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Shabbat Parashat Bereishit 5780

Ein Ayah: Natural Preparation to Do

(adapted from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 9:76)

Gemara: Rabbi Eliezer said: At the moment that Israel answered “na’aseh [we will do]” before “nishmah [we will hear],” a heavenly voice emerged, saying to them: “Who revealed to my sons this secret that the angels use, as the pasuk says: ‘Bless Hashem, o angels, beings of great strength, who do His word to listen to the voice of His word’ (Tehillim 103:20)” – first it says “who do,” and subsequently it says “to listen.”


Ein Ayah: Everything that is not natural needs to first be learned, and then one can be in a position to carry it out. However, that for which one has a total preparation does not need a prior stage of learning. Rather, from the beginning, one flows straight into the fulfillment. If the natural content has elements of loftiness and fineness, it reaches that level of elevation and fineness by developing it based on the very natural spiritual offshoots of his actions.  

Even though fulfilling the Torah, studying it, and having it proliferate are things that depend on one’s preparation, that relates to the level of specific achievements he attains in these regards. However, regarding the eternal essence and basic form of the Torah, whether its study (the connection of the soul to the form of the Torah) or its fulfillment (imagining life according to the guidance that it provides), the Torah is naturally fit for Israel.

It is the same with the angels, who are created to naturally do the actions in the manner that they do. This is the manner of their service and their intellect. The angels do not need to be taught first how to carry out their charge, as their natural spirituality prepares them to act in the manner that is expected of them. As a result, they become strengthened when they bring to actuality the actions that were embedded in their essential character. That which is added on from the proliferation that comes about through the actions is to be compared to the listening that takes place after the actions. This is a revelation of that which had been within them in potential.

Just as this happens for angels, it was revealed about Israel, as they became elevated by the awe-inspiring divine revelation at Mt. Sinai. It became clear that the entire Torah is not something that is acquired externally, so that it must be methodically learned first until they are ready for it. Rather, it is part of the nature of Israel’s souls, and they have the power to flow naturally to fulfill the Torah and complete their internal being.

The fact that there needs to be study in order to become proficient is something external. In fact, the power of listening to the words of Hashem is an ever-growing progression that comes from the wellspring of their souls, which become revealed specifically through actions that fill the person’s insides.

It is unprecedented in human history that there is a nation whose whole constituency was prepared for spiritual completion. This is generally a level reserved for angels, who are infused with spirituality. However even for them, it is able to develop like a wellspring.  “Bless Hashem, o angels, beings of great strength, who do His word to listen to the voice of His word” (Tehillim 103:20)” – first it says “who do,” and subsequently it says “to listen.”

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