רק שלזה מועיל הרשימו במוחין, ויראת ה׳ ואהבתו המסותרת בחלל הימני

However, the impression retained in his mind from his meditation, during prayer, on G‑d’s greatness, and the [natural] love and fear of G‑d hidden in the right part of his heart, enable him

להתגבר ולשלוט על הרע הזה המתאוה תאוה

to prevail over and dominate the evil [animal soul’s] craving,

שלא להיות לו שליטה וממשלה בעיר, להוציא תאותו מכח אל הפועל, להתלבש באברי הגוף

preventing the evil from gaining the supremacy and dominion over the “city” (the body), and carrying out its craving from the potential to the actual by clothing itself in the organs of the body in actual speech or deed.

ואפילו במוח לבדו, להרהר ברע, אין לו שליטה וממשלה להרהר חס ושלום ברצונו שבמוחו

Furthermore: even in the mind alone, with respect to sinful thought, the evil has not the dominion and power to cause him (G‑d forbid) to think such thoughts consciously;

שיקבל ברצון חס ושלום הרהור זה הרע העולה מאליו מהלב למוח כנ״ל

i.e., [to cause the mind] to accept willingly, G‑d forbid, the evil thought that rises of its own accord — unbidden — from the heart to the mind, as explained above.1

Evil thoughts will occur to him involuntarily, because the evil in his heart craves evil; however, the evil does not have the final say on what he will let his mind accept willingly; the Beinoni’s conscious mind is dominated by the divine soul.

אלא מיד בעלייתו לשם, דוחהו בשתי ידים ומסיח דעתו

Instead, immediately upon [the thought’s] rising to [the mind], he — the Beinoni thrusts it aside as it were with both hands, and averts his mind from it,

מיד שנזכר שהוא הרהור רע

the instant he realizes that it is an evil thought.

ואינו מקבלו ברצון, אפילו להרהר בו ברצון, וכל שכן להעלותו על הדעת לעשותו, חס ושלום, או אפילו לדבר בו

He will refuse to accept it even as a subject for mere conscious thought, and will certainly not entertain the notion of acting on it, G‑d forbid, or even speaking of it.

כי המהרהר ברצון נקרא רשע באותה שעה

For he who willingly indulges in such thoughts is deemed a rasha at that moment,

והבינוני אינו רשע אפילו שעה אחת לעולם

while the Beinoni is never wicked even for a single moment. Obviously, then, the Beinoni would not willingly entertain evil thoughts.

The discussion of his mastery over his animal soul has thus far centered on matters pertaining to man’s relationship with G‑d. It now moves to another area:

וכן בדברים שבין אדם לחבירו

So, too, in matters “between man and his fellow-man.”

The Beinoni will not grant expression in thought, speech or action to any evil feelings toward his fellow.

מיד שעולה לו מהלב למוח איזו טינא ושנאה, חס ושלום

As soon as there rises from his heart to his mind any animosity or hatred, G‑d forbid,

או איזו קנאה או כעס או קפידא ודומיהן

or jealousy, anger or a grudge, and their like,

אינו מקבלן כלל במוחו וברצונו

he will bar them from his mind and will, refusing even to think of them.

ואדרבה המוח שליט ומושל ברוח שבלבו לעשות ההפך ממש

On the contrary, his mind will prevail over and dominate the feelings of his heart, to do the exact opposite of that which the heart desires,

להתנהג עם חבירו במדת חסד

namely, to conduct himself toward his fellow with the quality of kindness (as opposed to the quality of “severity”, where hatred and anger originate),

וחיבה יתרה מודעת לו, לסבול ממנו עד קצה האחרון

and to display towards his fellow a disproportionate love, in suffering from him to the furthest extreme,

ולא לכעוס חס ושלום וגם שלא לשלם לו כפעלו, חס ושלום

without being provoked into anger, G‑d forbid, or to take revenge in kind, G‑d forbid, even without anger;

אלא אדרבה לגמול לחייבים טובות

but, on the contrary, to repay offenders with favors,

כמו שכתוב בזהר ללמוד מיוסף עם אחיו

as taught in the Zohar,2 that we should learn from the example of Joseph’s conduct with his brothers, when he repaid them for the suffering they brought upon him, with kindness and favors.

Thus, in his relations with his fellow-man as well, the Beinoni does not permit the evil in his heart to express itself in thought, word or deed.

It is thus understood from this chapter, that with regard to practice the divine soul is the Beinoni’s only master. He neither thinks, speaks nor does anything forbidden, but acts only in acordance with Torah and mitzvot. As regards his essence, however, i.e., his intellect and emotions, he has another master as well; his animal soul is still powerful, and it can and does arouse evil desires in his heart.

In connection with the statement made earlier in this chapter, that the time of prayer is propitious for spiritual elevation, an aphorism of the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi J.I. Schneersohn, comes to mind:

When a Jew studies Torah he feels like a student before G‑d, his teacher, Whose wisdom he is studying. When he prays, he feels like a child before his father.

——— ● ———