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Shabbat Parashat Matot Masei 5778

Ein Ayah: Energy for Torah Study

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 6:71)

Gemara: That which it says in the pasuk (Kohelet 11:9), “Be happy, young man, in your childhood, and let your heart make you feel good while you are single, and follow the paths of your heart and that which your eyes see” – until this point the pasuk is referring to Torah study. “… and know that Hashem will bring you to justice for all of these” (ibid.) – from this point on, it is referring to righteous actions.


Ein Ayah: In essence, there is no bad among all of life’s inclinations. All of their healthy expansions are for good purposes, just like they spread out in the spirit in regard to matters of the material world and the spiritual world. We all wait for times in which the inclinations will not need to be stopped, as all will be directed toward the proper goal which they were created to enable.

However, at this point, the world has not yet come to that level of perfection. In these times, when the physical and spiritual inclinations spread out from their pure state, they miss the mark, and therefore they need to be checked by the Torah and the intellect. However, the internal force within a person’s spirit, which can eventually make all the extensions of his inclinations end up being for the loftiest goals, requires that man will reach this level in his intellect before it becomes part of his nature. For that reason, a person’s analytical thoughts and emotions have to develop broadly so that he can use them to reach the highest levels that a man can reach.

This is referred to as the Torah of the person’s youthful period, when he is freest and follows his eyes and his heart. Indeed, from the perspective of the Torah, the person is already ready for an ideal life. It is just that this high level of Torah has not yet been deeply enough rooted in his heart with all its power, and his heart of stone has not yet been turned into a heart of flesh.

For that reason, practical ethics need to have a more limited scope. The person must be reminded of the truth that Hashem will reckon with everyone and hold them responsible for their corrupt and evil ways, which can be brought about by the freeness of a person’s youth and the exposure to a variety of things that his eyes perceive.

This is only in regard to practical life, which follows the way matters are in the present. In that realm, his inclinations can take him to horrible places. However, while one is involved in Torah study, he is elevated to a world that is all good, and the light of Hashem that will exist in the ideal future throughout the world will already show its aura to each person according to his value and his preparation to receive this light of Torah. That is why the intellectual inclinations, which analyze everything within the prism of Torah, have to remain at their broadest. In that realm he will be able to grasp the ways of Hashem in the depths of his own spirit, and through that gaze into a world that is full of grandeur.
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