From this holiness, a sublime holiness issues forth upon man below to assist him with a great and powerful aid in his service of G-d.

וּמִקְּדוּשָּׁה זוֹ נִמְשֶׁכֶת קְדוּשָּׁה עֶלְיוֹנָה עַל הָאָדָם לְמַטָּה, לְסַיְּיעוֹ סִיּוּעַ רַב וְעָצוּם לַעֲבוֹדָתוֹ יִתְבָּרֵךְ.

This is what our Sages meant when they said: “If a man consecrates himself in a small measure here below, he is sanctified greatly from above.”9

וְזֶהוּ שֶׁאָמְרוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ־זִכְרוֹנָם־לִבְרָכָה: "אָדָם מְקַדֵּשׁ עַצְמוֹ מְעַט לְמַטָּה – מְקַדְּשִׁין אוֹתוֹ הַרְבֵּה מִלְמַעְלָה".

This is apart from the fact that when one sanctifies himself in permissible matters, he thereby fulfills the positive commandment of the Torah: “Sanctify yourselves, and be holy.”10

לְבַד מַה שֶּׁמְּקַיֵּים מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁל תּוֹרָה: "וְהִתְקַדִּשְׁתֶּם וְכוּ'", כְּשֶׁמְּקַדֵּשׁ עַצְמוֹ בַּמּוּתָּר לוֹ.

Hence, apart from the consolation previously offered the beinoni—that through “turning away from evil” by combating evil thoughts and desires, he affords G-d a pleasure that tzaddikim cannot—his battle with the sitra achara also contains a positive quality in the category of “doing good” that is likewise not present in the divine service of tzaddikim.11 This positive quality is the fulfillment of the mitzvah: “Sanctify yourselves…,” which applies only to beinonim, not to tzaddikim. For the intention of the commandment is that even one’s personal, permissible, and mundane matters should not be attended to out of the desire of one’s animal soul but for the sake of G-d. This directive cannot apply to tzaddikim, who are unencumbered by desires of the animal soul, as the Alter Rebbe continues:

The meaning of “Sanctify yourselves” is: “You shall make yourselves holy.”

וּפֵירוּשׁ "וְהִתְקַדִּשְׁתֶּם" – שֶׁתַּעֲשׂוּ עַצְמְכֶם קְדוֹשִׁים;

That is to say, although in truth, one is not holy and separated from the sitra achara,

כְּלוֹמַר, אַף שֶׁבֶּאֱמֶת אֵינוֹ קָדוֹשׁ וּמוּבְדָּל מִסִּטְרָא אָחֳרָא,

for the sitra achara of his animal soul is still, as at birth, at its full strength and might, in the left part of his heart—the seat of the animal soul and evil inclination—

כִּי הִיא בְּתָקְפָּהּ וּבִגְבוּרָתָהּ כְּתוֹלַדְתָּהּ בֶּחָלָל הַשְּׂמָאלִי,

The word kedushah (“holiness”) means “setting apart,” i.e., separation from the unholy.12 The verse thus means: One should sanctify himself even if he must yet make himself holy and separate from the sitra achara, for at his present level his heart still desires those things that derive from it—

yet if even while at this level, he subdues and masters his evil impulse and makes himself “holy,” separate from the sitra achara, then, continues the verse:

רַק שֶׁכּוֹבֵשׁ יִצְרוֹ וּמְקַדֵּשׁ עַצְמוֹ.

“You will be holy.”

"וִהְיִיתֶם קְדוֹשִׁים"

The words “be holy,” which, in their simple sense, voice a command, can also be understood as conveying a promise,

that is, that ultimately he will be truly “holy” and removed from the sitra achara,

כְּלוֹמַר, סוֹפוֹ לִהְיוֹת קָדוֹשׁ וּמוּבְדָּל בֶּאֱמֶת מֵהַסִּטְרָא אָחֳרָא,

through his being “greatly sanctified from above,” as quoted earlier from the Gemara,

עַל יְדֵי שֶׁמְּקַדְּשִׁים אוֹתוֹ הַרְבֵּה מִלְמַעְלָה,

and through his being aided from above to expel [the sitra achara] from his heart, little by little, so that even in his heart, he will no longer have any desire for anything originating in the realm of the sitra achara.

וּמְסַיְּיעִים אוֹתוֹ לְגָרְשָׁהּ מִלִּבּוֹ מְעַט מְעָט: