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Tanya In Simple English Chapter 31


Even if somebody will meditate deeply in these concepts for an hour or two and be very broken-hearted and low-spirited, this should not lead to depression God forbid.

For regarding Holiness it says that “Joy and strength are found” and the Shechina / God’s presence dwells only amid Joy.

Simalerly when it comes to laws, that one should be joyous.

Nonetheless, when sadness does not come from physical things but from spiritual failings etc. then it is from the positive within Kelipas Nogah.


(And therefore the Ari-Zal wrote that even worrying about sins is inappropriate, except for when one says Vidui… but not during regular prayer and study of Torah, for then one must be very joyous – as Joy is the side of holiness.)

Nonetheless this is the mechanism to break the Sitra-Achara through using its own tools.

However in truth as our sages say, that the axe comes from the tree that chops it.

This is what our sages say, that there is a benefit to sadness…. and the benefit is the joy which follows the sadness, as will be explained.

In Truth a broken heart and a bitter soul due to her distance from the light of God, and the fact that she has gone into the Sitra Achara are not really called sadness in Hebrew.

For the definition of sadness is that a person’s heart has become unfeeling, and there is no energy within the person.

Whereas bitterness and a broken heart are actually the opposite… for a person does have the energy to feel and to be bitter – it is only that the energy within them comes from the “tough side / Gevurois” of Holiness – whereas the joy comes from the loving-kindness side, for the heart has both.

Now at times the person must arouse within themselves “the toughness of holiness…” in order to eliminate the Kelipah which is the animal Soul when it is overpowering God-forbid the person – (as is known , you can only overcome “fire with fire”) and therefore the sages say, a person should shout at their Yetzer Hara… – in other words whenever they see this as being necessary….

However a good time to do this, is when in any event a person is feeling sad over physical matters or just randomly without any specific reason… – this is a good time to use the sadness to contemplate ones sins… as mentioned in the previous chapters…. and to fulfill what our sages say “You should shout at your Yetzer Hara…”

And through this one rids oneself of sadness from physical things and then comes to true Joy.

This true Joy comes about by contemplating and consoling oneself that “even though all of the past is true… all the things that have been mentioned… that I’m definitely very distant from God and despicable etc. nonetheless, this is only my body and my animal soul that is in it – however I also have literally a part of God in Me.

In fact even the most sinful Jew has a part of God which is His Godly soul which literally has God within it, which is its life-force and it’s only that this life-force is concealed within it.

As this is the case then to the contrary, the more distant I am from God, the more repulsive I am… this means that my Godly soul which is in me, is in an even greater exile and darkness… as such, the compassion I must feel in my Godly soul is exceedingly great!

Therefore I will place my energy to redeem her and save her from her exile to return her to her father the king’s home, as she was before she came down into my body.

She was there, one with the light of God in a complete unity – the truth is, that this can happen once again for now she can merge with God when I will place my energy in the study of Torah and doing Mitzvos – when I place all the 10 powers of my soul (as mentioned) into it- particularly the Mitzvah of prayer, to cry to God over the pain of her exile in my body… my repulsive body that He should take her out of her prison… and attach her to God” –

This is a true repentance / return, as it says “repentance and Good deeds” which refers to the Good deeds that one does in order to return the Godly soul to its source within God!

And so will my service To God throughout my entire life – with great joy I will feel the joy of my Godly soul, which has left the constraints of my low body, and returned to her father’s home, as she was before she descended! which occurs when I study Torah and I pray.”

This is the meaning of what our sages say, that our entire life we should be doing Teshuva, and there can be no greater Joy, as the joy of redemption from confinement – as the example of the prince who was captured and was imprisoned and is forced to grind wheat standing in garbage and then he comes home to his father’s house… the palace, the king! You could imagine how much greater is the joy of this individual than when things are just normal…

And though the body remains in her repulsive State as it states in the Zohar, that it is called a “serpents skin,” as the essence of the animal Soul has not transformed to good / to become part of Holiness; Nevertheless a person’s Joy should be mainly the joy of their soul! which should be more important to them than their low body and in this way, you do not confuse the joy of your soul, with the sadness of the body.

Now this level is the level of “leaving Egypt…” for when we leave Egypt it said, that “the nation ran from Egypt”.

Now this is a bit perplexing… for even if they told Pharaoh that they must go freely, he was forced to do so – so what does it mean that they had to run…. rather the meaning is, that the evil in their souls was still strong in the left side – so the intention was to take their Godly souls out of the exile of the Sitra Achara which was the impurity of Egypt and to attach themselves to God – as it is written, “God is my strength and my power and my protector in the day of danger.” “He is my protector.” “He is my salvation.” And therefore in the future when God will remove the spirit of impurity from the land / Earth, it says, “We will not need to run from exile, but we will go calmly, for God your God is going before you.”

And in order for this Teshuva to be exceedingly great and strong from the depths of one’s heart and likewise, the joy of one’s soul should be with added light and joy!… this will occur if you consider and meditate and contemplate, to console yourself from the sadness…. that “though everything mentioned previously about one’s lowness due to sins and distance from God etc. is true…, however I did not make myself.

So why would God cause that a part of His light which fills and encompasses all universes and before it all universes are not even like a speck of dust… why would he take it and put it in a “serpents skin…” in a putrid drop – it must be that the purpose of such a descent is for the subsequent ascent – in other words, to elevate to God…. to elevate my entire animal soul from the Kelipas Nogah and all of her Garments, whether it is her thoughts, speech, action – by using Torah thoughts, speech, and actions. (As it will say further the idea of this elevation at length – that it is the entire purpose of creation!);

And as this is the case, this is what I will do, and this shall be my goal all the days of my life, to place my spirit and soul and energy within the Torah and Mitzvos as the verse says, “To you God is my soul seeking” – meaning to connect my mind, my speech with His mind / thoughts and speech of God – which are the actual Jewish laws that have been organized in the Jewish code of law.

As well as in action, to do the actual Mitzvos, this is why the Torah is called that “It restores the soul” to return it to its source…. this is what it says ” that the laws of God are both upright and they give joy to the heart.”

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