A garment, before being worn, is completely clean, smoothly ironed, and lies properly on the wearer. After it is worn for a while, it usually becomes creased, dusty or stained. Of course, one does not throw away the garment. Rather it is taken to a dry cleaner to have it restored to its original condition.

To treat the garment, the cleaner will place it in a machine and then add a hot liquid and various chemical agents to remove the dirt and grime. Afterwards, he will iron the garment by pressing it with a weight, and the garment will once again be “as good as new.”

From this process, we gain insights into the soul (neshamah) of a Jew. When G‑d gives a neshamah to a Jew, that soul is pure, “ironed” smooth and a perfect fit. As we say in our daily morning prayers: “The soul You have given me is pure.”

With time, however, as the soul becomes involved in worldly matters, and if it is not used to fulfill the will of G‑d, it tends to become “creased.” Dirt may cling to it if the person neglects a mitzvah or commits a forbidden act.

Whatever the case may be, Torah teaches us that we must not despair over the condition of the soul and its fitness to sustain the individual’s spiritual life. To restore the soul to its original state, we must place it in a conducive environment, and infuse it with the warmth of Torah and mitzvos.

The “warmth” must also be “moist,” so that the soul will cling to all that is holy. This can be accomplished through heartfelt prayer, as it is written: “Pour out your heart like water,”1 2:19. and through concentrated Torah study, as stated: “All who thirst go for water”2 and “There is no water but Torah.”3 82. To complete the spiritual cleansing process, other ingredients must be added, such as generous contributions to charity, keeping kosher and observing Shabbos.

Then, if a person places the “weight” of Torah observance upon himself, which initially may seem a heavy burden, it will prove not to be a hindrance but an enhancement a process that will “iron out” the neshamah and return it to its original unblemished condition.

Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe, Vol. 4, p. 335