Tanya Chapter 46: A reflective love for G-d & Uniting with G-d

Chapter 46: Returning the love received from Hashem


9th Iyar

1.      Another meditation which can arouse a most captivating love:

  • There exists another meditation which can help arouse one’s love fiery G-d. This meditation is uncomplex and is equal for all people to follow.
  • This love is very, very, near to the heart for it to be aroused, and to cause the light of love which is stuck and concealed in the heart to shine with an intense light likened to a fiery flame, within the consciousness of one’s heart and mind.
  • The love reaches such an intensity, that one is willing to give up his life, his body and money for the sake of G-d, with all of his heart and soul and might, from the very depths of his heart in absolute truth. This passion and emotion is especially able to be aroused during Kerias Shema and prayer, as will be explained. What then is this great, uncomplex, and potent meditation-is is the meditation of G-d’s love, as explained next.

2.      Let G-d’s love for you reflect in the mirror of your heart:

  • The principal of arousing the above-mentioned love is through internalizing the verse[1] “Like water reflects the face of a man, so too the heart of man reflects the heart of another man.”
  • This verse means to say that just as water has the instinctive natural capability to show the exact replica and features of a man’s face who is looking at the water, so too the heart of man has the instinctive nature to reflect the love that another person shares for him.
  • The true and faithful love that one individual shares in his heart towards another individual, arouses a mirrored love in the heart of whom he loves, thus causing the two to become loyal lovers. This especially applies when one notices the love that his friend shares for him.

3.      The intensity of the reflected love when the two lovers do not share the same social standings-A parable of a king and his lowly subject:

  • The above natural ability for the love that another has for an individual to be reflected and reciprocated in that individuals heart applies by all people and all levels of relationship, even if two people of equal social standing. All the more so does it apply if the lover and the subject of the love are of disproportionate social standings.
  • For example: A great and mighty king [or president] who shows his great and intense love to a simple and shameful individual who is the lowest of the low amongst people and debases himself in filth. Now, imagine if this king descended from his house of glory with all his entourage of ministers to help this person out of his filth. The King then removes him from the filth and brings him to his inner chambers, the chamber of the king which is a room within rooms, an area that no servant or minister may enter. The king brings this lowlife there and secludes himself with him in a true state of unity and closeness by hugging him and kissing him and attaching his soul to the other person’s soul with all his heart and soul.
  • Certainly, and all the more so, would this encounter, naturally and instinctively arouse within this simple and lowly individual a redoubled and intensified love towards the soul of the king and he would desire to attach his soul to the king’s soul from the greatest and infinite depths of his heart.

4.      Even one who has a heart of stone can reciprocate the love:

  • Even if the subject of the love [i.e. the lowlife in the above parable] is a person with a heart of stone, it will melt like wax and water in the face of such intense love that he is being shown [from such a prestige individual-the king] and his soul will pour out like water in its love for the king and his great passion for him.

10th Iyar

5.      Hashem’s love for us is even greater than in the parable of the king and his subject:

  • Now, like every detail of the above parable and the level of love shown, so too our G-d has shown love to the Jewish people, but on an infinitely much larger scale. How this is, we will now explain.

6.      The greatness and loftiness of Hashem and the number of angels serving Him is much greater than the king in the parable:

  • Hashem’s greatness is beyond comprehension and He fills all worlds and encompasses all worlds, and it is known from the Zohar Hakadosh and the Arizal the multitude of chambers and worlds which are beyond number, and in every world and chamber there are myriads upon myriads of angles to no end.
  • The number of angels in existence: The Talmud[2] state: One verse[3] says “Is there a number to his brigades of angles?” [implying there is an infinite number of angels] while another verse[4] says, “A million serve Him while a hundred million stands before him.” [Thus, implying that there is a limited number of angels.] The Gemara answers that the second verse speaks of the number of angels in each brigade, which reach a million etc, however, the former verse speaks of the number of brigades of angels that exist which is truly infinite.
  • All the angels are like naught before G-d: All the angels and brigades are like naught before Hashem, and they are actually nullified in existence like the nullification of one word to the essence of the soul of the speaker, while its speech is still found in its thought or heart. [All the above emphasizes G-d’s greatness, and how He is much greater than the king in the parable, as in the parable there is some relation of level between the king and his servants and subjects, while to G-d there is no relation or comparison, as He is infinitely greater and higher than them all. Furthermore, in the parable, the king rules over a limited amount of people in his nation, while Hashem rules over infinite amounts of angels, worlds and chambers. In addition, well will now explain, the above description of the angels will also explain the immensity of the love Hashem showed to us, the Jewish people, by leaving them and uniting with us.]

7th Iyar

7.      Hashem abandoned the upper worlds and redeemed us from captivity, so He can be with us:

  • Now, all the angels ask, “Where is the place of Hashem’s glory?” [where does Hashem reside Himself], and they answer, “The entire earth is filled with His glory”, this referring to the Jewish people. This rhetorical question and answer of the angels is describing how Hashem abandoned the upper worlds and lower worlds and did not choose any of them with exception to the Jewish people, His nation.
  • Hashem Himself took us out of Egypt to unite with us: Hashem took us out of Egypt, which is the obscenity of the earth, an area filled with impurity and spiritual toxins. He did so not with an angel or other messenger, but He Himself with all His glory descended to there to remove us, as the verse states “I will descend to save him.” Now, the reason Hashem redeemed us is in order to draw us close to Him with true closeness and unity, in the spiritual equivalence of hugs, kisses, and soul attachment, as explained next.



8.      Uniting with G-d in a true unity of hugging and kissing, and spiritual attachment:

  • Kissing Hashem through verbally studying Halacha: Hashem desired for us to have a connection of the actual soul to Him in a way of kisses, mouth to mouth. This is accomplished through speaking the word of G-d which is Halacha. [By doing so, the breath of our mouth attaches to Hashem’s breath expressed in His words of the Torah, and thus we have an attachment similar to a kiss in which our breaths become united.]
  • Attaching our spirit to Hashem through comprehending Torah: Likewise, Hashem desired we attach our spirit to His spirit, which is accomplished through the comprehension of the Torah and attaining knowledge of His will [i.e. the Halacha] and wisdom [i.e. its source and reasons], which is all one with Him.
  • Embracing with Hashem: We also attach to Hashem in a form of an embrace, through fulfilling the physical Mitzvos with one’s 248 limbs which correspond to the 248 spiritual counterpart limbs of Hashem [as Hashem has 248 channels of G-dliness that He emanates, and each Mitzvah corresponds to one of those channels. When one performs a Mitzvah, he becomes embraced by that corresponding channel of G-dliness that G-d shines.] In a general manner, the 248 Mitzvos fall under one of three categories; right which is Chesed, left which is Gevura, and the middle which is mercy. This is similar to a body and its two arms. [Thus, by fulfilling the 248 commands we enter a full body embrace with Hashem including both arms and the body itself.]

11th Iyar/8th Iyar

9.      The meaning of the blessing we say before Mitzvos “Asher Kidishanu”:

  • A mitzvah is like marriage: Based on the above we can understand why we say [the following words] “Asher Kidishanu Bemitzvosav” [in a blessing which is said prior to the performance of a mitzvah]. This wording follows the same wording used to describe one who is consecrating a woman so she be united with him in a complete unity, as the verse states “Vedavak Beishto Vhayu Lebasar Echad.” The reason for this is because also when one performs a mitzvah, he becomes united with God.
  • The greatness of the unity: In fact, the unity achieved during mitzvah performance is infinitely greater than the physical unity of marriage, as during the fulfillment of the mitzvah one achieves unity of the G-dly soul which learns Torah and fulfills Mitzvos, as well as the enlivening soul [i.e. animal soul] and Their garments [thought speech and action], with Or Ein Sof.
  • The parable of Shir Hashirim: It is due to the above reason that King Solomon wrote the book Shir Hashirim in a way which describes the unity between a husband and wife, with love and attachment and passion and desire and hugging and kissing, as in truth this is likened to our relationship with Hashem, during mitzvah performance.

10.  God elevates us to His holiness and we become a charity for Him:

  • On a deeper level, we say the words “Asher Kidishanu Bemitzvosav” being that God elevates us to His level of holiness through the performance of a mitzvah. Holiness means separation, as God, which refers here to Soveiv Kol Almin, is separate from the worlds, and through mitzvah performance one’s soul becomes elevated and united and incorporated within the infinite light of God and receives the same level of greatness as the infinite light of God itself, due to this unity.
  • Becoming a chariot for God like our forefathers: During mitzvah performance, God becomes our personal God similar to the relationship he had with our forefathers, Abraham and Isaac who were chariots for Hashem and were nullified and incorporated within His light. This exact experience is likewise achieved by the soul of every single Jew when he studies color and performs a mitzvah.

11.  Standing for one performing a Mitzvah:

  • Based on the above we can understand why the sages obligated one to stand in the presence of someone performing a mitzvah, even if that person is an ignoramus. This requirement to stand is due to the divine presence which resides on the soul of this person throughout the time of the performance of the mitzvah.

12.  Not being conscious of the unity-Not feeling the unity with G-d does not mean that it is not taking place:

  • Despite the above unity which is accomplished through mitzvah performance, we do not actually consciously experience it, as the soul is not conscious of this unity due to the blockage that is caused by the existence of the physical body which is unrefined and darkens and blinds the eyes of the soul from experiencing Godly revelation.
  • In this respect, we are unlike our forefathers who were refined and actually experienced and felt the unity, and thereby experienced the world already in their lifetime.

12th Iyar

13.  Like an animal who is not conscious of love and unity:

  • The prophecy of Asaf: Asaf recited a prophecy in which he refers to the Jewish people as animals, and states of the Jewish people that they consider themselves foolish and beasts in front of God, even though they remain continuously faithful to God.
  • The meaning of the statement: This statement means to say that exile the Jewish people are like beasts, as although they are united with God, they do not feel this unity within their soul and are not consciously aware of it.
  • The conscious effect of the unity by Tzaddikim: By Tzaddikim who have refined their bodies, when they experience the unity with God they actually first feel a great fear and trepidation, and then feel a pleasure filled love, or a passionate love.
  • A lack of Daas: However, the general soles of the Jewish people during exile lack the attribute of Daas, which is the ability to consciously feel things within the soul, including the feelings of Chesed and Gevura.
  • The unity occurs despite the lack of Daas: Although the Jewish soldier exile does not have the attribute of Daas to consciously feel the unity with God, nevertheless, this does not prevent the unity of one soul with the infinite light of God from taking place, as the verse states that even darkness does not conceal from God.

14.  The reason for the severity of sin on every Jew:

  • Based on the above one can understand why the performance of the sin of performing work on Shabbos and eating Chametz on Pesach has such a grave effect on the souls of all Jews, and thereby receive such great punishment. The reason for this is because even the soul of a complete ignoramus receives the divine light and holiness of Shabbos and Yom Tov, and he is therefore charged with excision and stoning for desecrating this holiness that shines in the soul on these days.
  • Even the eating of a small amount of Chametz or the moving of Muktzah blemishes the holiness that rests on of the soul, just as it would blemish the holiness that rests on the soul of a tzaddik, as we all have one single Torah.

15.  All souls are really like animals before God:

  • The reason that the verse in the prophecy of Asaf states the word animals in plural is to hint to the idea that before God everyone is considered like a beast, even those who have souls that contain the aspect of Daas Elyon and experience love and fear, nonetheless, even they are considered like beasts before the infinite light of God.

[1] Mishlei 27:19

[2] Chagiga 13b

[3] Iyov 25:3

[4] Daniel 7:10

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