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Shabbat, 17 Tishrei 5778 / October 7, 2017

Daily Tanya

Daily Tanya

Iggeret HaKodesh, middle of Epistle 22

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Iggeret HaKodesh, middle of Epistle 22

ועצה היעוצה לקבל באהבה, היא עצת ה׳ בפי חז״ל: לפשפש במעשיו

The suggested advice to enable one to accept [it] with love, is G‑d’s counsel through the mouth of our Sages, of blessed memory1 — “to examine one’s conduct.”

The Gemara says that “if one sees afflictions befalling him, he should examine his deeds” and repent.

וימצא לו עונות הצריכין מירוק יסורים, ויראה לעין גודל אהבתו אליו, המקלקלת השורה

He will find sins that require scouring by means of suffering. He will then clearly see G‑d’s great love towards him which “upsets the natural order of [Divine] conduct,”

כמשל מלך גדול ונורא, הרוחץ בכבודו ובעצמו צואת בנו יחידו מרוב אהבתו

as in the simile of a great and awesome king who, out of his immense2 love for his only son, personally washes off the filth from him.

כמו שכתוב: אם רחץ ה׳ את צואת בנות ציון כו׳ ברוח משפט כו׳

As it is written,3 “When G‑d will wash off the filth from the daughters of Zion... with a spirit of justice4...”5

When one becomes aware of G‑d’s great love for him, a love that is expressed by scouring him with the cleansing agent of suffering:

וכמים הפנים אל פנים

Then,6 “as in water face reflects face,”

The verse goes on to say, “ is the heart of man to man.” And the same is true of the heart of mortal man to Supernal Man:

תתעורר האהבה בלב כל משכיל ומבין יקר מהות אהבת ה׳ אל התחתונים

there will be an arousal of love in the heart of everyone who perceives and understands the preciousness of the nature of G‑d’s love for the nether beings, for those who find themselves in this world, the lowest of all worlds.

אשר היא יקרה וטובה מכל חיי העולמים כולם

This [Divine love] is dearer and better than all the [kinds of] life of all the worlds, both spiritual and material;

כמו שכתוב: מה יקר חסדך וכו׳

as it is written,7 “How precious is Your lovingkindness (Chesed)....”

כי טוב חסדך מחיים כו׳

[It is likewise written,8] “For Your Chesed is better than life....”

The motivating nucleus of Chesed is love. Thus it is written,9 “I have loved you with an everlasting love, and have therefore drawn down Chesed upon you.”

כי החסד, שהוא בחינת אהבה

For Chesed, which is a manifestation of love,

הוא חיי החיים שבכל העולמות, כמו שנאמר: מכלכל חיים בחסד

is the Fountainhead of life that is present in all the worlds; as it is said in the Amidah,10 “He sustains life through Chesed.”

Chesed and love are thus the sustaining life-force of all living beings.


And then, i.e., when one realizes G‑d’s great love for him that finds expression in afflictions, and when this in turn arouses a love within him so that he will better receive G‑d’s love, then:

גם ה׳ יתן הטוב

G‑d, too, will grant goodness, of a kind that the naked eye can clearly and palpably perceive as good,

ויאר פניו אליו

and make His Face (the innermost dimension of Divinity) shine towards him11

בבחינת אהבה מגולה, אשר היתה תחלה מלובשת ומוסתרת בתוכחת מגולה

with a manifest love, which had earlier been garbed and hidden in a manifest rebuke,

The overt admonition that stems from G‑d’s hidden love will then be transformed into a revealed love.

ויתמתקו הגבורות בשרשן

and the expressions of Divine severity (the gevurot) will be sweetened at their source,

Within their source these expressions of Divine severity are ultimately benevolent; as they descend to the world below they become manifest in the form of suffering. The gevurot, then, will be sweetened at their source,

ויתבטלו הדינין, נצח סלה ועד

and thereby these expressions of Divine severity will become nullified forevermore.

Berachot 5a.
Note of the Rebbe: “A point awaiting clarification: In the analogue the Alter Rebbe writes ‘great’ (a qualitative term?) while in the analogy he writes ‘immense’ (a quantitative term?).”
Yeshayahu 4:4. The Heb. text above has been corrected in accordance with the Table of Glosses and Emendations.
Note of the Rebbe: “Cf. Shaar HaKollel on the Yehi Ratzon recited at the burning of chametz.”
See Rashi on the verse.
Cf. Mishlei 27:19.
Tehillim 36:8.
Ibid. 63:4.
Yirmeyahu 31:2.
Siddur Tehillat HaShem, p. 51, et al.
Cf. Bamidbar 6:25.

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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Daily Quote
Refraining from deriving pleasure - in the fullest sense - from this world, is only a fine preparation for serving G‑d. The service itself is transforming the physical into a vehicle for G‑dliness.
  –Hayom Yom, Sivan 17
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