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The essence of the soul hears what the rest of a person may not.

6:2 The Divine Voice

6:2 The Divine Voice

Beginner Beginner
6:2 The Divine Voice
The essence of the soul hears what the rest of a person may not.

Every day, a Divine Voice issues forth from Mount Horeb, and announces: "Woe to the creatures because of the insult to the Torah." (Avot 6:2)

This Divine Voice, which issues forth from Mount Horeb every day, urges a person to occupy himself with Torah, and is similar to other divine declarations which arouse a person to repentance.

Although a person does not hear these divine announcements audibly, they nevertheless have an effect upon him, as the Prophet Daniel said regarding himself: "I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, and the people who were with me did not see the vision, but great fear fell upon them…" (Daniel 10:7). Why did Daniel's colleagues feel fear if they did not see the vision? The Talmud (Megilla 3a) explains that although they themselves did not see, their souls saw. The entire soul is not clothed in the body…

As is well-known, the entire soul is not clothed in the body - only a radiance or reflection of the soul; the essence of the soul remains above. There is a difference between these two levels of the soul in the way that they "hear" the divine announcements.

A person living in this world, occupied as he is with his physical needs and desires, is prevented by the appetites and passions of his animal soul from hearing the divine announcements, for the animal soul conceals and buries his G‑dly soul. The soul within the body had difficulty "hearing" the divine announcements, and responding to them in the proper way. But the essence of the soul above "sees and hears" the divine announcements, and responds to them with the proper seriousness. As a result of the complete arousal of the essence of his soul, a person experiences thoughts of repentance within the reflection of the soul clothed in his body. A person may experience a sudden arousal to repentance without any prior preparation, for the arousal stems from the divine announcement above.

[Adapted from Maamarim 5686, p. 48; 5688, p. 199; Kuntreisim p. 64; 5700 p. 64; Selected from "Pirkei Avos in the Light of Chassidus" by Yekutiel Green

Rabbi Yekutiel Green has published many explanantions of Chassidic texts, especially in English, presenting concepts to those with minimal background.
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson (12 Tammuz 1880–10 Shevat 1950), known as the Rebbe Rayatz, son of R. Shalom DovBer Schneerson, and the sixth Lubavitcher rebbe from 1920 to 1950. He established a network of Jewish educational institutions and chassidim that was the single most significant factor in the preservation of Judaism during the dread reign of the Communists. In 1940 he moved to the USA, established Chabad worldwide headquarters in Brooklyn, and launched the global campaign to renew and spread Judaism in all languages and in every corner of the world, the campaign continued and expanded so remarkably successfully by his son-in-law and successor, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.
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