Saturday, October 22, 2005

LESSONS IN TANYA: Sunday, October 23, 2005


Tishrei 20, 5766 * October 23, 2005


Today's Lesson:

Iggeret HaKodesh
(Middle of Epistle Twenty-Three)

Therefore, evil in my eyes is (41) "the conduct that takes place under the sun" in general, especially among my brethren and friends who draw near to G-d (42) - and (43) "drawing near means prayer," [for prayer, particularly when accompanied by the avodah of measured meditation, constitutes a "drawing near" to G-d], when after prayer or before it, [the gathering] becomes a "company of scoffers," heaven forfend.

As our Sages, of blessed memory, said, (44) "If two people sit together and no words of Torah are exchanged between them, [this is a company of scoffers]."

Now if a "company of scoffers" is constituted by ten people, over whom the Shechinah abides, there is no greater insult and shaming of the Shechinah than that, heaven forfend.

And if our Sages, of blessed memory, said (45) of him who commits a transgression in secret that "he repulses the feet of the Shechinah," heaven forfend, then he who commits a transgression in public repulses the whole measure of the stature of the Creator, as it were. (46)

As our Sages, of blessed memory, said, (47) "It is impossible for Me and him [to live together in the world."

But repulsing the Shechinah does not mean that the actions of the transgressor cause it to be utterly absent, for the above passage speaks of shaming the Shechinah while it is present].

Rather, (48) "The King is held captive in the gutters" (49) ["of the mind" (50) - shackled in the channels of people's unworthy thoughts which, like gushing currents, flash fleetingly through the mind. This is indeed a humiliation of the Shechinah.

But (51) woe unto those who repulse the Shechinah, when G-d will raise her [the Shechinah] and say to her, (52) "Awake, arise from the dust...."

So, too, "On account of three things are the Jewish people detained in exile - because they repulse the Shechinah, and because they shame the Shechinah," and so on, as stated in the sacred Zohar. (53)


41. Note of the Rebbe: "A paraphrase of Kohelet 2:17."
42. Note of the Rebbe: "See commentary of Rashi on Yitro,
[Shmot] 19:22 [which refers to sacrifices] - and the prayers were
ordained in place of the offerings [Berachot 26b]."
43. Note of the Rebbe: "Bereishit Rabbah, sec. 49; commentary
of Rashi on the verse [referred to above]."
44. Avot 3:2, citing Tehillim 1:1.
45. Kiddushin 31a.
46. Note of the Rebbe: "See Etz Chayim, Shaar HaSheimot,
ch. 7; Yahel Or, p. 573ff."
47. Sotah 5a.
48. Shir HaShirim 7:6.
49. Note of the Rebbe: "Cf. beginning of ch. 7 of Iggeret
50. Addenda to Tikkunei Zohar, Tikkun Vav.
51. Cf. Zohar II, 7a.
52. Yeshayahu 52:2.
53. III, 75b.


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