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Beit Midrash Series Ein Ayah

Condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 9:7

Connected at the Highest Point

Various RabbisAdar II 7 5779
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Gemara: The words of Torah will last only for one who "kills himself" over them, as the Torah says: "This is the Torah: Should a person die in a tent" (Bamidbar 19:14).

Ein Ayah: The absolute connection that the loftiest spiritual content can have with the spirit of one who strives for it depends on the highest point of the lofty matter. When a person turns toward this high point, he elevates himself to the highest level that he can perceive. Then every element of his personality, from the large to the small, is dedicated to this holy goal.

If the value of Torah finds expression only in the realm of life, it will not succeed in actualizing sufficient aspirations to be willing to roll back his involvement in the physical world needed to reach the highest levels. Torah will not take permanent hold of him as long as his interest in it is limited to the lower level of Torah – that in which it improves the life of society, whether by personal attributes or by actions. In contrast, things are much greater when one connects his internal desire to the highest element of Torah. This element is more special than all of life itself and allows a person to limit his physical world because Torah fills his heart. This is done with recognition that this high Torah is the treasure of the lofty life, which is more profound than that of this life of finite time. This recognition connects all of the details of the Torah in a broad light, so that it forms one torch along with the spirit of the person who learns, and it is this that stays with him. When this person "dies in the tent," he constantly lives a complete life – "for he who finds Me has found life" (Mishlei 8:35).
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