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Shabbat Parashat Shelach 5778

Ein Ayah: Ones Grasp of Torah within the Realm of Various Grasps

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 6:59)

Gemara: Two talmidei chachamim (Torah scholars) who discuss together matters of Halacha in a calm manner, Hashem listens to them, as it says: “Then the fearers of Hashem had speech (nidberu) one with his friend, and Hashem listened and heard” (Malachi 3:16). “Dibur” refers to calmness, as the pasuk says “He will remove the resistance of nations beneath you” (Tehillim 47:4). 


Ein Ayah: There are various levels of intellectual/spiritual understanding. The higher level, which is the most elevated goal of all human endeavor in general and, specifically, all matters of spirituality, is such that all the “branches” of details and details of details stem from it. The details then proceed to develop in a manner that they become complicated and can even change according to the viewpoint of each one of the people who are occupied in the process of using them to broaden their spirituality.

Since there is a divergence between people’s grasp of the concepts, and one is often contradictory to the other, resistance of one outlook to another is naturally created. However, the intellectual resistance and the opposite ways of understanding are themselves part of the divine “listening,” which is all-embracing. The divine source that finds expression in all the individual elements of Torah and wisdom lends itself to be received differently by different receivers.

Therefore, to the degree that the broad divine light dwells in the hearts of those who delve into the branches that emanate from it, so will there develop more willingness to relate positively to different and even opposing outlooks to one’s own. He will know how to use elements of ideas that are at first glance contradictory in order to come to a broader divine light, which is hidden amongst all the various details.

It is not just that the ability and willingness to listen calmly to ideas that are distant from one’s own views when one seeks Torah truth comes from the impactful divine light. The impact of succeeding in using this divine step actually increases the lofty spirit so that it can turn into a pleasant moral norm. The phenomenon of talmidei chachamim discussing things in a calm manner flows from a peace that is of divine origin, as Hashem himself is called Shalom (Vayikra Rabba 9:9). This peace flows over all the details of Torah and Halacha, which are expressed in different ways that fit the spirit of each individual. Actually, they are only sparks of the “great torch” of the “soul of Hashem,” which shines light in many different spiritual manifestations with different shades. The habit of being receptive to others’ ideas prepares a person to be able to listen to lofty things, which are actually greater than the personal specific outlook of one who is dissecting the details of a halacha.

As the gemara says, since they discuss matters calmly, Hashem listens to them. In fact, the light of Hashem will fill the chambers of their hearts and open up broad gateways of tranquility. This will enable them to receive different types of light and unite them in a pleasant spiritual package that comes from the glow of divine wisdom and a “storehouse of light,” from Hashem who lives forever. 

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