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Acquiring Torah 37: Derech Eitz haChaim III:

Furthermore, the Torah has been accurately and aptly compared to fire. Consider a coal that is not burning and the flame is hidden and closed inside. When someone blows on it, it spreads and flares and expands. Within this flame there are many different colors, which were not initially apparent; nevertheless, everything is coming from the coal.


So too with this Torah that is before us. Every one of her words and letters are like a coal. When one sets them out as they are, they appear like dim coals. If an individual endeavors to study her, then from each letter a great flame bursts forth, filled with many colors. These are the dat that are hidden in each letter.

This was already explained in the Zohar concerning the aleph-bet. This is not an analogy, but literally something that is indeed essential, for all the letters that we see in the Torah correspond to the twenty-two lights that exist above.

These supernal lights shine on the letters. From here it is derived the holiness of the Torah, the Torah scrolls, the Tefillin, Mezuzot and all sacred writings.

According to the sanctity with which they were written, so too will grow the Divine Inspiration and Illumination of these lights on the letters.

Therefore a Torah scroll that has only one mistake is totally invalidated for there is not the appropriate illumination by reading from it, from which will flow sanctity to the nation.

To return to the subject, although the lights resting upon the letters contain all the particular aspects of each letter, all that reaches the soul of anyone looking at these letters is one obscure light, as in the case of the live call; but the more diligently one studies them, the more brightly to these lights shine, until they flare up like the flame from the live coal.

This is the intent of the teaching, “Turn it this way and that, for everything is to be found in it (Avot 5:22),” namely that those engaged in the study of Torah must keep on turning until it flares up like a real fire. Just as various shades of color appear in the glow of a flame, many important matters are included in this light’s flame.

The Torah has many aspects. The view has long been accepted that every soul in Israel is rooted in the Torah, so that there are 600,000 explanations of the whole of the Torah corresponding to the 600,000 souls of Israel. This is what we mean by the Torah splitting into numerous parks: first it glows, then all the lights pertaining to the matter appear, and those very lights illuminate and 600,000 ways the 600,000 of Israel. This is the mystery of, “As a hammer splits a rock (Jeremiah 23:29).” [Ramchal: Derech Eitz haChaim III]

“It is not to be understood that all of Israel received all of Torah; but rather, that each specific soul in Israel received a specific spark of Torah.” (Rav Yerucham: Da’at Chochmah u’Mussar 1:60)

Each time we studied Torah, examine a verse, ponder a teaching, reflect on and insight, we are searching for our own individual spark. Once we find that spark, we will find a source of light that will illuminate all our Torah study.

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