Sunny Fields and Orchards

Free translation and adaptation of a discourse by
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson
15 of Shevat 5732 [1972]

by Rabbi David Rothschild


A 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 times.

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 meaning."

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.

Over 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.

In 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, appears in brackets. The remaining content is a free translation.


Part 1

Part 2 (of 3)


Wheat Worlds

The Ari's definition also relates to the spiritual service of man. Wheat fields and orchards exist only after cultivation. This implies that fields and orchards both correspond to the World of Rectification.

A wheat field, after all, produces wheat that benefits mankind and contributes to civilization. As civilization embodies rectification, fields can't refer exclusively to the World of Chaos -- disorder and ruin.

[The Ari called wheat fields the World of Chaos. Due to the exception illustrated above, different levels of the rectification of Chaos will be explained.]

It follows that there are different ways in which the World of Chaos is rectified. A wheat field symbolizes the first method. Here the World of Chaos receives a measure of rectification. However, it still remains in the category of Chaos. An orchard, though, represents a much higher level. There the World of Chaos itself has been completely transformed into the World of Rectification.

This distinction can be understood by the qualitative difference between a fruit and its seed. As discussed earlier, this difference isn't apparent regarding wheat. While a single seed will produce many kernels of wheat, these new kernels are identical in taste to the original seed from which they grew.

Essence Leap

The principle, "Greater the suffering, more bountiful the return," also applies to the spiritual labor of purifying and rectifying this physical world. Again, the Ari's allegory is useful.

Planting an orchard requires enormous labor. As a result, a lofty intense spiritual light is revealed. A fruit tree's seed is incomparatively less valuable than the bushels of fruit it will yield. One must effect a transformation in the seed -- a qualitative leap -- to a new level that is existentially apart. How is this feat accomplished? Self-nullification is required, which entails an enormous exertion.

Fields of wheat actually refer to the Three Lower Worlds. Trapped within these worlds are sparks from the broken World of Chaos. When the Ari said wheat fields are the World of Chaos, he was referring to the spiritual work of redeeming its sparks exiled in the Three Lower Worlds.

Like the World of Chaos itself, the Three Lower Worlds remain unrectified. Through the arduous labor of purification, the sparks of the World of Chaos are redeemed. Their rectification won't be consummated, though, until Messianic times.

Orchards refer to the World of Rectification - the World of Emanation. This world already exists in a state of perfection.

Orchards, though, require enormous labor to realize a leap of value: from a tasteless seed to bountiful delicious fruit. This alludes to the elevation of the Three Lower Worlds into the World of Emanation - also a qualitative leap. That's because the Three Lower Worlds are finite spiritual entities. Whereas within the World of Emanation is revealed the Infinite Light of G-d.

Underneath the bottom of the World of Emantion are thick veils of concealment. They separate the World of Emantion from the Lower Three Worlds. Thus, for the Lower Three Worlds to ascend into the World of Emanation requires a complete change of their essence. Once this transformation has been achieved, a most sublime and elevated light is revealed.

While hard spiritual work does indeed purify the Three Lower Worlds, "they," as self-conscious independent entities, continue to exist. Kabbala described this state as a "lower-level unity." The object is nullified to G-d's light; but it's still an object. That's why the Ari called these spiritual wheat fields the World of Chaos; their rectification is as yet incomplete.

Orchards, though, represent a higher level of nullification. Here the Three Lower Worlds ascend into the World of Emanation. There they completely lose their self-identity. "They" no longer exist. For in the World of Emanation, G-d's Infinite Light shines. This produces a state of unification where existence, independent of G-d's Light, is impossible. That's why the Ari called orchards the World of Rectification -- the perfection of rectification. But there's more.

Ultimate Perfection

[Although usually World of Rectification is considered to be a lower level than World of Chaos,] Orchards actually refer to a higher World of Rectification. The source of the spiritual ability required to elevate the sparks of the World of Chaos from the Three Lower Worlds up to the World of Emanation, is this higher World of Rectification that is above the World of Chaos.

Malachi the Prophet alludes to this, "G-d said, 'I loved Jacob and hated Esav'"(Malachi 1:2). This highest World of Rectification is the ultimate source for the lower World of Rectification - the World of Emanation.

[Relative to time, G-d first created the World of Chaos. The second verse in the Creation narrative says, "And the Earth was in a state of chaos and void" (Genesis 1:2).
Then G-d revealed the World of Emanation as the next verse relates, "And G-d said let there be light." (Genesis 1:3).

Before G-d initiated the creation process, deep in the innermost point of G-d's Essence, exists the highest World of Rectification. There, G-d's truest desire is for a perfected world.]

This then is the ultimate explanation of the Ari's identification of orchards as the World of Rectification. He actually meant the highest World of Rectification. A long period of time is required until the fruits of this labor are realized.

This extended waiting period is stated in the Torah, "And you waited for many days" (Deuteronomy 1:46). Just as physical fruit require a long time, likewise ultimate spiritual fruits. That's why their revelation will only be in the Messianic Era.

[on to Part 3]


[Rabbi David Rothschild, a resident of Tsfat, is the founder and editor of Nefesh Magazine.]


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