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L’chatchila Ariber!

This brings us back to the statement of “l’chatchila ariber,” the necessity to leap over obstacles. The truth is that if we do not begin doing things that we see ourselves as incapable of doing, leaping over the initial obstacles that stand in our way, then we will never achieve anything in life.


We will now see how this idea is particularly relevant to the subject of rectifying the brit.


The Zohar states that a person who has defiled the covenant, who has “pegam habrit,” cannot do repentance. There is nothing one can do to rectify this state. It is as if someone who defiled his attribute of yesod has committed suicide; he is lost, dead. In Jewish law, there is even a question if it is permissible to bury a Jew who has committed suicide in a Jewish cemetery.


In direct contrast to the opinion stated in the Zohar, that someone who has defiled the covenant can never rectify his sin, Hassidism states that there is still hope, for there is nothing that can stand in the way of true repentance. This statement is the basis of a famous talk that the Rebbe Rashab gave. It was then that he said that rectifying the apparently un-rectifiable state of pegam habrit, is the reason why God sent Hassidism into the world. 


The Tanya16 explains this contradiction by saying that there are two levels of repentance, lower repentance and higher repentance. In short, Tanya says that lower repentance is unable to rectify this defilement, however, higher repentance is capable of rectifying it.

Yet, the Rebbe Rashab said something else altogether.  He said the rectification of this flaw cannot be achieved by doing repentance at all. By committing this sin the sinner severed himself from the Divine energy that naturally flowed through him, thus he can only achieve rectification by connecting to a higher level of energy and bringing it down to fill his energetic vacuums.  This must be achieved by reaching the essence of his own soul, which he severed from its source, causing him spiritual death. The sinner must therefore resurrect himself by reaching the level of primordial delights. By returning to the origin of the soul in the delights of the Torah he can rectify the flaw, reconnecting his soul to its soul root, thus attaching himself once again to the source of his wasted energy.


From this most relevant example we can see that once someone has totally committed himself to doing something, through his total commitment he may be able to achieve far more than he considered himself capable in the scope of his initial abilities. This is particularly true in the case of rectifying the defiled covenant.

True chaotic energies are expressed in the readiness to carry out the task, come what may. At this point one is not yet capable of integrating the idea of achieving the impossible. The question whether or not the task is possible is not a consideration at this stage; one merely decides to carry out the task. It is clear how such naivete cannot last, it must therefore be supported by rational judgment.  This means that once a person has revealed that power, of true chaotic energies, he must now attempt to channel it in some way, based upon his personal abilities and the resources that stand to his aid.  Obviously, one can only do as much one’s resources allow. If one has no resources, then one cannot achieve anything, one is limited. Concerning the bringing of the Messiah, the Rebbe said there may be only ten people, or two or three people, or maybe even just one person for whom the commitment is total. We have to turn over reality totally, not tomorrow, today, right now, with Mashiach NOW, at this very moment.


16. Iggeret Hateshuva chs. 4 and 9.


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