Rabbi Yedidya Noiman
Rosh Kollel Montreal
The Deep Meaning of Creation
The Gemara in Sanhedrin (97b) teaches us the special importance of the reception of the Torah (Matan Torah). ‘Tana DeVei Eliyahu: The world will exist 6000 years- two thousand of chaos, two thousand of Torah and two thousand of Mashiach’. It seems that in this statement Chazal revealed an important idea about the Torah.
One could see the Torah as an external addition to our world. We all have our natural and good lives and then comes the Torah and limits us with rules and restrictions. This kind of Torah will cause a very bad feeling. Nobody wants to feel pressured or forced into a penalty box concept. There is no reason for one to willingly shrink himself into a system that only burdens him.
That is why the Gemara above can revolutionize the way we understand our life and our connection to the Torah. The Gemara teaches us that the Torah isn’t an additional application to an already perfect world that we are supposed to embrace. The opposite is correct – without the Torah the world is in chaos. Only after we receive the Torah can the world become balanced and secure. The Torah is the true and inner purpose of the world and only after receiving it can we start to walk on that natural path. Now we can relate to the Torah on a different note. The Torah is the deep tempo and power of the world. By connecting to it we connect to our simple and natural existence which is usually hidden within the chaos of our minds.
The Maharal said that the Torah is ‘Seder Haolam’, the order of the world. The Torah is what connects and organizes all the different components of the creation into one defined harmony. The Torah is what gathers everything to one holistic unity and without it the whole world will split apart to a big chaotic mess.
If we take one step further we can say that Matan Torah is the moment our relationship with Hashem and his Torah changed forever. From that moment on the world can finally learn about and understand the purpose of the creation. By learning and practicing the Torah and the mitzvot we can get a better understanding and even become partners in the tremendous mission of the world.
Fulfilling Hashem’s will in the world is now possible, since we have something that expresses his will perfectly – the Torah. That might be the deep explanation to a very interesting Midrash in our Parasha. Chazal said that interprets the word 'אנכי' from the first commandment as an acronym in Aramaic meaning 'אנא נפשי כתבית יהבית' meaning: I, G-d have written my soul and gave it to you.
When dealing with the Torah we are dealing with pure Godliness and this attitude should reflect on the way we approach it. The term ‘Torah Lishma’ comes from that understanding; that one should deal with the Torah only from a free-interest approach. No intrigues can be involved and when learning one should focus only on the sake of revealing Hashem’s name in this world and fulfilling His will.
This is the essence of Shavuot – understanding the critical turning point of Matan Torah. Now that we received the Torah we can finally relate and connect to Hashem, and therefore we shall treat the Torah in that manner by seeking to connect to Hashem’s will whenever we learn or practice it.