתָיו יִתְבָּרֵךְ,

which are united with His Essence and Being in a perfect unity that is infinitely higher than the level of wisdom in created beings.

הַמְיוּחָדוֹת בְּמַהוּתוֹ וְעַצְמוּתוֹ בְּתַכְלִית הַיִּחוּד, שֶׁהוּא לְמַעְלָה מַּעְלָה לְאֵין...

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