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Tanya for Shabbos, 24 Iyyar, 5777 - May 20, 2017

Tanya
As Divided for a Regular Year

Tanya for 24 Iyar

23 Iyyar, 5777 - May 19, 201725 Iyyar, 5777 - May 21, 2017


Now, concerning the flow of all the 613 kinds of functional powers and vital forces [which are drawn] from the concealment of the soul, [where they are previously hidden, and from where they are now drawn] to the body to animate it, - concerning this [flow, the Sages] have said that the principal dwelling-place and abode of this flow and revelation [of the previously concealed powers and forces] is entirely situated in the brains of the head.

Therefore it is they, [the brains], which first receive the power and life-force appropriate to them according to their composition and character - namely, [intellect which is divided into the three intellectual faculties called] ChaBaD [Chochmah, Binah, Daat], and the faculty of thought, and whatever pertains to the brain.

[All these receive their life-force from the soul before the other parts of the body].

And not only this - [that the brains receive their *own* life-force before the other organs] - but also the overall flow of all the [individual] streams of vitality to the other organs, is also [first] included and enclothed in the brains of the head, [before it becomes revealed in the individual organs].

And it is there, [in the brain], that the core and source of the said flow exist in a form in which the light and vitality of the entire soul are revealed.

[In other words, when the general flow of vitality reaches the brain, then the "light" and vitality of the entire body begin to be revealed].

From there, [the brain], radiance flows to all [the other] organs, each of which [then] receives the functional power and vital force appropriate to it according to its composition and character: the power of sight is revealed in the eye, the power of hearing in the ear, and so on.

[In other words: At which point does a power of sight come into existence, ready to be revealed in the eye, and a power of hearing in the ear? Only after the overall life-force of the whole body is drawn into the brain in a general manner, then a "radiance" is drawn from there to each organ, a radiance which is already constituted in accordance with the particular character of the individual organ].

But all functional powers flow from the brain, as is known,[4] for there, [in the brain], is [located] the principal dwelling-place of the entire soul, in a revealed form.

[Although the soul actually exists all over the body equally, with no difference between one organ and another, yet the principal place in which the soul is *revealed* is in the brain].

Since there, [in the brain], the overall life-force which flows from the soul is revealed.

It is only the [individual] faculties of the overall life-force which shine forth and radiate from there, [the brain], to all the organs of the body, just as light radiates and shines from the sun into the innermost of rooms.

([5] Even the heart, [which is a central organ from which all other organs receive vitality - "The heart diffuses to all organs" - receives [its own vital force] from the brain, which is why the brain naturally dominates the heart, as explained above.)

[In chapter 12 it was explained that man is created with a natural supremacy of the brain over the heart, and the reason is explained here - because the heart, despite its centrality, must in turn receive its own vital force from the soul through the medium of the brain].

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) The Rebbe Shlita notes that the Alter Rebbe goes on to use seemingly repetitive expressions, since each one refers to a different level of incorporation within the brain. This is explained in the Maamarim, Az Yashir 5670; UvaChodesh HaShevi'i 5663; and in Hemshech Rosh HaShanah 5708, ch. 7.

  2. (Back to text) Parentheses are in the original text.



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