The Fundamental Components of Existence:
Kedushah and Kelipah
Rabbi Yehoishophot OliverAll physical beings draw their vitality from one of two fundamental spiritual energies: Kedushah, holiness, or Kelipah, evil or unholiness.
Kedushah is a spiritual energy that is in a state of bittul, submission to Hashem, while Kelipah is a spiritual energy in a state of yeshus, a sense of ego that arrogantly declares “I exist” and denies the absolute reality of Hashem.
Although the Kelipah typically admits that Hashem exists, and even obeys His will in practice, it feels itself independent from Hashem, and so it denies that He is the only true reality.
Thus, the word Kelipah literally means “shell,” for this force conceals over the reality of Hashem just as a peel hides the fruit within it.
The Nefesh HoElokis, the Divine Soul, stems from Kedushah, while the Nefesh HaSichlis, the Intellectual Soul, and the Nefesh HaBehamis, the Bestial Soul, stem from Kelipah.
More specifically, these two latter souls stem from the higher level of Kelipah known as Kelipas Nogah, which constitutes a mixture of good and evil. However, the Nefesh HaSichlis stems from a higher level of Kelipas Nogah, while the Nefesh HaBehamis stems from a lower level of Kelipas Nogah.
Then there is the lower level of Kelipah, known by the collective title of Sholosh Kelipos HaTemei’os, literally, “The three impure Kelipos.” Aside from a minute spark of holiness hidden very deep down, this level constitutes total evil and selfishness, without any positive aspect.
Kelipas Nogah also acts as the intermediary between Sholosh Kelipos HaTemei’os and Kedushah.
(For an earlier article on this topic, see here.)
 Tanya ch. 6: “The side of holiness is nothing but the indwelling and extension of the holiness of the Holy One, blessed be He, and He dwells only upon a thing that nullifies itself to Him.”
 Ibid. ch. 24: “[The forces of Kelipah] are completely unable to contravene Hashem’s will, for they know and apprehend that He is their life and sustenance, since they nurture from the ‘hinder-most part’ of the blessed Supreme Will that encompasses them.”
 Ibid. ch. 22.
 Torah Ohr 61d. Sefer HaMa’amarim 5648, p. 220.
 In some sources it is explained that the Nefesh HaSichlis and Nefesh HaBehamis are in fact one soul consisting of two components, the former being the higher component, and the latter, the lower component (Sefer Kitzurim, p. 81, cited in Tanya Betziruf Marei Mekomos, Likkutei Pirushim, Shinuyei Nuscha’os, chs. 1-28, p. 37). See also Likkutei Torah, Tetzei 37d, which states that “human intellect” comes from the Nefesh HaBehamis.
 Etz Chaim, Sha’ar Kelipas Nogah ch. 3. Tanya ch. 1, end; ch. 7.
 Sefer HaMa’amarim 5700, p. 93.
 Tanya ch. 37.
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