Torah Or Parshas Chayeh Sarah-Selected Teachings

Torah Or Parshas Chayeh Sarah-Selected Teachings


*For teachings from the first Mamar of Yigaleh Lon Taamei, relating to the purpose and function of eating during the week, Shabbos and Holidays, refer to our corresponding Sefer “The Chassidishe Parsha-Torah Or Likkutei Torah” Parshas Vayeira!


1. Every day requires Mitzvos to be performed:

A cryptic Zoharic statement: The Zohar explains the verse “Veavraham Zakein Ba Bayamim” to mean that Avraham was satiated with his days, that each day contained its garments of Mitzvos which Avraham had completed. The Zohar concludes: Woe onto the man who has decreased his days, as a day with a blemish is a day without a garment, as above in heaven they garb him in these garments.

The intent: The intent of the statement of the Zohar is as follows: After death, the souls which eventually make it to the garden of Eden receive their pleasure and reward from basking in the Ray of the Divine presence. Now, being that the soul is a limited creation, he cannot receive directly from the divine Ray without it being led to expiration and essential nonexistence. To prevent this from occurring, G-d created garments for the soul to protect it from the intensity of his Divine rays, and allow the souls to receive a measured experience of Divinity, which allow it to receive immense pleasure and at the same time retain its existence. What are these soul garments made of? The Mitzvos that one performs in this world. Every mitzvah that one performs becomes the garment for his soul in the garden of Eden. Now, every day of life in this physical world contains a special divine mission for one’s soul and if a vacation day was taken from one’s divine service and was absent of the fulfillment of Mitzvos, then that day is lacking its garment with which the soul is to be garbed in, in the garden of Eden. It does not suffice to simply do two Mitzvos the next day as a makeup, as every day has its specific required Mitzvos that cannot be made up. This then was the greatness of Avraham Avinu, that he did not lack even one day from his divine service and hence all of his garments were complete.    


The Divine lesson:

Never push off a mitzvah that you can do today for tomorrow. Every day of a Jew’s life has its intent and purpose in divine service, and that service is specific to that day.


2. Divinity cannot be comprehended in this world and can only be comprehended in the world to come:[1]

The ray of the Divine presence in the world to come is not similar at all to the revelation of G-dly energy within the worlds, as the G-dly energy within the world is not comprehended at all, while the divine presence shines and is comprehended by the souls and creations in the world. The divine energy that surrounds and enlivens the world while it may appear to be limited and construed to the limitations of the item that it is enlivening, in truth, the divine energy is infinite and incomprehensible, being infinitely above and beyond the limitations of its creation. Thus, while the divine energy within the worlds is too high to be comprehended, the divine Ray that shines within the garden of Eden is limited enough to be comprehensible. [The novelty of this statement in contrast to what is apparent from other areas of Chassidus, is that the Godliness that enlivens the worlds of Biyah remain infinite and incomprehensible in their essence, and it is only in the garden of Eden that comprehension of the essence of even a glimmer of godliness can begin.[2]] The reason that the divinity that is found in the world is too high for comprehension is because God enters his very essence into the divine ray that he shines, as the verse states “that I fill all the worlds,” which means that he lowers Himself into the divine ray to allow it to create the world, as will now be explained next that this is a trait of humility of God.


The Divine Lesson:

All over the world people are searching for godliness and spirituality, turning to various outlets of religion and spiritual enlightenment. These people world over are in the quest to find the divine much similar to an insect trying to reach the light of a star that he is attracted to, or to a lost man trying to find his home. Their goal is to immediately achieve that which they are searching for to bask in the divine, to experience G-d, and in the parable to find the star and settle on it and to find the lost home and live in it. The only problem is that the insect is too distanced from the star to ever be able to actually land on it, and the lost man is in a different continent than his lost home, and thus no matter how long he searches, and no matter how high the insect flies, he will never be able to reach his goal. Similarly, our quest for G-d will never be quenched in this physical world [until the future era] in the form of feeling the Divine and experiencing unity with it, as this type of experience is limited to the world to come and the garden of Eden which is where our souls will rest in the future, for those who merit. Our quest in this world must be to do everything right and correct according to G-d’s laws and instructions in order to merit to then have a ticket to enter the next world in which the experience of the divine becomes plausible and possible. To desert the G-d-given instructions of how man must live his life in this world due to his quest for feeling and experience of ecstasy of bonding with godliness, is both futile and deceiving as it is something that he will never truly achieve. He may deceit himself to believe that he is really experiencing it, although he will not experience it in truth. The point is, that those who feel an attraction to search for other pathways of spirituality outside of the Jewish religion, or even within the Jewish religion but outside of one’s intended mode of divine service, for the sake of feeling a little more spiritual and connected to God, are making a grave mistake if they chase after these futile directions as they will never truly quench their thirst. The only method to quench one’s thirst to feel and experience unity with God is to follow his instructions as written in the Torah, and in the future merit to experience divine unity. Compromising on Torah values and instructions that are given in Shulchan Aruch, and one’s intended mode of service, out of claim that one is searching for greater spiritual experience, while being a seemingly good intention will get one nowhere and will simply divert him from the path to truly reach his goal. It seems, that this was the mistake of many Jews who began their career in Orthodox Jewry and began making subtle diversions from Torah law and philosophy for the sake of quenching this thirst, but simply ended up flying further away from the star that they are trying to reach and the lost home that they are trying to find, as it can only be reached through obedience to the G-d-given instructions of His Torah and Shulchan Aruch. This does not mean that one should not try to feel any feeling of attachment and longing for G-d, which is actually a Torah obligation and command and is the purpose of the divine service of prayer, rather it simply means that he should not fool himself to think that what he is feeling is the true experience of divine unity and ecstasy, as this can only be achieved in the world to come.

3. The creation of the worlds is not G-d’s greatness, but His humility:[3]

The world tends to believe that the greatness of G-d is evident from the fact that He enlivens all the worlds and creates it. In truth, however, this is not a show of G-d’s greatness at all, but rather of his humility, that He is willing to demote Himself to the worlds and create and enliven them. Accordingly, the praise that we give G-d for creating the worlds is in truth not a praise of His greatness, but a praise of His great humility.


The Divine lesson:

Who is not astounded by the beauty of the world, upon seeing a glacier, or shooting star, or the view of a scope of mountains from a distance, or the study of plant or animal life? There is so much in our universe to be amazed by and taken aback by the great handiwork of G-d. Although, in truth, all this creation is a mere descent from G-d’s true essential greatness, and upon contemplating the beauty of G-d’s handiwork, one should come to an even greater realization of G-d’s greatness when all this is simply viewed as a demotion of His true state.   


4. Man’s seed derives from his brain:[4]

According to Kabalah and Chassidus, the seed of man [i.e. sperm] derives from the brain.[5] Now, the intent of this belief is not to say that the physical cells of the sperm derive from the brain, as if this were to be the case, then man’s brain would become physically deficient of cells each time he released seed.[6] Rather, the intent of this belief is to say that the brain creates a spiritual ball of energy which makes its way down to the testis’s through the spinal cord, and [once it enters the testis it] becomes developed and transformed to a physical sperm cell.


The Chassidic perspective on male reproduction:

The highest and greatest aspect contained within man is his intellect, which is housed in his brain cells. This is the advantage of man over animal, and this is what defines man as the species of “Midaber” as opposed to Chayah/animal or Tzomeiach/vegetative. Accordingly, in order for man to reproduce a child with this same human quality, the seed must derive from its highest aspect. Likewise, the soul powers are revealed and housed in the brain, and from it derives the spiritual energy to the rest of the body, which can then be transferred to a future child.



[1] Torah Or p. 16a; For more on this subject please refer to: Or Hatorah Bereishis 3 p. 530a, Devarim 6 p. 2230

[2] See Or Hatorah Devarim ibid that seemingly this novelty contradicts that which is explained in Likkutei Torah Vaeschanon 10b is a divine energy in Biyah is comprehensible

[3] Torah Or p. 16a

[4] Torah or p. 16a; See also Likkutei Torah Parshas Shelach

[5] Shelah Hakadosh Shaar Haosyos Erech Kedusha 400 and 430; Tanya Chapter 2 in length “The son is drawn from the brain of the father…from a drop in the brain of the father”; Torah Or Chayeh Sarah 2nd Mamar; Vayechi p. 210; Likkutei Torah Shelach p. 88; Matos p. 167; Shir Hashirim p. 16; Siddur Yaavetz Mosach Hashabbos Mitos Kesef 3:1 that when it is done with holiness it comes from the level of Daas and Bina, which is the brain

[6] Perhaps the intent of this statement is, that if sperm cells were reproduced in the brain, and are a form of brain cells, then ejaculation would cause there to be a lack of brain cells each time, until the brain reproduces those cells. However, elsewhere in Likkutei Torah Parshas Shelach, Admur states that the brain does not lose anything upon ejaculation despite that the drop of seed derives from it, being that the seed is a new reproduced cell which was added to the brain [and is not part of the natural physique of the brain]. This seemingly negates the need to novelize that the seed must be a spiritual energy derived from the brain, as even if it were to be a physical drop, it is reproduced and hence does not cause the brain any loss. Vetzaruch Iyun

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