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Brief On Hashgachah Peratis

For G-D To Focus Attention

As Knowledge Humbles Power

A Legacy Of Divine Care

Led By G-d's Hand
The Baal Shem Tov's Conception of Hashgachah Peratis
Based on the works of the Lubavitcher Rebbe,
Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson


Brief On Hashgachah Peratis

Translated by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger

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Likkutei Sichos, Vol. VIII, p. 277ff.; Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe, Vol. I, p. 168ff.
The following brief was written to the renown Rosh Yeshivah, Rabbi Dovber Rivkin. It was not dated, but from Rabbi Rivkin's reply, it is apparent that it was written before 18 Av, 5703.

Divine Providence -- An overview of the different conceptions advanced by the Torah sages preceding the Baal Shem Tov, and that advanced by the Baal Shem Tov

I. The Conception of the Baal Shem Tov

Divine providence involves every particular occurrence that affects man and also that affects inanimate matter, plants, and animals. This conception is explained in the following maamarim which are in my possession: Derech Chayim, Shaar HaTeshuvah, ch. 9, the maamar entitled Es Havayah Heemarta, 5678; the maamar entitled HaTei Elokai, 5694; Likkutei Dibburim, Yud-Tes Kislev, 5694, secs. 3-4.

The maamar entitled Al Kein Yomru, 5696, makes an even more inclusive statement:

As explained by our master, the Baal Shem Tov, not only are all the particular activities of the created beings [controlled by] Divine providence. This providence is the life-energy of the created being and maintains its existence. Moreover, every particular movement of an individual created being has a connection to the intent of the creation as a whole.... A slight movement of one blade of grass fulfills G-d's intent for the creation as a whole.
Note a: The statements concerning Divine providence in Tanya, Shaar HaYichud VehaEmunah, ch. 2, and Iggeres HaKodesh, Epistle 25, involve the general concept of Divine providence. For there are people who deny it -- and even its possibility -- despite the fact that they admit that the entire creation was brought into being ex nihilo by G-d's word, as apparent from [the Alter Rebbe's] rebuttal of their position. In another source, their position is explained. They maintain that the creation was brought into being through a downward cause-and-effect directed chain of sequences. In such a situation, the effect [i.e., the lower level,] bring about changes in the cause [the higher level]. Therefore, according to their conception, it is impossible for G-d to invest Himself and manifest His providence in the lowly worlds, for that would be lowering Himself (Likkutei Torah, the second maamar entitled Shishim Heimah, sec. 2). And doing so would bring about multiplicity within Him [as it were] (Torah Or, the maamar entitled Eirda Na). Therefore they maintain that "G-d abandoned the earth,"[47] and He is merely "the G-d of gods."[48] For this same reason, they deny the possibility of miracles (Torah Or, the maamar entitled ViEileh Shmos).

The rebuttal of their position is that on the contrary, we are forced to say that the power which brings an entity into being [from absolute nothingness] must be continually invested in that entity. Thus He is continuously found even in the lower worlds (see the discussion of this subject in Pelech HaRimon, [Sefer Bereishis,] by Rabbi Hillel Paritcher, the maamar entitled Eirda Na, sec. 2).

Note b: [Our sages[49] speak about G-d] carrying on His providence with one eye with regard to those who fear Him,[50] with two eyes, and with one eye that surpasses the providence of two eyes (Likkutei Torah, the maamar entitled Ki Tishmah Bikol, et al). (According to the Baal Shem Tov, in contrast to the approaches who preceded him,) these differences involve the manner in which His providence is manifest, but not in the fundamental premise that He manifests His providence over every created being individually. Indeed, all of the levels mentioned there involve higher levels of Divine providence, resembling a miracle enclothed in nature, for even the providence involving only "one eye" concerns "those who fear Him."

The ordinary natural order, by contrast, reflects a lower level. Hence there was a desire to close G-d's eye, as it were, as related by Bereishis Rabbah 42:7. See the explanation of these concepts in Or HaTorah,[51] the maamar entitled Asher Yei'amar HaYom. We are forced to say that this is also the interpretation in the maamar entitled HaTei Elokai, published in the HaKeriah VehaKedushah, Adar, 5702,[52] and in the other sources.

II. The conception of the Jewish Sages who preceded the Baal Shem Tov

They maintain that G-d manifests His providence over every member of the Jewish people in a particular manner and over all animals and plants in a general manner. Thus after mentioning several other perspectives with regard to His providence, [the Rambam] writes (Moreh Nevuchim, Vol. III, ch. 17):

The approach of our Torah is that... Divine Providence focuses on the individual only in regard to the human species... With regard to animals and how much more so, with regard to plants... [His] Providence governs the species as a whole, but not its individual components.
(And in ch. 18:) Divine Providence does not rest upon all men equally.... As to the fools who rebel [against Him],... their interests will be loathed and will be controlled by the [natural] order as are those of the animals. To them can be applied the verse:[53] "He (a sinner) is comparable to the animals who cannot speak."
This approach is further clarified at the conclusion of the text Shomer Emunim (written by a student of the Ramaz, and cited in Shoresh Mitzvas HaTefillah, sec. 34):

There is nothing that takes place by coincidence, without a Divine intent and providence. This is intimated by the verse:[54] "And I, too, will conduct Myself with you with casualness (kri)" which implies that even mikreh, chance circumstance, has its source in Him, for everything stems from Him and [is controlled by] His providence.
With regard to the manner in which His providence is manifest... as explained in the texts of Kabbalah, and particularly, in the text Ailimah, there are three categories of existence in this world which do not receive reward or punishment: animals, plants, and inanimate objects.... They are watched over by angels appointed over... each of the species... to draw down influence to each of the species as a whole. However, for there to be specific providence to determine whether a particular ox will live or die... the archangels do not have the power to watch over such matters....
There is no providence over a particular animal, and how much more so, not over a particular plant or inanimate object. For the intent in their [existence] can be achieved when considering the species as a whole. There is no need for His providence to be manifest on the particular members of the species. On the contrary, whatever happens to the particular members of the species is absolute coincidence and is not decreed by G-d at all, unless it somehow concerns man....
G-d does not decree that any particular fish will live or die... He does, however, issue decrees concerning a person, his sustenance, and his livelihood.
Thus there is Divine providence concerning a person that involves his animal, e.g., if his animal will gain weight... or [similarly,] if his jug will break.
With regard to his statements concerning fish, a parallel exists in Tanya, Iggeres HaKodesh, Epistle 25, which states: "Although a person who has free choice curses him... and becomes obligated for his undesirable choice, it was already decreed from above that the person [would] suffer this damage and the Omnipresent has many agents." See also the conclusion of ch. 6, in Hilchos Teshuvah, where the Rambam makes similar statements.

The reference to the text Ailimah pertains to the text Ailimah Rabasi composed by R. Moshe Cordevoro who writes (Ein Kol Tamar 5, ch. 1):

No person who believes should entertain the concept that any action, large or small, takes place by coincidence. Instead, everything is determined by Divine providence. The intent is not that the act is determined by the angels, the thrones, or the Sefiros, heaven forbid. Instead, everything is determined by the mystic secret of the providence of the Ein Sof.
That text then continues to explain the different levels of Divine providence according to the explanations quoted by the Shomer Emunim.

[The statements of] R. Moshe Cordevoro and the Shomer Emunim [are problematic] for there is an apparent contradiction between the beginning which states that nothing takes place by coincidence and the conclusion which states that "whatever happens to the particular members of the species is absolute coincidence." It is possible to explain that the Shomer Emunim sought to resolve that contradiction by stating: "Even mikreh, chance circumstance, has its source in Him, for everything stems from Him and [is controlled by] His providence."

See similar statements in the Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Teshuvah 5:4:

Know that everything is done according to His will, and, nevertheless, we are granted license with regard to our deeds.
How is [this apparent contradiction resolved]? Just as the Creator desires that the elements of fire and wind rise upward... so too, He desires that man have free choice and have license for his deeds."
See also the concluding chapter of Shemoneh Perakim, where the Rambam states similar ideas in a slightly more detailed explanation.

See also Tosafos (Niddah 16b, entry Hakol) which states that certain factors are not "in the hands of heaven, because G-d does not desire to change the course of the constellations."[55]


This must be said: Even according to the opinions which state that Divine providence does not control inanimate objects, plants, and animals agree that G-d knows all the minute particulars concerning these creations, as the Ikkarim, Maamar 4, ch. 7, states: "We are forced to say that His knowledge encompasses every entity found in the world and every event that takes place. Nothing -- neither small nor great -- is beyond Him. Nevertheless, He does not watch over (animals) to grant them reward or punishment for their deeds. Instead, He watches over their particulars insomuch as they are part of the general category, protecting the existence of the species, but nothing beyond that.


One should not ask: "How is it possible -- according to this interpretation -- that there be something which involves inanimate objects, plants, and animals that does not effect man? For all the entities in this world exist only for the sake of man, as the Rambam explains at length in his Introduction to his Commentary on the Mishnah.

[This question is not in place.] For it is obvious (certainly, according to this interpretation, and in my opinion, even according to the Baal Shem Tov's conception of Divine providence) that our Sages' statement (Berachos 6b): "The entire world was created solely to establish a connection with this,"[56] refers to inanimate objects, plants, and animals in general, and circumstances in general. One cannot say that the falling of a particular leaf in a far off corner of the sea affects every particular person. Similarly, the Rambam's intent in explaining Ben Zoma's statement[57] (which he quoted in his Introduction): "Blessed be He who created all these to serve me," is not that all of those ascending to celebrate the festival affected Ben Zoma. See Likkutei Torah, the second maamar entitled ViSamti Kadkeid, which speaks of primary and secondary levels of importance with regard to the creation of animals.

III. With regard to the approach of the Sages of Israel who preceded the Baal Shem Tov, it is necessary to clarify:

  1. With regard to the Divine providence which affects men: Does it affect also the wicked, gentiles, and fools, or does it affect only righteous Jewish people?

    The opinion of [the Rambam] in Moreh Nevuchim, as stated above (see also Vol. III, ch. 51) is that Divine providence does not affect the fools and the wicked, because Divine providence is dependent on the establishment of an intellectual bond [between man and G-d]. From these statements, we learn that he maintains that the removal of Divine providence from a wicked person is not a punishment, or a function of unique Divine fiat, but rather a matter of natural sequence of cause and effect.

    This also appears to be the opinion of the Ramban who writes (in his commentary to Bereishis 18:19): "His providence in this lowly world is manifest in protecting the species as a whole. Even humans are open to the effects of circumstance until the time of they were called for. With regard to His pious ones, He focuses His attention to know them in a particular way."

    See Derech Chayim, Shaar HaTeshuvah, sec. IX, which states:

    There are those who objects to the Rambam's statements, for it is written:[58] "Your eyes are open to all the way of men," and it is written:[59] "He created their hearts together. He comprehends all their deeds."... [This includes even] the deeds of the wicked, as it is written:[60] "Shall a man hide?..." Even though, a spirit of folly enters him, and he is comparable to an animal, [G-d's providence controls his fate].

    The explanation of the concept is that [G-d] controls the fate of the righteous with the attribute of kindness and goodness, and that of the wicked with the attribute of stern judgment.

    Analysis is necessary, however, because it is difficult to reconcile the above with the simple meaning of the statements in Moreh Nevuchim.

    The Koheles Yaakov, Maareches Hashgachah, quotes the opinion of the Ramban (cited above) and Rabbeinu Bachaye that Divine Providence involves two aspects:

    1. To oversee the deeds performed; this applies with regard to every individual, even non-Jews;

    2. To defend them from unfavorable circumstance; this applies only with regard to the righteous.

    The opinion of the Ailimah (loc. cit., ch. 36) and the Shomer Emunim concerning whether the removal of Divine providence from the wicked comes as retribution stemming from Divine fiat or as a natural sequence of cause and effect requires clarification. At the beginning of his statements, he writes: "Even the most particular details involving every member of (the Jewish people) is controlled by Divine providence." Nevertheless, he concludes:

    The tenth level of providence involves the concealment of G-d's face. Because of a person's sin, G-d abandons him to nature and circumstance.... The concept can be explained by comparison to a free-flowing stream of water.... A person who desires may ascend and drink from the source of the water... or one may desire to drink from the filthy water at the bottom.

  2. With regard to plant and animal life: Is there no Divine providence at all, or does the archangel or mazal[61] that is appointed to control the species also control the fortunes of the particular members of the species?

    Moreh Nevuchim, Ailimah, and Shomer Emunim state explicitly that individual inanimate objects, plants, and animals are "subject to circumstance entirely." "For the archangel does not have the power...."

    The Koheles Yaakov questions the opinion of the Ramban (cited previously) based on a statement of the Talmud Yerushalmi (Shevi'is 9:1; cited also in Bereishis Rabbah, ch. 79 and other sources) which states: "Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai says: 'A fowl will not be snared without [a decree from] heaven. Certainly, this applies with regard to humans.' "

    Note: [Our Sages explain that Rabbi Shimon made this statement after hearing a heavenly voice declare that a particular bird would not be snared.] On the surface, the question arises: Why did Rabbi Shimon reach his conclusion only after hearing the heavenly voice? There are several verses which indicate that Divine providence determines the fate of men. It is possible to explain that the incident taught him that this principle applies even in a situation where there is [obvious] danger. It is not necessary that one be snared. This he learned from the fowl which was in danger of being snared.

    Although Shabbos 32a states that a person should not remain in a place of danger, it is possible to explain that [Rabbi Shimon's situation] was an exception, because he had no choice. For he could not remain in the cave throughout the entire time of the [Roman] decree, for he could not know when it would end. Also, his flesh had already begun to decay. Hence, [exposing himself to this danger] is not comparable to exposing oneself to factors which cause colds and illness (see Kesubos 32a).[62]

    One cannot explain, as do the Chiddushim of R. David Luria, that even according to the opinion that Divine providence does not control the lives of animals, there is an exception in this case, because the livelihood of the hunter is involved. For if so, it is not necessary that a heavenly voice make statements concerning whether a particular bird would be snared, as stated in the Ailimah and the Shomer Emunim. Moreover, Rabbi Shimon should not have drawn a conclusion from the fate of the bird to that of mortals, but from man's earning his livelihood to a person's fate.

    For that reason, the Koheles Yaakov states that [just as] an archangel [determines the fate of the species as a whole], it also determines the fate of particular [members of the species].

    I have not, as of yet, found another opinion which shares this view.

  3. The Kabbalists mentioned above [accept the premise that] there are souls that become reincarnated in inanimate objects, plants, and animals. Seemingly, it is clear that Divine providence controls the fate of those individual inanimate objects, plants, and animals.

IV. Are there Jewish philosophers and sages preceding the Baal Shem Tov who accept the premise that Divine providence controls the fate of every individual inanimate object, plant, and animal?

The Sefer HaChinuch, Mitzvah 169, writes:

There are sects among mankind who maintain that Divine providence controls all the matters of this world... that when a leaf falls from a tree, He decreed that it would fall.... This approach is far-removed from the intellect. There are other sects who believe that He will not place His providence.... This is the view of the heretics.
Those who share the faith of the believers, [by contrast,] trust that His providence controls all the species of animals.... This is [the belief] which we have received from our great [teachers].
From his statements, it appears that within "the faith of the believers," there are none who share the first opinion, [that Divine providence controls inanimate objects, plants, and animals]. Similarly, the Shomer Emunin's statements (cited above) quote "what is found in the texts of the Kabbalists," implying that this approach is also not found in the texts of Kabbalah.


It is obvious that the reckoning of these different opinions does not consider the opinion of the many who have not concerned themselves with this question, because they followed the simple meaning of the statements frequently found in the works of our Sages which imply that Divine providence controls inanimate objects, plants, and animals. After the clarification at a later time, after the light of the Baal Shem Tov's teachings were revealed, it became clear that these views reflect the truth.

To quote a parallel concept: The Rambam (Mishneh Torah, Shegagos 13:5) writes:

When does the above apply? When the person who knows was a sage or a scholar capable of rendering judgments that erred. If, however, he was an unlearned person {-- the intent is that he is unlearned with regard to this issue, it is not of consequence that he is very learned with regard to other matters}, he is not liable. For his knowledge of forbidden matters is not firm, and he is therefore included among those who err because of [the court's] decision.
One can easily differentiate between the above matters and the statements of Tanya, ch. 42: "In order to appreciate intellectually... but all Israel have faith...." Similarly, Tanya, Iggeres HaKodesh, Epistle 25, states: "It is a point of faith, accepted simply."[63]


In Moreh Nevuchim (Vol. III, ch. 17), [the Rambam] mentions a third -- according to the order he lists there -- view concerning Divine providence: that it involves all entities, including inanimate objects, plants, and animals. He states that according to this interpretation, it follows that animals receive reward and punishment in the World to Come for the suffering which they endured in this world, for "all His ways are judgment."[64] The Rambam continues: "Nevertheless, the concept of reward for an animal that does not speak has never been heard of in our faith[65] in previous eras. Nor did the Sages of he Talmud mention it. When some of the later Geonim heard the concept of reward for animals from the Matilizah sect,[66] however, it found favor in their eyes and they believed in it." (The Rambam proceeds to dismiss this view.)

Analysis is necessary whether [this argument] would apply with regard to the Baal Shem Tov's approach. According to the opinion [rejected by the Rambam, a conception of Divine providence that encompasses inanimate objects, plants, and animals] must also include reward for animals in the World to Come, while according to the explanations in Chassidus, the concept of reward applies only to humans who possess free choice.

It is possible to make a distinction between the reward and the requital [described in Chassidus] and that mentioned in Moreh Nevuchim, because the latter is merely compensation for the suffering endured. Thus this can be compared to the concept explained in the second maamar entitled ViSamti Kadkeid in Likkutei Torah with regard to the advantage and betterment granted to a horse [when it is used for a Torah purpose].

[There is, however, a distinction between the approaches. Were they identical,] these Geonim should have made such statements, not only concerning animals, but also concerning inanimate objects and plants. For when a plant is cut down or an inanimate object destroyed before its time,[67] this constitutes suffering and death for the soul of that plant or inanimate article. Moreover, the statements in Likkutei Torah concern the elevation of the spark of holiness [contained in inanimate objects, plants, and animals] and do not concern reward for suffering.

Nevertheless, the explanations in Likkutei Torah do resolve the question that is raised according to this approach: Why does a particular animal endure suffering and death? They clarify that other concepts are involved and this is not a question of reward and punishment [for the animal].

V. Does the concept of G-d renewing the creation at every moment -- as the Baal Shem Tov explained in his interpretation of the verse: "G-d, Your word continually stands in the heavens,"[68] force one to accept the concept of Divine providence within every creation?

Were this to be true, all those sages who do not accept the concept that Divine providence governs inanimate objects, plants, and animals would also not accept the concept of creation at every moment.

It appears clear that those [opinions] who interpret the concept of tzimtzum simply[69] would definitely differ with regard to the concept that the Divine life-force which maintains the creation must be vested in it at all times. It is, however, possible to bring proofs that the opinions (including the Shomer Emunim, who maintain that the concept of tzimtzum should not be understood simply[70]) who do not accept the concept that Divine providence governs inanimate objects, plants, and animals can accept the conception that the creation is renewed at every moment. There is no necessity to say that all the great Jewish sages mentioned above do not accept the Baal Shem Tov's conception regarding the renewal of creation. Although they have not explained the matter thoroughly in their texts, [there is no need to say that they would not accept this approach]. In support of this thesis, the following] proofs [can be offered]:

  1. Even those opinions who maintain that Divine providence does not control inanimate objects, plants, and animals, maintain that His knowledge encompasses every particular event concerning inanimate objects, plants, and animals, as stated above in the name of the Ikkarim.[71] If so, a similar concept could be stated with regard to the potential to bring the world into existence, for there is no reason to distinguish between the two of them.

  2. The new dimension brought out by the Baal Shem Tov's teaching on the verse: "G-d, Your word continually stands..." is that every moment the creation is renewed. All opinions agree that at the initial moment, i.e., at the time of the birth of offspring -- when the entity is granted a soul -- this comes about through G-d's word. According to the Rambam, the birth of an animal is not controlled by Divine providence, but rather is a function of circumstance. [If G-d's life-force could unite with the created being at that moment, there is no conceptual difficulty in there being a continuous union.]

  3. Man's free choice does not represent a contradiction to the Baal Shem Tov's conception of the renewal of creation, for it can be explained (as quoted above from the Rambam, Hilchos Teshuvah) that the Creator desired to give man this prerogative. Similarly, it can be explained that G-d gave over the life-energy related to inanimate objects, plants, and animals to the archangel and mazal appointed over that particular species of inanimate objects, plants, and animals.

    (Certainly, the intent is not to say that they have free choice; see Tanya, ch. 39; Likkutei Torah, Biur ViHaynif, sec. 3; and the maamar entitled Kevod Malchuscha, 5660.) Or it can be stated that this life-energy is enclothed in the laws of nature or is granted to them by circumstances (as stated in Shomer Emunim). And with regard to the concept of the renewal of creation, all of these are equal.

  4. According to the explanations given in Chassidus, it is clear that the creation and Divine providence relate to different levels. The focus of Divine providence is change. It is dependent on reward and punishment, i.e., knowledge that comes after deed, a lower level of Divine knowledge. When speaking of the creation and the maintenance of the existence of an entity, by contrast with regard to creation, the focus is on the unique power to bring something into being from absolute nothingness, a capacity possessed by Him alone.[72] [Even] maintaining the existence of the world stems from His potential which transcends all worlds (sovev kol almin). It is, however, drawn down through His light that invests itself in the worlds (memale kol almin). See the distinction made by the maamar entitled Eirda Na, sec. 9, in Pelach HaRimon between the creation and Divine providence.

In the conclusion of the series of maamarim beginning Rosh HaShanah, 5663, it is explained that the providence which controls a created being is its life-energy. [As a source, that maamar] cites Tanya, ch. 48. (That chapter, however, speaks only of G-d's knowledge. See the maamar entitled Eirda Na in Torah Or from which it appears that G-d's knowledge and providence are interrelated.)

Just as there is a more encompassing form of life-energy -- sovev kol almin -- and a more particular form -- memale kol almin, so too, there are two levels of providence, a more encompassing providence which relates to all created beings equally, and a more particular providence in which there is an advantage in the manner in which G-d relates to the Jewish people when compared to the gentiles. (See also the maamar entitled Al Kein Yomru, 5696, quoted at the beginning of this brief.) Analysis is necessary to resolve [the statements in] these maamarim with each other.

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) [Cf. Yechezkel 9:9.]

  2. (Back to text) [The conclusion of tractate Menachos; see also Tanya, ch. 24.]

  3. (Back to text) [Shir HaShirim Rabbah, the conclusion of ch. 8; Zohar, Vol. III, p. 129b.]

  4. (Back to text) [Cf. Tehillim 33:18.]

  5. (Back to text) [Bereishis, p. 103ff.]

  6. (Back to text) Sefer HaMaamarim-Yiddish, p. 47ff.

  7. (Back to text) [Tehillim 49:13.]

  8. (Back to text) [Vayikra, 26:24, 28.]

  9. (Back to text) [Tosafos follows the view that the mazalos, the stellar constellations, reflect the destiny of man. Although G-d could change that destiny at will, Tosafos explains, by and large, He does not do so, because He does not want to change the structure of the natural order.

    The fundamental concept behind all these explanations is that G-d controls the destiny of man by placing his destiny in the hands of the natural order.]

  10. (Back to text) [I.e., with a G-d-fearing person.]

  11. (Back to text) [Berachos 58a.]

  12. (Back to text) [Yirmeyahu 32:19.]

  13. (Back to text) [Tehillim 33:15.]

  14. (Back to text) [Ibid., 23:21.]

  15. (Back to text) [As mentioned above, the term mazal refers to the stellar constellations. Nevertheless, it also refers to the spiritual powers which are the source for these constellations and determine their position and the resulting consequences in the world at large. This also enables us to understand why mazal is sometimes interpreted as meaning "fortune" or "luck," because a person's fortune is determined by these spiritual powers.]

  16. (Back to text) [Which states that colds and illness are not dependent on G-d's decree.]

  17. (Back to text) [What the Rebbe appears to be saying is that there are certain concepts that are accepted as points of faith although one does not have an intellectual understanding of them. Similarly, the concept of Divine providence controlling the fate of inanimate objects, plants, and animals was accepted subconsciously as a point of faith, and therefore the statements of our Sages that reflect that opinion were quoted. Until the Baal Shem Tov appeared, however, there was no one who gave an intellectual basis for this approach.]

  18. (Back to text) [Devarim 32:4.]

  19. (Back to text) The Rebbe questions whether the correct Hebrew term is b'emunaseinu ("in our faith") or b'umaseinu ("among our nation"). [Rav Kapach follows the later interpretation in his translation of Moreh Nevuchim.]

  20. (Back to text) [A sect of Arab philosophers.]

  21. (Back to text) We can know that an object is destroyed "before its time" when the prohibition of baal tashchish (wantonly destroying an article) is involved.

  22. (Back to text) [Tehillim 119:89. See Tanya, Shaar HaYichud VehaEmunah, ch. 1, which explains that the letters of G-d's speech continually provide the vitality which not only maintains -- but recreates as it were -- the existence of every created being at all times.]

  23. (Back to text) [I.e., that G-d withdrew Himself from the world, as it were. See Tanya, loc. cit., ch. 7; Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe, Vol. I, p. 20.

  24. (Back to text) See Shomer Emunim, the second debate, sec. 35.

  25. (Back to text) [We are forced to say this otherwise the conception of G-d's oneness would be incomplete.]

  26. (Back to text) [See Tanya, Iggeres HaKodesh, Epistle 20.]


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