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Tanya for Tuesday, 25 Av, 5781 - August 3, 2021

As Divided for a Regular Year

Tanya for 25 Av

24 Av, 5781 - August 2, 202126 Av, 5781 - August 4, 2021

Epistle Eight

[It is written:] "He sows tzedakot and causes deliverance to sprout forth." [1] [Tzedakot, the plural form of tzedakah, can mean both "acts of righteousness" and "acts of charity."]

The use of the idiom "sowing" in relation to the commandment of charity, and likewise in the verse, [2] "Sow for yourselves for tzedakah, [and reap according to the measure of Chesed]," may be understood in the light of a teaching of our Sages: [3] "Rabbi Eliezer would give a coin to a poor person, and would then pray, for it is written, [4] "Through tzedek will I behold Your face," [and tzedek ("righteousness") is closely related to tzedakah ("charity").]

This means, [i.e., the reason prayer is deemed "seeing G-d's face," and the reason why this is attained by prefacing prayer with charity is:] that the manifestation of Divinity - which is revealed in the thought of man and in his devotion during prayer, in each individual according to his own measure - is [granted to man] by way of Divine charity, and by [the descent of] [5] "G-d's lovingkindness from world to world upon those who fear Him...."

This means that the light of G-d, the [infinite] Ein Sof, radiates with so [quantitatively] great and so [qualitatively] intense a manifestation in the higher worlds above, that they [and the beings which inhabit them] are truly in a state of self-nullification, and considered as truly naught before Him, and are absorbed in His light.

These [higher worlds] are the heichalot, with the angels and souls within them, that are spoken of in the sacred Zohar by their names and according to their places [and levels, as alluded to] in the liturgy arranged for us by the Men of the Great Assembly.

Now, this [6] "light, which is good," radiates from there to this lowly world, upon [7] "those that fear G-d and meditate upon His Name," who desire to worship Him with the [8] "service of the heart, meaning prayer."

As it is written, [9] "And G-d will enlighten my darkness," [even in this world, which is so lowly that G-dliness is generally not manifest here.]

Now, the descent of this illumination downwards to this world, is called "G-d's kindness," [For though this illumination is drawn down as a response to the divine service of the Jew, it outshines it out of all proportion. Its bestowal upon the lower worlds is thus truly an act of "G-d's kindness,"] which is referred to as water, [10] for it descends from a high place to a low place... [11]

["G-d's kindness" is drawn down through man's "arousal initiated from below." It is thus the coin that one gives a pauper that grants the giver the gift of "beholding G-d's face" - the internal aspect of G-dliness - during prayer. In this way, man's kindness and tzedakah elicit G-d's kindness and tzedakah.]



  1. (Back to text) Liturgy, the morning prayers (Siddur Tehillat HaShem, p. 44).

  2. (Back to text) Hoshea 10:12.

  3. (Back to text) Bava Batra 10a.

  4. (Back to text) Tehillim 17:15.

  5. (Back to text) Ibid. 103:17.

  6. (Back to text) Cf. Bereishit 1:4.

  7. (Back to text) Cf. Malachi 3:16.

  8. (Back to text) Beginning of Tractate Taanit.

  9. (Back to text) II Samuel 22:29.

  10. (Back to text) Zohar II, 175b.

  11. (Back to text) Cf. Tikkunei Zohar 69:105a.

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