Tanya/Iggeres Ha’Teshuvah - The Epistle on Repentance,Chapter 10, Class 2

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Likewise: “These words [which I command you today] shall be [upon your heart]…. And you shall speak of them….”5

וְכֵן: "וְהָיוּ הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וְגוֹ', וְדִבַּרְתָּ בָּם וְגוֹ'",

All the above verses speak of the study of the Torah.6

The word of G‑d must truly be in his mouth, which is the case when one’s mouth serves as a vessel for G‑d’s word,

לִהְיוֹת דְּבַר ה' בְּפִיו בֶּאֱמֶת,

and7 “there is no truth [but Torah].”8

"וְאֵין אֱמֶת וְכוּ'":

He must also perform all the mitzvot,

וְכֵן לְקַיֵּים כָּל הַמִּצְוֹת,

as it is written, “He has sanctified us with His commandments.”9

כְּמוֹ שֶׁאוֹמְרִים: "אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו",

This [sanctification] has the same sense as in the phrase, “You are sanctified unto me”10—i.e., separate from all others and wholly sanctified unto G‑d through the performance of His commandments.

כְּמוֹ: "הֲרֵי אַתְּ מְקוּדֶּשֶׁת לִי",

This is the level of kodesh ha’elyon (“supernal holiness”), which one draws upon himself through the performance of the mitzvot.

הִיא בְּחִינַת קֹדֶשׁ הָעֶלְיוֹן,

“kodesh” (translated “holiness”) connotes something apart, or transcendent,

לְשׁוֹן פְּרִישׁוּת וְהַבְדָּלָה,

that cannot be contained within the created worlds, permeating each of them with Divine life-force commensurate with its particular capacity,

שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהִתְלַבֵּשׁ תּוֹךְ עָלְמִין,

since “everything is considered as naught before Him.”11

מִשּׁוּם דְּ"כוּלָּא קַמֵּיהּ כְּלָא חֲשִׁיב",

Relative to this transcendent level, the differing levels of spirituality of the various created beings are of no consequence.

Rather, this is a level [of holiness] that transcends (lit., “encompasses”) all worlds, and hence affects them all equally from afar, so to speak;

אֶלָּא בִּבְחִינַת סוֹבֵב כָּל עָלְמִין,

this is [the level of] the supreme will, and so on, which is drawn down into this world through the performance of mitzvot,

הוּא רָצוֹן הָעֶלְיוֹן בָּרוּךְ־הוּא וְכוּ',

as discussed in the first part of the Tanya, Likkutei Amarim, ch. 46.

כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּלִקּוּטֵי־אֲמָרִים פֶּרֶק מ"ו.

After prayer as well we say, “To You, O G‑d, I lift my soul,”12 referring to the initiative of the worshipper below in raising his soul upward to its Source,

וְגַם אַחַר הַתְּפִלָּה אוֹמְרִים: "אֵלֶיךָ ה' נַפְשִׁי אֶשָּׂא",

so that through the performance of mitzvot, spirit will cleave to Spirit throughout the day….

דְּהַיְינוּ, לְאִתְדַּבְּקָא רוּחָא בְּרוּחָא כָּל הַיּוֹם וְכוּ'.

All this is brought about through meditation on the grandeur of the Infinite One,

וְכָל זֶה, עַל־יְדֵי הַהִתְבּוֹנְנוּת בִּגְדוּלַּת אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא

concentrating the mind deeply during the two blessings preceding Shema and during the preparatory hymns of praise known asPesukei Dezimrah, as is known.

בְּהַעֲמָקַת הַדַּעַת, בִּ"שְׁתַּיִם לְפָנֶיהָ" וּבִ"פְסוּקֵי דְזִמְרָה", כַּנּוֹדָע.

Meditating in this fashion gives birth to a love for G‑d, which is translated into the study of the Torah and the performance of mitzvot. This form of Divine service is teshuvah ilaah that takes the direction called מִלְמַטָה לְמַעֲלָה: it works its way upward from the initiative taken by the enterprising worshipper, who elevates himself by his own bootstraps.

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FOOTNOTES

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5.Ibid. 6:6-7.

6. Note by the Rebbe: “‘For Scripture speaks [here] of the study of the Torah’ (Berachot 13b). See [Tanya,] Part I, end of ch. 49.”

7.See sources cited above, end of previous chapter.

8. Note by the Rebbe: “See [Tanya,] conclusion of ch. 37.”

9. From the blessing recited before the performance of certain mitzvot.

10.Kiddushin 5b; from the betrothal ceremony.

11.Zohar I, 11b.

12.Psalms 25:1.