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As Divided for a Regular Year
Tanya for 10 Nisan
Having discussed the various "abodes" of souls - three Worlds in which the souls receive a reward commensurate with the level of their divine service during their life on earth - the Alter Rebbe now returns to the theme begun in chapter 38.
There he noted that kavanah in mitzvot (which is the "soul" of the mitzvot) can be classified into various categories, corresponding to the different levels of soul found in living beings - the souls of animals, of man, and so on.
A kavanah which consists of intellectual love and fear is like the volitional soul of man; a kavanah consisting of natural love and fear, like the instinctive soul of an animal.
To support this contention, he discussed the various levels of "abodes" where souls receive their reward commensurate with their divine service on earth.
Returning now to his original theme, the Alter Rebbe points out that from the varying levels of reward, we can deduce the respective levels of divine service motivated by the different levels of kavanah].
"The reward of a mitzvah is the mitzvah itself."
[Unlike wages paid to a laborer, for example, which are no index of the nature of the work performed, the reward for a mitzvah - i.e., the revelation of G-dliness experienced by the soul that performed the mitzvah - is actually the fruit of the mitzvah itself; the revelation consists of a ray of the G-dly light emitted by the mitzvah].
This means that we can know the essential nature and rank [of the mitzvah] by its reward [by the nature of the light generated by the mitzvah, and revealed to the soul as its reward].
Now, we will not concern ourselves with explaining hidden matters, meaning the great tzaddikim who are at the level of a "chariot", [whose divine service comes under the heading of "hidden matters" because it transcends understanding], but only with those matters revealed to us, to which every man must aspire [i.e., only with those levels of divine service which may - and ought to - be attained by every Jew; as follows]:
One must know with certainty that the essential nature and rank of divine service with fear and love revealed in the heart, derived from understanding and knowledge of the greatness of the Blessed Ein Sof, [and of which it was said earlier that the reward for divine service motivated by such love and fear is on the level of the World of Beriah], - from this reward we know that its place [i.e., the level of such service - of mitzvot performed with such motivation], is in the Ten Sefirot of Beriah;
And the service motivated by natural fear and love [hidden] in one's mind [not emotions experienced in the heart, but mental awareness of one's inborn love and fear of G-d, of which it was said earlier that such service is rewarded in the World of Yetzirah, - from this reward we know that] its place is in the Ten Sefirot of Yetzirah.
But divine service performed without arousing one's fear and love to a revealed state even in one's mind, meaning [that the service is done without] arousing the natural love hidden in one's heart so that it will emerge from the hidden recesses of the heart, to be revealed at least in one's [conscious] mind and in the latency of his heart, [so that it might evoke if not passionate fervor, then at least a mental resolve to cleave to G-d by fulfilling the mitzvot];
if instead, the love remains hidden in the heart as in its native state, as it was before the divine service [when it was surely concealed, not expressing itself in divine service; if the love is similarly hidden when he engages in divine service, and the mitzvot that he does are in no way affected by the love, then] - such service remains below in this "World of Separation,"  [in the level called] the externality of the worlds  as opposed to the Sefirot which are the internal aspect of the Worlds;
It has not the power to rise and to be absorbed in G-d's Unity, meaning the ten holy Sefirot, as is written in Tikkunei Zohar, that "Without fear and love it does not fly upward, and it cannot rise to stand before G-d."
[As explained at length further, love and fear are the "wings" of one's divine service; lacking the wings, it cannot soar aloft.
- (Back to text) Note of the Rebbe Shlita: "See further, beginning of chapter 40: it may also be in the World of Yetzirah. This requires to be understood since the Alter Rebbe says here, `remains below." See also Kuntres Acharon."
- (Back to text) The Rebbe Shlita notes: "Accordingly, the word `Worlds' - in the plural - is now understood, [referring to the Worlds of] Asiyah and Yetzirah."