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As Divided for a Regular Year
Tanya for 3 Elul
However, this [limitation on charity] applies only to one who observes the Torah and does not depart from it to the right or left, even as much as a hair's-breadth. But as to him who has strayed from the path, Heaven forfend, inasmuch as he has distorted his course, thus diminishing the Supreme Holiness, [A Jew draws down sanctity from the Supreme Holiness through his performance of the commandments; as we say in the blessings recited before their performance, "...Who has sanctified us with His commandments." I.e., performing mitzvot elicits a downflow of Supreme Holiness, whereas non-performance depletes it.] that is, he has diminished its value as regards the efflux he could have elicited from G-d's Divinity and the radiation [he could have elicited] from the [infinite] Ein Sof - light, had he observed the Torah and fulfilled it as required, - such distortion cannot be rectified except by an efflux of the Supreme light that transcends the worlds, without being vested in them.
This is what is called Chesed ilaah [superior kindness] and rav Chesed [abundant kindness], because it radiates and diffuses infinitely, without limit and measure, since it is not contracted within the worlds but encompasses them from above [in equal measure], from the peak of all rungs to the end [of all rungs].
Now, when man draws it downward by means of his deeds and by an arousal from below, this Supreme light then radiates and extends within the worlds, rectifying all distortions and deficiencies caused in the Kodesh HaElyon, and renewing their light and goodness with an intense elevation, on the level of a truly new light.
[An act of penitence does not merely uncover a pre-existing light, but calls forth a new and infinite light which is loftier than all the worlds.]
This is why the Sages taught that  "In the place (i.e., at the level) where penitents stand, [even the perfectly righteous do not stand]."
[The Rebbe Shlita notes that in various sources  this is paraphrased as follows: "In the place where penitents stand even the truly righteous cannot stand." I.e., the level at which penitents stand steadfastly cannot even be attained by the truly righteous, for the Divine radiance drawn down through repentance is of an utterly superior quality.]
- (Back to text) Berachot 34b.
- (Back to text) Rambam, Hilchot Teshuvah 7:4, as distinct from the wording cited in Berachot, loc. cit.: "...do not stand."
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