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KABBALAH of the HEART | Sefer Tanya


Who’s the boss of your body: your heart or your brain? Rabbi Tzvi Freeman explores the untapped powers of the mind.



Li’kutay Moharan

Lectures From Rabbi Dror Moshe Cassouto, Yeshivat Chut Shel Chessed, Jerusalem, Israel

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LESSONS IN TANYA: Monday, February 10, 2014
Today’s Tanya Lesson
Adar I 10, 5774 · February 10, 2014
Likutei Amarim, middle of Chapter 29

והסיבה היא גסות הקליפה, שמגביה עצמה על אור קדושת נפש האלקית, ומסתרת ומחשיכה אורה

The cause of this deficiency is the arrogance of the kelipah of the animal soul,which exalts itself above the holiness of the light of the divine soul, so that it obscures and darkens its light.

ולזאת צריך לבטשה ולהשפילה לעפר

Therefore, one must crush it and cast it down to the ground, just as in the previously quoted analogy the beam is splintered so that it will catch fire.

The Alter Rebbe now proceeds to explain how this is accomplished. He points out that the personality of the Beinoni is his animal soul. (When a Beinoni says “I,” he is referring to his animal soul.) Thus, by crushing his own spirit, he crushes the sitra achra, and thereby enables the light of the soul and intellect to penetrate himself.

דהיינו לקבוע עתים להשפיל עצמו, להיות נבזה בעיניו נמאס, ככתוב

This means that one must crush the sitra achra and cast it to the ground by setting aside appointed times for humbling oneself and considering himself1“despicable and contemptible,” as it is written.

ולב נשבר רוח נשברה היא הסטרא אחרא, שהיא היא האדם עצמו בבינונים

Now2 “A broken heart [leads to] a broken spirit,” the “spirit” being thesitra achra which, in the case of Beinonim, is the very man himself.

שנפש החיונית המחיה הגוף היא בתקפה כתולדתה בלבו, נמצא היא היא האדם עצמו

For in his heart the vital soul which animates the body is in its full strength as it was at birth; hence it is indeed the very man himself.

ועל נפש האלקית שבו, נאמר: נשמה שנתת בי טהורה היא, שנתת בי דייקא, מכלל שהאדם עצמו איננו הנשמה הטהורה, כי אם בצדיקים

With regard to the divine soul within him it is said: 3 “The soul which You gave within me is pure.” The word “(within) me” cannot be understood as referring to the body alone: the body cannot speak for itself as a complete man. Thus, it must refer also to the (animating) soul. Therefore, the words “(which You gave)within me” imply that the man himself who is saying these words is not identified with the “pure soul”; i.e., the divine soul is a thing apart, which has been “placed within” this “me” — the body and animal soul — except in the case of tzaddikim.

שבהם הוא להפך: שנשמה הטהורה שהיא נפש האלקית הוא האדם, וגופם נקרא בשר אדם

With them the contrary is true: the man himself is the “pure soul,” i.e, the divine soul, while their body is called “the flesh of man” i.e., secondary to the man himself — the divine soul.

1. A play [on words] in Tehillim 15:4.
2. Cf. Tehillim 51:19.
3. Morning liturgy; Berachot 60b.
The Tanya of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, elucidated by Rabbi Yosef Wineberg    More articles…  |   RSS Listing of Newest Articles by this Author

Translated from Yiddish by Rabbi Levy Wineberg and Rabbi Sholom B. Wineberg. Edited by Uri Kaploun.
Published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society, all rights reserved.

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