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Pirkei Avot 6:1: Toledot Yaakov Yosef: For The Sake Of The Letters Print E-mail

Pirkei AvosRabbi Meir said: “Whoever occupies himself with Torah for its own sake merits many things... It prepares him to become just, pious, upright, and faithful (Avot 6:1).” I heard from my teacher in the name of the Ramban, who reportedly said to his son that he would sensed immediately that his study of Torah is for its own sake, if he is overcome with fear and love of God; then he will know assuredly that his Torah ascends before God and is acceptable to Him.


Everything in nature, whether small or large, was created through the letters of the “231 Gates,” as is well known from the Book of Creation. Because of his sins, however, man deposes the sacred souls, which are the holy letters, from their vital source to the realm of the Kelipot, Heaven forbid, either into the mineral or other non-human domains, and so on.

When man corrects his deeds and studies the Torah for its own sake, for the sake of that certain letter that he has debased, he repairs the damage. By engaging in study with awe and love, meditating on the elevation of the letter, which is a soul, from the realm of the Kelipot, he may bring about its re-ascension and reattachment to its source.

Now, from the place of the Kelipot up to the supernal heavenly realm where the letters are rooted, there are myriads of levels. Thus, in the process of ascension generated by his study, all levels lying in between, whose source in existence is derived from that letter, are elevated as well unto their highest roots.

“Whosoever is occupied with the Torah for its own sake merits many things,” for indeed, “many things” are done with this letter, and all of them are repaired and elevated, each to its root, described as “beloved, a lover of the All Present, a lover of mankind.” (Toledot Yaakov Yosef; Acharei Mot)

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