Tanya, your road to spiritual health

Continuation of Chapter 46, Class #4. For previous chapters, use link below.

HaRav Shneur Zalman Miliadi, | updated: 11:23

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Continuation of) Chapter 46, Class #4

וזהו שכתוב: והייתם לי קדושים כי קדוש אני ה׳, ואבדיל אתכם מן העמים להיות לי

This is the meaning of the verse:12 “And you shall be holy unto Me, for I the Lord am holy; the verse gives us the reason for the Jew’s sanctity, connecting it with G‑d’s Supreme Holiness, which Jews can attain through Torah and mitzvot; and I have separated you from other peoples that you should be Mine.” Here we see that holiness implies separation, as mentioned earlier.

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ואומר: ועשיתם את כל מצותי והייתם קדושים לאלקיכם, אני ה׳ אלקיכם וגו׳

Another verse states:13 “You shall fulfill all My commandments and be holy unto your G‑d: I am the Lord your G‑d....” The term “your G‑d,” in the possessive form, recalls the relationship set up when a man betrothes a woman, whereby she becomes his wife.14

-פירוש: כי על ידי קיום המצות הריני אלוה שלכם

The meaning is that “through the fulfillment of the commandments I become ‘your’ G‑d,” in the same manner

כמו אלקי אברהם, אלקי יצחק וכו׳

as G‑d is called “the G‑d of Abraham,” “the G‑d of Isaac,” and so on,

שנקרא כן מפני שהאבות היו בחינת מרכבה לו יתברך

called thus because the Patriarchs were on the level of a “vehicle” unto Him,

The Patriarchs were totally dedicated to G‑d, and nullified before Him, like a vehicle (lit., “chariot”) which is totally nullified to its driver, possessing no independent will.

ובטלים ונכללים באורו

and they were nullified and absorbed in His light.

וככה הוא בכל נפש מישראל, בשעת עסק התורה והמצות

So it is with the soul of every Jew at the time he is occupied with Torah and the commandments.

When a Jew occupies himself with Torah study and the performance of its commandments he is totally nullified and absorbed in G‑d’s light. The only difference between the Patriarchs and other Jews is that the Patriarchs were in this state constantly, while other Jews attain this level only at the above-mentioned times.

ולכן חייבו רז״ל לקום ולעמוד מפני כל עוסק במצוה, אף אם הוא בור ועם הארץ

Therefore the Sages, of blessed memory, made it obligatory to rise and remain standing15 in the presence of anyone who is engaged in fulfilling a commandment, even if the latter is uncultured and illiterate. When such a person performs a mitzvah, such as bringing Bikkurim (the First Fruits) to the Beit HaMikdash,one must rise before him.

והיינו מפני ה׳ השוכן ומתלבש בנפשו בשעה זו

This is because G‑d dwells and clothes Himself in this man’s soul at such time.

רק שאין נפשו מרגשת

It is only that his soul is unconscious of this sanctity that resides within him at the time of his performance,

מפני מסך החומר הגופני שלא נזדכך, ומחשיך עיני הנפש מראות מראות אלקים

because of the barrier of the bodily grossness within which the soul dwells, which has of yet not been refined, and which dims the eyes of the soul preventing it from seeing Divine visions,

כמו האבות וכיוצא בהן, שראו עולמם בחייהם

as experienced by the Patriarchs and others of their stature, who “saw their world the spiritual World to Come during their lifetime.”

These great tzaddikim were able in this world to see Divine visions normally seen only in the World to Come. This was so because their bodies, having been purified, did not conceal G‑dliness. Truly, each and every Jew would be capable of witnessing such visions of holiness during the performance of a mitzvah, were it not for the coarseness of his body.

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FOOTNOTES

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12.  Vayikra 20:26.

13.  Bamidbar 15:40-41.

14.  The Rebbe explains that the Alter Rebbe cites these verses to provide evidence of the various aspects inherent in the term, “has sanctified us.” That sanctification is similar to the sanctification and union of a marriage we learn from the phrases, “...unto your G‑d; I am the L‑rd your G‑d.” I.e., G‑d is our G‑d in a manner of a man taking a wife, whereby she becomes his wife.

The second form of “sanctification” — the concept that Jews are (a) elevated to Supernal Holiness, G‑d’s essential holiness, and (b) sanctified in the sense of being apart — is understood from the first verse, as follows: The words, “And you shall be holy unto Me, for I the L‑rd am holy,” indicate that the Jews‘ sanctity is bound up with G‑d’s Supernal Holiness. The concluding words, “...and I have separated you from other nations that you should be Mine,” indicate that sanctity which entails being separate and apart.

15.  See Kiddushin 33a.





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