Even if it appears to him at first sight that this is an illusion, and that in truth, he does not possess this love for G-d, and thinking that he does is nothing less than deluding himself as to his true spiritual status,

וְאַף אִם נִדְמֶה לוֹ לִכְאוֹרָה, שֶׁהוּא כֹּחַ דִּמְיוֹנִי –

he need not be concerned, because it is intrinsically the absolute truth even without his own spiritual service by virtue of the “hidden love” which his soul possesses for G-d.

לֹא יָחוּשׁ, מֵאַחַר שֶׁהוּא אֱמֶת לַאֲמִיתּוֹ מִצַּד עַצְמוֹ בִּבְחִינַת "אַהֲבָה מְסוּתֶּרֶת".

But the benefit derived from the spiritual service through which he effects its emergence into the open is that he should translate it into action, and when his love is in a state of concealment, it cannot affect his actions.

רַק שֶׁתּוֹעֶלֶת יְצִיאָתָהּ אֶל הַגִּילּוּי כְּדֵי לַהֲבִיאָהּ לִידֵי מַעֲשֶׂה,

This means being occupied with the Torah and the mitzvot, which he studies and performs as a result of it, i.e., as a result of revealing this love, with the intention of causing gratification to G-d, like a son serving his father, who does so in order to cause him gratification.

שֶׁהוּא עֵסֶק הַתּוֹרָה וְהַמִּצְוֹת שֶׁלּוֹמֵד וּמְקַיֵּים עַל יְדֵי זֶה, כְּדֵי לַעֲשׂוֹת נַחַת רוּחַ לְפָנָיו יִתְבָּרֵךְ כְּבֵן הָעוֹבֵד אֶת אָבִיו.

Since the revelation of this love leads in fact to increased performance, he should not be troubled by the fact that he may be deluding himself in thinking that he possesses this love when in actuality he does not—particularly since his soul does truly love G-d.

Concerning this, it was said that “a good thought is joined by the Holy One, blessed be He, to a deed,”16 providing it with the “wings” to soar upward, as explained earlier, in ch. 16.

וְעַל זֶה אָמְרוּ: "מַחֲשָׁבָה טוֹבָה הַקָּדוֹשׁ־בָּרוּךְ־הוּא מְצָרְפָהּ לְמַעֲשֶׂה", לִהְיוֹת גַּדְפִין לְפָרְחָא, כַּנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל.

“A good thought is joined…to a deed” cannot simply mean that when one thinks about doing a good deed and then, through no fault of his own, he is unable to do it, G-d considers it as if he had actually done it. For if this were so, the expression should be, “A good thought is considered by G-d as an actual deed.” Rather, the term “joined to” indicates that the deed was actually done but that the thought and deed were unconnected, G-d, in His goodness, therefore connects the thought and the deed.

When a love of G-d is revealed within one’s heart, there is an actual connection between the thought and the deed, for the revealed love adds vitality to the performance of the deed.

However, when love of G-d is not revealed in one’s heart and is limited to one’s mind, it is considered to be a “good thought” that is not connected to a deed. Thus, when one understands that something ought to be done but he has no love for it, then the deed will be performed without fervor. It is therefore necessary for G-d to connect the “good thought” with the deed, thereby ensuring that the “good thought”—the love and fear of G-d in his mind—will elevate the Torah and mitzvot which result from it to the world and level of the “good thought.”

The gratification he provides G-d is akin, by way of the illustration used earlier,17 to the joy of a king whose son returns to him after liberation from captivity,

וְהַנַּחַת רוּחַ הוּא, כִּמְשַׁל שִׂמְחַת הַמֶּלֶךְ מִבְּנוֹ שֶׁבָּא אֵלָיו בְּצֵאתוֹ מִבֵּית הָאֲסוּרִים כַּנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל,

When the soul, G-d’s child, is clothed in the body and animal soul, it is in a state of captivity. Through Torah and mitzvot, it is liberated from this captivity and is joined with G-d. This causes Him a joy similar to that experienced by the mortal king in the analogy.

or G-d’s gratification may be from the fact that it has been made possible for Him to have a habitation among mortals, as already mentioned.

אוֹ "לִהְיוֹת לוֹ דִּירָה בַּתַּחְתּוֹנִים", כַּנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל.

Thus, the love which is “like a son who strives for the sake of his father” can be revealed by habituating oneself (with his tongue and voice) to arouse the intention of heart and mind. The Alter Rebbe soon goes on to explain that the love of “My soul, I desire You” may also be revealed and awakened through habitually speaking about it when one does so in a manner where the heart will feel that G-d is his true life, the “Life of life.”

Even in regard to the abovementioned love of the category of “My soul, I desire You,” it is readily possible to bring it out of its concealment into the open through constant practice, with mouth and heart in full accord, so that one’s heart should feel what his mouth utters about G-d’s being his true life.18

וְהִנֵּה, גַּם לִבְחִינַת "נַפְשִׁי אִוִּיתִיךָ" הַנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל, קָרוֹב הַדָּבָר מְאֹד לְהוֹצִיאָהּ מֵהַהֶעְלֵם אֶל הַגִּילּוּי, עַל יְדֵי הַהֶרְגֵּל תָּמִיד בְּפִיו וְלִבּוֹ שָׁוִין.

However, even if he cannot bring it (the love) into a revealed state in his heart, nevertheless, he can occupy himself because of this love in the Torah and mitzvot “for their own sake” through portraying the idea of this love in his mind—and “a good thought is united by G-d….”

אַךְ אִם אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהוֹצִיאָהּ אֶל הַגִּילּוּי בְּלִבּוֹ, אַף־עַל־פִּי־כֵן, יָכוֹל לַעֲסוֹק בַּתּוֹרָה וּמִצְוֹת לִשְׁמָן, עַל יְדֵי צִיּוּר עִנְיַן אַהֲבָה זוֹ בַּמַּחֲשָׁבָה שֶׁבְּמוֹחוֹ, וּ"מַחֲשָׁבָה טוֹבָה – הַקָּדוֹשׁ־בָּרוּךְ־הוּא מְצָרְפָהּ כוּ'":

It is therefore possible for his Torah and mitzvot to be elevated to the supernal sefirot just as if he had fulfilled them with a love revealed in his heart.

As explained in the previous chapters, the love and fear that lead to performance of Torah and mitzvot elevate them to the supernal sefirot.

If the love and fear are “natural”—i.e., they do not result from contemplating G-d’s greatness but from the soul’s natural resources—then the Torah and mitzvot are elevated only as far as the World of Yetzirah, the World of emotion. For since the level of “natural” love and fear of G-d belongs in that World, it follows that the Torah and mitzvot performed as a result of that level will be elevated there as well.

However, if the love and fear are “intellectual”—created by one’s reflection on G-d’s greatness—then the Torah and mitzvot performed as a result of this contemplation will be elevated to the sefirot of the World of Beriah, the World where the sefirah of binah (“understanding”) is pre-eminent.