Gate I - Chapter 4: The Tikuním (Repairs) produced by the study

By  Rav Yaakov Addes

1. In the Zohar as well as in a number of other writings of Kabbala, we find that when HaShem made the world that we know, He also made an infinite number of other worlds and spiritual celestial forces that people in this world are not aware of.

And that by the means of the Mitzvot and the good deeds that the Jewish people perform here on earth, a powerful radiance spreads over Israel spiritually and physically. But that if, 'Chas Ve'Shalom, the children Israel abandon the Torah and act badly, so it is the opposite that happens.

2. This truth is one of the basic principles on which lies Torat Ha Kabbalah: knowing that there are other celestial worlds and that their situation influences our situation down here. The situation in our planet also has an influence up above. That's the amazing part of this principle is exactly that, our world and the upper wolrds are dependent on each other, in both Sense. On the one hand, the reality of the higher worlds depends on the behaviour of the Jewish people here on earth; and, on the other hand, the reality of this world is set according to those of the higher worlds.

3. Thus, in the "Nefesh Ha'Chaim (in the first Gate, chapter 4), The author explains how the destruction of the Temple was made possible because, precisely, Israel had misbehaved.

It was first the Heavenly Temple, the one that sits in the higher spiritual worlds, that was destroyed. Only then, as a consequence, could the Gentiles take possession of the Temple here below to destroy it.

4. Likewise, the exile into which Israel was thrown, having to flee its land which fell into the hands of non-Jews, was only made possible by the faults committed by Israel tarnishing the spiritual reality proper to the holiness of the Land of Israel, until such alteration has repercussions on the land then left in the hands of non-Jews.

5. The author of "Nefesh Ha'Chaim" writes: "This is the Torah of man. Let no member of Israel say in his heart: "Who am I?

What can I accomplish in the world with my trivial acts? " On the contrary, let him understand and fix in his mind that nothing of his actions, words, thoughts at all times is not lost, Chas VeShalom. On the contrary, how important, estimable, serious his acts are, each one rising in accordance with its root to finally act in the highest spheres, in the superior worlds and in pure light ”. So we understand why each of us should do everything to make the most of our own abilities to study Torah and perform Mitzvot. Since indeed, each Mitzvah that we perform has multiple and formidable repercussions allowing the Good to be revealed in all the worlds.

6. The rest of the text affirms: “Verily, the clairvoyant man who becomes aware of this will fear and tremble in His heart thinking about the levels his bad deeds can reach and destruction that can be caused by even the most light, Has Ve Shalom ”.

7. I have heard someone compare this to the situation of a man sitting in a control tower at the command of missiles. With the push of a button, it can send a missile Crash on the enemy camp to annihilate it and save his own country. But it is also possible that, by mistake, he presses a bad button and thus annihilate his own citizens. It is therefore possible that one praises him for his heroic actions, but also that he is severely blamed for having done terribly wrong. 

What if this man retorted: "But what did I do? I just pressed this button! ”, his mistake would be to consider this button as if it was any button, and being able to forget that everything had makes sure that his act can lead to terrible consequences.

8. We now understand why, when studying Torah, a Jew gives support to all of the people of Israel. Edifying higher worlds, it increases their radiance for blessing and the success of all of Israel. Of course, it sometimes happens that a man study for only one hour and, after closing his book, he feels that you haven't studied enough. It is true. However, we will never know the good things that this man gave to the Jewish people during this little hour spent in study. He may have saved several Jews from death, others healed thanks to him, etc.

This is true for Torah study as it is for all Mitzvot that a Jew performs, but the study is more powerful than anything. As our Sages taught it in the Mishnah of the Pea Treaty: "And the study of the Torah more than anything ”. So much for the study of Torah and the fulfillment of the Mitzvot. But let's not forget either that whenever a Jew refrains from sinning, he too lends a hand to all of Israel. The "Nefesh Ha'Chaim" expands this idea amply in the fourth portico, from the eleventh chapter to the end of the portico, and also in the first chapters of the first portico.

9. Every Jew has a deep sense of empathy for those who are suffering, as well as the willingness to help them, as was taught by Gemara in the Yévamot Treaty, p.79 / a, when it is said that empathy and generosity are the traits characteristics of the people of Israel. If so, when a Jew hesitates between studying Torah for an hour or having fun, even if his choice is not determined by his obligation to study Torah, he can still convince himself to study while thinking of this feeling that animates him to have the desire to generate an aid for other Jews, especially those who are in distress. 

Because thanks to this hour that he will spend studying Torah, he will bring them assistance, even if it is impossible for him to know to whom he has brought help, nor what type of support he brought. The words of our Sages are indeed worthy of trust, and it is certain that this one will have lent a hand to the entire people of Israel.



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