Part (b)

The following letter was placed here by the compilers of Iggeret Hakodesh—“after the first editions (see list) had been published,” as the Rebbe points out—as an addendum to Epistle 22, Part (a).

The connection, however, is not immediately apparent. Perhaps it lies in the opening passage of Part (a), the passage which does not appear in this collection,36 in which the Alter Rebbe laments that questions on material affairs occupy too much of his time—for this theme also figures in the letter before us.

My beloved, my brethren and friends:

אֲהוּבַיי, אַחַיי וְרֵעַיי!

In these terms, the Alter Rebbe addresses his Chasidim.

Due to the immensity of my preoccupations37 which38 “all together surround me” and “encircle me like water”—“all day and all night, never holding their peace,39

מִגּוֹדֶל טִרְדָּתִי אֲשֶׁר "הִקִּיפוּ עָלַי יַחַד" וְ"סַבּוּנִי כַמַּיִם, כָּל הַיּוֹם וְכָל הַלַּיְלָה תָּמִיד לֹא יֶחֱשׁוּ",

I am unable to unload the burden40 of writing down all that is in my heart.

לֹא אוּכַל מַלֵּט מַשָּׂא לֵאמֹר עִם הַסֵּפֶר כָּל אֲשֶׁר בִּלְבָבִי.

Briefly, however, I come as one who reminds and “repeats earlier subjects”41 in general,

אַך בִּקְצָרָה בָּאתִי, כְּמַזְכִּיר וּמַחֲזִיר עַל הָרִאשׁוֹנוֹת בִּכְלָל,

in particular to “those of the people who offer themselves willingly [in prayer],”42 beyond the customary measure—

וּבִפְרָט אֶל הַמִּתְנַדְּבִים בָּעָם,

that they should stand [steadfast] in [their Divine] service, i.e., prayer, which the Sages call “service of the heart,”43 a form of Divine service which works in the heart and on the heart,

לַעֲמוֹד עַל הָעֲבוֹדָה זוֹ תְּפִלָּה,

[and pray] with a loud voice,44

בְּקוֹל רָם,

strengthening themselves vigorously, with all their might and power, against any internal or external obstacle,

לְהִתְחַזֵּק מְאֹד בְּכָל עוֹז וְתַעֲצוּמוֹת נֶגֶד כָּל מוֹנֵעַ מִבַּיִת וּמִחוּץ,

with a “strong hand,” plainly and simply.

בְּיָד חֲזָקָה כְּמַשְׁמָעוֹ,

This [service] relates to “the will of those who fear Him”45; this transcends the wisdom and understanding with which G-d imbued them so that they will know and do all that He commanded, with intelligence and discernment.

שֶׁהוּא "רְצוֹן יְרֵיאָיו", אֲשֶׁר לְמַעְלָה מִן הַחָכְמָה וְהַתְּבוּנָה אֲשֶׁר נָתַן ה' בָּהֵמָּה לָדַעַת לַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת כָּל אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה' בְּהַשְׂכֵּל וָדַעַת.

Wisdom and understanding are gifts from G-d; as we say in the daily prayers, “It is You Who graciously bestows discernment upon man….”46 As to the superior faculty of will, however, it is left to the initiative of every G-d-fearing Jew to arouse this within himself by accepting the yoke of heaven.

[There should be] but a simple will, uncompounded by the particular form or limitations that characterize an intellectually generated will and a spirit of voluntary self-dedication,

רַק רָצוֹן פָּשׁוּט וְ"רוּחַ נְדִיבָה",

in every man whose heart prompts him to serve “a whole service,”47 [intending only] to cause gratification to his Maker.

בְּכָל אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִדְּבֶנּוּ לִבּוֹ לַעֲבוֹד עֲבוֹדָה תַמָּה, לַעֲשׂוֹת נַחַת רוּחַ לְיוֹצְרוֹ.

Of this [superrational degree of will] it is written, “For this is a stiff-necked people, and You should pardon”48i.e., because they are a “stiff-necked people.”49 This obstinate and superrational will of theirs warrants their being pardoned—

וְעַל זֶה נֶאֱמַר: "כִּי עַם קְשֵׁה עוֹרֶף הוּא, וְסָלַחְתָּ".

for pardon, too, transcends wisdom.

כִּי הַסְּלִיחָה הִיא גַם כֵּן לְמַעְלָה מִן הַחָכְמָה.

Just as a mortal’s will flies free, untrammeled by his intellect, so, too, Above: the Divine source of pardon transcends supernal wisdom.

Thus, [it is written], “they asked Wisdom [what should be the lot of the soul that sins].”50 The attribute of Wisdom ruled that a sinning soul must be judged and punished; it did not allow for repentance and pardon.

כִּי "שָׁאֲלוּ לַחָכְמָה כוּ'",

So did Moses our Master, peace to him, invoke “measure for measure”51; and suffice this for the discerning.

וּמשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ עָלָיו־הַשָּׁלוֹם בִּיקֵּשׁ מִדָּה כְּנֶגֶד מִדָּה, וְדַי לַמֵּבִין.

Moses pleaded that G-d grant forgiveness to the same extent that an individual repents with a simple will that transcends his understanding; he desired that man’s repentance elicit and call down to this world the Divine source of pardon which likewise transcends supernal wisdom.