Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
Printed from chabad.org
All Departments
Jewish Holidays
TheRebbe.org
Jewish.TV - Video
Jewish Audio
News
Kabbalah Online
JewishWoman.org
Kids Zone
Contact Us
Visit us on Facebook
Tanya
Tanya Navigator
E-mail

הוכח תוכיח את עמיתך, אפילו מאה פעמים

[It is written,]1 “You shall surely reprove your comrade” — “even one hundred times,” add our Sages,2 taking up the hint offered by the repetitive form of the Hebrew verb.

ולזאת לא אוכל להתאפק ולהחריש מלזעוק עוד, בקול ענות חלושה

Therefore, writes the Alter Rebbe, I cannot contain myself and cannot refrain from crying out yet again, in a voice betraying [pained] weakness.3

במטותא מינייכו ברחמין נפישין

I plead with you out of deep compassion,

חוסו נא על נפשותיכם, והשמרו והזהרו מאד מאד על התורה ועל העבודה שבלב, זו תפלה בכוונה

have pity on your souls. Take care, be extremely vigilant, concerning the study of Torah and the service of the heart, which is prayer4 with proper intent.

להתחיל כולם יחד כאחד, מלה במלה, ולא זה בכה וזה בכה, וזה דומם וזה משיח שיחה בטלה, ה׳ ישמרנו

All should begin [the prayers] in unison, as one, word by word, not one person here and another elsewhere, one mute and the other idly chatting, may G‑d protect us.

ועיקר הסיבה וגרמא בנזקין, הוא מהיורדים לפני התיבה

The main cause and instigator of [this] damage comes from those leading the services.

שהוא הפקר לכל הרוצה לפשוט רגליו החוטף אפרתי

That office is abandoned to whoever wishes to stride forth and snatch the honor,5

או מחמת שאין גם אחד רוצה כו׳

or because not even one desires it..., so that ultimately the prayers are led by someone inappropriate to the task.

ואי לזאת, זאת העצה היעוצה ותקנה קבועה, חוק ולא יעבור עוד, חס ושלום

For this reason, this is the counsel offered, and a regulation established as law not to be violated further, G‑d forbid.

דהיינו, לבחור אנשים קבועים הראוים לזה, על פי הגורל או בריצוי רוב המנין

That is, choose fixed individuals fit for this office of leading the prayers, by lot or by consent of the majority of the worshipers.

And who, indeed, is fit for this office?

דהיינו שמתפללים מלה במלה, בדרך המיצוע, בקול רם

These shall be men who pray word by word, at a moderate pace, aloud,

ולא מאריכים יותר מדאי, ולא מקצרים וחוטפים, חס ושלום

neither overly prolonging the prayers, nor racing intemperately, G‑d forbid.

ועליהם מוטל החובה לירד לפני התיבה, כל אחד ואחד ביומו אשר יגיע לו

Theirs is the duty to lead the prayers, each on his day as determined.

ולאסוף אליו מסביב סמוך כל המתפללים בקול קצת על כל פנים, ולא בלחש ולא חוטפים, חס ושלום

He shall assemble close around him all those who pray audibly, at least, neither whispering nor rushing, G‑d forbid.

וכמבואר בתקנות ישנות בכמה עיירות

This is amplified in age-old communal regulations in many towns.

ועתה באתי לחדשן ולחזקן ולאמצן, בל ימוטו עוד לעולם, חס ושלום

I come now, writes the Alter Rebbe, to renew them, to strengthen and invigorate them, never again to be weakened, G‑d forbid.

(גוולד גוולד)

(6The following two words appear in Yiddish7 in the Alter Rebbe’s original manuscript: Gevald! Gevald! — an outcry of agonized consternation.)

עד מתי יהיה זה לנו למוקש

How long will this be an obstacle for us?8

How long will we burdened by praying without proper intent?

ולא די לנו בכל התוכחות והצרות שעברו עלינו, ה׳ ישמרנו, וינחמנו בכפלים לתושיה, ויטהר לבנו לעבדו באמת

Have we not sufficient reproofs and troubles that have overtaken us? — May G‑d protect and console us with redoubled support,9 and purify our hearts to serve Him in truth.

חזקו ואמצו לבבכם, כל המייחלים לה׳

Strengthen and fortify your hearts, all who hope in G‑d.10

* * *

גם לגמור כל הש״ס בכל שנה ושנה

Also: Complete the study of the entire Talmud year after year,

ובכל עיר ועיר, לחלק המסכתות על פי הגורל או ברצון

and in every community apportion the tractates by lot or by consent, each individual choosing the tractate that he desires to study.

ועיר שיש בה מנינים הרבה, יגמרו בכל מנין ומנין, ואם איזה מנין קטן מהכיל, יצרפו אליהם אנשים מאיזה מנין גדול

In a city with numerous synagogues, each congregation should complete [the Talmud]. And if a congregation is too small to implement this program, they should join forces with men of a larger one.

בבל ישונה, חק ולא יעבור

This statute — that the entire Talmud be studied every year — shall not be varied or violated.

וכל אחד ואחד מהלומדים הנ״ל יגמור לעצמו בכל שבוע התמניא אפי שבתהלים קי״ט

In addition, each of the participants shall individually read the whole of the eightfold Psalm 119 every week.11

The Previous Rebbe comments on the connection between completing the study of the Talmud and the recitation of Psalms as follows:12 “From here we see that the study of Gemara is complete only when it is accompanied by the recitation of Tehillim; and in order to recite Tehillim properly, one needs to study Gemara.”

ולהיות מחמת חלישות הדור, אין כח בכל אחד ואחד להתענות כראוי לו

Moreover, since, due to the frailty of our times, not everyone is capable of fasting as he ought,

In Iggeret HaTeshuvah13 the Alter Rebbe cites the classical works of Mussar as to the number of fasts prescribed for each major sin, so that a penitent will be able to render himself as acceptable to G‑d after his repentance as he was before sinning.

לזאת עצה היעוצה, כמאמר רז״ל: כל השומר שבת כהלכתו, מוחלין לו על כל עוונותיו

the counsel offered follows the declaration of our Sages, of blessed memory,14 “Whoever observes Shabbat according to its law, is forgiven all his sins.”

כהלכתו דייקא

The term “according to its law” is used advisedly, for the Shabbat cannot be properly observed without a knowledge of its laws.

לכן מוטל על כל אחד ואחד, להיות בקי בהלכתא רבתי לשבתא

It is therefore incumbent upon every individual to master the “great law” of Shabbat.

The term “great law” echoes the expression in the Gemara15 regarding checking one’s clothes before sundown on Friday in order not to transgress a prohibition later. The laws of Shabbat thus not only inform us of what is prohibited, but also of how to avoid transgression.

וגם יזהר מאד שלא לשוח שום שיחה בטילה, חס ושלום

Also, be most careful [on Shabbat] not to indulge in idle chatter, G‑d forbid.

בהיות מודעת זאת ליודעי חכמה נסתרת, כי בכל המצות יש פנימיות וחיצוניות

For, as is known to the initiates in the mystical wisdom [of Kabbalah], all the mitzvot comprise an internal and an external aspect — the spirituality of the mitzvah, and the physical act which it requires.

וחיצוניות מהשבת היא שביתה מעשיה גשמיית, כמו ששבת ה׳ מעשות שמים וארץ גשמיים

The externality of the [mitzvah of] Shabbat is the cessation of physical activity, just as G‑d ceased making the physical heaven and earth.

ופנימיות השבת היא הכוונה בתפלת השבת ובתלמוד תורה, לדבקה בה׳ אחד

The internal dimension of Shabbat is one’s intention in the Shabbat prayers and during one’s Torah study, to cleave to the One G‑d,

כמו שכתוב: שבת לה׳ אלקיך

as it is written,16 “It is Shabbat to the L‑rd your G‑d.”

Underlying the cessation of labor on Shabbat is the concept of elevation. When a person rests from his labor at any time, the energy that had been vested in it rises and returns to its source within the soul. So, too, the cessation of labor and resting on Shabbat means that the soul, which during the week had been immersed in mundane activities, is uplifted “to the L‑rd your G‑d.”

וזו היא בחינת זכור

This [internal level of the mitzvah of Shabbat] is the element of “remembering”.

The Shabbat comprises two elements, “remembering” (zachor) and “observing” (shamor), reflecting the two commandments,17 “Remember the Shabbat day, to sanctify it,” and18 “Observe the Shabbat day, to sanctify it.” Elevating the soul on Shabbat through proper intent (kavanah) during prayer and Torah study, is an act of “remembering”.

ובחינת שמור בפנימיות, היא השביתה מדיבורים גשמיים, כמו ששבת ה׳ מיו״ד מאמרות שנבראו בהם שמים וארץ גשמיים

The inner dimension of the element of “observing” is refraining from speech about material affairs, just as G‑d ceased from the Ten Utterances through which the physical heaven and earth were created.

The external aspect of “observing” is refraining from active labor; the internal aspect of “observing” is refraining and resting from speech about material affairs.

כי זה לעומת זה כו׳

For19 “one opposite the other...” — speaking about material affairs on Shabbat is the inverse of the rest and elevation that a Jew secures on Shabbat, through prayer and Torah study.

FOOTNOTES
1. Vayikra 19:17.
2. Bava Metzia 31a.
3. Cf. Shmot 32:18.
4. Taanit 2a; Sifrei, commenting on Devarim 11:13.
5.

Note of the Rebbe (in Likkutei Biurim, foot of p. 487): “‘To stride forth’ — cf. the expression in the Responsa of the Rashba 1:450 (quoted in Bet Yosef, Orach Chayim 53); ‘to snatch’ — cf. Chullin 133a [regarding the priestly dues], and Yalkut Shimoni (quoted in Rashi) on Balak, sec. 769: ‘snatches Keriat Shema.’”

Efrati — possibly the intent is to both explanations that the Radak offers on this word (I Samuel 1:1): ‘person of distinguished lineage,’ and ‘one who shares in something sanctified.’”

6. Parentheses are in the original text.
7. See Likkutei Sichot, Vol. XXIII, p. 415.
8. Shmot 6:7.
9. Cf. Iyov 11:6.
10. Note of the Rebbe: “Cf. Tehillim 31:25.”
11. Note of the Rebbe: “I have not observed that people make a point of doing this.” Elsewhere the Rebbe adds: “It will be noted that in many places it is customary to recite this Psalm on Shabbat after Minchah (and this too was the custom of my revered father, of blessed memory).”
12. Sefer HaSichot 5704, p. 48.
13. Ch. 3.
14. Shabbat 118b.
15. Ibid. 12a.
16. Shmot 20:10.
17. Ibid., verse 8.
18. Devarim 5:12.
19. Cf. Kohelet 7:14.
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.
E-mail
1000 characters remaining
Email me when new comments are posted.
Sort By:
Discussion (2)
February 8, 2014
to Alter P
I believe you should seek the advice of a Chabad Rabbi. It did help me.
Shmuel
Israel
April 17, 2011
Tanya
Shalom. Thank you with very much appreciation and blessings to you the Chabad Family who made Tanya accessible to me. I labored to learn through all five books including every chapter and it was good. There were times that I wanted to relearn a chapter and I did and though I have finished, in time for the 18th of April, there is still three chapters I feel necessary to review. By no means have I mastered Tanya , still its significance is life changing in a good way. Please, after the three chapters left for me to review, what do I do next in order to continue the learning of which you made accessible from the Alter Rebbe ? Strength, peace and blessings to the Chabad Family. Shalom,
Alter P.
Pt. Washington, NY
FEATURED ON CHABAD.ORG