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Vol 29.04 - Va'etchanan 1     Spanish French Audio  Video

Hebrew Text:

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Chumash     Shaar Hayichud Vehaemuna Chap1
Summary:
 
(5746)  (Deut. 4:39): "And you shall know this day ... that the L-rd He is G-d etc" - The innovation of each one of the three terms in the verse:

1) in heaven above
2) upon the earth below
3) there is none else (even in the depths of the Earth) (Devarim Rabbah 2:28)

and the lesson in Avodat HaAdam
 

Translation:

 1. In this week’s Parsha, there are two verses whose subject concern faith and the knowledge that "the L-rd is G-d" (Hashem hu haElokim)

1. "You have been shown, in order to know that the L-rd He is G-d; there is none else besides Him" (4:35)
2. "And you shall know this day and consider it in your heart, that the L-rd He is G-d in heaven above and upon the earth below; there is none else. (4:39)"
 In the first verse it states plainly that "the L-rd He is G-d".
In the second verse it states specifically "the L-rd He is G-d in heaven above and upon the earth below"
The simple difference between the two verses is:
The first verse "You have been shown, in order to know” speaks about, like its simple meaning, the knowledge that was shown to the Yiden at Matan Torah. Then G-d revealed Himself to the Yiden "and they saw that He is One". And since the Yiden then saw the true Oneness of God (Yichudo HaEmiti) the way it is from G-d's perspective, which for Him there is no division between Heaven and Earth. Therefore there is no reason to specify in that knowledge - "heaven above, and upon the earth below"
 However the verse "And you shall know etc. and consider it" is a command to a person that he must endeavor to understand and know (and bring down into "your heart") the "the L-rd He is G-d". There is a knowledge and recognition in the Oneness of G- d which comes from man's striving - and from the perspective of man's understanding there is a difference between Heaven and Earth - in a way that every particular: "heaven above, and upon the earth below" is a separate knowledge
 And as it states in Midrash on the verse "And you shall know" :
"Yitro placed his all into idol worship as it says: "And now I know that G-d is greater than all the gods (which implies that they are great but that He is greater than them - c.f. Matanot Kohanim), he partially admitted from it as it sates: "Now I know that there is no other G-d in the world except with Yisroel (Thus he testified on the earth but not on the heavens - c.f. Matanot Kohanim).
Rachav placed G-d in the heavens and Earth as is says "For G-d your L-rd is G-d in the heavens and above and the Earth below (not just in the Earth but also in the heavens, "Where your eyes do not see" - Nevertheless "She omitted the depths of the world")
Moshe places G-d even in the depths of the world as it sates: "For G-d is the L-rd in the heavens and above and the Earth below there is none else - What does "none else" mean - even the depths of the world"
This means that the knowledge that "the L-rd He is G-d" - which comes through man's efforts and understanding - is split into three categories
1. Heaven above
2. Earth below
3. None else - even in the depths of the world
 2. One must, however, have an explanation
Since the Torah of Truth says these particulars in the Mitzvah of knowing (G-d) etc., it is understood that the different abovementioned categories are not (only) to avert a mistake due to man's (intellectual) deficiencies, but rather that this shows, that in the aspect of “the L-rd He is G-d" there are differences between Heaven, Earth and the depths of the world.
That when one is focused on the "And you shall know" (which means a contemplation and knowledge according to true understanding) there is a different innovation in each of the three understandings
One must understand:
Where is there a place in logic to say that "the L-rd He is G-d" is, G-d forbid, only in the "Heavens above", and that because of this one must have an explicit statement "and on the Earth below", and even a third innovation - "And even in the depths of the world"?
 We seemingly could have answered according to the known explanation (on the verse that "G-d is elevated above all the nations of the world etc.)
 - that the reason that the nations maintain that "G-d deserted the world" is because they believe that this depicts the greatness of G-d. Because they believe that it is degradation for G-d to deal with created beings below in this world –
Therefore the conduct and rulership over the earthly hosts was given to the stars and astrological forces. Therefore, the verse must state: "And you shall know etc. that the L-rd He is G-d etc. and upon the earth below; there is none else - that G-d id the Ruler also of the Earth
 However the Alter Rebbe says that the verse ""And you shall know etc. that the L-rd He is G-d etc. and upon the earth below" comes to negate
         (Not the fallacy above, that "G-d deserted the world", but)
the fallacy that "G-d resides in the waters below the Earth"
(which they mean is that G-d
1) is actually found
2) really in the waters below the Earth - in real water)
  [And one could say the necessity for this explanation is that:
The command "And you shall know etc." comes in conjunction to "You have been shown etc." (which was said regarding) Matan Torah. For the verse "You have been shown, in order to know that the L-rd He is G-d" precludes the negative things that the Torah warns about (previously in the verse) "Lest you become corrupt etc. and make for yourselves etc. the likeness of any fish that is in the waters, beneath the earth. and lest etc." –
It is therefore understood that when the Torah follows with "And you shall know etc. that the L-rd is G-d etc. and upon the earth below" - it is to negate the same concept - that there is no god in the "waters, beneath the earth" ]
 3. This aforementioned question is asked by the Alter Rebbe. 
"And would you ever think that there is a god that resides in the waters below the Earth so much that we need to avert it by 'considering it in your heart'"?
And he explains that the command "And you shall know etc. that the L-rd He is G-d" means to say that
(not that there is another G-d, G-d forbid, but rather) that there is no other entity besides G-d because "everything is utterly nullified before Him"
For since beings were created
 (not from existing matter ("yesh m'yesh") but)
in a manner of creation out of nothingness (ex nihilo), therefore created beings need to continually rely on the power of the Creator to keep them in existence. And if the power of the Creator would be removed from the being for even a moment, G-d forbid, the being would (automatically) resort to "nothingness (ayin) and actual void, just as it was before the six days of creation.
 And therefore it is also understood why the verse states separately "and upon the earth below" to emphasize that "even the physical Earth that appears to be an absolute entity to all who see it" is actual nothingness and void compared to G-d.
However, we seemingly require an additional explanation in this.
While it is indeed true that since the aspect of "and upon the earth below; there is none else"
(that even the physical Earth that appears to be an absolute entity .. is actual nothingness and void )
contradicts perception and therefore requires a special warning that "you consider it in your heart" namely that the concept should permeate man's heart
 - Nevertheless the verse starts with the words: "And you shall know" which implies, that (also) rational understanding in conjunction with "upon the earth below" must have a separate warning.
It is not understood:
The rational explanation of the aspect of "there is none else"
(that there is no other entity except for G-d because "everything is utterly nullified before Him) –
 forces the same reasoning (of there is no other) with regards to all creation equally, without difference as to whether it is the hosts of the heavens or the hosts of the Earth. Because every being which is created ex nihilo (yesh m'ayin) "requires the power of the activating force of the Creator in the thing created to constantly give it life and existence.(koach hapoel b'nifal)" –
And how can one differentiate from the perspective of "And you shall know" ( the rational understanding that )in the "there is none else" - between heaven above " and "Earth below"?
 4. Another proof that the difference between "heaven above " and "Earth below" is not just to avert a mistake from a created person
           (which stems from that which he sees the physical Earth as a "real entity")
but that the difference has a place in rationale ("And you shall know")
On this subject, that created beings must constantly rely on the power of the Creator to uphold their existence, The Alter Rebbe cites the explanation of the Baal Shem Tov on the verse: "Forever, G-d, Your words stand in the Heavens (L'Olam Hashem devarcha nitzav baShomayim) - that "Your words that You said: Let there be a firmament between the waters etc. that those words and letters are which stand and endure in the world in the midst of the heavenly firmament . . to give them life"
And he continues that this is not just regarding the "Heavens" but "also in all the creation in all the worlds, the supernal and lower, and even to this physical land and level of actual inanimate-Mineral.
 [And moreover (he continues) - that even the creations that are not enumerated in the Ten Sayings in the Torah receive their vitality from the drawing down of the Ten Sayings (which are drawn down to them via the development (hishtalshelus) from one level to the next, where he brings many examples of this]
And this is "his name by which he is called in the Holy Tongue: which is a "receptacle to the vitality which is concentrated in the letters of this name that was drawn down from the Ten Sayings of the Torah
And from this, that the verse specifically states ""Forever, G-d,  Your words stand in the heavens", singling out "heavens" from all the other creations
          ( and - since the verse does not mention, at all, the intellect and feelings of a person)
- is understood that the difference between heaven and Earth is not just from the perspective of man, but also, is in truth, ( in the manner of how "Your words" are found in them) there is a difference between heaven and all the other creations ( which is why the verse specifically mentions "Heaven").
And from this difference there is an innovation in
       (the aspect of "the L-rd is G-d" (Hashem hu haElokim) etc.)
"upon the earth below" versus "heaven above"
4. And one could say the explanation is:
The innovation of the Baal Shem Tov is not just in the general aspect, that the existence of all creation is dependent upon the power of the Creator who constantly creates, enlivens and sustains them, but also in the particular aspects of this, that "Your words that You said: “Let there be a firmament between the waters etc.” that those words and letters constantly stand and endure in the world in the midst of the heavenly firmament and are enclothed in all the firmaments etc."
(and the same applies to all creation, that in each one there is an "enclothing of the spoken letters of the Ten Sayings"
This means:
The issue is not that the being must (initially) rely (also for its existence) on the power of the Creator, but then afterwards is separated from the Power that created it and brought it into existence.
(like the light of the Sun which appears and is dependent on the Sun itself (maor HaShemesh) - And the proof is: As soon as there is a barrier between the light and the Sun, the light is nullified. Yet nevertheless the light is a separate entity from the body of the Sun)
- But rather, the power of the Creator constantly infuses itself in the being itself
[And specifically this allows us to understand how it is truthfully and completely "there is none else"
- there is no other entity besides G-dliness. Because since the word of G-d is enclothed in the being itself (in the essence (place -"ort") of the being), this follows that the being is never separated from the "word of G-d" which is enclothed in it. So much so that the vitality of (the Nefesh of) every being is the "word of G-d" which is enclothed in it.  Consequently, it is understood that “Every creation and entity (yesh) is truthfully regarded as actual nothingness and void (ayin v'efes mamosh)]
 And one could say that this is also the reason why every creation must have a specific Word of G-d (as the Alter Rebbe expounds that "even the actual inanimate (domaim) . . has . . a nefesh and spiritual vitality") because in order to facilitate an enclothing of the power of the Creator in the particular being, the G-dly power must lower itself, as it were, from its level and contract itself according to the specific creation, in each being's parts.
If the G-dly power would remain at its level (an power without limitation), it would then be (infinitely) higher than enclothing itself in the being
[and even though from the perspective of G-d's Omnipotence, His unlimited power would be able to enclothe itself into a limited being - nevertheless G-d desired that the creations have an understanding and comprehension (however much as possible - according to the limitations that He imposed) in the order and manner of Creation. And therefore He created the beings, not in a way that is completely incomparable to the created being (due to His Omnipotence (Kol YaChol), but specifically with an order and procedure (known as Seder Hishtalshelus). Thus G-d contracts his effluence and vitality until it is comparable (- to descend by enclothing into the) the created being.]
6. According to this one can explain the innovation in which the aspect of "the L-rd He is G-d" is divided into three separate concepts:
                1. Heaven above
                2. Earth below
                3. None else - even in the depths of the world
Since the aspect of "None else" is connected to G-d's enclothing in the created being - there could be a place to differentiate (and say that):
When do we say (that the word of G-d is found in enclothing in creation) - this is in the Heavenly hosts, which are higher beings and therefore are able to be a receptacle for G-dly power and vitality
However on the "Earth below" - in Earthly and physical beings, which are not a receptacle to G-dliness, one could think that the word of G-d does not manifest itself in them in a manner of enclothement
(they must constantly rely on the power of the Creator to sustain their esistence, but the actual power (Koach Hapoel) is not within them in a manner of enclothement)
[And after this one comes to a greater innovation. That even the creations that are not mentioned in the "Ten Sayings of the Torah" - namely certain relatively insignificant creations that can not receive their vitality from the actual Ten Sayings of the Torah, but rather the vitality must descend from level to level "until it is possible to contract and enclothe and to create from Him a particular creation" - The even there - "the L-rd He is G-d etc."]
7. Every (aforementioned) aspect is also found in the Avodah of each person (for man is a "microcosm" which mirrors his accomplishments in the "larger world" (macrocosm) );
The purpose of every aspect of Avodat Hashem is - that it should come into “Maaseh b'Poel” (actual deed — practical accomplishment) and the deed is paramount (Maaseh hu Ha'Ikar).
One must however know, that in order to achieve (dergreichen) in the world ("Earth") – in order to infuse (durchdringen) physical aspects with G-dliness and holiness - one must go through a progressive diminishment ("Seder Hishtalshelus")
Which , in general, contains three steps - the three divisions that are in the verse "And you shall know "
1. Heaven above
2. Earth below
3. None else - even in the depths of the world
 [And this corresponds to the three divisions which the Alter Rebbe states:
1) Forever, O G-d, Your word stands firm in the heavens . . within the firmament of heaven
2) "And so it is with all created things . . and even this physical earth
3) The relatively insignificant creations which are not mentioned in the Ten Sayings of the Torah"]
In order to ensure that the daily Avodah of a Yid is proper, there must be preparation –
Sleeping (as a part of serving G-d) at night, For then the soul rises Above (in Heaven) and draws life" And one could say that is also why - immediately when one awakens from sleep (miyad Sh'nayur), one begins the order of the day with saying "Modeh Ani Lefanecha etc" (I offer thanks before You etc. for You have mercifully restored my soul within me). A thank before You (G-d) who returned (umgekert) the soul with "refreshed" (upgefrishteh) powers from its source in "Heaven"
Afterwards the Avodah of Yiden begins with effecting the spreading of one's soul into his body. (which is accomplished with the Avodah of Prayer etc) - The soul should be felt (onheren) in the (gashmiyut - guf (body)) physicality ("Earthiness") of the person.
In in this itself , there are two levels:
1) The Avodah of prayer in a synagogue (Beit Haknesset). And “from the synagogue to the Study Hall (Beit HaMedrash)”. Which through them (prayer and study), the light of the soul spreads throughout the body in all its parts and aspects, but all in the realm of holiness (similar to the beings that receive their vitality in a straightforward manner from the "Ten Sayings of the Torah")
2) The Avodah of "even in the depths of the world" - "combining Torah with a worldly occupation" (Hanheg Bahem Minhag Derech Eretz). And, in general - by a Yid's dealing with permissible aspects (similar to those particular creations that are not mentioned in (the Ten Sayings of ) Torah -
That through the proper preparation of one's Avodah "in heaven above, and upon the earth below" one has the power to bring down G-dliness also into one's permissible aspects. In such a manner, that for him, the physicality of the world has completely no regard (tofes makom), a non-entity (ois Metziut) - He reveals (also) "in the depths of the world" the way it is (the concept that there is) "none else besides Him"
m'Sichas Second Day of Shavuot (5745)

 

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