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As Divided for a Regular Year
Tanya for 22 Tishrei
[The Alter Rebbe is referring here to those who engage in business or labor - temporal occupations that are "under the sun," in contrast to Torah, that is "above the sun."
To them, too, his forthcoming words of rebuke are addressed, and he finds it "e vil in his eyes" that before or after prayer they devote their time to lightminded talk instead of to Torah study].
Therefore, evil in my eyes is  "the conduct that takes place under the sun" in general, especially among my brethren and friends who draw near to G-d  - and  "drawing near means prayer," [for prayer, particularly when accompanied by the avodah of measured meditation, constitutes a "drawing near" to G-d], when after prayer or before it, [the gathering] becomes a "company of scoffers," heaven forfend.
As our Sages, of blessed memory, said,  "If two people sit together and no words of Torah are exchanged between them, [this is a company of scoffers]."
Now if a "company of scoffers" is constituted by ten people, over whom the Shechinah abides, there is no greater insult and shaming of the Shechinah than that, heaven forfend.
And if our Sages, of blessed memory, said  of him who commits a transgression in secret that "he repulses the feet of the Shechinah," heaven forfend, then he who commits a transgression in public repulses the whole measure of the stature of the Creator, as it were. 
As our Sages, of blessed memory, said,  "It is impossible for Me and him [to live together in the world."
But repulsing the Shechinah does not mean that the actions of the transgressor cause it to be utterly absent, for the above passage speaks of shaming the Shechinah while it is present].
Rather,  "The King is held captive in the gutters"  ["of the mind"  - shackled in the channels of people's unworthy thoughts which, like gushing currents, flash fleetingly through the mind. This is indeed a humiliation of the Shechinah.
So, too, "On account of three things are the Jewish people detained in exile - because they repulse the Shechinah, and because they shame the Shechinah," and so on, as stated in the sacred Zohar. 
- (Back to text) Note of the Rebbe Shlita: "A paraphrase of Kohelet 2:17."
- (Back to text) Note of the Rebbe Shlita: "See commentary of Rashi on Yitro, [Shmot] 19:22 [which refers to sacrifices] - and the prayers were ordained in place of the offerings [Berachot 26b]."
- (Back to text) Note of the Rebbe Shlita: "Bereishit Rabbah, sec. 49; commentary of Rashi on the verse [referred to above]."
- (Back to text) Avot 3:2, citing Tehillim 1:1.
- (Back to text) Kiddushin 31a.
- (Back to text) Note of the Rebbe Shlita: "See Etz Chayim, Shaar HaSheimot, ch. 7; Yahel Or, p. 573ff."
- (Back to text) Sotah 5a.
- (Back to text) Shir HaShirim 7:6.
- (Back to text) Note of the Rebbe Shlita: "Cf. beginning of ch. 7 of Iggeret HaTeshuvah."
- (Back to text) Addenda to Tikkunei Zohar, Tikkun Vav.
- (Back to text) Cf. Zohar II, 7a.
- (Back to text) Yeshayahu 52:2.
- (Back to text) III, 75b.
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