Tanya Chapter 13: A Deeper look at the Beinoni

Chapter 13: A Deeper look at the Beinoni

18th Teves/(LY)24th Teves

1. The evil may judge but cannot rule in the Beinoni:
  • Based on the teachings of the previous chapter we can better understand the teaching of our sages that the Beinoni is judged by both his good and evil inclination. In this teaching, the sages use the word judge and state that the two inclinations judge the body as opposed to the word control and they do not say that the two inclinations have control over the body.
  • Not a Rasha for even a moment: The reason for why in a Beinoni the evil inclination can only judge, and control is because if the evil inclination takes even slight control of the small city for even one moment, then the person is ready called a Rasha for that moment.

2. The “court case battle” that exists within the body of the Beinoni:
  • Is like a single judge within the tribunal of judges who give a verdict contrary to his opinion: The evil inclination is likened to a single judge within a tribunal of judges who states his opinion regarding what should be the verdict in the case. Nonetheless, despite the opinion that he voices, the final verdict may not be like his opinion being that there is another judge which argues against his opinion and a third opinion is that necessary to arbitrate between them and give the final verdict and in such a case the final verdict will follow the opinion of the third arbitrating judge.
  • The opinion of Judge number one-the evil inclination: The same applies regarding the evil inclination. The evil inclination retains the right to voice his opinion within the left side of the heart. Furthermore, he has the ability to send this opinion from his heart to the mind of the Beinoni to challenge him to think about it.
  • The opinion of judge number two-the G-dly soul: As soon the opinion of the evil inclination enters the mind of the Beinoni, the second judge, immediately argues against it. This second judge is the G-dly soul found in the brain and which also extends to the right part of the heart which is where the good inclination dwells.
  • The third judge, which is G-d, arbitrates: The final ruling in the above debate between the two judges follows the opinion of the third judge. The third judge is G-d who gives assistance to the good inclination, as the sages state that if not for the assistance G-d gives the good inclination, a person would not be able to overcome his evil passions.

3. Understanding the advantage of the second judge over the first:

  • A G-dly revelation to create the advantage of light over darkness: In greater detail, the exact assistance that G-d gives the second judge which is the G-dly soul, is that he shines His divine light on the G-dly soul. This divine revelation gives the G-dly soul the advantage and upper hand over the foolishness of the evil inclination and gives it the power of light over darkness.

(LY)25th Teves

  • Why the Beinoni is to view himself like a Rasha:
  • The lust for passion has not budged a single inch: Earlier in the first chapter we stated that a person should always view himself like a Rasha. The reason for this is because after all the evil that is found in the left part of the heart of the Beinoni still retains its full strength, just as when it was born. It still maintains its ability to lust after all of the pleasures of this world, and has never become nullified to good, or pushed away from its place at all within the heart.
  • Hashem prevents it from spreading-Only thanks to G-d is the evil not expressed: The only thing that holds true in the Beinoni is that his evil does not have the ability to express his lust within the limbs of the body and even this is merely due to the fact that G-d stands guard next to it in the right part of the heart, and assists it through shining His divine light to the G-dly soul. [In other words, the evil in the heart of the Beinoni remains strong that on his own he does not have the power to overcome it and requires assistance for G-d in order to do so.]
  • Viewing oneself like a Rasha: It is for this reason that the Beinoni is to be considered similar to a Rasha, at the sages’ state that even if the entire population of the world tell him that he is a Tzadik, he should nonetheless not believe them and continue to view himself like a Rasha.
  • Not like an actual Rasha but a Beinoni who has similarities to a Rasha: Now, this does not mean that one should actually think of himself as being a Rasha [as in truth he is not transgressed and believing this would be contrary to the truth, and possibly cause him depression in his service of G-d], but rather simply that he should view himself as a Beinoni which is similar to a Rasha [in the respect that he retains lust for evil within his heart].
  • Not to view himself like a Tzadik-know that you still contain evil: The main thing is that he should not believe what people are saying about him and view himself like a Tzadik whose evil has become nullified to is good, and he should rather be on guard and view himself as if the essence of his evil has still remained in his strength within the left part of his heart just as when it was born, and has not left were diminished itself at all even one iota.
  • His evil has even become strengthened with time: On the contrary, his evil inclination has only strengthened with time, as a result of his many involvements in eating and drinking and other matters of the physical world. [Thus, not only should he not be fooled to think that his evil no longer exists, but furthermore he needs to be aware that in truth it has gotten even stronger than it was when it was first born.]

19th Teves

4. The deceiving state of a Beinoni who learns Torah all day:

  • Feels like he no longer contains evil: Even a Beinoni who spends all of his days and nights in the study of Torah for the sake of heaven, this alone is not a proof at all that his evil has been pushed away from its location in the heart.
  • In truth the evil exists subconsciously without expression: In truth, it could be that the essence of the evil has remained in its full strength in the left side of the heart, and it is just that this evil does not find expression within the three garments of the animal soul, which is thought, speech, and action. This means that evil is not expressed in one’s mind or verbalized with one’s mouth or performed with one’s hands or the other limbs of the body.
  • Why it is not expressed-Mind over heart: Now, this lack of expression of the evil is only due to the fact that G-d gave the mind control over the heart, and it is for this reason that the G-dly soul which is in the mind rules over the small city, which consists of all the limbs of the body. The G-dly soul maintains control over all the limbs making sure that they only be a garment and chariot for the three garments of the G-dly soul which is the thought speech and action of the 613 commands.
  • The essence of the good has no control over the essence of evil with exception to times of prayer: The above, however, is only control over the expression of the evil, however the essence of the G-dly soul has zero control over the essence of the animal soul in a Beinoni with exception to the auspicious times when one’s love for G-d is consciously revealed in his heart, such as during times of prayer and the like.

5. The control over the evil during prayer:

  • Even during prayer evil is not nullified but just controlled: Even during the times of prayer, the good only has control over the essence of the evil and has not destroyed or nullified it.
  • Like two kingdoms at war: This is similar to two kingdoms which battle each other, in which when one kingdom rises the other one falls, although since the other kingdom still exists, when it rises again then the other one falls.
  • How the G-dly soul takes control of the essence of evil during prayer: During the times of prayer, the G-dly soul intensifies its battle against the animal soul by getting a jolt of energy from the source of severities, which is the attribute of Binah. When the G-dly soul contemplates the greatness of the infinite G-d and arouses from this contemplation a passionate and fiery love for G-d in the right side of the heart, this causes the side of evil that is found in the left side of the heart to be taken under its control. However, this evil by a Beinoni is not completely nullified at all.

6. The state of evil within a Tzadik:

  • It is only by tzaddikim of whom it states that “his heart is empty within him”, that evil ceases to exist, and as a result he despises evil and hates it, either with the ultimate hate and abhorrence [in a complete Tzadik], or with a limited hate and abhorrence [in an incomplete Tzadik].

7. By a Beinoni the evil is dormant and asleep and could wake up at any moment:

  • The evil within a Beinoni [even during times of passionate love during prayer] is similar to a sleeping person which is able to return and wake up from his sleep, as in truth this evil that is within the Beinoni is simply sleeping in the left side of the heart during times of Shema and prayer when his heart is aflame with the love of G-d, although afterwards it is able to be reawakened.

8. Even a true Tzadik can be fooled to think he is really a Beinoni:

  • The mistake of Raba to consider himself a Beinoni: Based on the above clarification, we can understand why the famous Sage Raba considered himself to be merely on the level of a Beinoni. This is despite the fact that he did not stop speaking words of Torah and studied Torah day and night and furthermore studied this Torah with intense and passionate desire to attach to G-d with great love, just as is experienced during the Shema and prayer.
  • Even one who experiences constant passion and love for G-d may still be a Beinoni who contains evil: The reason why Raba was deceived is because he simply viewed himself similar to a Beinoni who spends his entire day in prayer [with passionate love for G-d], as the sages state “if only one would pray throughout the entire day.” [Thus, from here we see that not only can one who controls his conscious expression of evil, still contain the essence of evil within them, but furthermore even one who constantly controls the essence of evil through experiencing love for G-d on a constant basis without stop, he too may still contain evil within him, and simply be like a Beinoni he is praying throughout the day, hence having his evil be in a state of sleep, but with the potential of eventually waking up.]

20th Teves

9. The love of a Beinoni has many levels of truth despite being considered false for the Tzadik:

  • Not a true love for Tzadikim: This level of love which is experienced by the Beinoni during prayer through the intensified energy of the G-dly soul over the animal soul, is not considered a true service [of love] at all in comparison to the level of the Tzadikim who serve G-d with the ultimate of truth.
  • Truth lasts forever: The reason for this is because this love dissipates once the Beinoni finishes his prayers, and regarding truth the verse states that “truth lasts forever while falsehood is temporary.”
  • A true love for the Beinoni: Nonetheless, this love is considered a true and complete love for the level of the Beinoni, as this is the ultimate level of truth that they can reach in their love for G-d.
  • Many levels of Beinonim: The level of true love within the Beinoni is commensurate to each person’s level, as there exists many levels [of potential love] within the Beinoni and hence when the Beinoni reaches the maximum potential intensity of love that he is capable of, then it is considered that he has maximized his true level of love.
  • Is considered a love of truth being that it can always be re-aroused: This maximum level of love that a Beinoni experiences during prayer is considered [at least for a Beinoni] a love of truth, as although it will dissipate after the prayer nonetheless since the G-dly soul within the Beinoni is always able to re-arouse this love daily during prayer through proper preparation it is therefore considered a love of truth.
  • The preparation necessary for the love to be aroused: This love can be aroused daily by the Beinoni through him doing the proper preparations prior to prayer. These preparations are personally tailored for each person’s level, [and hence each person requires a preparation in quality and quantity which is unique for him to help them arouse the love and his G-dly soul every day].
  • Many levels of truth, each for their level: The attribute of truth is the attribute of Jacob, which is called the middle rod which connects one end of the wall to the other. This means that the attribute of truth exists in every single level from the highest of the lowest, and that every level contains an aspect of truth which is commensurate to its level. It is the center and middle section of each level. On this it states that truth is a river without boundaries, as it has no measurement above and reaches the highest of levels. At the same time, the truth found in a lower level is considered like naught in comparison to the truth found in a higher level.
  • In Kabbalah, we find a similar concept in which it states that the head and intellect of the lower levels is lower than the heels and legs of the levels higher than it. This is hinted to also in the saying of the sages which state that the legs of the Angels called Chayos are greater than all.

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