Weekly Tanya video/lecture: The Holy Epistle

Published date24 August 2022

On the strength that the Oral Law gives the soul of a Jew, King Solomon (peace be to him) explained:"She girds her loins with strength…."17

פֵּירֵשׁ שְׁלֹמֹה הַמֶּלֶךְ עָלָיו־הַשָּׁלוֹם "חָגְרָה בְעוֹז מָתְנֶיהָ כוּ'" –

The "woman of valor" lauded by King Solomon at the opening of the relevant chapter is an allegorical allusion to Knesset Yisrael, the Congregation of Israel, which comprises all Jewish souls. In the verse quoted, she "girds her loins with strength." "Strength" refers to the Torah,18 as in the teaching, "There is no strength but Torah."19 Thus, the Torah strengthens the loins of the soul, just as a warrior girds his loins to gather maximal strength; but what is meant by "girding the loins of the soul"?

The loins are the underframe that supports the whole body, including the head that is positioned over them;

"מָתְנַיִם", הֵם בְּחִינַת דָבָר הַמַּעֲמִיד כָּל הַגּוּף עִם הָרֹאשׁ הַנִּצָּב וְעוֹמֵד עֲלֵיהֶם,

it is they that lead and bring [the body] to its desired destination.

וְהֵם הַמּוֹלִיכִים וּמְבִיאִים אוֹתוֹ לִמְחוֹז חֶפְצוֹ.

And just as it is with the corporeality of the body, so it is with the spirituality of the Divine soul.

וּכְמוֹ שֶׁהוּא בְּגַשְׁמִיּוּת הַגּוּף, כָּךְ הוּא בִּבְחִינַת רוּחָנִיּוּת הַנֶּפֶשׁ הָאֱלֹהִית,

Just as the loins support the corporeal body and head, so do the soul's loins support and lead the "body" and "head" of the soul to its desired spiritual destination.

[The soul's loins are] the true belief in the One G‑d, the blessed Ein Sof,

הָאֱמוּנָה הָאֲמִיתִּית בַּה' אֶחָד אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא,

Who permeates all worlds with a vitality which is indwelling (pnimi), a vitality which is contracted and tailored to the capacity of each individual creature, and Who encompasses all worlds with a vitality that is transcendent (makif) and which cannot therefore clothe itself within created beings in an indwelling manner,

דְּאִיהוּ מְמַלֵּא כָּל עָלְמִין וְסוֹבֵב כָּל עָלְמִין,

there being no place or level of existence void of Him,

וְלֵית אֲתַר פָּנוּי מִינֵּיהּ,

above to no end, for there is no end to the degree of His exalted transcendence beyond all worlds,

לְמַעְלָה עַד אֵין קֵץ

and below to no limit, for there is no limit to His ability to descend to the very lowest levels of creation and clothe Himself within the world, even to the point that the world conceals the G‑dliness that is within it,

וּלְמַטָּה עַד אֵין תַּכְלִית,

and likewise in all four directions—east, west, north, and...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT