Chapter 27

פרק כז

In the previous chapter, the Alter Rebbe stated that sadness hinders one’s service of G‑d in general and his battle with the yetzer hara in particular. He therefore discussed means of overcoming sadness caused by material concerns and by anxiety over one’s sins.

In this chapter and the next, he will discuss another type of melancholy, that caused by concern over one’s sinful thoughts and desires. This category itself may be further subdivided into two: (1) where these thoughts occur while one is occupied with his material affairs and (2) where these thoughts disturb his service of G‑d in Torah study, prayer, and the like.

In this chapter, the Alter Rebbe discusses the first situation. He states that not only are these thoughts no cause for sadness, but on the contrary, they ought to give rise to joy.

If, however, his sadness does not stem from anxiety over sins that he has committed but from the fact that sinful thoughts and desires enter his mind, then:

וְאִם הָעַצְבוּת אֵינָהּ מִדַּאֲגַת עֲוֹנוֹת, אֶלָּא מֵהִרְהוּרִים רָעִים וְתַאֲווֹת רָעוֹת שֶׁנּוֹפְלוֹת בְּמַחֲשַׁבְתּוֹ.

If these thoughts occur to him not during his service of G‑d but while he is occupied with his own affairs and with mundane matters and the like,

הִנֵּה אִם נוֹפְלוֹת לוֹ שֶׁלֹּא בִּשְׁעַת הָעֲבוֹדָה, אֶלָּא בְּעֵת עָסְקוֹ בַּעֲסָקָיו וְדֶרֶךְ אֶרֶץ וּכְהַאי גַּוְונָא,

he should, on the contrary, be happy in his lot, for although these sinful thoughts enter his mind, he averts his attention from them.

אַדְּרַבָּה! יֵשׁ לוֹ לִשְׂמוֹחַ בְּחֶלְקוֹ, שֶׁאַף שֶׁנּוֹפְלוֹת לוֹ בְּמַחֲשַׁבְתּוֹ – הוּא מַסִּיחַ דַּעְתּוֹ מֵהֶן,

It is clear that here we are speaking of one who does not wilfully dwell on sinful thoughts, for if he does so, he is a sinner, and the previous chapter has already dealt with sadness arising from sins.

By averting his mind from sinful thoughts, he fulfills the injunction, “You shall not follow after your heart and after your eyes, by which you go astray.”1

לְקַיֵּים מַה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: "וְלֹא תָתוּרוּ אַחֲרֵי לְבַבְכֶם וְאַחֲרֵי עֵינֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם זוֹנִים אַחֲרֵיהֶם".

Only when sinful thoughts enter one’s mind can he fulfill this command. For the intention of the verse is not that one be at a level where such thoughts would not occur to him: this is the level of tzaddikim, who have eradicated all evil from their hearts. Surely, then, this verse is not addressed to tzaddikim. The verse refers rather to one who does have such thoughts, and he is commanded to banish them—as the Alter Rebbe continues:

The above verse surely does not speak of tzaddikim, referring to them (G‑d forbid) as “going astray,”

וְאֵין הַכָּתוּב מְדַבֵּר בְּצַדִּיקִים לְקָרְאָם "זוֹנִים" חַס וְשָׁלוֹם,

but of beinonim like himself, in whose mind there do enter erotic thoughts, whether of an innocent nature [or otherwise],

אֶלָּא בְּבֵינוֹנִים כַּיּוֹצֵא בוֹ, שֶׁנּוֹפְלִים לוֹ הִרְהוּרֵי נִיאוּף בְּמַחֲשַׁבְתּוֹ, בֵּין בְּהֶיתֵּר כוּ',

and when he averts his mind from them, he fulfills this injunction.

וּכְשֶׁמַּסִּיחַ דַּעְתּוֹ – מְקַיֵּים לָאו זֶה,

Our Sages have said: “When one passively refrains from sin, he is rewarded as though he had actively performed a mitzvah.”2

וְאָמְרוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ־זִכְרוֹנָם־לִבְרָכָה: "יָשַׁב וְלֹא עָבַר עֲבֵירָה – נוֹתְנִים לוֹ שָׂכָר כְּאִלּוּ עָשָׂה מִצְוָה",

Consequently, he should rejoice in his compliance with the injunction just as he does when performing an actual positive precept.

וְעַל כֵּן צָרִיךְ לִשְׂמוֹחַ בְּקִיּוּם הַלָּאו, כְּמוֹ בְּקִיּוּם מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה מַמָּשׁ.

Thus, not only should the occurrence of these thoughts not grieve him, but it ought to bring him joy, for only thereby is he able to fulfill this commandment.

On the contrary, such sadness is due to conceit,

וְאַדְּרַבָּה, הָעַצְבוּת הִיא מִגַּסּוּת הָרוּחַ,

for he does not know his place, and that is why he is distressed, because he has not attained the level of a tzaddik,

שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַכִּיר מְקוֹמוֹ, וְעַל כֵּן יֵרַע לְבָבוֹ עַל שֶׁאֵינוֹ בְּמַדְרֵגַת צַדִּיק,

to whom such foolish thoughts surely do not occur,

שֶׁלְּצַדִּיקִים בְּוַדַּאי אֵין נוֹפְלִים לָהֶם הִרְהוּרֵי שְׁטוּת כָּאֵלּוּ,

for were he to recognize his station, that he is very far from the rank of tzaddik,

כִּי אִילּוּ הָיָה מַכִּיר מְקוֹמוֹ, שֶׁהוּא רָחוֹק מְאֹד מִמַּדְרֵגַת צַדִּיק,

and would that he be a beinoni and not a rasha for even a single moment throughout his life (i.e., this is what he should be striving for at present rather than vainly desiring to be a tzaddik),

וְהַלְוַאי הָיָה בֵּינוֹנִי וְלֹא רָשָׁע כָּל יָמָיו, אֲפִילוּ שָׁעָה אַחַת,

then surely, this is the due measure of the beinonim and their task:

הֲרֵי זֹאת הִיא מִדַּת הַבֵּינוֹנִים וַעֲבוֹדָתָם –

to subdue the evil impulse and the thought that rises from the heart to the mind and to completely avert his mind from it, repulsing it as it were with both hands, as explained above in ch. 12.

לִכְבּוֹשׁ הַיֵּצֶר וְהַהִרְהוּר הָעוֹלֶה מֵהַלֵּב לַמּוֹחַ, וּלְהַסִּיחַ דַּעְתּוֹ לְגַמְרֵי מִמֶּנּוּ, וְלִדְחוֹתוֹ בִּשְׁתֵּי יָדַיִם, כַּנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל.

The Alter Rebbe explained there that the evil in the soul of the beinoni remains vigorous; his task is to prevent it from expressing itself in thought, speech, and action. Thus, he has no control over the occurrence of evil thoughts in his mind, but only over his acceptance or rejection of these thoughts.

With every repulsion of this thought from his mind, the sitra achara is suppressed here below in This World,

וּבְכָל דְּחִיָּה וּדְחִיָּה שֶׁמַּדְחֵהוּ מִמַּחֲשַׁבְתּוֹ, אִתְכַּפְיָא סִטְרָא אָחֳרָא לְתַתָּא,

and, since “the arousal from below (in our case the initiative of the beinoni in suppressing the sitra achara) produces a corresponding arousal above,”

וּבְאִתְעָרוּתָא דִלְתַתָּא – אִתְעָרוּתָא דִלְעֵילָּא,

the sitra achara above in the supernal worlds (the root of the sitra achara of this world), which soars like an eagle, is also suppressed,

וְאִתְכַּפְיָא סִטְרָא אָחֳרָא דִלְעֵילָּא הַמַּגְבִּיהַּ עַצְמָהּ כַּנֶּשֶׁר,

thus realizing the verse, “Though you soar aloft like the eagle…I will yet bring you down from there, says G‑d.”3

לְקַיֵּים מַה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: "אִם תַּגְבִּיהַּ כַּנֶּשֶׁר וְגוֹ' מִשָּׁם אוֹרִידְךָ, נְאֻם ה'".

Indeed, the Zohar, in Parashat Terumah (p. 128), extolls the Divine satisfaction that occurs when the sitra achara is subdued here below,

וּכְמוֹ שֶׁהִפְלִיג בַּזֹּהַר פָּרָשַׁת תְּרוּמָה [דַּף קכח], בְּגוֹדֶל נַחַת רוּחַ לְפָנָיו יִתְבָּרֵךְ כַּד אִתְכַּפְיָא סִטְרָא אָחֳרָא לְתַתָּא,

for “thereby G‑d’s glory rises above all, more than by any other praise, and this ascent is greater than all else, etc.”

דְּאִסְתַּלֵּק יְקָרָא דְקוּדְשָׁא־בְּרִיךְ־הוּא לְעֵילָּא עַל כּוּלָּא, יָתִיר מִשְּׁבָחָא אָחֳרָא, וְאִסְתַּלְּקוּתָא דָא יַתִּיר מִכּוּלָּא וְכוּ'.

Thus, it is the evil thoughts which enter the mind of the beinoni that enable him to fulfill G‑d’s command in averting his attention from them, thereby subduing the sitra achara.

Therefore, one should not feel depressed or very troubled at heart (—he ought to be somewhat troubled by the occurrence of these thoughts; otherwise, he may become indifferent to them and will cease to wage war against them, but he ought not to be sorely troubled by them),

וְלָכֵן, אַל יִפּוֹל לֵב אָדָם עָלָיו, וְלֹא יֵרַע לְבָבוֹ מְאֹד,

even if he be engaged all his days in this conflict with the thoughts which will always enter his mind.

גַּם אִם יִהְיֶה כֵּן כָּל יָמָיו בְּמִלְחָמָה זוֹ,

Though he may never rise to the level which precludes their occurrence, he should not be depressed.

For perhaps this is what he was created for, and this is the service demanded of him—to subdue the sitra achara constantly.

כִּי אוּלַי לְכָךְ נִבְרָא, וְזֹאת עֲבוֹדָתוֹ לְאַכֽפָּיָא לְסִטְרָא אָחֳרָא תָּמִיד.

Concerning this, Job said to G‑d: “You have created wicked men,”4 as though it were preordained that one man be wicked and another righteous.

וְעַל זֶה אָמַר אִיּוֹב: "בָּרָאתָ רְשָׁעִים";

In the first chapter, the Alter Rebbe pointed out that this is contradicted by the statement in the Gemara that before a child is born, G‑d decrees whether he shall be wise or foolish, strong or weak, and so on, but does not determine whether he will be righteous or wicked—this is left to one’s own choice. The meaning of Job’s statement becomes clear, however, in light of the above discussion. True, G‑d does not ordain whether man will act wickedly, but He does “create wicked men,” in the sense that their minds work like the mind of the rasha, with evil thoughts constantly occurring to them. G‑d created them in this way so that they will engage in battle with these thoughts and thereby subjugate the sitra achara—as the Alter Rebbe now goes on to say.

The implication of Job’s statement is not that they were created to actually be wicked, G‑d forbid, i.e., sinful in thought, speech, and action,

וְלֹא שֶׁיִּהְיוּ רְשָׁעִים בֶּאֱמֶת חַס וְשָׁלוֹם,

but that there should occur to them, in their thoughts and musings alone, that which occurs to the wicked,5 i.e., that evil thoughts should enter their mind, as they do in the mind of the wicked,

אֶלָּא שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ אֲלֵיהֶם כְּמַעֲשֵׂה הָרְשָׁעִים בְּמַחֲשַׁבְתָּם וְהִרְהוּרָם לְבַד,

and they shall eternally wage war to avert their minds from them in order to subjugate the sitra achara,

וְהֵם יִהְיוּ נִלְחָמִים תָּמִיד לְהַסִּיחַ דַּעְתָּם מֵהֶם, כְּדֵי לְאַכֽפַּיָא לְסִטְרָא אָחֳרָא,

yet they will never be able to annihilate the sitra achara in their souls completely, for this is accomplished by tzaddikim.

וְלֹא יוּכְלוּ לְבַטְּלָהּ מִכֹּל וָכֹל, כִּי זֶה נַעֲשֶׂה עַל יְדֵי צַדִּיקִים.

A tzaddik subjugates his animal soul to such a degree that it is unable to arouse temptation in his heart. His mind is therefore untroubled by evil thoughts. Those, however, of whom Job said that they were “created wicked” cannot rise to this level. It is always possible for evil thoughts to enter their minds; their task is not to give them free rein.

There are two kinds of Divine pleasure:

וּשְׁנֵי מִינֵי נַחַת רוּחַ לְפָנָיו יִתְבָּרֵךְ לְמַעְלָה:

one from the complete annihilation of the sitra achara and the conversion of bitter to sweet and of darkness to light (—the former referring to the emotional faculties of the animal soul and the latter to its mental faculties), which is accomplished by tzaddikim,

אֶחָד – מִבִּיטּוּל הַסִּטְרָא אָחֳרָא לְגַמְרֵי, וְאִתְהַפְּכָא מִמְּרִירוּ לְמִתְקָא וּמֵחֲשׁוֹכָא לִנְהוֹרָא, עַל יְדֵי הַצַּדִּיקִים.

and the second when the sitra achara is subdued while it is still at its strongest and most powerful, soaring like an eagle,

וְהַשֵּׁנִית – כַּד אִתְכַּפְיָא הַסִּטְרָא אָחֳרָא בְּעוֹדָהּ בְּתָקְפָּהּ וּגְבוּרָתָהּ וּמַגְבִּיהַּ עַצְמָהּ כַּנֶּשֶׁר,

and from this height, G‑d topples it in response to human initiative, i.e., as a result of one’s efforts at subduing the sitra achara in his soul. This is accomplished by beinonim.

וּמִשָּׁם מוֹרִידָהּ ה' בְּאִתְעָרוּתָא דִלְתַתָּא עַל יְדֵי הַבֵּינוֹנִים.

Each of the two aforementioned categories—those who were “created righteous” and who were “created wicked”—brings about one of these two kinds of Divine gratification.

This is alluded to in the verse, “And make me delicacies, such as I love,”6

וְזֶהוּ שֶׁאָמַר הַכָּתוּב: "וַעֲשֵׂה לִי מַטְעַמִּים כַּאֲשֶׁר אָהַבְתִּי" –

where the word matamim (“delicacies”) is written in the plural, indicating two kinds of pleasure.

"מַטְעַמִּים" לְשׁוֹן רַבִּים; שְׁנֵי מִינֵי נַחַת רוּחַ,

These words are the charge of the Shechinah to its children, the community of Israel, as explained in Tikkunei Zoharthat with these words, G‑d asks of the Jewish people to please Him with their divine service.

וְהוּא מַאֲמַר הַשְּׁכִינָה לְבָנֶיהָ – כְּלָלוּת יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּדְפֵירְשׁוּ בַּתִּיקּוּנִים,

Just as with material food, there are two kinds of delicacies—

וּכְמוֹ שֶׁבְּמַטְעַמִּים גַּשְׁמִיִּים, דֶּרֶךְ מָשָׁל, יֵשׁ שְׁנֵי מִינֵי מַעֲדַנִּים:

one of sweet and luscious foods and the other of sharp or sour articles which are unpleasant to eat in their natural state,

אֶחָד, מִמַּאֲכָלִים עֲרֵבִים וּמְתוּקִים, וְהַשֵּׁנִי, מִדְּבָרִים חֲרִיפִים אוֹ חֲמוּצִים,

but have been well spiced and prepared so that they become delicacies which revive the soul—so, too, are there two kinds of spiritual delicacies.

רַק שֶׁהֵם מְתוּבָּלִים וּמְתוּקָּנִים הֵיטֵב עַד שֶׁנַּעֲשׂוּ מַעֲדַנִּים לְהָשִׁיב הַנֶּפֶשׁ.

One is provided by tzaddikim, who are occupied solely with matters that are “good” and “sweet”—holy matters. Having conquered the evil of their animal soul, they no longer need grapple with the sitra achara. Their divine service consists of increasing the light of holiness. The second kind of delicacy is provided by beinonim, who are occupied with “bitter” matters, with battling against the sitra achara in their soul, and with the evil thoughts that it spawns.

This is indicated in the verse, “The L-rd has made everything for His sake, even the wicked for the day of evil.”7

וְזֶהוּ שֶׁאָמַר הַכָּתוּב: "כֹּל פָּעַל ה' לַמַּעֲנֵהוּ, וְגַם רָשָׁע לְיוֹם רָעָה";

How can it be said that the rasha was created for G‑d’s sake?

This means, however, that he should repent of his evil and turn his evil into “day” and light above,

פֵּירוּשׁ, שֶׁיָּשׁוּב מֵרִשְׁעוֹ וְיַעֲשֶׂה הָרָע שֶׁלּוֹ יוֹם וְאוֹר לְמַעְלָה,

when the sitra achara is subdued and the glory of G‑d is uplifted on high.

כַּד אִתְכַּפְיָא סִטְרָא אָחֳרָא וְאִסְתַּלֵּק יְקָרָא דְקוּדְשָׁא־בְּרִיךְ־הוּא לְעֵילָא.

Thus, the meaning of the words “even the wicked for the day of evil” is that the purpose of the wicked is to transform the “evil” into “day.”

The central point of the above discussion was that through the occurrence of evil thoughts in one’s mind and through one’s battle against them, the sitra achara is subdued, causing great pleasure above.

The Alter Rebbe now goes on to say that this subjugation of the sitra achara and the consequent Divine pleasure are brought about not only by one’s struggle against the sitra achara when it attempts to lead one to sin (as in our case, where the lack of a struggle against evil thoughts, and the continued meditation on them, would constitute a sin). Rather, one produces the same effect by struggling with one’s nature in abstaining from permitted matters. For as explained in ch. 6, any permitted action done without the specific intention of leading one to the serving of G‑d (as, for example, eating in order to obtain strength for Torah study or performing the mitzvot) derives its vitality from the sitra achara. (This term simply means “the other side,” i.e., the absence of holiness.) Only an action so directed can draw its vitality from the realm of holiness. Therefore, whenever one refrains from doing even a permissible act (in which this intention is lacking) in order to subdue the sitra achara, he gives rise to Divine pleasure.

Furthermore, not only by fighting his evil thoughts does one subdue the sitra achara, but even in matters that are fully permissible,

וְלֹא עוֹד, אֶלָּא אֲפִילוּ בִּדְבָרִים הַמּוּתָּרִים לְגַמְרֵי,

every act of sacrificing one’s impulse, even if only for a short while, i.e., if he delays partaking of even the permissible and essential with the intention of subduing the sitra achara in the left part of his heart, achieves this end.

כָּל מַה שֶּׁהָאָדָם זוֹבֵחַ יִצְרוֹ אֲפִילוּ שָׁעָה קַלָּה, וּמִתְכַּוֵין לְאַכֽפָּיָא לְסִטְרָא אָחֳרָא שֶׁבֶּחָלָל הַשְּׂמָאלִי,

For example: when he wants to eat but delays his meal for an hour or less,

כְּגוֹן שֶׁחָפֵץ לֶאֱכוֹל, וּמְאַחֵר סְעוּדָּתוֹ עַד לְאַחַר שָׁעָה אוֹ פָּחוֹת,

and during that time, he studies Torah.

וְעוֹסֵק בַּתּוֹרָה בְּאוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה,

For if he occupies himself with other physical matters, he does not subdue the sitra achara by postponing his meal, since he is in any case indulging his animal soul, but if he studies Torah during that time, then even when the delay of his meal does not gain him any time for Torah study, for he would have studied Torah regardless (as will soon be stated), and despite the fact that he eventually does eat, yet he subdues the sitra achara by the mere effort of postponing his meal, and thereby, he brings about the Divine pleasure caused by every subjugation of the sitra achara.

As the Gemara states: “The fourth hour [of the day] is when all men eat, but the sixth hour is the mealtime for scholars,”8

כִּדְאִיתָא בַּגְּמָרָא: "שָׁעָה רְבִיעִית מַאֲכַל כָּל אָדָם, שָׁעָה שִׁשִּׁית מַאֲכַל תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים",

because they would go hungry for two hours with this intention,

וְהָיוּ מַרְעִיבִים עַצְמָם שְׁתֵּי שָׁעוֹת לְכַוָּונָה זוֹ,

although even after the meal, they would study all day.

אַף שֶׁגַּם אַחַר הַסְּעוּדָּה הָיוּ לוֹמְדִים כָּל הַיּוֹם.

Similarly, if one restrains his mouth from saying things which he greatly desires to say concerning mundane matters—even where there is nothing wrong with the words per se, yet he refrains from speaking them precisely because he feels a desire to do so

וְכֵן אִם בּוֹלֵם פִּיו מִלְּדַבֵּר דְּבָרִים שֶׁלִּבּוֹ מִתְאַוֶּה מְאֹד לְדַבְּרָם מֵעִנְיְינֵי הָעוֹלָם,

and likewise regarding the thoughts of his mind, he suppresses an urge to think about some mundane matter.

וְכֵן בְּהִרְהוּרֵי מַחֲשַׁבְתּוֹ,

Even by the slightest subjugation of the sitra achara here below,

אֲפִילוּ בִּמְעַט מִזְּעֵיר, דְּאִתְכַּפְיָא סִטְרָא אָחֳרָא לְתַתָּא –

the glory of G‑d and His holiness is greatly elevated on high.

אִסְתַּלֵּק יְקָרָא דְקוּדְשָׁא־בְּרִיךְ־הוּא וּקְדוּשָּׁתוֹ לְעֵילָּא הַרְבֵּה.

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: