Life has its risks and dangers. The threat, however, is not only physical in nature; Jews shield their souls by adorning them with the proper garments - charity and positivity. * On Tanya for 7 Menachem Av.
In the complex and often threatening world we inhabit, the concept of protection serves as a vital cornerstone. Protection, in this context, extends beyond the physical into the spiritual realm, and charity serves as a powerful tool in this shielding process. Charity, by its very nature, generates a positive impact and light in the world, which can effectively ward off physical harm and prevent negative spiritual forces from tapping into the abundance of positivity that it creates.
This concept has roots deep within Jewish thought, where the existence of spiritual forces is acknowledged, forces which can exert influence on earthly events. These forces can manifest both positively and negatively, and their nature is often influenced by human actions. When spiritual energy, essentially a divine gift, descends to the physical dimension of our reality, it becomes vulnerable to exploitation by forces of evil, known as kelipot and sitra achara in Kabbalistic terms.
In order to prevent these forces from drawing from the spiritual energy that descends into this world, the encompassing light is reflected back and fills the breach, depriving the forces of evil of any possible nurture via the same avenue. This dynamic requires protection in order to prevent harm to man and to maintain the balance of spiritual forces:
“In order to shield man and to guard him and save him from all physical and spiritual harm, which could conceivably result if the kelipot and sitra achara were to derive nurture from this source, the encompassing light is reflected back, and, figuratively speaking, fills the breach.”
This means that once spiritual energy has descended into this world through charitable deeds, it is then reflected back in order to fill any gaps or breaches. This deprives forces of evil of any possible nurture via the same avenue.
The Tanya offers a unique perspective on how charity and Mitzvos shield us from harm, not just for material concerns but also spiritual. That is, the soul also needs protection – not from being harmed by evil forces, per se, but to sustain itself in the face of the intense degree of Divine revelation in Gan Eden.
Without the proper “garments,” the soul would be unable to maintain this revelation; it would be completely nullified. By performing commandments and acting in a charitable manner, Jews attract Divine activity on their behalf and shield themselves from harm. Through charity, we create spiritual “garments” for the soul and prevent negative forces from drawing from spiritual energy and shield ourselves from harm. These garments are drawn forth from the infinite light of Hashem, enabling the soul to cope with the infinite degree of revelation it encounters in Gan Eden.
Overall, here the Tanya emphasizes the importance and power of charity and righteous deeds in providing both spiritual and physical protection. By performing commandments and acting in a charitable manner, Jews can attract Divine activity on their behalf and shield ourselves from harm.