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Tanya for Monday, 18 Av, 5775 - August 3, 2015

Tanya
As Divided for a Regular Year

Tanya for 18 Av

17 Av, 5775 - August 2, 201519 Av, 5775 - August 4, 2015


The above enables one to understand the statement of Rabbi Isaac Luria, of blessed memory, that there are two kinds of souls among Jews: the souls of Torah scholars, who engage in the study of Torah all their lives, [64] and the souls of those who perform the commandments, occupying themselves with charitable and kindly deeds.

Now surely scholars, too, need to occupy themselves with acts of kindness; as our Sages, of blessed memory, taught, "[Whoever says that he has nothing but Torah," - and thus no kindly deeds], "does not have even Torah."

[How, then, could the AriZal have stated that people with a certain kind of soul invest their lives exclusively in Torah study? The Alter Rebbe's answer, which follows, takes it for granted that even fulltime Torah scholars of course spend some of their time in doing good deeds.]

However, as regards Torah scholars whose study of the Torah is their principal occupation and most of their time is spent in it, [with only a minor part of their time spent on the performance of kindly deeds,] the effect of their arousal from below, to arouse Supernal Chesed, to call forth and bring downward the [infinite] Ein Sof-light vested in Supernal Chochmah, the source of G-d's Torah which is in their mouths, extends only to the realm of the souls that are in Beriah, through their occupation with Gemara, [The study of Gemara, inasmuch as it involves reasoning and intellectual give-and-take, corresponds to the World of Beriah, the realm of comprehension.] and extends to the angels that are in the World of Yetzirah, through their occupation with Mishnah.

[The Mishnah consists of statements of law - "kosher" or "non-kosher", "pure" or "impure". Such bipartite divisions, which are a reflection in the material world below of the divergent attributes of Chesed and Gevurah in the realms above, are related to the World of Yetzirah, which is the realm of middot, the spiritual emotions.]

For the animation of souls and angels derives from the combinations of the letters of speech, i.e., the Oral Torah; [as it is written in Patach Eliyahu, [65] "[The Sefirah of Malchut corresponds to the mouth, which we call the Oral Torah."] The source of the letters, however, is in Supernal Chochmah, as mentioned above.

[Thus, through their study of the Oral Torah, scholars draw down Supernal Chochmah into the combinations of the letters of speech; this in turn provides vitality to [unborn] souls and angels.]

However, in order to call forth and bring downward an illumination and vitality from the level of the Supreme Breath, the "lower hei," to this lowly world, which entails a greater and extreme contraction, the arousal from below by the Torah scholars, who for only a small part of their time engage in charitable and kindly deeds, is not sufficient. [66]

[This is effected] only through an arousal by those who perform the commandments, who are occupied with deeds of charity and kindness for the major part of their life ( [67] as explained in Likkutei Amarim, Part I, ch. 34).

[The Alter Rebbe explains there that even if a man distributes no more than a fifth of his income for charity, that fifth elevates the other four parts with it to G-d, for thereby all his exertion becomes a dwelling for Him. Moreover, his acts of kindness will arouse G-d's "right hand of kindness."

That is why [people who are mainly occupied with such mitzvot] are called [68] "the supporters of [the] Torah [itself]," [and not only of those who study the Torah, for by their activities they draw down the light of the Torah from its root and source so that it will illuminate this physical world below.]

These [people] represent the levels of Netzach and Hod, [which are analogous to [69] "the two thighs" which enable a man to stand upon the ground; the function of the Sefirot of Netzach and Hod is similar,] because they cause the light of Torah to issue downwards to the World of Asiyah.

Now it is clear [70] why charity is referred to as an "act", as in the verse, [71] "And the act of charity will be peace." For the effect of charity is to elicit the light of G-d down to the World of Asiyah.

And this is the meaning of the subtle phraseology of the holy Zohar: "He who makes the Holy Name," expressly saying "who makes." For by an arousal from below, through charity and mortal Chesed, one arouses the Supernal Chesed - to elicit the [infinite] Ein Sof-light from Supernal Chochmah, the yud of the Divine Name, to the hei of the Name, to the "speech" and "breath" of G-d's blessed mouth, in order to draw down [Divine light] to the World of Asiyah.

And, analogously speaking, though infinitely incomparable: a human being speaks only to others ( [72] and not when he is alone), and then when speaking to them he contracts his intellect and thought. The intelligent will understand.

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) All the other souls are included in the second category; hence the term "all their lives" is not mentioned there. (Note of the Rebbe Shlita.)

  2. (Back to text) Tikkunei Zohar, Introduction II.

  3. (Back to text) Though insufficient, it is indispensable, for the downward flow must be drawn down through the Worlds of Beriah and Yetzirah. (Note of the Rebbe Shlita.)

  4. (Back to text) Parentheses are in the original text.

  5. (Back to text) Zohar I, 8a, paraphrasing Mishlei 3:18. See also Zohar III, 53b; Vayikra Rabbah 25:1; Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 251:9; et al.

  6. (Back to text) Tikkunei Zohar, loc. cit.

  7. (Back to text) Though this comment would appear to be less appropriate here than in Epistle 12, its inclusion here may be appreciated in the light of a statement by the Ramaz (Nitzutzei Orot, in Zohar III, loc. cit.).

    (Note of the Rebbe Shlita.)

  8. (Back to text) Yeshayahu 32:17, expounded at length in Epistle 12, below.

  9. (Back to text) Parentheses are in the original text.



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