The Alter Rebbe explained at the conclusion of the previous chapter that through teshuvah ila'ah, the higher level of repentance, the soul is totally cleansed and purified. It then ascends and cleaves to G‑d with the same degree of unity that it enjoyed before it descended into the body. Furthermore, the Alter Rebbe quoted the Zohar to the effect that teshuvah ila'ah involves studying Torah with awe and love of G‑d.

In the fourth chapter, however, he explained that teshuvah ila'ah involves reinstating the higher letter hei of the Tetragrammaton. What possible connection does this have with studying Torah out of love and fear of G‑d, when these two spiritual emotions are related to the letter vav?

In order to resolve this seeming anomaly, the Alter Rebbe will now explain that the love and fear discussed in the present chapter are generated intellectually: they result from meditation upon G‑d's greatness, and are thus the offspring of Binah. It is specifically this kind of love and fear that unites the hei and the vav — the intellect with the resulting emotions.

וביאור הענין, כמו שכתוב בזוהר הקדוש ותיקונים בכמה מקומות

The explanation of this subject — which levels of love and fear are related to the upper hei — is as discussed frequently in the Zohar and Tikunnim

דבינה איהי תשובה עילאה

that Binah is the higher level of teshuvah,

והאם רובצת על האפרוחים וכו'

“the mother crouching over the chicks….1

I.e., Binah is the mother of her offspring — the love and fear of G‑d.

דהיינו שעל ידי שמתבונן בגדולת ה' בהעמקת הדעת

One ought to meditate profoundly and with concentration on the greatness of G‑d

ומוליד מרוח בינתו דחילו ורחימו שכליים

and through his comprehension arouse a sense of intellectual awe and love

ובטוב טעם ודעת

on rational grounds.

כענין שנאמר: לאהבה את ה' אלקיך משום כי הוא חייך וגו'

This love is that of the verse,2 “To love the L-rd your G‑d…. because He is your life….” — a love based on a reason.

ולא די לו באהבה טבעית המסותרת לבד וכו'

He will not be content with the endowed, latent love alone….

This is concealed in the heart of every Jew and needs but to be revealed; such a worshipper, though, creates instead a love of G‑d through his own intellectual endeavor.

וכן ביראה ופחד

So too with fear and terror of G‑d

או בושה וכו' כנודע

or shame…. as is known.

This is a deeper form of awe in which one feels abashed in G‑d's presence, hence fearing to rebel against Him by sinning.

When one's spiritual emotions of love and fear are born in the mind, then]:

אזי נקראת האם רובצת על האפרוחי' וכו'

this is termed “the mother crouching over the chicks….” Binah has given birth and hovers over her offspring — the love and fear of G‑d.

והנה עיקר האהבה היא אתדבקות רוחא ברוחא

Ahavah, the love of G‑d, is primarily the cleaving of spirit to Spirit,3

כמו שכתוב: ישקני מנשיקות פיהו וגו' כנודע

as the verse expresses it,4 “He kisses me with the kisses of his mouth….”

A physical kiss unites the inner breath or spirit of two individuals. Similarly, the internal aspects of the soul and G‑dliness are united through the “breath” or speech of Torah, through good deeds, and more specifically through the concentrated study of Torah, as explained in Part I, Chapter 45.

ועל זה נאמר: ובכל נפשך

With regard to this [cleaving of spirit to Spirit] the verse says5 [that “you shall love the L-rd your G‑d….] with all your soul,”

שהם הם כל חלקי הנפש, שכל ומדות ולבושיהם מחשבה דיבור ומעשה, לדבקה כולן בו יתברך

which means that the love is to be so intense that all aspects of the soul — intellect and emotions, and their garbs of thought, speech and deed — are to cleave to G‑d.

דהיינו: המדות במדותיו יתברך מה הוא רחום וכו'

This means that man's emotive faculties are to be bound up with His6 — “As He is merciful [so should you be merciful]…”

Thus when a person acts kindly out of the attribute of compassion, for example. this emotive faculty of his is bound up with G‑d's.

והשכל בשכלו וחכמתו יתברך

So, too, man's intellect adheres to G‑d's intellect and wisdom;

הוא עיון התורה דאורייתא מחכמה נפקא

this refers to the concentrated study of Torah, for7 “the Torah issues from Wisdom.”

וכן המחשבה במחשבתו יתברך

So, too, is man's thought [to be united] with G‑d's,

והדיבור בדבר ה' זו הלכה

and his speech [is to be unified with]8 “the word of G‑d, which is the Halachah,

וכמו שכתוב: ואשים דברי בפיך

as in the passages which speak of the Torah:9 “I have placed My word in your mouth,”

ודברי אשר שמתי בפיך

and10 “My words that I have placed in your mouth.”

והמעשה הוא מעשה הצדקה

Man's deeds [shall likewise be united with His deeds] through works of charity,

להחיות רוח שפלים

to revive the spirit of the crestfallen,

Acting thus unites man with His Maker, for He too provides life and “revives the spirit” of created beings",

כמו שכתוב: כי ששת ימים עשה ה' וגו' כנודע במקום אחר

as the verse states11 “For six days G‑d wrought….,” as is explained elsewhere.

The expression used concerning G‑d's activity during the Six Days of Creation — a verb expressing action and doing — indicates that the Divine powers had to descend even to the nethermost level of mere action, in order to create and vitalize the inconsequential beings of creation.

וזו היא אתדבקות דרוחא ברוחא, בתכלית הדביקות ויחוד, כשהיא מחמת אהבה וכו'

This is the cleaving of spirit to Spirit — the ultimate attachment and union that result from love….

Ultimate union with G‑d through Torah study is attained only when it is the result of love. Thus, while it is true that when one studies Torah simply out of one's acceptance of the Yoke of Heaven he also achieves a measure of the cleaving of spirit of Spirit, this cannot compare to the degree of attachment that is attained when the same study is motivated by a love of G‑d. Hence, since teshuvah ila'ah is a manifestation of the soul's ultimate attachment with G‑d, it follows that “Teshuva ila'ah means engaging in the study of Torah in awe and love of the Holy One, blessed be He,” as the Zohar teaches.

ולפי שפגם הברית בהוצאת זרע לבטלה

Since the violation of the covenant through wasteful emission,

ואין צריך לומר בעריות, או שאר איסורי ביאה דאורייתא או דרבנן

to say nothing of incestuous relations, or other unions prohibited by the Torah or the Sages

(כי חמורים דברי סופרים וכו')

(12 for13 “the words i.e. the prohibitions of the Sages are more grave [than even the words i.e., the prohibitions of the Torah]”),

פוגם במוח

causes a blemish in the mind,

לכן תיקונו הוא, דיתעסק באורייתא דמחכמה נפקא

therefore his rectification is secured by engaging in the study of the Torah, which derives from Wisdom.

This explains why it was stated in Chapter 4 that only teshuvah ila'ah — “engaging in the study of the Torah in awe and love of the Holy One, blessed be He” — is effective in remedying this sin.

וזהו שכתוב בתנא דבי אליהו: אדם עבר עבירה ונתחייב מיתה למקום, מה יעשה ויחיה

We therefore find in Tana devei Eliyahu:14 "A man commits a sin and is liable to death before Al-mighty (for the above-mentioned sin carries with it the punishment of death by Divine agency); what shall he do and live?

אם היה רגיל לקרות דף אחד יקרא ב' דפים, לשנות פרק אחד ישנה ב' פרקים וכו'

If he was accustomed to studying one page [of Written Law], let him study two; if he was accustomed to studying one chapter [of the Oral Law], let his study two chapters…."

Why is sin punishable by death by Divine agency, such as the sin of wasteful emission, rectifiable by an increase in Torah study?

והיינו: כמשל חבל הנפסק וחוזר וקושרו

This resembles a rope that is severed and then reknotted:

שבמקום הקשר הוא כפול ומכופל

the site of the knot is twofold and fourfold thicker than the rest of the rope.

וככה הוא בחבל נחלתו וכו'

So it is with the “rope of [G‑d's] heritage,” with the soul's bond with its Source.

If this relationship was severed by sin, then repentance must reknot the cord doubly and fourfold. And this is accomplished through the study of the Torah.

וזהו שאמר הכתוב: בחסד ואמת יכופר עון וכו'

Thus Scripture states,15 “Through kindness and truth is sin forgiven …..,”

ואין אמת אלא תורה

and16 “there is no truth but Torah….”

Thus it is through the study of Torah that sin is forgiven.

ועון בית עלי בזבח ומנחה הוא דאינו מתכפר, אבל מתכפר בתורה וגמילות חסדים

Similarly, on the statement in Scripture17 that “the sin of the house of Eli will not be atoned by sacrifices and offerings,” the Gemara comments: “By sacrifices and offerings will the sin of the House of Eli not be atoned, but it will be atoned through the study of Torah and through good deeds,”

כדאיתא בסוף פרק קמא דראש השנה

as explained at the end of the first chapter18 of Rosh HaShanah.