Likutei Amarim Chapter 24, Class 5

Middle of Chapter 24 

והצדיקים, שאין צלם אלקים מסתלק מעל פניהם, כל חיות רעות אתכפיין קמייהו, כמו שכתוב בזהר גבי דניאל בגוב אריות

In fact, when confronting tzaddikim, from whose face the Divine image never departs, the evil beasts are humbled before them, as is stated in the Zoharconcerning Daniel in the lions’ den.

Not only did the lions not harm him, but on the contrary they humbled themselves before him. 10 At any rate, what emerges from the above is that even the animals do not violate G‑d’s Will.

ואם כן החוטא ועובר רצונו יתברך אפילו בעבירה קלה, בשעת מעשה הוא בתכלית הריחוק מקדושה העליונה, שהיא יחודו ואחדותו יתברך

It is thus clear that he who sins and transgresses against G‑d’s Will even in a minor offense, is, at the time he commits it, completely removed from the Divine Holiness, meaning G‑d’s unity and oneness,

יותר מכל בעלי חיים הטמאים ושקצים ורמשים המושפעים מסטרא אחרא וקליפת עבודה זרה

even more so than all the unclean creatures, the vermin and the reptiles which derive their sustenance from the sitra achra and the kelipah of avodah zarah.

All the aforesaid demonstrates how one’s hidden love for G‑d can enable him to overcome his desire to transgress any sin. When he considers that thereby he becomes separated from G‑d even more than the unclean creatures, he will recoil from every sin just as he recoils from the thought of idolatry — because of his awareness that it represents an attack on his love of G‑d and his faith in Him.

ומה שפיקוח נפש דוחה שאר עבירות וגם יעבור ואל יהרג

True, we find a principle that saving a life overrides other prohibitions though not the prohibition of idolatry; so too the law sometimes calls for one to commit a transgression rather than be killed, whereas with idolatry, incest and murder, the law requires that he submit to death rather than commit any one of the three.

This would seem to indicate that the Torah itself distinguishes between idolatry and most other commandments — while the Alter Rebbe previously stated that the adultress who makes such a distinction has been blinded by a ”spirit of folly,“ for in reality every sin tears one away from G‑d in the same way as idolatry.



9. Sanhedrin 38:b.
10. Each of these two quotations is cited in support of one part of the Alter Rebbe’s contention concerning the creatures’ submission to G-d’s Will: The first, relating to “the fear and dread of man,” proves that the creatures do not deviate from their mission in that they dare not defy any human being, not even a child (see Shabbat 151b: A day-old child need not be guarded from weasels and mice; not so the corpse of Og, the mighty king of Bashan). The second, relating to Daniel in the lions’ den, demonstrates that “their spirit sees,” to the extent that they can discern whether the G-dly image rests upon one’s face – in which case they actually humble themselves before him, or whether this image is absent – in which case they will merely not defy him, but will also not humble themselves before him. (- Based on a note by the Rebbe.)

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