Shomer Emunim #28-29

12 Mar

Shomer Emunim #28-29


She’altielThe wisdom in your words speaks volumes. They are words that are good and sweet, and are certainly enough to justify the methods of the Mekubalim and to save them from those who oppose them and criticize their teachings. But I still have another complaint. Who forced all of this upon us? Wouldn’t it be better for us to just be simple with Hashem, [from the Possuk: “Tamim tihye im Hashem Elokecha” (Devorim 18:13), which means “Innocent with Hashem”, but might be interpreted as “Simple with Hashem”] without having to delve so much into that which is amazing but hidden? And it should be enough for the individual to have a complete knowledge of Chumash, Mishna and Gemara, and to delve into the comprehension of the Halachos of the Poskim, Z”LHH, so that we will know how to do what Hashem wants from us, and to fulfill the Mitzvos that we were instructed in His Torah, Y.S., along with the various Takanos (amendments) and boundaries that were established by Chazal, which are basically included in the commandment of “Lo Sasur” (“Don’t turn away from their words”). Therefore, I submit that all of this knowledge of the hidden secrets of the Torah is not really necessary for a person to become complete. So therefore, it appears to me that a person would receive more of a reward for staying away from Kabbalah, than delving into it.

YehoyadaIt’s true. Not every person is obligated to know and understand the secrets of the Torah. Chazal did say (Mesechta Chagiga 13a) that there is a need to keep them hidden. And [the Gemara goes on to say] that one should not tell over secrets of the Torah except to those that know how to be discreet. But never the less, Talmidei Chachamim (Torah scholars) are obligated to make the effort to grasp these concepts. As it says in the Medrash Shochar Tov (Loyal Friend) regarding Mishlei (Proverbs), Chapter 10: “Rabi Yishmael says, “Come and see how difficult the day of judgement will be. In the future, Hashem will judge the world in the valley of Yehoshafat, etc.” When the Talmidei Chachamim will come in front of Him, Hashem will say to them: “You didn’t delve into Torah at all, etc.” Hashem will say to a person that is well versed in Talmud: “Since you already learned and mastered the Talmud, did you start learning and try to understand the Maase Merkava? Did you start learning and try to understand what the total heavenly structure looks like? Etc.” Study in depth what it says there. [The Medrash there goes into each level of what a person achieved, and says that Hashem will ask why that person didn’t try to learn further to the next level of Torah.] So we learn from that Medrash that any Talmid Chacham that has gotten to the level of delving into the depths of the Talmud, is obligated to learn the secrets of the Torah. And one who is lazy, and doesn’t make the effort to know them will be held accountable on the day of judgement.

The Zohar, on Shir Hashirim, Page 18, Column 4 (Page 70, Column 4, in the later printing of the Zohar) goes to great lengths to explain all the subjects that all Talmidei Chachamim are obligated to know. This is what it says: “The following is a list of wisdoms that a person needs to try to master. One must try to understand and delve into the secrets of the Will of the Creator. Another is to try to understand the purpose of one’s own body, to understand who he is, how he was created, where he comes from, where he’s going, how to take care of one’s body, and that a person will have to be prepared to stand in judgement before the Master of the universe. Also one must try to understand and delve into the secrets of one’s own Neshamah. What is the Nefesh within a person, where it comes from, [why the Neshamah comes into this world,] and for what purpose did it come into this particular body which comes from a putrid drop that is here today and buried tomorrow. Also to delve into and try to understand this world that a person exists in, for what purpose this world was created, and after that, to try to understand the secrets of the World-To-Come, so that one can understand the plan of his Creator. And all of this one can learn by looking into and understanding the secrets of the Torah. Learn from this that anyone that comes into the World-To-Come without this knowledge, even if he has many good deeds, will be expelled from all those gates of the World-To-Come.” Study in depth what it says there. So we understand that there is an enormous obligation that a Torah scholar has to make the effort to grasp these aforementioned wisdoms, and if one dies without knowing them, even with many good deeds, will not merit to get into the inner realms of the higher worlds, which is where the Neshamos gain the greatest pleasure, as is well known to those that are knowledgeable in this subject. [One has no right to remain ignorant.]

Copyright © 2015 Shaul Taub

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