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As Divided for a Regular Year
Tanya for 11 Sivan
An illustration of this is the light of the sun which illumines the earth and its inhabitants.
[This illumination] is the radiance and the light which spreads forth from the body of the sun and is visible to all as it gives light to the earth and the expanse of the universe.
Now, it is obvious that this light and radiance is also present in the very body and matter of the sun-globe itself in the sky, for if it can spread forth and shine to such a great distance, then certainly it can shed light in its own place.
However, there in its own place, this radiance is considered naught and complete nothingness, for it is absolutely non-existent in relation to the body of the sun-globe which is the source of this light and radiance, inasmuch as this radiance and light is merely the illumination which shines from the body of the sun-globe itself.
[Since the sun's light is merely an illumination deriving from the sun, it is in a state of complete nothingness while it is found within the sun-globe itself.
One cannot say that within the body of the sun there is sunlight; only the sun itself is found there].
It is only in the space of the universe, under the heavens and on the earth, where the body of the sun-globe is not present, [and all that is seen is but an illumination that emanates from it], that this light and radiance appears to the eye of all beholders to have actual existence.
And here the term "existence" [yesh] can truly be applied to it, - [The sun's light and rays as they appear outside of the sun-globe can truly be said to exist, inasmuch as the sun itself is not found there], - whereas when it is in its source, in the body of the sun, the term "existence" cannot be applied to it at all; it can only be called naught and non-existent.
There it is indeed naught and absolutely non-existent, for there only its source, the luminous body of the sun, gives light, and there is nothing besides it.
[To sum up: Although the sun's rays are surely found within the body of the sun, they cannot be said to "exist" there; they are found there in a manner of "non-existence", in a state in which their separate identity is utterly nullified.
That which can be deemed to exist within the sun-globe can be nothing other than the sun itself].
The exact parallel [to this illustration] is the relationship between all created beings and the Divine flow [of the life-force that emanates] from the "breath of His mouth," which flows upon them and brings them into existence and is their source.
However, [the created beings] themselves are merely like a diffusing light and effulgence from the flow and spirit of G-d, which issues forth [from Him] and becomes clothed in them, and brings them from naught into being.
Hence, their existence is nullified in relation to their source, just as the light of the sun is nullified and is considered naught and utter nothingness, and is not at all referred to as "existing" when it is within its source, [viz., the sun; the term "existence" applies to it] only beneath the heavens, where its source is not present.
In the same manner, the term "existence" can be applied to all created things only as they appear to our corporeal eyes, for we do not see nor at all comprehend the source, which is the spirit of G-d that brings them into existence.
Therefore, [since we do not see nor comprehend their source], it appears to our eyes that the physicality, materiality and tangibility of created things actually exist, just as the light of the sun appears to exist fully when it is not within its source, [and is found within the expanse of the universe.
In truth, the Source of all creatures is constantly found within them, our failure to perceive this notwithstanding. Hence, their existence is totally nullified in relation to their source and they cannot be said to truly "exist"].
But in the following respect, the illustration is apparently not completely identical with the object of comparison.
For in the illustration, the source - [the sun] - is not present at all in the expanse of the universe and upon the earth, where its light is seen as actually existing.
[Since the sun itself is not present upon the earth, its rays are able to assume a seeming reality of their own. It is therefore readily understandable why they are perceived as existing independently].
By contrast, all created beings are always within their source, [the Divine activating force, which is continuously found within them, constantly creating and animating them ex nihilo], and it is only that the source is not visible to our physical eyes.
[Since in reality they are indeed within their source at all times], Why are they not nullified in their source?
[Why are creatures not nullified within their source in an obvious and revealed manner, so that there is no mistaking them as independently existing beings?]
To understand this, some prefatory remarks are necessary.
[The Alter Rebbe will go on to explain that the Divine power of concealment and contraction is responsible for hiding G-d's light, so that it will not be perceptible to created beings.
This enables creation to be perceived as possessing "existence", whereas in reality it is totally nullified within its source].
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