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Shabbat Parashat Chayei Sara 5780

Ein Ayah: Light Translated for Different Nations

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 9:84)

Gemara: R. Yochanan said: The pasuk (Tehillim 68:12), “Hashem will give a statement that informs a great collection of people,” teaches the following: Every commandment that came from the “mouth” of Hashem was divided into 70 languages. [A similar statement of Chazal is that there are 70 facets to every teaching of Torah (Bamidbar Rabba 13:16).]


Ein Ayah: The general power to give instruction to the whole world, with differences existing according to the characteristics of each nation and language, is included in the sacred revelation of the Divine Presence, which occurred at the giving of the Torah to Israel. The entire world became prepared to receive this new light, including the light of holy life and sacred guidance, in a way that was impossible before the lofty light of the perfect Torah was given. 

We learn from this that in the lofty power of the Divine [to command mankind], which rules over all the nations, there is a hidden element of recognition of wisdom that can be imparted to the nations according to their different characteristics. This special ability is not just an outgrowth of the general light of the Torah, but rather it is connected to every single commandment.

This is indicated in the words, “Hashem will give a statement…” Every statement is full of great lights and colors, which each nation can absorb. This gives great power, which comes from the divine revelation, which is lit by the sanctity of the Torah. This allows various groups to be spiritually sustained by it.


Positive and Negative “Drugs”

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 9:86)


Gemara: The pasuk (Mishlei 8:6) says: “Listen as rulers I speak.” Why are the words of Torah compared to a ruler. Just as a ruler has the ability to kill or to grant life, so too the words of Torah have the ability to kill or to bring life. It is as Rava said: For those who take the correct approach to Torah, it is a drug of life; for those who take the wrong approach to it, it is a drug of death.


Ein Ayah: Every great spiritual vision that comes upon a person increases the scope of his spirit proportionally to the greatness of the vision. If it is adorned with sanctity, the power of life within him can be very strong and can impact all of the person’s spiritual powers. This applies to his most elevated, internal elements, indeed to all of his natural life functions. However, whether these powers will end up being for the person’s betterment or downfall depends on the internal desires of he who is exposed to them. Is he leaning toward fortunate and good things or to weakness and evil?

Dominion is by its nature the power of life that is concentrated in one individual from within a large group. When it clings to one who uses the dominion with a blessed spirit, full with righteous behavior, fear of G-d, and love of his fellow human being, it creates happy lives for all around him and lets all good things be maximized. When it clings to a haughty person, the dominion turns into a destructive force, which can cause spiritual or physical death.

This is not only true of national dominion but of personal one as well. The light of sanctity within the Torah impacts the individual’s spirit significantly, as it does for society. The life forces created by the Torah can be used for life or death. Those who approach Torah in a manner that is spiritually responsible, following its instructions properly, experience a drug of life. If one just uses it to receive power, it turns into a drug of death which is better to be avoided altogether.
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