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The Beinoni: Part 1

A short synopsis of the first lesson in Rabbi Ginsburgh’s three-part series on the Beinoni, the Intermediary described in the Tanya.

At first glance, it may seem that the beinoni, the intermediary personality in the Tanya – which essentially depicts us all, is a type of compromise between the pious tzaddik and the wicked rasha. But is that really our essence?

The beinoni, as the Alter Rebbe explains, is not the mid-point on the continuum between the tzaddik and the rasha, a sort of 50-50 character. Instead, he is a unique being.  Opposing the thesis presented by the tzaddik, the rasha presents his antithesis. There are different reasons for this built-in contradiction that God created in His world, but if the tzaddik and the rasha inside us merit to “disagree for the sake of Heaven,” the ultimate purpose will manifest from between them – the synthesis of the beinoni, the service required of most of God’s servants.

The beinoni is born with the nature of a rasha but manages to function as a tzaddik (in the garments of his soul – thought, speech and deed). He is forced to live with these two opposites in his character. They come to the fore during the high-points and low-points in his life.

In this world, the beinoni lives with a constant struggle inside. The thesis and the antithesis clash time and again. But from a higher, forward-looking perspective, we will see that the beinoni is the stage on which the synthesis that actualizes the paradoxical perfection of God plays out.

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