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Pirkei Avot 6:3: Likkutei Torah Print E-mail

Pirkei AvosHe who learns from another a single chapter, a single halachah, a single verse, a single statement, or even a single letter, how much more must teach read him with honor! And honor is due only for Torah, as it is said, “The wise shall inherit honor (Proverbs 3:35),” “and the perfect shall inherit good (28:10).” And only Torah is truly good, as it is said, “I have given you a good teaching, do not forsake, my Torah (4:2).” [Avot 6:3]


As is well known, God relates to the world in two ways: “He who fills the world’s,” indicating Divine Immanence, and, “He who surrounds the worlds,” indicating Divine Transcendence. “He who fills the worlds,” is that a kind of Divine The rumination is drawn into all created things to bring them to life, by means of the 10 Utterances, such as, “Let there be light (Genesis 1:3),” as it is written, “By the word of God were the heavens made (Psalms 33:6).” This means that it is enclothed within them, in their very insides, drawn into them to become their life force, and it is divided into different parts so as to animate “each one according to its own capacity (Zohar Chadash I 103a).”

Thus, for instance, in the material world of mineral, vegetable, animal, and human, the mineral, too, came into being by means of the Tenant Utterances, and Divine Vitality flows into it by means of the appropriate Utterance, even as the Divine Vitality flows into the vegetable and the animal. Nevertheless, this Divine Vitality is severely restricted in the mineral kingdom, but the vegetable possesses more of it, the animal more than the vegetable, and the human more than the others, and so on.

According to this pattern, in the spiritual worlds there is a corresponding differentiation into many levels. Each receives a degree of Vitality different and separate by that received by any other. This differentiation derives from the sphere of Malchut, which is called, “He who fills the world’s,” for as the lowest of the Sefirot it is embedded deeply with in the worlds.

However, the category of, “He who surrounds the worlds,” is that of a Divine Influence and Illumination which is not drawn into and enclothed in the worlds in revealed form, so that it can be perceived by them in accordance with their understanding. Rather, it encompasses them from above. It is called, “He who surrounds the worlds,” because it surrounds all the worlds uniformly. It undergoes no differentiation, for it is not enclothed in a revealed form accessible to understanding, so that it can be said, “Here it illuminates and is revealed to this degree, and there, to another degree.” Hence, it is uniform, and everything is equal before it. Concerning it the verse says, “Do I not fill heaven and earth (Jeremiah 23:24),” by means of “He who surrounds the worlds,” for “there is no place that is empty of Him (Tikkunei Zohar 57).”

However, the verse, “The whole earth is full of His glory (Isaiah 6:3) to see,” refers to “He who fills the worlds,” for God’s immanence is called “glory.”

Now, the rabbis said that “glory” refers to the Torah. That was because Torah derives from Wisdom. 32 pathways issue from Wisdom, comparable to the pathways and lanes that are used to go from place to place. So from the Upper Wisdom the Divine Flow is drawn in differentiated form in order to become “He who fills the worlds” until it is drawn into corporeality itself, according to all the details of the Torah. (Likkutei Torah, R’ei)

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