Vol 20.13 - Chayei Sarah 2       Spanish French Audio  Video

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Likkutei Levi Yitzchak     Likkutei Torah
Zohar     Zohar


(5742) "Baalei Teshuvah in one hour and in one minute get close to G-d" (Zohar 129a) and Likkutei Levi Yitzchak to Zohar (ibid)  

Likkutei Levi Yitzchak:

Seemingly this is not in order. For it should have said a day, an hour, a moment where each one is a greater
innovation than the other, in the way of 'not only this but even this' (lo zu af zu). Also if a moment is sufficient what need is there for an hour and day?

One could say that there are three levels of Teshuva that reach into Malchut of Zeir Anpin of Bina as it is written in Likkutei Torah c.f. d.h Mah Tovu. This is:

  • 'in one hour' refers to malchut which is called 'hour',
  • 'in one day' refers to Zeir Anpin which is called 'day',
  • 'in one moment' (rega) refers to Bina.

For Rega (273) numerically equals Sag (the name Havayah spelled out to equal the numerical value of 63) added with ten times AHYH (210 + 63 = 273) And see Kohelet Yaakov Maana Rega.
Shaa (Hour = 375) + Yom (Day = 56) + Rega (Moment = 273) plus the addition of their total letters (9)
numerically equals the word "Teshuvah" (Repentence = 713)

(Note: The four names Havayah (possessing the numerical values of 72, 63, 45, and 52, known as Ab, Sag, Mah, and Ban) correspond respectively to the four partzufim Abba (Chochma), Imma (Bina), Zeir Anpin, and Nukva.
Zeir Anpin and Nukva are the "son" and "daughter" of Abba (the father) and Imma (the mother).
c.f also http://www.chabad.org/kabbalah/article_cdo/aid/572251/jewish/Caves-and-Kingship.htm

Note2: A moment, rega, is 0.04386 of a second; 22.8 rega'im is 1 second



1. The Zohar in our Parsha explains one of the advantages of Baalei Teshuva over (complete) Tzaddikim that:

  • The Avodah of (complete) Tzaddikim is elevating daily in an ordered and measured manner

(as it states in our Parsha: “And Avraham was old, advanced in days (years) etc.). And similarly in our Haftorah: “And King David was old, advanced in days (years) etc.”

so much so that they with their Avodah, they came to the epitome of closeness and attachment to G-d.

  • Whereas Baalei Teshuva have the advantage of: “In an hour, a day, a moment they come close to G-d “

My father in his notes asks:

“Seemingly this is not in order. For it should have said a day, an hour, a moment where each one is a greater innovation than the other, in the way of 'not only this but even this' (lo zu af zu). Also if a moment is sufficient what need is there for an hour and day? “

And he explains:

“One could say that there are three levels of Teshuva that reach into malchut of Zeir Anpin of Bina as it is written in Likkutei Torah c.f., s.v. Mah Tovu.”


  • There is a level in Teshuva whose aspect is “turning from evil (sur m’ra) which reaches into Malchut).

  • There is a higher level in Teshuva whose aspect is “doing god/Asei tov - that reaches to of Zeir Anpin (Za).

  • There is an even higher level in Teshuva whose aspect is “seek peace/bakeish shalom” (Torah study) - and reaches into Bina (understanding)

  • This is “one hour' which refers to Malchut which is called 'hour',
  • In one day' refers to Zeir Anpin which is called “day”,
  • In one moment' (rega) refers to Bina“.

2. At first glance, it appears that according to the explanation of my father, the three terms “In an hour, a day, a moment” mainly refer 

(not to simply depict the three different periods of time, but rather) 

to these three levels of Teshuva that are alluded to in:

Therefore, it is correct why that order is mentioned in Zohar, because this is according to the order of levels from below to above.

However, it is not straightforward to learn it this way, because it deviates from the simple explanation. 

Therefore one must conclude that the aforementioned three Teshuva’s – which “reach to Malchut, Za and Bina” - each have a connection to the respective periods, simply.

  •  The Teshuva whose aspect is “turning from evil (sur m’ra) which reaches into Malchut – is accomplished in “one hour'
  • The higher level in Teshuva whose aspect is “doing good/Asei tov - that reaches to of Zeir Anpin (Za). – is accomplished in “one Day'
  • And the highest level in Teshuva whose aspect is “seek peace/bakeish shalom” (Torah) - and reaches into Bina (understanding) – is accomplished in “one moment'

One must understand:

That which a Baal Teshuva “immediately rises and attaches to G-d” is because the act of Teshuva is in its essential form, higher than order and level (seder v’hadraga). For from (the status of) previously being  in a negative state, - through Teshuva - one can skip and jump from one extreme to the other (from an opposite condition – to one of keeping Torah and Mitzvot and cleaving to G-d). And since this comes from a part (tenua) of the soul that is not bound in order and level, it is therefore not dependent on a period of time, but (one can) “immediately rise and attach to G-d”.

However, according to this, it is not understood:

How is it possible that the higher level of Teshuva,

“doing good/Asei tov “(which comes about through a deeper awakening of Teshuva)

be dependent on an extended period of time?

A similar question may be asked concerning the supernal Sefirot:

It is known that all aspects of this world are drawn and filtered down from (and therefore are similar to) the higher worlds.

(even more so, the intent and purpose of the “higher worlds” is – this world below)

How, therefore, does it conform (shtimt), that the higher level (Za) is called a “day” and the lower level (Malchut) – an “hour” when a day is a longer period of time (and therefore more involved in time and further from ‘above time’ ), than an “hour”?

3. One can understand this by prefacing:

Of the terms “short/kitzur” and “long/arichut” (in a logical sense) - which of them is “higher”? For we seemingly find different viewpoints:

  1. Short has an advantage over long, as Rambam states regarding the style of the Mishnah, that the words are ordered in a manner that they are “concise/katzar yet include many things” as opposed to Talmud whose language is length. The same is said regarding the Acharonim (later sages compared to the Rishonim) whose style was to explain in a different manner: When the concept is at its source, it is (more) concise. And the elaboration occurs when one must bring it down from its source to the level of the recipient ( from Mishnah to Talmud and from Talmud to the students and authors after it)
  1. On the other hand, the Sages state that “one should always teach to one’s students in a concise manner” and the simple reason is because the student will not absorb the length and breadth of the idea and concept. Therefore one must convey to the student just a synopsis, which is fitting to his intellect – This means that the synopsis is connected with the students since they are below (compared to) the teacher.

4. One could say that the explanation of this is that it depends on which level one is discussing:

When it is speaking regarding the relationship between two “worlds” of levels in understanding a concept where one is much higher than the other – like the difference between the (authors of the) Mishna and the Talmud , the Rishonim and Acharonim etc. – there, wherever the concept is stated more concisely, is related to the manner that he is standing there. Because there the essence of the concept is revealed - (one immediately sees the truth). And however lower the level than the source of the concept, the same idea must rely on more elaboration and lengthiness, in order that one comes to understand it.

One could say that similarly one sees this in the comparison between hearing and sight. The thing that one is able, with the faculty of sight, to completely see, with ‘one glance” requires, for the same object, a lengthier time to take in by hearing, with the faculty of hearing.

Yet when one speaks of the same “world”, it is the opposite:

A higher (deeper) concept must rely on more elaboration in order to bring out and understand its loftiness (depth). A simpler concept can be explained more concisely – for due to the simplicity of the concept, less words of explanation are sufficient.

The same is also regarding the aforementioned examples:

In the (level, in the) “world” of Mishnah compared to Talmud – the deep concepts are brought out concisely (in relation to Talmud). However in the “world” of Talmud itself (and in similar cases), the deep concepts are (stated) more elaborately, and the simpler concepts – more concisely.

5. One can thus also understand our case:

In general, the three aforementioned levels of Teshuva are divided into two parts:

  • The first two levels are in the category of Teshuva Tata’ah (lower Teshuva)
  • The third level – Teshuva the deep concepts are brought out (higher Teshuva)

This is also in the simple matter of things:

  • The Teshuva of “turning from evil (sur m’ra)" and “doing good/Asei tov" are both in the world of Mishnah (action and inaction)
  • The third Teshuva - “seek peace/bakeish shalom” – in Torah study – in the world of intellect (Mochin)

Therefore, the Teshuva which is related to Mochin is shorter (“in one moment”) because in that (higher) world of intellect, the aspects are more revealed. Therefore one does not need to rely on elaboration.

However, for the two Teshuva’s which are in the world of Action (ma’aseh), it is the opposite:

  • The Teshuva of “doing good/Asei tov which is a higher level requires a longer period: “one day” (similar to the deep concepts in the Talmud which require more elaboration).
  • However, the lower level of “turning from evil (sur m’ra) does not require more than “one hour” (similar to the simple concepts in Talmud where a short explanation is sufficient).

And to note, this is also quite reasonable (b’pashtus):

For in order to perform a an actual deed (Asei), one must have a (longer) period, as opposed to refraining from action (sur m’ra).

This also applies to the Supernal Sefirot:

  • The Sefirah of Bina which is (in the world of Intellect (Mochin, which is) higher than worlds (olamot) is called a “moment” because the G-dly light shines there with utmost revelation. Therefore this is in the epitome of shortness (in time) – “a moment”. 
  • Whereas the Sefirot of Zeir Anpin (za) and Malchut which have a connection to the world (the world of Middot) are “a day” and “hour” (lengthiness – not a “moment”).

But, since in these Sefirot itself (the world of Middot) – Zeir Anpin is higher than Malchut – therefore Zeir Anpin is called “day” and Malchut “hour” as mentioned above.

6. According to the aforementioned explanation from my father – that the three terms in Zohar allude to the three aforementioned levels of Teshuva - one can also explain (according to Chassidut) the version of the Ramak (R' Moshe Cordovero) that in this portion of Zohar – there are four terms – levels:

  • “one hour'
  • “ one day'
  • “one time (zimna)”
  • 'one moment'

In Likkutei Torah there, it is explained that even though , in general, there are three levels in Teshuva – however, in particular, there is a fourth higher level – which reaches to the Sefirah of Chochma (wisdom) 

(and in Avodah, this is the level of “kadesh atzmecha b'mutar lach – sanctify yourself by (refraining from) that which is permitted to you)

And one could say that these four levels are alluded to in the fourth term which is in the Zohar according to the version of the Ramak - “one time”. For although a “rega/moment" is the smallest portion of time, nevertheless there is the question and answer about how long it is – one fifth etc., as long as it takes to say the three letters: “rega” – so it has a certain period. However, “one time” is not limited to an amount of time- it just evokes the essential concept of time.

Yet according to the continuation of Likkutei Torah there, that  even though it is clear and explicit that in most places it speaks only of the three levels in Teshuva – for Chochma and Bina are “two friends that do not separate” (trein reiyim d’lo misparshin), therefore the fourth level is included in the three levels.

(Thus) It will also be understood why according to the accepted and normal version of Zohar that there are only three phrases. Because, in general, it speaks of the three aforementioned levels of Teshuva

However, since, at times, one counts the fourth level of Teshuva, there is, therefore, a version which also delineates this level in Teshuva – the completeness of Teshuva.

M’Sichas Motzei Shabbat Parshat Chayei Sarah 5739


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