Nazarene Space

Understanding Tanya

Likutei Amarim Chapter 2



James Scott Trimm



Tanya Likutei Amarim Chapter 2 begins:


The second soul of a Jew is truly a part of G-d above, as it is written, "And He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life," and "Thou didst breathe it [the soul] into me." And it is written in the Zohar, "He who exhales, exhales from within him," that is to say, from his inwardness and his innermost, for it is something of his internal and innermost vitality that man emits through exhaling with force.

(Tanya; Likutei Amarim Chapter 2)


The Tanya has been misunderstood by some as being “racist” because of its teaching that a Jew has a “second soul” which it calls a NEFESH ELOKIT (“Divine Soul” or literally “Soul of Godhead” which is a spark of Elohim.


The misunderstanding arises because the Tanya uses the term “Jew” to refer to an adherent of Judaism regardless of their race. 


What the Tanya calls the NEFESH ELOKIT is what the Essenes in the Manual of Discipline called the “Spirit of Truth” or the “Holy Spirit”:

Now, this God created man to rule the world, and appointed for
him two spirits after whose direction he was to walk until the
final Inquisition. They are the spirits of truth and falsehood….
…Then, too, God will purge all the acts of man in the
crucible of His Truth, and refine for Himself all the
fabric of man, destroying every spirit of perversity
from within his flesh and  cleansing him by the holy spirit
from all the effects of wickedness.
Like waters of purification He will sprinkle upon
the spirit of truth, to cleanse him of all the abominations
of falsehood and of all pollution through
the spirit of filth; to the end that, being made upright,
men may have understanding of transcendental
knowledge and of the lore of the sons of heaven,
and that, being made blameless in their ways, they
may be endowed with inner vision….
(Manual of Discipline 3, 17-4, 26
see the complete quote in commentary to Chapter 1) 


This is the same Holy Spirit which the Nazarenes taught that a believer in Nazarene Judaism receives:


Paul writes of the immersion of the Ruach HaKodesh:


Or do you not know that your body is the Temple of the Ruach HaKodesh that dwells in you, which you received from Eloah, and [that] you are not of your nefesh?

(1Cor. 6:19 HRV)


7 For Eloah did not call you to uncleanness, but to sanctification.

8 So then, he who rejects [this] does not reject a son of man,

but Eloah, who gave His Ruach HaKodesh to you.

(1Thes. 4:8 HRV)


For as the body is one, and there are in it many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also the Messiah.

For all of us also are immersed by one spirit into one body, whether Jew or Aramaean, whether slave or son of freedom. And all of us drank of one spirit.

(1Cor. 12:12-13 HRV)


And as Yochanan writes:


12 No one has ever seen Eloah: but if we love one another, Eloah abides in us, and His love is completed in us.

13 And in this we know that He abides in us: because He has given us His Spirit.

(1John 4:12-13 HRV)


This is the "Spirit of Messiah which raised Messiah:


9 Now you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if truly the Spirit of Eloah dwells in you. But if a man does not have the Spirit of the Messiah in him, this one is not His.

10 But if the Messiah [is] in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is alive because of righteousness.

11 And if the Spirit of that One, who raised our Adon Yeshua the Messiah from among the dead dwells in you, that one who raised Yeshua the Messiah from among the dead, also will make alive your dead bodies, because of His Spirit that dwells in you.

(Rom 8:9-11 HRV)


We receive this spirit in our hearts:


6 Now because you are sons, Eloah sent the Spirit of His Son to your hearts, which calls the Father, Our Father.

(Gal. 4:6 HRV)


16 That He allow you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power by His Spirit, that in your inner man,

17 The Messiah would dwell by trust, and in your hearts by love, as your root and your foundation becomes strong,

 (Eph. 3:16-17 HRV) 


In this way we are immersed in Messiah:


1 What then shall we say? Should we continue in sin, that grace might abound?

2 Absolutely not! For [we are] they who are dead to sin: how may we live in it again?

3 Or do you not know, that we who are immersed in Yeshua the Messiah are immersed into His death?

4 We are buried with Him in immersion to death: that as Yeshua the Messiah arose from among the dead in the glory of His Father, so also we will walk in renewed life.

 (Rom. 6:3-4 HRV)


For those that in the Messiah were immersed, have put on the Messiah.

(Gal. 3:27 HRV)


This Holy Spirit helps us to support our yetzer tov (good inclination):


26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you. And I will take away, the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you, a heart of flesh.

27 And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them.

(Ezek. 36:26-27 HRV)


 ***We are facing a financial shortfall and we would appreciate any help you can give us at this time.***

I am grateful to all of you who support our work financially. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Folks once again I hate having to send out a red alert, but this month we have been in a serious budget shortfall.  

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