DIVREY YA’AKOV LESSON FOUR

THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF TORAH STUDY AND MITZVOT
IN THE UPPER WORLDS, THE BENEFITS FOR THE JEWISH
NATION AND HOW A PERSON MUST AWAKEN
HIMSELF TO SERVE HASHEM, THEREBY HELPING THE
JEWISH PEOPLE

  1. It is clear from the holy Zohar and other Kabbalistic books
    that apart from our world, Hashem created many countless
    multitudes of worlds and higher spiritual energies. Through the
    mitzvot and good deeds of the Jewish nation, these worlds are
    built up and established, resulting in a great pouring of spiritual
    and physical goodness to the entire Jewish nation. On the other
    hand, by not learning Torah and through other transgressions,
    the opposite of this is achieved.
  2. The fact that there are higher worlds is a basic principle of
    Torat HaKabbalah. The state of our world and the state of the
    upper worlds are interdependent. As mentioned earlier, the
    state of the upper worlds is determined by our deeds in this
    world. So too the condition of the upper worlds determines the
    state of this world.
  3. In the Nefesh Hachaim (shaar 1: chapter 4) we see that the
    destruction of the Holy Temple followed this pattern too.
    Through the bad deeds of the Jewish nation, the Holy Temple of
    the higher spiritual worlds was destroyed, and since the higher
    Holy Temple was destroyed due to our transgressions, the
    gentiles were able to wield their power over the Holy Temple on
    temple mount and destroy it.
  4. The same is true of the exile of the nation from their
    homeland, with the land of Israel left in the hands of gentiles. It
    was the sinning of Yisrael which blemished the upper spheres
    corresponding to the holiness of the land of Israel. The land was
    then easily delivered into the hands of the gentiles.
  5. The Nefesh Hachaim continues (shaar 1: chapter 4) and says;
    “This is the power of the Torah. A Jewish person should never
    say, ‘What am I? What strength do I have to achieve anything
    with my lowly actions?’ Rather he should know, understand and
    implant in his mind and heart, that every detail of his actions,
    words and thoughts at every moment are never destroyed. As
    much as he multiplies his actions and increases and elevates
    them, so too each one will rise towards it’s roots, fulfilling it’s
    purpose in the upper higher realms, honing the lofty lights.” We
    see that a person must give thought to fully preserving his
    strengths for learning Torah and keeping mitzvot, since every
    mitzvah that he does achieves incredible things for the good of
    all the worlds.
  6. On the other hand, “… in truth, when a wise person pays
    attention to his deeds which are not so good, and he
    understands this reality, his heart will quiver inside him with a
    great trembling, when he sees how easily a slight transgression,
    Hashem forbid, can corrupt and destroy.”
  7. I once heard a parable for this. A person sitting in a missile
    control room can press a button and shoot a missile injuring
    and killing the enemy, thereby saving his whole country.
    Alternatively, he could mistakenly press an incorrect button and
    kill some of his own countrymen. When people come to either
    praise him for his heroic deeds or to accuse him for his
    unscrupulous actions, he reasons, “What have I done? I simply
    pressed a button!” His mistake is that he doesn’t realize that it is
    no ordinary button; rather it is fully installed and programmed
    in a way that through a tiny action one can produce terrible
    results.
  8. Accordingly, when a person is busy with Torah he helps the
    entire Jewish nation; he secures the upper worlds causing an
    increase in the outpouring of blessing and success for all of
    Yisrael. Sometimes a person learns for an hour and when he
    finishes he feels that he didn’t really do enough in this hour. The
    truth is who knows what salvation he succeeded in bringing to
    the Jews with this hour of learning? It is even possible that he
    saved many Jews from death, or perhaps many ill people were
    healed in his merit. This is not necessarily just from studying of
    Torah, it is the same with every mitzvah that a person does.
    However the power of Torah study is especially great, as Chazal
    say in the mishna in massechet Peah, “… and the study of Torah
    is equal to all of them.” Apart from learning Torah and
    performing mitzvot, there is also abstaining from
    transgressions. A person thus helps the entire Jewish nation. [See
    the Nefesh Hachaim, shaar four from chapter eleven until the
    end of the shaar where he explains extensively about this topic
    as he does in the earlier chapters of the book.]
  9. It says in massechet Yevamot that compassion and loving
    kindness are special attributes of the Jewish nation. Within every
    Jew lie feelings of great compassion for those who are suffering,
    and also a great desire to help them. Therefore, when a person
    stands uncertain whether to use the next hour for the study of
    Torah or to waste it doing something else, even if he does not
    merit to have the conviction to decide to learn because of the
    obligation to learn Torah, he can still try to decide in favor
    Torah study due to his desire to help his suffering brethren. His
    learning can aid them. Even though he cannot know who he has
    helped and which type of deliverance he brought about, still the
    words of Chazal are absolutely true. He has definitely benefited
    the Jewish nation.

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