Tanya In Simple English – Chapter 4 Iggeres Hateshuva

Now the previous chapters were referring to (namely the idea of Charity and fasting) as atonement, only as an extra (over and above the Mitzvah of Teshuvah.)

As we explained before from the Talmud, that the sacrifice was like a present to make the king’s heart close to the individual.

However the foundation of the Mitzvah of Teshuvah and it’s main component is to return to God with a full and complete heart.

Now in order to understand it properly we must explain it at great length what it says in the Zohar that the Teshuva is made up of “Toshuv Hei” (return the Hei) – the lower Teshuva is to return the lower Hei and the higher Teshuva is to return the higher Hei (to God’s  name.)

In addition we have to understand what it says in the Holy Zohar in some places that Teshuvah does not help for a person who wastes semen, which is a bizarre statement, because we know that there is no sin that cannot be rectified through Teshuva, even idol worship and adultery.

Now in the holy book Reishis Chochmah, it explains, that the intent of the Zohar, is that the lower level of Teshuvah does not help, but the higher does.

Now let us understand a little bit, by prefacing what is explained in the Verse and the words of our sages the idea of Kares / “the Soul being cut off” and “death From Heaven” for in the olden days when one actually transgressed the sin of Kares, they would literally die before 50 years.

And when there was “death From Heaven” the person would die before 60 years, like the story of Chananya Ben Oizer the prophet in Jeremiah.

(And sometimes when it was “death From Heaven, a person could be immediately punished as we found by Er and Onan).

Now in absolute truth we have found in every generation many many people who have transgressed both Kares and sins, where the penalty is “death from heaven” and they had many long good years.

However this will be understood based on what is written that “God / Havayeh is a part of his Nation.”

A part of God’s name Havaya is within His Nation.

As it is written, “He blew into His nostrils the breath of Life” and as the Zohar says, that one who blows, blows from his essence.

Now of course God does not have the image of a body, yet the Torah uses human terminology, for just as there is a big difference between a person who speaks to a person who blows – for when a person speaks there’s only a little bit of energy within it – this is the outer side of the soul of life in him – but when you blow, you are connecting to the inner energy within you.

Similarly – though of course with infinite differences – there is a fundamental difference between all these Angels above, and even those created out of nothingness that exist from the outer energy that God gives to the universe – this is called “the breath of his mouth” as the verse says “And the breath of his mouth are all the hosts” This Is The Life Force and the letters of the 10 sayings.

They are all infinitely removed from the level of the soul of man – which comes from the level of the inner energy and life force that God gives, as it says “He blew into his nostrils the breath of Life.”

Then it descended through many many hidden levels, even through the letters of the 10 sayings which are “Let us create man” in order that it should come down into the physical body in this world.

This is why the angels are called with the name “Eloikim” as on the verse, “The sons of Eloikim (referring to angels) came.”

This is because their life force comes from the letters which is the outer will of God.

However the human whose Soul comes directly from God, his soul comes from the name Havayeh.

For the name Havayeh reflects the inner will of God which is infinitely superior to the letters.

To understand this we have to preface what Elijah the prophet said that “God you have brought forth 10 Garments, and call them Sefiros – to manage the affairs of the world, the hidden world and revealed world… You are wise but not with a wisdom that can be understood – You understand but not with an understanding that can be comprehended…” And all these 10 Sefiros are included and hinted to in the name Havayeh.

For the Yud which is a point, hints to Chochmah.

Chochmah is the concealed level prior to a concept entering the realm of comprehension.

(Now the little horn on top of the Yud actually refers to the will of God which precedes wisdom.)

Then when the concept is revealed to the hidden worlds it is called Hei.

Then when the concept is further drawn down to the Hidden Worlds, this is hinted to by the Vov and Hei.

The Vov represents the drawing down from above to below.

This is also because the drawing comes from God’s love as well as the other emotions symbolized by the Vov / six.

Now the level of Divine speech is symbolized by the final Hei.

For the essence of speech is the breath that comes from the heart, and subdivides into the five articles of articulation from the mouth.

Now the actual vocalization of the Hei is the simple breath.

Now of course God has no physical breath or mouth, rather the Torah uses the euphemism of a human.

And in fact the Divine speech subdivides into the 22 letters – and the five articulations which all created beings come from.

In a similar sense, though of course, infinitely different is the soul of man which as his Divine soul, which comes from God has in it, hidden wisdom, the precursor to all innovation – which is hinted in the letter Yud which has the capacity to bring this hidden wisdom into revelation – to then understand the truth of God, and his greatness etc. for each person according to their capacity – now when a person thinks deeply into the greatness of God – this is the letter Hei, which has breadth and length and which also symbolizes that he draws from above to below, to give birth from his contemplation in the greatness of God a love and reverence for God, first beginning within the mind and the subconscious of the heart and then coming into the revealed powerful feelings of the heart – and from there the true way of serving God, to study of Torah and do the Mitzvos both using one’s voice and speech and action – which is represented by the Hei – in addition to contemplate the greatness of God, this comes about through the study of Torah – for Torah derives straight from the wisdom of God which is Yud of the name of God.

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