(LY) 2nd Shevat
3. An Oveid Elokim is one who reviews his study 101 times:
- Based on the above, we can now understand a Talmudic statement which says that a person who serves G-d is one who reviews his studies 101 times while one who does not serve G-d is one who reviews his studies only 100 times.
- The standard of review was 100 times: The explanation is as follows: In Talmudic times, it was customary for the students to review their studies 100 times. This is allegorized by the Talmud to the custom in the donkey market of those times to rent out a donkey for a ten Parsa distance of travel for one Zuz coin, and for an 11 Parsa distance of travel for two Zuz coins, which is double the amount for only one more Parsa distance. This expensive surcharge was given being that the demand for more than 10 Parsa distance of travel went above the standard and norm of travel for these donkeys.
- Breaking one’s nature even slightly is worth more than all that one accomplishes naturally: Accordingly, since this was the standard, the students became naturally inclined in doing so, and hence it was not considered a battle for them to keep to this standard of 100 times of review. However, to review their study more than 100 times was not part of their nature, and hence the moment they reviewed their study even one more time, for a total 101 times, since they broke their nature, this one time of extra review far surpasses all the previous 100 review sessions and entitled them to being considered one who serves G-d.
- In order to break one’s nature, one must arouse love of G-d: The reason that this one session of review surpasses all the other 100 sessions of review, is because in order for one to study more than he is accustomed to by nature, he must arouse love for G-d through contemplating G-d’s greatness in his mind. He must arouse this love in order take control of his nature that is found in the left part of his heart which is filled with blood and contains the animal soul which comes from Kelipa from which his nature derives.
- The above is the true and complete service of a Beinoni, as he must battle the evil in his heart in order to serve G-d.
- Arousing the hidden love in the heart in order to overcome one’s nature: It is not necessary to arouse a new conscious love for G-d in the heart through deep contemplation in order to take control of the nature of one’s animal soul that is found in the heart, and rather it suffices to simply arouse the hidden love that is in the heart that every Jew has for G-d, in order to overcome the nature found in the left part of the heart. This too takes toil and effort to arouse the hidden love in order to battle with one’s nature, and therefore the person who does so earns the title of one who is serving G-d [although not to the same level as one who arouses a new intellectually derived love for G-d, and hence he has yet to reach the complete and true service of a Beinoni].
- The above is all in contrast to one who does not have to battle his nature at all in order to serve G-d, in which case the hidden love which motivates him to do so is not considered a result of his own toil and effort [and he is hence considered one who does not serve G-d at all].