Parshas Vezos Habracha-Likkutei Torah-The connection of Simchas Torah and the written and oral Torah

Parshas Vezos Haberacha

 

“Torah Tziva Lanu Moshe…”

[Likkutei Torah p. 186]

Simchas Torah is one of the most joyful days of the calendar, on which we sing and dance around the Torah. Each year, the day of Simchas Torah represents the culmination of the previous year’s reading cycle of the Five Books of the Torah. The Parsha of Vezos Habracha, unlike all the other Parshiyos of the Torah, is set to be read on the Holiday of Simchas Torah and not on a Shabbos. What connection does this Parsha have with Simchas Torah? The connection is hidden in the famous verse, “Torah Tziva Lanu Moshe…”, which is written in this Parsha. The Sages expound on this verse that the Jewish people share a marriage status relationship with the Torah. In this Mamar, the Alter Rebbe delves into the core of this relationship, explaining that within the Torah itself there are two parts, the Written and Oral Torah, and the relationship between these two parts of the Torah are dependent on our Avoda here below. This, however, occurs throughout the year. During the Holidays, and particularly on Shemini Atzeres, a much different level of relationship is reached between the Written and Oral Torah, which consequently affects the Jewish people. The form of relationship that we have with the Torah is not just that of a student towards a school of fascinating wisdom, but a medium that attaches us to Hashem and draws G-dliness to our souls. On Simchas Torah, we are not celebrating our knowledge of Torah learning but rather our relationship with the Torah that we learn. This explains why all Jewry is accustomed to celebrate this day through dancing with the Torah and not through a celebration of knowledge that entails sitting and learning the Torah, and having Rabbinical discourses on topics of Torah. This also explains why every Jew can dance with the Torah on this day, even the layman and ignoramus, who have very limited knowledge of Torah, as this day does not celebrate their knowledge, but their soul connection to the Torah and Hashem, which is revealed to all on this day.   

 

Explorations of the Mamar

1.      What is the connection between Simchas Torah and Parshas Vezos Habracha?

2.      Why is the Torah called both a Chasan and a Kallah?

3.      What is the relationship between the Written and Oral Torah?

4.      What occurs on Simchas Torah to the Written and Oral Torah, and how are we affected by this?

 

 

The Torah is the Kallah, and Klal Yisrael is the Chasan:

The verse states, “Torah Tziva Lanu Moshe Morasha Kehilas Yaakov/The Torah that was taught to us by Moshe is a Morasha for the Jewish people” The word Morasha means “inheritance,” and the verse is hence saying that the Torah is an inheritance for the Jewish people. The Sages,[1] however, teach us that one should not read this word as Morasha/inheritance but rather as Meurasa, which means “engaged.” This means to say that the Torah is engaged to the Jewish people, that the Torah is the Kallah, while the Jewish people are considered to be the Chasan. This, however, seemingly contradicts a different saying of the Sages, as the Sages[2] state that the day of Matan Torah is considered as the day of the wedding with Hashem. This implies that we are the Kallah, while Hashem and the Torah are the Chasan. Likewise, it states in the Zohar that there is a three-chain connection, Hashem with the Torah, and the Torah with the Jewish people, as the Torah connects the Jewish people to Hashem. This implies that the Torah is the Mashpia that draws us, the Kallah, closer to Hashem. This matter can be understood by first introducing the concept of Eirusin and Nessuin, the two stages that are performed in a Jewish wedding, and its connection to the Torah. Eirusin is when the Chasan gives the Kallah a wedding ring. Spiritually, this represents a small Hamshacha/drawing of life from the soul of the Chasan to the Kallah, which suffices to now make her forbidden to the rest of the world, and be permitted and designated only for him. We find a similar relationship within the Torah itself, between the sections of Torah Shebichsav, the Written Torah, and Torah Shebaal Peh, the Oral Torah. 

Torah Shebichsav and Torah Shebaal Peh:

The Torah Shebaal Peh, the Oral Torah, is an explanation of the Torah Shebichsav, the Written Torah. The details of the Mitzvos are not found at all in the Written Torah, and only in the Oral Torah do all the Mitzvos receive their definition and practical applications. Furthermore, it is known that for every matter in the written Torah there are 600,000 explanations in Peshat, Remez, Derush, and Sod, for a total of 2,400,000 explanations. Nonetheless, there remain aspects of the Written Torah that are not revealed in the Oral Torah, as they are completely above the level of comprehension or explanation. This refers to the form of the letters of the Torah, and the Nekudos of the words, the Taamim in which the words are to be read. These matters are not explained at all in the Oral Torah as they come from Almin Setimin, the hidden worlds. 

The Jewish people connect the Torah Shebichsav to the Torah Shebaal Peh:

In the Sefiros, the Written Torah comes from the level of Chochmah Ilaah, the Chochmah of Atzilus, while the Oral Torah comes from Malchus. The Oral Torah of Malchus receives from the Written Torah in Chochmah of Atzilus. In order for the light of the Torah in Chochmah to enter the level of Malchus, it must pass through various stages of contractions. Who arouses these contractions that allow the Oral Torah to receive its Kedusha? This is the Jewish people. When the Jewish people contract their own worldly desires and wills for the sake of Hashem, this causes that the light of Chochmah to also contract in order to be diffused below. On this level, the Written Torah is called the Chasan, while the Oral Torah is called the Kallah, as the Oral Torah receives from the Written Torah, similar to the Kallah receiving her ring from the Chasan

The Eirusin and Nessuin of the Torah:

The abovementioned ray of light transferred from the Written to the Oral Torah is merely external. This is similar to the level of Eirusin, in which the Chasan has only given a ring to the Kallah, and they have yet to enter the Chuppah and live together as husband and wife. The Nessuin of the Oral and Written Torah takes place on each of the three Holidays of Pesach, Shavuos, and Sukkos, just as the Chuppah surrounds both the Chasan and Kallah and makes them equal. Similarly, during the holidays, both parts of the Torah are elevated above the world of Atzilus, to the level of Kesser, in which both the Oral and Written Torah are equaled due to the great level of Divine light. This is why we are commanded to rejoice during the festivals, as this is when the level of Nessuin of the Torah is revealed.

The uniqueness of Shemini Atzeres:

The culmination of the Eirusin and Chuppah is reached in the Cheder Yichud, when the Chasan and Kallah have a private encounter of intimacy. The Yichud of the Written and Oral Torah takes place on Shemini Atzeres. This is when the Oral Torah receives the inner light of the Written Torah. This explains why Shemini Atzeres is also called Simchas Torah, as on this day we celebrate the unity of the two Torahs. However, it is not only that on this day the two Torahs unite, but also that they now reveal their light to the lower worlds of BeriyahAssiyah, to the souls of the Jewish people. Each and every Jew is able to receive a revelation of this light on Shemini Atzeres through accepting upon himself the yoke of heaven.

How the Jewish people are both the bride and the groom:

Based on the above, we can now understand why at some times the Jewish people are considered the groom and at other times the bride. As explained above, it is our Avoda that causes the Written Torah to initially reveal its light to the Oral Torah. Hence, the Torah is called “our bride,” while we are the groom, as we cause the light to be revealed within the Kallah. On the other hand, on Shemini Atzeres, we are called the Kallah and the Torah is the Chasan, as on this day the Torah reveals its light within our souls, just as the Chasan is the one who gives to the Kallah.       

        

 

Lessons of the Mamar

·         Rejoice on Simchas Torah. Take the Torah scroll and dance with it with all your might, knowing that today is the day of your spiritual wedding with the Torah. Every Jew has an essential connection to the Torah, irrelevant of his level of knowledge.

·         In order to receive the light of the Torah on Simchas Torah one must perform the Avoda of Kabbalas Ol. Make a strong resolve on this day to strengthen your relationship with the Torah and establish set times for learning.

 

[1] Pesachim 83b

[2] Mishneh Taanis 4

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