Kabalah the Inner Aspect of the Torah
By Rami Aloni
Kaballah is called the inner aspect of the Torah. Now every thing has two aspects, the inner and the exterior. The exterior is referred to as the 'body' since it gives the form to the thing and it executes the actions of the thing. The inner refers to that aspect which has to do with its source, or its spiritual origin.
The Torah is actually the wisdom of G-d that has been given to the Jewish people in the form of the Torah, in order that they may know His ways and the proper ways in which they should live their lives in this world. Through following the instruction that is in the Torah, they are able to purify themselves in order to become servants of the Almighty King.
The Torah has these two aspects, the inner and the exterior. The exterior is the explanation that is called 'pshat' which is a term that relates to that meaning of the Torah that deals exclusively to this world. From this type of meaning or explanation, we are able to derive all the laws and customs that will guide us in this physical world to live a proper life and perform the mitzvot all of which require a physical effort. The inner aspect of the Torah is the Kabballah, from which we learn about the powers which give life force to the world and activate the physical.
Just as a person can live and do all the activities necessary to live with out knowing that he has a soul, so too, it is possible to observe the Torah with out knowing that there is also an inner aspect. This actually is the way it has been for many centuries, since every one is obligated to learn the 'pshat' aspect of the Torah in order that he may perform the mitzvot, but the learning of the Kabbala has been reserved for many centuries as the domain set aside for only a chosen few.
It is important to examine why is it that in our times, the Kabbalah has come out of the closet to be studied by more and more people than ever before.
The reason is that in our times our contemporary world is suffering from an atheism that is reinforced by the prevalence of 'goshmiout', the every imposing awareness of the physicality of our surroundings. The externalities of life have become to multitudes the reality to which they strive to acquire and all at the expense of the soul.
Today with our permissive society, with all of the sins that prevail amongst the inhabitants of the various societies, there is a denial of the existence of the soul. This philosophy is so prevalent that it has even made inroads even to those very people who describe themselves as believing and observant Jews. This manifests itself in a manner that when they perform the mitzvot, they forget about He who commanded them to perform the mitzvot, G-d.
This situation is very dangerous since the performance of a mitzvah is not like the performance of any other task. If a person is requested to perform a task which he does to its completion, he normally regards his performance as if he is the doer and not the person who asked him to do the task. Not so the mitzvot; the performance is to bring a revelation of G-d down into this world and that it is G-d Himself that is the cause of his action, not the person. Therefore if a person were to do the mitzvot without relating them to G-d, and look upon himself as the doer, then his actions will not bring the proper benefits of the mitzvot.
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from the December 2007 Chanukah Edition of the Jewish Magazine