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Tanya for Wednesday, 23 Tamuz, 5780 - July 15, 2020

As Divided for a Regular Year

Tanya for 23 Tamuz

22 Tamuz, 5780 - July 14, 202024 Tamuz, 5780 - July 16, 2020

Chapter Eight

[Two basic elements, as the Alter Rebbe made clear in the previous chapter, enable the lower level of repentance to be true and direct:

  1. considering how one's soul and its Source, the Shechinah, are to be pitied, and arousing Supreme compassion upon them;

  2. making a thoughtful, soulful and accurate accounting of the extent to which one's own sins have brought about the "exile of the Shechinah."

This will make one's heart humble and contrite, which in turn will crush the spirit of the kelipot and sitra achra].

After deeply considering all this, one can truly plead, from his inmost heart, [1] "In accordance with Your abounding compassion, erase my transgressions...."

[This verse is recited during Tikkun Chatzot as well as during the bedside reading of Keriat Shema - propitious times for spiritual stocktaking, which will enable him to recite it wholeheartedly].

For by then his heart will be thoroughly impressed with the pathetic state of the spark of Divinity within his soul, and [in his soul's Source] Above, as noted earlier.

He will thereby arouse Supreme mercy, from the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy which derive from the Supreme Will, alluded to by the "thorn" atop the yud, which by far transcends the flow issuing from the letters of the Tetragrammaton.

[Sins cause a blemish in the individual letters of the Tetragrammaton, as explained above.

This causes the flow emanating from there, and from which a Jew derives his life-force, to descend into the kelipot and sitra achra and provide them with additional nurture.

When one arouses the Supreme mercies of the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy, which emanate from the level of the Supreme Will that transcends the letters of the Tetragrammaton, he is then able to rectify the letters and redirect their flow into his soul].

Therefore, [on account of their lofty origin], these Thirteen Attributes of Mercy correct all defects, as it is written, [2] "He bears sin and transgression ....., and cleanses."

[With this awakening of mercies following the contrition], there is no further nurture for the evil (lit., "extraneous") forces and for the sitra achra from the life-force emanating from the lower hei, as noted.

[3] (The latter hei thereupon returns to its proper place, reunited with [the preceding three letters of the Tetragrammaton,] yud-hei-vav. This will suffice for the understanding.)

[This, then, is the meaning of the statement quoted in chapter 4, that the lower level of teshuvah consists of the "return of the lower hei."

Just as there is a restoration of the hei Above], exactly so below in the Divine soul within man, no more do "your sins separate [you from G-d]." [4]

Thus it is written, [naming one of the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy,[2] "He cleanses," on which our Sages comment, [5] "He cleanses those who return to Him in penitence," to lave and cleanse their souls of the soiled garments, which are the evil (lit., "extraneous") forces, [i.e., the kelipot and sitra achra], that the Talmud describes [6] as [a garment born of a man's sin that] "envelops him....."



  1. (Back to text) Tehillim 51:3.

  2. (Back to text) Bamidbar 14:18.

  3. (Back to text) Parenthesis are in the original text.

  4. (Back to text) Cf. Yeshyahu 59:2.

  5. (Back to text) Yoma 86a.

  6. (Back to text) Sotah 3b.

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