Tanya Chapter 34: Rejoicing over Making a dwelling place for G-d within one’s Day

Chapter 34: Rejoicing over Making a dwelling place for G-d through Torah and Charity

14th Adar/(LY) 30th Adar 1

  1. The unity of the divine presence within the forefathers, prophets, and ancestors:
  • The forefathers: It is well-known that our forefathers were a chariot for G-d. Throughout all of their days they never ceased for even one moment to connect their minds and souls to the master of the world through the above nullification to G-d’s unity that was explained in chapter 33.
  • The prophets: Likewise, all the prophets that followed after them, each one connected their mind and souls to G-d according to their level.
  • Moshe: However, the level of the connection of Moshe to G-d surpass those of all others, as the sages state regarding Moshe that the divine presence would speak through the mouth of Moshe.
  • The Jewish people on Mount Sinai: On Mount Sinai, the Jewish people also merited a glimmer of such an experience [of becoming a chariot for G-d similar to the prophets], however, they were unable to handle this revelation, as the sages teach us that their souls left their bodies upon hearing each command of G-d, as they became nullified in their existence.


  1. The residing of the divine presence in the Temple:
  • Being that the Jewish people were not able to handle the revelation of G-d within them, therefore G-d immediately commanded them to build a tabernacle with a holy of holies in order for the divine presence to reside within their midst.
  • Revelation of G-d’s unity: The residing of the divine presence refers to the revelation of G-d’s unity below as will be explained in chapter 35.

(LY) 1st Adar 2

  1. The residing of the divine presence in the teachings of Halacha:
  • From the time that the temple was destroyed, the only remaining residence and home for G-d to dwell within this world, which refers to the revelation of the unity of G-d, is the four cubits of Jewish law.
  • Jewish law contains G-d’s will and wisdom: The reason for this is because Jewish law contains invested within it the will and wisdom of G-d.
  1. Intending to make a dwelling place for G-d within one’s Torah learning:
  • Contemplating the above: After a person contemplates the above idea [of the unity of G-d explained in chapter 33, and of the nullification of our ancestors to G-d and how G-d resided in the temple and how now G-d only resides within the teachings of Halacha], he should then tell himself the following, in order so he too merit to make a dwelling place for G-d below:
    • Personally, my mind is too limited, and the root of my soul is too low to merit to become a true abode for the revelation of G-d’s unity. This is due to the fact that my mind cannot comprehend regarding G-d at all even one iota of what the forefathers and prophets were able to comprehend.
    • Accordingly, instead [of trying to comprehend G-d in order to have G-d dwell within me], I will make for G-d a dwelling place below within my Torah learning according to my time and ability by both day and night, in accordance to my requirements of Torah learning brought in Jewish law, which at minimum is one chapter in the morning and one chapter in the evening.
  1. Rejoicing in one’s making for G-d a dwelling place below within one’s Torah learning:
  • Using the above contemplation and resolve, a person’s heart should rejoice and celebrate and give thanks to G-d in his Torah learning over the fact that he merited to become a host for G-d twice every single day, in accordance to the amount of time he has to set aside for learning Torah.

15th Adar/(LY) 2nd Adar 2

  1. Resolving to study more Torah when the opportunity arrives:
  • In addition to the above joy within the current time available that one has for Torah study, one should also resolve that if G-d gives him more time, he will dedicate that time for Torah study.
  • A good intent is considered like done by G-d: This resolution itself has the power to make it as if he is already fulfilling it, as a good intent G-d considers like actual deed.
  1. Making an abode for G-d during one’s business dealings through giving charity:
  • Even during other times of the day that one is not studying Torah, but is rather dealing with business, one can become an abode for G-d by giving charity from his income.
  • Making an abode for G-d by being merciful just like G-d: [Giving charity accomplishes making for G-d a dwelling place below being that] it follows His character traits, as just as He is merciful so too a person should be merciful as it states in the Zohar that the right hand of G-d is kindness.
  • Giving 20% of one’s earnings to charity elevates all of one’s time invested in business: Although one only gives 20% of his earnings to charity, which is only 20% of his time, nevertheless, as a result of this distribution, all of the other hours he invested to earn an income, which is another 80% of his time, become a dwelling place below for G-d.
  • A similar ruling regarding sacrifices: Our sages teach us that the mitzvah of charity is equivalent to all the offerings. Now, just like by sacrifices the entire animal kingdom became elevated through the offering of a single animal, and the entire vegetative kingdom became elevated through one flour offering with olive oil, [so too by charity, it has the power to elevate all of one’s earnings and the time invested in making the income].
  • During prayer and Torah learning all of one’s bodily necessities are elevated: Furthermore, [aside for the elevation of all of one’s earnings through charity] when a person studies Torah and prays, everything that he has eaten and drank and benefited from for the sake of his bodily needs and health, also become elevated to Hashem.

(LY) 3rd Adar 2

  1. Retaining a feeling of disgust of one’s spiritual state despite all the above joys:
  • All the above different experiences of joy that one can have with G-d does not contradict the feeling of disgust, broken heartedness and humbleness over one’s low spiritual state.
  • Disgust from the animal soul and joy from the G-dly soul: It is possible to experience this broken heartedness even during the actual joy, as the broken heartedness is a result of the body and animal soul while the joy is a result of the G-dly soul and the spark of G-d that is within it to enliven it.
  • On this the Zohar states that one can experience weeping on one side of the heart and joy on the other side.

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