The following was posted as a comment to my earlier blog post on this topic by P. Hasofer. He hasn’t asked for a guest post, but I am posting it as it is a little long for a comment, and worth reading. Yes, I have little knowledge of Chassidus in general, including Chabad Chassidus. Allow me to bring to the table, a different perspective (similar to that of R’ Hershel Schachter and no doubt from where he derived it) by R’ Chaim Volozhiner ז’ל (the successor and lead student of the Vilna Gaon) in his Nefesh Hachaim. See the words of the Nefesh Hachaim here.
|Dear R’ Isaac Balbin:
To understand what the Rebbe, Zechusoi yogen oleinu. is explaining here, please let me give you a short introduction with which will make things more understood, You have written in the past that you don’t have much knowledge in Chabad Chassidus, so this will hopefully help you understand this Inyan.
This idea is explained at length in Chabad Chassidus starting from the Alter Rebbes Tanya.
There are 3 general elements in our world. 1. Kedusha 2. Klipas noga 3. Sholosh Klipas Hatmeos:
Kedusha doesn’t really need to much explanation I hope, its basically anything holy, Torah and Mitzvos, Shabbos, Tefillin etc.
Klipas Noga, is the middle area, which includes everything mundane, anything that is kosher, or just simply not Kedusha, for example – all kosher foods etc, which can be elevated to Kedusha, by either using it Leshem Shomayim, or Making a brocho before eating the food, and having the intention to use the energy derived from the food, for Torah study or the keeping of Mitzvos.
Sholosh Klipos Hatmeos are all those things which are forbidden or Not Kosher, and cannot be elevated or used for Kedusha, or Lesham Shomayim, we are prohibited to have anything to do with them, and through pushing it away, that is its redemption and purpose. “Ibudo zehu tikuno”
The second level, Klipas Noga, is clearly not Kedusha at all, and can be used against Kedusha, or be elevated to the realm of Kedusha, it is therefore our mission to elevate the “nitzus” (holy spark) which is inside these creations, and bring them to the realm of Kedusha.
Now onto our subject, the transformation or effect that Kedusha – light can have on Klipa – darkness.
Lets separate this into 3 parts:
“Ki Ner Miztva VeTorah Or”
The effect of the light of the sun – Or Hashemesh on the darkness – it pushes away the darkness, when the sun comes up, it disperses the darkness. It does not transform the darkness into light, it merely pushes it away, and overpowers it, by its mere existence and nature.
So too, in our Discussion:
Torah is like the sunlight, it pushes away and disperses any darkness in reach, it pushes away the Darkness and Klipas around us, and inside us.
A Baal Teshuva though, through their Teshuva (and each of us as well, with our own Aveiros, in which we are can be a Baal Teshuva in our own way) not only transforms the mundane, the Klipas Noga, but effects the Sholosh Klipas Hatmeos, they with the power of Teshuva, transforms their sins – the ultimate darkness and Klipa, into Kedusha, “zdonos nasu lo Kezochios”
To Summarize: there are 3 ways of effecting the darkness – Klipas.
Torah: Pushes away the darkness – Klipas, but only that which is possible to push away – Klipas Noga.
Mitzvos: Transforms the Klipas Noga, and elevates it into the realm of Kedusha.
A Baal Teshuva: Transforms even the lowest darkness – Sholosh Klipas Hatmeos into Kedusha.