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Monday, 19 Tammuz 5776 / July 25, 2016
Chabad Chassidus is an all-embracing world outlook and way of life which sees the Jew's central purpose as a unifying link between the Creator and His world. Written by the Alter Rebbe, the founder of Chabad, Tanya is the central text of Chabad Chassidus. It shows the reader a path to realizing their purpose and developing a deeper relationship with G-d. Choose from one of the two formats available: through Lessons in Tanya - a profound and clear explanation of the Alter Rebbe's writings, or through an audio class.

Daily Tanya

Daily Tanya

Igeret HaTeshuva , middle of Chapter 4

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Igeret HaTeshuva , middle of Chapter 4

אך הענין יובן על פי מה שכתוב: כי חלק ה׳ עמו וגו׳

The key to this will be found in the phrase,1 “For [G‑d’s] people are part of G‑d...”;

חלק משם הוי׳ ברוך הוא

[they are] part of the Four-Letter Name of G‑d.

כדכתיב: ויפח באפיו נשמת חיים

Thus, describing G‑d’s infusion of a soul into the body of Adam, it is written:2 “And He blew into his nostrils a soul of life,”

ומאן דנפח מתוכו נפח וכו׳

and, as the Zohar comments,3 “He who blows, does so from within him, etc.”4

The metaphor of blowing signifies that the soul of a Jew originates in the innermost aspect of G‑dliness — in the Tetragrammaton, as shall be soon explained.

ואף שאין לו דמות הגוף וכו׳ חס ושלום

Now [G‑d] has no bodily form, and so on,5 G‑d forbid.

How, then, is it possible to say that G‑d “blew”, and to speak of a “part” of Himself?

אך דברה תורה כלשון בני אדם

However, the Torah6 “speaks as in the language of men,” i.e., anthropomorphically.

כי כמו שיש הפרש והבדל גדול באדם התחתון, על דרך משל, בין ההבל שיוצא מפיו בדבורו להבל היוצא על ידי נפיחה

By way of analogy: There exists a vast difference in the case of mortal man between the breath issuing from his mouth while speaking and the breath of forceful blowing.

שביוצא בדיבורו מלובש בו כח וחיות מעט מזעיר

The breath that issues with his speech embodies the soul’s power and life-force only minimally,

והוא בבחינת חיצוניות מנפש החיה שבקרבו

and that is only from the superficial aspect of the soul that dwells within him.

אבל ביוצא בכח הנופח דמתוכו נפח

But the breath that issues when he blows forcefully, from deep within himself,

מלובש בו כח וחיות פנימית מבחינת נפש החיה וכו׳

embodies the internal power and life-force of the vivifying soul….

Just as there exists a vast difference between man’s speaking and forceful blowing:

Footnotes
1.
Devarim 32:9.
2.
Bereishit 2:7.
3.
See above, Part I, beg. of ch. 2, citing the Zohar.
4.
The Rebbe suggests that “etc.” alludes to the continuation of this statement above, Part I, beg. of ch. 2: “...from his inwardness and his innermost being.”
5.
Note of the Rebbe: “ ‘Etc.’ signifies ‘nor body’ — from the hymn entitled Yigdal. See also beg. of Likutei Torah leGimmel Parshiyot.
6.
Berachot 31b.


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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  –Ethics of the Fathers 4:8
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