Tanya Chapter 39: The reward and spiritual elevation effected by the quality of the Kavana

Chapter 39: The reward and spiritual elevation effected by kavana

7th Nissan/27th Adar 2

1.       The difference between the service of man versus that of angels:

  • Angels are like animals: The angels are referred to as animals, both wild [Chayos] and domestic, as the verse states “Upnei Aryeh El Hayamin, Upnei Shur Mihasmol.” The reason for this is because the angles do not have freedom of choice, and their love and fear are naturally born within them as written in the Raya Mihemna Parshas Pinchas.
  • Tzadikim are in Beriyah while angels Yetzira: It is for this reason that the Tzadikim reach higher levels than the angels, as is seen from the fact that the abode of the Tzadikim in the upper world is in the world of Beriya, while the angels dwell in the world of Yetzira.
  • Some angels live in Beiryah: This, however, only refers to the regular angels called Chayos Tiviyim. However, there do exist angles called Chayos Sichliyim which reside in the world of Beriya, as their Avoda is to serve Hashem with intellectual love and fear.

[To properly understand why the Tzadikim dwell in Beriya while the angels in Yetzira, we must first introduce the difference between the two worlds.]

2.       The difference between the world of Beriya and Yetzira:

  • Midos are revealed in Yetzirah: The difference between the worlds of Beirya and Yetzira is the level of G-dly revelation they contain. In the world of Yetzira, the Midos and emotional attributes of Ein Sof shine, as it states in the Tikkunim and Eitz Chaim that the six Sefiros dwell in Yetizra.
  • Angels in Yetzira serve Hashem with emotions: This revelation of the Midos in Yetzira is expressed in the creations, and angels of that world through their service of love, fear, and trepidation. This is the service of the angel’s, day and night without break.
  • The entire camp of Gavriel stands by the left with constant fear and trepidation. The entire camp of Michael stands by the right and serves with love.
  • Chabad is revealed in Beriyah: However, in the world of Beriya shines the Chabad/intellect of the Ein Sof, as it states in Tikkunim that the supernal mother hovers over the three Sefiros in the world of Beriya.
  • This intellect is the source of the Midos and is the mother and root of them. Based on the above, it is understood why the world of Beriya is the abode for Tzadikkim, as explained next.

3.       Beriyah-The world of residence of Tzaddikim who serve G-d with intellectual love:

  • The world of Beriya is the abode for Tzadikkim who serve Hashem with intellectual love and fear that is born due to contemplation of His greatness.
  • Their love is their garments: The fiery love of the heart that they arouse become garments for their Neshama/soul in the world of Beriya.
  • Gan Eden Haelyon: This abode of the Tzaddikim is known as Gan Eden Haelyon.

8th Nissan

4.       Yetzira-The world of residence of all other souls:

  • Only the Neshama dwells in Beriyah while their Ruach of dwell in Yetzira: It is only the aspect of the soul known as the Neshamah of the above mentioned Tzadikim which reside in the world of Beriyah, however, their level of soul known as Ruach resides in the spiritual world of Yetzira.
  • Only the Neshama intellectually comprehends G-dliness The reason for this is because it is only the aspect of the soul known as the Neshamah which experiences the intellectual perception of the infinite light of G-d [and hence deserves to reside in the world of Beriyah which contains revelation of G-d’s intellect].
  • The Neshamos of all other Jews dwell in Yetzira: Likewise, the aspect of Neshama of the rest of Israel who served G-d with natural love and fear [as opposed to the intellectual love and fear experienced by the Tzadikim], dwell in the world of Yetzira.
  • Gan Eden Hatachton: The world of Yetzira in which these souls reside is known as Gan Eden Hatachton.
  • The souls are elevated to Beriyah on Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh: The above abode in the world of Yetzira by the Ruach of the Tzadikim and the Neshamos of the rest of Israel, is only during the regular weekdays. However, on Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh the souls of Yetzira are elevated to the world of Beirya through a pillar, and delight and receive pleasure from G-d and His divine Ray
  • The elevating pillar: There is a pillar between the world of Yetzira, which is known as Gan Eden Hatachton, and Beriyah which is known as Gan Eden Haelyon, which serves as an elevator for the souls to go up on Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh [and go back down after its leave].

5.       Pleasure in G-d derives from intellectual comprehension of Him:

  • Intellectual beings can only derive pleasure from matters that they comprehend and understand. Thus, the pleasure that they have in Gan Eden Haelyon derives from their understanding and comprehension of the infinite light of G-d as it is invested within His wisdom of the world of Beriyah.


6.       Why the souls are elevated to Beriyah on Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh

  • The reason the souls receive an elevation on Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh, unlike angels [which always remain in the world of Yetzira], is because although they only serve G-d in this world with their natural emotions of love and fear similar to angels, nonetheless, this itself was a result of their Iskfaya and battle with the side of evil which is invested in their body.
  • The choice of love versus lust: The love and fear was only achieved due to their abstaining from evil, and crushing and subjugating their physical lusts, and through doing positive actions. These souls had freedom of choice to choose to follow the evil and give in to their lusts, heaven forbid. However, they chose to do good and subjugate the side of evil and cause the greatness of G-d greatness to be elevated in all worlds as light shines within the darkness [therefore, they merit to be elevated to the world of Beriyah on Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh].


7.       The Torah and Mitzvos of all souls are elevated and united with the ten Sefiros:

  • All the above discussion of the place of residence of souls is only with regards to the soul itself. However, it’s divine service and study of Torah are actually united with the ten Sefiros which are G-dliness, and with which G-d’s infinite light unites with in the greatest unity.
  • Intellectual love elevates Torah and Mitzvos to the Sefiros of Beriyah: Those souls which served G-d with intellectual love and fear, have their Torah and service of G-d elevated to the Sefiros of the world of Beriyah.
  • Natural love elevates Torah and Mitzvos to the Sefiros of Yetzirah: The Torah and Avoda of the souls who served Hashem with natural hidden love are united with the ten Sefiros of Yetzira.
  • The unity of the Ten Sefiros with Atzilus and Or Ein Sof: Either way, whether the divine services elevated to the ten Sefiros of Beriyah or Yetzira, these ten Sefiros contain within them the ten Sefiros of Atzilus, and are united with them in a complete unity. In turn, the ten Sefiros of the world of Atzilus is united with their eminator which is the infinite G-d.
  • The souls are not elevated to the Sefiros: It is only the divine service of the souls that becomes elevated and united with the Sefiros however, the souls themselves do not get elevated to the Sefiros of their world, and rather reside in the chambers of that world, of Beriyah or Yetzira, so they can receive pleasure from the ray of the divine presence. This ray of the divine presence is itself a ray of the infinite light of G-d as it is united within the 10 Sefiros of the world of Beriyah or Yetzira,
  • The souls receive pleasure from a ray of their divine service: The ray of G-dliness that the souls benefit from in Gan Eden is the ray of their actual Torah and Avoda, as the reward of a Mitzvah is the Mitzvah itself.

9th Nissan/28TH Adar 2

8.       In Atzilus there is no comprehension of G-dliness, in contrast to Beriya:

  • Atzilus: The world of Atzilus is higher than the intellect and comprehension of the human mind, as the Chabad of Ein Sof in Atzilus is united with Him in an absolute and most intense unity, which vastly surpasses the unity in the world of Beriya.
  • Beriya: In Beriya, the Chabad of Ein Sof descended in the form of contractions in order to shine to the creations there and allow them to have some level of comprehension and understanding of G-d, each according to their limited intellectual capabilities. The G-dly revelation had to be contracted to the point that the limited and defined creations could comprehend G-dliness and still retain their existence and not become nullified and reincorporated within their root and source which is actual G-dliness.
  • The contractions allow the souls to benefit from G-dliness: This contraction is the cause of why a ray of Chabad of Ein Sof shines to the souls who dwell in the world of Beriyah. In contrast, in the world of Atzilus where the Chabad of Ein Sof is not in such a state of contraction, it’s not possible for created intellectual beings to receive from it and comprehend G-dliness.

29th Adar 2

9.       The Tzadikim who live in Atzilus-Those who are a constant chariot for G-d:

  • The world of Atzilus is the abode for Tzadikim whose service of Hashem surpasses even the service of intellectual love and fear.
  • The reason: Being that Atzilus is above the intellect of creations, therefore it is the resting place of the great Tzadikim who served Hashem on a level even higher than intellect and even higher than the love and fear that is achieved through comprehension of God’s greatness.
  • What is this level of service? The above Tzadikim constantly serve Hashem as an actual Merkava for the infinite light of God, acting as a chariot of G-d, to be completely nullified to Him and be incorporated in His light through the fulfillment of Torah and Mitzvos.
  • An example of such Tzadikim: An example of such Tzadikim were the Avos, our forefathers, who all their days served Hashem as a chariot.

1st Nissan

10.   The residence of Tzadikim who are an occasional chariot for G-d:

  • Their permanent residence in Beriya: Those whose soul root cannot handle being a constant chariot for G-d, to be constantly nullified and incorporated within Hashem’s light, do not permanently reside in Atzilus even if they occasionally serve G-d as a chariot. Rather, such a Tzadik who occasionally serves Hashem as a Merkava mainly dwells in the world of Beriya.
  • Their occasional residence in Atzilus: Although the main residence of a Tzadik who occasionally serves Hashem as a Merkava is in the world of Beriya, nevertheless, at auspicious times his Neshama is elevated to Atzilus as a form of Mayin Nukvin.
  • The occasions in which they serve God as a chariot: An auspicious time above when people can reach the service of being a chariot for God, is during Shemoneh Esrei, which corresponds to the world of Atzilus. This especially applies to the bowing during Shemoneh Esrei, as every bow is the aspect of Atzilus, as it represents the nullification to G-d’s light to be considered like complete nothingness.

10th Nissan/2nd Nissan

11.   The level of Avoda and spiritual elevation of one who has no love and fear at all:

  • Based on one’s reward one can tell the quality of his divine service: The reward of a Mitzvah is the Mitzvah itself. This means that one can deduce the essence and level of a given Mitzvah through knowing its reward. This is in reference to the Kavanah one has through doing a Mitzvah.
  • The divine service of the Merkava Tzadikim: We have no conception of hidden matters such as [the quality of divine service of] those great Tzadikim who are a Merkava for God, [and hence he will not expound on their reward or divine service]. Rather, we will deal with those divine services which are attainable.
  • Intellectual love and fear-Beriya: A Mitzvah done with intellectual love and fear of G-d, aroused through contemplating God’s greatness, resides in the ten Sefiros of the world of Beriya.
  • Emotional love and fear-Yetzira: A Mitzvah done with a natural intellectual love and fear of G-d, resides in the ten Sefiros of the world of Yetzira.
  • No love and fear-remains in external world: However, an Avoda without any arousal at all of love and fear even in one’s mind, does not get elevated at all and rather remains below in the world of separation [from G-d], which is called the external worlds.
  • The definition of no love and fear: This form of Avoda does not arouse even the natural love that is concealed in the heart of every Jew, to bring it from its concealed state to a state of revelation in his mind and subconscious parts of his heart, at the very least. Rather, it remains concealed in the heart in the same state it was before the Avoda.
  • Lacks ability of elevation: A Mitzvah without love and fear does not have the power to be elevated and incorporated in G-d’s unity, which are His ten holy Sefiros. This follows the statement brought in Tikkunim that a Mitzvah without love and fear does not become elevated at all and is unable to stand before G-d.

11th Nissan/3rd Nissan

12.   Serving Hashem Lishma versus not Lishma-Love & fear versus habit versus ulterior motives:

  • Ulterior motives: Not Lishma does not just mean that one serves Hashem for ulterior motives, Chas Veshalom [which is certainly defined as not Lishma], but even if he serves Hashem simply out of habit, without any motivation.
  • Habitual service: On this the prophet bemoans “And you fear Me and fulfill Mitzvos out of habit,” due to the habit that one became accustomed to from a young age, through his father’s and teacher’s education to fear and serve G-d.
  • True Lishma requires feelings of love and fear: Such a person is not considered to be serving Hashem truly Lishma, as truly Lishma means that one arouses fear and love at least in his mind, from the natural love that is hidden in his heart.
  • The reason: Just as a person does not perform an action for his friend unless he loves or fears him, so too its not possible to truly serve Him Lishma and fulfill His wishes without at the very least remembering and arousing love and fear at all in his mind and thought.

13.   Love alone does not suffice-One who serves Hashem with love but without fear:

  • Love alone is not considered Avoda without also arousing some level of fear which is hidden in the hearts of every Jew.

12th Nissan/4th Nissan

14.   What happens to the Torah of one who serves Hashem for ulterior motives and how to elevate it?

  • Enters Kelipos: One who serves Hashem not Lishma at all, for ulterior motives, such as to become a Torah scholar and receive fame and honor and the like, then the Torah which he learns becomes penetrated with the Kelipa of his motive, which is Kelipas Nogah.
  • Is in state of exile until redeemed through repentance: The Torah which he learns enters into a temporary state of exile inside the Kelipa until he does Teshuvah which brings healing to the world. When he repents to Hashem, his Torah returns with him.
  • Learning Torah even not Lishma: For this reason, the Sages[1] state that one should always serve Hashem even not Lishma, as eventually even a non-Lishma learning will certainly become Lishma.
  • Every Jew will certainly repent eventually: This eventual coming to Lishma is guaranteed being that certainly one will eventually do Teshuvah, whether in this incarnation or the next, as no Jew will be pushed away from Hashem. [Thus, not only will one eventually progress to a Lishma learning if he learns not Lishma, but even the Torah that was learned not Lishma will become Lishma due to his Teshuvah.]

15.   What happens to the Torah of one who serves Hashem out of habit and how to elevate it:

  • No need for repentance: When one learns Torah out of habit, without any ulterior motive, not Lishma and not Lo Lishma, then he does not require Teshuvah in order to elevate the Torah that he learned.
  • Lishma learning elevates the habitual learning: Rather, as soon as he reviews the subject Lishma then also that which he learned out of habit becomes connected and joins this learning and becomes elevated above.
  • Habitual learning is not invested in the Kelipos: The reason for this is because habitual study does not invest the Torah into the Kleipos, even of Kelipas Nogah, [as there was not motive at all in his study]. Therefore, one should always learn Torah even not Lishma.

16.   What happens to prayer that is said without concentration and how to elevate it:

  • Just as habitual Torah learning becomes elevated when one relearns the subject Lishma, so too prayer that was said without concentration. When one prays that section with concentration on another occasion, it elevates the previous prayer, as is written in the Zohar.[2]

[1] Pesachim 50b

[2] Zohar 2 p. 245

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