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Tanya for Wednesday, 1 Adar, 5780 - February 26, 2020

As Divided for a Regular Year

Tanya for 1 Adar

30 Shevat, 5780 - February 25, 20202 Adar, 5780 - February 27, 2020

The longer he reflects on these matters, both in his own thoughts and by delving deeply into books [which speak of these matters], in order to break down his heart within him and render himself shamed and despised in his own eyes, as is written in the Scriptures, [3] so utterly despised that he despises his very life, - the more he despises and degrades thereby the sitra achra, casting it down to the ground and humbling it from its haughtiness and pride and self-exaltation, wherewith it exalts itself over the light of the divine soul's holiness, obscuring its radiance.

[Up to now, the Alter Rebbe has proposed means of crushing the sitra achra within one's animal soul by humbling his own spirit through intellectual contemplation.

He now turns to another method, that of "raging" against one's evil impulse, without entering into an analysis of his spiritual level].

He should also thunder against it [the sitra achra] with a strong and raging voice in order to humble it, as our Sages state, [17] "A person should always rouse the good impulse against the evil impulse, as it is written, [18] `Rage, and sin not...'"

This means that one should rage - in his mind - against the animal soul, which is his evil empulse, with a voice of stormy indignation, saying to it: "Indeed, you are truly evil and wicked, abominable, loathsome and disgraceful," and so forth, using all the epithets by which our Sages have called it. [19]

"How long will you obscure the light of the blessed Ein Sof, which pervades all the worlds; which was, is, and will be the same, even in the very place where I stand, just as the light of the blessed Ein Sof was alone before the world was created - utterly unchanged; as it is written: [20] `I, the L-rd, have not changed," [i.e., the fact of creation has wrought no change in Him], for He transcends time, and so on? [And therefore, the fact that it is now `after' creation, cannot affect Him].

But you, repulsive one, and so forth, deny the truth which is so plainly visible - that all is truly as nothing in His presence - [a truth which is so apparent as to be] `visible to the eye'!"

In this way he will help his divine soul, enlightening its eyes to perceive the truth of the unity of the infinite light of Ein Sof as though with physical sight, and not merely through [the lesser perception of] "hearing" and understanding.

For, as explained elsewhere, this is the core of the whole [divine] service.

[Intellectual comprehension - i.e., the "hearing" - of G-dliness can lead only to a desire and longing for G-d; the level of perception described as "sight" leads far higher - to one's self-nullification before Him].



  1. (Back to text) Tehilim 15:4

  2. (Back to text) Berachot 5a.

  3. (Back to text) Tehillim 4:5.

  4. (Back to text) Sukkah 52a.

  5. (Back to text) Malachi 3:6.

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