A Simple Good Deed (The Wisdom Of The Talmud)

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The Zohar tells us that there are four descending dimensions or worlds. The highest world is the World of  Emanation, which branches into the World of  Creation. The World of  Creation branches into the World of  Formation, and The World of Formation branches into The World of  Deeds. The first three worlds are spiritual worlds. Conversely, the World of Deeds is a material world and the purpose of creation.  Accordingly, the actions and conduct of the human being are of primary importance, i.e., the central focus of HaShem.

The Talmud (Brachos 17a) states: “The goal of wisdom is repentance and good deeds.” The import of this statement is that the purpose of wisdom is not merely to become an intellectual. Rather, the purpose of wisdom is to learn what are the good deeds, as defined by the Torah – and to do them without hesitation.

In light of this, there is a qualitative difference between Torah and other wisdoms. Regarding other wisdoms, a student advances from first grade to second grade, etc. The student continues in this matriculation until he reaches the highest level and receives his degree.

The Torah student attends first grade where he learns the basics. Then in the following years, he begins the study of the Torah that eventually leads to the dimension of holiness and purity. However, his goal is not to remain exclusively in this elevated level. Rather, his purpose is to return to “the simple level,” i.e., the level of doing a good deed, simply because it is the primary axiom of the Torah.

Regardless of how much Torah and wisdom he attains, he should never consider himself as truly wise, i.e., knows everything there is to know. Meaning, he should not grow arrogant with the wisdom that he attained. For instance, a person who acquires wisdom might feel superior to his uneducated parents. In that case, instead of living by the Torah virtue of respecting one’s parents, he will mistreat his parents. Rather, he should learn the great Torah principle of honoring one’s parents, and fulfill it immediately, straightforwardly, and unconditionally.

May the study of Torah educate and inspire us to perform good deeds and uphold its great principles. In this way, we will fulfill the purpose of our creation and the very purpose of creation of the universe.  (Based on Da’as Torah of  Rav Yerucham HaLevi)

Today: Do an act of kindness as soon as the opportunity arises.

Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Zvi Miller and the Salant Foundation

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