The Secret of Splitting
Free translation and adaptation of a discourse
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson
of Passover 5745 (1985)
by Rabbi David Rothschild
Chassidic discourse is the most developed form of the inner Torah. Every word
is sculpted by Divine Inspiration. Delivered to coincide with a weekly Torah reading
or Jewish festival, these discourses make a spiritual connection with auspicious
Concepts from Kabbala and Zohar are developed to
perfection. Their relevance to the Five Books of Moses and Tanach (Old Testament)
as well as passages from the Talmud is expounded upon. This reveals their "inner
These discourses presuppose a familiarity
with Torah. Perhaps for these reasons, only a handful has been translated into
English and published as books by the Kehot Publication Society.
the course of two hundred years, the Lubavitcher Rebbes delivered thousands of
discourses. Now for the first time they are being made public on the Internet.
the texts that follow an attempt was made to abridge and elucidate their content.
To provide background information for difficult terms and concepts, additional
material from other Chassidic discourses,has been added. The remaining content
is a free translation.
1-2 (of 3)
Streams of Consciousness
B. Two Torahs
A. Streams of Consciousness
"G-d will dry
up the Nile Delta and He will wave His Hand over the Euphrates River with the
power of His Breath; He will break it into seven streams and lead the people across
in dry shoes. There will be a road from Assyria for the remnant of His people
that will remain from Assyria, as there was for Israel on the day it went up from
the land of Egypt" (Isaiah 11: 15-16 / Haftorah 8th day of Pasover outside
Maimonides teaches that in
the future Messianic era, the Messiah will teach everyone Torah. The Sages write,
"G-d will reveal a new, innovative Torah.' This means that the manner of
Torah study will be new.
In that era, people will learn Torah visually!
The revelation of the attribute of sight will be an unprecedented phenomenon.
It applies to the level of thought in the Torah.
The Torah as we know it
derives from the aspect of speech. G-d spoke the Ten Commandments and verbally
delivered the written and oral Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai.
But in the
future, G-d will transmit His New Torah to Earth. This will be similar to our
present day Torah, that was given below, "not in heaven" (Deuteronomy
30:12). After all, the essential legal decisions of Torah apply to affairs on
Earth. As King Solomon disclosed, angels "Descend to listen to your Torah
learning" (Song of Songs 8:13).
These future revelations of the
Torah are included in what the Zohar calls "the Soul of the Torah."
The principal application of these inner aspects of the Torah will also be specifically
on Earth. And their revelation will be in a manner of sight.
Now we can understand the substance of the Splitting of the
Euphrates River which will occur in Messianic Times. The revelation of the Revealed
Torah - called the 'body' or essential Torah - first required the Splitting of
the Sea. For, only by means of this feat was the World of Speech -- the Revealed
World -- revealed on Mount Sinai. Likewise to facilitate the revelation of Messiah's
Torah, the World of Thought - the Concealed World - must be split open.
then, is the significance of Isaiah's prophecy of the Splitting of the River.
But why should this future event occur precisely in a river? Kabbala answers that
thought is allegorized as a river.
rests or remains still, it continuously flows. The Hebrew word for river (nahar)
is derived from the verb for flowing. As Isaiah said, "In the end of days
All the nations will stream (naharu) to the Temple" (Isaiah 2:2).
The Future Revelation will be such that Messiah's Torah will spread out
in a manner that resembles the ever-increasing breadth of a river.
is the concept of the future Splitting of the River. Just as the sea split to
permit the Infinite Lights it concealed to shine, likewise the river will part
to allow Messiah's Torah to become revealed. For the Messiah will teach the Inner
Torah, which corresponds to the World of Thought. Hence that which today conceals
this World must first be nullified. Only then can the Infinite Lights hidden therein
B. Two Torah's
deeper understanding of this idea can be reached by observing human beings. Kabbala
tells us that man is similar to Divinity, which is why the Hebrew word for man
(adam), is constructed from the same two-letter root as the term for "similar"
(adamah). Thus by appreciating human faculties, one can discern those of G-d.
Humans possess the faculties of speech and thought. The distinction between
them is comparable to the difference between revelation and concealment.
function is to reveal to a recipient one's inner thoughts. In the faculty of thought,
however, our thoughts remain hidden. As the Talmud says, "A man does not
know what is in his friend's heart."
like manner, G-d desired to make known his Revealed Torah - called Divine Speech.
He wanted to speak Torah on Mount Sinai. But before He could do so, G-d first
had to remove the obstacle that inhibited Speech's revelation. That's why He split
open the sea, which corresponds to the final sefirah in the World of Emanation,
the attribute of Kingship (Malchut), which is associated with Divine Speech. [see
"The Secret of the Splitting of the Sea.] When the sea opened up, a revelation
of Divine Speech descended below. Then Divine Speech - the Revealed Torah - was
given to the Jewish people.
will be of an entirely different nature. For the Inner Torah relates to G-d's
attribute of Thought. What's more, this high level of Torah will be apprehended
by means of man's faculty of sight. People will not only know what lies within
his friend's heart, rather, they will be able to see what is there!
this revelation, an even higher "splitting" must first take place. While
Speech refers to Emanation's attribute of Kingship, Thought alludes to its sefirah
of Understanding (Binah). In order for Thought and G-d's Inwardness to shine below,
a splitting and revelation in the sefirah of Understanding is required.
to Part 2]
[David Rothschild, a resident of Tsfat, is the founder and editor of