Tanya (text based) Chapter 14 Class 2 (111)

Tanya Chapter 14 Class 2 (111)
Tanya Perek 14 (2) :  “Middos ha Beinoni: Minute to Minute Self Control”
0:00 – Introduction: This class is a second pass through Perek 14 with
more detailed analysis. In the previous class on Perek 14 the page was
read and translated up to the last line “I don’t want to be such a
fool to deny the truth” with a focus on one thought – Middos ha
Beinoni versus Madregas ha Beinoni; this week we will revisit last weeks learning and focus on two points.
Setting the context: Middos ha Beinoni is a person that does not sin
but does so with minute to minute self-control of his/her actions
(thought, speech, deed) (Beinoni by the minute) versus Madregas ha
Beinoni (the ideal Beinoni – meluchal memshala – which was addressed
in earlier classes at length). In perek 14 we are talking about the
former.  Relatively speaking this person is a Beinoni in his behavior
although not in his level overall (his madrega).  (4:10 Student
question: “When we say that the Tanya teaches a person to be a Beinoni
– which are we talking about – Middos ha Beinoni (Beinoni by the
minute) or  Madregas ha Beinoni?”
5:30  Starting at the beginning of Perek 14 with a new focus on the
path of Beinoni by the minute with more nuance. Question:  Can a
person be a Beinoni if she/he has not done teshuva first?
7:12  Any person is free to be a Beinoni for any given minute on the
level of middah regardless of feeling – strictly depending on choice
of action.  That is Middos Ha Beinoni.
8:45  Story: Yisroel Yosef Zalmanov was the only son of Reb Shmuel
Zalmanov. In the exhaustively researched book “Ymei Bereishis” by
Yoska Greenberg (published before Gimmel Tammuz), there is a ksav yad
(note) from Yisroel Yosef Zalmanov (Cheshvan Tof Shin Yud Alef). This
was a note from when he was 12 years old that is reprinted in this
sefer from a yechidus with the Rebbe (from before the Rebbe was
officially Rebbe) “Why are there moods in my Avodas Hashem?”
15:24  The Rebbe answers, “lo kol item shaves” – meaning essentially
that there are elements that are coming from Hashem and are not coming
from you.  The Alter Rebbe explains that this dynamic of “lo kol item
shaves” is related to Madregas ha Beinoni and “dovar mussar a lev” in
perek 12 and not to Middos ha Beinoni (Beinoni by the minute) which is
strictly – and only – a question of choice of action.
17:38  Rambam on freedom, or yecholos, which means “possibility”.
True freedom is given to each person to think, do and speak as they
will regardless of emotion/desire. Minute by minute every day. A
person does not have to act on his or her feelings.
23:40  The way you should look at your life is that – every day you
avoid something you are not supposed to do, you’re a Beinoni.  It is a
daily battle.  Every day you win is a victory.  Giving in to weakness
makes a person weaker and the opposite is also true.
25:04  Sins are a wall between a person and the Abeshtir.
26:28 – 34:00 Alter Rebbe was in jail and was asked 23 questions.
There is also an anecdote that in addition to the 23 written questions
he was also asked, “Why did the Baal Shem Tov mix into his
davening/prayer the words ‘Af af af’?” Rumors spread about this but
the Alter Rebbe said, “I could have lied and said it is an
idiosyncrasy – but that would misrepresent the Baal Shem and would
separate me from the Besht which I don’t want for even a instant.”
34:32  “Avonesechem avdilem…” pasuk from Chumash widely quoted in
Tanya has different meanings.  In one case, a Yid has a certain
sensitivity and because of that sensitivity he or she cannot do a sin
– and the yetzer hara forces it etc.  Past sins are a separation
between me and my own connection to Hashem.  To regain my relationship
with Hashem I have to do teshuva.
36:53  This is a slightly different concept – at this moment I am not
giving in – this is not talking about the moment before or after –
this is in regard to emotions. The focus is on the moment now.  That
the individual does not want to be separated for a moment from Hashem
and can make the decision at that moment to control his/her action.
40:40  “I want to be attached to the Abeshtir” I am not a spiritual
person – I am an action person.  The simple choices of thinking,
speaking, acting choices minute to minute – that is Middos HaBeinoni.

Tanya Chapter 14 Class 2 (111)

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