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Chassidic Treasure Chest | A Judgment of Truth and Mercy | Bad Kodesh

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Baad Kodesh by The Mitteler Rebbe, Rabbi Dovber

This dynamic pervades the letter entitled Baad Kodesh whose translation follows. The letter was composed by the Mitteler Rebbe, Rav Dovber, based on notes from his father, the Alter Rebbe, R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi. During the imprisonment leading to his redemption on Yud-Tes Kislev, R. Shneur Zalman was asked to explain the kabalistic statement that Malchus is the lowest of all the Sefiros. He gave explanations that found favor of Czar Paul and his ministers. Several decades later, when the Mitteler Rebbe was imprisoned because of slanderous charges, he used this material as a basis for this letter — later published under the title Baad Kodesh — that he sent to Governor-General Chavansky, the official appointed by the Czar to govern the Vitebsk region, who would rule regarding the charges issued against the Rebbe.

In the letter, the Mitteler Rebbe explains how Divine authority is vested in earthly kings and devolves from them to the deputies they appoint. This Divine influence gives the kings — and by extension, their deputies — the potential to rule justly, not to be swayed by their emotions, but instead to have the Divine attributes of truth and mercy dictate the rulings they make. In that vein, he appeals to the Governor-General to exonerate him from the accusations leveled against him.

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