Weekly Tanya lecture: Chap. 34, class 3

Studying Tanya is the way to achieve a healthy spiritual life.

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HaRav Shneur Zalman Miliadi,

Rav Shneur Zalman Miliady
Rav Shneur Zalman Miliady
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ואם ירחיב ה׳ לו עוד, אזי: טהור ידים יוסיף אומץ, ומחשבה טובה כו׳

If G‑d grants him a greater abundance of time for Torah study, then8 “He whose hands are pure will increase his effort”; i.e., he should resolve that as more time becomes available to him, he will devote it to Torah study. Moreover,9 “[G‑d reckons] a good intention [as an actual deed].”

Therefore, even while his time for Torah study is limited to a small part of the day and night, he is regarded as if he had studied the entire day, since he would have devoted all this time to Torah study had it been available. By virtue of his good intention, he thus is, in a sense, an abode for G‑dliness not only during the time actually spent in Torah study, but also throughout the day.10

וגם שאר היום כולו שעוסק במשא ומתן, יהיה מכון לשבתו יתברך בנתינת הצדקה שיתן מיגיעו

Even during the remainder of the day, when he is engaged in business, he will be an abode for G‑d by giving charity out of the proceeds of his labor.

שהיא ממדותיו של הקב״ה: מה הוא רחום וכו׳, וכמו שכתוב בתיקונים: חסד דרועא ימינא

Charity is one of G‑d’s attributes which we are enjoined to emulate, as our Sages say,11 “As He is compassionate... [so must you be]”; and as it is written in Tikkunei Zohar,12 “Kindness is the right arm of G‑d,” so to speak, and therefore human kindness constitutes an abode for the Divine attribute of kindness.

ואף שאינו נותן אלא חומש

Even though one distributes as charity no more than one fifth of his earnings — the maximum requirement for charity; how then is he an abode for G‑dliness while he is engaged in earning the other four fifths

הרי החומש מעלה עמו כל הארבע ידות לה׳ להיות מכון לשבתו יתברך

Yet that fifth elevates with it all the other four parts to G‑d, so that they too become an abode for Him.

כנודע מאמר רז״ל, שמצות צדקה שקולה כנגד כל הקרבנות

In a well-known statement, our Sages have declared13 that the mitzvah of charity is equivalent to offering all the sacrifices.

ובקרבנות, היה כל החי עולה לה׳ על ידי בהמה אחת, וכל הצומח על ידי עשרון סלת אחד בלול בשמן כו׳

Now, in the case of sacrifices, all living creatures were elevated to G‑d through the offering of one animal, all plants through the “meal offering” which consisted of merely “one tenth of a measure of fine meal mixed with oil,” and so on.

Similarly, all of one’s earnings are elevated when he gives one fifth to charity.

ומלבד זה, הרי בשעת התורה והתפלה עולה לה׳ כל מה שאכל ושתה ונהנה מארבע הידות לבריאות גופו, כמו שיתבאר לקמן

Apart from this, as is explained below, all that one has eaten and drunk and generally enjoyed for his bodily health, from the other four fifths of his earnings, is elevated toward G‑d during his Torah study and prayer.

Thus, even the time spent on earning those profits which he does not distribute in charity, also becomes an abode for G‑dliness through Torah study and prayer.

FOOTNOTES                                

8.  Iyov 17:9.

9.  Kiddushin 40a.

10. This interpretation is based on a talk delivered by the Rebbe on Purim 5723 (1963). The Rebbe added that this interpretation sheds light on an unusual technical point in this chapter. In the original text, one finds a paragraph marking, (relatively infrequent in the Tanya, and indicative of a new train of thought), appearing just before the words ("If G‑d grants him..."). It would seem, however, that these words merely continue the point made earlier: one ought to rejoice in the knowledge that he becomes a sanctuary for G‑dliness during the time he devotes each day to Torah study, and should resolve to increase that time if the opportunity arises. Why the break between the two sentences?

In light of the above, that one's resolve to increase the extent of his Torah study as the time becomes available, confers upon him the status of "sanctuary" for all the time he *would* devote to Torah study (which means in fact the entire day), this may be explained as follows:

After discussing how one can become a sanctuary for G‑dliness in the time he allocates for Torah study, the Alter Rebbe goes on to say that one can be a sanctuary for G‑d *the entire day* -by giving charity from his earnings. Since the effect of one's resolve to increase his study of Torah is akin to the effect of charity, the Alter Rebbe inserts the paragraph marking before this section, indicating that it is more closely related to the subject which follows it - charity, than to the one that precedes it -actual Torah study during fixed times of the day.

11.  Shabbat 133b.

12.  Introduction, 17a.

13.  Sukkah 49b.






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