Tanya Chapter 12: The Beinoni

Chapter 12: The Beinoni

14th Teves/(LY)19th Teves

1. The definition of the Beinoni-A person who never sins:
  • Never sins: A Beinoni is an individual whose evil never overcomes him to the point that his evil conquers the small city, which is his body, to cause it to sin.
  • The three Levushim of the animal soul are not allowed expression in the body: This means that the three garments of the animal soul which are thought, speech, and action that derive from impurity, never overpower the G-dly soul, and thus never come to expression in one’s mind, or mouth, or 248 bodily limbs to cause it to sin and defile it.
  • Only the three garments of the G-dly soul are expressed in the body: Rather, the three garments of the G-dly soul are the sole dominant force within the body which is allowed expression through one’s thought, speech, and action of the 613 commands.
  • Beinoni has never sinned and will never sin and has never been called a Rasha all his days: The Beinoni is an individual who has never transgressed a sin in the past [as even if he has transgressed in the past he has completely repented and is like a new person] and [in his present situation] will never [be tempted to] transgress a sin in the future. The Beinoni has never been called a Rasha even for one moment throughout all of his days.

(LY)20th Teves

2. The internal battel of the Beinoni:
  • The G-dly soul has no control over the essence and instincts of the body: Although in the Beinoni, the G-dly soul controls the body to the point that it blocks the animal soul from expressing itself within the body, nonetheless, it does not control the essence and instincts of the soul and body.
  • The ten soul aspects of the G-dly soul only rule the body at specified times: The essence of the G-dly soul, which refers to its 10 soul faculties, does not have sole control and governance over the small city which is the body, [and he rather shares control of it together with the animal soul].

3. The control of the G-dly soul during Davening over even the essence:
  • There exist however certain auspicious times in which is an exception to the above, in which the essence of the G-dly soul takes the sole control of the body. An example of such a suspicious time is during the time of reading the Shema and the time of prayer. The reason for this is because during prayer the divine intellect above in heaven is revealed and this has an impact on one’s G-dly soul below [to give it the extra strength to overcome even the essence of the animal soul].
  • The love and passion for G-d during Davening: During prayer one connects his intellect to G-d, to deeply concentrate on the greatness of the infinite G-d, which then arouses a great passionate and fiery love in the right ventricle of his heart. This creates a great desire to attach to G-d through the fulfillment of Torah and mitzvos, which is the content of discussion within the biblical reading of the Shema paragraphs. Now, the blessings which are rabbinical that come before and after the reading of the Shema, are there to prepare us for the above experience in the reading of Shema.
  • No existence of evil during this type of prayer: When a person experiences the above love during his prayer the evil that is in the left side of his heart become subservient nullified to the good that is in the right side of his heart which is aroused by the intellect found in his mind which is connected with the greatness of the infinite G-d.
  • The evil returns after prayer: After one finishes his prayer, the evil of the animal soul returns to its conscious state within the left ventricle of the heart, and he once again begins to lust and desire the physical pleasures of the world. The reason for this is because after the prayer has concluded, the intellectual connection with the greatness of the infinite G-d leaves the person.

15th Teves/(LY)21st Teves

  • The evil is felt but not consciously expressed: Nevertheless, since the evil does not retain the soul reign and governance over the body, which in the Beinoni is under the control of the G-dly soul, therefore, the evil is unable to express and fulfill his lusts and passions through investing itself in the limbs of the body, and actually performing the lust, or thinking, or speaking of it.
  • Does not contemplate the lust: [This does not mean that the thought of the lust never enters his head, but rather] this means that one will not consciously concentrate and entertain in his mind the lusts for the pleasures of the world and think of ways of fulfilling his passion.
  • The reason why the evil side within the Beinoni receives no expression: The reason why the lusts of the animal soul from the heart are unable to take control of the mind and body is because the mind naturally retains control over the heart.

4. The mind rules over the heart [Moach Shalit Al Halev]:
  • Human nature: This natural control that the mind contains over the heart was embedded within the very nature of the human body and soul in the outset of creation of man.
  • Every person has the power to control his heart’s desires: Accordingly, every human being contains the ability and potential to control the lusts and passions that derive from his heart, to not allow his heart’s desires to be expressed in action, speech, or thought.
  • Disregarding the lust and contemplating its opposite: Furthermore, the control of the mind over the heart is so strong that not only is it able to stop the lust from his heart from being thought about in his mind, but he can even fill his mind with thoughts of the exact opposite of that lust. This especially applies if one chooses to contemplate matters of holiness [instead of contemplating the lust, although technically one contains control to even contemplate mundane matters that are not of holiness in place of contemplating the lust].

5. Like the advantage of light over darkness:
  • This advantage that the mind has over the heart, that it is able to control the heart, is expressed in the verse in Scripture which states that “The advantage of wisdom over foolishness is similar to the advantage of light over darkness.”
  • The light of the G-dly soul in the mind pushes away the darkness of evil: This means that just as light has the advantage and governance over darkness, as even a little bit of physical light gets rid of much darkness, as darkness consequently banishes itself in the face of light, so too, much of the foolishness of the side of evil found in the left part of the heart’s is consequently banished in face of the wisdom of the G-dly soul that is in the mind.
  • Now, the desire and will of the wisdom of the G-dly soul in the mind is to take control of the entire body, to invest its three garments within the entire body, which is man’s thought speech and action of the 613 commands.

16th Teves/(LY)22nd Teves

6. The essence of the Kelipa in a Beinoni remains intact:
  • Not a Tzadik at all: Despite all the above advantages and control that the G-dly soul has over the animal soul in the body of the Beinoni, nevertheless, the person is not considered a Tzadik at all.
  • No control over the essence of one’s evil: The reason for this is because the advantage and control that the light of the G-dly soul has over the darkness and foolishness of Kelipa, is only with regards to the three garments of expression of thought speech and action, however, the essence of the G-dly soul does not have control over the essence of the Kelipa.
  • After Davening no conscious love to banish the essence of evil: The reason for this lack of control over the essence of one’s evil is because after one is finished praying, there is no longer an emotion of passionate love for G-d conscious within the right part of the heart, and hence the force which is necessary to consequently banish the essence of the animal soul that is found in the left part of the heart, is now missing.
  • A subconscious love remains: Despite the above lack of a conscious love after prayer, a subconscious and hidden love still remains in the heart, which is the natural love contained within the G-dly soul.
  • The after-Davening experience of lusts for physical pleasures: Accordingly, due to the lack of conscious love for G-d after one is done praying, the foolishness of evil is able to consciously express itself within the left part of the heart, and begin lusting after all the various physical pleasures of this world, whether these pleasures are permitted or forbidden according to Jewish law.
  • As if he is not prayed at all: In this regard, it is as if one has not prayed at all [as the prayer has zero lasting effect on one’s feelings of passion and desire for physical pleasures].
  • Does not contemplate actually sinning: Nonetheless, due to his status as a Beinoni, he never contemplates actually transgressing a prohibition heaven forbid.
  • Suffers from thoughts of sin which disturb his service of G-d: Nonetheless, despite his status as a beta any, he suffers from thoughts of sin that enter into his head. These thoughts of sin are even worse than actual sins in a certain regard. These thoughts are able to enter into his head and disturb his Torah study and service of G-d. This follows through with the teaching of the sages that there exist three sins from which no man is safe and suffers from daily, and one of them is sinful thoughts as well as a sinful form of prayer [which is prayer without proper concentration].

17th Teves/(LY)23rd Teves

7. The effect of Davening on the remainder of the day:
  • Although the Beinoni will inevitably suffer from sinful thoughts as stated above nevertheless, the leftover effect of his prayer prevents the sinful thoughts from taking any form of expression in thought speech for action.
  • The hidden love for G-d overpowers the conscious lusts for the physical: The reason for this is because during prayer the Beinoni aroused and experienced love and fear of G-d, which although now after prayer remains hidden within the right part of his heart, nonetheless is strong enough to be able to overpower and control the evil lusts and passions that he has, and to prevent these passions from ruling over the city which refers to the body, and not allow these passions to be invested and expressed through the limbs of the body.

8. The Beinoni controls his thought:
  • No entertaining the evil thought: The evil passion that is aroused in the Beinoni after prayer does not even have the power over the mind to cause it to consciously contemplate over it. Although it can forcibly push the evil thought into the mind, it cannot cause the mind to willfully contemplate this evil thought which came to it from the heart against its will.
  • Pushing the evil thought out of the mind: Rather, as soon as the evil thought enters the mind the Beinoni pushes it away with both hands, and completely removes his mind from it the moment he realizes that it is evil thought.
  • No contemplation of any sort: The Beinoni does not willfully accept the evil thought to even think about it willingly, and certainly he does not entertain in his mind to actually perform the forbidden act, or to even speak about it.
  • Contemplating evil makes one a Rasha: The reason for the above will of religiosity required of a Beinoni is because even one who merely contemplates evil in his mind is already considered a Rasha for that moment, and as we already explained the Beinoni is not considered a Rasha for even one moment in his life

9. The Beinoni prevents all thoughts of negativity about another person:

  • The above control that the Beinoni has over his mind is not only against contemplating sinful transgressions that are between man and G-d but furthermore he has control even over negative thoughts that are between man and his fellow.
  • Not entertaining thoughts of hatred, jealousy, anger, or resentment with another: For example, as soon as the heart sends to the mind of the Beinoni a thought of animosity or hatred G-d forbid [towards another Jew] or thoughts of jealousy or anger or resentment to another, then he does not willingly accept these thoughts into his mind at all.
  • Paying kindness to those who his heart resents: On the contrary, as soon as such thoughts enter his mind, his mind takes control over the evil spirit in his heart and forces himself to do the exact opposite, and to treat his friend with kindness and show him even greater love and affection then he would otherwise.
  • Resolving to accept hurtful behavior from the individual and not take vengeance: The Beinoni resolves to silently accept the suffering from the bad behavior from the individual to the utmost extreme, and not get angry at him or take revenge against him for his deeds.
  • Resolving to treat him even more kindly: On the contrary, the Beinoni resolves to treat this individual even more kindly and repay him with good against his evil.
  • Yosef and his brothers: This type of behavior was witness regarding Yosef and how he treated his brothers with kindness despite them having sold him into slavery, as explained in the Zohar.

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