AyinBase with R' Paltiel Sunday 22 Kislev 5772
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The Rebbe goes back to review the verse of Abraham being told to “Go, unto yourself!”
The ultimate goal and point of work/avodah is when it reaches all the way to Atzmus.
And this is by means of prayer/tefilah.
By this the animal soul has a recognition of essence. The prayer is a stairway to heaven – a ladder on the ground that reachees to the heavens.
Essence is the root of the soul. It is not a separate entity.
The daily prayer book is structured in such a way that the animal soul is purified and refined. The first stage, is P'sukei D'zimra where the beginning of liberation of the animal soul is initiated. The animal soul breaks away from the limitations of earth.
By means of the songs and praises, the animal soul begins to move... these early Psalms address the animal soul and how it is attached to the world. First there is the expression of dependency and recognition that the world is being made by G-d. The songs and praises elevates our perception to a new high. Before this the animal soul sees the world as a physical presence.
It sees grass. The animal wants to eat it. And the grass is not aware. This is how the world presents itself. The animal can next say, 'okay it is natural that grass grows, He makes it in a certain way.' The songs and praises are the next step, where the animal soul realizes that the connection between itself and the grass is not inadvertent. The grass is being provided for it. This changes its perception entirely.
The 'praises' is not a matter of thanks, it is recognition of something superior. This is a new high. “Not only is there physicality present for me and it is useful, but is is not just physicality – He is holding it all up! You give it to me. Only you can do this! The grass is Your provision for me to eat!” This is expressed in the pzukei d'zimra. 'the mountains and the hills give praise!' How so? They are inanimate! But when one reflects that the hills are not just physical entities but the manifestation of His creation, then they represent His praises.
The animal soul rises above its usual level and is shaken out of its coarseness/chumrius.
Chumrius; gashmius/physicality is the vessel for everything we do in the world. Chumrius is when the emphasis is on the gashmi, not its purpose.
Chumrius is the experience of the physicality for its own sake. Getting excited about a club sandwich. The prayer tears the animal soul away from chumrius/coarseness/donkey mind.
A donkey and a horse are similar. A horse can run fast and has the nature of activity. The natural tendency of the donkey/chamor is to stand still. The donkey/chamor is alive but is not expressive of life – this is chumrius. The Baal Shem Tov's study hall was full of light. The swanky bar is dark – the clientele doesn't want to be distracted by anything from the chumrius.
Yeshus is like chumrius. Very similar, but yeshus is the basis of the world – the cup says I have to exist and thus it serves. The chumrius is when the yeshus is emphasised.
So it is a great breakthrough that the animal soul is torn away from its chumrius. He pays attention to something more subtle – more refined. Psukei Dzimra is the first step. Then after this in the blessings of saying Shma there is a new stage.
The animal soul reflects on the bitul of the angels – how they say 'kadosh! Holy!' and since the animal soul is rooted in the refuse of the lower angels this creates a bitul/humility/nullification in the animal soul.
The first step was the recognition a special element of the earth to break us away from the earthiness. Be have to go beyond this. The recognition of elokus unto itself, as opposed to how it is expressed in the world. The 'kadosh!' and 'baruch!' that the angels say is the focus on G-dliness as it is unto itself...!
First in the movement of prayer there is a focus on how life enables the body and its pleasure and then there is the perception that life/chayut is the main thing. The animal soul says, 'I will turn to the One who provides life and express praises, and then I will say Kadosh! Holy!'
the animal soul looks to the angels. The real mover is not the animal soul on its own. Left to its own devices the animal soul (till fully purified) will sink back to the earth. The excitement of the G-dly soul affects the animal soul. Without input the animal soul reverts back to its base.