Friday, January 20, 2006

LESSONS IN TANYA: Friday, January 20, 2006


Tevet 20, 5766 * January 20, 2006


Today's Lesson:

Likutei Amarim
(Conclusion of Chapter Thirteen)

Now, this aformentioned love attained by Beinonim at the time of
prayer by virtue of the [temporary] preponderance of the divine soul
[over the animal soul], etc., when compared to the standard of the
tzaddikim who *serve* G-d in perfect truth ["in the truest manner
of truth]", [this love] is not called "true service" at all, since it
passes and disappears after prayer;

whereas it is written, (11) "The language [lit., `the lip'] of truth
shall be established forever, but the tongue of falsehood is only

[Thus, the term "truth" refers to something immutable; the temporary
and passing are not considered "true". The same applies here as well:

Since the Beinoni's love of G-d is felt only during prayer and
disappears afterwards, it does not measure up to the "truest" sense
of truth - the perfect truth attained by tzaddikim].

Nevertheless, in relation to the rank of the Beinoni, [this level of
love] is regarded as a truly perfect service in terms of their level
of truth, [i.e., the level of Beinonim], in each man relative to his
standing in the category of the Beinonim [for, as mentioned earlier,
the rank of Beinoni is subdivided into many levels].

Their love, too, which they possess [only] during prayer, I term,
"The language of truth [,which] shall be established for ever,"
[i.e., their love is true and permanent, though manifest only during
prayer], since their divine soul has the power to reawaken this love
constantly, whenever it gathers strength during prayer, day after
day, by means of the spiritual preparation appropriate to each soul's
quality and rank.

[The higher the level of the soul, the less preparation it requires
to awaken its love of G-d. Regardless, every soul has the capacity to
arouse its love of G-d during prayer.

The Beinoni's love of G-d is thus constant, since it is either in an
active, revealed state, or is in potentia, and can be revealed at any
moment throughout the day (for, as mentioned earlier, every Beinoni
has the potential to attain the level of "praying the whole day long."

One difficulty yet remains: How is it possible for the same level of
service to be considered untrue by the standards of tzaddikim, and
true with regard to Beinonim? Is truth not absolute?

This matter is now explained as follows:

The quality of truth is to be found on every level. In each, truth
means the essence and core of that level; i.e., truth is defined as
that which agrees with the essence of that particular level where it
is measured.

Since this is so in all the myriad levels of the spiritual worlds,
from the very highest to the very lowest, and since the lowest levels
are incomparable to the highest, how can it be said that the lower
grades possess truth?

We must say, therefore, that the term "truth" is relative to the level
on which it is found, that each grade has its own core of truth.

Things are true if they agree with [the essence of] their own level
and untrue if they do not; they need not agree with a higher level to
be considered "true".

In the Alter Rebbe's words]:

For truth is the attribute of Jacob, [as the verse states:(12) "You
give truth to Jacob]," who is called (13) "the middle bolt which
secures everything from end to end," (14) [just as the middle bolt in
the Tabernacle secured and bolted together all the boards by passing
through them all.

In spiritual terms, this means that the attribute of truth passes]
from the highest gradations and levels to the end [i.e., lowest] of
all grades.

In each gradation and level it passes through the central point [of
that particular level], which is, [i.e., which then becomes] the
point and quality [i.e., the standard] of [that level's] attribute
of truth.

[Proof is now given that each grade has its own standard of truth,
as it were]:

The attribute of truth is an unbounded inheritance; it has no upper
limit [as it extends] to the highest levels, and all lower gradations
and levels are as nothing compared with those superior to them.

[If, then, truth is found on all levels despite their disparity, we
must conclude that the standard of truth on each level is relative to
the core of that level.

In support for his statement that the lower levels and grades are
incomparable to the higher ones, the Alter Rebbe cites]:

As is known to those familiar with the Esoteric Discipline [i.e.,
Kabbalah], the quality that is the "head and intellect" - [the
highest level] - within lower grades, is inferior to the "soles" and
"feet" - [the very lowest level] - within the higher grades;

as our Sages say, (15) "The feet of the chayyot surpass all [those
levels lower than them, including the highest degree within those
lower levels]."

[The attribute of truth, then, is measured according to the standards
of each level. We may thus conclude that the divine service of the
Beinoni is considered "true" service relative to their level, although
when compared with the service of tzaddikim it is not considered
"true", since it passes after prayer.


11. Mishlei 12:19.
12. Micah 7:20.
13. Zohar I, p. 1b; p. 224a.
14. Paraphrase of Shmot 26:28.
15. Chagigah 13a.


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i must admit, i'm partial to judaism. this may sound odd as a catholic. my religion seems a bit out of touch..though, i do confess ignorance. shalom! i have no idea what that means.

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