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Chapter 20 Tanya



Now it is well known that the commandment and prohibition of idolatry which is the first two of The Ten Commandments are the generality of the entire Torah.

For the first commandment “I am God your Lord” includes all the 248 Do Mitzvahs.

And the second commandment “You shall have no other Gods besides Me” include the 365 prohibitions and therefore we heard directly from God “I am God your Lord,” and “You should have no other gods besides Me,” as our sages say – because they are the generality of the Torah.

Now to explain this idea well, we have to first mention briefly what is the idea of the oneness of God, who is called the only and unique – and all who believe that He exists now, just as He was before He created the world – when He was alone – as it states “You or He before the world was made, you are He after the world was made” – in other words, literally the same without any distinction whatsoever – and without any change, like it states, “I am God that has not changed.”

Furthermore this world and all the heavenly realms create no difference in the oneness of God as they are created from non-existence to existence – for just as He was singular and alone before their creation, so too is He after He created them.

The reason for this is because compared to Him everything is as if it doesn’t exist, and it is literally nothing.

The reason for this is, because the creation of all the worlds above and below, from non-existence into existence – and their energy and force which keeps them in existence… preventing them to return back to their natural state of non-existence – is but the word of God, and the breath of His mouth which is within them.

For example, just like when we speak about man, if he were to say one “word” – now this word is nothing relatively speaking, compared to his soul that can speak indefinitely and this is the second garment in man which is the power of speech.

Now if we compare this one word to the deeper garment of man which is thought – which is the source of where speech comes from, and it’s life-force – and certainly if we compare it to the essence of the Soul which is the 10 levels – the three intellectual and seven emotions – which are are the letters of thoughts that end up in speech – certainly then this one word is truly nothing in comparison.

Of-course thought is also made up of letters, just like speech – they are just simply more spiritual and elevated – yet the 10 soul levels, the three intellectual and seven emotional, are the source of all thoughts, and within these emotions and conceptions – the letters of the thoughts do not yet exist… – meaning before this emotion enters the mind to contemplate about it….

For example, if a person has a desire in his heart – before it goes from the heart to the mind to contemplate how to get it – there are no letters, rather it is just a simple desire in the heart; a desire for that which the person perceives as being beneficial to him.

Now if you go deeper – before this desire was in the heart.. – it was simply a matter that a person was aware that this thing that he does / will desire, actually is worth desiring… for example to study a wisdom or to eat a sweet food…. This then descends from his idea into becoming an emotion, and then returns back to the mind to think how to bring it into action – either how to get the food… or to learn this wisdom…. and only now the letters of thought, based on the words and language of each person, based on their culture the language _that they use to speak and think_ in all the matters of this world comes to their mind.

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