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As Divided for a Leap Year
Tanya for 14 Iyar
[By way of illustration, the Alter Rebbe will now draw an analogy from the physical earth which is composed of the inanimate and vegetable worlds.
These two categories are the least significant of the four categories - man, animal, the vegetative and the inanimate - and the divine life- force found within them is contracted to a greater degree than the life-force found within animal and man.
Nevertheless, Scripture attests that the whole world is full of G-d's glory - because it encompasses these two categories, and does not pervade them].
To illustrate this point, consider this material world.
Even though "The whole world is full of His glory," namely, [not only with a minute glimmer of G-dliness, but with] the [infinite] light of the blessed Ein Sof, as it is written:  "`Do I not fill heaven and earth?' says the L-rd," nevertheless only very limited vitality, of no more than the category of [what is revealed in] the inanimate and vegetable worlds, is clothed within [this world] in the form of "revealed" influence, while all the light of the blessed Ein Sof [which fills the world itself in a concealed manner] is described as "encompassing" it, even though it actually pervades it, since its influence is no more revealed in it than it is revealed within the inanimate and vegetable worlds, but affects it in a hidden and concealed manner and any influence of a concealed nature is referred to as "encircling from above," for alma d'itkasya, the "hidden world," is on a higher plane than alma d'itgalya, the "revealed world."
[G-dliness drawn down in a concealed manner ("from the hidden world") is on a higher plane than that which is drawn down in a revealed manner ("from the revealed world").
Emanating as it does from a higher level, this mode of divine influence is said to be "encircling from above]."
Let us make this more intelligible by means of an example.
[A further example is needed in order to clarify this paradox - how G-dliness simultaneously pervades the world and yet remains aloof from it, encircling and encompassing it (as it were) from above, and not being revealed within it].
When a person forms an image in his mind of something that he has seen or sees, even though the entire body and essence of that thing, both its exterior and interior and its very core, are completely mirrored in his mind and thought, for he has seen it or is seeing it in its entirety, this is expressed by saying that his mind encompasses that object completely, [and, just as in the mind's frame of reference, so, too, regarding the perspective of the visualized object] and that thing is enveloped by his mind and thought.
But it is not encompassed in actual fact, only in the imagination of the man's thought and mind.
[Since man's thought is limited, he cannot actually encompass the object itself; he only encompasses its image as it exists within his mind].
- (Back to text) Yirmeyahu 23:24
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