However, I shall relate the truth16 to those who listen to me: “Love upsets the natural order of conduct,”17 for it is a covering of the eyes that prevents people from seeing the truth.

אַךְ הָאֱמֶת אַגִּיד לַשּׁוֹמְעִים לִי, כִּי "אַהֲבָה מְקַלְקֶלֶת הַשּׁוּרָה", וְ"הִנֵּה הִיא כְּסוּת עֵינַיִם" שֶׁלֹּא לִרְאוֹת הָאֱמֶת,

The Alter Rebbe is quick to insist that his listeners’ love for the “life of the body” is no doubt motivated by a spiritual purpose. Nevertheless, they become so enmeshed in this love that they soon come to love the “life of the body” for its own sake as well. This latter love upsets the natural order to the point that it drives people to seek advice on material matters.

Because of their great love for the life of the body—

מֵרוֹב אַהֲבָתָם לְחַיֵּי הַגּוּף

[though this love is indeed experienced] for the sake of heaven so that with [the body] they can serve G-d with flashes of fiery fervor and an ardent flame,18 this love being even greater than their soul’s love for G-d—

לְשֵׁם שָׁמַיִם, לַעֲבוֹד בּוֹ אֶת ה', בְּרִשְׁפֵּי אֵשׁ וְשַׁלְהֶבֶת גְּדוֹלָה מֵאַהֲבַת נַפְשָׁם אֶת ה',

they are extremely irate when their body undergoes suffering. (Heaven forfend; may G-d show compassion!)

וְעַל כֵּן, הֵיטֵב חָרָה לָהֶם בְּצַעַר הַגּוּף חַס וְשָׁלוֹם ה' יְרַחֵם,

Thus, they are not able to bear [it] at all to the point that it drives them out of their mind, causing them to tramp about from city to city to seek advice from afar.

וְאֵין יְכוֹלִין לְקַבֵּל כְּלָל, עַד שֶׁמַּעֲבִירָם עַל דַּעְתָּם, לְכַתֵּת רַגְלֵיהֶם מֵעִיר לְעִיר, לִשְׁאוֹל עֵצוֹת מֵרָחוֹק,

But why indeed does G-d cause suffering? Moreover, how are we to respond to life’s difficulties if it is not proper to seek advice on them from Torah sages and tzaddikim? The Alter Rebbe goes on to explain:

Those who seek merely to be rid of their physical afflictions are not following the proper path of the Torah, for in doing so, they do not turn to G-d by [penitently] returning to Him with humble spirit and submission of the body

וְלֹא שָׁעוּ אֶל ה' לָשׁוּב אֵלָיו בְּרוּחַ נְמוּכָה וְהַכְנָעַת הַגּוּף,

to accept His chastisement with love, “for it is him whom G-d loves [that He chastises].”19

לְקַבֵּל תּוֹכַחְתּוֹ בְּאַהֲבָה, "כִּי אֶת אֲשֶׁר יֶאֱהַב ה' וְכוּ'":

Misfortunes are in fact a call from G-d that one should repent. Indeed, they should be a source of satisfaction: out of G-d’s particular love for him, he has been chosen to be roused to repentance.