Iggeres Ha’Kodesh Epistle 12, Class 7

Tanya/ Iggeres Ha’Kodesh – The Holy Epistle, Epistle 12, Class 7


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.




31. Note by the Rebbe: “Iggeret Hakodesh, Epistle 1.”

32. Deuteronomy, loc. cit.

33. Note by the Rebbe: “Sifrei on Deuteronomy 15:10; commentary of Rashi there.”

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