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In this lesson we continue to clarify the difference between the faculties and garments of the soul. Then, we discuss the essential definition of good and bad in Tanya, and the classifications of holiness and “kelipah” that exist in the world. (covering chapters 6-8)

Distinguishing Good from Bad

Distinguishing Good from Bad

A Journey Through Tanya, Lesson 3

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Distinguishing Good from Bad: A Journey Through Tanya, Lesson 3

In this lesson we continue to clarify the difference between the faculties and garments of the soul. Then, we discuss the essential definition of good and bad in Tanya, and the classifications of holiness and “kelipah” that exist in the world. (covering chapters 6-8)
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Tanya, Holiness, Good and Evil, Kelipah
Rabbi Binyomin Bitton, originally from Lyon, France, is the founder and spiritual leader of Chabad of Downtown Vancouver and co-Dean of the Jewish Academy. A renowned Talmudic scholar, his warmth, knowledge and passion for learning has brought him to teach in communities around the world. He now lives in Vancouver together with his wife Malky and six children.
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Caren California July 29, 2017

Shalom Rabbi Bitton,

On gentile souls, Nefesh Bahamit. Is it implied that a non Jew is incapable of altruism?
What of a noachide? Is there a differentiation or levels of gentile souls?

Thanks for your attention,

Caren Reply

Rabbi Binyomin Bitton January 6, 2017

To Van Shalom Van,

Thanks for your comment.

Yes, all human beings are gifted with one vital soul; Jews are gifted with an additional Jewish soul. This soul is what makes them Jewish.

No human being however can gift souls to another; only G-d. Hence your question with regards to a non-Jew converting to Judaism (in accordance with
Jewish law).

The answer to your question, in brief, is alluded in the terminology chosen by our sages in the Talmud with regards to a convert: "Ger shenitgayer - kekatan shenolad damei"; or in English: "A convert that converts - is like a newborn child".

Do you notice the difficulty in the terminology used?

"A convert who converts..."? But wait - before he actually converted, he was not a "convert" yet; it should then have been stated: "A Gentile who
converts..."?

Well, as the Rebbe once explained, the answer is that a person who eventually converts to Judaism, always had a Jewish spark hidden somewhere, originally gifted to him by G-d. Eventually, thanks to that spark perhaps, he was led to convert to Judaism and reveal his original identity.

This is why he's defined as "a convert who converts...".

Best regards, Reply

Van GignillIiat Mississippi Gulf Coast January 3, 2017

Lessons in Tanya Rabbi Bitton,

I pray this quick note finds you well and in good spirits! Thank you for your kind response to my inquiry. All of that being said, maybe this is why I have always felt Jewish? I feel that my conversion is simply a formality. Wishing you all the best!

Shalom,

Van Reply

Rabbi Binyomin Bitton January 3, 2017

It takes two to tango - Reply Shalom Van,

Thanks for your comment.

Yes, all human beings are gifted with one vital soul; Jews are gifted with an additional Jewish soul. This soul is what makes them Jewish.

No human being however can gift souls to another; only G-d. Hence your question with regards to a non-Jew converting to Judaism (in accordance with Jewish law).

The answer to your question, in brief, is alluded to in the terminology chosen by our sages in the Talmud with regards to a convert: "Ger shenitgayer, kekatan shenolad damei"; or in English: "A convert that converts, is like a newborn child".

Do you notice the difficulty in the terminology used?

"A convert who converts..."? But wait, before he actually converted, he was not a "convert" yet; it should then have been stated: "A Gentile who converts..."?

Well, as the Rebbe once explained, the answer is that a person who eventually converts to Judaism, always had a Jewish spark hidden somewhere, originally gifted to him by G-d. Eventually, thanks to that spark perhaps, he was led to convert to Judaism and reveal his original identity.

This is why he's defined as "a convert who converts...". Reply

Van November 29, 2016

It takes two to tango What I heard you say is that a Jewish person has two souls, per the Rebbe. Cool. It then stands to reason that a Gentile has one. Great. But what happens when a Gentile converts to Judaism and becomes a Jew? Does automatically grow another soul? I'm just saying. Reply

Marc November 17, 2014

The falafel Shalom Rabbi Bitton,
I believe that you are allowed to enjoy as much as you like the falafel, as long as you know that it came from hashem, and that you should be gratefull for every bite of it. Reply

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