Monday, December 11, 2006

Bahir Verse 186

We reside within the inner chamber now in all of our explanations. The meanings have been explained in terms of substitution of symbol for word and visa versa. More of the same follows here,

186. What is the meaning of the verse (Job 15:2), "Should a wise man answer knowledge of spirit?" What is "knowledge of spirit"? This is the Knowledge that is close to the spirit. Regarding this it is written (Isaiah 11:2) , "And there will rest upon him a spirit of God, a spirit of wisdom and understanding, [a spirit of counsel and strength, a spirit of knowledge and the fear of God]." [First comes] Wisdom, and then comes Understanding. And in Understanding is "counsel, strength, knowledge and the fear of God." But you told us that "counsel" is deeds of Kindness, and that Understanding is the Attribute of Justice. [One is above the other.] Knowledge is Truth. Knowledge is therefore that with which one recognises the truth. "The fear of God" is the Treasury of the Torah . This is like I say, but one is above the other. Rabbi Akiba thus said: With whatever God created, He created its counterpart. It is thus written (Ecclesiates 7:14) , "Also one opposite the other has God made." What is the Treasury of the Torah? It is that regarding which it is written (Isaiah 33:6), "The fear of God is His treasury." A person must first be god-fearing, and then he can study Torah. This is like a person who comes to buy date honey but does not bring a vessel in which to carry it. He says, "I will carry it in my bosom." He tries to carry it in his bosom but it was very heavy, and he is also afraid that it will tear and soil his clothing. He therefore throws it away on the road. This person is then punished twice. First because he ruined good food, and second because he wasted his money.

Commentary: This time we'll work our way out from the middle of this verse. 'One above the other.' This is referring to Chokmah-Wisdom which is above the other Gevurah-Justice. The one opposite the other is Chesed referred to here as Kindness which is opposite Gevurah and is the counterpart of Gevurah. The full verse from Isaiah 11:2 reads

2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.

The spirit of wisdom is Chokmah, of understanding Binah, of Counsel Etzah which refers to Chesed according to the deeds of kindness mentioned, of knowledge Daat and VaYiras YHVH or fear of the Lord. YHVH refers to Tiphereth.This verse is central to the understanding of what surrounds it in Verse 186. Let's place the two of these together, fear of G-d and Treasury of Torah. Tiphereth is the central nexus of Torah. It is where thought is transformed both on its way coming from the inspiration of the upper Sephiroth and where ideation, the promulgation of experience is then reinforced and transcended coming from the lower Sephiroth in their return journey through Tipheth to the upper Sephiroth.

What does it mean that a person must first be God fearing in order to study Torah? A person must accept within himself the totality of the presence of G-d within so that wherever he looks in contemplation G-d is where his thoughts are directed to. So it is true with Torah Study. When we study Torah for its own sake our thoughts are directed towards G-d and the mystery that this represents. We find throughout the Torah open doors leading our awareness into greater depths of understanding continuing in this way the process of "let there be light" that comes from the infusion of Wisdom into Understanding. Then Binah may flow forth in its element with the realization of unity that comes from the connection between a thought and its expression. The verse above talks about the vessel required for the date honey. The vessel in this case is 'fear of G-d' or the awareness of the awesome nature of what we are studying so that when we do read Torah we go inside of its outward appearance and penetrate to these inner chambers of wisdom found there only because we started out with this 'fear of G-d.' First there is the question and out of this question an answer is formed which in the case of Torah is infinite in its expression. This teaches us that our own thoughts when directed towards the questions of our lives will find too that infinite expression which increases understanding and travels along the pathways built by the Shekinah. It is better not to study Torah at all if we do not first accept upon ourselves the awareness of G-d and then seek this awareness everywhere we look inside of Torah.

Torah study then leads to a knowledge of spirit. What is this knowledge of spirit? It a conscious choice that we make to discover the hidden meanings that will then be absorbed into our being. What is absorbed is this knowledge of the spirit. It is the inner voice that once awakened serves to guide you in all of your travels. It awakens because of our questions and 'fear of G-d' and we continue to evolve this voice of the most high is readily accessible in our thoughts and feelings as the two become one. Then we experience the operation of the Shekinah opening doors within and connecting us with the all encompassing that surrounds us.


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