Picture of the author
Picture of the author
War bannerWar banner

When G-d Sends a Wave, Don't Just Ride It

Studying the book of Likkutei Torah Vayikra Maamar Adam Ki Yakriv -- Class 2 of 3

57 min

Class Summary:

When G-d Sends a Wave, Don't Just Ride It - Studying the book of Likkutei Torah Vayikra Maamar Adam Ki Yakriv -- Class 2 of 3

Please leave your comment below!

  • AY

    Avner YD -12 years ago

    שיעור קומה
    ב"ה Rabbi can you please give the backround behind this Inyan of שיעור קומה? Thank You!  Wonderful Shuirim!

    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

    • A

      Anonymous -12 years ago

      Re: שיעור קומה

      Asking this question is like asking someone to explain all of Kabala in one sitting. Shiur Koma is another word for Ayzilus or Adam HaElyon or 10 Sefiros (in three Kavim).

      I’m not sure I should do this, but I’ll give it a go and when I’m done you’ll decide if you should have asked the question.

      The essence of Kabbala is one big idea: Ein sof or G-dliness,

      This one idea is then further broken down into two big ideas: 1) Ein Sof, 2) Adam HaElyon. These two ideas are sometimes called Adama and Meod (they have the sane letters spelled in order and in disorder).

      I must give you some background first.

      Kabala is a part of Torah that was given at Sinai (as opposed to Chakira [Jewish philosophy] that is a secular form of knowledge adopted (in many cases reluctantly) to address theological challenges that people’s studying these ideas developed).

      However, Kabala wasn’t revealed to the masses until the thirteenth century (when the Zohar was discovered and disseminated). The one big idea that Kabala adds to Jewish thought is the idea of Ein Sof or: G-dliness.

      This (Ein Sof) means something that is neither Hashem nor a creation.

      It exists existentially (in relationship with other things) while Hashem is the non-existential Being.

      On the other hand it doesn’t have the limitations of a creation (such as time, space and an ego that excludes others from its “space”).

      The idea of Ein Sof is therefore subject to so much analysis and questioning because it is difficult to fathom that something is; and is neither Hashem nor separate from Him.

      Another way of describing the issue is as follows: Until kabala was discovered  there were two types of beings: Hashem; known as Borei (Creator) and Nivraim (creations). Kabala says that in addition (and in between) Borei and Nivraim there is this third phenomena called G-dliness (light or ma’atzil and Ne’etzal).

      The most used metaphor that is used to help understand the Ein Sof is:Light. It reflects it’s source entirely and has absolutely no existence other than it’s source (and continued attachedness to it).

      The reason Kabala adds this “big new” idea is based on another “big idea”: can there be a relationship between man and His Maker.

      In other words, we all know that some of us are better Jews than others. Are the differences between one person and the next that one is closer to G-d and another further away or is there no such concept as being close or far vis-à-vis Hashem as he is an entirely different existence and the difference between one person and another is that one is closer to the ideal human being Hashem envisioned us to be and another is farther from that ideal?

      Are we getting closer to Hashem as we spiritually grow or are we getting closer to our own absolute (limit of) perfection which is entirely human?

      Chakira (Jewish philosophy holds that there is no such thing as a G-dly person (or: being closer to G-d), we simply use that expression to allude to getting closer to one’s own spiritual potential.

      Kabala however, disagrees and holds that one can get closer top G-d, but with an explanation:

      It is not G-d we can get close to, only G-dliness or the Light of the Ein Sof.

      Kabbala actually agrees with Chakira (philosophy) that since Hashem’s existence is “bilti metzius nimtza” [non-existential] there can never be an approaching of Him by any existential (interrelating) existence. But Kabala holds that Hashem has an “Ein Sof Light” that because it is (in the form of) light it is existential and relating (and can be related to by) other existences.

      And…. There is a distinct idea of being closer and farther from the light. One person may be far more sensitive to the light of Ein Sof than another. This is the true meaning of the word “Kabalist” one who can relate to and (on some level) feel the Ein Sof.

      The key idea here is light. The reason this is so because light (by definition) relates to other things that conduct reveal and (even) “translate “the light.

      Accordingly, Kabala’s plot thickens: If Kabala is about Light that interacts (and is revealed on) other things, then there needs to be an “other” that consistently is tuned into and affecting the revealing and manifesting of this light.

      This is called the vessel or body or the “Tziyur Koma” onto which the Light of Ein Sof manifests.

      Accordingly, another concept is added to the kabbalistic “in between” Borei (Creator) and Nivra (creation). This is called the keilim or supernal man or Tziyur Koma and a host of other names. This Vessel is not simple and infinite as the Ein Sof is, but complex, finite and diverse. But in it’s diversity there is a degree of order and interconnectedness, that is infinite. It is therefore not infinite in the literal sense but the figurative sense. Its order is infinite.

      We now have four ideas: 1) Borei or: Creator, 2) Nivraim, or: Creation, and 3-4) G-dliness in two levels (and forms) A. as it reflects the simple Truth of Hashem. B. G-dliness that is enough of an existence as to be able to receive and conduct the Ein Sof to the worlds. This middle concept (now split in two) includes two levels also called: Maatzil (the Source) and Ne’etzal (the Emination).

      As a result of Atzilus existing and G-dliness being manifest there, Kabala can now argue that through our efforts, we can bring the Light of Ein Sof down here as well.

      Both of these ideas 1) light in Atzilus, 2) Bringing the light down to this world) are what is known in kabala circles as Yichudim: revealing levels of G-dliness.

      G-dliness has no self identity only that of it’s source. Both these forms Ein Sof and Adam HaElyon conform to that Truth and are (therefore) both G-dly but in very different ways.

      Ein Sof is G-dly in it’s: 1) Simplicity, like its Source is One so is the reflection, 2) Infinity, 3) Dvaikus or: its obvious attachedness to the Source (called: a Dveikus Nikeres).

      The Vessels is G-dly in it’s: 1) Order, the measure of exactness present in the Adam model of the G-dly realm (Atzilus) where innumerable layers of detail are organized (like cells and cell parts; atoms and atomic particles in a living thing) in such a fashion where each has its own unique space and function yet (at the same time) they join together perfectly to create an order that holds true no matter how deep into the detail one were to descend. This is also called “Tikun” for obvious reasons, 2) It’s detail and division into three (two poles and exact center), that makes it orderly rather than polar, 3) It’s apparent separateness from the Source, giving the impression of not being Bottul while in truth being so dedicated to the purpose that is beyond itself, as to be even more bottul than the Light, though it is not obviously so. (This is called a Dveikus Bilti Nikeres).

      What is most meaningful about the above is the ideas in our religious life that emerge from these ideas. For example the notion of haKadosh Boruch Hu Manich (wears) Tefillin is connected to this. We don’t mean that Hashem [Atzmus] is wearing Tefillin but that G-dliness or: “Hashemliness” (or: Adam HaElyon) is using its left hand (Gevura) for the mystical concept of Tefillin. As the Maamar of Bar Mitzva explains, our wearing Tefillin inspire HaKadosh Boruch Hu (so to speak) to do as we do.

      We can through our efforts touch (spiritually) the Adam HaElyon (as we are Adam and He is Adam, though the two could hardly be compared). We are therefore able to connect to the Adam (Keilim) of Atzilus, and through them to the Ein Sof Light found within them (and the Source the Light is overtly attached to).

      In other words we can through Yiddishkeit know the Vessels and then the Ohr within them and then the Ohr above them that is truly Ein Sof.

      This then is “Tziyur Koma” the mystical Supernal man image in which image we (and all creations) are formed. We through it have a connection to the Ein Sof that is beyond and beyond beyond etc.

      The reason it is called Shiur Koma is because this is where the Ein Sof itself has a Shiur (limit or: the possibility for limit); Koma, means a height and a complex design like does Adam.


      Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

  • GQ

    great question -12 years ago

    chabad today
    looking forward to the answer

    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

  • I

    Izzy -12 years ago

    Chabad today
    Rabbi Paltie,

    Thanks for the class, I enjoyed very much the introduction. The stories are great, please keep them coming and give them all sources.

    Question: So how do you explain that Chabad today does not talk about this "Avoda penemes" so much but more about action? Who is responsible for this transformation? Was it a good idea? Did it produce positive results? Is it possible that there is such a schism between Chabad of yesteryear and today?

    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

    • A

      Anonymous -12 years ago

      Re: Chabad today

      I am truly not qualified to answer this question because I am a part of the problem and cannot answer objectively.

      The Rebbe certainly never intended for Chassidim to stop engaging in Avoda Pnimis, he simply added to it the need to mikarev others, even if it involves Mesiras Nefesh of one’s own Ruchniyusdige level. The Rebbe made this amply clear on the many occasions he personally spoke of this matter. The Rebbe said again and again that a Yiod is “Nimna HaNimnaos” and can do the impossible, bridgingthe highest standard of Avoda Pnimiyus and Mesiras Nefesh for a fellow Yid (see e.g. the Maamar of Lo Sihye Mishakeila 5712 and the Sicha that followed it).

      But I would like to address your question never the less and perhaps open a can of spaghetti I may never be able to close, but I feel that this is not philosophy but real life and I’m going to go forward with this discussion in spite of the issues and challenges it may bring up.

      I begin by quoting your questions in the order in which you asked them.

      1) how do you explain that Chabad today does not talk about this "Avoda penemes" so much   but more about action?

      Answer: The Rebbe. The world we live in today has (and continues to) presented an opportunity that if passed up can never be retrieved. This is the fact that so many millions of Yidden have in the last century and a quarter (due to circumstances that are too terrible to even imagine) lost their Jewish identity. For someone to place his Avoda Pnimyus ahead of the possibility of finding and rekindling the Jewish spark within these multitudes is a spiritual luxury we cannot and must not allow ourselves. Our children or grandchildren may be able to do Avoda Pnimiyus and (perhaps) somehow rectify what we may have missed but these Yiddishe Neshamos will not be around then to inspire. And their children may G-d forbid not even be Yidden R”L.

      2) Who is responsible for this transformation?

      Answer: I included the answer to tis question in the above.

      3) Was it a good idea?

      Answer: Is there any doubt? The Rebbe sees every yId as “BiSarcha” (his own family) as the story goes, and we as his Chassisdim are expected to at least act in that spirit.

      4) Did it produce positive results?

      Of course, but we may certainly have been harder on ourselves than we’ve been. Being a Shliach and involved in Kiruv keeps us incredibly preoccupied, but most of us, could still have found some time for a Daven or a Shiur above and beyond what we are doing.

      5) Is it possible that there is such a schism between Chabad of yesteryear and today?

      Answer: Because there was a Hitler and a Stalin. It is not more complicated than that.

      The Frierdike’ Rebbe said when asked (after visiting America in 1929-30) about settling in America “I want to be a Rebbe over chassidim, not a Rebbe over the Velt (the whole world)”. (I heard this from Rabbi Chayim Meir Bukiet Z”L who heard this while learning in Tomchei Tmiomi in Otvotzk).

      The Rebbe eventually came to America against his wishes because of the war and constantly referred to his being here as “The Hashgacha haElyona Shlichus” (the mandate he received from on high) because he never sought or wanted this. But once he got here he became as the Rebbe said many time “the Rebbe of the whole world” and prioritized and acted accordingly.

      This The Rebbe followed up on and took to higher levels still.

      I want to add additionally that Avoda Pnimiyus is not as simple as wanting it. One needs certain natural gifts, as The Frierdike Rebbe says in one letter [to Reb Nissan Nemenov I believe], “One needs Teva HaPnimi” to engage in Avoda Pnimiyus. One also must have a real and dedicated Mashpia to know how to navigate this effort properly; not biting off more than one can chew and have the humility to recognize their own limitations etc.

      I think what matters most is that we constantly work on ourselves (also) and never graduate from the effort of personal self improvement and honesty with self. This is ultimately what Avoda Pnimiyus is no matter label you do or don‘t attach to it.

      We are the Teshuva generation before Moshiach as described in the Gemara in Sanhedrin and in the Rambam’s Hilchos Teshuva.

      Being a Baal Teshuav does’t require one to be completely distant from Yiddishkeit. One can be “Shpitz Chabad” and be in the process of becoming a Baal Teshuva and perhaps even being one. What this means is this: we may have many new nisyonos (test) our ancestors didn’t have, but one good quality we have more than perhaps ever before is a desire humility and willingness to change no matter how old, accomplished or set in our ways we may be. We must love ourselves enough to be honest about where we are holding and grow.

      And as the Rebbe said so often if we attempt to grow spiritually we will see greater success than was ever possible in earlier times because we are so close to Moshiach.

      Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

  • SM

    so much -12 years ago

    thank you
    i absolutely love these classes and look forward to them every week.

    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

Yossi Paltiel

  • March 16, 2012
  • |
  • 22 Adar 5772
  • |

 Previous Class - Next Class


Dedicated by  Yeruchem Hakohen Blesofsky
In honor of his dear father Reb Moshe Eliyahu Hakohen
Ben Reb Schneur Zalman Blesofsky
For his Yartzeit, 27 Adar II


Related Classes

Please help us continue our work
Sign up to receive latest content by Rabbi YY

Join our WhatsApp Community

Join our WhatsApp Community

Ways to get content by Rabbi YY Jacobson
Connect now
Picture of the authorPicture of the author