והנה אתערותא דלעילא, לעורר גילוי הארה רבה והשפעה עצומה הנ״ל מאור אין סוף ברוך הוא

Now, the arousal from above, that elicits a manifestation of this great illumination and immense diffusion from the [infinite] Ein Sof-light

לעשות שלום הנ״ל

in order to bring about the above-mentioned peace,

היא באתערותא דלתתא

is effected by an arousal from below —

במעשה הצדקה

by the act of charity,

והשפעת חיים חן וחסד ורחמים

and by the benevolent bestowal by one man to another of “life, graciousness, kindness and compassion”1

למאן דלית ליה מגרמיה כלום

to him who has nothing of his own,

ולהחיות רוח שפלים כו׳

thereby “to revive the spirit of the lowly, [and to revive the heart of the downcast].”2

When one gives tzedakah to a pauper3 “while raising his spirits” with a few warm and supportive words, so that he is given not only “life” but “graciousness, kindness and compassion” as well, then this arousal from below results in an arousal from above. This releases an intense illumination of the infinite Ein Sof-light into the Supernal Attributes, thereby making peace between them, and tempering and sweetening the Gevurot in the Chassadim.

The Alter Rebbe will now go on to explain the effect of the “act” of tzedakah upon the individual benefactor himself, in terms of his battle with the evil of his animal soul.

The animal soul may be refined, and the good within it separated and elevated from its evil, in one of two ways:

One possible direction of attack is “from below to above” (milmatah lemaalah), whereby each attribute of the divine soul does battle with its counterpart in the animal soul, seeking to refine and elevate it. For example: the divine soul’s love for G‑d seeks to purify the animal soul’s attribute of Chesed with its fleshly desires; the divine soul’s fear of G‑d seeks to refine the animal soul’s evil kinds of fear; and so on.

Then there is a manner of purification that proceeds “from above to below” (milmaalah lematah), whereby one draws down a Divine light upon oneself so that the attributes of the animal soul spontaneously become purified and elevated within this light.

This approach anticipates the Time to Come, when the world as a whole will become purified of all evil through the G‑dliness that will then be manifest, until ultimately,4 “I shall remove the spirit of impurity from the earth.”

A similar manner of refining the animal soul exists today. It is accomplished through studying Torah lishmah, “for its own sake.” By studying in this way — altruistically, without thought of even spiritual gain — the individual draws down a G‑dly illumination that enables him not only to overwhelm the evil within him, but also to sift out the good within his animal soul from the evil in which it had been encumbered.

In the same way, when a Jew practices the “act” of tzedakah he draws down upon himself a G‑dly enlightenment that becomes revealed within him during prayer, and this enables him to extract the good within his animal soul from the surrounding evil and to elevate it.

ומודעת זאת מה שאמרו רז״ל על העוסק בתורה לשמה

It is well-known that our Sages, of blessed memory, said5 of a person who engages in the study of Torah for its own sake,

משים שלום בפמליא של מעלה ובפמליא של מטה

that “he makes peace within the heavenly retinue and within the terrestial retinue.”

פמליא של מעלה, הם השרים והמדות הנ״ל

The “heavenly retinue” comprises the above-mentioned “princes” and attributes,

שהן ההיכלות עליונים בעולם הבריאה שבזהר הקדוש

for these are the supernal heichalot (lit., “chambers”) in the World of Beriah, as stated in the sacred Zohar.

Peace there consists of the harmonious relationship that is established when Gevurah merges into Chesed and becomes sweetened and tempered by it.

ופמליא של מטה, הן ההיכלות התחתונים

The “terrestial retinue” comprises the lower heichalot,

ובפרט עולם הזה השפל

and especially this lowly world

המעורב טוב ורע מחטא אדם הראשון

which, since the sin of Adam, is mingled of good and evil,

As a result of Adam’s sin, there is no good in this world without evil and no evil without good.

והרע שולט על הטוב

and the evil rules over the good,

כמו שכתוב: אשר שלט האדם באדם גו׳

as it is written,6 “While man rules over man....” I.e., the “man of wickedness,” representing the forces of kelipah, rules over the “man of holiness” — and harms him, too, as the verse concludes.

ולאום מלאום יאמץ

[It is also written],7 “And nation will overpower nation,” as the balance of power fluctuates between the forces of good and the forces of evil.

וכנראה בחוש באדם התחתון, הנקרא בשם עולם קטן

This is empirically evident with terrestrial man, who is called a microcosm,8

שלפעמים הטוב גובר, ולפעמים להיפך, חס ושלום

for sometimes the good [within him] prevails, and sometimes the reverse, heaven forfend.

ואין שלום בעולם עד עת קץ

Therefore there will be no peace in the world until the ultimate time (lit., “the time of the End”), when evil will cease to exist,

שיתברר הטוב מהרע

when the good shall be refined from the evil

לידבק בשרשו ומקורו, מקור החיים ברוך הוא

in order to cleave to its root and source, the Divine Source of Life.

ואזי יתפרדו כל פועלי און, ורוח הטומאה יעבור מן הארץ

At that time9 “all evildoers shall be scattered,” and10 the spirit of impurity shall pass from the earth,

כשיתברר מתוכו בחינת הטוב המחייהו

when the element of the good which sustains it will be extracted from its midst.

Evil will then cease to exist as a matter of course, for its entire existence is dependent on the good found within it.

ובירור זה יהיה גם כן על ידי גילוי אלקותו למטה

This refinement itself, of the good from the evil, will also take place through a manifestation of Divinity below,

For just as the refinement as a whole is accomplished through our actions and efforts throughout the time of exile,11 so, too, the actual refinement will result from the revelation of G‑dliness in this world.

בהארה רבה והשפעה עצומה

with a great illumination and immense effulgence,

כמו שכתוב: כי מלאה הארץ דעה את ה׳

as it is written,12 “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of G‑d,”

ונגלה כבוד ה׳ גו׳

and13 “The glory of G‑d shall be revealed....”

וזהו בכללות העולם לעתיד

Now, this is as regards the future of the world, in general.

In the Time to Come the good will be refined and elevated from the evil through the revelation of G‑dliness that will then be manifest.

אך באדם התחתון

But as regards terrestrial man,

בכל עת מצוא

at every “time of finding,” every propitious time for finding G‑d,14

זו תפלה

meaning prayer,15

או שאר עתים מזומנים להתבודד עם קונו

or at other times designated for secluding oneself with one’s Maker,

כל אחד לפי מעשיו זוכה למעין בירור זה, על ידי עסק התורה לשמה

every individual, in proportion to his deeds, is granted a foretaste of this refinement by engaging in the study of Torah for its own sake.

The Divine revelation that permeates his soul enables him to refine and elevate the good from the evil.

וכן על ידי הצדקה

The same is accomplished by means of charity,

כמו שכתוב: ר׳ אלעזר יהיב פרוטה לעני, והדר מצלי

as it is related,16 “R. Elazar would give a coin to a poor man, and then pray,

דכתיב: אני בצדק אחזה פניך

for it is written,17 ‘Through tzedek will I behold Your Countenance.”’

The Hebrew צדק literally means “righteousness”, but shares a common root with tzedakah (“charity”). By prefacing prayer with tzedek, one is granted during prayer a spiritual perception that penetrates to the innermost aspect of G‑dliness — “Your Countenance” (for the Hebrew פנים connotes both “face” and “interior”).

היא בחינת גילוי הארה והשפעת הדעת והתבונה

This [revelation during prayer] is a manifest illumination and effusion of knowledge and understanding,

להתבונן בגדולת ה׳

[enabling one] to meditate on the greatness of G‑d,

ולהוליד מזה דחילו ורחימו שכליים

in order to beget thereby an intellectually-generated awe and love,

כנודע

as is known.

ועל ידי זה, נברר הטוב לה׳, ונפרד הרע

And through this the good is extracted for G‑d and elevated to Him, and the evil is separated,

כמו שכתוב: מצרף לכסף וכור לזהב, ואיש לפי מהללו

as it is written,18 “The crucible is for [refining] silver and the melting-pot is for gold, and man [is refined] according to his praise.”

פירוש: לפי הילולו את ה׳ בעומק הדעת

This means, “according to his praise of G‑d” during prayer with profound knowledge

להוליד דחילו ורחימו

in order to beget awe and love.19

ככה נברר הטוב ונפרד הרע

In this way the good is extracted and the evil is separated,

כבירור ופירוד הסיגים מכסף וזהב במצרף וכור

just as dross is separated from silver and gold in a crucible or melting-pot.