Tanya Chapter 18: Easily serving G-d through one’s power of Mesirus Nefesh

Chapter 18: Easily serving G-d through one’s power of Mesirus Nefesh

29th Teves/(LY)7th Shevat

1. Understanding the term “very much”:

  • To further understand the term “very” that is used in the verse which states that is “very easy” for the individual to serve G-d we must introduce the following points.

2. The easy service of G-d of a Jew who can’t even arouse a conclusion to love G-d:

  • Intellectually challenged: Every person should be fully aware and truly believe that even if he is intellectually challenged and his mind does not contain the intellectual capacity to comprehend the knowledge of G-d, that even he can very easily serve G-d.
  • Emotionally challenged: Even if he does not have the heart to feel and comprehend the greatness of the infinite G-d to be able to arouse from the contemplation not even an intellectual fear and love of G-d, which is a conclusion in the heart and mind that he should love G-d, nonetheless, even for him service of G-d is very easily attainable, for him to guard and fulfill all the mitzvahs of the Torah, and to study Torah with his mouth which corresponds to all the other mitzvahs.
  • Serving G-d with the hidden love: Even he can serve G-d with his heart, with the depths of his heart and with absolute truth, with fear and love of G-d, through accessing the hidden love found in the heart of the general souls of Israel.
  • An inheritance: This hidden love is an inheritance from our forefathers.

3. Understanding the hidden love:

  • Understanding its root: In order to understand how to access the hidden love found within the heart of every Jew which is an inheritance from our forefathers, we must first explain and introduce the root of this love and its purpose.
  • Understandings its inheritance: Likewise, we need to explain how and why this love is an inheritance for us from our forefathers.
  • Understanding how it includes fear: Likewise, it remains to be understood how fear is also included within this love [as stated above, that due to this love is very easily attainable for even the intellectually and emotionally challenged Jew to achieve a love and a fear of G-d, how then this is the case].

(LY)8th Shevat

4. The Yerusha of a G-dly soul that every Jew receives from the Avos:

  • Our forefathers were chariot for G-d: The explanation to the above is as follows: Our forefathers were a chariot for G-d throughout their life, [giving up their entire soul for the sake of G-d, and hence sanctifying both their entire body and soul].
  • Meriting to inherit a G-dly soul to their descendants: As a result of their lifework of being a chariot for G-d, they merited to draw down a G-dly soul to all of their descendants for all generations.
  • Derives from the ten Sefiros: This G-dly soul that is drawn into every Jew derives from the 10 holy Sefiros which are found within the four worlds of Atzilus, Beriya, Yetzirah and Assiya.

5. The different levels of G-dly souls given to each Jew:

  • Each person to their level: There is many levels of a G-dly soul, and hence the particular level of G-dly soul drawn to the individual is in accordance with his level and mission and purpose in life regarding that which he must accomplish. [Furthermore, as a person progresses in the service of G-d and attempts to refine more and more parts of his character, G-d grants him a higher level of a soul in order to accomplish this.]
  • The G-dly soul of the lowly Jew and the transgressor: Even the lowliest of Jews and those Jews who are known sinners and transgressors, even they draw down to their children a G-dly soul of at least some level, mainly being from the level of Nefesh Denefesh Demalchus Deassya, which is the lowest level within the holiness of the world of Assiya.

6. Even a low soul contains the infinite light of G-d within it:

  • Contains the level of Chochma: Even a low-level soul, such as above, incorporates within it the high level of Chochma of Assiyah, being that it to derives from the 10 Sefiros and is incorporated from all of them.
  • All Chochmas are connected and contain the infinite light of G-d: Now, this level of Chochma of Assiyah contains within it the level of Chochma of Malchus of Atzilus, which contains within it the level of Chochma of Atzilus, in which shines the infinite light of G-d himself. It is thus found that the infinite G-d is invested in the level of Chochma of every soul of Israel as low as he may be.
  • The infinite light of G-d spreads throughout the entire soul: The level of Chochma that is within every soul together with its infinite light of G-d that is invested within it Spreads throughout all the aspects of the soul. It is what gives life and energy to the soul from its head until its feet as it states that wisdom enlivens a person.
  • Sometimes a Rasha draws a very high soul: Sometimes it even occurs that the transgressors amongst Israel draw down very high souls that were stuck within the depths of evil [and hence it is not a fixed rule that sinners draw down low souls, and it is possible for even sinners to draw down very high souls].

1st Shevat/(LY)9th Shevat

7. Understanding the soul’s level of Chochma, and its effect on Emuna:

  • Chochma is above comprehension and understanding: The level of Chochma is the source for all intellect and understanding. It is higher than the level of Bina which is the full understanding and comprehension of an intellectual concept. Chochma on the other hand transcends understanding and comprehension and acts as its source feeding it the concept that it needs to understand. This is why the word Chochma is made up of the word “Koach Mah/a power of what” being that it refers to that which is still above understanding and comprehension. It is exactly for this reason that the level of Chochma merits to house and contain within it the infinite light of G-d which too is above the comprehension of any being.
  • Emuna-All Jews have simple belief in G-d: It is due to this level love Chochma contained within each Jew that every single Jew, even women and ignoramuses, believe in G-d. Faith and belief is likewise above one’s intellect and comprehension, and hence a Jew simple faith and belief in G-d is not the result of intense intellectual calculations and conclusions, but rather is a result of the level of Chochma that shines in their soul.
  • We are all like fools in comparison to G-d: Scripture states that a fool believes all matters. Now, regarding G-d, this holds true regarding everybody even the intellectuals, as G-d is above the intellect of all beings, and everyone is considered like a fool in His comparison. Accordingly, it is understood that every Jew, even the intellectual, has a simple belief in G-d that transcends his intellect and understanding. It is also due to this reason that the verse in Psalms states that “I am like an animal who does not know, and I am always with you.” This verse is coming to express the above idea, that a Jews total dedication and self-sacrifice for G-d, and his retention of loyalty towards G-d despite anything that may occur, is a result of the fact that he is like an animal who does not have comprehension, as his belief and faith in G-d is above comprehension.

8. Understanding a Jews ability for Mesirus Nefesh:

  • The power within every Jew to give up his life for G-d comes from Chochma: It is due to this revelation of Chochma within the soul of every Jew that even the lowliest of Jews and the greatest of transgressors in vast majority give up their lives for the sake of G-d’s holy name, and are willing to suffer great and excruciating suffering and torture simply in order not to deny the one G-d.
  • Despite the lack of comprehension and concept of G-d and His greatness: Now, seemingly this is not making any sense, as why would a brainless ignoramus who has no concept of G-d’s greatness be willing to give up his life for Him? Now, although even such an individual has some level of comprehension of G-d, they do not contemplate this at all, and hence it is not at all the motivating factor behind their willingness to give up their life on His behalf.
  • Is an impossibility for the soul: Rather, their willingness to give up their lives comes without any comprehension and contemplation and is rather due to what seems like an impossibility for them to deny the one G-d, despite them not having any reason or arguments to back this conclusion.
  • A result of the light of G-d that shines of the soul: This incomprehensible willingness of a Jew to give up one’s life for G-d is the result of the fact that the one G-d shines His light throughout the entire soul of the Jew and enlivens it through being invested in the level of Chochma that is found in every Jewish soul and is above knowledge and comprehension.

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