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LESSONS IN TANYA: Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Today’s Tanya Lesson
Adar I 18, 5774 · February 18, 2014
Likutei Amarim, middle of Chapter 30

והנה באמת היא מלחמה גדולה ועצומה לשבור היצר הבוער כאש להבה, מפני פחד ה׳, וכמו נסיון ממש

Truly, it is a great, fierce struggle to break one’s [evil] nature which burns like a fiery flame, for the fear of G‑d; indeed, it is like a veritable test.

והלכך צריך כל אדם לפי מה שהוא מקומו ומדרגתו בעבודת ה׳ לשקול ולבחון בעצמו

Therefore, every man ought to weigh and examine his own position, according to the standards of his place and rank in divine service,

אם הוא עובד ה׳ בערך ובחינת מלחמה עצומה כזו ונסיון כזה

as to whether he serves G‑d in a situation requiring a comparable struggle in a manner commensurate with the dimensions of such a fierce battle and test as the kal shebekalim faces.

For even the most dispassionate and cloistered of men must often engage in battle with his evil inclination, both in the area of1 “doing good” and in that of “turning away from evil,” as the Alter Rebbe goes on to illustrate.

בבחינת ועשה טוב, כגון בעבודת התפלה בכוונה, לשפוך נפשו לפני ה׳ בכל כחו ממש

In the realm of “do good” — in the service of prayer with kavanah(devotion), for example, he must battle his evil inclination daily, in order to pour out his soul before G‑d with his entire strength,

עד מיצוי הנפש

to the extent of “wringing out” his soul,2 i.e., exhausting all of his intellectual and emotional power in his devotion.

ולהלחם עם גופו ונפש הבהמית שבו המונעים הכוונה במלחמה עצומה, ולבטשם ולכתתם כעפר קודם התפלה שחרית וערבית מדי יום ביום

This battle must be waged both before (i.e., preparatory to) and also during prayer, as follows: He must wage a great and intense war against his body and the animal soul within it which impede his devotion, crushing and grinding them like dust every single day, before the morning and evening prayers.

וגם בשעת התפלה, לייגע עצמו ביגיעת נפש ויגיעת בשר, כמו שכתוב לקמן באריכות

Also during prayer he must exert himself with an exertion of the spirit, so that his spirit should not grow weary of lengthy contemplation on the greatness of G‑d,and an exertion of the body to remove the hindrances to devotion imposed by the body, as will be explained further at length.3

1. Tehillim 34:15.
2. Sifrei on Devarim 6:5.
3. Ch. 42.
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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