Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Inverted Tree

If the entire universe is an expression of God, He Who is One, then there must be some way to comprehend how a world that embodies finiteness and boundaries can stem from, or represent, the Single God.

Chassidus resolves this conundrum with the concept of "Levels of Derivation". The best way I know to describe this concept is by imagining an upside-down tree, where its root, which points upward, represents our abstract of God, and therefrom descends the tree-trunk, which gives off branches along the way. The higher the branch, the loftier its creative source. Each branch along the trunk can become the source for created elements.

For example, take the case of "miracles". These can be generalized into two categories, those that override Nature and those that cooperate with Nature.

Those miracles that occurred in Egypt, starting with water turning into blood, and, finally, the splitting of the Reed Sea, derived from one level of Godliness.

The other sort of miracle, those that enclothe themselves within Nature, keeping intact the framework of Nature, have another source. The miracles of Purim and Chanuka exemplify this category.

In fact, according to the Rebbe, the latter miracles derive from a level higher than the source of those miracles that break the rules of Nature.

There is yet a third level of miracles, those that derive from the highest source; These miracles the person cannot recognize them for what they are. Such a miracle only God Himself is privy too.

Within the mechanics of Nature God can manipulate things as we go about our daily tasks using free choice, to produce for us miracles. The better Nature conceals the miracle, the loftier its source. But, of course, the source is the One Above, only the level at which things derive and "drop-off" for Nature to absorb have differences.

(An idea involved in the Rebbe's Ma-amar [Sefer Hama-amarim, Melukat vol. 4, pp.123-134], although not yet well enough understood by me. Please forgive me, though, for scribbling my premature thoughts. The learning of these Ma-marim requires industrious study. They differ from normal "talks" [שיחות] in that they reflect divinity more directly [דברי אלוקים חיים] and thus I must return to these preambles to correct or just slice away some parts until they are more fully understood. Again my apologies.)



  2. Even though your link is irrelevant to this topic, Mr. Cohen, I leave it there because the topic it links to I spoke about often and is according to genuine Jewish tradition.