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Shabbat Parashat Beshalach 5780

Ein Ayah: The Least Individualistic Individual

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 9:117-118)

Gemara: [We saw last time that Hashem sent the Satan to Moshe when the former was looking for the Torah in the land. Moshe had said that he was not fit to have it, and Hashem had seemed upset with Moshe’s “untruthful” answer.] Moshe said: “Master of the Universe, You have a hidden, desired treasure, with which You enjoy yourself every day; I should take credit for myself [in its regard]?!” Hashem said to Moshe: “Since you reduced your [importance in reference to your connection to the Torah], it will be called on your name, as the pasuk says: ‘Remember the Torah of my servant Moshe’ (Malachi 3:22).”


Ein Ayah: It is impossible for the spiritual eye of a creation to reach to the depths of the hidden part of the most desired thing in the world (the Torah). The fact that it is so desired and the fact that it is so hidden are connected, because all of this upper light is above the human ability to recognize and above all wisdom and cleverness to fully grasp. This desired thing must be hidden because it relates only to godly matters; it is all-inclusive and the source of all. Because of the depth of its being hidden, it has no relationship with that which is limited, by nature of it being a created thing and lacking in recognition.  

However, there is also an element that the delving into the ideals behind the Torah is a “pastime” of Hashem, which connects it to the seal of the ultimate goal of the goodness that is hidden away. This, in turn, is connected to the highest element of the content of all of existence from beginning to end. From this perspective, there is an element of revelation of [divine matters] that can be recognized by means of the special light that makes up the Torah.

Since that which makes the Torah so unfathomably special and so critical in the cosmic sacred realm is so hidden, Moshe did not feel that he was able to take credit for having any part of individual connection, as individualism is a limiting factor, [which is so antithetical to the limitless element at the heart of the Torah].

Indeed, since the Torah is so all-encompassing and able to light up every element of existence, the ability to recognize it as relating to someone or something must be beyond the individual in the classic sense. Therefore, when it comes to its connection to people, the only type of person who can be closely related to Torah is one who has the highest level of humility. This was the level that Moshe, the man of G-d, to whom the Torah was to be given, reached. In that way, his individualism was already nullified because of the glow of the lofty and powerful.

On the other hand, if there were not an element of individualism, there could be no recognition of the Torah in the world of humans, and the Torah would remain unrevealed. That is why it has to be related to a special gift of humility so that just as the person limits his individuality, so he is able to be a conduit for the limiting of the Torah by bringing it into this world. That is the reason that the fact that Moshe limited himself by denying that he was capable of being a true conduit actually made him fit to have the Torah called after him, “the Torah of Moshe.”
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