אך להבין איך האתרוג, שהוא מרפ״ח שלא נבררו עדיין
But let us understand how an etrog, which derives from the 288 sparks that have not yet been purified,
Since this physical fruit derives its life-force from kelipat nogah, it contains some element of the 288 sparks of Tohu which have not yet been elevated to Divinity.
וכן קלף התפילין
and so too the parchment scroll of the tefillin, upon which the Torah passages are inscribed,
ימשיך אור בכלים דזו״ן דאצילות, שכבר נבררו ונתקנו על ידי שם מ״ה, להיות בחינת אלקות
can elicit light into the vessels of Zu”n of Atzilut, that have already been purified and rectified through the [purifying] Name Ma’h, so that they are a state of G‑dliness.
הנה המשל לזה היא הזריעה והנטיעה
The analogy for this is the process of sowing and planting.
שהגרעין מעורר כח הצומח שבארץ
The seed stimulates the power of growth within the soil,
שהוא דבר ה׳: תדשא הארץ כו׳ עץ פרי כו׳
which is G‑d’s command,1 “Let the earth sprout forth … fruit trees…”
The actual growth is not from the seed but from the power of growth (as explained above in Epistle XX). The seed merely serves as an “arousal from below,” stimulating the particular aspect of the power of growth that finds expression within it. After the seed decomposes, this particular power becomes incorporated within the universal power of growth that is found in the ground.
It then stimulates the power of growth within the earth to produce the same sort of fruit tree as the seed that was implanted. The essence of the power of growth is the Divine decree, “Let the earth sprout forth…,” which is the ultimate source of all vegetative growth.
The G‑d-given ability of the seed to rouse the power of growth acts:
על ידי העלאת מין נוקבין לשרשו
through the elevation of mayin nukvin to its source.
The seed, whose source is within the power of growth, serves as an “arousal from below,” from the recipient below to the benefactor. Although the seed that is planted can in no way compare to the power of growth, it can nevertheless arouse this power, for this is its source.
ככה מעוררים הקלף והאתרוג עד רום המעלות, שהוא שם ס״ג שלפני השבירה
In this manner the parchment of the tefillin and the etrog of the “Four Species” arouse unto the loftiest of levels; this is the Name Sa’g which precedes (and transcends) the shattering of the vessels,
שהוא מהות ועצמות אורות שבאדם קדמון
and which is the very essence of the lights of Adam Kadmon,
As explained above, Adam Kadmon is the first visage and thought of the infinite light as it encompasses all of creation. Here is to be found the essence of the visage and not merely a radiation. Thus, the Divine Name Sa’g relates to the essence of the illuminations of Adam Kadmon.
ולא הארה בעלמא, כמו שם מ״ה שממצחו
and not merely a reflection, as is the Name Ma’h which issues from the “forehead”.
All this is accomplished through the actual performance of the commandments of thetefillin and the etrog.
וכן בלימוד ועיון הלכותיהן
Similarly the study and careful examination of their laws, the laws regulating these mitzvot,
מעורר בחינת חב״ד שבעשר ספירות דכלים דזו״ן
arouses the Chochmah-Binah-Daat of the Ten Sefirot of the vessels ofZu”n,
ועד רום המעלות, גם כן בחינת חב״ד שבס״ג דפנימיות אדם קדמון, היוצא דרך העיניים כו׳
and so upward to the greatest heights, including Chochmah-Binah-Daatof Sa’g of the inner dimension of Adam Kadmon issuing through the “eyes” [of Adam Kadmon].
“Eyes”, signifying sight, denote an inner and essential level of Divinity, unlike the external aspect denoted by “forehead”.
In summary, practical mitzvot performed with physical objects arouse their source unto the loftiest of levels, unto the Divine Name Sa’g, the level that transcends the “breaking of the vessels.” This is also true with regard to studying the laws of thesemitzvot; study likewise effects an elevation to this lofty level, for the study of a mitzvahis likened to its actual performance.
What, however, happens when one studies the laws of prohibitory commands? One cannot say that this study too is regarded “as if he performed them.” Particularly so, with regard to those instances that do not occur in practice at all. For with regard to those that can occur, we at least say that2 “if one remains passive and does not transgress, he is rewarded as if he had performed a positive command.” However, when the relevant opportunity does not occur at all, this obviously does not apply. Yet despite all this, it was stated above that one should study the laws to an even greater extent than one studies the order of Hishtalshelut, even though a study of the latter leads to a love and fear of G‑d!
The Alter Rebbe now addresses this issue, explaining that there is a certain aspect of Torah study that is common to both positive and negative commandments: Simply studying a subject, even if it has no practical application, binds the individual to Supernal Wisdom, inasmuch as this is the source from which all the detailed laws emanate.
All the foregoing, i.e., as to how through observing the practical mitzvot and studying their laws one attains to the Divine Name Sa’g that transcends the “breaking of the vessels,”
הוא במצות עשה, אבל לא בלימוד פרטי הלכות איסורי לא תעשה לכאורה
concerns positive commandments, but not, it would seem, the study of particulars of the prohibitions,
ובפרט בדלא שכיחי כלל
particularly those that do not occur in practice at all, for in these cases we cannot even state that “if one remains passive and does not transgress, he is rewarded as if he had performed a positive command,”
כמו פרטי הלכות פיגול, וכהאי גוונא
for example the detailed laws of pigul and the like, which presently have no practical application.
Why should these laws too be studied extensively, and in fact even more than one studies the order of Hishtalshelut, which can rouse one to a love and awe of G‑d?