Contact Us

Fundamentally Different

Fundamentally Different

 Email

There are some people on this planet who don’t care which flavor ice-cream they’re eating—or if they eat ice-cream at all! These people do not indulge in physical pleasure; in fact, they despise it. TheirThere isn’t even a struggle service of G‑d is completely altruistic; there isn’t even a struggle. Welcome to the world of the tzaddik, the righteous person.

But this ain’t the level of me and you. Instead of a constant battle between good and evil, the tzaddik has transformed his animal soul so that it, too, desires G‑dliness. The conflict is officially over. Service of G‑d consists of how much he loves G‑d and, by extension, how much he detests evil.

The incomplete tzaddik—of which there are many levels—has accomplished this to various degrees. His love of G‑d (and hatred of evil) may be partial. He still has zero expression of the evil of the animal soul in daily life, but there’s a vestige of it still lurking in his heart.

And then, there’s the complete tzaddik, rare in every generation. A complete tzaddik has the highest level of love for G‑d; there is no trace of evil left in his animal soul. He does Torah and mitzvot without any ulterior motive—not even to satisfy a deep, spiritual craving. He serves G‑d for one purpose: G‑d’s sake alone.

In order for us to understand which level we can strive for, we need to understand our limitations. We will never be a tzaddik because that is a person fundamentally different than the rest of us. What remains is to emulate and learn from a tzaddik’s behavior, by cultivating our love for G‑d and lessening our attachment to physical pleasures without being disappointed that we will not, in fact, be rid of our selfish desires so quickly.

Tanya Bit: The more one loves and appreciates G‑dliness, the less one is drawn to indulge in selfish, physical pursuits.

(Inspired from Chapter 10 of Tanya)

Photo by Oneinfocus. Oneinfocus is committed to educating and inspiring people on a global scale, using photography and other forms of visual technology to spread Torah, Chassidus and positive life values.
Sara Blau is a teacher and extracurricular director at Beth Rivkah High School. She is a wife, mother, and author of several children“s books.
© 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:
1 Comment
1000 characters remaining
jim dallas June 4, 2017

well, i am recognizing limitations even as we speak but am reconciled to my present reality...my nightly study of Torah and HaShem and Israel will continue tho i lose the advantages of phone, email, jewish news, chabad.org, and plentiful funds which i enjoyed and greatly benefitted from....study from Torah ( with a spirit guide) and prayer, including of course, urgent need for moshiach and associated changes...all jews should 'get it together, you are 'THE' hope'!

THANKS to all associated individuals....YOU run a ''great and Divine' ship! Reply

Related Topics
This page in other languages