Tanya, the road to spiritual health

Click on the link below for all the lectures, although you can listen and understand to this one, chapter 43, class 5 without learning the previous ones.

HaRav Shneur Zalman Miliadi, | updated: 07:00

Rav Shneur Zalman Miliady
Rav Shneur Zalman Miliady
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אך אהבת עולם היא הבאה מהתבונה ודעת בגדולת ה׳, אין סוף ברוך הוא, הממלא כל עלמין וסובב כל עלמין

Ahavat olam, however, the second and lower level of love, is that which comes from the understanding and knowledge of the greatness of G‑d, the blessed Ein Sof, Who fills all worlds, animating them with apermeating mode of vitality, which is limited and tailored to the capacity of each creature, and encompasses all worlds, animating them with a vitality which transcends them, not being limited by the worlds and created beings it animates.

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וכולא קמיה כלא ממש חשיב, וכביטול דבור אחד בנפש המשכלת בעודו במחשבתה או בחמדת הלב כנ״ל

and before Whom everything is accounted as nothing at all, like the nullity of one utterance within the intelligent soul while it is still in its thought or in the desire of the heart, as has been explained earlier.14

אשר על ידי התבוננות זו ממילא תתפשט מדת האהבה שבנפש מלבושיה

As a result of such contemplation the attribute of love which is in the soul will as a matter of course divest itself of its garments, which it had previously worn.

This means to say that the individual will cease loving those things he had previously loved (this love having previously led him to vest himself in those things), and all his love will be directed to G‑d alone.

דהיינו: שלא תתלבש בשום דבר הנאה ותענוג גשמי או רוחני, לאהבה אותו, ולא לחפוץ כלל שום דבר בעולם בלתי ה׳ לבדו, מקור החיים של כל התענוגים

I.e., it will not clothe itself in anything of pleasure or enjoyment whether physical or spiritual, to love it, and will not desire anything whatever in the world other than G‑d alone, the Source of the vitality of all enjoyments,

שכולם בטילים במציאות, וכלא ממש קמיה חשיבי, ואין ערוך ודמיון כלל ביניהם, חס ושלום, כמו שאין ערוך לאין ואפס המוחלט לגבי חיים נצחיים

for they are all nullified in reality and are accounted as nothing at all, compared with Him, there being no manner of comparison or similitude between them, G‑d forbid — between all worldly pleasures and G‑d, the “Source of the vitality” of all pleasures, just as there is no comparison between that which is absolutely naught and nothing — and everlasting life.

Reflecting on this matter will lead the person to desire G‑d alone, and not to desire any worldly pleasures at all, seeking as he will the Source of all pleasures, which is G‑dliness.

וכמו שכתוב: מי לי בשמים, ועמך לא חפצתי בארץ

As it is written,15 “Whom have I in Heaven [to love other than G‑d]?” The verse goes on to say: “And there is nothing upon earth that I desire with You.”

This means to say that anything “with You” — that is subjugated and nullified to G‑d — is not desired as well.

כלה שארי ולבבי, צור לבבי וגו׳, וכמו שיתבאר לקמן

The next verse continues: “My flesh and my heart yearn for You, Rock of my heart...,” as the various levels of love a Jew may attain by contemplating G‑d’s greatness will be explained later.16

All the above refers to a person who has a love for worldly matters, and divests himself of this love because of his contemplation of G‑d’s greatness. His love will then be felt for G‑d rather than for mundane things.

However, he who by nature is cold and removed from any feelings of love, whether to G‑d or otherwise, cannot simply transfer his love. It is much more difficult for such a person to awaken a feeling of love for G‑d. Nevertheless, the Alter Rebbe goes on to say, even he can arouse within himself a fiery love for G‑d through the above-mentioned contemplation.

Footnotes

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15.  Tehillim 73:25-26.

16.  In ch. 44.





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