The discussion until now centered on the category of “turning away from evil.” The Alter Rebbe showed how one could utilize his hidden love of G-d in refraining from sin. He now goes on to the category of “doing good,” discussing the use of the hidden love in leading one to perform all the positive commandments.

Likewise, in the category of “doing good” one can employ the power of his “hidden love” to strengthen himself like a lion, with might and determination of heart,

וְהֵן בִּבְחִינַת "וַעֲשֵׂה טוֹב", לְהִתְגַּבֵּר כָּאֲרִי בִּגְבוּרָה וְאוֹמֶץ הַלֵּב,

against the evil nature which weighs down his body and casts over him a sloth, which stems from the element of Earth that is in his animal soul.7

נֶגֶד הַיֵּצֶר הַמַּכְבִּיד אֶת גּוּפוֹ וּמַפִּיל עָלָיו עַצְלָה, מִבְּחִינַת יְסוֹד הֶעָפָר שֶׁבַּנֶּפֶשׁ הַבַּהֲמִית,

This laziness prevents him from exerting his body energetically with every type of effort and strain in the service of G-d that entails effort and toil.

מִלְּהַטְרִיחַ גּוּפוֹ בִּזְרִיזוּת בְּכָל מִינֵי טוֹרַח וַעֲבוֹדַת מַשָּׂא בַּעֲבוֹדַת ה' שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ טוֹרַח וְעָמָל,

For example, to labor in the Torah with deep concentration and also orally so that “his mouth will never cease from Torah study,”

כְּגוֹן: לַעֲמוֹל בַּתּוֹרָה בְּעִיּוּן וּבַפֶּה – לָא פָסִיק פּוּמֵיהּ מִגִּירְסָא,

as our Sages have said: “A man should always submit to the words of Torah like the ox to the yoke and the donkey to the load.”8

וּכְמַאֲמַר רַבּוֹתֵינוּ־זִכְרוֹנָם־לִבְרָכָה: "לְעוֹלָם יָשִׂים אָדָם עַצְמוֹ עַל דִּבְרֵי תוֹרָה כְּשׁוֹר לְעוֹל וְכַחֲמוֹר לְמַשְׂאוֹי",

Similarly, with regard to devout prayer, he should exert himself with all the strength he can muster.

וְכֵן לִתְפִלָּה בְּכַוָּנָה – בְּכָל כֹּחוֹ מַמָּשׁ,

So, too, with regard to serving G-d in monetary matters, such as the duty of charity,9

וְכֵן בַּעֲבוֹדַת ה' שֶׁהִיא בְּדָבָר שֶׁבְּמָמוֹן, כְּמוֹ עֲבוֹדַת הַצְּדָקָה;

and in similar matters that entail great effort, where one must struggle with the evil inclination and its wiles, which seek to cool the ardor of a man’s soul, claiming that he ought not dissipate his money in the case of charity or his health in matters requiring physical exertion.

וְכַיּוֹצֵא בְאֵלּוּ מִמִּלְחֲמוֹת הַיֵּצֶר וְתַחְבּוּלוֹתָיו, לְקָרֵר נֶפֶשׁ הָאָדָם שֶׁלֹּא לְהַפְקִיר מָמוֹנוֹ וּבְרִיאוּת גּוּפוֹ,

It is very easy for a person to resist and subjugate his nature when he considers deeply that to conquer his nature in all the above and more,

שֶׁלַּעֲמוֹד נֶגְדּוֹ וּלְכָבְשׁוֹ, קָרוֹב מְאֹד אֶל הָאָדָם, כְּשֶׁיָּשִׂים אֶל לִבּוֹ, שֶׁלְּנַצֵּחַ הַיֵּצֶר בְּכָל זֶה, וְיוֹתֵר מִזֶּה,

and in fact to do the very opposite, i.e., to exert himself strenuously, both bodily and financially, is much lighter suffering than death (May G-d preserve us!).

וְלַעֲשׂוֹת הֶפְכּוֹ מַמָּשׁ – קַל מְאֹד מִיִּסּוּרֵי מִיתָה, ה' יִשְׁמְרֵנוּ,

Yet he would lovingly and willingly have accepted the pain of death (G-d preserve us!) so as not to be separated from G-d’s unity and oneness even for a moment by an act of idolatry, G-d forbid.

וְיִסּוּרֵי מִיתָה, ה' יִשְׁמְרֵנוּ, הָיָה מְקַבֵּל בְּאַהֲבָה וּבְרָצוֹן – שֶׁלֹּא לִיפָּרֵד מִיִּחוּדוֹ וְאַחְדּוּתוֹ יִתְבָּרֵךְ אֲפִילוּ לְפִי שָׁעָה, לְהִשְׁתַּחֲוֹת לַעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה חַס וְשָׁלוֹם,

For, as mentioned earlier, every Jew would sacrifice his life rather than practice idolatry, since he knows that it represents separation from G-d.

Certainly, then, he ought to accept lovingly and willingly the comparatively minor pain of exerting himself in the performance of the mitzvot in order to bind himself to G-d with an eternal bond.

וְכָל שֶׁכֵּן שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ לְקַבֵּל בְּאַהֲבָה וּבְרָצוֹן – כְּדֵי לְדָבְקָה בוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד.

There is a twofold a fortiori argument here. Firstly, performing a mitzvah actively binds man to G-d, as opposed to refraining from idolatry, which merely prevents separation from Him. Secondly, the bond effected by the mitzvah is an eternal one, as opposed to the temporary separation from G-d caused by idolatry. Now if one would sacrifice his life to refrain from idolatry, how much more so ought he accept whatever hardships are entailed by fulfilling the mitzvot, since their performance has both these gains that are not found in the rejection of idolatry.

The Alter Rebbe now goes on to explain how mitzvot effect an eternal bond with G-d.

For by fulfilling G-d’s will through this service, despite the exertion involved, the innermost Divine will will be revealed in it—internally as opposed to “surrounding” it or “hovering” over it from above, and very manifestly, without any obscurity whatsoever.

דְּהַיְינוּ, כְּשֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה רְצוֹנוֹ יִתְבָּרֵךְ בַּעֲבוֹדָה זוֹ, יִתְגַּלֶּה בָּהּ פְּנִימִית רָצוֹן הָעֶלְיוֹן בִּבְחִינַת פָּנִים וְגִילּוּי רַב וְלֹא בְהֶסְתֵּר כְּלָל.

As explained in ch. 23, the mitzvot represent G-d’s innermost will, and when one performs them, this will stands completely revealed.

Now, when there is no “concealment of the Countenance” of the Divine will, nothing is at all separate from G-dliness, having an independent and separate identity of its own.

וּכְשֶׁאֵין שׁוּם הֶסְתֵּר פָּנִים בָּרָצוֹן הָעֶלְיוֹן, אֲזַי – אֵין דָּבָר נִפְרָד כְּלָל וּכְלָל לִהְיוֹת יֵשׁ וְדָבָר בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ.

For, as explained in chs. 22 and 24, no created being can possibly consider itself separate from G-d unless the Divine will is concealed from it. Since the inner aspect of this will stands revealed in one’s performance of a mitzvah, it does not permit any sense of separation.

Thus his soul i.e., the soul of the person performing the mitzvah, both the divine and the animating souls and their “garments” of thought, speech, and action, will be united in perfect unity with the Divine will and with the infinite light of G-d, blessed be He, as explained above.

וְלָזֹאת, תִּהְיֶינָה נַפְשׁוֹ הָאֱלֹהִית וְהַחִיּוּנִית וּלְבוּשֵׁיהֶן כּוּלָּן, מְיוּחָדוֹת בְּתַכְלִית הַיִּחוּד בָּרָצוֹן הָעֶלְיוֹן וְאוֹר אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא, כַּנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל.

This details how the mitzvot effect a bond between man and G-d. The Alter Rebbe will now go on to explain why this bond is eternal.

In the upper spheres, this union between the soul and G-d is eternal, for G-d, blessed be He, and His will transcend time, and thus, the union with G-d and His will also transcends time and is eternal.

וְיִחוּד זֶה לְמַעְלָה – הוּא נִצְחִי לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד, כִּי הוּא יִתְבָּרֵךְ וּרְצוֹנוֹ לְמַעְלָה מֵהַזְּמַן.

So, too, even in this world, His revealed will, as expressed in His Word—the Torah—is also eternal,

וְכֵן, גִּילּוּי רְצוֹנוֹ שֶׁבְּדִבּוּרוֹ, שֶׁהִיא הַתּוֹרָה, הוּא נִצְחִי,

as it is written: “But the Word of our G-d shall stand forever”10; and “His words live and endure (eternally)”11; and “He will never alter or exchange His law.”12

וּכְמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב: "וּדְבַר אֱלֹהֵינוּ יָקוּם לְעוֹלָם", "וּדְבָרָיו חָיִים וְקַיָּימִים כוּ'", "וְלֹא יַחֲלִיף וְלֹא יָמִיר דָּתוֹ לְעוֹלָמִים כוּ'".

Since the revelation of G-d’s will as expressed in the Torah is beyond time, the union of the soul with G-d that Torah and mitzvot effect is likewise eternal.