By  Rav Yaakov Addes


1. It is said: "Bereshit Bara Elokim Et Ha'Shamayim Ve'Et Ha'Aretz -  In the beginning, the Eternal (HaShem) created the Heavens and the Earth ... ». There is a number of fundamental differences between the Creation of world by the Eternal and the creations of which man is capable. Among which there are two of differences: 

The first is that HaShem created the world by making the created things appear from nothingness, while man can only create something from something else already existing, thanks to assemblages or compositions. 

The second difference is that once man has finished creating something, that thing now exists without him. While the Eternal He makes the entire Creation exist at every moment, as when he made it appear for the first time, during the Creation of the world. 

And if He so desires, Chas Ve'Shalom, to destroy the world, it would not be necessary for Him to make something new appear, it would be enough for Him to simply stop keeping it in existence; 

The author of “Nefesh Ha'Chaim” (In the first Gate, in chapter 3) comments extensively on that idea. 

2. In the first Gate, chapter 2, he writes that the action of man does not look like HaShem's because when it happens to the man of construct a wooden building, he does not himself create the wood, but uses already existing trees that he assembles in order to obtain the work as he thought it. Once done, the man can then withdraw and the building subsists without it. Whereas with the Eternal it is the reverse, when he created the worlds, the Eternal made them appear from nothing, in accordance with His infinite power; and so it is every day, every moment. 

The very existence of each part of the world, their order and their permanence are dependent on the will of the Holy One, Blessed be He, to make His will reign there at every moment, this is what gives him the radiance of a new light at all times. And if He ever took away the splendor of His brilliance, even for a second, all those worlds would revert to nothingness and original chaos. 

In the third Gate, chapter 11, the author adds that it is about one of the foundations of the Emunah that every Jew must root in his heart. Knowing that only HaShem, Blessed be He, is sovereign, that He is the soul, the life, at the root and the foundation of every man and every creature, of all strength and worlds. 

3. In the third Gate, chapter 11, the Rav of Volozin explains by elsewhere why the world was created under a commandment divine, as it is said in the Parashah "Bereshit" (Genesis):

On the occasion of each creation, the Holy One, Blessed be He, declared how it should be, and this is exactly how it actually was (“VaYomer .. Va Yehi”). For the divine word constitutes a concrete spiritual reality having the strength to produce every reality in the world. And the Rav adds that this spiritual force proper to the divine word during the Creation continues to exist and has never disappeared since the Creation of the world.

It is even this existence in action [of the divine word, Ed.] That makes live and endure all that exists in the world, like the breath of life present in all that is alive.

4. And concerning the verse "And all the creatures together shall be witnesses that it is the mouth of the Lord who speaks - VeRau Kol Basar Yadau ki Pi HaShem Diber ”(Isaiah 40, 5), the author of“ Nefesh Ha'Chaim ”explains that at the end of time, our perception of the world will be so bright that we will have the merit of seeing with our material eyes in which way the divine word unfolds in everything to make it live; that we refer to this passage.

5. The Rav of Volozin further adds that it is this kind of perception that was given to us to live when we received the Torah on Mount Sinai. As it emerges from this verse of the Parashah “Yitro” (chapter 20, verse 18): “And all the people saw the voices”. [According to the primary meaning of the text, it is about the voices that were heard on the occasion of the gift of the Torah at Mount Sinai. But our Sages teach that the Torah has many facets, and that each verse revealed at Sinai was so with a great number of commentaries, whether according to its obvious meaning (Peshat) or allegorical (Remez), its apologetic meaning (Drash ) or hidden (Sod). Here is one of the explanations given of this verse according to its hidden meaning (Sod).

"And all the people saw the voices": these are the sounds of the divine word during the Creation of the world. With the gift of the Torah, the children of Israel had the merit of seeing concretely this voice which constitutes the creative soul of the whole of Creation. We will refer to our commentary on this verse in the chapter dealing with the gift of the Torah at Mount Sinai.

6. Knowing this teaching provides a power that is so great that it allows someone to feel permanently close to HaShem. Thanks to this awareness and the reflection to which it leads, it is given to any one to perceive the hand of HaShem and his radiance of every moment in everything that surrounds us. But one should remember that it is not enough to take cognizance of this teaching only once. Whereas, conversely, the more we repeat it in order to imbibe ourselves, the greater will be the profit that we will derive from it, because the more then we will feel close to HaShem.

Chapter 4: The Tikunim (Repairs) produced by the study


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