12 “And [the reward for] the act of tzedakah will be peace, and [the reward for] the service of tzedakah [will be] quietness and surety forever.”1

יב "וְהָיָה מַעֲשֵׂה הַצְּדָקָה שָׁלוֹם, וַעֲבוֹדַת הַצְּדָקָה הַשְׁקֵט וָבֶטַח עַד עוֹלָם".

Some commentaries explain that “act” (מַעֲשֵׂה) and “service” (עֲבוֹדָה) are one and the same; the verse merely reiterates the same theme in different words. Targum Yonatan, however, writes that “act” and “service” indicate two different forms of charity: the reward for the “act” of tzedakah is peace; the reward for the “service” of tzedakah is eternal quietness and surety.

The difference between [the] “act” and “service” of tzedakah, and the difference between the rewards of “peace” and “quietness and surety,” will be understood

לְהָבִין הַהֶפְרֵשׁ שֶׁבֵּין "מַעֲשֶׂה" לַ"עֲבוֹדָה" וּבֵין "שָׁלוֹם" לְ"הַשְׁקֵט וָבֶטַח" כוּ'.

by what our Sages, of blessed memory, said on the verse, “He makes peace in His high places”2:

עַל פִּי מַה שֶּׁאָמְרוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ־זִכְרוֹנָם־לִבְרָכָה עַל פָּסוּק "עוֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו" –

“Michael is the prince of water and Gabriel is the prince of fire, yet they do not extinguish one another.”3

כִּי "מִיכָאֵל שַׂר שֶׁל מַיִם וְגַבְרִיאֵל שַׂר שֶׁל אֵשׁ, וְאֵין מְכַבִּין זֶה אֶת זֶה".

Though water seeks to quench fire and fire endeavors to vaporize water, and “Michael is the prince of water and Gabriel is the prince of fire,” nevertheless, they do not extinguish one another.

This means to say, not that Michael’s substance derives from the spiritual element of water and Gabriel’s substance derives from the spiritual element of fire, but that


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Michael is the prince of chesed (“kindness”),

שֶׁמִּיכָאֵל שַׂר שֶׁל חֶסֶד,

which is called “water,” because it descends from a high place to a low place.

הַנִּקְרָא בְּשֵׁם "מַיִם", הַיּוֹרְדִים מִמָּקוֹם גָּבוֹהַּ לְמָקוֹם נָמוּךְ,

In spiritual terms, this [descent] means: the bestowal and diffusion of the [Divine] life-force from the higher to the lower worlds.

וְהוּא בְּחִינַת הַהַשְׁפָּעָה וְהִתְפַּשְּׁטוּת הַחַיּוּת מֵעוֹלָמוֹת עֶלְיוֹנִים לְתַחְתּוֹנִים,

Fire, whose nature is to soar aloft, represents spiritually the thrust of gevurah (“severity”), and the upward withdrawal of the flow of life-force,

וּבְחִינַת אֵשׁ שֶׁטִּבְעָהּ לַעֲלוֹת לְמַעְלָה, הִיא בְּחִינַת הַגְּבוּרָה וְהִסְתַּלְּקוּת הַשְׁפָּעַת הַחַיִּים מִמַּטָּה לְמַעְלָה,

in order not to bestow [it] except by way of an intense and immense contraction.

שֶׁלֹּא לְהַשְׁפִּיעַ, רַק בְּצִמְצוּם עָצוּם וְרַב,

Now these attributes are in conflict, chesed representing unlimited effusion, and gevurah representing limitation and contraction,

וְהֵן מִדּוֹת נֶגְדִּיּוֹת וְהָפְכִּיּוֹת זוֹ לָזוֹ,

but only when they are in their pristine state as attributes.

וְהַיְינוּ כְּשֶׁהֵן בִּבְחִינַת מִדּוֹת לְבַדָּן.

Inasmuch as the attributes are inherently limited (and indeed, the very word middah means “measure”), each of them is confined to its innate characteristics, chesed to expansiveness, gevurah to withdrawal.

But the Holy One, blessed be He, makes peace between them so that they should not oppose one another,

אַךְ הַקָּדוֹשׁ־בָּרוּךְ־הוּא – עוֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בֵּינֵיהֶם,

through a revelation—so that an immense illumination and an intense effusion from the [infinite] Ein Sof-light is revealed within them.

דְּהַיְינוּ, עַל־יְדֵי גִּילּוּי שֶׁמִּתְגַּלֶּה בָּהֶן הֶאָרָה רַבָּה וְהַשְׁפָּעָה עֲצוּמָה מְאֹד מֵאוֹר־אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא,

For like His Name (viz., Ein Sof—“the Infinite One”), so is He.

אֲשֶׁר כִּשְׁמוֹ כֵּן הוּא,

He is not, Heaven forfend, on the [measured] plane of an attribute,

שֶׁאֵינוֹ בִּבְחִינַת מִדָּה חַס וְשָׁלוֹם,

but transcends exceedingly, ad infinitum,

אֶלָּא לְמַעְלָה מַּעְלָה עַד אֵין קֵץ,

even the rank of [the intellectual faculties of] ChaBaD, which is the source of the attributes, and surely, He transcends the attributes themselves.

אֲפִילוּ מִבְּחִינַת חָכְמָה־בִּינָה־דַּעַת מְקוֹר הַמִּדּוֹת,

And then, when G-d’s infinite light is revealed within the attributes, the opposing attributes of Michael and Gabriel (chesed and gevurah) are absorbed in their source and root,

וַאֲזַי, הַמִּדּוֹת נֶגְדִּיּוֹת שֶׁל מִיכָאֵל וְגַבְרִיאֵל נִכְלָלוֹת בִּמְקוֹרָן וְשָׁרְשָׁן,

and they become truly unified,

וְהָיוּ לַאֲחָדִים מַמָּשׁ,

and are nullified in His light, which radiates to them in a manifest way.

וּבְטֵלִים בְּאוֹרוֹ יִתְבָּרֵךְ הַמֵּאִיר לָהֶם בִּבְחִינַת גִּילּוּי.

Once their individuality is nullified, they no longer oppose each other.

By way of analogy: The intense enmity of two high officials dissolves, in the presence of their sovereign, into friendship. It is because of their joint nullification before the king that this unity comes about. So, too, the defined bounds of the various attributes dissipate in the face of the limitless revelation of the infinite light.

The gevurot are thereby tempered and mellowed (lit., “sweetened”) in the chasadim, and are transformed into good and kindness,

וַאֲזַי מִתְמַזְּגִים וּמִתְמַתְּקִים הַגְּבוּרוֹת בַּחֲסָדִים,

by a mediary, the determining factor between chesed and gevurah, which leans toward chesed,

עַל־יְדֵי בְּחִינָה מְמוּצַּעַת – קַו הַמַּכְרִיעַ וּמַטֶּה כְּלַפֵּי חֶסֶד,

i.e., the attribute of rachamim (“mercy”).

הִיא מִדַּת הָרַחֲמִים,

When chesed does not insist (so to speak) on an unlimited revelation of kindness (but is satisfied to reveal the G‑dly illumination in a finite manner), and gevurah insists only on withholding the revelation from those who are unworthy of receiving it (but does not insist on blocking the revelation altogether, even from the worthy)—then the mediating attribute of mercy, which leans toward kindness, declares that while a particular recipient may not be strictly worthy of the kindness to be shown, he is at least worthy of being granted it out of compassion.

This attribute of rachamim is called tiferet (“beauty”) in the terminology of the Kabbalists (lit., “the scholars of truth”),

הַנִּקְרֵאת בְּשֵׁם "תִּפְאֶרֶת" בְּדִבְרֵי חַכְמֵי הָאֱמֶת,

because it is made up of the two colors white and red,

לְפִי שֶׁהִיא כְּלוּלָה מִב' גְּוָונִין: לוֹבֶן וְאוֹדֶם,

which allude to chesed and gevurah, respectively.

הַמְרַמְּזִים לְחֶסֶד וּגְבוּרָה.

Rachamim is therefore called tiferet because there is beauty in the harmony of diverse colors.

The Divine Name Havayah (the Tetragrammaton), as it appears unqualified throughout the Torah, therefore indicates the attribute of tiferet,

וְלָכֵן, סְתָם שֵׁם הַוָיָ' בָּרוּךְ־הוּא שֶׁבְּכָל הַתּוֹרָה – מוֹרֶה עַל מִדַּת הַתִּפְאֶרֶת,

as is stated in the sacred Zohar.4

כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב בַּזּוֹהַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ,

Each of the Divine Names indicates one of the supernal attributes: the Name E-l, for example, indicates chesed; Elokim indicates gevurah; and any unqualified appearance of the ultimate Divine Name—Havayah, which is known as Shem HaEtzem (“the Essential Name”)—alludes to the attribute of tiferet. Why is this the case?

For here, in tiferet, the [infinite] Ein Sof-light becomes manifest in an immense illumination,

לְפִי, שֶׁכָּאן הוּא בְּחִינַת גִּילּוּי אוֹר־אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא, הֶאָרָה רַבָּה,

surpassing that of the other Divine attributes.

בְּיֶתֶר שְׂאֵת מִשְּׁאָר מִדּוֹתָיו הַקְּדוֹשׁוֹת יִתְבָּרֵךְ.

This, then, is the meaning of the above quotation, that “He makes peace in His high places”: The revelation of G‑d’s infinite light “makes peace” between Michael and Gabriel, who represent chesed and gevurah.

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

וְהִנֵּה, אִתְעָרוּתָא דִלְעֵילָּא, לְעוֹרֵר גִּילּוּי הֶאָרָה רַבָּה וְהַשְׁפָּעָה עֲצוּמָה הַנִּזְכֶּרֶת לְעֵיל, מֵאוֹר־אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא,

in order to bring about the abovementioned peace,

לַעֲשׂוֹת שָׁלוֹם הַנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל,

is effected by an arousal from below—

הִיא בְּאִתְעָרוּתָא דִלְתַתָּא,

by the act of charity,

בְּמַעֲשֵׂה הַצְּדָקָה

and by the benevolent bestowal by one man to another of “life, graciousness, kindness, and compassion”5

וְהַשְׁפָּעַת חַיִּים חֵן וָחֶסֶד וְרַחֲמִים

to he who has nothing of his own,

לְמַאן דְּלֵית לֵיהּ מִגַּרְמֵיהּ כְּלוּם,

thereby “to revive the spirit of the lowly, [and to revive the heart of the downcast].”6

וּלְהַחֲיוֹת רוּחַ שְׁפָלִים כוּ'.

When one gives tzedakah to a pauper7 “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 chasadim.

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, “I shall remove the spirit of impurity from the earth.”8

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.

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

וּמוּדַעַת זֹאת, מַה שֶּׁאָמְרוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ־זִכְרוֹנָם־לִבְרָכָה עַל הָעוֹסֵק בַּתּוֹרָה לִשְׁמָהּ:

that “he makes peace within the heavenly retinue and within the terrestial retinue.”9

"מֵשִׂים שָׁלוֹם בְּפָמַלְיָא שֶׁל מַעְלָה וּבְפָמַלְיָא שֶׁל מַטָּה",

The “heavenly retinue” comprises the abovementioned “princes” and attributes,

"פָּמַלְיָא שֶׁל מַעְלָה" הֵם הַשָּׂרִים וְהַמִּדּוֹת הַנִּזְכָּרוֹת לְעֵיל,

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

שֶׁהֵן הַהֵיכָלוֹת עֶלְיוֹנִים בְּעוֹלַם הַבְּרִיאָה שֶׁבַּזּוֹהַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ,

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

The “terrestial retinue” comprises the lower heichalot,

וּ"פָמַלְיָא שֶׁל מַטָּה" הֵן הַהֵיכָלוֹת הַתַּחְתּוֹנִים,

and especially this lowly world

וּבִפְרָט עוֹלָם הַזֶּה הַשָּׁפָל

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

הַמְעוֹרָב טוֹב וָרַע מֵחֵטְא אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן,

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

and the evil rules over the good,

וְהָרַע שׁוֹלֵט עַל הַטּוֹב,

as it is written, “While man rules over man….”10 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.

כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב: "אֲשֶׁר שָׁלַט הָאָדָם בְּאָדָם כוּ'",

[It is also written], “And nation will overpower nation,”11 as the balance of power fluctuates between the forces of good and the forces of evil.

"וּלְאוֹם מִלְאוֹם יֶאֱמָץ".

This is empirically evident with terrestrial man, who is called a microcosm,12

וְכַנִּרְאֶה בְּחוּשׁ בָּאָדָם הַתַּחְתּוֹן, הַנִּקְרָא בְּשֵׁם "עוֹלָם קָטָן",

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

שֶׁלִּפְעָמִים הַטּוֹב גּוֹבֵר, וְלִפְעָמִים, לְהֵיפֶךְ חַס וְשָׁלוֹם.

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,

וְאֵין שָׁלוֹם בָּעוֹלָם עַד עֵת קֵץ,

when the good shall be refined from the evil

שֶׁיִּתְבָּרֵר הַטּוֹב מֵהָרַע

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

לִידָּבֵק בְּשָׁרְשׁוֹ וּמְקוֹרוֹ, מְקוֹר הַחַיִּים בָּרוּךְ־הוּא,

At that time, “all evildoers shall be scattered,”13 and the spirit of impurity shall pass from the earth,8

וַאֲזַי "יִתְפָּרְדוּ כָּל פּוֹעֲלֵי אָוֶן", וְרוּחַ הַטּוּמְאָה יַעֲבוֹר מִן הָאָרֶץ,

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

כְּשֶׁיִּתְבָּרֵר מִתּוֹכוֹ בְּחִינַת הַטּוֹב הַמְחַיֵּיהוּ.

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

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

וּבֵירוּר זֶה יִהְיֶה גַם כֵּן עַל־יְדֵי גִּילּוּי אֱלֹקוּתוֹ לְמַטָּה

For just as the refinement as a whole is accomplished through our actions and efforts throughout the time of exile,14 so, too, the actual refinement will result from the revelation of G‑dliness in this world.

with a great illumination and immense effulgence,

בְּהֶאָרָה רַבָּה וְהַשְׁפָּעָה עֲצוּמָה,

as it is written, “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of G‑d,”15

כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב: "כִּי מָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ דֵּעָה אֶת ה'",

and “The glory of G‑d shall be revealed….”16

"וְנִגְלָה כְּבוֹד ה' כוּ'".

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

וְזֶהוּ בִּכְלָלוּת הָעוֹלָם לֶעָתִיד,

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.

But as regards terrestrial man,

אַךְ בָּאָדָם הַתַּחְתּוֹן,

at every “time of finding,” every propitious time for finding G‑d,17

בְּכָל "עֵת מְצוֹא" –

meaning prayer,18

זוֹ תְּפִלָּה,

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

אוֹ שְׁאָר עִתִּים מְזוּמָּנִים לְהִתְבּוֹדֵד עִם קוֹנוֹ,

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

כָּל אֶחָד לְפִי מַעֲשָׂיו, זוֹכֶה לְמֵעֵין בֵּירוּר זֶה, עַל־יְדֵי עֵסֶק הַתּוֹרָה לִשְׁמָהּ

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

The same is accomplished by means of charity,

וְכֵן עַל־יְדֵי הַצְּדָקָה,

as it is related, “R. Elazar would give a coin to a poor man, and then pray,19

כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָמְרוּ: "רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר יָהִיב פְּרוּטָה לְעָנִי וַהֲדַר מַצְלֵּי,

for it is written, ‘Through tzedek will I behold Your Countenance.’20

דִּכְתִיב: אֲנִי בְּצֶדֶק אֶחֱזֶה פָנֶיךָ",

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”).

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

הִיא בְּחִינַת גִּילּוּי הֶאָרָה וְהַשְׁפָּעַת הַדַּעַת וְהַתְּבוּנָה,

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

לְהִתְבּוֹנֵן בִּגְדוּלַּת ה',

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

וּלְהוֹלִיד מִזֶּה דְּחִילוּ וּרְחִימוּ שִׂכְלִיִּים

as is known.


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

וְעַל־יְדֵי זֶה נִבְרָר הַטּוֹב לַה' וְנִפְרָד הָרַע,

as it is written, “The crucible is for [refining] silver and the melting pot is for gold, and man [is refined] according to his praise.”21

כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב: "מַצְרֵף לַכֶּסֶף וְכוּר לַזָּהָב, וְאִישׁ לְפִי מַהֲלָלוֹ",

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

פֵּירוּשׁ, לְפִי הִילּוּלוֹ אֶת ה' בְּעוֹמֶק הַדַּעַת

in order to beget awe and love.22

לְהוֹלִיד דְּחִילוּ וּרְחִימוּ –

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

כָּכָה נִבְרָר הַטּוֹב וְנִפְרָד הָרַע,

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

כְּבֵירוּר וּפֵירוּד הַסִּיגִים מִכֶּסֶף וְזָהָב בְּמַצְרֵף וְכוּר.

Now, it is well known that Jews by their very nature act compassionately and perform deeds of lovingkindness.23

וְהִנֵּה מוּדַעַת זֹאת, שֶׁיִּשְׂרָאֵל בְּטִבְעָם הֵם רַחֲמָנִים וְגוֹמְלֵי חֲסָדִים,

[This is so] because their souls issue from G‑d’s attributes,

מִפְּנֵי הֱיוֹת נַפְשׁוֹתֵיהֶם נִמְשָׁכוֹת מִמִּדּוֹתָיו יִתְבָּרֵךְ,

in which chesed prevails over the attribute of din, gevurah, and tzimtzum,

אֲשֶׁר הַחֶסֶד גּוֹבֵר בָּהֶן עַל מִדַּת הַדִּין וְהַגְּבוּרָה וְהַצִּמְצוּם,

as it is written, “His chesed prevails over those who fear Him,”24 alluding to the fact that the Divine attribute of chesed prevails over the Divine attribute of gevurah.

וּכְמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב: "גָּבַר חַסְדּוֹ עַל יְרֵיאָיו",

The soul is therefore called “daughter of the priest,” since it derives from the attribute of chesed which is called Kohen,” as is written in the sacred Zohar.25

שֶׁלָּכֵן נִקְרֵאת הַנְּשָׁמָה "בַּת כֹּהֵן" כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב בַּזּוֹהַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ.

Since the soul derives from the Divine attributes which are dominated by kindness and compassion, Jews by their very nature are kind and compassionate.

Now, the charity that issues from this source—from the soul’s inherently kind and compassionate nature—is referred to as “the act of charity,”

וְהִנֵּה, הַצְּדָקָה הַנִּמְשֶׁכֶת מִבְּחִינָה זוֹ, נִקְרֵאת בְּשֵׁם "מַעֲשֵׂה הַצְּדָקָה",

for the term “act” (maaseh) applies to that which is already done or which is constantly being done spontaneously,

כִּי שֵׁם "מַעֲשֶׂה" נוֹפֵל עַל דָּבָר שֶׁכְּבָר נַעֲשָׂה, אוֹ שֶׁנַּעֲשֶׂה תָּמִיד מִמֵּילָא

thus, something existent, common, and constant.

וְהִיא דָבָר הַהוֹוֶה וְרָגִיל תָּמִיד.

Here, too, with regard to tzedakah, that is motivated by the soul’s innate sense of kindness and compassion,

וְאַף כָּאן,

the trait of kindness and compassion is implanted in the souls of the entire House of Israel from aforetime,

הֲרֵי מִדַּת הַחֶסֶד וְהָרַחֲמָנוּת הוּטְבְּעָה בְּנַפְשׁוֹת כָּל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל מִכְּבָר

from the time that they were created and that they evolved from G‑d’s attributes,

מֵעֵת בְּרִיאוּתָן וְהִשְׁתַּלְשְׁלוּתָן מִמִּדּוֹתָיו יִתְבָּרֵךְ,

as it is written in regard to Adam’s soul entering his body, “And He blew into his nostrils [a soul of life],”26

כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב: "וַיִּפַּח בְּאַפָּיו כוּ'",

[and we likewise say] concerning the entry of each and every soul into its individual body, “You blew it into me,”27

"וְאַתָּה נָפַחְתָּ בִּי",

and “He who blows, [blows from within him,]”28 from his innermost being.

"וּמַאן דְּנָפַח כוּ'",

So, too, in the analogue: Since the soul emanates from the inward aspect of the Divine attributes, it is infused with them as well so that the attribute of kindness dominates the soul even as it finds itself within the body.

Furthermore,29 in His goodness, [G‑d] renews the act (maaseh) of creation every single day, and this includes the supernal attributes.

וְגַם בְּכָל יוֹם וָיוֹם בְּטוּבוֹ מְחַדֵּשׁ מַעֲשֵׂה בְרֵאשִׁית,

Likewise, with regard to souls below, [it is written,] “They are new every morning….”30

וַ"חֲדָשִׁים לַבְּקָרִים כוּ'".

“Act” (maaseh) thus refers to a constant process, such as the renewal of the soul, with its characteristic traits of kindness and compassion. The “act of tzedakah” hence refers to the tzedakah which a Jew practices by virtue of these innate character traits.

The term “service” (avodah), however, applies only to what a man does with immense exertion, contrary to his soul’s inclination,

אַךְ לְשׁוֹן "עֲבוֹדָה" אֵינוֹ נוֹפֵל אֶלָּא עַל דָּבָר שֶׁהָאָדָם עוֹשֶׂה בִּיגִיעָה עֲצוּמָה נֶגֶד טֶבַע נַפְשׁוֹ,

Indeed, it is his very disinclination for a particular task that works against him and necessitates such exertion.

but he overrules his nature and will out of deference to the supreme will,

רַק שֶׁמְּבַטֵּל טִבְעוֹ וּרְצוֹנוֹ מִפְּנֵי רָצוֹן הָעֶלְיוֹן בָּרוּךְ־הוּא,

exhausting himself, for example, in Torah and prayer, “to the extent of pressing out the soul….”31

כְּגוֹן לְיַיגֵּעַ עַצְמוֹ בְּתוֹרָה וּבִתְפִלָּה "עַד מִיצּוּי הַנֶּפֶשׁ כוּ'".

Since the soul is not naturally inclined to such a situation, a great deal of toil and effort is required.

In our case, too, with regard to the commandment of giving charity, [to “serve” entails] giving far more than [would be prompted by] the nature of one’s compassion and will.

וְאַף כָּאן בְּמִצְוַת הַצְּדָקָה, לִיתֵּן הַרְבֵּה יוֹתֵר מִטֶּבַע רַחֲמָנוּתוֹ וּרְצוֹנוֹ

As our Sages, of blessed memory, commented on the verse, “Give, you shall give”32: “…even a hundred times.”33

וּכְמוֹ שֶׁאָמְרוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ־זִכְרוֹנָם־לִבְרָכָה עַל פָּסוּק "נָתֹן תִּתֵּן" – "אֲפִילוּ מֵאָה פְעָמִים וְכוּ'".

This, then, is the meaning of the verse, “And the act of charity shall be [peace]”—

וְזֶהוּ שֶׁכָּתוּב "וְהָיָה מַעֲשֵׂה הַצְּדָקָה",

that even with the kind of charity which is called an “act” and not “service,”

שֶׁגַּם הַצְּדָקָה הַנִּקְרֵאת בְּשֵׁם "מַעֲשֶׂה" וְלֹא בְּשֵׁם "עֲבוֹדָה",

[this] arousal from below will nevertheless elicit an arousal from above.

אַף־עַל־פִּי־כֵן, בְּ"אִתְעָרוּתָא דִלְתַתָּא אִתְעָרוּתָא דִלְעֵילָּא",

One arouses a manifestation of the [infinite] Ein Sof-light with a great illumination and an intense diffusion,

מְעוֹרֵר גִּילּוּי אוֹר־אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא בְּהֶאָרָה רַבָּה וְהַשְׁפָּעָה עֲצוּמָה,

and peace is brought about “in [G‑d’s] high places,” between Michael and Gabriel, chesed and gevurah,

וְנַעֲשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו

and also within the terrestial retinue—the lower worlds.

וְגַם בְּפָמַלְיָא שֶׁל מַטָּה.

In this lowly world, however, there will be no manifestation of [this] peace, and of the refinement and separation of the evil from the good,

רַק שֶׁבָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה הַשָּׁפָל לֹא יִתְגַּלֶּה הַשָּׁלוֹם וְהַבֵּירוּר וּפֵירוּד הָרַע מֵהַטּוֹב

until the ultimate time, when evil will cease to exist,

עַד עֵת קֵץ

but not during the time of the exile, as explained above,

וְלֹא בִּזְמַן הַגָּלוּת, כַּנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל.

except in the microcosm, i.e., in man,

רַק בְּ"עוֹלָם קָטָן" הוּא הָאָדָם

at every “time of finding,” meaning prayer,

בְּכָל "עֵת מְצוֹא" – זוֹ תְּפִלָּה,

as it is written, “Through tzedek will I behold Your countenance,” as discussed above.

כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב "בְּצֶדֶק אֶחֱזֶה פָנֶיךָ", כַּנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל.

Even so, after prayer, it is possible that the evil will easily reawaken and become intermingled with the good

אַךְ אַחַר הַתְּפִלָּה, יוּכַל לִהְיוֹת הָרַע חוֹזֵר וְנֵיעוֹר בְּקַל וּלְהִתְעָרֵב בַּטּוֹב,

as one walks about in the darkness of this world.

כַּאֲשֶׁר יִתְהַלֵּךְ בְּחֶשְׁכַת עוֹלָם הַזֶּה.

However, as to the charity [which is practiced with self-imposed toil] at the level of avodah (“service”),

אַךְ הַצְּדָקָה בִּבְחִינַת "עֲבוֹדָה",

since it is exceedingly precious and lofty, far more so than the tzedakah one practices out of one’s natural inclination,

הִנֵּה, מֵאֲשֶׁר יָקְרָה וְגָדְלָה מַעֲלָתָהּ בִּמְאֹד מְאֹד,

because [in the former case] one overrules his nature and bodily will out of deference to the supreme will,

בִּהְיוֹתוֹ מְבַטֵּל טִבְעוֹ וּרְצוֹנוֹ הַגּוּפָנִי מִפְּנֵי רָצוֹן הָעֶלְיוֹן בָּרוּךְ־הוּא,

and “the sitra achara is subjugated,”

וְאִתְכַּפְיָא סִטְרָא אָחֳרָא,

and then “the glory of the Holy One, blessed be He, rises [and becomes manifest in all the worlds],”34

וַאֲזַי אִסְתַּלֵּק יְקָרָא דְקוּדְשָׁא־בְּרִיךְ־הוּא כוּ',

“like the superiority of light over (lit., ‘out of’) darkness,”35 as is known—

וּ"כְיִתְרוֹן הָאוֹר מִן הַחֹשֶׁךְ" דַּוְקָא כַּנּוֹדָע,

The excellence of light is most appreciated when darkness itself is transformed into light.

in such a case, by virtue of the exertion involved in this superior form of tzedakah, the evil can no longer reawaken so easily of itself,

אֵי לָזֹאת – אֵין הָרַע יָכוֹל לִהְיוֹת עוֹד חוֹזֵר וְנֵיעוֹר בְּקַלּוּת כָּל כָּךְ מֵאֵלָיו,

unless, heaven forfend, one rouses it and draws it upon himself.

רַק אִם הָאָדָם יְעוֹרְרֶנּוּ וְיַמְשִׁיכֶנּוּ עַל עַצְמוֹ חַס וְשָׁלוֹם.

This, then, is the meaning of “quietness and surety forever”—that the reward for the service of charity is eternal quietness and surety.

וְזֶהוּ שֶׁכָּתוּב "הַשְׁקֵט וָבֶטַח עַד עוֹלָם",

Hashket (“quietness”) is related to [the root of the verb in] the phrase, “he rests (shoket) on his dregs,”36 meaning that the dregs are completely separated from the wine and sink all the way down,

"הַשְׁקֵט" הוּא מִלְּשׁוֹן "שׁוֹקֵט עַל שְׁמָרָיו", דְּהַיְינוּ, שֶׁהַשְּׁמָרִים נִפְרָדִים לְגַמְרֵי מִן הַיַּיִן וְנוֹפְלִין לְמַטָּה לְגַמְרֵי,

while the wine above is wholly pure and clear.

וְהַיַּיִן לְמַעְלָה זַךְ וְצָלוּל בְּתַכְלִית.

Similarly with the service of charity:

וְעַל דֶּרֶךְ זֶה הוּא בַּ"עֲבוֹדַת הַצְּדָקָה", –

The dregs represent the mixture of evil in one’s soul,

הַ"שְּׁמָרִים" הֵן בְּחִינַת תַּעֲרוֹבֶת רַע שֶׁבְּנַפְשׁוֹ, –

which is gradually extricated and separated

נִבְרָר וְנִפְרָד מְעַט מְעַט

until it falls netherward to its root and source—below all the worlds,

עַד שֶׁנּוֹפֵל לְמַטָּה לִמְקוֹרוֹ וְשָׁרְשׁוֹ,

as it is written,37 “And You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”38

וּכְמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב: "וְתַשְׁלִיךְ בִּמְצוּלוֹת יָם כָּל חַטֹּאתָם":