A Torah that Unites with my Mind:
Paul and Tanya Sing the Same Song
James Scott Trimm
Romans 7:21 is a perfect example of a passage in which the original Aramaic makes Paul’s meaning clear, while the Greek translator totally lost Paul’s meaning.
The Greek text reads:
Εὑρίσκω ἄρα τὸν νόμον
τῷ θέλοντι ἐμοὶ ποιεῖν τὸ καλόν,
ὅτι ἐμοὶ τὸ κακὸν παράκειται.
Which the KJV translates:
I find then a law, that,
when I would do good,
evil is present with me.
(Rom. 7:21 KJV)
However the original Aramaic (as we read in the Peshitta) actually reads:
משכח אנא הכיל לנמוסא דשלם לרעיני
הו דצבא דנעבד טבתא
מטל דבישתא קריבא הי לי
Which I have translated in the Hebraic Roots Version:
I find, therefore, a Torah that unites with my mind,
which desires to do good,
whereas evil is near to me.
(Rom. 7:21 HRV)
The Greek translator omitted the words דשלם לרעיני “that unites with my mind” and in doing so, misses Paul’s meaning.
In the Aramaic Paul is teaching the same teaching we find in the Tanya (but centuries before the Tanya was written). As we read in Tanya:
For, when a person actively fulfils all the precepts which require physical action, and with his power of speech he occupies himself in expounding all the 613 commandments and their practical application, and with his power of thought he comprehends all that is comprehensible to him in the Pardes of the Torah— then the totality of the 613 “organs” of his soul are clothed in the 613 Commandments of the Torah.
Specifically: the faculties of ChaBaD (Wisdom, Understanding and Knowledge) in his soul are clothed in the comprehension of the Torah, which he comprehends in Pardes, to the extent of his mental capacity and the supernal root of his soul. And the middot, namely fear and love, together with their offshoots and ramifications, are clothed in the fulfilment of the commandments in deed and in word, namely, in the study of Torah which is “The equivalent of all the commandments.” For love is the root of all the 248 positive commands, all originating in it and having no true foundation without it, inasmuch as he who fulfils them in truth, truly loves the name of G-d and desires to cleave to Him in truth; for one cannot truly cleave to Him except through the fulfilment of the 248 commandments which are the 248 “Organs of the King,” as it were, as is explained elsewhere; whilst fear is the root of the 365 prohibitive commands, fearing to rebel against the Supreme King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He; or a still deeper fear than this— when he feels ashamed in the presence of the Divine greatness to rebel against His glory and do what is evil in His eyes, namely, any of the abominable things hated by G-d, which are the kelipot and sitra achra, which draw their nurture from man below and have their hold in him through the 365 prohibitive commands [that he violates].
(Tanya Likutei Amarim Chapter 4)
Now, when an intellect conceives and comprehends a concept with its intellectual faculties, this intellect grasps the concept and encompasses it. This concept is [in turn] grasped, enveloped and enclothed within that intellect which conceived and comprehended it.
The mind, for its part, is also clothed in the concept at the time it comprehends and grasps it with the intellect. For example, when a person understands and comprehends, fully and clearly, any halachah (law)…, his intellect grasps and encompasses it and, at the same time, is clothed in it. Consequently, as the particular halachah is the wisdom and will of G-d, … when a person knows and comprehends with his intellect such a verdict in accordance with the law … he has thus comprehended, grasped and encompassed with his intellect the will and wisdom of the Holy One, blessed be He, Whom no thought can grasp, nor His will and wisdom, except when they are clothed in the laws that have been set out for us. [Simultaneously] the intellect is also clothed in them [the Divine will and wisdom].
This is a wonderful union, like which there is none other, and which has no parallel anywhere in the material world, whereby complete oneness and unity, from every side and angle, could be attained.
Hence the special superiority, infinitely great and wonderful, that is in the commandment of knowing the Torah and comprehending it, over all the commandments involving action, and even those relating to speech, and even the commandment to study the Torah, which is fulfilled through speech. For, through all the commandments involving speech or action, the Holy One, blessed be He, clothes the soul and envelops it from head to foot with the Divine light. However, with regard to knowledge of the Torah, apart from the fact that the intellect is clothed in Divine wisdom, this Divine wisdom is also contained in it, to the extent that his intellect comprehends, grasps and encompasses, as much as it is able so to do, of the knowledge of the Torah, every man according to his intellect, his knowledgeable capacity, and his comprehension in Pardes.
Since, in the case of knowledge of the Torah, the Torah is clothed in the soul and intellect of a person, and is absorbed in them, it is called “bread” and “food” of the soul. For just as physical bread nourishes the body as it is absorbed internally, in his very inner self, where it is transformed into blood and flesh of his flesh, whereby he lives and exists— so, too, it is with the knowledge of the Torah and its comprehension by the soul of the person who studies it well, with a concentration of his intellect, until the Torah is absorbed by his intellect and is united with it and they become one. This becomes nourishment for the soul, and its inner life from the Giver of life, the blessed En Sof, Who is clothed in His wisdom and in His Torah that are [absorbed] in it [the soul].
This is the meaning of the verse, “Yea, Thy Torah is within my inward parts.”
(Tanya Likutei Amarim Chapter 5)
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