Ch. 24, Class # 3

Middle of Chapter 24

It might be argued, however, that she differentiates between idolatry and adultery; she regards the former as much more heinous (and thus more certain to tear her away from G‑d) than the latter. Perhaps this differentiation (not the ”spirit of folly“) is why she would sacrifice her life rather than practice idolatry, yet at the same time she would not sacrifice her temptation for adultery. In answer, the Alter Rebbe states:

וההפרש שאצלה בין איסור ניאוף לאיסור השתחואה לעבודה זרה, הוא גם כן רוח שטות דקליפה

The distinction she makes between the prohibition against idolatry and that against adultery is also but a ”spirit of folly“ stemming from the kelipah.

It renders her insensitive to the enormous breach between herself and G‑d that is created by every sin. If she were aware of this breach, she would certainly overcome desire and refrain from sin.

המלבשת לנפש האלקית עד בחינת חכמה שבה, ולא עד בכלל, מפני אור ה‘ המלובש בחכמה כנ״ל

Yet the ”spirit of folly“ envelops the divine soul only up to, but not including, its faculty of Chochmah which, as explained in ch. 18, represents the power of faith in G‑d; this faith is unaffected by the ”spirit of folly,“ because of the Divine light that is clothed in the faculty of Chochmah, as explained above. 5

Therefore, when confronted with a matter that directly bears on her faith in G‑d, such as idolatry, where the ”spirit of folly“ is powerless, she would willingly sacrifice her life. But when faced with the temptation for adultery, where the ”spirit of folly“ can — and does — conceal her faith in G‑d and her hidden love for Him, she succumbs. As stated, the subjective distinction between the two stems from foolishness and insensitivity.

אבל באמת לאמיתו, אפילו עבירה קלה, הרי העוברה עובר על רצון העליון, ברוך הוא

In truth, however, even he who commits a minor sin transgresses the Divine Will,

והוא בתכלית הפירוד מיחודו ואחדותו יתברך, יותר מסטרא אחרא וקליפה הנקראת אלקים אחרים ועבודה זרה ממש, ויותר מכל הדברים הנשפעים ממנה בעולם הזה

and he is completely sundered from G‑d’s unity and oneness even more than the sitra achra and kelipah, which are called ”strange gods“ and ”idolatry“, sincekelipah does not violate G‑d’s Will, whereas he does.

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FOOTNOTES
5. Ch. 19.

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