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As Divided for a Regular Year
Tanya for 12 Elul
[Now the first part of the verse states that the reward is "hidden away," while its conclusion implies that it is revealed to the sight of man.
The Alter Rebbe will now explain that corresponding to these two forms of reward, the Jew's spiritual service (that leads to the reward) likewise assumes two forms: there is both a concealed and a revealed form of divine service.]
Among those who serve G-d [by fulfilling the Torah and its mitzvot,] there are two distinct kinds and levels, depending on the root of their souls above, in the categories of the "right" [Chesed] and the "left" [Gevurah].
[In terms of the effect of the soul's root,] this means that the "left" is characterized by contraction and concealment in one's divine service.
Thus, [with regard to this manner of service,] it is written,  "...and to walk covertly [with the L-rd your G-d]"; [and in another verse we find],  "in secret places weeps [my soul]..."; [and, in the words of our Sages],  "Whoever engages in the study of the Torah in secret...."
[The three above-mentioned quotations refer to the three general modes of divine service: With regard to mitzvot - "to walk covertly"; regarding prayer - "my soul weeps"; and with regard to Torah - "engages in the study of the Torah in secret."
All the above approaches to divine service result from one of the traits that characterizes Gevurah, viz., concealment. The Alter Rebbe now goes on to speak of the other dominant trait that characterizes the attribute of Gevurah, viz., contraction.]
From this attribute derives also the element of contraction and limitation in the service of G-d; for example, having one's disbursements to charity adjudged according to one 's means,  and [setting one's limits in the spirit of the teaching],  "He who gives lavishly, should not expend more than one fifth."
Likewise, as regards the study of Torah and the other commandments, such a person is satisfied if he discharges his definite duty which the Torah explicitly obligates him to do, such as to set aside certain times [for Torah study].
[Thus, the soul's root in the Supernal "left", in the attribute of Gevurah, will lead one to act in a manner consistent with its character trait of limitation: so that he will give only as much tzedakah, study only as much Torah, and perform the mitzvot only to the degree that he is obligated.]
From it derives also the teaching of our Sages, of blessed memory,  "Cast awe upon the pupils...."  By contrast, the characteristic of the "right" is the attribute of Chesed and expansiveness - serving G-d with amplitude, without any contraction or concealment whatever, as it is written,  "And I will walk about expansively...," and without any contraction or limitation whatever. [I.e., with such an individual, not only the approach to divine service but also its execution is characterized by a broad sweep.]
There is no restraint to the spirit of his generosity, whether it be with respect to charity, the study of Torah, or other commandments. He is not satisfied with merely discharging his obligation, but [continues]  "to the extent of never [saying] `Enough!'..."
[These, then, are the two types of divine service that result from the soul's being rooted either in the "right" or the "left".]
- (Back to text) Tehillim 31:20.
- (Back to text) Michah 6:8.
- (Back to text) Yirmeyahu 13:17.
- (Back to text) Note of the Rebbe Shlita: "See Moed Katan 16b Mibefnim etc. B'seser.
- (Back to text) Note of the Rebbe Shlita: "Tur and Shulchan Aruch, beginning of Hilchot Tzedakah."
- (Back to text) Ketubbot 50a.
- (Back to text) Ibid. 103b.
- (Back to text) In the standard Hebrew text, this last sentence appears after the following one (i.e., after Berchava...- "expansively"). A parenthetical comment there notes the consequent anomaly, and suggests that the sentence might in fact belong here, as in the present edition.
- (Back to text) Tehillim 119:45.
- (Back to text) Malachi 3:10.
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