Tanya Chapter 6: The makeup of the animal soul & definition of good versus evil

Chapter 6: The makeup of the animal soul & definition of good versus evil

2nd Teves/(LY)5th Teves

  1. The ten aspects and three garments of the animal soul:
  • The anatomy of the animal soul is identical to the G-dly soul: The animal soul which derives from the side of evil was created identical to the G-dly soul. Just as the G-dly soul contains 10 holy Sefiros which is invested within three holy garments, so to the animal soul which comes from the side of evil and is invested in the blood of man is made up of 10 aspects of impurity.
  • The 10 aspects of the animal soul: The 10 aspects of impurity include seven evil emotions and character traits, and three intellectual aspects that create them.
  • The seven emotions: the seven emotional character traits of the animal soul derive from the four evil elements of fire, water, air, and earth.
  • The three intellectual aspects-The Chabad of the animal soul develops its emotions: The intellect of the animal soul which births its characters and emotions is split into three, Chochmah, Bina, and Daas. They serve as the source and mother of the emotions and character traits of the animal soul which are all commensurate with one’s intellect.
  • A child’s emotions fluctuate based on his intellectual maturity: This concept and relationship between the intellect and emotions can be vividly seen in a child who desires and yearns [only] for trivial matters [such as sweets and chocolates] due to his intellectual immaturity which cannot yet comprehend matters of greater incentive and value. [As he matures and his mind develops, he will stop desiring trivial matters and rather desire matters of greater value such as money and the like.] Likewise, a child has a quick fuse and is bound to have flareups of anger and fury over trivial matters. The same applies regarding all other emotions, such as boastfulness and the like, which are all dependent on one’s intellectual maturity and comprehension.
  • The garments of the animal soul: When a person entertains these 10 impure aspects of his animal soul, either through thinking about them, or in speech or action, then the thought that it’s in his mind and speech that is in his mouth and energy that is in his hands and other limbs become impure garments for the animal soul and its 10 impure aspects.


  1. The definition of evil:
  • The definition of Evil action: The action of the animal soul which is defined as evil includes all actions that are done under the sun without a G-dly purpose.

(LY)6th Teves

  • The definition of Evil thought and speech: Likewise, all speech and thought of the animal soul which do not contain a G-dly content and are not there for the purpose of serving G-d and fulfilling his will, are likewise defined as evil.
  • The definition of evil and the term Sitra Achra: The term Sitra Achra literally means “the other side.” The reason for this is because in truth evil is defined as anything which is not part of the side of holiness.

  1. The definition of holiness:
  • The side of holiness is defined merely as the side in which the holiness of G-d resides on.
  • G-d only resides on that which is nullified to him in actuality or potential: Now, on what does G-d reside? G-d only resides on that which is nullified to Him. This applies whether the item or creation is consciously nullified to G-d, such as angels, or is only subconsciously and potentially nullified to G-d, such as the Jewish people down here in this world who always retain the potential of being actually nullified to G-d by giving up one’s life Al Kiddush Hashem.
  • G-d resides on the Jewish people: As a result of this subconscious and potential nullification towards G-d that the Jewish people contain, the divine presence resides upon every single Jew who sits and learns Torah. Likewise, for this reason the divine presence resides on any group of 10 Jews.

3rd Teves

  • That which is not nullified does not receive its energy from internal holiness: Whatever is not nullified to G-d in actuality or potential, as stated above, and considers itself to be separate and independent from G-d, does not receive its vitality from G-d’s holiness in an internal manner, from G-d’s essence.

  1. How the Sitra Achra, and evil, is created and energized:
  • External side of holiness: Whatever is not nullified to G-d, as stated above, receives its vitality and energy from the external side of holiness.
  • The contracted holiness which is responsible for creation of evil: The way this works is as follows: The holiness of G-d descends from one level to another through a myriad of levels in the chain descent of the worlds, and goes through many contractions as a descends until it light and energy is so minute that it is able to be invested in a form of exile within the aspects of evil which consider themselves separate from G-d. This exiled form of contracted holiness is then responsible for energizing and giving existence to evil so that it does not return to its state of nonexistence as it was before creation.


(LY)7th Teves

  1. Why there is so much evil and tragic occurrences in this world:
  • It is due to the above reason that this physical world is called the world of evil, [being that it is filled with entities that view themselves as independent from G-d, due to the contracted state of holiness that is found within them which energizes them in a state of exile].
  • Likewise, it is for this reason that the dealings of this physical world are filled with difficulty, evil and tragedy, and those who are wicked have power to govern.

  1. Gloss-In truth G-d fills even this world:
  • Even this world contains the 10 Sefiros of Atzilus: Although on a conscious level, the G-dliness that is found within the creations of this world is in state of exile, in truth it contains within it the 10 Sefiros of the world of Assiyah, which in turn contains within it the 10 Sefiros of the world of Yetzirah, which in turn contains within it the 10 Sefiros of the world of Beriyah, which in turn contains within it the 10 Sefiros of the world of Atzilus.
  • Even this will contain G-d’s infinite light: Now, within the Sefiros of Atzilus resides the infinite light of G-d. It is thus found that even this world is filled with the infinite glory of G-d, as His infinite light is invested within the 10 Sefiros of all the worlds.

  1. The two levels of Kelipos-The completely evil Kelipos:
  • The side of evil contains two different levels, one lower and more severe than the other.
  • The lowest and most severe level of evil-Gimel Kelipos Hatmeios: The lowest and most severe form of evil consists of the three completely unclean and evil Kelipos which do not contain any goodness at all.
  • These three evil aspects are mentioned in the prophecy of Ezekiel when he visioned the chariot of G-d.

  1. What derives from the completely evil Kelipos:
  • All of the following items are rooted in and derive from this lowest level of evil known as the three unclean Kelipos which contain absolutely no good in them:
    • Gentiles: The souls and bodies of all the idolatrous nations of the world.
    • Non-kosher animal products: The souls and bodies of All the non-kosher animals and living creatures which are forbidden to be eaten.
    • Non-kosher vegetative products: The energy of all forbidden vegetation, such as Arla and Kileiy Hakerem.
    • 365 negative commands: The energy of all forbidden thought, speech, and action of the 365 negative commands and their offshoots.

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