"And the act of tzedakah will effect peace, and the service of tzedakah— quietness and surety forever." The difference between "act" and "service," and between "peace" and "quietness and surety," will be understood by what our sages, of blessed memory, said on the verse "He makes peace in His high places" : "Michael is the prince of water and Gabriel is the prince of fire, yet they do not extinguish one another." That is, Michael is the prince of chesed— which is called water because it descends from a high place to a low place, i.e. the aspect of the effusion and extension of vivification from the upper to the lower worlds. The aspect of fire [the nature of which is to soar upwards] is the category of gevurah, of a withdrawal of the effusion of vivification [from below upwards], in order not to effuse except by way of a great and immense contraction (tzimtzum). Now these are conflicting attributes, opposing one another, that is when they are in a mode of separate attributes.

But the Holy One, blessed is He, makes peace between them, namely by means of a revelation, that a great illumination and an immense effusion from the light of the blessed En Sof becomes revealed in them. [For as His Name so is He. He is not, Heaven forfend, on the plane of a measure, but transcends exceedingly— ad infinitum— even the rank of chabad, which is the source of the attributes. ] And thus the opposing attributes of Michael and Gabriel are absorbed in their source and root, and they become truly unified and dissolve in His blessed light which radiates to them in a manifest way. The gevurot, thus, are tempered and sweetened in the chassadim by a mediary— the factor which harmonises and leans towards chesed, i.e. the attribute of rachamim. In the terminology of the Cabbalists (this attribute) is called tiferet, because it is made up of the two colours white and red, which allude to chesed and gevurah. The blessed name Havayah (the Tetragrammaton), as it appears unqualified throughout the Torah, therefore, indicates the attribute of tiferet, as mentioned in the sacred Zohar. For here the degree of the manifestation of the light of the blessed En Sof is of an immense illumination, surpassing that of His other blessed attributes.

Now, the arousal from above [to arouse a manifestation of said great illumination and immense effusion from the light of the blessed En Sof] to bring about the said peace is effected by the arousal from below, by the act of charity and the effusion of "life, favour, kindness and compassion" to him who has nothing of his own, and "To revive the spirit of the humble..,"

It is well-known that our sages, of blessed memory, said of him who busies himself with Torah lishmah that "he sets peace among the attendants of above and among the attendants of below." The "attendants of above" are the princes and attributes mentioned above. For these are the upper hechalot in the world of Beriah, mentioned in the sacred Zohar. The "attendants of below" are the lower hechalot, and especially this base world which, due to the sin of Adam, is mingled good and evil, and the evil rules over the good as it is written "While man rules in man..." , and "Nation will overpower nation." This is empirically evident with terrestrial man who is called a microcosm, for sometimes the good prevails, and sometimes the reverse, Heaven forfend. Therefore there will be no peace in the world until the time of the end, when the good shall be disencumbered from the evil to become attached to its root and source, the blessed Source of Life. For then all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered and the spirit of impurity shall pass from the earth, i.e. when the element of the good which sustains it shall be extracted from its midst.

This disencumberment (birur) itself will also be through a manifestation of His Divinity below, with a great illumination and immense effulgence, as it is written: "For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord," and "The glory of the Lord shall be revealed ..." Now, this is as regards the future of the world, in general. But as regards terrestrial man, at every "time of finding," meaning prayer, or at other times designated to seclude oneself with one's Maker, each one, commensurate to his actions, merits a reflection of this birur by means of engagement with Torah lishmah, and likewise by means of charity, as it is related: R. Eliezer gave a coin to a poor man, and then he prayed, as it is written: "Through tzedek I will behold Your countenance"— i.e. the rank of a manifest illumination and effusion of knowledge and reason, to contemplate on the greatness of G‑d, thereof to beget the intellectual awe and love, as known. And through this we extract the good for G‑d, and separate the evil, as it is written: "The crucible is for silver, and the furnace for gold, and man according to מהללו ." This means, "according to his praising G‑d"— with profound" knowledge, to beget awe and love, that is how we disencumber the good and separate the evil, analogous to the extraction and separation of the drosses from the silver and gold in the crucible and furnace.

Now, it is well known that Israelites are by their very nature compassionate and performers of kindness. This is so because their souls issued from His blessed attributes in which chesed prevails over the attribute of din, gevurah, and tzimtzum, and as it is written: "His chesed prevails over them who fear Him." The neshamah, therefore, is called "daughter of the priest," as mentioned in the sacred Zohar. Now, the charity that issues from this aspect is referred to as "the act of charity," for the term act (ma'aseh) applies to that which is already done, or which is in constant action of itself, thus, something existent and usually constant. So here, too, the trait of kindness and compassion is implanted in the souls of the whole House of Israel from aforetimes, from the time of their creation and evolution from His blessed attributes, as it is written: "And He breathed into his nostrils ..." , and "You did breathe it into me," and "He who exhales..." Furthermore, "In His goodness He renews the act of creation every day," and "They are new every morning..."

An idiom of avodah (service), however applies only to what man does with immense toil: it is contrary to his natural inclination, but he abnegates his nature and will before the blessed Supreme Will; as, for example, to exhaust himself in Torah and prayer "To the extent of pressing out the soul..." And in our case, too, as regards the commandment of charity, he gives exceedingly more than the nature of his compassion and will, and as our sages, of blessed memory, commented on the verse "Give, you shall give": "even a hundred times."

And this is the meaning of "And the act of charity [shall be]"— i.e. even with that type of charity which is called an "act" [and not "service"], the arousal from below will elicit an arousal from above. One arouses a manifestation of the light of the blessed En Sof by way of a great illumination and immense effulgence, and peace is made in His high places and also among the attendants of below. Though in this base world, the peace and the birur and separation of the evil from the good will not be manifest until the time of the end [but not during the time of the exile, as mentioned above], except in the microcosm, i.e. man, at every "time of finding"— meaning prayer, as it is written: "Through tzedek I will behold Your countenance," as mentioned above. Even so, after prayer it is possible that the evil will easily reawaken and become intermingled with the good as one walks in he darkness of this world. But through the charity which is in a mode of avodah, whereas its rank is extremely glorious and great [because one abnegates his nature and bodily will before the blessed Supreme Will, and "Subdues the sitra achara, and then rises the glory of the Holy One, blessed is He..." , and just "Like the excellence of light over darkness," as known ], the evil can no longer reawaken so easily of itself, unless, Heaven forfend, man would arouse it and draw it upon himself.

And this is the meaning of "quietness and surety forever." השטקט (quietness) is of the etymon of "שוקט (he rests) on his dregs," meaning that the dregs are completely separated from the wine and fall completely netherwards, while the wine above is wholly pure and clear. In an analogous manner it is with the avodah of charity: the dregs are the aspect of the mixture of evil in his soul which is gradually extricated and separated until it falls netherwards to its root and source, and as it is written: "And You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea."