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As Divided for a Regular Year
Tanya for 3 Cheshvan
It would seem to me, [says the Alter Rebbe, alluding to the opponents of Chassidism who had taken issue with the above-discussed passage from Tzavaat HaRivash], that their seizing [upon this passage] was not prompted by the particular term used [viz., "dwelling"], but by the very notion that the Shechinah can be invested in the kelipot.
For they do not believe what R. Isaac Luria, of blessed memory, wrote concerning this in Sefer HaGilgulim [ch. 2].
Should they seek to distinguish between the spiritual kelipot and physical idolaters, [contending that the AriZal is speaking only of the spiritual kelipot, as distinct from a corporeal heathen], there is nothing more physical than the dust of the earth; nevertheless, [as is stated in the Kabbalah, the Sefirah of] Malchut of Malchut of [the World of] Asiyah vests itself in it, and within that in turn is vested [the Sefirah of] Malchut of [the World of] Yetzirah, and so on, [with the Sefirah of Malchut of the World of Beriah and the Sefirah of Malchut of the World of Atzilut], as mentioned above.
And should it be [difficult for them to conceive that the Shechinah vests itself in the gentile] because of the impurity of the souls of the gentile, - the souls [of the gentiles] derive from the union of the masculine and feminine elements [zivug zu'n, the union of Z'eir Anpin and Malchut] of the spiritual kelipot, as stated in the writings of R. Isaac Luria, of blessed memory.
Thus, the sources of their impurity are the spiritual kelipot, [in which all agree that the Shechinah can vest itself. Why not, then, in the souls of the gentiles]?
But in truth, the manner of this investiture - [both in the spiritual and in the physical realm] - requires extensive elucidation.
In fact their complaint should not be addressed to us, [the revealers of Chassidism - the Baal Shem Tov, the Maggid of Mezritch and the Alter Rebbe himself], but to the writings of R. Isaac Luria, of blessed memory, [in which it is stated that the Shechinah does indeed vest itself within kelipot].
And let no listener suspect that I imagine that I have understood the words of R. Isaac Luria, of blessed memory, divesting them from their physical connotation, for I have set out only to explain the words of the Baal Shem Tov, of blessed memory, and of his disciples, according to the Kabbalah of R. Isaac Luria, of blessed memory.
This is especially so, since this concept, [G-d's presence in even the humblest of places], is not a teaching of the Kabbalah, nor is it one of  "the secrets [that] are unto the L-rd our G-d," but rather one of  "the things revealed unto us and unto our children" - to believe in perfect faith in the explicit statement of Scripture,  "`Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?' says G-d."
And  "Scripture does not depart from its plain meaning": [G-d does indeed fill all space, both material and spiritual].
Moreover, it is a simple article of faith among Jews in general, handed down to them by their saintly ancestors, who walked artlessly with G-d, without searching the concept of Divinity by means of mortal intellect; for it is infinitely beyond the intellect to know (intellectually) how He fills the world.
But new ones have recently come to rationally examine this question, and it is impossible to bring it within reach of their reason except by means of premises borrowed from the writings of R. Isaac Luria, of blessed memory, divested from their physical connotation, and according to what I heard from my masters, [the Baal Shem Tov and the Maggid of Mezritch], may their souls rest in Eden.
However, it is impossible to explain this clearly in writing, only orally to an ear that hears [and understands], to uniquely qualified individuals, and to  "the remnants whom G-d calls," as it is written,  "And they who seek G-d will understand all."
And  "from the affirmative you may infer [the negative" - that those who do not seek G-d are incapable of perceiving the knowledge of Him as revealed in the inner dimension of the Torah, and particularly, in a truly comprehensible manner, in the teachings of Chassidism].
You have now seen, [writes the Alter Rebbe to the opponents of Chassidism], an explanation of a single passage from [its] well-known books, as a sample and token that likewise all the problematic passages [about which objections have been raised] have an explanation and meaningfulness for those familiar with the "Hidden Wisdom" [i.e., the Kabbalah].
However, let my esteemed [readers] not hope that I will explain everything in writing, for that is a hard and extensive labor, and indeed, absolutely impossible.
But if you so desire, send [here] from amongst you an outstandingly appropriate individual from your community,  and, G-d willing, I will talk to him face to face.
And may G-d be with my mouth as I speak, and  "may the words of my mouth find favor."
- (Back to text) Cf. Devarim 29:28.
- (Back to text) Yirmeyahu 23:24.
- (Back to text) Shabbat 63a.
- (Back to text) Yoel 3:5.
- (Back to text) Mishlei 28:5.
- (Back to text) Cf. Sifri, Parshas Eikev 11:19.
- (Back to text) Cf. Sanhedrin 13b.
- (Back to text) Tehillim 19:15.
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