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As Divided for a Leap Year
Tanya for 10 Adar I
The cause [of this deficiency] is the arrogance of the kelipah [of the animal soul], which exalts itself above the holiness of the light of the divine soul, so that it obscures and darkens its light.
Therefore, one must crush it and cast it down to the ground, [just as in the previously quoted analogy the beam is splintered so that it will catch fire.
The Alter Rebbe now proceeds to explain how this is accomplished.
He points out that the personality of the Beinoni is his animal soul.
(When a Beinoni says "I," he is referring to his animal soul.) Thus, by crushing his own spirit, he crushes the sitra achra, and thereby enables the light of the soul and intellect to penetrate himself].
This means [that one must crush the sitra achra and cast it to the ground] by setting aside appointed times for humbling oneself and considering himself  "despicable and contemptible," as it is written.
Now  "A broken heart [leads to] a broken spirit," the "spirit" being the sitra achra which, in the case of Beinonim, is the very man himself.
For in his heart the vital soul which animates the body is in its full strength as it was at birth; hence it is indeed the very man himself.
With regard to the divine soul within him it is said:  "The soul which You gave within me is pure."
[The word "WITHIN me" cannot be understood as referring to the body alone: the body cannot speak for itself as a complete man. Thus, it must refer also to the animating soul.
Therefore], the words "[which You gave] within me" imply that the man himself who is saying these words is not identified with the "pure soul"; [i.e., the divine soul is a thing apart, which has been "placed within" this "me" - the body and animal soul] - except in the case of tzaddikim.
With them [the Tzadikim] the contrary is true: the man himself is the "pure soul," i.e, the divine soul, while their body is called "the flesh of man" [i.e., secondary to the man himself - the divine soul].
- (Back to text) A play [on words] in Tehillim 15:4.
- (Back to text) Cf. Tehillim 51:19.
- (Back to text) Morning liturgy; Berachot 60b.
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