approaching the end

The end of the Torah, the story of the death of Mosheh Rabbeinu always troubles me. We know that the Torah is applicable in every generation, in every time, it is in every sense of the word eternal. The question becomes how will the Torah be applicable even after the dead have arisen in the final ressurrection? Mosheh Rabbeinu will be standing before us, we will all be in Eretz Yisrael, what will those last verses of the Torah mean then?

Right around now you should have stopped to ask, how can we possibly understand the Torah meant for after Techiat HaMeitim (the resurrection), after Moshiah, (messiah) after the Geulah (Redemption)? Of course we can't understand it, but I'm always curious to peek a little bit, perhaps as much as is possible to understand whatever I might, and try and somehow apply that knowledge to now.

Also, if you'd like to accompany me on a short journey into an idea that might be confusing, we know that the revelations of the world to come are far beyond anything else in this world, right? So perhaps by pushing the envelope on the Torah that is available in this world, by reaching to its utmost limits, we might also be pushing the revelations of the next world a little bit further beyond its limits, we can only find out for sure when we get there, b'ezrat HaShem.

For certain, the work we do to understand HaShem's Torah in all of its depth creates the vessels in which we will one day receive the Torah of the world to come, furthermore, who knows the precise limits of the Torah we can understand in this world, only HaShem? If we don't push these limits we might never know just how far our understandings could have gone. In the highest spiritual realms desiring to connect with the unknowable nature of HaShem is described as thrashing your head against an impenetrable wall. (see: smiling through the unbreakable barrier)

Getting back to our question, We can't let every little problem get us down, so this one has been on the backburner, while I've been (thanks HaShem!) busy with the rest of my life, but I never forgot it. This past Shabbath, my grandmother in law asked me a semi-related question which reminded me about a teaching I learned recently, from the Zohar if I'm not mistaken, that the Nefesh is called the inheritance, because it is the Nefesh that we inherit as a dwelling place. (for the higher aspects of our soul) In this context, we can read the final refusal of HaShem to let Mosheh Rabbeinu "enter the land" as a recognition of the fact that man cannot "dwell" within HaShem as he dwells within his own soul and expect to survive. Mosheh Rabbeinu reached the utmost boundary from which all we can do is "look upon" HaShem, and enjoy His radiance.

So, with this understanding, the Torah reached the ultimate completion of man, Mosheh Rabbeinu who comes as close to knowing HaShem as possible, in this world, in any world. To me this brings comfort rather than viewing the Torah as story with a "To be continued..." ending. What is especially nice about this understanding is that it doesn't really deviate from the simple meaning of the words, yet it lends a depth of appreciation that might otherwise have been missing.

I hope (b"h) to go further into the topic of dwelling within one's nefesh, one's soul in a later post, as we did little more than mention it here.


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