July 8, 2017
by Rabbi Mendel Kessin
Synopsis is not necesarrily in Rabbi Kessin's own words
If we all have one Torah, why do we have different traditions and cultures?
The Significance of Torah
- Many ideas discussed during this year’s shiur on the Ramchal’s Yahrtzeit (View Here)
- Main idea is that torah is connected to the highest sefirah – kesser – and draws down shefa from it.
- Kesser is the root of all other sefiros, which is why learning torah is kneged kulam – considered as if one did all of the mitzvos.
- Will now discuss another idea
7 Sefiros and 70 Sub-sefiros
- In order to facilitate an environment where tikun was necessary, a spiritual vessel containing nitzotzos hakedusha was broken, scattering the nitzotzos throughout the world.
- Each nitzotz was connected to a sefirah – one of the forces Hashem created and used to create the 5 Levels of reality:
- Olam Haba
- The 10 sefiros are:
- Each sefirah is made up of 10 sub-sefiros which mirror the primary set
- The first 3 sefiros of the primary set (the rishonim) activated and influence Olam Haba
- Tikun is accomplished with relation to the latter 7 sefiros (the tachtonim) which activated and influence Olam Hazeh
- Thus there are 70 sefiros that relate to tikun olam.
- This can be likened to a diamond with 70 facets – each giving off a different perspective of the diamond and the light it reflects. So too each sub-sefirah gives a different insight to the briyah
- Chazal say that there are 70 facets to Torah
- There were 70 members of the Sanhedrin
The 70 Nations
- Adam Harishon was tasked with collecting and elevating these nitzotzos by doing Hashem’s will, thereby causing the connected sefiros to produce shefa which is mesaken reality, elevating it until it is transformed into Olam Habah
- When Adam Harishon did the chet, the task was split among his descendants.
- The 70 people listed as his descendants were tasked with being mesaken one sub-sefirah, and were therefore connected with that sub-sefirah
- These 70 people were the root of the 70 nations.
- The multitude of nations today all stem from these 70 nations.
The Jews Assume the Entire Task
- When the 70 fledgling nations failed to do the tikun, the entire task was given to Avraham Avinu and his descendants
- The 70 nations still maintained their connection to their sefirah even while they lost the ability to do tikun. The sefirah manifests now only as their unique language and culture
- Jews then needed to wander or spread out, adapting the culture of their host and using it for Hashem’s will. This would elevate the nitzotz residing in that nation and culture.
- The nations have since gathered under 2 prime leading nations – Edom (mainly European culture) and Yishmael (Arabic culture).
- The Jewish analogue to these 2 groups is Ashkenazic (European) and Sefardic (Arabic)
- As we approach Mashiach most of the the nitzotzos have already been elevated. This may be manifested in the modern blending of the 2 cultures in modern Jewery.
- Sefirah – Primal force or attribute created by Hashem and used by Him to create reality
- Nitzotz / Nitzotzos – Spark / Sparks
- Kneged kulam – like all of them together
- Hakedusha – Of holiness
- Olam Haba – The World to Come
- Olam Hazeh – This World
- Adam Harishon – Adam the First One
- Tikun – Repair
- Olam – The world
- Chazal – Acronym for Chachameinu Zichronam Livracha – Our wise men of blessed memory
- Mesaken – The act of repair
- Avraham Avinu – Our Patriarch Abraham
- Edom – The descendants of Esau
- Yishmael – (The descendants of) Ismael