Beit Midrash

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To dedicate this lesson
Condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 9:71

The Decision that Provided the Purpose to Preserve the World


Various Rabbis

Elul 22 5779
Gemara: Why was the world fearful (see Tehillim 76:9) [before Bnei Yisrael accepted the Torah]? It is as Reish Lakish said: The pasuk says, "It was evening and it was morning, the sixth day" (with an extra letter heh, standing for an extra word "the" which is unneeded in Hebrew grammar). The extra heh teaches that Hashem made a condition with creation, saying: "If Israel will accept the Torah, you will exist, and if not, I will return you to primordial void and emptiness."

Ein Ayah: There are progressions that discreetly proceed along levels from the greatest depths to the highest levels.

The divine idea, which encompasses all of existence, its value, essence, and power, soars through the world and flows, and acts through all elements of existence. Everything is connected; everything in the depths is connected to things at the peaks. The highest creation is the spirit of a great person, who can reach great levels of sanctity when connected to Hashem’s strength. This is the foundation of the worlds.

Everything is built around the revelation of the divine power. It gives every being an important value, and everything shines as it fulfills its role grandly. However, not always will all be grand. Spiritual potential may not be maximized, especially when Israel does not use its special spiritual abilities to connect itself to the divine world through the treasure of Torah. Then everything is sealed off and lost, as the world slips into a slumber of death. The Divine Spirit creates all the worlds, and He created the physical world we know by using the letter heh (Menachot 29b). The flow of life proceeds as connected to the higher form that embraces and gives life to everything – the glow of the world that is found in the spirit of man, which is complete in the living G-d’s light, which in turn is connected to the divine absolute desire, which finds expression in the Torah.

There can be doubt that can wallow in the gloom of the impossibility to reveal that which depends on the freedom of positive choice, which is above the power of life. This is before the word of Hashem was clearly expressed in a manner that created a covenant between Hashem and Israel. At that point, the mystery of doubt was lifted. At first, the world was fearful and even had doubt about the very existence of everything in life and all related powers. From the center of existence, which is focused on the Nation of Israel, there was a flowing force of the essence of life. A voice came forth that connected man’s soul to Hashem, the source of the life of the world. This gave life to the entire universe, to general cosmic matters and to each individual creation, and put the world in a pattern of eternal life. All of the elements of creation, the mysteries of existence, nature, and that which is above it, in the past and the future, depends on one condition. If Israel will accept the Torah, everything will acquire purpose, which hovers over everything. Then, everything in the world can exist because it is part of something with a purpose. The future holds the promise of being endlessly broad and full of greatness.

The great letter heh fills the whole creation with this condition. That day of accepting the Torah is the key to existence. Retroactively, everything that was created turns out to be fit to continue. There is security and purpose, and the fundamental power rules over everything. If Israel did not accept the Torah, everything would return to void. From the depths of nothingness, a new world would take shape, in which the Divine Spirit would provide the purpose and pull along the whole world. Israel took the proper step and displayed its special character, thereby giving a place for the world as we know it. It rescued the world from destruction and lack of purpose. They did charity for the world by accepting Hashem’s Torah.
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