Unlock the immense spiritual force that lies within your own will. * Will transcends wisdom in the path to Divine service. * On the Tanya lesson for 18 Tishrei.
The Tanya lesson for today centers on the compelling notion that "will" transcends "wisdom" when it comes to serving the Divine. In a world often obsessed with intellectual achievements and rational justifications, this lesson invites us to rediscover the immense power of sheer will in our spiritual journey.
The Alter Rebbe, in this continuation of Epistle 22 from Iggeret HaKodesh, discusses the pivotal role that will plays in our Divine service, particularly in prayer. He states, "there should be but a simple will, uncompounded by the particular form or limitations that characterize an intellectually generated will." Intriguingly, he brings out the point that this superior form of will is self-generated, self-determined, and requires one to accept "the yoke of heaven." The will in question is not dictated by intellect but by an internal force within the individual to serve G-d.
So, how can we take this idea of will and not just understand it but live it?
The text leaves us with a profound point that can serve as our roadmap. The Alter Rebbe writes, "in every person whose heart prompts him to serve 'a whole service,' intending only to cause gratification to his Maker." It implies that the will we summon for service should be pure, unadulterated by intellectual calculus, and aimed solely to fulfill G-d's desires. This unbounded will is what earns us Divine pardon for our transgressions and is our most authentic form of repentance.
The lesson captures the urgency and relevance of unleashing our will in the service of G-d. It calls us to exercise our volition vigorously, and reminds us that we have this incredible spiritual asset within us. As we await the arrival of Moshiach, this understanding should energize and inspire us to strengthen our commitment to Divine service.
To translate this ancient wisdom into our modern lives, consider this: You don't need to be a scholar or a sage to serve G-d. You simply need the will to do so. In daily activities, from the small acts of kindness to steadfastly observing the mitzvot, it is your will that makes the service whole and meaningful. Let this be an invitation to reflect on the power of your own will and to let it shine brightly in your daily life.