With the above in mind, we may now understand the text, "Then shall ye again discern between the righteous man and the wicked man; between him that is serving G‑d and him that serves Him not."

The difference between "One who is serving G‑d" and a righteous man (tzaddik) is, that "One who is serving (oved) G‑d"— in the active present— is one who is engaged in "active service," namely, the struggle against his evil nature in an effort to gain mastery over it and to banish it from the "small city," that it should not vest itself in the organs of the body. Verily it entails much effort and toil to wage constant war with it. This is the benoni.

The tzaddik, however, is designated "Servant (eved) of G‑d," which is a title already earned, as the title "sage" or "king" is bestowed on one who has already become a sage or king. So is this person who has already effected and completely accomplished his task of waging war against the evil in him, with the result that he has expelled it and it has disappeared, and his heart has become "void within him."

In the category of benoni there are also to be found two gradations, to wit, "One who is serving G‑d" and "One who serves Him not." Yet the latter is not wicked, for never in his life did he commit even a minor transgression and, moreover, he fulfilled all the commandments which were possible for him to fulfil, including the study of the Torah which balances everything else, his mouth never ceasing from study. The reason he is referred to as "one who serves Him not" is that he does not wage any battle against his [evil] disposition in order to vanquish it by means of the Divine light that irradiates the divine soul, whose abode is in the brain which predominates over the heart, as explained above; for his disposition does not confront him at all in an attempt to distract him from study and prayer, and he is consequently never obliged to wage war against it. Thus, for example, is the case of one who is by nature an assiduous student because he is organically so disposed, and is likewise free from conflict with regard to sexual desire by reason of his frigid nature, and similarly with the other mundane pleasures wherein he naturally lacks any feeling of enjoyment. Hence he does not need to concentrate so much on the greatness of G‑d to consciously create a spirit of knowledge and fear of G‑d in his mind, in order to guard himself against violation of the prohibitive commandments; or to arouse the love of G‑d in his heart to induce his attachment to Him through the fulfillment of the [positive] commandments and the study of the Torah which balances everything else. For him suffices the hidden love that is in the heart of all Jews, who are called "The lovers of His name." Therefore he is in no wise called "One who is serving," inasmuch as this latent love is not of his making or accomplishment by any means, but it is our inheritance that has come down from the Patriarchs to the whole community of Israel, as will be discussed further.

So, too, is one who, although by nature not an assiduous student, has yet accustomed himself to study with great diligence, so that the habit has become second nature with him; for him, too, suffices the innate love, unless he wishes to study more than his wont.

This will explain the statement in the Gemara that "One who is serving G‑d" refers to him who reviews his lesson 101 times, while "One who serves him not" refers to him who repeats his lesson no more than 100 times. This is because in those days it was customary to review each lesson one hundred times, as, indeed, illustrated in the Gemara, ibid., by the example taken from the market, where donkey-drivers used to hire themselves out at a rate of ten parasangs for a zuz, but for eleven parasangs charged two zuzim, because that exceeded their customary practice. For the same reason, the loist revision, which is beyond the normal practice to which the student had been accustomed since childhood, is considered equivalent to all the previous one hundred times put together, and even surpassing them in endurance and effort, hence entitling him to be called "One who is serving G‑d." For in order to change his habitual nature, he must arouse the love of G‑d by means of meditation in his mind on the greatness of G‑d, in order to gain mastery over the nature that is in the left part [of the heart] which is full of blood of the animal soul originating in the kelipah, whence comes his nature. This is a perfect service for a benoni. Or, he must awaken the hidden love in his heart to control, through it, the nature that is in the left part, for this, too, is called service— the waging of war against his nature and inclination, by means of exciting the love that is hidden in his heart. However, if he wages no war at all, the said love in itself can in no way be credited to his service.