Torah 96:1 צ״ו:א׳
1 א

זֹמֵם רָשָׁע לַצַּדִּיק וְחֹרֵק עָלָיו שִׁנָּיו. יְיָ יִשְׂחַק לוֹ כִּי רָאָה כִּי יָבֹא יוֹמוֹ וְכוּ' (תהילים ל״ז:י״ב-י״ג):

“The wicked man plots against the tzaddik, he gnashes his teeth at him. The Lord laughs at him, for He sees that his day is coming. [The wicked have drawn the sword… Their sword will pierce their own heart, and their bow will be broken.]” (Psalms 37:13-15)

2 ב

הָעִנְיָן הוּא כָּךְ. דְּקָשֶׁה, מֵאַיִן יָבוֹא מַחֲשָׁבָה זָרָה לְצַדִּיק, שֶׁרוֹצֶה לְהִתְפַּלֵּל בִּדְבֵקוּת גָּדוֹל, הֲלֹא אָמְרוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ זִכְרוֹנָם לִבְרָכָה (יומא לח:): הַבָּא לִטָּהֵר מְסַיְּעִין אוֹתוֹ.

The matter is as follows: It is hard to understand—what is the source of the foreign thought that comes to the tzaddik who wants to pray with great devotion? Have our Sages, of blessed memory, not said: One who strives for purity is assisted [from on high] (Yoma 38b)?

3 ג

אֶלָּא הָעִנְיָן הוּא כָּךְ, כִּי מֵעֵת הַשְּׁבִירָה נָפְלוּ הַנִּיצוֹצוֹת מִכָּל הָעוֹלָמוֹת, וְעַל־יְדֵי תְּפִלּוֹת הַצַּדִּיקִים עוֹלִין מְעַט מְעַט, מַדְרֵגָה אַחַר מַדְרֵגָה.

However, the matter is as follows: At the time of the Shattering of the Vessels, the sparks fell from all the worlds. Through the prayers of the tzaddikim, [these sparks] rise slowly, level after level.

4 ד

וּכְשֶׁצַּדִּיק עוֹמֵד לְהִתְפַּלֵּל, וּמְדַבֵּק אֶת עַצְמוֹ לַמִּדָּה שֶׁהוּא בָּהּ עַתָּה, נוֹפֵל לוֹ מַחֲשָׁבָה זָרָה מֵעֵין אוֹתָהּ מִדָּה. וּכְשֶׁבָּא לְמַדְרֵגָה יוֹתֵר גְּדוֹלָה, נוֹפֵל לוֹ הַמַּחֲשָׁבָה זָרָה מֵעֵין הַמִּדָּה הַזֹּאת שֶׁהוּא בָּהּ עַתָּה. וְהַצַּדִּיק צָרִיךְ לֵידַע מֵאֵיזֶה מִדָּה וּמֵאֵיזֶה עוֹלָם הִיא זֹאת הַמַּחֲשָׁבָה זָרָה, וְצָרִיךְ לֵידַע בַּמֶּה לְהַעֲלוֹתָהּ לְאוֹתוֹ עוֹלָם וּלְאוֹתוֹ הַמִּדָּה שֶׁהוּא עַתָּה בָּהּ.

Thus, when a tzaddik stands in prayer and binds himself to his current attribute, he is beset by a foreign thought consistent with that particular attribute. When he then arrives at a higher level, he is beset by a foreign thought in consonance with the attribute he has now attained. Thus the tzaddik has to know from which attribute and from which world this foreign thought stems. He has to also know by what means to elevate it to that world and that attribute in which he presently resides.

5 ה

אַךְ לִפְעָמִים הַצַּדִּיק רוֹצֶה לְהַעֲלוֹתָהּ וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל. הַטַּעַם הוּא, כִּי נוֹפֵל לוֹ מַחֲשָׁבָה זָרָה מִמַּדְרֵגָה עֶלְיוֹנָה, שֶׁלֹּא בָּא עֲדַיִן לְמַדְרֵגָה זוֹ, לָכֵן אִי אֶפְשָׁר לוֹ לְהַעֲלוֹתָהּ, כִּי יֵשׁ לוֹ עֲדַיִן מַדְרֵגָה תַּחְתּוֹנָה מִזּוֹ, הַיְנוּ מַדְרֵגָה שֶׁהוּא בָּהּ עַתָּה.

Nevertheless, there are times when the tzaddik wants to elevate it but cannot. The reason is that he has been distracted by a foreign thought from a higher level, a level he has yet to attain. It is therefore impossible for him to elevate it, since he is still on a level lower than this—i.e., his current level.

6 ו

אַךְ קָשֶׁה, לָמָּה בָּאָה לוֹ מַחֲשָׁבָה זָרָה קֹדֶם זְמַנָּהּ.

But why does he receive this foreign thought prematurely?

7 ז

דַּע, כִּי יֵשׁ קַבָּלָה בְּיָדִי, כִּי כְּשֶׁיֵּשׁ מַחֲלֹקֶת עַל אֵיזֶה צַדִּיק, נוֹפֵל מַחֲשָׁבָה זָרָה מֵעֵין אוֹתָהּ מַחֲלֹקֶת לְצַדִּיק אַחֵר. וּמֵחֲמַת שֶׁרוֹצֶה לְהַעֲלוֹתָהּ, אַף־עַל־פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַעֲלֶה אוֹתָהּ, מְשַׁבֵּר בְּכֹחַ הָרָצוֹן כָּל בַּעֲלֵי הַמַּחֲלֹקֶת:

Know, I possess a tradition that when there is opposition to some tzaddik, a different tzaddik is distracted by a foreign thought consistent with that opposition. And because he wants to elevate it, even though he does not, the strength of the desire is sufficient to break all the opponents.