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As Divided for a Leap Year
Tanya for 18 Iyar
But how can physical man attain this level? - [of G-dly love that nothing can obstruct].
It is to this end, therefore, that the blessing of Yotzer Or was introduced [to be recited] first, for in this blessing there is stated and repeated at length - [and this meditation must indeed be a lengthy one, taking into account all the specific details] - the account and order of the angels "standing at the world's summit," in order to proclaim the greatness of the Holy One, blessed be He - how they are all nullified in His blessed light and "pronounce in fear..." "and sanctify..." G-d's Name, and "declare in fear, `Holy',"... meaning  [by saying "Holy...]" that He is apart from them, and does not clothe Himself in them in a revealed state.
But [where is G-d revealed?] - "The whole earth is full of His glory," namely, the Community of Israel above [i.e., Malchut of Atzilut, the source of Jewish souls, which is called "earth"], and Israel [on this earth] below, [wherein Jews perform Torah and mitzvot, for which reason specifically is this world filled with His glory], it is here that G-d clothes and reveals Himself, as has been explained earlier.
All the above refers to the comprehension of the supernal angels, the serafim, who are able to comprehend how G-d is apart from them and that only the earth is charged with His glory].
So, too, [we find related in the  blessing of Yotzer Or, regarding other categories of angels, whose place is in a lower world than the serafim, and who are therefore unable to comprehend how G-dliness is separate and apart, that "the ofanim and the holy chayyot with a mighty sound" [declare]:  `Blessed be the glory of the L-rd [and may it be drawn down] from its place,'" for they neither know, nor do they apprehend His place - [the place from which G-dliness is revealed, for which reason they say "from its place," wherever that place may be], as we say [a few lines later], "For He alone is exalted and holy."
[The various degrees of nullification of these angels are thus spoken of in the first of the two blessings preceding the Shema.
When a person meditates on this matter he will begin to understand G-d's greatness, for all the lofty angels are nullified to Him.
- (Back to text) The Rebbe Shlita comments: The Alter Rebbe adds the word "meaning" in order to tell us that the declaration "Holy" does not mean here, as it does in other places, that notice is being given that the one spoken of is holy, or the like. For to make it known that someone is holy implies that the speaker is aware of and grasps the other's holiness. (Likewise, regarding the Shunamite woman who called Elisha holy, the Gemara asks: "How did she know?")
Here, however, when the angels proclaim "Holy" the intent is the very opposite: they do not know Him, for He is Holy - i.e., separate, and apart from them.
(This incidentally deflects another possible question: Since the angels are in a state of self-nullification, how is it conceivable that they "proclaim and announce"? According to the above, however, this may be understood: They "proclaim and announce" that they are nullified to G-d, that He is separate and apart from them, and that they have no conception of Him.)
- (Back to text) In the passages preceding the Shema.
- (Back to text) Yechezkel 3:12.
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