study guide: what's better than cliffsnotes, brainstorming, or mnemonics?

The Maor Eynayim (Parashath Shemoth) relates about the Baal Shem Tov that when he wanted to know anything at all, be it something esoteric, or something mundane, Godly matters, or worldy, he would open up a sefer and learn. Through his learning and intense cleaving to God through the Torah, he would pierce through to the heart of the Torah, the supernal light that was hidden away at the time of creation for the Tzaddikim, which allows one to see from one end of the universe to the other. In this way he was able to know anything that is, was, or will be.

This is a tremendous level, one associated with the Bnei Aliyah, (the ones who ascend) as we mentioned before. But it is also such a novel and profound perspective on the world. He had so much emunah and such a kesher (connection) with God, that he trusted and knew that whatever information he would need would be present in the Torah he was learning. Learning has the potential to be just such a level of communication and union with HaShem that we might see the truth that He provides for all our needs fleshed out before our eyes.

The key is fear of God, as we said before. The knowledge, the Torah, always comes as a gift. It is regarding this that the Talmud says, "הכל בידי שמים חוץ מיראת שמים" (Everything is in the hands of Heaven, outside of fear of Heaven.) [There are (obviously) deeper levels in this simple phrase than I have the ability to pierce.]

Update: the Maor Eynayim adds that this level is attainable by any person, because each person has a piece of the Moshiah in them, and by connecting to that piece that is called לעתיד לבא 'for the future to come.' I wanted to say something about how this level was attainable to all, in my very humble estimation, but because I didn't have a source for it, I left it out. Now that I found that the Maor Eynayim does in fact say it. Try it out. If you can't understand something, or are puzzled by something, instead of thinking about it, learn Torah with the honest intention of connecting to HaShem and seeing the truth of the matter there, in the unity of the hidden light of Torah.


Related posts

Blog Widget by LinkWithin