Tanya, a walk on the road to spiritual health

Chapter 44, Class #4, Previous lectures can be heard by clicking on the link below.

HaRav Shneur Zalman Miliadi, | updated: 13:45

Rav Shneur Zalman Miliady
Rav Shneur Zalman Miliady
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והנחת רוח הוא כמשל שמחת המלך מבנו שבא אליו בצאתו מבית האסורים כנ״ל

The gratification he provides G‑d is akin, by way of the illustration used earlier,18 to the joy of a king whose son returns to him after liberation from captivity;

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When the soul, G‑d’s child, is clothed in the body and animal soul, it is in a state of captivity. Through Torah andmitzvot it is liberated from this captivity and is joined with G‑d. This causes Him a joy similar to that experienced by the mortal king in the analogy.

או להיות לו דירה בתחתונים כנ״ל

or G‑d’s gratification may be from the fact that it has been made possible for Him to have a habitation among mortals, as already mentioned.

Thus, the love which is “like a son who strives for the sake of his father” can be revealed by habituating oneself (with his tongue and voice) to arouse the intention of heart and mind. The Alter Rebbe soon goes on to explain, that the love of “My soul, I desire You” may also be revealed and awakened through habitually speaking about it, when one does so in a manner where the heart will feel that G‑d is his true life, the “Life of life.”

והנה גם לבחינת נפשי אויתיך הנ״ל, קרוב הדבר מאד להוציאה מההעלם אל הגילוי על ידי ההרגל תמיד, בפיו ולבו שוין

Even in regard to the above-mentioned love, of the category of “My soul, I desire You,” it is readily possible to bring it out of its concealment into the open through constant practice, with mouth and heart in full accord, so that one’s heart should feel what his mouth utters, about G‑d’s being his true life.19

אך אם אינו יכול להוציאה אל הגילוי בלבו, אף על פי כן יכול לעסוק בתורה ומצות לשמן על ידי ציור ענין אהבה זו במחשבה שבמוחו, ומחשבה טובה, הקב״ה מצרפה כו׳

However, even if he cannot bring it (the love) into a revealed state in his heart, nevertheless he can occupy himself because of this love in the Torah and mitzvot “for their own sake” through portraying the idea of this love in his mind — and “a good thought is united by G‑d....”

It is therefore possible for his Torah and mitzvot to be elevated to the Supernal Sefirot just as if he had fulfilled them with a love revealed in his heart.

As explained in the previous chapters, the love and fear that lead to performance of Torah and mitzvot elevate them to the Supernal Sefirot. If the love and fear are “natural” — i.e., they do not result from contemplating G‑d’s greatness, but from the soul’s natural resources — then the Torah and mitzvot are elevated only as far as the World of Yetzirah, the World of emotion. For since the level of “natural” love and fear of G‑d belongs in that World, it follows that the Torah and mitzvot performed as a result of that level, will be elevated there as well.

However, if the love and fear are “intellectual” — created by one’s reflection on G‑d’s greatness — then the Torah andmitzvot performed as a result of this contemplation will be elevated to the Sefirot of the World of Beriah, the World where the Sefirah of Binah (“understanding”) is preeminent.

The Alter Rebbe now goes on to say that although the two above-mentioned loves (“My soul...” and “Like a son...”) are naturally found in a Jew’s soul, deriving as they do from the Patriarchs, still, when they are in a revealed state in one’s heart, they are able to elevate the Torah and mitzvot that result from them to the World of Beriah. Only when “natural” love remains concealed in the mind, is it restricted to elevating Torah and mitzvot no higher than Yetzirah. When, however, it is in a revealed state, they are elevated to the World of Beriah.

For while it is true that these loves are natural, yet in order for them to be revealed there must be profound contemplation on the theme of G‑d as our true Father and Source of life. Such contemplation gives this natural love the additional qualitative trait achieved by “intellectual” love, so that the Torah and mitzvot which result from this love are elevated to the World of Beriah, the World of knowledge. This is now going to be discussed:

Footnotes

18.  Chs. 31, 41.

19.  Earlier on, when the Alter Rebbe speaks of the two types of love — “My soul...” and “Like a son...” — he first explains the former love and then the latter. Here, however, when he speaks of the revelation of these kinds of love through “the voice rousing the devout concentration of the heart and mind,” he discusses them in opposite order.

He begins by discussing at length that “it should be habitual with his tongue and voice...for He is literally our true Father.” Only later does he briefly state that “even in regard to the...love of...’My soul...,‘ it is readily possible to bring it out of its concealment... through constant practice, with mouth and heart in full accord.” Moreover, the Alter Rebbe immediately follows this with, “However, even if he cannot bring it into a revealed state in his heart....”

All the above seems to indicate that the “voice rousing the devout concentration of the heart and mind” is more applicable to the love of “Like a son...” than “My soul....” The Rebbe explains why this is so. To quote:

“[The love of ’Like a son...‘] necessitates that it become one’s nature to perceive that He is our Father — an intellectual and emotional concept, unconnected with physicality. It is therefore more readily understood that arousing the kavanah (through one’s voice) will be beneficial. [The love of ’My soul...,‘ by contrast,] necessitates that it become one’s nature to perceive that G‑dliness is his very life. It would seem that if his bodyfails to feel this (as he does feel the life of his soul — when exhausted, and so on), what benefit will be derived from the spiritual intention of the heart?”





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