Tanya Chapter 50: Kohen-silver Love versus that of Gold-Levites

Chapter 50: Kohen-silver Love versus that of Gold-Levites

21st Iyar/(LY) 22nd Iyar

  1. Silver quality love versus gold quality love:
  • A love from the level of Kohen and silver: All the levels and styles of love discussed in the previous chapters is a Chesed quality of love, which comes from the “right side,” the level of a Kohen who comes from Chesed.
  • Why it is called a love of silver: This type of love is referred to as “Silver of holiness,” as the word silver in Hebrew correlates to the word passion, as both share the same root כסף/נכסף.
  • The higher gold love: However, in truth, there exists a second quality of love which is called gold quality love and is higher and greater than the previous types, just as gold is a more precious metal than silver.
  1. What is gold love? The contemplation and quality of love represented in gold:
  • A fiery love from Gevura: The love of gold is a love that derives from the supernal Gevuros of the supernal Bina and is expressed in a fiery love that consumes everything around him.
  • The contemplation that arouses it: The contemplation of this gold style love involves contemplating G-d’s greatness and that all is like naught before G-d. This ignites one’s soul into a fiery frenzy to see the glory of G-d to the point that the soul desires to escape the body, just as a flame desires to escape the wick.
  • Reaching expiry of the soul: This love derives from the foundation of fire that is found in the G-dly soul which causes one to thirst for G-d, and then eventually become sickened with love and passion, to the point of expiry of the soul. [In this love the soul does not retain its desire to enjoy its independent existence as is the case with the different types of silver quality love. Its love is so fiery and passionate that it wants to expire out of existence. In other words, silver love does not reach this level of passion to the point of giving up one’s existence, and it still retains some love of self. This is why all the levels of silver love are of lower quality than gold love, just like the silver metal is of lower quality than gold.]
  1. The gold love is the level of the Levites:
  • Levites come from Gevuros: The Levites derive from the above level of Gevuros, and express this fiery passion and love for G-d.
  • Their Temple service of singing: This is why the service of the Levites is to praise G-d in song, as the sweetness of a melody arouses and expresses this passionate love, similar to a flame that shoots forth from a refinery.
  • How come today the Levites are lower than the Kohanim? Although now, Gevuros is lower than Chesed, and hence the Levites are lower than the Kohanim, nonetheless, in the future when the world becomes elevated, the Levites of today will become the Kohanim of the future, as states the Arizal.
  1. How every man can reach this love:
  • Indescribable: It is not possible to explain the above emotion properly in writing, and rather the individual must personally experience it.
  • Attainable by all: Every individual with a sensitive heart and deep intellect upon practicing the above meditation will find the hidden light and goodness in his soul, each to their level of excitement.
  • Fear of sin-A prerequisite: Nonetheless, a prerequisite for this love is that one fear sin, to completely abstain from transgression as otherwise the sin will obstruct between oneself and G-d.


22nd Iyar/(LY) 23rd Iyar

  1. Serving Hashem using the gold quality love-The service of Shuv:
  • [An interesting query that results from the above explanation in the difference between the silver versus gold quality love is that while the silver quality love clearly leads to service of G-d in fulfillment of His Torah and Mitzvos, what service does gold quality love lead to if its entire aspiration is to expire due to its love for G-d. The Alter Rebbe now addresses this point here.]
  • The order of serving Hashem and following His Torah and Mitzvos as a result of the above powerful [gold quality] love is only in the level of Shuv/return, as it states in Sefer Yetzirah “If your heart runs, return to the One.”
  • Stopping expiry of the soul through contemplating that one lives against his will: This means that if the right chamber of your heart fills with uncontrollable burning passion for G-d to the point of expiry of the soul, to leave the physical and corporeal body and unite and attach to G-d who is one’s father and life, then one must return and contemplate the saying of the sages “that man lives against his will.” This means that the soul of man lives within his body in order to enliven it for a certain purpose [even though it contradicts the will of the soul to attach to G-d above].
  • Contemplating the purpose of one’s bodily existence: One is to contemplate that the purpose of his bodily existence is to draw down the Divine light and supernal life of G-d here below through the service of Torah which is life. This itself is done in order to make for G-d a dwelling place here below for His unity to be manifested in a revealed manner, as explained above, and as it states in the Zohar, “So that He be one with one.” This Zoharic teaching means to say that the concealed unity of G-d should become revealed, [and that this is the purpose of man’s work below within his physical body].
  • You live and die against your will: Based on the above, one can understand the seemingly contradictory statements of the Sages that “You live against your will, and you die against your will,” as explained elsewhere in length. [Meaning, that the gold quality love makes a person desire to leave the body and not live and hence he must tell himself that he lives against his will because that is the purpose of his existence to serve Hashem down here in the physical realm. On the other hand, the desire to invite G-d to this world through serving Him in the physical realm makes one not want to die, and thus we have both statements of Chazal fulfilled. From all the above, it is understood that the gold quality love is distinct in the fact that it itself does not directly lead to service of G-d, and it is only the later contemplation of “Shuv” that grants one the motivation to remain below and serve G-d. This is contrary to the silver quality love in which the love itself motivates one to cleave to Hashem through Torah and Mitzvos.]

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