Saturday, February 14, 2009

Revelations are dependent on both our Actions and our Divine Service

Lubavitcher Rebbe, Maamor "V'Haya Eikev Tishma'un" 5727

It is explained in Tanya that the complete perfection of the Messianic era and the revival of the dead is dependent on "ma'aseinu" and "avodaseinu" (our "actions" and our "divine service") in the time of exile. [The Rebbe's] father explained that the difference between "ma'aseinu" and "avodaseinu" can be found in the fourth book of Tanya, Igeres Hakodesh, in the letter which discusses the giving of tzedakah.

As explained there, "ma'aseh" (action) is something which one is accustomed to do, whereas "avoda" (divine service) is something which is accomlished only with great effort to overcome one's nature and nullify one's desires to the Supernal Desire of Hashem.

Thus it can be understood that the reference to "ma'aseinu" refers to fulfilling Torah and Mitzvos according to one's nature and habit, whereas "avodaseinu" refers to the effort in Torah and Mitzvos which is more than one's nature and habit.

The illustration found in Igeres Hakodesh is the mitzvah of Tzedakah. "Israel by nature are merciful and generous" (Yevamos 79a), and the manner of giving tzedakah which is termed "ma'aseh ha-tzedakah" (act of tzedakah) means giving which is due to the inherent generous nature posessed by every son of Israel from their moment of creation. "avodas ha-tzedakah" (service of tzedakah), on the other hand, is when his giving of tzedakah goes beyond the generous nature of even his G-dly soul.

From this we can understand the difference between "ma'aseinu" and "avodaseinu" (in Torah and Mitzvos in general), which is that although it may require effort to reveal the nature of his G-dly soul which has been obscured by his animal soul, nontheless the results of this are only on the level of "ma'aseinu", whereas "avodaseinu" is his effort which goes beyond the nature of his G-dly soul.

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