Tanya In Simple English – Chapter 10 – Iggeres Hateshuva

Now this higher level of Teshuvah – the Union of “Spirit to Spirit” through Torah and good deeds… This is something that is drawn down from above, that God’s words literally be within one’s mouth, as it states, “I will place my word in your mouth” – Furthermore “Your right hand hugs me..” for when one does acts of goodness and kindness, this brings God’s kindness to them, which is represented by God’s right hand.

Now a person down here needs to go level after level to reach the Higher Teshuvah and connect their spirit to the Divine Spirit – beginning with the concentration during prayer, especially during Shema and its blessings that we concentrate, in order to be able to say that, “I love God with all my heart, all my soul” – in absolute truth – and so too that “These words which I command you” referring to the Torah, that we must study, which is the word of God in our mouth – and so too, to do all the Mitzvahs, this as it says that “I have made you holy through the Mitzvos,” this is similar to how a man marries a woman with the phrase “You are consecrated / holy to me” this refers to the sacred Holiness of above which means that sacred / separated… that God’s greatness is so great that it cannot come into any world because all the worlds are nothing compared to it – it can only hover beyond the world – which refers to His will, which is found in the action of Mitzvos as stated in Likuitei Amarim Chapter 46.

Simalerly after prayer we say, “My soul cleave to you” this means to connect Spirit to Spirit throughout the entire day etc. and all of this is through contemplating the greatness of God with great focus in the two blessings prior to the Shema, and in the verses of praise as is known.

Now prayer as it is the higher Teshuva, one must preface it with the lower Teshuva, and this is what our sages said in the Mishna “We do not begin to pray unless we are humble” and this is the level of the lower Teshuva, to arouse compassion on the soul as mentioned earlier – however we also learn that “we should only pray with joy” and in our poor generation (emotionally speaking) that people cannot transform their hearts from one emotion to another instantaneously – therefore the practical advice is to proceed with the lower Teshuva during Tikkun Chatzois as mentioned before.

And a person who cannot do this nightly should at least do it once a week before Shabbos – in other words Thursday nights, as is known, that Shabbos is a level of the higher Teshuva and Shabbos has the letters “Tashuv” / “to return” – because on Shabbos all the world returns to the source – especially during the prayers of Shabbos – (and with this we will understand what it says “Return to me as I redeemed you” – in other words, as I have removed your sin… removed the dark side and redeemed you from the dark forces, through the arousal of great compassion from above, corresponding to the lower Teshuva mentioned before – so now return to me with the higher Teshuva.)


Tanya In Simple English – Chapter 9 – Iggeres Hateshuva

Explanation of this matter is, as it states in the Holy Zohar and Tikkunim in many places, that Binah is the higher Teshuva.

In other words, through contemplating the greatness of God with great depth and creating an intellectual love and awe of God or by understanding that God is actually your own life / life-force – not sufficing merely with the subconscious love that we have for God – and similarly creating a sense of fear / reverence or a sense of shame before God etc. as is known.

This is Binah connecting to the individual. (An intellectually driven love/fear.)

Now it is known, that the main love is connection “Spirit to spirit” / “soul to soul” as the verse says, “Kiss me with the kisses of your mouth etc.” as is known.

This is the meaning “To love God with all your soul” which means all parts of your soul – that your mind, your emotions, and your expressions of thought, speech and action – should be completely United in God – in other words, your emotions should be His emotions, as it States, “Just as He is compassionate, so should you be etc. and your mind should be His mind, which is the study of Torah, as Torah comes from God’s mind – and your thoughts should be His thoughts – and your speech should be in the word of God – which is Jewish law – as it states, “And I will place my word in your mouth” – and your action should be the action of Charity, to give life, to those who are downtrodden – and as it states, “In six days God made the world;” in other words, everything is His charity, as is known and explained elsewhere.

This is the union of “spirit to spirit” with complete Unity and attachment, for it is based out of love.

Now one who sins by wasting semen and certainly one who has forbidden relations prohibited by the Torah or the Rabbis (as we know, the prohibitions of the Rabbis is more harsh than violating the Torah…) and he dents the mind – the highest level of the Soul – and therefore our sages say that his repentance is that he should study Torah which comes from the mind (of God.)

This is what is written in Tana Divei Eliyahu, that if a person sins and he is liable to death from God, what should he do to live? If he used to study one page of Talmud, he should now study two – if he studied one chapter, he should now study two – this is like a string that got cut and now one ties it in the location of the knot, it is actually double as strong – and the same thing applies in the rope of our soul.

This is what the verse says that through the Torah, sins can be rectified.

And the sin of the House of Eli, cannot be rectified by sacrifice, but through studying Torah and acts of goodness and kindness.


Tanya in Simple English – Chapter 8 – Iggeres Hateshuva

After one thinks deeply into all the above then, they can actually from the depth of the heart ask God, “From you great Mercy erase my sin.”

For then their heart truly will be broken within them – as they contemplate the tremendous suffering that is on their Godly soul and even beyond (namely God) as mentioned before.

From this they will arouse a great compassion from God from the 13 compassionate emotions which come from His will which comes from the desire of God, represented in the Horn of the Yud which actually transcends the energy of Havayeh.

It is for this reason that the 13 compassionate emotions can wipe away all sins and dents.

Once this occurs then the dark side cannot draw their energy from the lower Hei as mentioned before.

(And through this the the lower Hei unites with the Yud and Hei and Vov.)

Similarly this occurs below in The Godly soul in man that once again the sins of the individual, do not block their soul from its connection to God.

As the verse States that “The soul is cleansed of the sins, for those who return to Him” and the souls are cleansed of the dirty garments which are the Kelipah that attached to it.

As the Divine Spirit has cleansed the soul, now she can return to God, and ascend above to her source and attach itself to God in an incredible Union.

To be united with God, as the soul was before she was sent to the body, when she was in a state of oneness with God (by way of example, like a person whose breath is in their mouth, before it leaves their mouth.)

Now the level of this Union is the level of the higher Teshuva, which comes after the lower Teshuva.

This is what the Zohar says, that the higher Teshuva is to study Torah with love and reverence for God, for that is uniting in the spirit of God.

(And the benefit of the Baal Teshuva even over the Tzaddik in this is because His love is greater and therefore their attachment to God is.)


Tanya In Simple English – chapter 7 – Iggeres Hateshuva

However the honest and straight path to the lower Teshuva – restoring the lower Hei…. generally speaking, includes two things:

The first is to inspire a great compassion from the source of compassion, on your soul and on the Godly soul,s that fell from the highest of heights, being one with God, to the lowest of depths, into the impurity and other side.

Furthermore to have a great compassion on her source, within God Himself, as it says, “And he will return to God and have compassion.”

In other words to have great compassion on the energy from the name Havayeh which went down into the realms of the impure other side, to give them life through the actions and the machinations and bad thoughts of man – like it says, “A king chained in chains of bad thoughts” and this is the Shechina in Golus.

And the appropriate time for this is when we say Tikkun Chatzois.

This is what it says, “The crown of our head has fallen, oh how sad for us that we have siñned.”

It is for this reason that God is called the “humiliated king.” For can there be a greater humiliation than this?!

Particularly when a clever person will contemplate the infinite greatness of God, who fills all universes and encompasses all the universes – can there be a greater humiliation?!

The second mechanism of the lower Teshuva is to humble the Kelipah and Sitra Achara.

For his entire entity is only arrogance and its puffed up ego.

As such when it is humbled / humiliated this is its Extinction.

This occurs through a person humbling oneself by considering all of their sins.

As the Zohar comments on “The broken and humble heart, is the sacrifice of God.”

A person should meditate / contemplate for an hour prior to Tikkun Chatzois (at night) how their sinful thoughts, speech and action, caused the Shechina to descend into such shame.

This is the meaning of what our sages said that “the wicked, even when they are alive, they are dead.”

This means that their life is coming from the source of death.

And even one who has not transgressed the transgression of Kares or a transgression where the punishment is death, such as wasting semen or similar sins… (so why would he think he caused the Shechina to descend?)

However he sinned in other more minor  sins and every sin causes a dent in the soul. This is like the example we gave before, of a 613 twined string, and each Mitzvah is one strand.

As such by transgressing many more minor transgressions, it can create a cut in the general string.

The same can occur by God-forbid repeating the same sin many times.

Now just like a thick cloud can block the Sun, so too, many thin curtains.

This certainly applies not only to the multiple times one transgresses minor sins, but for sins that are compared to Major sins, for example one who pretends not to see the poor – which is compared to idolatry.

And speaking negatively about another, which is compared to the three Cardinal sins of murder, adultery, and idolatry.

“Whoever gets angry – it is as if he has worshiped an idol.”

Similarly whoever has arrogance.

There are many such examples in the Talmud.

Compared to all of them is the neglect of Torah study… – as our sages say, “God forgave the worship of idols, but not the neglect of Torah study.”

For this reason our sages organized in the recital of Shema at night, the acceptance of the four deaths.

This is besides the fact that according to Kabbalah, whoever dents the letter Yud of God’s name Havayeh is as if He is liable for death by Skileh – whoever dents the letter Hei is liable for death by Chenek – whoever dents the letter Vov is liable for Hereg – and whoever dents the letter Hei is liable for death by Chenek.

Now one who transgresses by not saying Shema effects the letter Yud – one who transgresses by not putting on Teffilin, effects the letter Hei – one who transgresses by not wearing Kosher Tzitzis effects the letter Vov – and one who transgresses by not Praying (Shemoina Esrei) effects the final Hei.

And the wise person can deduce regarding other sins, namely, that they affect God’s name, and of course the neglect of Torah corresponds to them all.


Tanya In Simple English – Chapter 6 – Iggeres Hateshuva

However all of the above was specifically when the Jewish people are on a very high level and the Shechina dwelled in Beis Hamikdosh.

Then the Jewish people received their life force only through the Godly soul, from the inner Essence of God through the name Havayeh.

However when the Jews fell from their high level and through their sins caused “The secret of the exile of the Shechina,” -as it says “Because of your sins the Shechina went into exile.”

In other words, the descent of the lower Hei into exile causes the energy to go to the supernal ministers – that govern the countries of the gentiles, and give the life force to the animals or vegetation there.

As such, just as any animal in that country can receive life-force, so too can the body of the Jew who sins.

In actual fact, a Jew who sins in thought, speech and action actually receives a greater energy from the other side – for the reason that whatever a person is thinking, saying or doing – if it is good, the energy comes from God; but if, as a person has free choice, they choose to think, say and do bad, then their energy comes from the dark side – and the dark side can only have energy from the bad that people do (and as they have given it energy, they receive first from it.)

This occurs specifically in exile – and this is the secret of the exile of the Shechina.

That it has to so to say, give to the dark side, that God despises.

However when a person does a proper Teshuva than they remove the energy that they have given to them.

For when a person does Teshuva – they return the energy of the Shechina to her proper location.

And this is the return of the lower Hei from her exile – like it says, “And God will return her captives” in other words “With your captives” that God will return together with the Shechina.