shattered torah raining down

What happens when our learning is entirely lishmah? The goal of Torah learning is to get to a level where our learning is entirely for the sake of the Shechinah, for HaShem's divine revelation in this world. All the while that we haven't reached that level, our learning can have all kinds of positive effects as well as the opposite. Even though most people don't have the devotion, time or energy to achieve this lofty level of study, the Notzer Hesed explicitly tells us that we don't have the right to abdicate our responsibility to learn Torah altogether--even if we do it out of the best of intentions, namely that we don't want to cause adverse effects to the world.

What kind of effects can our learning have? Rebbe Nachman explains (Likkutei Moharan I:159) that when someone does learn lishmah, that the Shechinah embraces the Torah learned and elevates it up to the heavens where it brings supernal blessing down illuminating the heavens and eart.

When the learning isn't entirely lishmah, so the Shechinah won't have anything to do with it, and the Torah tries to go up to heaven on it's own but angels come and beat it, shattering it into little pieces that fall back down to earth as dew. These little pieces of Torah spread out around the world, and affect each person according to his nature.

To someone who works at serving HaShem, these sparks inspire him to learn and awaken within him the desire to serve HaShem, sometimes they even bring him new inspirations, chidushim in Torah in accordance with his level. On the other hand, if a person strives for benefit in this world, then these sparks awaken in him an even greater desire to toil for the pleasures of this world.


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