Tanya, your road to spiritual health – Arutz Sheva

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The Alter Rebbe will now conclude that meditating on the concepts appearing in the blessings of theShemaleads a Jew to the proper realization of theShema attaining an ardent love for Gd.

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When the thinking person will reflect on these matters in the depths of his heart and brain, then assurely aswater mirrors the image of a face,

When the love likened to water mirroring the image of a face takes effect in a person, so that Gds manifest love for His people arouses in him a corresponding love towards Him, then:

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his soul will spontaneously be kindledwith love for Gd,and it will clothe itself in a spirit of benevolence, willingly to lay down and resolutely to abandon all he possesses,for it will no longer be of major importance to him,in order only to cleave unto Him, and to be absorbed into His light with an attachment and longing, and so forth, in a manner of kissing, and with an attachment of spirit to Spirit, as has been explained earlier.

Just as kissing involves not only the cleaving of mouths but also a communion of breaths, so too does spiritual unity involve the union of mans spirit with Gds: mans spirit becomes one with Gds.

But how does the attachment of spirit to Spirit take place?I.e., what measures are to be taken if one seeks to desire to only cleave to Him?

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To this end it is stated,soon after the phrase, with all your heart, and so on:14And these words shall be... upon your heart.... And you shall speak of them....As will soon be explained, this refers to immersing oneself in the study of Torah and speaking words of Torah.

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As is explained inEtz Chayim,the union of kissingwhich incorporates the union of the attachment of spirit to Spiritis essentially the union ofChaBaDwithChaBaD the union of mansChochmah, BinahandDaatwith Gds;that is, concentration in the Torah,which unites mansChaBaDwith the intellect of above, i.e., Torah,

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while the mouth, as the outlet of the breath and its emergence into a revealed state, represents the category of speech engaged in words of the Torah,

By speaking words of Torah as it is written, And you shall speak of them the spirit emerges into a revealed state. Thus, the union of spirit with Spirit is mainly brought about by ones immersion in Torah study. The reason for this follows:

for,15By every word that proceeds from Gds mouth does man live.

The mouth is thus the outlet of the breath. However, since what is crucial isunderstandingTorah, for through this the union of spirit with Spirit is effected, why must oneutterthe words in order to arrive at this love?

The Alter Rebbe now addresses himself to this question and says, that while it is true that for man himself i.e., the divine soul cleaving to Gd is attained chiefly through understanding Torah, yet this only suffices for the divine soul. In order for the divine plan to be realized, i.e., that Gdliness be drawn down upon the animal soul as well and into the world as a whole, one mustspeakwords of Torah. This is because physical words are uttered by the animal soul, which in turn is affected by them.

Since a person has the strength to speak because he receives physical nourishment, it follows that when he utters words of Torah, Gds ultimate intent of drawing down holiness into this physical world is realized, and the whole world is filled with His glory.

(Understandably, this selfsame reason applies not only to speaking words of Torah, but also explains whymitzvotare to be performed with the physical body and utilizing objects of the material world, for it is through them that Gdliness is manifest in the animal soul and in the material world as a whole. Here, however, the matter under discussion is Torah knowledge. In this instance, although nothing can unite the divine soul with its Source more completely than the contemplation of Torah, it is nevertheless necessary for one to utter the words of Torah as well, in order to draw down Gdliness into ones animal soul and, indeed, into the whole material world.)

However, one does not fulfill ones obligation by meditation and deliberation alone,

I.e., onesobligationis not fulfilled thereby, even though such deliberation leads to the lofty union of his soul with Gd in a manner of the cleaving of spirit with Spirit.

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unless one expresses the words with his lips, in order to draw the [infinite] light of the blessedEin Sofdownwards even unto the vivifying soul which dwells in the blood of man, whichin turnis produced bythe intake of food fromthe mineral, vegetable and animal [worlds].

That is to say: Eating and drinking produce the blood in which the vivifying soul is clothed, and Gdliness is drawn down into all the above-mentioned worlds when one speaks words of Torah.

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One thereby elevates them all the vivifying soul, and the mineral, vegetable and animal worlds to Gd, together with the entire universe, and causes them to be absorbed in His blessed Unity and light, which will illumine the world and its inhabitants in a revealed manner,in the spirit of the verse that says:16And the glory of Gd shall be revealed so much so, indeed, thatallfleshshall see it....

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FOOTNOTES

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14.Devarim6:6-7.

15.Devarim8:3.

16.Yeshayahu40:5.

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Tanya, your road to spiritual health - Arutz Sheva

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