Mishlei: Creating a Sense of Security Part One
“God founded the earth with wisdom; He established the heavens with understanding; through His knowledge, the depths were cleaved, and the heavens dripped dew. My child, do not let them stray from your eyes; safeguard the wise counsel and its wise design. They will be life to your soul and a graceful ornament for your neck. Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down you will not fear; you will lie down and your sleep will be pleasant. You will not fear sudden terror, nor the holocaust of the wicked when it comes. For God will be your security, and He will guard your feet from entrapment (Proverbs 3:19-26).”
The wisdom, understanding, and knowledge of the Torah were used to found the earth, establish the heavens, and cleave the depths. Torah is not separate from creation; it is the essence of all that exists. The person who accesses the wisdom of Torah, accesses creation; life itself. The person who views creation as separate from Torah, does not have Torah. The teacher who says that he does not want to lecture on a Talmudic tractate that has immediate practical applications because he fears his mistakes, in fact, should be scared: He is not accessing the wisdom, understanding and knowledge of Torah.
The person who does not study the heavens, earth and depths, does not fully access the wisdom, understanding and knowledge of Torah. To study creation through the eyes of Torah is to access Torah’s wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
We do not need King Solomon to teach us to not stray after our eyes; that is one of the Six Constant Mitzvot. He is teaching us that when we learn to view creation as the expression of Torah, we will see wisdom and understanding everywhere, and they will not stray from our eyes. They will always be in our view. One of the most important steps in acquiring Wisdom is to learn how to see wisdom all around us, or in Solomon’s words, learning how to not allow them to stray from our eyes. He does not warn us to not allow our eyes to stray; he teaches us that the wisdom of creation will disappear from our view if we do not see that, “God founded the earth with wisdom; He established the heavens with understanding; through His knowledge, the depths were cleaved, and the heavens dripped dew.”
Once we have mastered viewing the world as an expression of Torah, and only then, will we know how to “safeguard the wise counsel and design.” It is the one who does not allow them to stray from his eyes, who will know how to protect the environment. It is he who will know how to strike the proper balance between economic concerns and protecting the environment. It is the one who sees God’s wisdom, understanding and knowledge in creation, who will know how to properly use His creation with wisdom and understanding. It is the person who can see the wisdom who will know how to approach life, the world, and problems.
To be continued…