Weekly Tanya lecture: Chap. 35 class 6

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HaRav Shneur Zalman Miliadi,

Rav Shneur Zalman Miliady
Rav Shneur Zalman Miliady
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ואף שמהותה ועצמותה של נפש הבהמית שבלבו, שהן מדותיה הרעות, עדיין לא נכללו בקדושה

Although the substance and essence of the animal soul, in his heart, i.e., its evil middot (its evil emotional character), have still not been absorbed into holiness,

As explained in ch. 12, only in the case of tzaddikim are the evil middot themselves transformed into holiness. In others, only the animal soul’s garments — its faculties of expression by means of which a mitzvah is accomplished — are absorbed into holiness; not the middot which constitute the animal soul’s essence. Nevertheless, this fact does not prevent the light of the Shechinah from suffusing the entire body, as the Alter Rebbe concludes shortly.

מכל מקום, מאחר דאתכפין לקדושה, ובעל כרחן עונין אמן, ומסכימין ומתרצין לעשיית המצוה

yet, because they (the evil middot) are subjugated to holiness and “against their will they say Amen,” agreeing and acceding to the performance of the mitzvah,

על ידי התגברות נפשו האלהית שבמוח ששליט על הלב

through the strengthening of the divine soul in the brain which masters the heart,

As discussed in ch. 12, although the emotions of the Beinoni have not been transformed into good, he nevertheless has the power to control them by means of his mind, through contemplating G‑d’s greatness. In this way the Beinoni can direct his heart as he chooses, insofar as the actual performance of the mitzvot is concerned.

והן בשעה זו בבחינת גלות ושינה, כנ״ל

and [the evil middot] are, at such time when one exercises the natural mastery of brain over heart by contemplating G‑d’s greatness, in a state of “exile” and “sleep” i.e., impotent as mentioned above in ch. 12,

ולכך אין זו מניעה מהשראת השכינה על גוף האדם בשעה זו

therefore this incorrigible nature of the animal soul’s evil middot does not prevent the Shechinah from resting on one’s body at this time.

The Alter Rebbe now goes on to explain how it is possible for one mitzvah to draw the Shechinah upon one’s entire body.

דהיינו שכח נפש החיונית המלובש בעשיית המצוה

This “resting of the Shechinah” means that the power of the animal soul clothed in the act that constitutes the mitzvah e.g., the power in the hand donning Tefillin

הוא נכלל ממש באור ה׳, ומיוחד בו ביחוד גמור

is actually absorbed into the divine light, and merges with it in perfect unity.