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Category: Concepts In Chassidus

Fear (Yir’a)

Fear (Yir’a)

Fear means simply: “to be afraid of rebelling against the King.” That is a quote from the beginning of Tanya chapter 41. This definition includes the most primitive fear (fear of punishment, yiras onesh) and the most advanced fear (fear with bashfulness, y’rei boshes). Fear in chassidus is a result of love inasmuch as one is afraid to lose what one has, i.e., we don’t want to lose our positive relationship with G-d or a friend or spouse, for that…

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Lower Fear (Yira Tattoh, Yira Chitzonis)

Lower Fear (Yira Tattoh, Yira Chitzonis)

Lower level fear is defined by the Alter Rebbe in the introduction to Tikkun Chatzos in his siddur as follows: Yira chitzonis is a result of being afraid as one would be in the presence of a physical king, who, because of the extent of his sovereignty, inspires fear. As a result of his malchus, sovereignty, on fears, i.e., it is primitive, perhaps immature. The same applies to G-d. The lower fear would be as a result of thinking about…

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Higher/ Internal Fear (Yira Ilaa, Yirei Boshes, Yira Pnimis)

Higher/ Internal Fear (Yira Ilaa, Yirei Boshes, Yira Pnimis)

In the Alter Rebbe’s siddur, Torah Ohr, in his introduction to Tikkun Chatzos, defines yirei boshes as follows: Yirei boshes is for example, the internal feeling of shame one feels in the presence of  a great man in one’s generation, a tzaddik, etc. The fear is from motivated from within himself: this is called yira ilaa, to become shy in the presence of the Light of the Endless One Boruch Hu, who integrates Himself into the Chochma of Atzilus… before…

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Binah/ Hei Ila’ah/ Ima

Binah/ Hei Ila’ah/ Ima

Binah is usually translated as “understanding.” Binah is a type of cognition where limitation happened. Binah is analysis, breaking a creative idea (chochma) apart to get to the details while building a map. “Meyvin dovor mitoch dovor,” or “understanding one thing from something else,” is a characteristic of binah. Binah is also described in many places as “giluy hahellem,” or discovery. Binah is related to the first or higher hei of G-d’s name, Havaye. This is because it breaks apart…

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Yud/ Chochma/ Abba

Yud/ Chochma/ Abba

Like the shape of it’s font implies, yud is a point, a seed. It usually, if not always, refers to chochma. Chochma is usually translated as wisdom, but in Chassidus, it is usually referring to creative thought, or openness of the mind. An example of a manifestation of chochma is how the Rabbeim describe it. They call it, “borok hamavrik,” the flash of lightening. In the language of the prophet, “Chochma me’ayin timotze,” in English, “from where does wisdom come?”…

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Da’as Elyon / Da’as Tachton

Da’as Elyon / Da’as Tachton

This translation won’t cut it, but will have to do. Da’as elyon, or consciousness, is how existence is viewed pre-tzimtzum. Da’as tachton consciousness,is how we see the world, post-tzimtzum. For example in very small terms: da’as elyon is what you know and want to share, da’as tachton is what your friend hears you saying.

Right, Left and Center Columns

Right, Left and Center Columns

The right, left and center columns refer to a certain manner in which the sefiros relate to each other. The right column (chochma, chessed, netzach) are characterized by an outward expression, or hispashtus. The left column (binah, g’vura, hod) is characterized by limitation, discipline, and tzimtzum. The right column reflects masculinity. The left column reflects femininity. The middle column reflects the Infinite One who is the only one who can make opposites attract and remain united actually as one. See Z”a.

Kesser/ Kotzo Shel Yud (the thorn on the yud)/ Hishtalshelus HaK’ssorim

Kesser/ Kotzo Shel Yud (the thorn on the yud)/ Hishtalshelus HaK’ssorim

Kesser means “crown” and is defined as: 1. The initial revelation of light after the tzimtzum. This means, the initial point where we’re no longer in essence or core, but in expression or extraversion. It is the skull, or cranium (from the word crown) relative to the brain. 2.Kesser creates, so to speak, something from nothing. Kesser takes the initial expression which is beyond recognition and brings it into a recognizable state. Imagine your mind is blank cleared of all…

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Hispashtus (Hashpo’oh)/ Mashpia

Hispashtus (Hashpo’oh)/ Mashpia

Hispashtus, from the word poshut, which means simple, minimalist, etc., means spread. This word refers to expression, “light,” sharing, and influence. The same is true of hashpo’oh (hashpo’eh, depending who’s teaching the class). Hashpo’oh is how light exits a vessel to enter a second vessel, i.e., the way your idea makes its way out of your head into the other person’s head. Being mashpia is the process of having hashpo’oh. For example, one who gives over an idea, is being…

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Neshoma Klollis (Core Soul) / Neshoma (Soul)

Neshoma Klollis (Core Soul) / Neshoma (Soul)

A neshoma klollis is the soul of the leader of any particular generation or the yechida,some say the chaya-yechida.  Let’s start with basics in Jewish soul-logy: 1. A soul is an extension from G-d (Tanya ch. 2) revealed (a little) in a body. 2. There are 600,000 general souls that split into 600,000 more souls and each gets a body. There are five degrees of the soul: 1. Nefesh, gives life to the body. This is the “lowest” or most external…

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