It remains to be understood, however, why such a lofty person is considered merely a beinoni, not a tzaddik. This matter is now clarified.

However, the essence and being of the divine soul, which are its ten faculties,

אַךְ מַהוּת וְעַצְמוּת נֶפֶשׁ הָאֱלֹהִית, שֶׁהֵן עֶשֶׂר בְּחִינוֹתֶיהָ,

(The three soul-powers of intellect and the seven emotional faculties are referred to as the “essence” of the divine soul, in contrast with the soul’s “garments” [thought, speech, and action], which serve merely as outlets and means of expression for the soul’s essential faculties.)

do not hold undisputed sovereignty and sway over the “small city”—the body.

לֹא לָהֶן לְבַדָּן הַמְּלוּכָה וְהַמֶּמְשָׁלָה בָּעִיר קְטַנָּה,

For, as shall be explained later, the faculties of the animal soul, too, exercise some degree of control over the body through awakening in one’s heart desires for worldly pleasures, which in turn cause forbidden thoughts to enter his mind.

Only at specific times do the faculties of the divine soul hold undisputed sovereignty over the beinoni with the animal soul having no effect whatsoever on him, such as during the recital of the Shema or the Amidah.

כִּי אִם בְּעִתִּים מְזוּמָּנִים, כְּמוֹ בִּשְׁעַת קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע וּתְפִלָּה

At this time [of prayer], the supernal intellect above is in a sublime state—it is a time of great illumination in the higher worlds;

שֶׁהִיא שְׁעַת מוֹחִין דְּגַדְלוּת לְמַעְלָה,

likewise below—in this physical world—the time [of prayer] is propitious for every man to ascend to a higher spiritual level.

וְגַם לְמַטָּה הִיא שְׁעַת הַכּוֹשֶׁר לְכָל אָדָם,

Then, during the recital of Shema or during prayer, [the beinoni] binds his ChaBaDhis intellectual faculties, consisting of chochmah, binah, and daat—to G-d,

שֶׁאָז מְקַשֵּׁר חָכְמָה־בִּינָה־דַּעַת שֶׁלּוֹ לַה' –

meditating deeply on the greatness of the blessed Ein Sof,

לְהַעֲמִיק דַּעְתּוֹ בִּגְדוּלַּת אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא,

and arousing through this meditation a burning love [of G-d] in the right part of his heart; for, as explained in previous chapters, meditation on G-d’s greatness arouses the love of Him within one’s heart.

וּלְעוֹרֵר אֶת הָאַהֲבָה כְּרִשְׁפֵּי אֵשׁ בֶּחָלָל הַיְמָנִי שֶׁבְּלִבּוֹ,

This love, in turn, leads the beinoni to desire to cleave to Him by means of fulfilling the Torah and its commandments out of love.

לְדָבְקָה בוֹ בְּקִיּוּם הַתּוֹרָה וּמִצְוֹתֶיהָ מֵאַהֲבָה,

The realization that only the fulfillment of Torah and mitzvot will fulfill his desire to become one with G-d channels the beinoni’s love into a desire to observe Torah and mitzvot.

This arousal of love for G-d, and its accompanying resolve to adhere to Torah and mitzvot and thereby to cleave to Him, is the essential subject of the Shema, which the Biblical (deorayta) commandment enjoins us to recite;

שֶׁזֶּהוּ עִנְיָן הַמְבוֹאָר בִּקְרִיאַת שְׁמַע דְּאוֹרַיְיתָא,

likewise, the Rabbinically ordained (derabbanan) blessings preceding and following [the Shema] are a preparation enabling us to fulfill [that which we recite in] the Shema, as explained elsewhere.1

וּבִרְכוֹתֶיהָ שֶׁלְּפָנֶיהָ וּלְאַחֲרֶיהָ שֶׁהֵן מִדְּרַבָּנָן – הֵן הֲכָנָה לְקִיּוּם הַקְּרִיאַת־שְׁמַע, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר;

At such time, during the Shema or prayer, when the love of G-d burns in the heart of the beinoni, the evil in the left part of his heart (the animal soul’s principal area of manifestation) is subjected to and is nullified before the goodness (i.e., the love of G-d) that spreads into the right part of the heart, where the divine soul is manifest, from the ChaBaD faculties in the brain which are bound [in meditation] to the greatness of the blessed Ein Sof.

וְאָז, הָרָע שֶׁבֶּחָלָל הַשְּׂמָאלִי כָּפוּף וּבָטֵל לַטּוֹב הַמִּתְפַּשֵּׁט בֶּחָלָל הַיְמָנִי מֵחָכְמָה־בִּינָה־דַּעַת שֶׁבַּמּוֹחַ הַמְקוּשָּׁרִים בִּגְדוּלַּת אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא;

Contemplating G-d’s greatness with the three intellectual faculties—wisdom, understanding, and knowledge (ChaBaD)—arouses and diffuses a love of G-d in (the right part of) the heart. This arousal of love causes the evil of the animal soul to be nullified in the good of the divine soul, now pervading the heart. During the time of prayer, therefore, when the beinoni arouses his love of G-d through meditation, his animal soul is inactive, and he feels no inclination for physical pleasures.

Thus, during prayer, the beinoni’s divine soul is his “undisputed sovereign,” as the Alter Rebbe stated above.

But this state of affairs lasts only for the duration of the spiritually charged time of prayer. However, after prayer, when the state of sublimity of the intellect of the Ein Sof, blessed is He, departs, i.e., when the spiritual illumination engendered by prayer ceases, the evil of the animal soul in the left part of the heart reawakens, and he (the beinoni) [once again] feels a desire for the lusts of this world and its delights, since the evil of the beinoni’s animal soul remains undiminished even after prayer (as the Alter Rebbe will explain shortly).

אֲבָל אַחַר הַתְּפִלָּה, בְּהִסְתַּלְּקוּת הַמּוֹחִין דְּגַדְלוּת אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא, הֲרֵי הָרָע חוֹזֵר וְנֵיעוֹר בֶּחָלָל הַשְּׂמָאלִי, וּמִתְאַוֶּה תַּאֲוָה לְתַאֲוֹת עוֹלָם הַזֶּה וְתַעֲנוּגָיו.