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As Divided for a Leap Year
Tanya for 9 Sivan
How much more so is it in the creation of something out of nothing, which transcends nature, and is far more miraculous than the splitting of the Yam Suf, that surely with the withdrawal of the power of the Creator from the thing created, G-d forbid, the created being would revert to naught and utter non-existence.
Rather,  the activating force of the Creator must continuously be present in the thing created to give it life and existence.
[Activating forces such as the above] are the selfsame letters of speech [that constitute] the Ten Utterances by which [all beings] were created.
[This is why the above-quoted verse states, "Forever, O G-d, Your word stands in the heavens." G-d's speech, which is the force that brings a created being into existence, must be present there forever, so as to give it life and existence].
Concerning this, Scripture says,  "and You give life to them all."
[I.e., G-d provides the heavens and earth and all the creatures found within them, with life]. Read not "give life," but "bring into being," i.e., ex nihilo.
[It is written in Reishit Chochmah, as well as in the Shaloh (Shaar HaOtiot, pp. 48b, 70a), that although the verse uses the phrase "give life," this does not mean that G-d only provides created beings with life, in the way that the soul animates the already-existent body. Rather, the verse implies that this provision of life also serves to create them and to be responsible for their continued existence].
The word atah "[You]" indicates all the letters from alef, [the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, to tav, the final letter of the alphabet], and the letter hei [of the same word atah] alludes to the five organs of verbal articulation, [i.e., the larynx, palate, tongue, teeth and lips, which are the source of the letters.
[This, then, is the meaning of the phrase, "and You (atah) give life to them all." The spiritual letters that emanate from the five supernal organs of verbal speech, provide life ex nihilo to the whole of the created universe].
Although He [G-d] has no bodily likeness,  [how, then, can we speak of letters existing in the worlds above, and indeed add that it is through them that creation takes place ex nihilo?]
Yet Scripture itself explicitly applies [anthropomorphic terms to G-d such as] "G-d spoke" or "G-d said," [thereby ascribing letters and speech to G-d], and this - [the meaning of "G-d spoke" or "G-d said]" - is the revelation of the twenty-two supernal letters to the Prophets.
[These supernal letters] are enclothed in the intellect and comprehension which is to be found in their prophetic vision, [and are enclothed] as well in their thought and speech, as it is written,  "The spirit of G-d spoke within me, and His word is upon my tongue," as has been explained by the AriZal (in Shaar HaNevuah).
[Clearly, there exist letters and speech above which are capable of being garbed in the thought and speech of the Prophets].
Similar to this is the investment of the letters in created things, as it is written,  "By the word of G-d were the heavens made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host," except that [the enclothing of the letters in created beings] comes about through numerous and powerful descents, until [the letters] reach the corporeal World of Asiyah, [which contains corporeal beings], whereas the apprehension of the Prophets is in the World of Atzilut as it becomes clothed in the World of Beriah.
[It is from this lofty level that the spirit of prophecy descends upon the Prophets.
In similar fashion, the supernal letters descend and are invested within created beings, providing them with life and creating them ex-nihilo.
- (Back to text) Cf. Kuzari III, 11.
- (Back to text) Nechemiah 9:6.
- (Back to text) Rambam, Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah 1:7-12.
- (Back to text) II Shmuel 23:2.
- (Back to text) Tehillim 33:6.
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