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Tanya for Shabbos, 20 Av, 5777 - August 12, 2017

Tanya
As Divided for a Regular Year

Tanya for 20 Av

19 Av, 5777 - August 11, 201721 Av, 5777 - August 13, 2017


Now it is well known [15] that there are two types of awe [of G-d] and [two types] of love [of G-d]. The first ones are born of an understanding and cognition of the greatness of G-d, and of those matters that lead to the love of G-d and to the fear of Him, [such as G-d's closeness to the Jewish people.] The latter ones are those that come afterwards, from Above, as a gift; [After one has acquired a love and fear of G-d as a result of his own contemplation, he is then granted from Above a heightened measure of love and fear.] As explained elsewhere [16] in comment on the verse, [17] "I shall grant [you] your priestly service as a gift."

This [priesthood] refers to the attribute of love, and it is likewise with regard to awe. [I.e., there is a degree of fear of G-d that is likewise granted as a gift from Above.]

Now there is surely no comparison between the first ones, [the lower levels of love and fear,] which are the products of the created intellect, and the latter ones, which are [a gift] from the Creator, blessed be His Name. [Just as there can be absolutely no comparison between Creator and created, so too can there be no comparison between the love and fear generated by each of these two levels.]

That is why it is these [latter degrees of love and fear] that are referred to as "truth", for "the seal of the Holy One, blessed be He, is truth," [18] for He is the true Truth, and in relation to Him all truth among created beings is considered as nothing.

[Since G-d is absolute truth, the love and fear that emanate from Him are deemed "truth" as well.]

But which is the way whereby a man can merit [the loftier love and fear that are termed] "the truth of G-d"? It is by arousing great compassion in G-d's eyes for the spark in his soul.

This [attribute of compassion] is the attribute of Jacob, who [19] "bolts from one end through to the other," that is, from the uppermost of all levels to the nether-most, causing the "truth of G-d" to flow to this lowly, dark world; as it is written, [20] "When I sit in darkness, G-d is a light unto me."

And this is the meaning of the phrase, [21] "For His kindness has prevailed over us...." [I.e., G-d-s kindness has prevailed over the darkness of this world, illuminating even that aspect of a man's soul that is clothed within his body.

In answer to the question asked above, then, it is now clear that the way by which one can arrive at "G-d's truth" is by the arousal of Divine compassion.]

However, [this] arousal of G-d's great compassion also needs to be done in truth. But even when it is true in mortal terms, how - by means of relative truth - can one arouse Supernal compassion from the truth of G-d? The solution recommended for this is to practice the attribute of charity, which is the attribute of compassion for him who has nothing of his own, to [22] "revive the spirit of the lowly...."

And the arousal from below elicits an arousal from Above: G-d [23] "rouses those who sleep and awakens those who slumber"; [i.e., He rouses His] great compassion and the Supernal attributes of kindness which are concealed, [As with a sleeping person's dormant soul-powers, "sleep" and (more deeply) "slumber" here signify two degrees of dormancy in the essentially concealed states of Divine compassion and kindness.] so that they emerge from concealment into manifestation and into a great illumination, so that [a man is] [24] "illuminated with the light of life" -with [25] the "truth of G-d unto the world."

This, then, is the meaning of the idiom of "sowing" related to charity, [as in the verse with which this epistle opened, "He who sows charity...." or as in the verse, [26] "Sow for yourselves for charity...." one [thereby] causes the Supernal truth, the truth of G-d, to sprout, [just as a plant that sprouts reveals that which was previously sown.]

[This is achieved] especially through acts of charity and true kindness that are done for the benefit of the Holy Land (May it be built and established speedily in our days, Amen!), thereby realizing the verse, [27] "Truth shall sprout forth from the land," [where "land" alludes both to the Land of Israel here below and to the Sefirah of Malchut Above,] by sowing charity in it.

And the kindness and great compassion that are gathered into it and gleaned in it, correspondingly arouse the Supreme graces that are hidden and concealed [28], as it is written, [29] "[How great is Your kindness] which You have hidden....," so that [the land] is established and set up firmly.

[Both Eretz Yisrael and the Sefirah of Malchut of Atzilut must be buttressed; the latter, because of its descent in order to serve as a source of created beings that are lower than the World of Atzilut.]

And of this it is written, [30] "Through tzedakah shall you be firmly established," [referring to the establishment of the "Congregation of Israel" here below, as well as to its spiritual counterpart Above - the Sefirah of Malchut of Atzilut, which is also known by the same name.

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) See Likkutei Amarim, Part I, ch. 14; Part II, Chinuch Katan.

  2. (Back to text) Ibid., Part I, ch. 14.

  3. (Back to text) Bamidbar 18:7.

  4. (Back to text) Shabbat 55a.

  5. (Back to text) Shmot 26:28.

  6. (Back to text) Michah 7:8.

  7. (Back to text) Tehillim 117:2.

  8. (Back to text) Yeshayahu 57:15.

  9. (Back to text) Siddur Tehillat HaShem, p. 166.

  10. (Back to text) Iyov 33:30.

  11. (Back to text) Cf. Tehillim 117:2.

  12. (Back to text) Hoshea 10:12. See also below, Epistle 8.

  13. (Back to text) Tehillim 85:12.

  14. (Back to text) An alternative version adds here: "in it."

  15. (Back to text) Tehillim 31:20.

  16. (Back to text) Yeshayahu 54:14.



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