The Epistle on Repentance: Chapter 07 – Part 3 – video

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והב׳: לבטש ולהכניע הקליפה והסטרא אחרא

The second element [in one’s preparation for a true and direct path to repentance] is to crush and subdue the kelipah and sitra achra,

אשר כל חיותה היא רק בחינת גסות והגבהה

whose entire being is simply grossness and arrogance;

כמו שכתוב: אם תגביה כנשר וגו׳

as the verse states,11 “If you exalt yourself like the eagle….”

והביטוש וההכנעה עד עפר ממש, זוהי מיתתה וביטולה

This crushing and subjugation, absolutely to dust, is its death and nullification.

והיינו: על ידי לב נשבר ונדכה, ולהיות נבזה בעיניו נמאס וכו׳

[Evil is crushed] through a broken and contrite heart, a sense of personal unworthiness, repugnance, and so forth.

As explained in Part I, ch. 29, the animal soul — even of a Beinoni, how much more so of a sinner — is the very person himself. When his heart is humbled, his animal soul which derives from kelipah is, of course, humbled as well. Thus, crushing and subduing one’s arrogance crushes the kelipot and sitra achra.

וכמו שכתוב בזוהר הקדוש, על פסוק: זבחי אלקים רוח נשברה, לב נשבר ונדכה וגו׳

This is described in the Zohar12 on the verse,13 “Offerings to G‑d (Elokim) are a broken spirit; (i.e., the offering consists of breaking the spirit of the kelipot and sitra achra, and this is achieved through) a heart broken and contrite….”

כי כל קרבן מן הבהמה הוא לשם הוי׳, היא מדת הרחמים

For all animal offerings are dedicated to G‑d (the Tetragrammaton), the attribute of mercy.

This is why all verses which speak of offerings to G‑d, refer to Him with the Tetragrammaton.

אבל לשם אלקים, היא מדת הדין, אין מקריבין קרבן בהמה

To Elokim, however, the Name indicating the attribute of justice, no animal offering is brought.

כי אם

Instead,

I.e., what is considered an offering to Elokim, for the verse does, after all, state “the offerings to Elokim”?

לשבר ולהעביר רוח הטומאה והסטרא אחרא, וזהו רוח נשברה

[the offering is] the shattering and removing of the spirit of defilement and sitra achra. This is the meaning of a “broken spirit.”

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