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FROM CONFLICT TO FORGIVENESS

"Weeping is lodged in one side of my heart, and joy is lodged in the other side of my heart." --Zohar 1:III, 75a * Were we not to repeat the offence, we'd be immediately redeemed." * On Tanya for 28 Tammuz.

by ChatGPT

In this section of Tanya, the Alter Rebbe explores the coexistence of two emotions, contriteness and joy, in the heart during prayer. Contriteness arises from the body and animal soul, while joy stems from the Divine soul and its connection to God. These emotions can harmoniously coexist. The Zohar supports this idea, stating that weeping and joy can reside in different parts of the heart simultaneously.

The Alter Rebbe emphasizes the importance of having unwavering faith in God's mercy and forgiveness during prayer, believing with certainty that God will forgive and pardon transgressions when sincerely asked for forgiveness.


The certainty of God's forgiveness is compared to human standards of forgiveness. Just as humans should forgive when asked for pardon, even if it means sacrificing something significant, God's forgiveness is even more certain and swift. The order of the blessings in the Shemoneh Esreh (the Amidah prayer) reflects this certainty, as forgiveness leads to redemption.


To illustrate the importance of forgiveness, the Tanya cites King David's request for forgiveness for King Saul and the response of the Gibeonites. These examples emphasize the importance of forgiveness and mercy in Jewish tradition.

Overall, this section highlights the need for both contriteness and joy in the heart during prayer, and the unwavering faith in God's forgiveness and mercy.


The section from Tanya mentions two examples from Jewish texts that illustrate the concepts of forgiveness and mercy. These examples shed light on the importance of these qualities in Jewish tradition.


FORGIVE KING SAUL?

In the book of 2 Samuel, chapter 21, we find the story of a famine that struck the land of Israel for three years. King David sought guidance from God to understand the cause of the famine. He learned that it was due to the bloodguilt of King Saul and his house, who had persecuted and killed the Gibeonites, a group of people who had made a covenant with the Israelites during the time of Joshua.

In an act of repentance and seeking forgiveness, David approached the Gibeonites and asked how he could make amends for Saul's wrongdoing. The Gibeonites demanded that seven of Saul's descendants be handed over to them for execution. David complied with their request, and the Gibeonites carried out their punishment.

This story highlights the importance of seeking forgiveness and making amends for the wrongdoings committed by oneself or others. King David took responsibility for Saul's actions and sought to rectify the situation, demonstrating his commitment to justice and reconciliation.

In the Tanya passage, it is mentioned that when the Gibeonites refused to forgive King Saul for his crimes, David decreed that they would not be allowed to convert and join the Jewish people. This reference can be found in the Talmud, in Tractate Yevamot, towards the end of chapter 8.


The Talmud recounts that the Gibeonites came to convert and join the Jewish people during the time of King David. However, due to their refusal to forgive King Saul, David prohibited their conversion. This decision highlights the significance of forgiveness and mercy in Jewish tradition. The Jewish people are known for their compassion and willingness to forgive, and those who do not possess these qualities may face consequences in their relationship with the Jewish community.


These examples serve as reminders of the importance of seeking forgiveness, making amends, and being merciful. They demonstrate that forgiveness is not only a personal virtue but also a communal value within Jewish tradition.

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