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As Divided for a Regular Year
Tanya for 24 Sivan
And this is also the meaning of "He encompassess all worlds."
[This does not mean to say (heaven forfend) that G-d is not found within the worlds but merely encompasses them. Rather]:
This means, by way of analogy: When a person reflects upon an intellectual subject in his mind or upon a physical object in his thoughts, then his intellect and thought encompass that subject whose image is formed in his thought or in his mind, [inasmuch as they are found within his thought and mind], but they - [his intellect and thought] - do not encompass that subject in actual fact.
[They merely encompass his image of the subject, not the actual subject.
When one envisions a table, the actual physical table is of course not found within the brain; it is merely its image that is encompassed there].
The Holy One, blessed be He, however, of Whom it is written,  "For My thoughts are not your thoughts ....," His thought and knowledge of all created beings actually encompass each and every creature; for [G-d's knowledge] is verily its life-force and that which brings it into existence out of nothingness, in actual reality.
[G-d's thought, unlike man's, thus encompasses the actual subject of His thought - in this case, all created beings. It brings about their creation and continued existence, even though it does not descend to their level and become internalized within them, but remains in an exalted state].
And "He fills all worlds" is the life-force that becomes enclothed [i.e., is internalized] within the essence of the created being.
It is powerfully contracted within it according to the intrinsic nature of the created being which is finite and limited in quantity and quality, ["quality"] meaning its significance and importance.
[Since the life-force must vest itself within the finite created being and unite with it utterly, it must necessarily be contracted and limited according to the intrinsically finite nature of the created being].
An example is the sun whose body is finite and limited quantitatively, being approximately one hundred and sixty - seven times the size of the globe of the earth,  and whose quality and significance, namely, its light, is also limited as to the extent that it can emit light, for it cannot illuminate indefinitely since it is a created being, [and hence inherently limited. Thus, although the light of the sun illuminates at a prodigious distance, that distance is not without limit].
Likewise, all created beings are finite and limited, for  "from the earth to heaven is a journey of five hundred years ...., [and so, too, from one heaven to another is a distance of five hundred years]."
Hence, [since created beings are limited and finite], the life-force which is invested in them is greatly and powerfully contracted, for it must first undergo numerous and powerful contractions until created beings, by nature finite and limited, may be brought into existence from its power and light.
[Only after this process of self-limitation will the limitless life-force be able to invest itself within finite created beings and become united with them, as will soon be explained.
- (Back to text) Yeshayahu 55:8.
- (Back to text) Note of the Rebbe Shlita: "Rambam in Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah 5:8 states `about 170 times,' and in Hilchot Shevuot 5:22 he writes `170 times....'"
"This, however, poses no difficulty with the Alter Rebbe's statement, for in Rambam's introduction to his commentary upon the Mishnah (s.v. VeHineni Noseh) he is more precise and writes `166 and three-eighths times...'"
As to the seeming contradiction between this view and that of present-day astronomy that the sun is 4 or 5 million or more times greater than the earth, the Rebbe Shlita has explained as follows:
"The view of astronomy applies to the volume of the sun, and that of Maimonides to its diameter. The diameter of the sun, based on present-day astronomy, is about one hundred and ten times that of the earth [not 170], but this measurement takes into consideration only specific layers of the sun and not all of them. For the outermost layers of the sun contract and expand greatly from time to time, and not all the layers are visible to the eye (only their effects are visible). Hence, it is difficult to measure them.
Likewise, the protuberance is not taken into account."
- (Back to text) Chagigah 13a.
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