Loving the Torah Opens Up Her Secrets

The Zohar in Saba Mishpatim (99a) teaches us something very helpful and revealing in terms of accessing the secrets of the Torah. It says there that the truest aspects of the Torah are hidden, and covered completely up. The way to come to these is through love, and the Zohar teaches us the process through a moshol of courtship. We must know, if we wish to be considered in the Chakima D’Liba (Wise of Heart) that the way to opening the secrets of the Torah is to come by the door of her house every day until she notices.

“What will the Torah do then? She’ll show her face from within her chamber, and will hint to the seeker, and immediately after this run back into the secret part of her room and hide. Every other person walking by will not see this except for the true seeker, who is waiting by the door and looking for her, and his guts and heart and soul will run after her, and through this way is the Torah revealed and concealed; and she goes forth with love to the side of her beloved to arouse his love for her.

“The way of the Torah is like this: in the beginning when the secrets become permissible to reveal to a person, in one second will the hints be alluded to; if he knows then this is good, and if not then he is called a fool. The Torah then says to the one who is near the fool to bring the foolish one to her and she will speak to him in the way that he can understand; from then she will speak to him from behind her veil that she has spread for him (which is an allusion to the stories and exoteric aspects of the Torah) in the path that he can understand, until his eyes open little by little and he begins to understand more than p’shat and progresses from p’shat, to remez, to d’rash.

“After a time that the Torah has been around this person, she changes from the thick veil to hiding behind a thinner garment and instructs him in Aggadah, which is closer to Sod. After he becomes used to being near to the Torah, she begins to reveal herself to him face to face, and speaks with him in the matters of all her secrets concealed deep within, beyond all the stories and Aggadah. From then on all the paths within her heart that were concealed from the time before will be revealed to this individual and he will become a complete person, the Morei D’Vaisa (Master of the House), that all of the Torah’s secrets are revealed to him, and she is no longer distant from him or concealed in any way. After he attains this level, the Torah then begins to show him how all the things she showed him in hints from the beginning are really all expressions of these same great secrets he has now attained understanding of, and they are not to be taken away from or added to, even the simplest aspects of Torah are not to be discarded or added onto even one letter. Verily people must be careful, and pursue the Torah constantly, to be her beloved as said above.”

That is my rough translation of the Zohar there. The essential message is that we must pursue the Torah with great love. Even if at first it seems there is only p’shat, or only remez, or only d’rash, the truth is that everything is Sod. Sodos HaTorah must not take us away from the fulfillment of the mitzvos, or saying that a mitzvah no longer applies etc. Rather Sod must inflame us even further in our service to Hashem and our love for His Torah, to dive deeper into her study. The true acquisition of Torah is through love, not through fear or distaste of others; rather only through love for Torah. We could darshan also that this form of love is relevant to ahavas Hashem, ahavas Yisroel, and ahavas haTorah, since Hashem is considered one with all these things as explained in the Zohar in another place.

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