Tanya Chapter 16: Intellectual love-The Beinoni who has no feelings of love

Chapter 16: Intellectual love-The Beinoni who has no feelings of love

25th Teves/(LY)3rd Shevat

1. A great rule-The main Avoda of a Beinoni is to control his nature and lusts through arousing love and fear of G-d:

  • Control one’s nature: The following is a great rule in the service of G-d of the Beinoni. His main goal is to control and reign over his nature [i.e. natural instincts and bodily intuitions] as it is found in the left part of his heart.
  • Through the light of his G-dly soul: This control the heart is to be accomplished through the light of G-d that shines to his G-dly soul which is found in his brain.
  • Controlling one’s lusts through arousing Daas: Likewise, the Beinoni is to control and rule over his heart through contemplating the greatness of G-d in his mind and as a result of this contemplation to arouse the attribute of Daas.
  • Abstaining from sin due to fear of G-d: This arouses fear of G-d in his mind which then prompts him to abstain from doing evil whether it be a biblical or rabbinical transgression, including even if it is a very light rabbinical transgression, heaven forbid.
  • Fulfillment of mitzvah’s due to love for G-d: Likewise, this contemplation arouses a love for G-d in the right part of his heart and creates a passion and desire to attach to G-d through fulfillment of the biblical and rabbinical mitzvah’s, especially with the mitzvah of Torah study which corresponds to all the commands.

2. Another great rule-The Avoda of a Beinoni who cannot arouse palpable feelings of love in his heart:

  • There is a further great rule in the service of G-d of a Beinoni which he must be aware of, and this is in relation to if he is not capable of arousing a true feeling and emotion of love for G-d in his heart.
  • The ideal quality of love for G-d in the Beinoni: Ideally, as a result of his contemplation and comprehension a Beinoni is to accomplish the arousal of a conscious love within his heart, to the point that his heart burns with a truly felt passion and desire to attach to G-d.
  • The Beinoni who is incapable of arousing love: Even if the Beinoni is incapable of arousing the above form of conscious passionate love as a result of his contemplation, and the love remains in subconscious state his mind and hidden within his heart, nonetheless, even it is possible for even this type of Beinoni to serve G-d with love and fear of an intellectual level and have it considered as if he served G-d as a result of his love and fear, as will now explain.
  • Gloss-Some souls are not capable of arousing love: The reason that some Beinonim are not capable in arousing an emotion of love despite their proper contemplation and comprehension of G-d’s greatness is because the intellectual aspects, as well as other aspects of their soul, derived from the level known as Tevuna, which is an abstract and subconscious state of intellect which does not allow emotions to be consciously felt, and not from a level of revelation and birth, as the case by other souls, which allows emotions to be consciously felt.

3. Love of Tevuna/The intellectual love aroused in the heart of even this Beinoni:

  • Even the above type of Beinoni who cannot arouse conscious emotions of love in his heart, is able to arouse an abstract intellectual love within his heart which understands and comprehends how and why he should love G-d, even though he doesn’t consciously feel it.
  • The heart understands G-d’s greatness: As a result of the intellectual contemplation which takes place in the mind, the heart of this Beinoni understands the greatness of G-d and how everything is like naught before Him.
  • An understanding that he should yearn to be attached to G-d: Now, as a result of this understanding by the heart, the heart likewise understands that it is fit and proper for every living being to yearn to attach to G-d and be incorporated within his Divine light. Thus, also his soul that is within him knows that it is proper for it to yearn with a great passion to be incorporated within the light of G-d.
  • Willing even to leave the body to attach to G-d: This understanding of the soul that it should desire to be incorporated within G-d is to such an extent that it understands that it should do so even by the means of having it leave the body in order to attach to Him, and it only remains in the body due to the fact that it is forced to live within the body and be attached to it, similar to a widow whose husband is still alive and therefore cannot move on.
  • Attaching to G-d and hugging Him through Torah and Mitzvos: Now, it is this body that prevents the soul from being able to properly grasp G-d with exception to when it is involved in the Torah and its commands in which case even the soul as it is found within the body has the ability to attach to G-d. In this regard, it is similar to a person who hugs the king, and indeed the Beinoni understands that is proper for him to desire to hug the king with all of his heart and soul. This is accomplished through fulfilling all the 613 commands in action speech and thought, which is the comprehension and knowledge of Torah as explained previously.
  • Accordingly, it is understood that even the Beinoni who is incapable of arousing a consciously felt love and passion for G-d, can arouse an intellectual understanding in his heart and mind that he should do so; that he should yearn and experience passion to attach G-d, and that the only current way for him to do so while stuck in his body is through the fulfillment of Torah and Mitzvos.

4. Connecting the hearts understanding to one’s Divine service:

  • Is as if he served G-d with conscious love and fear: When the Beinoni contemplates in depth the above matters, and how his mind and heart truly desire in their hidden recesses to attach to G-d, when he then goes ahead and fulfills Torah and Mitzvos as a result of this understanding of his heart and mind then it is considered as if he is serving G-d with love and fear of Him, even though he does not consciously feel it.
  • Serving G-d as a result of the intellectual love: Meaning, that if as a result of one’s heart understanding he desires to study G-d’s Torah and does so with his mouth by both day and night, and likewise his hands and other limbs fulfill the mitzvah’s as a result of his hearts and minds understanding, then it is found that this understanding is invested in the action speech and thought of his Torah and Mitzvos.
  • The intellectual love elevates the Torah and Mitzvos similar to consciously felt love: This comprehension that he should love and fear G-d which motivated his Divine service then becomes the intellect and energy and wings to help elevate his Divine service up to heaven, to the same extent of one who consciously experienced love and fear within his heart and thereby served G-d as a result of this consciously felt yearning and passion.
  • An ability to experience the same excitement as one with conscious love: Furthermore, this gives one the ability to then experience within the fulfillment of the Torah and Mitzvos the same emotional excitement as would be experienced by one who felt a conscious love and passion for G-d.
  • The reason: The reason for this is because it is this understanding of the mind and heart which propels one to fulfill his Torah and Mitzvos, and without this understanding he would not be involved at all in the service of G-d and would rather involve himself only in fulfilling the needs of his body.
  • The status of a Beinoni who is an assiduous learner by nature: Even one who is naturally inclined towards the studies of wisdoms, and hence naturally dedicates himself to Torah study due to this nature, nonetheless, even he naturally loves his body more than he does the full-time learning, and hence he too is considered to have studied Torah as a result of his intellectual love, when he studies it day and night.

5. G-d joins one’s thoughts to his actions:

  • The above idea that even an intellectual love of a Beinoni can be considered like real conscious love, is hinted to in the following statement of our sages “a good thought G-d connects to the action.” Now, the wording should have been that one who has a good intent is considered as if he did it, even if in actuality he did not bring his good intent to fruition. The wording of that the thought is connected with the action does not make much sense, unless we explain it as follows.
  • Conscious love is the wings of the Mitzvos: The conscious revealed love for G-d that a person experiences is invested in his action of the Mitzvos, to give them energy to fly above to heaven.
  • Emotions of the heart are also physical: The heart of man is a physical limb just like any other limb of action, and hence it is able to attach to actions that are performed and become their inner vitality and energy. Therefore, these feelings of the heart are able to become invested in the action and serve as their wings to elevate them.
  • The deficiencies in intellectual love and fear: Despite the above, love and fear of a mere intellectual level is in truth much higher and more abstract then Mitzvos that are fulfilled through action, and is therefore unable on its own to become invested within the action of the Mitzvos and serve as their intellect and energy and wings to elevate them above, if not for G-d. Intellectual love and fear is considered like a mere good intention or good thought as it is not actually revealed within the heart and rather remains within the minds understanding and hidden recesses of the heart.
  • The assistance G-d gives the intellectual love and fear: This is why it is necessary for G-d to attach this good thought of intellectual love and fear to the action. It is G-d who connects and attaches this intellectual love and fear to the physical action of the mitzvah so it serves as its intellect and energy and wings to elevate it above. Hence, on this it states that G-d joins the good thought and intention of the individual of intellectual love and fear to the action of the Mitzvah that he does.
  • Gloss-Wings that come from intellect: This idea is based on the Zohar which states that the word Tevuna is made up of the Hebrew words for son and daughter, which refers to love and fear. The reason for this is because sometimes the level of Tevuna descends to become the intellect of the feminine aspects of Zeir Anpin, which are the letters of the Torah and Mitzvos.

6. The elevation accomplished by the joining of the intellectual love and fear into the mitzvah:

  • A natural elevation to the world Yetzirah: Even without G-d joining the intellectual love and fear to the mitzvah, the mitzvah would still be elevated to the world of Yetzirah, as result of the natural and hidden love and fear contained in the heart of every Jew from birth.
  • Elevated to the world of Beriyah: What then does G-d joining the intellectual love and fear to the mitzvah accomplish? It accomplishes that the Torah and Mitzvos that are fulfilled as a result of the intellectual love and fear become elevated up until the world of Beriyah, which is an elevation normally reserved only for those Torah and Mitzvos that are fulfilled with an intellectually born love and fear.

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Leave A Comment?

You must be logged in to post a comment.