Chapter 23: The unity of G-d with His Mitzvos & the unity achieved with Mitzvah performance
11th Shevat/(LY)18th Shevat1. The mitzvahs are G-d’s inner will which enlivens the worlds:
- G-d is one with His Torah and mitzvot: Based on all the above which was explained in the previous chapters, we can more clearly and deeply understand what it says in the Zohar that the Torah and G-d are one and united, and that the 248 commands are the limbs of the king, of G-d.
- The mitzvahs are G-d’s inner will which enlivens the worlds: The mitzvahs are the inner will of G-d and His true desire. It is this inner will for the mitzvahs that is invested within all the upper and lower worlds to give them life.
- The world’s energy is dependent on our mitzvahs: This is expressed in the fact that all of the divine energy which is received by the worlds is dependent on the performance of the mitzvahs by those living below, as is well known.
- Mitzvos garb the inner will of Hashem like a limb enclothes the soul: It is thus found that the performance of the commands is the inner garment for the inner will of G-d, as it is the actions of the mitzvahs which draw down the divine light and energy to then be invested within the world’s to enliven them.
- The mitzvahs are the limbs of the king: It is for this reason, that the mitzvahs are called limbs of the king. Just as the limbs of the body of a human garb and enclothes the soul, which is inside it, so too, the mitzvahs garb and enclothe within them the inner will of G-d.
- Limbs are nullified to the soul: Furthermore, just as the limbs of a person are completely nullified to the soul that is in them, so too it is with the mitzvahs. This can be readily seen by the fact that as soon as a person wills and desires to move his hand or foot, these limbs immediately abide by the will of the soul without any delay. It’s not even necessary to command or instruct the limb to do so, and it does so automatically at the very moment that one wills and desires its movement.
3. Mitzvahs, and the G-dly soul, and limbs of the body, are nullified to the will of G-d:
- Mitzvahs are nullified to G-d’s will: Just as the limbs of the physical body is completely nullified to the persons will, so too the energy that is found in the physical commandments and their fulfillment is completely nullified to the divine will that is found in them.
- Like body and soul: This energy found in the mitzvahs is so nullified to the divine will that it is like a body which is nullified to the soul, which refers to the will of G-d.
- Power of action of G-dly soul is nullified to the will of G-d: The external garment of the G-dly soul of a person, which refers to its power of action which does and fulfills the mitzvah, is also nullified to the divine will. The reason for this is because at the time that one fulfills the mitzvah he invests his power of action of his G-dly soul within the energy of the action of the mitzvah. Consequently, this causes that also his power of action of his G-dly soul become a body for the soul which is the divine will and is completely nullified to it.
- Limbs of the body become a chariot for the divine will: Accordingly, it is found that also the physical limb of the person fulfills the mitzvah, in which the power of action of the G-dly soul is invested during the fulfillment of the mitzvah, becomes an actual chariot for the divine will. For example, when the hand distributes charity to a pauper or performs another mitzvah, and when the feet walk to fulfill a mitzvah, and when the mouth and tongue speaks words of Torah, and when the brain thinks words of Torah and of fear of heaven and the greatness of G-d, then these limbs become a chariot for G-d’s divine will.
- The patriarchs are chariots of G-d: It is due to the above that the sages described our forefathers as being a chariot for G-d, as all of their lives were completely holy and sanctified for the sake of fulfilling G-d’s will and separated from all mundane matters of this world.
12th Shevat/(LY)21st Shevat
4. The unity of the G-dly soul with the divine will during Torah learning:
- One’s thoughts and contemplations of words of Torah in one’s mind, as well as one’s speech of Torah with one’s mouth, are considered the inner garments of the G-dly soul, and at the time of the mitzvah of Torah study are all actually united in an absolute unity with the divine will and are not just a mere chariot for the divine will. It goes without saying that this applies to the G-dly soul itself.
- G-d’s will found in Jewish law: The reason for this is because the divine will of G-d is the actual Jewish law that one is contemplating in one’s mind and speaking about. All of the laws in Judaism are considered channels of the inner divine will of G-d as all of the laws are the divine will which decided whether something be permitted or kosher or exempt and forbidden and the like.
- The words of Tanach: All of the words of Tanach are also channels of the divine will and wisdom which are united with the infinite light of G-d with an absolute unity, as he is the knower and the knowledge.
- A greater unity then mitzvahs: It is for this reason that the sages state that the Torah and G-d are all one and do not refer to the Torah as merely the limbs of the king as mitzvahs are referred to.
- G-dly soul is united with G-d: Now, being that the divine will which is united with the infinite G-d is completely revealed, and not concealed at all, within the G-dly soul and in its inner garments which are the thought and speech at that time of the study of Torah, it therefore ends up that the soul and these garments are also complete united with G-d at that moment with an absolute unity similar to the unity of G-d’s speech and thought with G-d’s actual essence.
- A greater unity then the upper worlds: Furthermore, this unity of the G-dly soul and its garments with the infinite light of G-d at the time of Torah study is much greater than the unity of the infinite light of G-d with the upper worlds. The reason for this is because the divine will is actually revealed within the soul and its garments at the time that one is studying Torah, as the divine will of G-d is the actual Torah that one is studying.
- All the world’s live off the energy of Torah: Furthermore, not only is the unity of G-d with the G-dly soul the time of Torah study greater than the unity of G-d with the upper worlds, but all of the upper worlds actually receive their divine energy and life force from the Torah which is the will and wisdom of G-d, as the verse states that everything is created from Chochma. Accordingly, it is understood that the tire itself is higher than all the upper worlds.
- The will of G-d which encompasses the worlds is invested in the G-dly soul: The Torah is the will of G-d which is called Soveiv Kol Almin which is the Divine light it is not able to be invested within the worlds and simply enlivens them and shines to them from above in an encompassing manner. It is this Divine light which becomes invested within the soul and its garments in an actual revealed manner at the time of one’s study of Torah.
- One’s Mazal experiences the unity not the conscious soul: Now, although the person does not consciously experience the unity with G-d at the time of Torah study, his Mazal above does. In fact, it is only because one does not consciously experience this unity that one is able to contain it within him. This is in contrast to the upper worlds which would consciously feel the unity with G-d if it were to take place and expire as a result.
- Why Torah study is greater than all the mitzvahs: Based on the above it can be understood why the study of Torah is considered much greater than all the other mitzvahs, including even greater than the mitzvah of prayer which involves the unity of the upper worlds [as by Torah study one actually unites with the will of G-d].
- Why one must stop Torah study to fulfill a mitzvah: Now, despite the above we still rule that unless a person studies Torah as his full occupation, he must stop his Torah study for the sake of fulfilling a mitzvah. This however is only because he in any event stops and nullifies his Torah study for other purposes as well.
5. The great fear of G-d which should be experienced during Torah study:
- Taking all the above into account, a person who is in the midst of Torah study should draw upon himself a great fear of G-d after contemplating the fact that his soul and its garments in his mind and mouth are actually united with an absolute unity to the divine will, and that the infant G-d Himself is revealed within them, to which all of the upper and lower worlds are considered like naught and nothingness before Him.
- A unique experience not found in the upper worlds: This experience is not even felt in the upper worlds as the divine will of G-d does not become actually invested within them, but rather simply encompasses them to give them their basic vitality of existence, and for this purpose shines to them a mere ray of the divine will which becomes invested within them, in accordance to that which they are able to handle and not become nullified in their existence.
- A wisdom that leads to fear: It is regarding such fear that the sages state that if there is no wisdom there is no fear, as this fear is created through the study of G-d’s wisdom. Regarding this fear, the Torah is considered the gate that leads one to it.
- Even if not consciously experienced it leads to observance: Nonetheless, not every mind is capable of consciously experiencing this fear. Nonetheless, even those who are not capable at all to consciously experience it to any measure or amount due to the low root and source of their G-dly soul in the ten Sefiros of the world of Assiya, nonetheless, this lack of conscious feeling does not prevent them from fulfilling and observing the Torah mitzvahs as a result of it.