06 February 2008

Torah Determines Reality

HaGaon HaRav Tzadok HaKohen of Lublin zt"l writes: "The Torah is the map of the world and so is Yisroel since they and the Torah are one. The illumination of Jewish souls is the illumination of the Torah, as it is said that Yisroel is an acrostic: Yesh Shishim Riboh Osios LaTorah (there are six hundred thousand letters to the Torah).
The Jews in each generation, therefore, comprise the current map of the world.
New phenomena in the Jewish nation in any generation will create corresponding new phenomena in the structure of the world."
This idea is not solely a Chassidic one. HaGaon HaRav Eliyahu Meir Bloch zt"l (Shiurei Da'as, "Darka shel Torah", chap. 5) writes: "When the Torah was given to Yisroel, the characteristics of its nature were imparted to the Torah Sages. They, through their thought, determine the characteristics of nature, which follows the logic and secrets of their Torah. They decide the reality of Torah, and the reality of the Creation linked to the Torah." What is the cause, and what is the effect? The cause is not reality, which demands the effect of figuring out relevant Halachos. On the contrary, the cause is Halacha, and the effect is the reality of the world.

Reb Tzadok states: "When one is mechadesh a matter in Torah, one must not do so with any negi'a [vested personal interest] in his heart, i.e., that he wants the matter turn out so, for the sake of his pride, or to argue on another, etc. One's chiddush must stem solely from one's yearning to know the truth. If a person follows these guidelines, even if he makes a mistake his words are words of Torah and Divrei Elokim Chaim."
Only people whose thoughts and conclusions meet certain criteria are qualified to create divrei Elokim chaim. If these criteria are met, however, even a mistake (in Talmudic terms, a hava amina) can be considered divrei Elokim chaim!"

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