Section Four, Iggeres Hakodesh classes

This section includes classes. This folder has Letters 1-19.


The one who inspires Tzedaka is greater than the giver. There are also two levels of givers: 1) one who gives when asked, 2) one who is inspired on his own. The first is considered weak while the second is considered strong and in control of his s'char.



Jewish unity is Jewish health. Disunity is an illness (or a symptom of it). Since Golus was brought on by disunity, exile is called an illness. [Repairing the Sinas Chinum will heal the nation and bring the geula]. This lack of unity and the sickness it causes affects the whole world, including Goyim.

People who stood out in their good deeds must continue to do so. Continue with the Tzedaka they'd been giving until then. A Cheshbon of many small offerings adds up to Cheshban Gadol. Infinity!

Ta'anug and Ratzon are both metaphors for the Ein Sof . Ratzon carries the Ein Sof of Taanug forward. Kochos (mind and heart) are only tools that partially represent the Ein Sof but never fully. Thus only in Halacha and Mitzvos ma'asiyos is Atzmus brought forward.



Halacha, the technical side of Judaism is the most important though not inspired.



Letter 28 talks of the Korbon (sacrifice) one's life represents. In special Tzadikim this sacrifice is constant Mesiras Nefesh and then it is raised up to an infinite a;pe and affects the world favorably from that infinite level. This a letter of condolences sent to the Tzadik Reb Levi Yitzchok of Bartichov on the tragic passing of his holy son Reb Meir who apparently lived a life where each act was one of total Mesiras Nefesh.



The connection between a Tzadik and his Chassidim continues after the Histalkus for those who knew him during his life time. The Nefesh is in the Kever, the Ruach remains in the world, the Neshama also has some influence from Gan Eden.

Torah that is clear and Torah of Darkness (Questions) and light (answers). Talmidei Chachamim and (Amei HaAretz (Erev Rav). Now the ikar is (the"Parnasa"), the Torah of Birur. Leasid it will be Yichudim. But even then the Erev Rav will continue struggling with Birur until they graduate from it.



This class explores how Klipa was created and (through Adam and Chava's choice) was interwoven into the creation creating an entanglement (Taaruvos). This added the purpose of birurim (disentangling) to creation to create perfect order (Hiskalelus). There's a huge difference between the Torah of Daas Tov vaRa and actual Tov VaRa. The learning of Nigla of Torah by itself affects a Birur in the world.

Introduction to Letter 26. Kabala is from Bina, above the possibility of being estranged. 2) Etz Chayim and Etz HaDaas. The story of Adam and Chava and the Trees and the garden.



This third class on Igeres HaKodesh 25 begins with an introduction translating three words: 1) Kav, 2) Shechina, 3) Hislabshus [two types]. The four worlds and how they are different from one another. Klipa is also (and equally) from Hashem in a hidden way. This is the Arizal's view and any questions regarding this should be addressed to him and his teachings.



Achdus Hashem based on the principle of Yesh Meayin being every second. The class discussed the "proofs" for Hashem in three steps, A. The Tzura (order and intelligence of the design of creation) couldn't possibly be random and chance, B. The Yesh MaAyin question (was there primordial material that is a kadmon or was it created Yesh MeAyin (exnihilo)), C. The constant involvement of Hashem in the world if we accept Yesh MeAyin. Therefore who are you angry at?

Defending the Baal Shem Tov's teaching (in Tzava'as HaRivash) on the link between anger and Avoda Zara (which is a Zohar). The idea is considered controversial at the time and the Alter Rebbe explains and defends his teacher's teacher: Everything comes directly from Hashem.



Davening is the time G-d shows Himself. We should at least act respectful. Not to talk when the king shows Himself. It is most disrespectful.



Iggeres HaKodesh 23. When ten Yidden are together, the Shechina joins them (hashraa). One must behave appropriately.

1) Davening should involve (even) Mesiras Nefesh and Akshanus. 2) Ahavas Yisroel on the inside (not to judge!) not only on the outside.! Then the two areas of man and G-d (prayer) and man and man (loving fellow) are one.

The Rebbe Chossid relationship. What role do miracles play in Chabad Chassidus. The Alter Rebbe is disturbed by people using their relationship with him for miracles and material needs. When your father slaps you don't turn your back. This is a powerful letter.

Iggetres HaKodesh 21. Tzedaka 1) Give often Hakol Lfi Rov HaMaase', 2) Early Zrizus, 3) The meaning behind this is understood by analyzing a. Rambam (Midos Tovos), b. Kabala (Ereetz HaChayom is redeemed) c. The unity between the two ideas.

Action. Mitzvos are the main thing though in Hishtalshelus Torah is higher. Connection to Rosh Hashana and Kabalas Ol.

The answer: Two concepts explain how the "Koach HaAtzmus" [for Yeshus] manifest through Hishtalshelus: 1) Ohr MeAin HaMaor (the light not only reflects; but is also bottul to Atzmus) allowing it to carry(in a latent way) the Koach HaAtzmus (for Yeshus). 2) "Koach NeElam" of Malchus carries from Atzmus the Hidden (higher) possibility for separation. All this is illustrated by the metaphor of reproduction (according to Kabbala). 1) the male point 2) the female point and what each brings to the miracle of reproduction.

The Question: In Hishtalshelus all are "Ayin", so how can a "Koach HaAtzmus" be delivered to Asiya (Yesh) via Hishtalshelus? How can the Ayin give us Yeshus when the Ayin has no (and is antithetical) to Yesh? In this we explore 1) Illa vealul vs. Yesh Meayin, 2) Where Yesh begins in higher worlds and more.

This classic essay of the Alter Rebbe written so close to his passing reveals an entirely new [ChaBaD] insight into the purpose and end of creation. One is never closer to G-d then he is down here in the physical world. The "Ego" [sense of self containment and independence] of this reality is rooted in His [G-d's] true self sufficiency and independence. This can only be known in the physical world. it is ultimately revealed through the performance of physical Mitzvos.

Ruach HaKodesh is subliminal and within the person's limits. The advantage of Ruach HaKOdesh over Nevuaa in studying Torah. Moshe received the Torah as the Achorayim [like Ruach HaKodesh (not Nevuaa)] of Chochma.

Nevua (prophecy) is all about people's worthiness yet it overwhelms the Prophet. The juxtaposition of Nevua and Ruach HaKodesh (divine inspiration). We'll continue in the next class.

Love. There are various levels of love for Hashem. They all begin with a deep interest and commitment to this pursuit. Once that commitment exists there's the human achieved love [that needs constant support and protection] and the love that is a divine gift and for Tzadikim alone.

Reward now, in Gan Eden and Leasid Lavo [Techiyas HaMeisim].

Giving Tzedaka when it's hard even beyond what is required and expected. We could all use Hashem's kindness.



This class further discusses the ten Kochos (faculties) but this time of the G-dly Soul. We explored the difference between the Intellectual and G-dly Souls. There are many additional ideas that the Alter Rebbe adds in discussing the G-dly Soul not mentioned earlier. Including a discussion on 1) Malchus, 2)_Da'as Elyon, 3) Midos that are higher than reason.

The ten faculties (Kochos) of the Soul are discussed here, (in order to explain the Sefiros). We discussed first Chaba"d then Chaga"s, and finally Neh"i. (We allowed ourselves a change of order from the letter to ease its comprehension). We also mentioned Malchus (which is not discussed inside regarding the Intellectual Soul). The class explores the nature of man over animal, and what is unique about Human Beings which qualifies them as "In the image of G-d". Mind is above the heart which is in turn higher than the lower third of the person. Also man has "Right, Left, and Center" making him whole and complete and thus "In the image of G-d".



This class introduces the 15th of the Alter Rebbe's letters. This letter is truly a classic and addresses the question of what are the ten S'firos (Attributes of G-Dliness discussed in Kabala). In this class we did the Alter Rebbe's own introduction. He explains the use of metaphor and allegory in explaining metaphysical ideas. Kabbala is certainly metaphysical and makes very good use of metaphor. In fact all of Kabbala is metaphor. He explains the risks of simplifying metaphor. We also introduced Kabbala. Kabbala can be summarized in one single word:G-Dliness. More specifically it is summarized in two ideas: 1. Ein Sof (The "Light"). 2. Adam HaElyon (The Anthropomorphic mystical (G-Dly)) image in whose image everything was made.



The constant universal involvement of Hashem in everything is complemented by a special involvement in certain (favored) aspects of creation. This unique involvement exists in Time, Space, and Things. Eretz Yisroel (Israel) is such a place. Thus the time, space of the land and the land itself have a special involvement from Him. How one can tap into this.



A higher concept of Shalom (peace) is when the peace comes from one's own inner (potential) wholeness. This seperates Human Beings from (even) Angels. The message of this letter is that though each person has tendencies (a nature that seem to inhibit). As human beings ("In the Image of G-d"), we can overcome any limitation and do anything!

Shalom (peace) can happen when 1) There are two (or more) disparate components and 2) a higher light that brings unity into them. Torah and Tzedaka affect this peace. Tzedaka that is measured gets one a limited peace while giving with sacrifice will get us a higher peace.

Lihaskilcha Bina. A classic discussion of Bitachon (Trust). The message and power of this letter are striking. This class involves a long introduction on faith and trust.

This is a world of limitation. In a real way creation and Torah and Mitzvos are a celebration of the use of Gevura and Gevul (strength and limitation) to express (service to) Hashem. Teshuva incorporates infinity within these parameters.



Being spiritually connected means seeing no conflict between heaven and earth. This may be quite challenging but is the Truth of Yiddishkeit and Chassidus. When achieved, giving Tzedaka is part of our relationship with Hashem, not only with man. We then give quite differently.



Davening's reward is to experience (see the ''Face'' of) G-Dliness. The reward is disproportionate to the investment because when we Daven after giving Tzedaka we have planted seeds that produce much more than we invested. The idea that procreation (in nature) is considered (by the Torah) to be a miracle.

Adam is the model through which "G-Dliness" reaches the creation. The inner world (Torah, Mitzvos, and the Collective Yid) also conform to this mode. However in the inner sphere the "Adam" model isn't for the sake of "Tzimtzum" but for the transmission of the "Essence" in a graspable form. Thus, each aspect of Torah and Mitzvos has the entire Essence. This raises the question of "Portions" in Torah. How can an Essence have (favorite) portions?

TRUTH. Those who pursue it find it absolutely illusive; unless Hashem helps. Getting closer to Him involves the mind; but ultimately the mind becomes the obstacle. Getting past the mind and reaching out for divine assistance involves 1) developing a sense of mercy for one's soul and 2) Reaching out to Him. The Alter Rebbe proposes using Tzedaka (especially for causes in the Holy Land) to arouse the mercy that will set the stage for the divine "gift" of Truth.



Creation is compared to speech. Thus speech reveals the secrets of the divine creation.The higher worlds reveal more of the divine idea while the lowest world reveals the power of the divine words themselves. Man has the duty of inspiring Hashem (so to speak) to maintain the Speech that is the creation. To accommodate the higher worlds we learn Torah. To accommodate the lower worlds we must do. Giving Tzedaka.

Speech- one of Hashem's greatest gifts to humankind. This essay argues that the aspects of speech we take for granted are the deepest. Hashem gave them to us to use automatically because if we would need to focus on them it would make speech impossible.



The heart has an Inner and Outer dimension. Both can be exiled and both can be redeemed through Tzedaka (Charity).

Tzedaka accomplishes 3 things (according to Kabbala): 1) bringing light of Mimalei into vessel, 2) revealing sovev light (this requires special "garments"). 3) Brings the "Face" of Hashem forward (there is no garment for this).

Katonti. Humility is closeness to G-d. This letter was written after the Alter Rebbe's release from prison. His message to his Chassidim- accept the grace and kindness of G-d humbly.

"Chosum Hamishapech", what is higher in Hishtalshelus is lower in essence. Thus Bittul, Emuna and Halacha have a distinct advantage over higher ideas (Understanding, Learning Gemara). One must use all his faculties never the less.

Theses letters have various themes. among them 1) Tzedaka, 2) Davening, 3) Torah.



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