It was Moses’ last day, and he pulled all stops. If he couldn't get his point across now, his entire life’s effort was sunk.

He understood that what he was asking of these people was nothing less than a miracle. It had never been done before. No one before Moses had ever put so much responsibility, so much trust, so much faith in an entire nation.

“What I am telling you today to do in this land you are about to enter,” he told them, “—to lead divine lives upon its soil, to be a nation of priests to all nations, to ensure that your children and their children will continue in your ways so that the heavens will dwell forever upon this land—yes it is indeed a wondrous thing. From where will you find the power to accomplish such wonders?”

“Perhaps you will need to ascend to the heavens as I did at Mount Sinai? Perhaps you will need to perform such miracles as we saw at the Sea of Reeds?”

“But no. We have done that already. It is all here, in the teachings I have given you in writing and in person.”

“And I know you. For you, it is not wondrous. I know from whom you come and I know the love G‑d has placed within you. That is where you must look to find this power.”

For this thing is very much within you, in your mouth and in your heart, to do it. (Deut. 30:14)

Millennia passed, and through triumphs and travails the people of Moses were still living the divine teachings, but in lands not their own. Alive, but struggling, as a strong, but weary laborer about to finally collapse beneath an unbearable load.

The Baal Shem Tov came to revive their souls. He taught:

“Serve G‑d with love! Serve Him with joy! Awaken the essence of the soul within you, a divine living being that cannot allow itself to be torn away from G‑d, that only desires to be always at one with Him. Because this is who you truly are.”

If you were there in the presence of the Baal Shem Tov, if you saw him dance and sing with his inner circle, if you saw the unconditional love he had for the simplest human being, your soul was awakened and your heart throbbed with the joy that radiated from his face.

But if you were never there, then what were you supposed to do?

With this his disciples wrestled, as they worked together to spread his message to all Jews in every place they could reach.

Until a Litvak came and joined them, a young but erudite, methodical yet impassioned Jew from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, one for whom the vast and rigorous seas of the Talmud, the sublime heavens of the Kabbalah, and the solid earth upon which we live together were all one world. And after many years of guiding and counseling tens of thousands of Jews in the path of the Baal Shem Tov, he composed a small book for the common man and woman; a manual for accomplishing this wonder that Moses and the Baal Shem Tov told us we held within ourselves.

We call that book “the Tanya.” Its guidance is simple:

Fix a time each day to study the words of inner Torah and ponder who G‑d is, what an awesome universe He has made, who you really are, and what is the relationship between your soul and the One Above.

Don't let your mind wander. Learn to be still and to enter deeply into your thoughts. Where the mind will go, the heart will follow—but only if your mind is fixed firmly in that place.

And then call out to Him in joyful prayer that He will open your heart to awe and love for Him. Experience your soul. Experience who you are. Day after day.

At those moments when you feel tugged away from your true desires, you will only need to remind yourself, “No, this is not me. The real me cannot be separated from my G‑d even for a moment. Why should I be a fool and listen to a voice that is not me?”

Will it be without struggle?

No. For one thing, without struggle nothing has changed. The struggle itself is evidence that a great shift is taking place, that you are drawing the heavens down upon the earth.

But principally because the moment of struggle, the Tanya teaches, has an inestimable preciousness all its own. It is the moment when you come in closest contact with your inner soul. Yet more: It is an eternal moment when you touch the divine in its raw essence and draw that into your reality.

But to win that struggle on every round, every day—so that you remain who you truly are in the things you do, the words you speak, and the thoughts you choose to dwell upon—this is very much within you.

It is who you truly are.