Contact Us

Tanya Chapter 32

Tanya Chapter 32

 Email

Fulfilling that which we have spoken of above — to view one's body with scorn and contempt, and finding joy only in the joy of the soul alone — is a direct and easy way to attain the fulfillment of the commandment "Love your fellow as yourself" toward every soul of Israel, both great and small.

For, whereas one despises and loathes one's body, while as for the soul and spirit, who can know their greatness and excellence in their root and source in the living G‑d? Being, moreover, all of a kind and all having one Father — therefore, all Israelites are called real brothers by virtue of the source of their souls in the One G‑d; only the bodies are separated. Hence in the case of those who give major consideration to their bodies while regarding their souls as of secondary importance, there can be no true love and brotherhood among them, but only [a love] which is dependent on a [transitory] thing.

This is what Hillel the Elder meant when he said in regard to the fulfillment of this commandment, "This is the whole Torah; the rest is but commentary... " For the basis and root of the entire Torah is to raise and exalt the soul high above the body, reaching unto the Source and Root of all the worlds, and also to bring down the blessed light of the Infinite upon the community of Israel, as will be explained later, i.e. into the fountain-head of the souls of all Israel, to become "One into One." This is impossible if there is, G‑d forbid, disunity among the souls, for the Holy One, blessed be He, does not dwell in an imperfect place, as we pray: "Bless us, O our Father, all of us together, with the light of Your countenance," as has been explained at great length elsewhere.

As for the Talmudic statements to the effect that one who sees his friend sinning should hate him and should tell his teacher to hate him also, this applies to a companion in Torah and mitzvot, having already applied to him the injunction, "You shall repeatedly rebuke your friend (amitecha)" meaning "one who is your equal in Torah and mitzvot," and who, nevertheless, has not repented of his sin as stated in Sefer Charedim.

But as for the person who is not one's colleague and is not on intimate terms with him, Hillel the Elder said, "Be of the disciples of Aaron, loving peace and pursuing peace, loving the creatures and drawing them near to the Torah." This means that even in the case of those who are removed from G‑d's Torah and His service, and are therefore classified simply as "creatures," one must draw them near with strong cords of love, perchance one might succeed in bringing them closer to the Torah and Divine service. Even if one fails, one has not forfeited the merit of the mitzvah of loving one's fellow.

Even with regard to those who are close to him, and whom he has rebuked, yet they had not repented of their sins, in which case he is enjoined to hate them, there still remains the duty to love them also, and both are right: hatred, because of the wickedness in them; and love on account of the aspect of the hidden good in them, which is the Divine spark in them, which animates their Divine soul. He should also awaken pity in his heart for her [the Divine soul], for she is held captive, as it were, in the evil of the sitra achra that triumphs over her in wicked people. Compassion destroys hatred and awakens love, as is known from the [interpretation of the] text, "To Jacob who redeemed Abraham."

(As that which King David, peace unto him, said, "I hate them with a consummate hatred," he was referring to heretics and atheists who have no portion in the G‑d of Israel, as stated in the Talmud, Tractate Shabbat, beginning of chapter 16).

© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
 Email
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
4 Comments
1000 characters remaining
Ms. Ezza Amitai August 4, 2009

I believe Rav Zalman in this Tanya portion means to 'hate' peoples' behaviour but to love their souls, pure selves.

What a challenge! It seems only possible if one has absolutely NO need or expectation of other humans... Reply

kristie Dallas, TX August 25, 2008

Confront those that are close to you about their unloving or wicked actions.
Friends are able to constructively criticize each other. If you fail, tell the elders, Increased pressure or guidance may cause them to change.

Compassion must not be limited to your own. Such Love is shallow and artificial. All souls come from the same place and are true brothers.

Criticisms are for your own, those relationships are already grounded in Love; They are not effecive with others and won't bring them closer. Only "Compassion destroys hatred and awakens love"
You have lost nothing if your don't receive love in return, you are blessed. Don't regret. Pity them because they are not able to return it.

I feel like the word "hatred" is not a good representation of what is being communicated in the message.
Hatred is a passionate and active expression of feeling and is evil in itself. Reply

Menasha March 3, 2008

hatred (Tehilim 45:8) Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness; therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

There is a need to, not only love righteousness, but also to hate wickedness. True righteousness is to love the person and help to free the captive Divine Soul while hating that which keeps the Divine Soul in bondage. A very difficult balance for most to achieve. However, in doing so, the fullness of God's blessing can be experienced. Is this not God giving us an opportunity to participate in Redemption? Reply

Herbert I Ratet December 25, 2007

hatred Difficult why lesson preaches hatered. Reply

Related Topics