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Tanya In Simple English chapter 4 – Shaar Hayichud Ve-haemuna

Now it is written that “God is a sun and a shield” – in other words, there are two names of God – Havayeh and Eloikim (the first represents God as the infinite Creator, the second as the infinite concealer as will be explained – point of this chapter is to explain: how is it that everything, as said in the previous chapters is Divine energy, yet we are unaware?!?)

The explanation of this is that a shield here refers to the covering over the Sun (perhaps the solar winds that cool the heat or the ozone layer) which protects us from its intense heat – now just like the covering / shield protects us from intense radiation of the Sun, similarly does the name Eloikim protect us from the name of Havayeh Blessed Be He.

For the name of Havayeh means that God consistently creates everything from nothing.

The Yud in the name represents that this is a constant action – in other words, the energy comes literally every single second within all creations from the word of God and His spirit and brings everything out of nothingness into “something.”

As mentioned previously, the original creation is not the ability for it to continuously exist – rather it needs a constant force bringing it into existence every nano-second.

Now in the Siddur / prayer book, when we speak about the praises of God, it is written that He is great and strong etc.

The explanation of “great” is the emotion of God’s kindness and His giving life to all the universes and the creations within, to constantly bring them into existence out of nothingness into “somethingness” which is done purely from His infinite love.

The reason it is called great, because this comes from the greatness of God-Himself who has no limitations, therefore He constantly creates and sustains all the universes and the infinite Creations within them out of sheer non-existence, as the “nature of the kind / good, is to do kindness / goodness.”

Now just as this emotion is the praise of God alone, for no other creation can possibly cause something to come into existence out of nothingness and sustain it, similarly this emotion is beyond the understanding of a human being – for no human being can understand this capacity to create matter out of nothingness, and to continuously give it life.

Creation of matter out of nothingness is beyond the understanding of any creation as it comes from the emotion of God’s greatness – and God and His emotions are a completely and simply a single entity, as it states in Kabbalah, that He and His emotions are one.

Now just as it is impossible for any mind to understand their Creator, so also it is impossible to understand His emotions.

Now just as no mind can understand God’s emotion of greatness, which is the capacity to create matter out of nothingness and continuously revive it – as it says “The world is built on kindness” in the exact same way it is impossible for any creation to understand the strength of God, which is the capacity to diminish and restrain the life force that it should not be revealed to the creations.

In other words that they should not perceive that their energy actually comes from God, and they will perceive that their body is an independent entity, non-reliant on the life force and the spiritual energy that makes them exist.

Though in fact they are entirely dependent, they are like the ray from the sun which is 100% dependent on the sun.

God’s strength is such that He can so condense the spirituality and life force which comes from the breath of His mouth, and conceal it, in order that the individual should have an independent identity.

Now it is impossible for any created intelligence to comprehend how God’s light can be both diminished and concealed yet nonetheless have the capacity to create the body / matter out of nothing.

(Now the dimunition and concealment of the life force is called “Keilim” (the containers of energy / bodies.) Whereas the life force itself is called “light.”

The reason for this is, just like a container conceals what is within it – so too the diminution of the light conceals the light and the energy that comes into it.

Now the Keilim / containers are the actual letters of Hebrew.

And these letters come from the 5 source letters Mem Nun Tzaddik Pei Ches – which are the five strengths / Gevurah of God, that separate the breath and the voice and the five articulations of the mouth which create the 22 letters.

And the source of these five strengths that separate the letters is the Kabbalistic level of the darkness that transcends light – in other words, the Divine who decides exactly what should and shouldn’t be / created. This is the higher Gevurah of Atik Yomin – and the source of the kindness of God is Chessed of Atik Yomin, as known to those knowledgeable in Kabbalah.

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