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Unread 07-03-2007, 02:07 PM   #1
MrFinkelstein
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Source for 'no good in them at all'?

Shalom...
What is the Tanya's source for idol worshippers having no good at all in their nefesh?
MF
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Unread 07-03-2007, 05:47 PM   #2
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Shalom...
What is the Tanya's source for idol worshippers having no good at all in their nefesh?
MF
Tanya does not say that idol worshippers have no good in them. Tanya says that the nefashos of the umos haholam (meaning, all of the goyim, whether they worship idols or not). Tanya then quotes Eitz Chayim in the very next sentence as support for that statement.
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Unread 07-03-2007, 07:54 PM   #3
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What does the Etz Chaim say there? It's not clear to me from the text of the Tanya.
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Unread 07-03-2007, 09:10 PM   #4
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meshulam, what do you need the eitz chayim for? the AR brings it also from the gemoro in BB that chesed leumim chatos. b'etzem you can say it's a posuk.
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Unread 07-04-2007, 10:24 AM   #5
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The Eitz Chayim goes more to the quote brought above. Alternatively, the Eitz Chayim is brought directly after the "no good in them at all" statement. I just wanted to point that out above.
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Unread 07-04-2007, 01:29 PM   #6
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Ok. So this is an actual quote from Etz Chaim and the gemara. Do you know of a website that would have the whole passage from Etz Chaim, so I can see the context in which this was written?
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Unread 07-04-2007, 06:25 PM   #7
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Ok. So this is an actual quote from Etz Chaim and the gemara. Do you know of a website that would have the whole passage from Etz Chaim, so I can see the context in which this was written?
I don't want to mislead you. All I know is what is printed in Tanya. Tanya quotes to Shar mem-tes, perek gimel. I have the statement that I think the Alter Rebbe is referring to in front of me, but I post it with some trepidation. The Alter Rebbe brought Kabbalah to us in an understandable format, so that we wouldn't have to (or try to) understand it by ourselves. It follows that the Alter Rebbe's rendition of this quote is authoritative, and one should not try to understand what it means by oneself. If I am wrong about that, someone please correct me.

With that hakdama, I'll translate the quote:

Know what is that the animal soul that is in a person. It is an inclination to good and an inclination to evil that is in a person. The souls of the goyim are the three klipos (lit. shells) ... that are all bad (sh'kulam ra). Similarly the impure animals (bahemos, chayos, v'ofos). And the animal soul of Yisroel, and the animal soul of the pure animals (same loshon as above) are all from nohah (lit. light).

The texts goes on to explain further about Yisroel, and the pure animals.

Takehbored: I think it is fair to say that the exact quote that the Alter Rebbe brings is from Eitz Chayim. The Gemara and the Psukim support that quote. But the actual quote is from Eitz Chayim.

As for the context, the context is a Kabbalistic discourse. No need to go find a translation and try to understand it. As soon as you need a translation, I feel that there is no possibility for you to truly understand it. Best to just learn Tanya.
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Unread 07-05-2007, 11:48 AM   #8
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Thank you for looking this up for me. Is there a website that has Etz Chaim in Hebrew? I did a search but couldn't find one.
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Unread 07-05-2007, 12:07 PM   #9
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Thank you for looking this up for me. Is there a website that has Etz Chaim in Hebrew? I did a search but couldn't find one.
I know of one
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Unread 07-06-2007, 10:30 AM   #10
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I know of one
Please tell us...
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Unread 07-06-2007, 10:53 AM   #11
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Exclamation

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Please tell us...
http://www.hebrew.grimoar.cz/vital/ec_chajim.htm
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Unread 07-06-2007, 01:20 PM   #12
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Cool...thanks.
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Unread 07-06-2007, 01:51 PM   #13
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I scanned 49:3 but the quote in Tanya (col tivu d'avdin...) is not there. ???
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Unread 07-07-2007, 10:03 PM   #14
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I looked at that part of Etz Chaim again, and the teaching that the nefashos umos haolam come from the three klipos sh'ein bahem tov clall is definitely not the Alter Rebbe's chiddush; these very words are in this section of Etz Chaim.

So, perhaps this is what the Alter Rebbe is quoting and not the words "v'col tivu d'avdin', since I couldn't find these words there.

Question: The Etz Chaim says that the three klipos are ra gamur, sh'ein bahem tov clal. Chassidus teaches that everything in the universe has at least an infinitessimal amount of good in it. So, how do we reconcile this teaching in Etz Chaim with this teaching of Chassidus?
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Unread 07-07-2007, 10:32 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by MrFinkelstein View Post
I looked at that part of Etz Chaim again, and the teaching that the nefashos umos haolam come from the three klipos sh'ein bahem tov clall is definitely not the Alter Rebbe's chiddush; these very words are in this section of Etz Chaim.
The Alter Rebbe never claims that he is being mechadesh anything.
Quote:
So, perhaps this is what the Alter Rebbe is quoting and not the words "v'col tivu d'avdin', since I couldn't find these words there.
As our friend TakehBored said earlier, that quote comes from the Gemara.
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Question: The Etz Chaim says that the three klipos are ra gamur, sh'ein bahem tov clal. Chassidus teaches that everything in the universe has at least an infinitessimal amount of good in it. So, how do we reconcile this teaching in Etz Chaim with this teaching of Chassidus?
Answer: I'm sure the yodei chein will correct me if I misspeak here. But there's no contradition. As the posuk says "maleh kol haaretz kvodo." The Entire world is filled with His Glory. There is no place that is devoid of Him. Chassidus and Kabbalah both teach that the point of creation is Birur HaNetzutzos, the refinement of the sparks. The way to refine something is to separate the bad from the good. So klipas nogah is mostly bad. But the good can be separated from the bad.

Separating the good from the bad is impossible (for us simple people) when it comes to shalosh klipos hatmeos.

The next question, therefore, is "how could there be bad to begin with"? The answer is that there really is no bad. Everything in the world is only revalations of G-dliness. But some things are revealed in a way that is practically good. Some things are "practically bad," meaning that their apparent revelation is bad. B'Etzem there is no bad. But we live in the physical world, and are limited by its practical boundaries.
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Unread 07-07-2007, 10:53 PM   #16
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Thank you.

Then I guess the loshon "sh'ein bahem tov clal" is not to be taken literally.

The gemarra talks about Haman yimach shmo, having descendants that learned Torah in Eretz Yisrael. And Yisro's descendants who taught Torah in Eretz Yisrael...and a terrible Roman emperor who did teshuva, became a Jew and one of his descendants was a great Tanna. Doesn't all of this prove that there is some bit of tov in the three klippos?
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Unread 07-07-2007, 11:03 PM   #17
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Thank you.

Then I guess the loshon "sh'ein bahem tov clal" is not to be taken literally.

The gemarra talks about Haman yimach shmo, having descendants that learned Torah in Eretz Yisrael. And Yisro's descendants who taught Torah in Eretz Yisrael...and a terrible Roman emperor who did teshuva, became a Jew and one of his descendants was a great Tanna. Doesn't all of this prove that there is some bit of tov in the three klippos?
I saw a teaching of the Rebbe in which he quotes the Rebbe Rashab who said that the meaning of this statement is that the good (sparks of divinity in the three husks) are very well hidden.

They also cannot be elevated to holiness through the standard procedure of observance of the 613 Mitzvoth.
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Unread 07-07-2007, 11:05 PM   #18
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Then I guess the loshon "sh'ein bahem tov clal" is not to be taken literally.
I never said that at all. The opposite is true. And I think this is a great example of why you should not try to learn Kabbalah. Practically, "ein bohem tov clal." Bottom line.
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The gemarra talks about Haman yimach shmo, having descendants that learned Torah in Eretz Yisrael. And Yisro's descendants who taught Torah in Eretz Yisrael...and a terrible Roman emperor who did teshuva, became a Jew and one of his descendants was a great Tanna. Doesn't all of this prove that there is some bit of tov in the three klippos?
No.
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Unread 07-07-2007, 11:11 PM   #19
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I saw a teaching of the Rebbe in which he quotes the Rebbe Rashab who said that the meaning of this statement is that the good (sparks of divinity in the three husks) are very well hidden.

They also cannot be elevated to holiness through the standard procedure of observance of the 613 Mitzvoth.
I would be very greatful if you could find this teaching of the Rebbe for me.

Another example: the non-kosher donkey. The chazir and camel have at least one kosher sign, whereas the donkey has none. And yet, we need to sanctify first born donkeys, they have some kedusha hidden in them.
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Unread 07-07-2007, 11:23 PM   #20
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Just so that nobody gets the wrong ideas about these negative sounding statements of Rabbi Chaim Vital in his book Etz Chaim, he also writes in his book Shaarei HaKedusha, part I, shaar 5 that one should love all men (http://www.hebrew.grimoar.cz/vital/saare_kedusa.htm , thanks YN):

א. ענין המדות היותר מגונות ויותר חמורות והמונעות דביקות האדם עם השם יתברך, הגאוה הכעס הקפדנות העצבות השנאה הקנאה התאוה בתענוגים החמדה השררה והכבוד והוראת מעשיו הטובים לבני אדם. והפכם הם השפלות עד קצה האחרון, ולא יכעס כלל אפילו על בני ביתו, ולא יקפיד כלל, ויהיה נעלב מן הכל ולא עולב, ויהיה שמח אפילו בעת צרותיו, ויאהב את כל הבריות אפילו גויים, ולא יקנא על שום דבר כי כצל ימינו על הארץ, וישנא ויהביל כל עניני העולם הזה, ופת במלח תאכל וכו', ולא תחמוד שום דבר מהבלי העולם הזה, ותברח בכל כחך מן השררה הקוברת בעליה, ולא תגלה צדקותיך כי תאבד שכרך בעולם הבא וגם יענישוך בגהינום:
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Unread 07-07-2007, 11:45 PM   #21
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I would be very greatful if you could find this teaching of the Rebbe for me.

Another example: the non-kosher donkey. The chazir and camel have at least one kosher sign, whereas the donkey has none. And yet, we need to sanctify first born donkeys, they have some kedusha hidden in them.
According to Etz Chaim, the donkey comes from the three klipos. If so, then why does Hashem command us to sanctify as holy all first born donkeys? How can we sanctify anything from the three klipos?
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Unread 07-07-2007, 11:52 PM   #22
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How exactly is the donkey "sanctified"? There is no "kedusha" to the donkey!
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Unread 07-08-2007, 12:08 AM   #23
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Just so that nobody gets the wrong ideas about these negative sounding statements of Rabbi Chaim Vital in his book Etz Chaim, he also writes in his book Shaarei HaKedusha, part I, shaar 5 that one should love all men (http://www.hebrew.grimoar.cz/vital/saare_kedusa.htm , thanks YN):

א. ענין המדות היותר מגונות ויותר חמורות והמונעות דביקות האדם עם השם יתברך, הגאוה הכעס הקפדנות העצבות השנאה הקנאה התאוה בתענוגים החמדה השררה והכבוד והוראת מעשיו הטובים לבני אדם. והפכם הם השפלות עד קצה האחרון, ולא יכעס כלל אפילו על בני ביתו, ולא יקפיד כלל, ויהיה נעלב מן הכל ולא עולב, ויהיה שמח אפילו בעת צרותיו, ויאהב את כל הבריות אפילו גויים, ולא יקנא על שום דבר כי כצל ימינו על הארץ, וישנא ויהביל כל עניני העולם הזה, ופת במלח תאכל וכו', ולא תחמוד שום דבר מהבלי העולם הזה, ותברח בכל כחך מן השררה הקוברת בעליה, ולא תגלה צדקותיך כי תאבד שכרך בעולם הבא וגם יענישוך בגהינום:
Right. But to be precise about it, that quote has more to do with a person acting in a proper way towards the world around him. He goes from saying that a person should avoid "arrogance, anger... hate, desire... etc." And then says that a person should "never act with anger, not have a grudge... and love all creations, even goyim." It doesn't say that there is anything inherent in goyim that merits a Jew's love. Its just a good midah to love them, regardless of the fact that they are goyim.

I'm not arguing one thing or the other. Just pointing out the meaning of the quote for those who can't read it.
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Unread 07-08-2007, 12:16 AM   #24
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How exactly is the donkey "sanctified"? There is no "kedusha" to the donkey!
Shemos 13:2 , 13:12-13
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Unread 07-08-2007, 12:21 AM   #25
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Right. But to be precise about it, that quote has more to do with a person acting in a proper way towards the world around him. He goes from saying that a person should avoid "arrogance, anger... hate, desire... etc." And then says that a person should "never act with anger, not have a grudge... and love all creations, even goyim." It doesn't say that there is anything inherent in goyim that merits a Jew's love. Its just a good midah to love them, regardless of the fact that they are goyim.

I'm not arguing one thing or the other. Just pointing out the meaning of the quote for those who can't read it.
Rav Chaim Vital is teaching us about good middos. We should at least feel love if not act upon it. I believe that there is something inherit in them that merits our love, and that is that they are creatures of Hashem. As our Sages teach "If you love the Creator then you love his creatures."
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