Likutei Moharan Explained:
The text in bold-face presents the words of Likutei Moharan, and the text in regular font presents the commentary.
Rebbe Nachman introduces this teaching with the verse, “Fortunate are those who are wholehearted upon the way, who walk in the Torah of Hashem” (Psalms 119:1).
This verse will be explained at the end of this teaching.
Know that by means of our Torah learning, all of our prayers and requests are accepted in heaven.
And in addition, as a result of our Torah learning, the grace and status of the nation of Israel are elevated and uplifted before all those whose help we need—whether God or human beings--in both the spiritual and physical realms.
The reason for this is as follows. At present in our exile, due to our many sins, the true grace and status of the nation of Israel—which we possess because we are the children of princes and “a portion of God above” (Job 31:2)--has fallen, because at present the principal status and grace is among “them,” the gentile nations. The Jews, on the other hand, are viewed with contempt and scorn.
But when we learn Torah, the grace and status of Israel is elevated—before God and before human beings.
This is because the Torah is called “a lovely hind and a gracious doe” (Proverbs 5:19). Our Sages interpret the phrase “a gracious doe”--yaalat chen—as meaning that “it grants graciousness--maalat chen—to those who learn it” (Eruvin 54b). That is to say, those who learn Torah find favor and grace.
And as a result of the fact that Torah learning grants grace to the people of Israel in the eyes of God, as a result of which their words have grace, all of their prayers and requests are accepted in heaven. This is because gracious words are readily accepted (as will be explained in the continuation of this teaching).
Now Rebbe Nachman introduces a few ideas to present the idea of “grace” in greater depth and explain why a person attains it as a result of learning Torah.
A Jew must always look at the intelligence within everything. “Intelligence” or “wisdom”—a reference to the Divine life-force—is hidden in every physical object in the world, giving it existence and life. When a person looks at something, he must perceive that Divine life-force within it.
And a Jew must bind himself to the wisdom, or intelligence, that exists within every object.
As a result, there will shine upon him that intelligence, the Divine life-force, which exists within everything, and then he will be able to approach Hashem, be He blessed, through that object.
This is because that intelligence--the Divine life-force--is a great spiritual light that shines upon a person in all of his ways, so that he may know how to approach Hashem and overcome the obstacles that are preventing him from doing so.
As the verse states, “The wisdom of a person shines upon his face” (Ecclesiastes 8:1). “His face”--panav—may be read as “before him.” When a person attains Divine wisdom, it shines before him in all of his ways. (This teaching will go on to describe how a person may see the intelligence within everything.)
Now Rebbe Nachman presents a deeper explanation of the wisdom that resides within everything.
And gazing upon this wisdom, or intelligence, is associated with Jacob. Jacob looked at the intelligence in everything and connected himself to it. Thus, he attained the sefirah of chochmah (“wisdom,” the first of the ten sefirot). Chochmah is the aspect of the wisdom, or intelligence, that exists within everything. The light of the sefirah of chochmah descends through the ten sefirot and gives life to the physical world.
We see that Jacob attained this level from the fact that Jacob attained the firstborn status (when he bought it from Esau)--for the firstborn status is called “the beginning,” which is the concept of “wisdom” (Tikunim, Tikun 14, Zohar Mishpatim 121b). As the verse states, “The beginning of wisdom is the fear of Hashem” (Psalms 111:14). This verse associates “beginning” with “wisdom”--chochmah.
As the first of the ten sefirot, chochmah is the beginning of creation, from which the other sefirot devolved. Therefore, “firstborn,” “beginning” and “wisdom” are all one concept. And so, since Jacob attained the firstborn status, he gained the level of chochmah.
And that concept is referred to in the words spoken by Esau after Jacob took from him both the firstborn status and the firstborn’s blessings: “His name is indeed called Jacob, for he has ‘jacobed’ me twice” (Genesis 27:36). Onkelos’s Aramaic translation of “jacobed” reads, “He outsmarted me.”
In other words, Jacob took the firstborn status and the blessings from Esau by means of “smartness,” or wisdom.
Therefore, we see that not only did Jacob attain wisdom but that his name itself alludes to the sefirah of chochmah.
And this wisdom, or intelligence, within everything is the concept of the sun. That is because this intelligence illuminates a person in all of his spiritual ways, just as the sun illuminates a person in a physical sense. In their supernal root, wisdom and the sun are a single concept.
And this concept is alluded to in the verse, “And the way of the righteous shines like the bright light” of the sun, which begins to shine in the morning and “which grows brighter until the day is complete” (Proverbs 4:18).
Sunlight grows increasingly strong until at midday it is at its most intense. So too, at first the tzaddikim see a little of the intelligence within everything. It shines for them slightly upon their ways. Afterwards, they look at more of the intelligence within everything, until at last they look at it in its fullness. And then it shines for them in all of their ways.
And this wisdom, or intelligence, that exists in everything is the concept of the letter chet.
In its supernal root, the letter chet alludes to the sefirah of chochmah. This is because chet is related to the word chiyut, which means “life-force.”
And life-force is the level of wisdom. That is because wisdom and intelligence are the life-force of everything. As the verse states, “Wisdom gives life to its possessor” (Ecclesiastes 7:12). Wisdom gives life to a person who attains it and, more broadly, it gives life to all of creation. Without it, the world would not even exist.
Having taught that wisdom and intelligence exist within everything, Rebbe Nachman now explains how we may see that intelligence.
But since the light of the intelligence and wisdom within everything is very great and man’s intelligence is limited, it is possible to attain it only via the level associated with the letter nun. The nun corresponds to the level of malchut, the tenth and last of the sefirot. The word malchut means “sovereignty.”
As the verse states, “As long as the sun exists, may [King Solomon’s] name yinon” (Psalms 72:7). And Rashi explains that the word yinon is “a term of sovereignty--malchut.”
The root of the word yinon is the letter nun. So the letter nun corresponds to the level of malchut.
Only after a person receives the light of malchut can he receive the great light of chochmah and see the intelligence and wisdom within everything. Malchut receives the light of chochmah (which has descended via the intermediary sefirot) and constricts it, thus making it possible for a person to attain wisdom and intelligence.
A person can receive the light of malchut by accepting the yoke of the kingdom of heaven even when he does not understand it, acknowledging that there are many things that he does not yet know about serving God, that there is a Divine wisdom that he has not yet attained. In consequence of these realizations, he nullifies his intelligence and believes that Divine wisdom resides in every physical object, giving it life, even though he cannot see it, and he yearns to attain that wisdom. Ultimately, he will attain the intelligence that exists within everything, and it will shine for him in all of his ways.
And the sefirah of malchut is the level of the moon. In their supernal root, malchut and the moon are one and the same. This is because, like malchut, the moon does not have its own light but receives it from the sun (Zohar Vayichi, p. 238a and p. 289b). The sun shines upon the moon, which reflects that light to the world.
And this corresponds to the level of malchut, which has nothing of its own, but only that which it receives from the chet, which is the level of chochmah, the level of the sun. The sefirah of malchut has no light of its own. Rather, it receives the light of [chochmah, which descends through the other] sefirot [to malchut], which brings that light to the world.
And when a person attains the level of malchut and through this receives the light of intelligence and wisdom, the light of the moon becomes like the light of the sun. This [indicates] a unification between chochmah and malchut, [in consequence of which] malchut receives the light of chochmah in its fullness.
Rebbe Nachman now explains that corresponding to the level of holy chochmah and malchut, the Side of Evil possesses its own, opposing levels of chochmah and malchut.
But a person who does not connect himself to the intelligence and wisdom and life-force existing within everything—a person who relates to physical objects as though they have their own life-force and being, as though they do not possess a Divine life-force and intelligence—corresponds to the level of Esau, who is the opposite of the level of Jacob and wisdom. Esau despised the first-born status. As the verse states, “Esau despised the first-born status” (Genesis 25:34)—which is the Divine intelligence. As was taught earlier, the first-born status, the “beginning,” corresponds to the level of wisdom.
The fact that Esau despised the first-born status and wisdom, selling it to Jacob, corresponds to the level described in the verse, “The fool does not desire understanding”—he does not contemplate the Divine wisdom that exists within every object in order to know how to treat it in accordance with Hashem’s will--“but the revelation of his heart” (Proverbs 18:2)—he wishes to act only in accordance with the lusts revealed in his heart.
And not nullifying one’s intelligence in order to contemplate the Divine intelligence that exists within everything is the level of wicked malchut.
The Side of Evil derives energy from the level of [holy] malchut [to create] the level of wicked malchut, which fights against holy malchut and prevents a person from looking at the intelligence that exists within everything.
Wicked malchut is the level of the moon of the Side of Evil. In this regard, the verse states, “The moon will be abashed and the sun will be ashamed, for the Lord of Hosts will rule on Mt. Zion and Jerusalem” (Isaiah 24:23). Simply understood, this means that in the future messianic days, those who worshipped the sun and moon will be abashed and ashamed. But this verse is also teaching that at that time the moon—or malchut—of the Side of Evil will itself be ashamed and subdued before the [moon—or] malchut—of holiness.
And these two levels, malchut of holiness and malchut of the Side of Evil, correspond to the concept of the good inclination and the evil inclination.
This is because the good inclination is called “poor and wise” (Ecclesiastes 4:3), for it is the level of malchut, which is on the level of being poor and impoverished, since it has absolutely nothing of its own but only what it receives from chochmah.
A person who follows his good inclination knows that he has absolutely nothing of his own. Because he is in a physical body, his intelligence is imperfect and liable to mislead him. He wants to receive illumination from supernal wisdom and intelligence in order to know the right direction in which to go, and he nullifies himself to that supernal wisdom and intelligence.
And the evil inclination is called “an old and foolish king” (ibid.). That is the level of malchut of the Side of Evil, which does not desire Godly wisdom and intelligence. [A person who follows wicked malchut does not wish] to nullify himself before God. Rather, he wants to take sovereignty, malchut, for himself. The evil inclination is called a “fool,” and a person who does not use holy intelligence is on the level of “the fool [who] does not desire understanding…” (as above).
We have learned that there is a holy chochmah and malchut and, conversely, a chochmah and malchut of the Side of Evil. Rebbe Nachman now explains what gives a person the ability to choose holy malchut and detach himself from malchut of the Side of Evil.
And everyone must empower the aspect of holy malchut, which is the good inclination, and overcome the malchut of the Side of Evil, which is the evil inclination.
As our Sages of blessed memory said, “A person should always instigate the good inclination against the evil inclination” (Berachot 5a). A person should strengthen and arouse the power of the good inclination against the evil inclination. The evil inclination tends to overcome a person and draw him to follow the desires of his heart. He must strengthen and arouse the power of the good inclination against that tendency.
And by means of what does he empower the holy malchut and strengthen the power of the good inclination over the evil inclination?
By means of the Torah which he engages in forcefully. He learns Torah with effort and toil.
As our Sages of blessed memory said, “A person should always instigate the good inclination against the evil inclination. If it leaves”—if he succeeds in overcoming it and the evil inclination leaves--“good. But if not, he should engage in Torah…” (ibid.).
Therefore, we see that engaging in Torah gives a person the strength to overcome the evil inclination.
And as we have found in addition, our Sages of blessed memory said, “The school of R. Yishmael taught: If this disgusting one”—the evil inclination--“comes upon you, drag it to the study hall. If it is stone it will melt, and if it is iron it will burst. As the verse states, ‘Are not My words like fire, states Hashem, and like a hammer that shatters the rock…’ (Jeremiah 23:29)” (Kiddushin 30b). By learning Torah in the study hall, a person has the power to overcome the evil inclination.
This is because by means of learning Torah, a person empowers holy malchut—the good inclination within himself. He strengthens his ability to nullify himself to the will of Hashem and to accept the yoke of the kingdom of heaven.
And then malchut, which is the level of nun, receives life from chochmah, which is the level of chet. [As a result of learning Torah,] a person can receive the light of chochmah. As was explained above, by means of malchut a person can receive the light of chochmah.
And the chet and nun--chochmah and malchut--bind and join together. And the light of the moon, which is malchut, becomes like the light of the sun, which is chochmah. Then the intelligence within everything shines for a person and shows him how to come closer to Hashem.
And when one level—holy malchut--rises, the other level—the malchut of the Side of Evil—falls. This is because they oppose each other. And then evil malchut falls and is nullified.
As the verse states: “The ways of Hashem are straight. The righteous will walk in them and the sinners will stumble in them” (Hosea 14:14).
That is, by means of the “ways of Hashem”—meaning, the Torah, which explains the way to serve Hashem--the righteous who cling to holy malchut are strengthened and receive power.
When a person seeks to cling to holy malchut, his Torah learning has the power to bring him to holy malchut. This is what is meant by the words, “The righteous will walk in them.” And when the power of holy malchut is strengthened in a person’s heart and he is nullified to the will of Hashem, as a result, “And the sinners will stumble in them”—the level of evil malchut, the level of the evil inclination within a person’s heart, falls and is subjugated by the Torah (as above).
We have learned that there exist a chochmah and malchut of holiness and a chochmah and malchut of the Side of Evil, and that when a person learns Torah the energy of holy malchut is strengthened. Then chochmah and malchut join together, and he is able to gaze upon the chochmah within everything. Now Rebbe Nachman will explain how, when chochmah and malchut join together, all of a person’s prayers and requests are accepted.
And as a result of this—when malchut and chochmah join together—in heaven all of a person’s prayers and requests are accepted. This is because the principal reason that requests are not accepted—when a person makes a request of someone else--is that his words do not have grace and do not enter the heart of the other person after he makes his request of him, as though there is no place in the other person’s heart to allow the words to enter his heart, because the person making the request lacks the grace that would cause his words to enter the heart of the person of whom he is making the request.
But when that other person hears words spoken with graciousness, a place is made in his heart for these words, because his heart loves gracious words. Similarly, a place is made in God’s heart, as it were, when He hears our gracious words, and He accepts them. However, when our words are not gracious, there is no place in His heart to receive them.
But by means of learning Torah, the nun, which is the level of malchut, and the chet, which is the level of chochmah (as above), bind and join together. And the nun and chet together bring about the level of grace. The Hebrew word for “grace,” chen, is spelled chet nun. Therefore, the Torah is called “a gracious doe” (Proverbs 5:19), because it brings into being the level of grace.
And then, when a person gains the level of grace as a result of learning Torah, he merits that his words are gracious words. And then his words and requests are accepted, like a person who speaks gracious words, which words enter the heart of the person of whom he is making a request—i.e., the person whom he is beseeching. So too does God receive this person’s prayers and requests when his words are gracious.
Now Rebbe Nachman explains an additional dynamic that comes about as a result of the joining together of chochmah and malchut.
And this is the concept represented by the letter tav. That is to say, following the bonding and joining together of chet and nun--chochmah and malchut--which brings into being the reality of grace--chen--in consequence, the level associated with the letter tav is brought into being.
When the letter nun is connected to the left “foot” of the letter chet, the letter tav is formed.
Tav is an expression of “carving” and “impressing.” As the verse states, “Hashem said to him, ‘Pass within the city, within Jerusalem, and tav a tav’”—Rashi explains this to mean that he should carve an impression—“‘upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan for all of the abominations that are taking place within it’” (Ezekiel 9:4).
The idea of carving and impressing means that as a result of a person’s grace, a place is carved and impressed in the heart of the person who is being asked to receive his request, because his words are accepted since they have grace. The level of that grace carves a place in the heart of the one from whom he is making a request, so that his words should enter the latter person’s heart, who will accept his request. And this carving and impressing [correspond to] the concept associated with the letter tav (as above).
In other words, the dynamic of “grace”--chen—brings about the dynamic associated with the letter tav.
And this is related to the phrase stated in Ecclesiastes (9:17) regarding “the words of the wise heard with tranquility.” The Hebrew word for “tranquility,” nachat, is composed of the letters nun chet tav.
Tranquility blends the level of chen (“grace”) with the level of tav. That blending results in the letters that spell nachat, “tranquility.” And then a person’s words are heard and his request is accepted. “The words of the wise”—their prayers and requests—are heard “with tranquility”—by means of the dynamics of grace (chen) plus tav, which together spell the word nachat, “tranquility.” In other words, their prayers are accepted in heaven.
Now Rebbe Nachman explains that the level of grace—which results from the union of chochmah and malchut—was attained by Jacob and Joseph.
And therefore Jacob, who is on the level of intelligence—because, as was explained earlier, Jacob attained the first-born status, which is the level of chochmah and intelligence--attained grace.
A person attains chochmah by means of malchut. Since Jacob attained chochmah, he must necessarily have also attained malchut. He was able to bind chochmah and malchut together, which is the level of grace.
As the verse states, after Jacob returned from Haran, he met Esau and told him, “Please take my blessing”—i.e., a series of gifts—“that has been brought to you, for God has graced me and because I have everything” (Genesis 33:11). Jacob’s statement that “God has graced me” indicates that he attained the level of grace.
And therefore Jacob blessed the tribes—his sons--with grace. As the verse states, at the beginning of the meeting between Jacob and Esau, in reply to Esau’s question, “Who are these [young men in relation] to you?” Jacob answered, “[These are] the children with whom God graced your servant” (ibid.). The phrase “with whom God graced” indicates Jacob’s intention to bless his children with grace.
But Jacob’s son Benjamin did not then exist, because he had not yet been born. And so later on Joseph blessed him with grace, as indicated in the following verse. When the brothers brought Benjamin to Egypt, Joseph told him, “May God give you grace, my son” (ibid. 43). Joseph’s intention was to bless Benjamin with grace.
And it was precisely Joseph who was able to bless Benjamin with grace, because among Jacob’s sons Joseph in particular exemplified the level of Jacob. As the verse states: “These are the offspring of Jacob: Joseph” (ibid. 37). This is because Joseph was the essence of Jacob’s offspring--he was Jacob’s foremost son, who received his way of serving God from Jacob--for Jacob and Joseph are considered as one.
Therefore, just as Jacob was able to unify chochmah and malchut, which is the level of grace, so too was Joseph. And therefore Joseph was able to bless Benjamin with grace.
And therefore the verse states of Joseph, “Firstborn, his ox—majesty is his” (Deuteronomy 33:17). Moses applied these words to the tribes of Joseph, [Ephraim and Manasseh]. [Simply understood,] this phrase refers to Joshua, who would be a king as mighty as an ox (for he would conquer a number of gentile kings), and who would possess glory and beauty.
“Firstborn.” That corresponds to the level of intelligence. As was explained earlier, chochmah, or intelligence, is the level of “beginning,” of the “firstborn status.”
And that is in line with the meaning of the next word:
“His ox.” In Hebrew, this word is shoro, an expression that indicates sight. In the verse, “I see him but not soon” (Numbers 24:17), the root of the Hebrew word for “I see him” is shor. This is because it is necessary to look at the intelligence within everything.
And this is alluded to in the next phrase:
“Majesty is his.” Onkelos translates this as “radiance is his.” “Radiance” is an expression of light. This means that intelligence shines for such a person in everything, even in a place that was made dark and black by [his] evil inclination, so that previously he did not know how to approach God.
Now intelligence illuminates him, as he is able to look at the intelligence that exists within everything, for the Divine chochmah, or intelligence, that gives life exists within and gives life even to a dark and black place. As the verse states, “You give them all life” (Nehemiah 9:6).
And when a person looks [at something] with this intelligence, he brings it close to Hashem, be He blessed.
Joseph was able to withstand all of his tests because even when he was in a black and dark place he looked at the intelligence within everything.
And so we may understand Moses’ blessing of Joseph in the following way. “His firstborn, his ox—majesty is his” means that the intelligence with which Joseph looks at things illuminates him in all of his ways.
Now Rebbe Nachman explains how all of these ideas are alluded to in Rabbah Bar-Bar Chanah’s description of “that wave.”
And this provides us with the tools to gain an interpretation of Rabbah Bar-Bar Chanah’s statement: “That wave that sinks a ship—a fringe of white fire appears at its crest.” Rashbam’s commentary: This fringe is a destructive angel. “It is struck with a staff on which are carved the words, ‘I will be what I will be’ (Exodus 3:14)” (Bava Batra 73a).
These words of Rabbah Bar-Bar Chanah may be interpreted as follows:
“That wave.” This is a reference to the evil inclination, which rises like a wave to drown holiness.
“That sinks a ship.” This is a reference to grace and status. The word for ship, sefinah, is similar to the word safun,meaning something important.
This means that the evil inclination wants to drown and pull down the level of the grace and status of Israel, the level of holy malchut, heaven forbid. The evil inclination prevents a person from nullifying his own intelligence and seeing the [Divine] intelligence within everything. It instead encourages him to go after the desires of his heart and his independent intelligence. As a result, he loses the trait of holy chochmah and the trait of holy malchut, which is by nature nullified to the [Divine] intelligence within everything. And so he loses the level of grace, which comes from the joining together of chochmah and malchut.
“A fringe of white fire appears at its crest.” At first the evil inclination appears like a fringe of white fire, because at the beginning the evil inclination clothes itself in mitzvot and misleads a person into thinking that it is inspiring him to perform a mitzvah. (For instance, it may induce him to engage in many strictures. These appear to be mitzvot, but in the end they cause him to waste time, neglect praying [on time] and so forth.)
And that is the level of “a fringe of white fire.” The white indicates cleanliness and purity. Nevertheless, it is actually a destructive angel.
In truth, the things that the evil inclination induces a person to do are sins. The evil inclination wants a person to do wrong. However, at first it cannot persuade him to engage in actual sins, which are literally foolishness. As our Sages state, “A person only commits a sin if a spirit of foolishness has entered into him” (Sotah 3a). The evil inclination cannot persuade a wise and intelligent person to do something foolish. Therefore, it first tells him that these actions are mitzvot, and in the end it brings him to a state in which he knowingly commits transgressions.
How is it possible to overcome the evil inclination, which entices a person to follow the desires of his heart, even at first persuading him that in doing so he will be performing a mitzvah?
“It is struck with a staff on which are carved the words, ‘I will be what I will be.’”
“I will be what I will be” is one of the names of God. That is to say, the essence of the subjugation of the evil inclination comes about by means of learning Torah, which consists entirely of the names of the Holy One, blessed be He. It is possible to read the letters of the Torah in various combinations, which are the names of God.
And the Torah corresponds to the level of the letter vav, which has the numerical value of six. This is because the length of the tablets of the Ten Commandments was six handbreadths and their width was six handbreadths (Bava Batra 14a). The Torah thus possesses the character of the letter vav.
And that corresponds to the character of “a staff,” or a stick, “on which are carved the words, ‘I will be what I will be.’” This corresponds to Divine names--that is to say, to the level of the Torah, which is the level of the letter vav. And so the letter vav, which is a vertical line, is in the shape of a staff, and it is entirely composed of the names of Hashem, be He blessed. The Torah has the character of the staff, corresponding to the letter vav, upon which is carved the phrase, “I will be what I will be,” which represents the names of the Holy One, blessed be He.
That is to say, the holy Torah subjugates the evil inclination, which wants to drive a person literally mad, heaven forbid, because a sinner is mad. As our Sages, of blessed memory, said, “A person only commits a sin if a spirit of foolishness has entered into him” (Sotah 3a). A sinner possesses a spirit of madness that causes him to turn aside from the straight and proper path and commit deeds that will lead him to Sheol.
And just as one must strike insane people with staffs and place [amulets with] Divine names upon them in order to expel the madness that has entered into them (i.e., it is necessary to strike them in order to prevent them from engaging in the foolish deeds that they understand are foolish and to place [amulets with Divine] names upon them so that they will not do foolish things that they think are good deeds), similarly and literally, the Torah learning that a person is engaged in has the character of a staff and Divine names, with which he strikes and overcomes the evil inclination and expels the madness and spirit of foolishness that entered into him.
The Torah possesses the character of a staff that strikes a person so that he will not commit a deed that he knows is not good and so that he will not pursue the desires of his heart. And the Torah also possesses the character of Divine names, which expel the spirit of foolishness that leads a person to think that his sins are mitzvot.
When a person learns Torah, he accepts the yoke of the kingdom of heaven and nullifies his intelligence before the wisdom and intelligence within everything. He does not do incorrect and evil things that the evil inclinations portrays as mitzvot. He contemplates them well and understands that they are sins, and he accordingly detaches himself from them.
And that is the level of “it is struck with a staff upon which are carved” Divine names.
By [studying] the Torah, a person can overcome the evil inclination and cause holy malchut to overcome the malchut of the Side of Evil. Then he can bind together chochmah and malchut, which [leads to] the level of grace. As a result, his prayers and requests are accepted.
Now Rebbe Nachman explains how the ideas presented in this teaching are alluded to in the verse, “Fortunate are those who are wholehearted upon the way, who walk in the Torah of Hashem.”
And this is alluded to in the verse from Psalms: “Fortunate are those who are wholehearted upon the way.”
“Fortunate are.” The Hebrew for this word is ashrei. This is an expression of seeing, for it is related to the word shor, as in the verse cited above: “I see him but not soon” (Numbers 24:17).
“Those who are wholehearted upon the way.” This corresponds to the level of Jacob, as in the verse, “Jacob was a wholehearted man” (Genesis 25:27). Jacob corresponds to the level of Divine intelligence. Since Jacob, who is the level of Divine intelligence, is called “wholehearted,” the word “wholehearted” too alludes to the [Divine] intelligence that inheres within everything. Therefore, the phrase “those who are wholehearted upon the way” alludes to the intelligence within everything.
Furthermore, in order to see the intelligence within everything, a person must be wholehearted and nullify his own wisdom. [Doing so] is the level of malchut. As was previously explained, by means of [malchut] a person can look at the intelligence in everything. Thus, wholeheartedness alludes to the intelligence within everything, because by means of that [wholeheartedness] it is possible to attain [Divine intelligence].
That is to say, in order to be able to look at the intelligence within everything—which corresponds to the level of “Jacob was a wholehearted man”--a person must learn Torah. And that is alluded to in the end of the verse:
“Who walk in the Torah of Hashem.” That indicates learning the Torah vigorously. “Who walk” alludes to learning vigorously. (Thus, Rashi writes that the phrase, “If you walk in My laws” (Leviticus 26:3) refers to toiling in Torah study).
As a result of learning Torah vigorously, he gives power to holy malchut, the level of nun, so that it may receive from Divine intelligence, which is the level of chet. And grace is brought into being, and a person’s words are accepted. And then the grace and status of the people of Israel is elevated, and all of their prayers and requests are accepted.
And so the verse, “Fortunate are those who are wholehearted on the way, those who walk in the Torah of Hashem,” may be read to mean that a person comes to see the Divine intelligence within everything in consequence of his learning Torah vigorously.
 “Prayers” refers to the three daily prayer services and “requests” to a person’s own words to God. Alternatively, “prayers” refers to the praise of God and “requests” to appeals for God’s assistance (see Berachot 31a and Maharsha ibid.).
 Rashi ibid.
 Likutei Halachot (Hilchot Pikadon 4:21) and Biur Halikutim.
Likutei Moharan I 19:8 explains that everything in the world is composed of combinations of letters. These letters are spiritual dimensions that are drawn down from the supernal sefirot. Through them, an object is created and given life. The great tzaddikim attain knowledge of the combinations of letters within everything. Furthermore, their enjoyment of eating and drinking comes solely from the letters in the food and drink and not from the physical taste.
 Mei Hanachal.
 There is one sefirah higher than chochmah, called keter (“crown”). The Ari teaches (Eitz Chaim, Gate 42, Chapter 1) that the sefirah of keter is on such a lofty state that it transcends the other sefirot. It may be compared to a king’s crown, which is higher than his head. Therefore, keter is not counted amongst the sefirot but is replaced by the sefirah of da’at. However, on occasion it is counted as part of the structure of the ten sefirot. See there at length.
 Malchut is associated with the letter nun. Thus, the Zohar (Vayakhel p. 215a) explains that malchut is called nun.
Malchut corresponds to the final letter hey in Hashem’s Four-Letter Name. The letter hey has the numerical value of five. Malchut contains ten sefirot (every sefirah is subdivided into ten sefirot). Thus we multiply the letter hey—or five—by ten, which comes to fifty. This is equivalent to the letter nun, which has the numerical value of fifty (Matok Midvash ibid.).
 Rashi ibid.
 Although Rebbe Nachman apparently only brings a proof that nun is malchut, from this verse we may also derive that the only way to attain the level of intelligence, which is the sun, is by first attaining the level of malchut (Biur Halikutim). This is stated explicitly in Likutei Halachot (Hilchot Pikadon 7:2).
 Mei Hanachal, Likutei Halachot (Hilchot Pikadon 4:4) and Kitzur Likutei Moharan.
Likutei Halachot (ibid. 21) adds that a person may be on a low level and unable t perceive the Divine wisdom hidden within everything. That Divine intelligence is transcendent and hidden. The only way that a person can attain it is by means of the holy Torah, through which he overcomes his evil inclination, breaking the lusts of his heart and strengthening his good inclination. He then empowers holy malchut, which constricts the Divine intelligence and thus makes it more accessible.
If a person cannot perceive the Divine wisdom, he must at least believe that everything that he sees possesses great intelligence and Divine life-force, and that through each object he can recognize the greatness of the Creator and come close to Him. With this belief, he will conduct himself in all things in accordance with the Torah until he will be able to purify his body properly, and then he will in fact perceive the intelligence within everything.
 Parparot L’chochmah.
 See further on, 4:2.
 Rashi ibid.
 Through the level of holy malchut, a person attains the light of chochmah.
Conversely, a person may draw energy from the level of malchut of the Side of Evil. He does so when he claims sovereignty for himself by going after the desires of his heart and not nullifying himself to the Divine wisdom. He does so as well when he sets aside his intelligence and engages in acts that are so disgraceful that even he, on his low level, knows that they are wrong.
Engaging in such actions leads him to the level of the chochmah of the Side of Evil—i.e., to heresy and external wisdoms.
In the messianic age, the sun—or chochmah—of the Side of Evil will be subdued and ashamed before the chochmah of holiness(Parparot L’chochmah). See also Biur Halikutim (s.v. hayetzer hara).
 Cf. Parparot L’chochmah.
 Cf. Parparot L’chochmah.
 B’abei Hanachal.
 “The words of the wise are heard with tranquility more than the outcry of a ruler among fools” (Ecclesiastes 9:17).
Rashi explains: “Are heard with tranquility—are accepted by people. More than the outcry of the ruler among fools—the kings of the idolatrous nations. Years after Moses’ death, his decrees are still accepted by Israel, whereas a number of gentile kings issue decrees against Israel and their decrees do not last.”
 See Bereishit Rabbah, Vayishlach 78, Miketz 92: “R. Binyamin said: [In Jacob’s reply to Esau,] we [only] hear of grace [in the context of] the eleven tribes but not in regard to the tribe of Benjamin. However, we hear of that elsewhere, in Joseph’s words, ‘May God give you grace, my son.’”
 On the verse, “These are the generations of Jacob: Joseph” (Genesis 37:2), Rashi writes, “The verse refers solely to Joseph as Jacob’s offspring for a number of reasons. One is that the only reason that Jacob worked for Laban was to marry Rachel, [Joseph’s mother]. Also, Joseph’s features were similar to those of Jacob. Also, everything that occurred to Jacob [later] occurred to Joseph: each one was hated; each one was almost killed by his brothers ….”
In addition, Rashi explains elsewhere (on verse 3) that “Jacob transmitted everything that he learned from Shem and Eber to Joseph.”
 Rashi ibid.
 Parparot L’chochmah.
 For instance, a person’s evil inclination may tell him that it is a mitzvah to delay reciting the Sh’ma and Shmoneh Esrei until he is sure that his body is clean, in consequence of which every day he recites Sh’ma and Shmoneh Esrei after the proper time (Likutei Halachot, Pikadon 4:7; see there at length).
 Parparot L’chochmah.
He presents the following idea there as well.
The evil inclination clothes itself in mitzvot. The root of this [lies in holiness]: the light of intelligence can be received only by means of constrictions and the removal of one’s own intelligence— these being the level of malchut (as was explained above at the beginning of the passage). This removal of this intelligence is a mitzvah, for it allows a person to attain the light of [Divine] intelligence.
However, the Side of Evil derives its energy from that constriction. [After a person constricts his intelligence in a proper manner, the Side of Evil steps in and] entices him to remove his intelligence completely: not to look at the Divine intelligence within all things but go after the desires of his heart. It persuades him that this is what is meant by the mitzvah of removing one’s intelligence.
However, this is not true. The mitzvah of removing one’s intelligence means that a person nullifies himself before the Divine intelligence—not that he pursues his physical desires.
Rebbe Nachman goes on to explain that a person attains the level of malchut and proper constriction by means of learning Torah vigorously.
Biur Halikutim writes that the greatest object within which the evil inclination clothes itself is a mitzvah. It does so in order to entice a person to serve Hashem with a heart that has been overly enflamed. In the end, when this person sees that he is not reaching his lofty spiritual goals, he completely abandons serving Hashem.
To prevent this, a person needs the level of malchut, the level of constriction. Through that, he can receive the light of wisdom and intelligence in a graduated level that corresponds to his abilities. In that context, Rebbe Nachman goes on to explain that a person attains the level of malchut and constriction by learning Torah vigorously.
 Ramban’s Introduction to his Commentary on the Torah.
 Parparot L’chochmah.
 Kitzur Likutei Moharan.
 Parparot L’chochmah.
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