On Divine Inspiration – Chapter 36

This may likewise be understood in regard to Beinonim[1]; that this is the chief cause of the above mentioned sickness in their souls. If only they would open their eyes with pity upon their souls. They then would not destroy themselves through the self-love of never seeing faults in themselves etc. This is sufficient for those of understanding.

All the more so, in our generation, regarding the new followers who have lately come to the ways of Chassidus. They did not at all start off by cultivating the above mentioned aspect of a broken heart in themselves from their youth. Rather, their eyes were immediately opened to the Divine wisdom, listening and comprehending everything at once, like one of the great, as known. Because of this, they feel perfect in all that they are, like children free of blemish. They recognize no evil in themselves and are very easy on themselves. This is because they are so overjoyed by their great comprehension and knowledge, that they are blinded by it – but the chief cause is self-love.

Moreover, the tiny amount of broken-heartedness that they may naturally possess is regarded as alien to them and unworthy ofdeep consideration. They consider it to be a low level, which is called (Natural Piety). This is what they received from the expositors that make themselves great over them, saying “I have the secret” etc. This is a most extreme error.

By my life! Many of the great ones of the new followers have fallen into this error ,with theexception of a few of the more seasoned ones who know the truth; and they too have left this path through falling into matters of this world etc. Unfortunately, even when they hear many words of Chassidic discourse  on this subject, in the light of the true teachings of my father, master, teacher and rabbi, of blessed memory, whose soul reposes in Eden, they declare that this is only for the benefit of low level people, such as Baalei Teshuvah and the like.

By my life! I declare that the greater people are in far more need of this than the lesser people! On the contrary, this is the principle cause of their slow descent, falling little by little without even noticing it in themselves. All this is clearly known. This is sufficient for those of understanding.

Besides this, the main reason for the terrible sickness, mentioned above, is that very little effort and labor is expended into the teachings of Chassidus with the specific intent of bringing them into one’s soul in practice. Though there are very many people that labor and occupy themselves in understanding the material and in reviewing it often until they attain proficiency and can respond to questions fluently, nonetheless, in and of itself, this cannot be defined as being occupied in Divine service altogether. This is nothing more than external study, without putting one’s heart and soul into it at all.The reason is because one is not occupied in the teachings of Chassidus as a Divine service; firmly affixing them into his soul, with the intent of literally living by them with a strong and powerful bond (which is called liveliness of the soul. It’s opposite is called deadness).

The words of the Living G_d are actual life to those who seek them, as the verse states, “You who adhere to HaShem your G_d are all alive today.”[2] And the opposite is considered to be dead. Even in the study of worldly matters, there is a great difference between one whose whole involvement in the subject is with enthusiasm (the subject is alive, very alive) and one who lacks all vitality in the subject (the subject is very dead). This is well known; that the aspect of the vitality of the soul for the words of the Living G_d can only come about by being occupied in Divine service and by putting great effort into prayer and into the analytical study of its teachings and of the holy Zohar and other books of Kabbalah, by delving into them and by truly attaching oneself to them, heart and soul (A strong attachment, truly from the soul) until his soul is revived with new vitality, literally.

Now, this needs to be put into practice on a constant and steady basis until it becomes established in one’s soul, so that his soul will live forever, without any weakening and without its light becoming dimmed. At such time, if he will desire to seek the word of HaShem, it will be affixed in his soul forever and HaShem’s light will break forth like the dawn for him. His soul will thus be satiated with tangible satisfaction, adding Divine light with great abundance, with a root and foundation that will be established forever and he will become like a tree planted near water, that spreads its roots along the stream etc.[3]  All the evil winds in the world will be unable to move him etc. This is sufficient for those of understanding.

[1] This is an intermediate person who has perfected his thought, speech and actions, but is incapable of bringing about profound change in the actual characteristics of his soul. For a full explanation of the level of a Beinoni, see Tanya-Sefer shel Beinonim, of the Alter Rebbe.

[2] Deuteronomy 4:4

[3] Jeremiah 17:8

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