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Unread 08-01-2003, 06:37 PM   #1
chassidus
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Achdus Hashem--G-d's unity

This subject is probably the most central theme of Chassidus. Some of Chassidus explains the inner significance of the Mitzvos, but the part of Chassidus dedicated to avodah (Divine service, especially in prayer) is about G-d's unity. It even goes so far as to say that striving to reach this realization is the entire purpose of man, and if he does not do this it would have been better if he was never born.

However, this is a great and broad subject, requiring a lot of explanaition and thought. Shaar HaYichud vi'HaEmuna of tanya is about this, Shaar HaYichud of the Mittler Rebbe is about this, as is Imrei Binah. There is Mitzvas Yichud Hashem and parts of Emanus Elokus and Shoresh Mitzvos Hatefillah in Derech Mitzvosecah, and then scattered maamarim of the later Rebbeim, such as Mi Chomocha of the Rebbe Maharash, Achas Shoalti of the Rebbe Rashab, and many others.

So this thread can be a place to post and discuss the various explanations and how they all work together.
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Unread 08-02-2003, 09:59 PM   #2
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Light Basic Outline

In general the subject of G-d's unity has two parts--sovev and mimalei (which correspond to the names Havaya and Elokim). Another related way of dividing it is "yichuda illa'a" and "yichuda tata'a" (the upper and lower unity). Usually, the upper unity is how the lights of Atzilus unite with the infinite light of G-d's, and the lower unity is how creation unites with malchus of Atzilus.

In plain English the upper unity is how G-d's particular desires in Torah and Mitzvos and the conduct of the world comes from G-d's essential and simple desire, expressing His essence. The lower unity is how creation are as tool's in G-d's hands (so to speak) and are completely nullified to His will.

There is also a third, higher, unity. This is how only G-d exists. This also has two parts: how everything is G-d and how G-d is everything. (Sometimes this is called the upper unity and both of the previous ones are called the lower unity.)

Corresponding to these three levels of unity there are three general (types of) tzimtzumim (contractions and concealments of G-d's light): The first tzimtzum (a removal or "siluk"); the screen or "parsa" between Atzilus and BY"A (an enclothement); the tzimzum of the name Elokim between the spiritual worlds and our pysical one (the facaude a natural order).

The first tzimtzum hides the essence of the light, so that even though everything is revealed, but the essence is (seemingly) withheld. The screen makes hides the light entirely, making appear as something separate--creations. Nature allows us to not only feel like separate existences, but also allows us to completely deny the involvement and even the existence of G-d.

Of course, it is important to remember that none of these contractions or concealments really remove or hide G-d's light (ch"v), the effect is only in our eyes.

This is the general outline of this subject. First let us address each of these three contractions (tzimtzumim), and then we can move on to the particulars of the order of creation (hishtalshellus).
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Unread 08-02-2003, 10:18 PM   #3
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<<< There is also a third, higher, unity. This is how only G-d exists. This also has two parts: how everything is G-d and how G-d is everything. >>>

No, no, no. Chassidus says no such thing. The Rebbeim have said no such thing. Please learn the difference between the expression that "everything is bottul, ain v'efes" "ein oid milvadoi" , " elokus"etc and this phrase you just wrote which is acknowledged kefira and has never been stated by the Rebbeim in any of those seforim you quoted which I have learned.

Chaval!!!
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Unread 08-02-2003, 10:57 PM   #4
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He probably means the vort "Altz is Elokus, Elokus is altz"
( , - "everything is Elokus, Elokus is everything").
The explanation and meaning - I will leave for the "maskilim".
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Unread 08-02-2003, 11:02 PM   #5
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Good.

He, and all Chassidim, need to know the difference between "Elokus" and "Ein Sof" or G-d.

There is a big chiluk between saying "altz iz G-etlichkeit" and "altz is G-tt".

And anyway, that phrase is not at all predominant in seven doros of Rebbeim. The classical phrases that appear every omud of LT NEVER say things like that. The hashkofo is paraphrased "Altz iz bottul tzu Elokus".
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Unread 08-02-2003, 11:50 PM   #6
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I really am sorry to cause such an uproar. I am also disturbed that I am suspected of such gross error. I realize that you mean well and my words were not clear. I am quite familiar with the difference between the way Judaism perceives these concepts and other ideologies. I am sorry for not being more clear and explaining, but this takes time and I am getting to that.

Nonetheless, the quote is correct. It is mentioned in a few places. The only one I have on me is Sefer Hasichos 5701 pg. 47. It reads:

"'And He brought to being all beings, and all beings... do not exist save from His existence,' which this is the idea that 'He is everything, and everything is Him.'

"Understanding the concept that 'He is everything, and everything is Him,' as well as the difference between 'He is everything' and 'everything is Him,' only a Jew can understand. The nations of the world are not capable of Divine understanding.

"In the nations of the world there are also great sages, and many of them understood G-dliness, such as Plato, and the like. However, for them everything is in enclothed understanding. Surely, they also have different levels of understanding and sages. There are those that understand in more enclothement or less enclothement, more divested or less divested, but in general it is all understanding through enclothement.

"Understanding a G-dly concept in complete divestment, this is only in the realm of a Jew, for a Jew is himself G-dly. In this respect all Jews are equal--from Moshe to the completely simple--he can arrive at the greatest understandings. 'We all have one father,' 'when will my actions arrive at my father's actions?'

"Every Jew can come to the highest levels of service of the Creator, just like Avraham our father and Moshe our teacher, for every Jew is a part of G-d from above."

Last edited by chassidus; 08-03-2003 at 11:36 PM.
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Unread 08-04-2003, 12:08 AM   #7
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Lightbulb First: a clarification

First, to clarify the meaning of "G-d is everything, and everything is G-d" vs. pantheism. Pantheism (an idolatrous belief found in Buddhism, among other religions) is the equation of G-d with the natural forces, or the totality of nature. Simply put, that means that our physical world exists, and there is nothing higher than it. Only that our world is really some great consciousness or being, of which we are all only part. This, in essence, denies the existence of G-d, replacing Him with nature (ch"v). This lowers the existence or definition of G-d to nature. (This equates G-d with klipas nogah, the all-encompassing force powering the physical world.)

When Judaism says, "G-d is everything, and everything is G-d," or "G-d is the world" (keil olom), or "There is nothing else aside from Him," and the like the meaning is just he opposite. Judaism states that only G-d--the infinite, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnificent, omnibenevolent,--exists. Aye, I see a world around me, and, indeed, it says in G-d's Torah that He created a world? This too is true, only that the world is not what you think it is. The world, as a limited, natural, independent existence, does not exist. Rather G-d lowered His essential revelation (so too speak) in order to reveal Himself through the form of a world. In other words, G-d wanted to reveal His Essence to us, but He wanted us to have to work to see Him. Therefore, G-d condensed and enclothed His revelation, until it appeared as a world. However, the world is really a revelation of G-d's Essence, only it is like a puzzle, where we have to work to discover the true message.

Thus, when we say, "G-d is everything, and everything is G-d" we are not lowering or detracting from G-d's existence (ch"v). On the contrary, this world is an expression of G-d's infinite ability. That G-d can reveal and express Himself in any way He chooses, even the most simple and limited. Like a great teacher that can explain even the deepest concepts simple, to a small child. So too, G-d can make His entire Essence revealed to mere created, limited beings, and even make it within their natural grasp--that through their own efforts they will come to now G-d's Essence.

(Compare to the sicha on Shabbos Chazzon, LS vol. 29, where it explains how in the third Beis Hamikdosh we will see how every detail of the Beis Hamikdosh--and through it, every detail of the entire world--reveals G-d.

Similarly, Likkutei Dibburim Chapter 5b Section 23: When Moshiach comes, This World here below will accord exactly with the truth. Physical space will be actual Elokus, not clothed at all by any garments of physicality, for the true face of physicality will then be discernible--the fact that it is actual Atzmus.)
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Unread 11-22-2003, 06:56 PM   #8
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Hi there

this subject is to true interest to me. i have been studing this subject for a long time mainlly the subject of "kpshotoi or not". the conclusion i have come to is that whitout excepting the altar rebbe as the source of truth there is no way i can decide who is right in that argument.

am i right and if i am why should i except the altar rebbe as the source of truth and not for example the gr"a
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Unread 11-23-2003, 10:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by mms
Hi there

this subject is to true interest to me. i have been studing this subject for a long time mainlly the subject of "kpshotoi or not". the conclusion i have come to is that whitout excepting the altar rebbe as the source of truth there is no way i can decide who is right in that argument.

am i right and if i am why should i except the altar rebbe as the source of truth and not for example the gr"a
Shomar emunum hakadmon and Amod Ha'avodah among others are sources for this.
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Unread 12-01-2003, 12:05 PM   #10
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Lightbulb Simplicity from Diversity I

Two Types of Unity

First, let us define unity. What do we mean when we say something is united, or simple? There are many levels of unity, but in general there are two: a unity made of parts and a singular unity.

A unity made of parts is like winning "one" million dollars. A million is a single unit, a "unit-y," but this equals one million single dollar bills. A car is "one" machine, but it is made of many, different parts: doors, wheels, the engine, and the body. Each component exists independently, and they all exist before becoming a car. Now that these parts join together, however, they become something new, a greater whole that is more than the sum of its parts. A car is a single whole, yet without all of its parts it does not exist. Two wheels, a door, and an engine is not half a car, its a pile of junk. By joining together, these parts form a whole and the absence of even a single component destroys the whole. This is lower than a singular unity, because it "one" made of many.

A singular unity, in contrast, is completely simple. It is elemental and alone. For example, water is a simple substance (on the molecular level). A glass of water is only water, and every bit of it is equally water. It is all clear, all cool, all wet, all slippery and all refreshing. Similarly, gold is an element. This means that (on the atomic level) it is not made up of smaller parts; rather even a single gold atom has all qualities of gold. Even the smallest bit has that same luster, that same shine, that same soft sparkle that makes gold, gold. This is called a simple essence. However, even these are not a completely simple unity. First, because they are really devisable. Second, because other things exist aside from them. Something that can be counted as onewith two and three following itis not completely alone. The closest example for this unity in the physical world is physical energythe basic stuff from which everything is made. Unlike the first unity, this unity is complete and absolute.

This (second) higher unity, however, is ultimately G-d's alone. G-d is completely perfect and simple. Therefore, we must ascribe this second, more perfect unity to G-d. Thus, G-d is completely simple, without division, part, or peer.
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Unread 12-03-2003, 12:18 AM   #11
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Lightbulb Ten Attributes in the Simple Light of G-d?

Ten Attributes in the Simple Light of G-d?

The simple, infinite light of G-d descends through three levels or phases before creation: the revelation of G-d's essence exactly as He is; the revelation of a particular attribute or power of G-d; the particular manifestation of this attribute or power. These three levels are all the revelation of G-d's Self to Himself. The revelation of Who He is, what He can do, and every which way He can do it.

Now, since G-d is completely simple and united--a singular unity--then His essential light must also be completely simple and uncompounded. For this light is the revelation of G-d exactly as He is. Therefore, it is impossible to say that any divisions exist there, such the ten attributes or powers. Yet, we find reference to the ten attributes even in the essential light of G-d. And this is true, the ten attributes really do exist there, but not as we know them, as it says, "G-d is wise, but not with a knowable wisdom; understanding, but not with a knowable understanding--indeed, He has no relation to these attributes at all." In the infinite light of G-d, these attributes are completely simple and indistinct, to the point that they cannot be divided from each other.

But what does this mean? If they are there, who cares if they are "as we know them." If there is a difference between "wise" and "understanding," then division exists.

The answer is that really, G-d is completely simple, and His essential revelation is completely simple. It possesses no divisions at all. As for the reference to the ten attributes in this essential revelation, this is not in referring to divisions in the light itself, rather how it relates to creation. That is, G-ds light is completely simple, but since ten attributes were emanated from it, we must say that these powers come from there--or else where could they come from? Since the only true existence is G-d, we must say that the ten attributes and all of creation stemming from them, must be a revelation of G-d's essence. They must be part of G-d's Self-revelation.

Thus, when we say that the ten attributes (and all other things) are not in G-d's infinite light, we mean that G-d's essential revelation is higher than these things and not bound by them. In contrast, when we say that these attributes are there, we mean that G-d is not missing them. If they exist, they must have come from G-d. So, when we say that G-d is higher than wisdom, we do not mean that G-d is lacking intellect, Heaven forfend. The very opposite is true, G-d's possesses intellect just like us and much, much more, to the point where He intellect is infinite, defying definition as intellect, rather it is everything all at once--including our intellect as well.
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Unread 12-03-2003, 11:56 AM   #12
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how everything is G-d and how G-d is everything
where does Reb Izak say this?
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Unread 12-03-2003, 05:48 PM   #13
chassidus
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where does Reb Izak say this?
What do you mean? Are you remembering that Reb Izak said this somewhere?
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Unread 12-04-2003, 08:31 AM   #14
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I had been wondering which kat you were from. Obviously your just some average Joe and not from Gal Einai.
Rav G always blurbs this on tapes in his name with no source wherein...
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Unread 12-08-2003, 05:36 PM   #15
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I still don't know what you are talking about with Reb Izak.

And, yes, I am just some average joe and not from Gal Einai.
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Unread 12-09-2003, 10:41 AM   #16
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the good word back which I have not had time or patience to find is to look at the back of Reb Izaks' Shnay Meoros...

if you look and see , tell me where in the letters where it is?
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Unread 12-14-2003, 10:09 AM   #17
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What letter about what?
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Unread 05-30-2011, 03:10 AM   #18
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the good word back which I have not had time or patience to find is to look at the back of Reb Izaks' Shnay Meoros...

if you look and see , tell me where in the letters where it is?
The letter in its entirety appears in Rav Ginsburgh's book, , from p. 167 onwards beginning " ".
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