Pardes Exegesis and Essence
In a discourse Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitch Rebbe, asks where Hasidic thought fits in with Pardes exegesis. Habad is the intellectualist school in Hasidic Judaism, translating the mystical faith of General-Hasidism and the movement's founder into intellectual articulation. The works of the last Habad leader focus on uniting the different aspects of traditional Jewish thought, exoteric and esoteric, through the Hasidic explanation. The four levels of Pardes in Kabbalah articulate the Four spiritual Worlds and the four soul levels in Action, Emotion, Understanding and Wisdom. In the discourse he describes General-Hasidism relating through faith to the essence of the soul, the Torah, and God (Hasidic focus on Divine Omnipresence perceived by the soul's essence). In esoteric Kabbalistic terminology this relates to the fifth (highest) primary World of Adam Kadmon, and the above-conscious fifth (highest) soul level of Will (internal aspect: soul-root "Delight"), called in Kabbalah "Yehida-Unity". He describes Habad thought articulating in intellectual grasp the essence-fifth level of Torah exegesis, Hasidut-Yehida not listed above the four levels of PaRDeS because as essence it is not limited to a particular form. Peshat, Remez, Drush and Sod are constrained by their limited disciplines: from Peshat describing material perception to Sod-Kabbalah limited to the esoteric supernal emanations of God. As essence, Hasidic thought, investigated intellectually in Habad, both transcends all four levels of Pardes in its own exegetical explanation, and permeates within the four. Yechida-Essence is revealed through the four levels of Pardes, but not constrained by them. The particular exegeses of PaRDeS become connected together in light of the Hasidic exegesis. In this way, the discourse describes Kabbalah, which gains psychological understanding through Hasidism, being actually a limited esoteric commentary on Hasidism's Yehida-Essence. Kabbalah remains transcendent, while Hasidic thought emphasises action, as the Atzmut essence of God receives its only true revelation in the ultimate Material purpose to Creation, the Omnipresent Divinity related to in Hasidic thought.
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