Various Levels of Understanding Mitzvos

In this picture from the Siddur Avodas HaKodesh, which is a Kabbalistic siddur with the simple forms of the generally complex Kavonnos HaRashash, you’ll see something interesting. Contained here are four permutations of the Shem HaMeforash, each related to a different level. The first is the Shem in Atzilus, next one is the Shem in Briah, and going down through Yetzirah and Assiyah. We’re supposed to be m’chaven these permutations on Torah, Mitzvos, Chukim, U’Mishptim, respectively. There’s something to learn from this.

It says in Tehillim, in the Shir Shel Yom that we say this morning in Shachris “We blast in the month (new moon by most translators) shofar, on the set day of our holiday. For it is a Chok (a law not understandable to our reason) for Yisroel, a Mishpot (a law clearly understood according to reason) to the God of Ya’akov.” The posuk from this kapitel Tehillim can be better understood when we look at this set of kavonnos.

Torah is in the aspect of Atzilus, meaning beyond the point of proper distinction, everything that manifests further down the line is rooted in the world of Atzilus, and therefore it is all included in Torah. Mitzvos on the whole are in B’riah, meaning there is more distinction than in Atzilus, however all the mitzvos are considered one at this point, no separation between Bein Adam L’Chaverio or Bein Adam L’Makom, or Chukim u’Misphotim, the mitzvos that are not comprehended through reason and those that are. Chukim are associated with Yetzirah, being that they are beyond normal reason. Mishpotim are in Assiyah, being that they are rationally comprehended. The sod we can learn out from that posuk in Tehillim is that all mitzvos are ultimately Mishpotim, from the perspective of Hashem. Hashem exists in such a way that all the mitzvos have a rational reason to them, however His reason (kav yochol) is so all inclusive of the entirety of reality that we personally cannot understand it. To us there is a distinction between the two, however through learning Torah, especially Toras HaSod, we can hope to come to a greater level of understanding and even touch the place where all mitzvos have some reasoning that we can comprehend.

Hashem should bentsh us with Chochma Binah and Daas, we should merit to understand more Torah, and we should merit to the Geulah Shleimah soon.

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