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Friday, June 10, 2011

Study the Tora to reveal the Glory of God

In this weeks Parsha (portion) BiHaAloascha (when you raise - light up - the candles of the Menora) H"Y commands that the Leviites should start their duties at the age of 25 (verse 8:24) Rash"i (based on the Talmud) asks that previously (4:3) H"Y commanded that they should start their duty at the age of 30. Rash"i explains that at the age of 25 they were required to begin learning the laws of service, which they would study for 5 years, and at the age of 30 they would begin their actual service. Rash"i concludes: from here we learn that a student who doesn't see a nice sign in his studies for 5 years, will never see it. In the introduction to the Arizal's Kabalistic work, Eitz Chaim, R' Chaim Vital brings this maxim to prove that a person's main study should be to find and reveal the inner light of H"Y. In the introduction to Talmud Esser Sfiros this is further explained, very simply. This adage that a student who didn't see success in 5 years will never be successful, is seemingly preposturious and borders on blasphemy, for studying the Tora is our very life, the Tora is the word of H"Y, the Jews are one with the Tora! The correct understanding of the axiom is simple, and much more accurately understood in the words choosed. "a nice sign" is a reference to what Rabbi Meir says in Ethics of Our Fathers (beginning of Chapter 6), that whoever studies Tora Lishma (for the sake of revealing H"Y) merits to many things ... revealed to him secrets of the Tora ... etc.. These many things, many of them enumerated in the mishna, are the "nice sign". Thus the dictum is saying, that if a person begins studying the revealed Tora, like the Talmud, and after 5 years of studying he still has not seen the effects of the "nice sign" this is an indication that he will never be able to achieve the desired intent of studying Torah by studying the revealed Torah, and he must dedicate all his interest and focus on searching to reveal H"Y through the study of the secrets of the Torah.

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