Tanya for Sunday, 17 Tevet, 5773 - December 30, 2012

Discussion in 'Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality' started by Phre-massen.nash, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. Phre-massen.nash

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    However, the impression retained in his mind [from his meditation,
    during prayer, on G-d's greatness], and the [natural] love and fear of
    G-d hidden in the right part of his heart, enable him to prevail over
    and dominate the evil [animal soul's] craving, preventing the evil
    from gaining the supremacy and dominion over the "city" [the body],
    and carrying out its craving from the potential to the actual by
    clothing itself in the organs of the body [in actual speech or deed].

    Furthermore: even in the mind alone, with respect to sinful thought,
    the evil has not the dominion and power to cause him [G-d forbid] to
    think such thoughts consciously; i.e., [to cause the mind] to accept
    willingly, G-d forbid, the evil thought that rises of its own accord -
    [unbidden] - from the heart to the mind, as explained above.[7]

    [Evil thoughts will occur to him involuntarily, because the evil in
    his heart craves evil; however, the evil does not have the final say
    on what he will let his mind accept willingly; the Beinoni's conscious
    mind is dominated by the divine soul].

    Instead, immediately upon [the thought's] rising to [the mind], he -
    [the Beinoni] - thrusts it aside [as it were] with both hands, and
    averts his mind from it, the instant he realizes that it is an evil

    He will refuse to accept it even as a subject for mere conscious
    thought, and will certainly not entertain the notion of acting on it,
    G-d forbid, or even speaking of it. For he who willingly indulges in
    such thoughts is deemed a rasha at that moment, while the Beinoni is
    never wicked even for a single moment.

    [Obviously, then, the Beinoni would not willingly entertain evil
    thoughts. The discussion of his mastery over his animal soul has thus
    far centered on matters pertaining to man's relationship with G-d. It
    now moves to another area]:

    So, too, in matters "between man and his fellow-man." [The Beinoni
    will not grant expression in thought, speech or action to any evil
    feelings toward his fellow].

    As soon as there rises from his heart to his mind any animosity or
    hatred, G-d forbid, or jealousy, anger or a grudge, and their like, he
    will bar them from his mind and will, [refusing even to think of

    On the contrary, his mind will prevail over and dominate the feelings
    of his heart, to do the exact opposite [of that which the heart
    desires, namely, to conduct himself toward his fellow with the quality
    of kindness [as opposed to the quality of "severity", where hatred and
    anger originate], and to display towards his fellow a disproportionate
    love, in suffering from him to the furthest extreme, without being
    provoked into anger, G-d forbid, or to take revenge in kind, G-d
    forbid, [even without anger];

    but, on the contrary, to repay offenders with favors, as taught in the
    Zohar, [9] that we should learn from the example of Joseph's conduct
    with his brothers, [when he repaid them for the suffering they brought
    upon him, with kindness and favors.

    Thus, in his relations with his fellow-man as well, the Beinoni does
    not permit the evil in his heart to express itself in thought, word or

    It is thus understood from this chapter, that with regard to practice,
    the divine soul, is the Beinoni's only master. He neither thinks,
    speaks nor does anything forbidden, but acts only in acordance with
    Torah and mitzvot.

    As regards his essence, however, i.e., his intellect and emotions, he
    has another master as well; his animal soul is still powerful, and it
    can and does arouse evil desires in his heart.

    In connection with the statement made earlier in this chapter, that
    the time of prayer is propitious for spiritual elevation, an aphorism
    of the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi J.I. Schneersohn, comes to

    When a Jew studies Torah he feels like a student before G-d, his
    teacher, Whose wisdom he is studying. When he prays, he feels like a
    child before his father].


    7. Chapter 9.

    9. Zohar I, p. 201a.

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