Daily Tanya Sunday 4th Shevat: Chapter 17: Using and accessing intellectual love to make service of G-d easy and attainable

(LY) 4th Shevat

1.       With the intellectual love, the Torah is very close to the heart and to do:

  • After clarifying all the above information in the previous chapters, we can now properly understand the verse which states that the observance of Torah and Mitzvos in one’s heart and mouth and action is very near to the person.

2.       Is love and fear of G-d versus the physical pleasures truly very easily attainable?

  • As seemingly, stating that it is very easily attainable for a person to arouse a love for G-d instead of love for the physical pleasures contradicts our experience and reality, and since the Torah is eternal it is not possible to explain that this only applied at a certain time or era. It is indeed not very easily attainable for one to transform the lusts of his heart for the physical pleasures into a true love of G-d.
  • The Talmud concords that it is not easy to achieve: In fact, the Talmud itself asserts that fear of G-d is not a small matter to achieve and attain, hence questioning the fact that Scripture seems to say that it is a very easily attained matter. Now, if this is the case regarding fear then certainly it applies regarding love, that it is not easily attainable. In addition, our sages state that it is only the Tzadik who controls his heart and has the ability to erase his lust for the physical pleasures and maintain only a lust for G-d.

3.       It is easily attainable for one to observe the commands due to his conclusion that he should love G-d:

  • In truth, the above verse which states that it is easily attainable to serve G-d in the heart does not mean that it is easily attainable for one to transform his lusts of the physical into lust for G-d. Rather, it’s intent is to say that it is easily attainable for a person to arouse an intellectual love, which is a conclusion of the heart and mind that one should love G-d even if he doesn’t actually feel it, and it is this conclusion which then brings a person to the performance of the commands. Thus, the love of the heart intended by the verse is not the passionate love of the Tzadik but rather the hidden love that is found in the recesses of the heart.
  • One’s mind is in his control to do as he pleases: Now, achieving this intellectual love which is a conclusion that one should love G-d, through activating the hidden love found in the inner recess of the heart, is indeed very easily attainable for every person who has a mind in his head, as every person’s mind is within his control to contemplate whatever he wishes, and hence it is within his power to contemplate those things that bring him to this conclusion of intellectual love. When one contemplates the greatness of the infinite G-d this consequently creates at least in his mind a love for G-d and a desire to attach to Him through fulfilling his Torah and Mitzvahs.

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