Daily Tanya Tuesday 28th Teves: Understanding the swear of being a Tzadik and not a Rasha

(LY) 28th Teves

  1. Understanding the swear of being a Tzadik and not a Rasha:
  • Why redundancy in the oath: Based on all the above we can understand the reason for why every soul prior to its departure to this world is sworn into being a Tzadik and not being a Rasha. Seemingly, once the soul is sworn to being a Tzadik it no longer needs to be sworn to not be a Rasha.
  • Not everyone can be a Tzadik: Rather, the explanation is as follows: since not every individual merits to become a Tzadik, and a person does not have much of a freedom of choice in this matter, to receive true pleasure from G-d [in this world] and hence truly repulse evil, therefore, the souls also sworn into a second oath to at the very least not be a Rasha.
  • Everyone can abstain from being a Rasha: Every person is given the freedom of choice and power to fulfill the second part of the oath to not be a Rasha, as he is given the capability to control the lusts of his heart and to conquer his inclination, and thereby not be a Rasha for even one moment his entire life, both in the realm of avoiding evil and the realm of performing good. In this respect “good” refers to Torah study as the study of Torah corresponds to all Mitzvahs.
  1. Attempting to despise evil and abhor physical pleasures even as a Beinoni:
  • Despite the above inability for a Beinoni to truly abhor evil, nonetheless he must exert effort to achieve this on some level. Thus, he must also set aside time for coming up with advice and ideas that can help him abhor evil.
  • Abhorring one’s feeling of lust for women: For example, the sages teach us that a woman is like a barrel that is filled with feces [and her mouth is filled with blood, and hence if not due to the decree of G-d, man should truly have no lust for her]. [A person can contemplate this matter to help him diminish his lust after women and come to naturally do away with the lust.]
  • Abhorring one’s feeling of lust for tasty foods and sugary treats: Likewise, one can use the above idea of the sages to likewise diminish his lust for delicious foods and sugary treats, by telling himself that they will all become rotten feces when he is done eating them.
  • Abhorring one’s lusts for all pleasures: The above tactics can be used against all pleasures of this world to assist one in diminishing his lust after these pleasures, as the wise man sees the future that they lead to, as in the end they will become spoiled and rotten and turn into garbage [and hence what seems now as a delicious pleasure is in truth something that will become repulsive and abhorrent, and through contemplating this end result of the pleasure he can diminish his lust for this pleasure even now].
  1. Attempting to achieve a love of pleasure even as a Beinoni:
  • Not only can the Beinoni achieve a slight hatred for the physical pleasures through the above contemplations but furthermore he can actually achieve a pleasure and joy in G-d [similar to that experienced by Tzadikim] through contemplating the greatness of the infinite G-d to the best of his ability.
  • A mere fantasy that fulfills the first part of the oath to be a Tzadik: Now, although he is aware that his soul will never truly be able to reach this state of a Tzadik to truly receive pleasure from G-d in this world, and hence his pleasure love is a mere fantasy and product of his creative imagination, nonetheless he must do his part in fulfilling the first part of the vow and at least try to be a Tzadik and G-d will do as is fit in his eyes.
  1. Meriting real love, and to truly abhor evil:
  • Furthermore, in addition to the intrinsic value in trying to be like a Tzadik by trying to abhor evil and have a fantasy pleasure love for G-d, it is possible that he will indeed achieve this to some level.
  • The habit to abhor the lusts for pleasure and evil can become one’s second nature: The habit to exert control over a pleasure and lust and inclination eventually becomes a second nature for the person. Hence, when a person accustoms himself to despise evil, then he will truly despise evil at least slightly.
  • The habit to have a fantasy pleasure love for G-d can make it actually happen: Likewise, when a person accustoms himself to rejoice his soul with G-d through contemplating G-d’s greatness, then as a result of this arousal from below, the person may receive an arousal from above to help him achieve this in actuality as will be explained next.
  • Being impregnated with the soul of a Tzadik to achieve true love: Perhaps G-d will send the person a high spirit from the root of a certain Tzadik which will become impregnated within him and help him achieve a service of G-d that experiences the true joy which is reserved only for Tzadikim.
  • Achieving the first part of the oath to be a Tzadik: As a result of the above, the oath that he was sworn, into becoming a Tzadik, will truly be fulfilled within him.


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