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Tanya for Friday, 10 Cheshvan, 5780 - November 8, 2019

Tanya
As Divided for a Leap Year

Tanya for 10 Cheshvan

9 Cheshvan, 5780 - November 7, 201911 Cheshvan, 5780 - November 9, 2019


[The above applies nowadays, when the Shechinah is exiled in kelipat nogah; hence the main function of Torah study is to seek out and elevate the sparks of holiness from the kelipot. Hence, too, the current concentration on the laws of issur and hette r, kasher and passul, and the like.]

But when the Shechinah will emerge from kelipat nogah (or: from the kelipot), after the extraction of the sparks will be completed, and the evil of the kelipot will be separated from the good of holiness, [63] "and all the workers of evil will be dispersed," and the Tree of [Knowledge of] Good and Evil [which is of kelipat nogah and which prevails during the time of exile] will no longer be dominant, because the good will have departed from it.

[Kelipat nogah is influential only by virtue of its minimal component of good; as soon as this is extracted, kelipat nogah will have no dominion whatever.

Then people will engage in the study of Torah and in the observance of the commandments not in order to extract the sparks, [as in the present], but in order to bring about the consummation of yichudim "[unions" or "marriages" of Sefirot] more sublime [than those which are effected through our present Torah study] - in order to call forth more sublime lights, transcending [69] Atzilut.

This is explained in the writings of R. Isaac Luria, of blessed memory.

Everything [will be accomplished] by means of the pnimiyut of the Torah, [the esoteric dimension of the Torah], by the performance of the commandments with lofty mystical devotions directed to [drawing down] sublime "lights" [from the Divine Luminary].

For the root of the commandments is exceedingly high, in the blessed Ein Sof, [at a level loftier than Atzilut].

(As for the statement of our Sages, of blessed memory, that [70] "the commandments will be abrogated in the future," this refers to the era of the Resurrection of the Dead.

In the days of the Messiah, however, before the Resurrection of the Dead, they will not be abrogated.) [71]

[At that time, the observance of mitzvot will draw down to this world even higher levels of G-dliness than those drawn down by the current observance of mitzvot].

This is why Torah study will then be mainly directed to the pnimiyut [the innermost, mystical depths] of the commandments, and their hidden reasons.

[Specifically: Gaining insights into the dynamics of the above- mentioned yichudim, and thereby understanding why the scrupulous performance of the commandments brings about these Supernal "unions" which give birth to renewed diffusions of the Divine light that animates this world].

The revealed aspects of the Torah, however, will be manifest and known to every Jew, by an innate and unforgotten knowledge. [Review will thus be unnecessary.]

Only the mixed multitude [and not the Jews] will have to toil in these [aspects of the Torah], because they will not have merited to taste from the Tree of Life, i.e., the pnimiyut of the Torah and of the commandments.

They will [therefore] need to engage (in Torah) in Mishnah, in order to weaken ([72] by their occupation with Torah) the power of the sitra achra that cleaves to them, so that it will not dominate them and cause them to sin.

Thus it is written, [73] "And the sinner at the age of a hundred will be cursed." This refers to the sinners of the mixed multitude.

[Thus, even with the arrival of the Messiah there will be sinners among the mixed multitude, since the sitra achra cleaves to them. They will therefore require means by which to weaken it, so that they will not sin. Nor will they need only the revealed aspects of the Torah in order to repel the sitra achra.]

In addition, on the practical level, they will need the detailed rulings of prohibition and impurity more than the Jews.

For the latter, nothing will occur that is ritually unfit, impure, or forbidden, since [74] "there shall not befall [any sin to the righteous]" [75] - [and in the era of Mashiach, all Jews will be at the level of the "righteous"].

It is also possible, and indeed probable, that [the Jewish people] will know all the fundamentals of the revealed plane of the Torah from the pnimiyut of the Torah, as was the case with our father Abraham, peace be to him.

[The Gemara relates [76] that Abraham fulfilled the entire Torah even before it was given at Sinai.

Now there are passages and commandments to which he could not possibly have related on a physical level.

Inscribed on the tiny parchment scrolls within tefillin, for example, are Biblical passages which record the Exodus from Egypt - a land to which his descendants had not yet been exiled.

The mode of Abraham's performance of the commandments was thus spiritual and esoteric, as the Alter Rebbe explains in Torah Or [77] and Likkutei Torah. [78] Abraham thus knew all the revealed aspects of Torah from its esoteric core. In Time to Come all Jews will know the Torah in a similar manner].

They will therefore not need to occupy themselves with them - [with the laws defining what is permitted or prohibited, pure or impure] - at all.

At the time of the Second Temple, by contrast, [although the scholars did not derive their sustenance from the illiterate, for they had their own fields and vineyards], they needed to be involved in these [laws], and not only for their practical application, but because this is the main purpose of divine service - to weaken the power of the sitra achra and to elevate the sparks of holiness by means of Torah study and worship, as is explained elsewhere. [79]


After the above words of truth it will be possible to clearly understand the earlier-quoted passage from Ra'aya Mehemna, which spoke of "the Tree of Good and Evil, [i.e., prohibition and permission]," meaning kelipat nogah, which is the mainstay of this world, [80] as is written in Etz Chayim.

[At the moment, until Mashiach arrives, the dominant influence in this material world is kelipat nogah, the "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil."

After his arrival, however, this dominion will cease, and man's divine service will be directed not to extracting the sparks of holiness hidden in the material world, but to bringing about ever higher Supernal unions, as explained above].

This will suffice for the discerning.

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) Tehillim 92:10.

  2. (Back to text) The word translated "transcending" does not appear in the printed Hebrew text. It has been inserted here according to the emendation of the Rebbe Shlita in Luach HaTikkun.

  3. (Back to text) Niddah 61b.

  4. (Back to text) This differentiation between the performance of mitzvot before and after the Resurrection, follows the view of Tosafot in Niddah (loc. cit.). There Tosafot explains that the fact that burial shrouds may be made of kilayim, the forbidden mixture of wool and linen, proves that mitzvot will be abrogated after the Resurrection, for otherwise a Jew would arise wearing forbidden garments.

    The Rashba, cited there in Chiddushei HaRan, disagrees, holding that the mitzvot are abrogated as far as the individual is concerned only while he is deceased. As the Rashba understands the Gemara, they will not be abrogated after the Resurrection. The Rebbe Shlita uses this debate to resolve a seeming contradiction between two statements by the Alter Rebbe. In his Note to ch. 36 of Tanya (on p. 478 of Vol. II in the present series), the Alter Rebbe writes that "the [time of] receiving the reward is essentially in the seventh millennium." Since this is after the time of the Resurrection, this is a time during which we are still intended to perform mitzvot. How, then, does the Alter Rebbe state here that mitzvot will be abrogated at the time of the Resurrection?

    The distinction: In the Note to ch. 36 the Alter Rebbe follows the view of the Rashba, who maintains that at the time of the Resurrection, mitzvot will continue to be in effect. (The Alter Rebbe also follows this view in his maamar in Likkutei Torah on the phrase VeHayah BaYom Hahu Yitaka BeShofar Gadol.) Here, however, he follows the view of Tosafot.

    The Rebbe Shlita goes on to say that drawing a distinction (as the Alter Rebbe does above) between the two periods, resolves most of the problematic queries posed by the MaHaratz Chayot, whose Glosses on Tractate Niddah cite those Talmudic sources which would seem to indicate that in future time the commandments will not be abrogated. For those sources speak of the era of the Messiah, before the Resurrection, while the teaching that they will be abrogated applies to the era that follows the Resurrection (according to the view of Tosafot).

    For further examination of this subject, the Rebbe Shlita refers the reader to the sources listed in Sdei Chemed, Klalim 40:218 (Vol. III, p. 561c ff. in the Kehot edition) and in Divrei Chachamim, sec. 53 (p. 1962b ff.).

  5. (Back to text) This phrase, enclosed in parentheses in the printed Hebrew text, does not appear in some manuscripts.

  6. (Back to text) Yeshayahu 65:20.

  7. (Back to text) Mishlei 12:21.

  8. (Back to text) Note of the Rebbe Shlita: "...For only with regard to the present time does Tosafot maintain (contrary to the view of Rashi) [that the promise of this verse applies] only to edibles (Chullin 5b), [for it is particularly shameful for a righteous person to eat forbidden food, even if unwittingly]. This [restriction to the present] may be derived from the underlying reasoning, viz.: In Time to Come the entire world will attain perfection. [At that time, therefore, no kind of unwitting sin will befall any of the Jewish people, since all will then be righteous]."

  9. (Back to text) Yoma 28b; Kiddushin 82a.

  10. (Back to text) Lech Lecha 11d.

  11. (Back to text) Shemini 18c.

  12. (Back to text) See Likkutei Torah, BeHaalot'cha 32d.

  13. (Back to text) The last phrase in the Hebrew text has been emended according to the Table of Glosses and Emendations.

Addendum

In the middle of the above Epistle, the Alter Rebbe stated that if "one ate [forbidden food] in order to save an endangered life,... [the food] becomes [entirely] permissible."

The Rebbe Shlita notes [81] that this concept is problematic; indeed, many editions of the Tanya omit the word "entirely", which is evidently why it found its way into current editions as a bracketed text.

The Rebbe goes on to distinguish between prohibition (issur) and impurity (tumah).

When something is prohibited, one can sense its inherent evil; for example, forbidden foods clog the mind and heart with spiritual congestion. Thus, even if a pregnant woman scented forbidden food on Yom Kippur and the Torah permitted her to eat it (if her life would otherwise be in danger), [82] eating that food would still becloud her soul.

Moreover, even when the prohibition was not intrinsic to the food, but a thought or a statement invalidated it, as for example when an animal was slaughtered with idolatrous intent, [83] eating this food leaves its imprint.

Thus, for example, the Midrash [84] traces the wayward path of Elisha ben Avuyah (known as "Acher") to very early beginnings - before his birth his mother had tasted food that was prepared for idolatrous worship.

In light of the above, the Rebbe Shlita goes on to note, we can understand why a nursing mother who has eaten forbidden food, even when permitted to do so because her life was endangered, should refrain from nursing her child. [85]

For although eating this food was in fact halachically permitted, the nature of the food and the spiritual blemish which it imparts to her infant remain unchanged.

This is especially so, according to the halachic determination (with regard to one who is ill as well), that a life-threatening situation merely sets aside a prohibition; it does not make the prohibited object permissible. [86]

As the Rebbe Shlita concludes, the above considerations evidently explain why in current editions of Iggeret HaKodesh - regarding the food eaten in a life-threatening situation that becomes "[entirely] permissible" - the word "entirely" is bracketed, and in many editions never appeared.

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) This Addendum is based on selections from Likkutei Sichot, Vol. III, p. 984ff., and footnotes there.

  2. (Back to text) Yoma 82a; the Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 617:2.

  3. (Back to text) Chullin 39b.

  4. (Back to text) Ruth Rabbah 6:6.

  5. (Back to text) Taz (Turei Zahav) and Shach (Siftei Cohen) in Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah, end of sec. 81.

  6. (Back to text) Cf. Rambam, Hilchot Shabbat, beginning of ch. 2.



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