Purpose of Matan Torah

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3. The purpose of Matan Torah:

Refine the animal soul:[1]

The purpose of the Torah is to refine and uplift the animal soul of a Jew. The animal soul of a Jew comes from Kelipas Noga, which conceals G-dliness from itself and the G-dly soul. It contains animalistic desires for worldly pleasures and is disinterested in G-d and spirituality. It contains no natural sensitivity for spiritual matters. The Torah serves to refine the animal soul, making it spiritually sensitive, and prevent it from concealing the G-dly soul. If a Jew did not have a side of impurity within him there would be no need for him to receive the Torah. The entire purpose of the Torah is a tool to refine the animal soul. This is the reason why our forefathers did not receive the Torah, as they were a total chariot for G-d and had no will of their own. They thus had no need for the Torah. This is also the reason why Yitzchak desired to bless Esav with the blessings, as the blessings represented the receiving of the Torah, and since Yaakov was purely holy and Esav was evil, only Esav had a need to receive it. Nevertheless, Esav did not receive it being that he is a form of evil which can never be refined or uplifted even through the Torah, and hence can only be utterly eradicated. Even within Yaakov’s seed, impurity eventually found its grasp, and hence practically the Torah was needed to be given to Yaakov. This impurity occurred after we entered Egypt. In Egypt, we became contaminated with sin and hence required the Torah for purification of our animal soul, and its elevation. It is for this purpose that the world was created, to subjugate the evil and turn it to the realm of holiness.


What is the main novelty of Matan Torah, the giving of the Torah or the Mitzvos?[2]

Although by Matan Torah we received both the Torah and the Mitzvos, nevertheless the main novelty of Matan Torah is the learning of Torah. The Mitzvos are a prerequisite for Torah. On this it states that Mitzvos which cannot be performed by others must be performed by oneself. One must stop learning Torah in order to fulfill a Mitzvah of this nature. However, by Mitzvos that can be performed by others, the law is that one is not to stop his Torah learning in order to fulfill it, and is rather to allow others to perform the command. The explanation is as follows: The Mishna[3] states “If there is no fear there is no wisdom and if there is no wisdom there is no fear”. It is learned from here that there are two levels of fear; lower fear and higher fear. The lower fear is the fulfillment of the Mitzvos. Attaining this level of fear then allows a Jew to reach the higher level of fear, which is received through learning Torah. The higher fear is a complete nullification to G-d, and is the greatest form of unity attainable. This unification can only be accomplished through Torah learning. This is similar to the two stages in a wedding, the Kedushin and Nessuin. Mitzvos are likened to the Kedushin ring, to externally bond us with Hashem. Marital relations are the Nessuin and the inner bonding of the marriage, and are the form of bonding that Torah creates between us and Hashem. One must first have the external/Makif bonding in order to then have the internal bonding. This unity with G-d, accomplished through learning Torah, is not consciously felt within our souls below due to their incapacity to retain the revelation and still remain within physical existence within the body. Nevertheless, our souls above, called the Mazal, actively feel this revelation.


[1] Likkutei Torah Bechukosai p. 49

[2] Likkutei Torah Bamidbar p. 32

[3] Pirkeiy Avos Chapter 3

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