Ch. 31, Class # 6

End of Chapter 31

ולהיות בחינת תשובה זו ביתר שאת ויתר עז מעומקא דלבא, וגם שמחת הנפש תהיה בתוספת אורה ושמחה

One may lend this teshuvah — the restoration of his soul to its source — additional strength from the depths of his heart, and likewise add a greater measure of light and joy to the joy of his soul brought on by the teshuvah,

כאשר ישיב אל לבו דעת ותבונה לנחמו מעצבונו ויגונו, לאמר כנ״ל

by comforting his heart from its distress and sorrow, through reflecting (lit., “speaking to his heart”) with knowledge and understanding, as follows:

הן אמת כו׳, אך אני לא עשיתי את עצמי

“Certainly it is true, as said above, that I am utterly remote from G‑d, etc.; but it was not I who created myself in a manner that permits the divine soul to be exiled within the impurity of the body and animal soul. It was G‑d Who created me thus.

ולמה עשה ה׳ כזאת, להוריד חלק מאורו יתברך, הממלא וסובב כל עלמין, וכולא קמיה כלא חשיב, והלבישו במשכא דחויא וטפה סרוחה

“Why then has G‑d done such a thing — to cause [the divine soul,] a part of His light which fills and encompasses all worlds and before which all is as naught, to descend into [the body], and be clothed in a ’serpent’s skin‘ and a ’fetid drop‘

אין זה כי אם ירידה זו היא צורך עליה

“Surely this descent must be for the sake of a subsequent ascent.

להעלות לה׳ כל נפש החיונית הבהמית שמקליפת נוגה, וכל לבושיה, הן בחינות מחשבה דבור ומעשה שלה

“That is, to elevate to G‑d the entire animating, animal soul, which derives fromkelipat nogah, and also its ’garments‘ of thought, speech and action,

על ידי התלבשותן במעשה דבור ומחשבת התורה

by means of clothing them in the action, speech and thought of the Torah.

For by performing the mitzvot, and by speaking and thinking words of Torah, the animal soul and its ’garments‘ are elevated toward G‑dliness.

וכמו שכתוב לקמן ענין העלאה זו באריכות, איך שהיא תכלית בריאת העולם

(21The subject of this ascent will be discussed further on at length; 22 it will be shown how this is the purpose for which the world was created.)

ואם כן איפוא זאת אעשה, וזאת תהיה כל מגמתי כל ימי חלדי

“If this be so, there is one thing for me to do, and this shall be my sole aim throughout my life:

לכל בהן חיי רוחי ונפשי, וכמו שכתוב: אליך ה׳ נפשי אשא

To immerse therein — in the thought, speech and action of the Torah and the mitzvot —the life of my spirit and soul, as it is written, 23 “To You, G‑d, I raise my soul.

דהיינו, לקשר מחשבתי ודבורי במחשבתו ודבורו יתברך, והן הן גופי הלכות הערוכות לפנינו, וכן מעשה במעשה המצות

“In practical terms, this means: To bind my thought and speech with G‑d’s thought and speech — which are, in fact, the very laws which have been set out before us. For the laws of the Torah are G‑d’s “thought” and “speech”, and by studying them one binds his own faculties of thought and speech with their Divine counterparts. Similarly with action: I will bind my faculty of action with G‑d’s faculty of action, through performing the commandments.”

שלכן נקראת התורה משיבת נפש, פירוש, למקורה ושרשה

For this reason, the Torah is described as24 “that which restores the soul,” i.e.,it restores the soul to its source and root.

ועל זה נאמר: פקודי ה׳ ישרים משמחי לב

Moreover, concerning this occupation in the Torah and the mitzvot which brings joy to the soul by restoring it to its source, and which banishes the sadness of its exile in the body and animal soul, it is written: 25 “G‑d’s commandments are just; they gladden the heart.”

When one considers that one’s study of the Torah and observance of themitzvot elevate not only his divine soul, but also his animal soul, his teshuvahwill gain in depth, and the joy of his soul will gain in intensity.

For although the soul’s “escape” from exile within the body and animal soul (spoken of earlier) would in itself be sufficient cause for great joy, yet this is a joy tempered by sadness over the lowly state in which one’s body and animal soul remain. When one realizes, however, that Torah and the mitzvot elevate the body and animal soul as well, his joy will be untarnished.

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FOOTNOTES
21. Parentheses are in the original text.
22. Chapters 35, 36, and 37.
23. Tehillim 25:1.
24. Ibid., 19:8.
25. Ibid., 19:9.