Chapter 8: The contamination Kelipos cause to body and soul and its Tikkun
7th Teves/(LY)11th Teves
1. Non-Kosher foods are stuck in Kelipa and cannot be elevated:
- In the previous chapter it was stated that forbidden foods are referred to by the term Issur being that they are eternally bound and tied within the three completely unclean Kelipos and will only see elevation in the future era when evil will cease to exist. In this Chapter the Alter Rebbe will further elaborate on this subject explaining another meaning behind the term Issur.
- Eating non-Kosher food Lisheim Shamayim-No elevation: There is a further reason behind why forbidden foods are referred to by the term Issur, and that is because even if one were to use the energy from the forbidden foods that he ate for the sake of serving G-d in prayer and torah study, it would still be unable to become elevated from its boundedness within evil. This would apply even if he ate the food not knowing that it was not kosher and ate it altruistically for the sake of serving G-d with the energy of the food, nevertheless, even after he learns Torah and prays to G-d using the energy of this food, nevertheless, it will still not be elevated and invested within the words of Torah and prayer, as would be the case if the food were permitted to be eaten. The reason for this is because the forbidden food is stuck in the hands of the side of evil which is the three completely unclean Kelipos.
- Rabbinically forbidden foods: The above inability of elevation would apply even if the food is only rabbinically forbidden to be eaten, as in truth in some respect rabbinical prohibitions are even more severe than biblical.
2. Jewish lusts [Sheidin Yehudain] versus gentile lusts [Sheidin Nuchrain]:
- Sheidin Nuchrain: The lust that a Jew has for the forbidden is considered a demon from amongst the demons of the gentiles. This means that this evil inclination for the forbidden is from the nations of the world whose souls come from the three unclean Kelipos.
- Sheidin Yehudain: This is in contrast to the inclination and lust that a Jew has to satiate himself with the permitted for a gluttonous purpose, which is considered a demon from amongst the demons of Jews, [otherwise known as a Jewish Yetzer Hara]. The reason for this is because the energy within the food which was eaten for gluttonous purposes is still able to return to holiness, as explained in the previous chapter.
3. Even Kosher foods descend to Kelipa remain stuck in body:
- A descent to Kelipa: Despite the above difference between permitted and forbidden foods, nonetheless temporarily prior to the elevation of the food to holiness, the kosher food which was eaten for gluttonous purposes becomes demoted to the side of evil [as explained in the previous chapter].
- Some of the energy remains stuck for eternity: [Although in general one can re-elevate the demoted energy back to holiness nevertheless] a remnant of the energy does remain stuck in the body and does not reach elevation. The reason for this is because one’s blood and flesh are immediately created from every food and drink that one consumes [and hence becomes permanently part of him, as explained in the previous chapter].
4. Tikkun of Chibut Hakever for above foods:
- Chibut Hakever to remove the energy stuck in body: It is for this purpose that after death the body needs to go through Chibut Hakever, to refine and purify it from the impurities it received during its enjoyment of physical pleasures of this world which all derive from the impurity of Kelipas Noga and the Jewish demon.
- One who did not receive any pleasure from this world: One who did not [intend to] receive any pleasure from this world throughout his entire life [even when he performed or ate pleasurable things], such as Rabbeinu Hakadosh, is not required to have his body go through the above Tikkun of Chibut Hakever.
5. Tikkun for Devarim Beteilim:
- Kaf Hakele: One who speaks words of vanity and purposeless conversation [i.e. Devarim Beteilim:] defiles his soul with impurity and after his death needs to purify his soul from this impurity through his soul experiencing Kaf Hakela as written in the Zohar. [This involves the soul being thrown from one end of the world to the other by two angels who are positioned at opposite ends of the world. In a more mystical sense, the soul re-experiences itself sinning despite it already seeing and knowing and wanting the truth of G-d. This pain and remorse of the soul refines it from the impurity that it received through pointless speech.]
- No prohibition in speech: The above need for the soul to receive purification through Kaf Hakela applies even if the person did not transgress anything in his purposeless speech, such as if he is an ignoramus who is unable to study Torah.
- The impurity caused by speech of vanity: Words of vanity defile the character traits and emotions which are rooted in the holy element of wind of his G-dly soul. It defiles them with the impurity of Kelipas Noga which is found in words of vanity and derives from the evil element of wind which is found in his animal soul.
6. Tikkun for forbidden speech:
- Kaf Hakele and Gihennom: If, however, the speech itself was forbidden according to Jewish law, such as he spoke words of jest and gossip and the like which come from the three completely unclean Kelipos, then the experience of Kaf Hakela alone does not suffice to purify the soul from this impurity that it received through this forbidden speech, and the soul must rather descend to purgatory for purification.
7. Tikkun for speech which involves Bittul Torah:
- Kaf Hakele, severe punishments, and Gihennom of snow: Likewise, a person who is able to study Torah and instead uses his time for matters of vanity which have no purpose, then the experience of Kaf Hakela alone does not suffice to purify and refine his soul from this impurity that it received through this speech, and the soul must in addition experience various severe punishments that are given for the sin of nullifying Torah study. This is in addition to the general punishment that is given for anyone who nullifies a positive command due to laziness.
8. Tikkun for nullifying positive command:
- Gihennom of snow: The general punishment given for a person who nullifies a positive command due to laziness is purgatory of snow.
9. Severity of studying external wisdoms:
- Bittul Torah: Even the study of secular wisdoms of the nations are considered words of vanity in regard to the sin of nullifying Torah study, [and hence he is considered to have nullified the mitzvah of studying Torah through studying these external wisdom’s].
- The severity of external wisdom’s: Furthermore, the impurity that is caused to the soul through the study of the wisdom of the nations of the world is even greater than the impurity which is caused to the soul through words of vanity. The reason for this is because words of vanity only defile one’s character traits and emotional aspects of his G-dly soul, and not his intellectual aspects of his G-dly soul. The reason for this is because words of vanity contain no purpose or intellectual substance to them and are utter nonsense which can be spoken of by the ignoramuses and mentally insane. This is in contrast to the external wisdom’s which invest and defile the intellectual aspects of one’s G-dly soul with the impurity of Kelipas Noga found in these wisdoms.
- Their root in holiness: The root of the external wisdoms in holiness is from the external aspect of Chochmah of holiness and descended below through the process of Sheviras Hakeilim.
- Studying them for a holy purpose: The one exception to the above is in a case that one studies the external wisdoms for the sake of making a good quality income so one can dedicate time for service of G-d. In such a case, the study of this wisdom’s does not defile the intellectual soul. Likewise, if he studies these wisdoms for the sake of using them for serving G-d or for the sake of helping him understand Torah, then it does not defile his soul.
- Rambam and Ramban: This indeed was the purpose and reason behind the study of external wisdoms by the great Torah luminaries such as Maimonides and Nachmanadies.