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As Divided for a Leap Year
Tanya for 16 Shevat
All the contractions constitute a "veiling of the [Divine] Countenance"; that is, they veil and conceal [the "face," i.e., the essential aspects of] the light and life-force that are derived from G-d's Word, so that it should not reveal itself with an intense radiance which the lower worlds would be incapable of receiving.
Therefore too, [because it is thus obscured through tzimtzum], the light and life-force of G-d's Word that is clothed in them appears to them as if it is something separate from G-d Himself, [and as though] it only issues from Him, just as the speech of a human being issues from him [but then becomes separated from him.
This false perception of the G-dly life-force as something separate from G-d is possible only because the life-force is hidden from creation by means of the tzimtzumim].
Yet, in regard to G-d, no concealment or veil hides or obscures anything from Him; to Him,  " `darkness' [concealment] and `light' [revelation] are alike," as it is written:  "Even the darkness does not obscure [anything] from you."
[This may also be interpreted: "Even the darkness does not obscure because it derives from you"; i.e., the veil of tzimtzum is itself of divine origin, and therefore it cannot obscure G-dliness. For as the Alter Rebbe goes on to say, only a foreign body can constitute an obstruction; one cannot hide from his own self].
For the tzimtzumim and the "veils" are not things distinct from Him, heaven forfend, [since nothing is separate from G-d], but are  "like the turtle [or: `snail'], whose garment [i.e., its shell] is part of its body'; [so too, the very "shell" - the process of tzimtzum - that hides G-dliness is itself G-dly].
[In Hebrew: "Yud-kei-vav-kei - He is Elokim." The Four-Letter Name of G-d denotes Divine revelation and transcendence, while the Name Elokim refers to G-d's power of self-concealment by which he vests Himself in creation. The equation points out that they are one; Elokim is G-dly just as is the level of G-dliness signified by the other Name. Thus, Elokim does not act as a veil obscuring G-d, since it is essentially one with Yud-kei-vav-kei, the power of revelation]. Therefore, in His presence, all else is of absolutely no account.
[Since G-d is not affected by the tzimtzumim which make it possible for a created being to feel separate from Him, He perceives all the creations brought into being by His Word as being still within their source - Himself. There they are in a state of absolute nullification.
From His perspective they are still nonentities, and the fact of their creation in no way detracts from His absolute unity - He is One alone after Creation just as He was before Creation].
- (Back to text) Tehillim 139:12.
- (Back to text) Bereishit Rabbah 21:5.
- (Back to text) Devarim 4:35.
- (Back to text) Shaar HaYichud VehaEmunah, ch. 6.
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