Complete Torah, People and Land of Israel

In Kabbalah, we are taught that the super-conscious light and experience of keter (crown) reflects itself fully in the consciousness of binah (the mother in Kabbalah, “the crown of her husband.”[1] One of the synonyms for “crown” in Hebrew (kelil) means literally “completeness,” for a crown is essentially whole and complete. (The super-conscious bond of the Jewish soul to God always remains complete; it is never blemished by sin.)

The manifestation of keter in the soul’s intellectual faculty of understanding thus implies the conscious awareness, with clear, unequivocal conviction, that Judaism’s eternal values – the Torah of Israel, the Nation of Israel, and the Land of Israel – be forever whole.

In particular, the essential, necessary wholeness of the Land of Israel as experienced in binah reflects the inherent wholeness of the will of keter, as seen from the fact that in Hebrew, the word for “land” (eretz) is related to the word for “will” (ratzon). In the words of the sages: “Why was it called eretz? For it desired (ratzah) to do the will of its Creator.”[2] The longing of the Jewish people throughout their millennia in exile to return to their homeland is the greatest, most complete expression of the willpower, the existential drive, of the collective soul of Israel.

Pleasure versus pain is the most acute experience of the Jewish people as a people. Of each individual and of the collective whole it is said, “Three is no good higher than pleasure, and there is no evil lower than affliction.”[3] In exile, we experience pain; in redemption, we experience pleasure. In exile, our very love for God expresses itself as “love-sickness;”[4]  whereas in redemption, our love for God expresses itself as “love of delights.”[5] Thus, the awareness that binah implies, that of the necessity of the wholeness of the Jewish people, reflect, in particular, the level of pleasure in the soul’s super-conscious keter.

The essence of Jewish faith focuses on the eternal truth of the Torah that God gave His people Israel at Mount Sinai. God gave the whole Torah to the whole people in order for them to proceed in their exodus from the physical, as well as spiritual bondage of Egypt toward the Promised Land, the whole Land of Israel, to fulfill there all the 613 commandments of the Torah and thus to realize in full their own essential wholeness.

Israel’s ongoing sojourn, in its collective keter, is thus from faith (in the Torah) to pleasure (of the people) to will (to inherit the Land), all three of which become reflected in the conscious, intellectual faculty of binah. Binah is the mother-principle in Kabbalah, which itself possesses three levels of mind, heart, and action. The wholeness of the Torah, the wholeness of the people, and the wholeness of the Land, are reflected in the three levels of mind, heart, and action of binah, respectively.

 

 

[1] Proverbs 12:4.

[2] Bereishit Rabbah 5:8.

[3] Sefer Yetzirah 2:7.

[4] Song of Songs 2:5; see Derech Chaim, Sha’ar HaTeshuvah.

[5] Song of Songs 7:7.

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