The Torah and our Joy in Messiah
James Scott Trimm
(Continued from Part 1)
The Torah is YHWH
Now if the Messiah is the Torah and the Messiah is YHWH then it would also follow that YHWH and the Torah are one. And in fact the Tanya does teach that the Torah and YHWH are one:
…the Torah and the Holy One, blessed be He, are one. The meaning of this is that the Torah, which is the wisdom and will of the Holy One, blessed be He, and His glorious Essence are one, since He is both the Knower and the Knowledge,…
(Tanya Chapter 4)
Because the Torah is the very expression of the mind of YHWH as the Tanya also says:
For the Holy One, blessed be He, has compressed His will and wisdom within the 613 commandments of the Torah, and in their laws, as well as within the combination of the letters of the Torah, the books of the Prophets and the Hagiographa, and in the exposition thereof which are to be found in the Agadot and Midrashim of our Rabbis of blessed memory.
(Tanya Chapter 4)
The Torah in your Heart
So what does it mean to have the Torah in our hearts?
The soul of man has two major parts, the mind (sechel) and the emotions (middot) as we read in the Tanya:
Similarly is it with the human soul, which is divided in two— sechel (intellect) and middot (emotional attributes). The intellect includes chochmah, binah and da at (ChaBaD), whilst the middot are love of G-d, dread and awe of Him, glorification of Him, and so forth. ChaBaD [the intellectual faculties] are called “mothers” and source of the middot, for the latter are “offspring” of the former.
(Tanya Chapter 3)
And as we read in 4th Maccabees:
1:13 The question therefore is this: If the mind is sovereign over emotion.
1:14 But you may ask: What is the mind? And what is emotion? And what are the kinds of emotion? And is the mind sovereign over all of them?
1:15 The mind therefore is thus: That in uprightness we choose the life of wisdom.
1:16 Now wisdom is knowledge of the hosts, of the Godhead, and of manhood and of their effects.
1:17 Now this is the discipline that is in the Torah, that through it also you learn of the Godhead greatly and of manhood to our advantage and obtaining favor.
1:18 Now the forms of wisdom are these: prudence, righteousness, [courage] and temperance.
1:19 Now the head of all of them is prudence because through it the mind rules over all emotions.
(4Macc. 1:13-19 HRV)
The Torah is the Wisdom of YHWH. When we receive a precept of the Torah as Wisdom and then we subject that precept of Torah to Understanding, exploring every nuance to the best of our intellectual ability, this results in Knowledge, in that the given precept of the Torah become part of our own Knowledge and thinking. As we read in the Tanya:
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) in the Mishnah or Gemara, 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, for it was His will that when, for example, Reuben pleads in one way and Simeon in another, the verdict as between them shall be thus and thus; and even should such a litigation never have occurred, nor would it ever present itself for judgment in connection with such disputes and claims, nevertheless, since it has been the will and wisdom of the Holy One, blessed be He, that in the event of a person pleading this way and the other [litigant] pleading that way, the verdict shall be such and such— now therefore, when a person knows and comprehends with his intellect such a verdict in accordance with the law as it is set out in the Mishnah, Gemara, or Posekim (Codes), 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.
(Tanya Chapter 5)
Wisdom and Understanding come together in Knowledge (Da’at) just as Adam knew Eve and brought forth seed. As we read in the Tanya:
Da’at, the etymology of which is to be found in the verse:
“And Adam knew (yada) Eve,” implies attachment and union.
(Tanya Chapter 3)
Thus when we receive the Wisdom of Torah and Understand the Torah and the Torah becomes part of our own minds, we have the mind of Messiah which is the mind of YHWH, as Paul writes:
For who knows the mind of YHWH that he might instruct Him?
But we have the mind of the Messiah.
(1Cor. 2:16 HRV)
Moreover we read in the Tanya:
The Tanya teaches:
So, allegorically speaking, have the souls of Jews risen in the [Divine] thought, as it is written, “My firstborn son is Israel,” (Ex. 4:22) and “Ye are children unto the YHWH your Elohim” (Deut. 14:1). That is to say, just as a child is derived from his father’s brain, so— to use an anthropomorphism— the soul of each Israelite is derived from Elohim’s (blessed be He) thought and wisdom.
(Tanya; Likutei Amarim; Chapter 2)
This passage draws from two Torah passages:
Then you shall say to Pharaoh,
“Thus says YHWH:
‘Israel is my first-born son.
I have said to you, ‘Let My son go,
That he may worship Me,’
Yet you refuse to let him go.
Now I will slay your first-born son.’”
(Sh’mot (Ex.) 4:22-23 HRV)
You are the children of YHWH your Elohim.
You shall not cut yourselves,
nor make any baldness between your eyes, for the dead.
(Deut. 14:1 HRV))
And again as we read in Hosea 11:1
When Yisra’el was a child, then I loved him:
and out of Egypt I called My son.
(Hosea 11:1 HRV)
Now Matthew quotes this verse in reference to the Messiah (Matt. 2:15) just as the Tanya says it is an allegory of the knowledge of Torah within us, because the Torah is the mind of Messiah within us, and the “son” here” is the Middle Pillar of the Godhead, which is not only Knowledge, but is also the “Son of Yah” as we read in the Zohar earlier.
Thus we have the Messiah within us, because the Messiah is the sum of the Torah and the Torah is the mind of YHWH.
As we read in the Talmud:
The Holy One, blessed be He, speak unto Israel:
“My children! I have created the yetzer hara
and I have created the Torah as its antidote”
Moreover Torah study and observance not only plants Messiah brings forth the offspring of emotions (the middot) within us. As we read in the Tanya:
Da’at (knowledge), the etymology of which is to be found in the verse: “And Adam knew (yada) Eve,” implies attachment and union. That is, one binds his mind with a very firm and strong bond to, and firmly fixes his thought on, the greatness of the blessed En sof, without diverting his mind [from Him]. For even one who is wise and
understanding of the greatness of the blessed En Sof, will not— unless he binds his knowledge and fixes his thought with firmness and perseverence— produce in his soul true love and fear, but only vain fancies. Therefore da’at is the basis of the middot and the source of their vitality; it contains chesed and gevurah, that is to say, love with its offshoots and fear with its offshoots.
(Tanya Chapter 3)
Specifically: the faculties of ChaBaD 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 Chapter 4)
Thus when we have the Torah, the mind of Messiah within us, we have an outpouring of joy that others cannot comprehend.
The Baal Shem Tov was once asked: “Why is it that chassidim burst into song and dance at the slightest provocation? Is this the behavior of a healthy, sane individual?”
The Baal Shem Tov responded with a story:
Once, a musician came to town—a musician of great but unknown talent. He stood on a street corner and began to play.
Those who stopped to listen could not tear themselves away, and soon a large crowd stood enthralled by the glorious music whose equal they had never heard. Before long they were moving to its rhythm, and the entire street was transformed into a dancing mass of humanity.
A deaf man walking by wondered: Has the world gone mad? Why are the townspeople jumping up and down, waving their arms and turning in circles in middle of the street?
“Chassidim,” concluded the Baal Shem Tov, “are moved by the melody that issues forth from every creature in Elohim’s creation. If this makes them appear mad to those with less sensitive ears, should they therefore cease to dance?”
We as Nazarenes dance with the joy of Messiah within us, though our joy may seem irrational to those who do not have Understanding, we have the mind of Messiah bringing forth joy within us!
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