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Shabbat Parashat Vaeira 5780

Ein Ayah: Necessary Opposition to the Torah

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 9:107)

Gemara: When Moshe came down from before Hashem [after receiving the Torah], the Satan came and said before Him: “Master of the Universe, where is the Torah?” He said: “I gave it to the land.”    


Ein Ayah: The existence of all of the systems of the world must be opposed by a power that seeks to wear it out and destroy it. Through that, there is tension, which causes the energy of those elements that want a proper world to deal with the challenge. The positive powers thus build, improve, and elevate and overcome the challenge.

Before the Torah was given, the revelation of the word of Hashem was clear and set. His word was complete, and there was an explicit lofty light. Therefore, the opposing and destroying power would proliferate in the spiritual elements, in the realms of the philosophical and intellectual and their related desires. The hidden power of good, existence, and the desire to build the world would wage battle against all of the points at which the power of destruction tried to exercise its attempts at damage.

Once the Torah was given, the storage house of life and goodness gathered into one place. The thought process and lofty light which emanated from the foundation of the edifice of the world and from the totality of existence became centralized in a way that the power of evil and destruction were not intermingled.

For that reason, the Satan started out on a journey to look where the Torah had gone. Where could there be a storage house of life and goodness upon whose word the world could improve without the need for a power of opposition and negation but just based on the desire to build and be spiritually complete itself? The power of destruction, though, could not believe that there could be building in the world without its consistent attempts at opposition. Therefore, the Satan demanded an answer: “Where is the Torah?”

Hashem answered: “I gave it to the land.” In other words, it is enough that there just be the weaker power of connection to the physical land, to which change and slippage are always connected, to awaken the desire of goodness and light. This creates a foundation of life and the prevailing of existence, so that it can be elevated from the natural tendency toward destruction and raise it to the peaks of eternity and lofty grandeur. It does not need an external intervention of void and destruction to prod it toward the positive. That is the reason that the Satan had no contact in the Torah or influence regarding its content. The Torah is in this way a “locked garden” and a “sealed wellspring” (see Shir Hashirim 4:12). It is protected from foreigners, as the pasuk says: “The leg of the haughty should not come to me, and the hand of the evil should not move me from my place” (Tehillim 36:12).
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