Iggeres Ha’Kodesh Epistle 12, Class 8

Tanya/ Iggeres Ha’Kodesh – The Holy Epistle, Epistle 12, Class 8


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”:




34. Zohar II, 128b.

35. Ecclesiastes 2:13.

36. Jeremiah 48:11.

37. Micah 7:19.

38. Note by the Rebbe: “In Or Hatorah of the Tzemach Tzedek on this verse (Micah 7:19), the author refers the reader to the Shaloh on Parashat Vayishlach (295b). That reference is instructive here too.”

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