Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Song of the Soul

The Chason Ish in his work Emunah U’Vitachon (Faith and Trust) writes: If man is refined, at peace with himself, free of lusful desire, and amazed at the sight of the heavens on high and depths of the earth, he becomes excited and astounded because the world before him seems to be a hidden, wondrous enigma. This enigma captivates his intellect and heart, leaving them no ambition other than solving this puzzle. This solution absorbs his soul. He would pass through fire and water to attain it, for what is the point of this pleasant life it its purpose is concealed from him? His soul becomes disoriented, mourning and yearning to comprehend this secret and know its roots – but the gateways are locked.” …………….

……. To subjugate his (the Jew) actions, words, and thoughs for serving his Creator, he must know and recognize Him. Only the power of knowledge (daat) of the Creator can influence man’s characteristics and behavior. Faith is beyond knowledge and beyond intellectual analysis and debate. As Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler writes in Michtav M’Eliyahu: “emunah means when one believes in what the intellect cannot perceive” (pt. 1, p. 68). Faith surrounds us but does not enter us – it is not internalized. In contrast, ……..

…..Some are satisfied with fulfilling mitvot and understanding their reasons as expounded in many classical texts, such as Sefer HaChinuch. These explanations suffice for those seeking general information related to fulfilling mitzvot. These people pray with devotion and study Torah for its own sake. In their prayers, Torah study, and mitzvot, they serve their Creator with all their hearts and grow in Torah and fear of God, each according to the root of his soul.
However, these reasons do not satisfy everyone. Some consider this approach is too superficial. They feel that the stories in the torah have deeper meaning. As the Zohar says on parashat BeHa’alotecha: “Woe to the man who says the Torah comes to relate simple stories about this world” (p. 154a). The Torah has secrets hidden between the lines, and it was given to us so that we could recognize the holy Creator, know him, and learn His ways. It is therefore difficult to accept simple interpretations of the Torah’s laws and mitzvot. As Rabbi Chaim Vital writes in his introduction to Eitz HaChaim, “In the simple interpretations of the Torah, and its stories, laws, and commandments, there is no recognition and knowledge of the holy Creator. On the contrary, certain mitzvot and statutes appear irrational. And if so, wherein lies the greatness and beauty of Torah?” ………….

When wishing to turn page it is much easier to just change the 001 to 002 - I found that pagination is off when using page turns on the above link.

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