Torah

The Torah states the word ‘today’ in reference for fulfilling commandments. We should imagine we have only today for living. Hence when you encounter an opportunity to perform a good deed, regard it as the last good deed you may be able to perform and proceed at once to do it.

What is the difference between mourning and sadness? Mourning takes hold of one’s heart, but not one’s mind, while sadness takes hold of the mind. Mourning leads to thinking, while sadness stops one’s thoughts. Mourning stems from the light in one’s soul, while sadness comes from the darkness of the soul. Mourning arouses one to life, while sadness brings to the opposite. The Torah obligates mourning when it is appropriate, while it forbids sadness and commands we serve the Almighty with joy.

The physical loss is not sufficient for mourning. Purely on a physical level what would a person gain if he lived many more years? What is the ultimate gain in devouring hundreds more chickens and thousands more loaves of bread? What is the overall difference if the deceased left all this to others? The Torah obligates us to mourn to emphasize the loss of the true value of life; which is the spiritual elevation a person could have gained if he were still alive. The Almighty placed him on this earth for this purpose. The person’s death should remind the mourners to fill their lives with the spiritual growth that they are capable of.

What does it amount to - their expounding the Torah! A man should see to it that all his actions are a Torah and that he himself becomes so entirely a Torah that one can learn from his habits and his motions and his motionless clinging to God.

What is hateful to you don’t do to another. This is the whole Torah [i.e., Law]; the rest is commentary.

He who studies the Torah in order to learn and to do God’s will acquire many merits; and not only that, but the whole world is indebted to him. He is cherished as a friend, a lover of God and of his fellow man.

To study Torah is to touch the mind of God, so study becomes an act not only of knowing God but of devotion to God, and as such it is the most intimate form of love. On the other hand, in practice Torah is embodied in everyday life which is imbued with sacredness through ritualization… both these dimensions of study and ritual Torah is said to increase life, enriching and filling it with meaning, and quite literally lengthening it.

Eternity is the opposite of time. It is the experience where the barriers of creation and Creator are removed. And this is what the Torah tells us our choice is: time or eternity.

The Torah preceded creation in that it was the idea behind creation. It is the primordial knowledge of existence. It is the idea to which life is nothing more than a means. God is eternal, and the temporary nature of the physical creation is contradictory to eternity. Creation, therefore, it not an end in itself; it is a means. It is a means for giving the part of creation made in the Divine image – mankind – the opportunity to earn a share with Hashem in eternity.

My heart has opened unto every form: it is a pasture for gazelles, a cloister for Christian monks, a temple for idols, the Ka`ba of the pilgrim, the tablets of the Torah and the book of the Qur’an. I practice the religion of Love.

You are needed to illuminate your environment with Torah and service of the heart (prayer). Livelihood and what you need - that, G-d must provide for you. You do what you must, and G-d will do what He must...

When one's body is viewed with scorn and contempt, and one's joy is in the soul alone, this constitutes a direct and simple way to fulfill the commandment "Love your fellow as yourself" toward every Jew, great or small... For the source of their souls is in the One G‑d, and they aredivided only by virtue of their bodies. Therefore, those who give priority to their body over their soul, find it impossible to share true love and brotherhood except that which is conditional on some benefit. This is what Hillel the Elder meant when he said about this commandment [the love of Israel]: "This is the whole Torah; and the rest is commentary." For the foundation and source of all Torah is to elevate and give ascendancy to the soul over the body.

Also those who are far from G‑d's Torah and His service... one must draw them close with strong cords of love -- perhaps one might succeed in bringing them closer to Torah and the service of G‑d. And even if one fails, one has still merited the rewards of the fulfillment of the Mitzvah, "Love your fellow."

The era of Moshiach is the fulfillment and culmination of the creation of the world, for which purpose it was originally created. Something of this revelation has been experienced once before on earth, at the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai [when] "To you it has been shown, to know that the L-rd is G‑d; there is none else beside Him" (Deuteronomy 4:35). G‑dliness was then perceived with physical vision.... Subsquently, however, sin coarsened both them and the world - until the era of Moshiach, when the physicality of the body and the world will be refined, and we will be able to apprehend the revealed Divine light which will shine forth to Israel by means of the Torah.... "The glory of G‑d will be revealed; and all flesh will see that the mouth of G‑d has spoken" (Isaiah 40:5)... This all depends on our deeds and labor throughout the duration of the galut... When a person does a mitzvah, he draws down a flow of Divine light into the world, to be suffused and integrated into the material reality.

During the time that Rabbi Schneur Zalman was imprisoned in Petersburg, one of the czar's ministers asked him to explain the verse (Genesis 3:9) "And G‑d called out to the man and said to him: Where are you?" Did G‑d not know where Adam was? Rabbi Schneur Zalman asked the minister: Do you believe that the Torah is eternal, that its every word applies to every individual, under all conditions, at all times? The minister replied that he did. Rabbi Schneur Zalman was very gratified to hear this, for this was a basic principle of the "subversive" teachings of the Baal Shem Tov, the propagation of which was at the heart of the accusations leveled against him. "Where are you?" said Rabbi Schneur Zalman to the minister, "is G‑d's perpetual call to every man. Where are you in the world? You have been allotted a certain number of days, hours, and minutes in which to fulfill your mission in life. You have lived so many years and so many days -- Where are you? What have you accomplished?"

Once, in the early years of his leadership, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi said to his disciples: "One must live with the times." He later explained his meaning: One should live with and experience in one's own life the Torah portion of the week and the specific section of the week's portion which is connected to that day.

‘In the future to come…“a New Torah will come forth from Me.” At that time there will also be the revelation of Divinity in the world, in ultimate completion and without any concealment at all, as it says, “the glory of God shall be revealed and all flesh shall see together for the mouth of God has spoken.” For it will be seen in a revealed fashion that the existence of “all flesh” [that is, physicality] is the Godly power that brings it into being ex-nihilo [out of no-thing], the power of Atzmuss, and consequently there is no difference between higher and lower, since they are One…’

The bashful learneth not, the impatient teacheth not. Why is Torah compared to water? To teach thee that as water floweth away from the lofty and gathereth only in the lowly places, so with wisdom among men.

There are, no doubt, a few who manage to acquire a high degree of modern culture and even to achieve distinction in some branches of modern knowledge without finding themselves intellectually at variance with Orthodoxy. They belong to those who see no need for welding tradition and experience into a unitary organised mental background. They willingly subscribe to the medieval principle that Torah and philosophy have nothing to do with each other, because it saves them a great deal of mental bother. But such is only a small eddy in the main current of Jewish life.

Nineteenth-century Reform in German had aimed at the following three objectives: (1) the substitution of a rationalist attitude to tradition for the on based on unquestioning faith, (2) the elimination of those religious observances and prayers which emphasised the particularistic aspect of Judaism, and (3) the shifting of emphasis from the legalistic to the prophetic aspect of Judaism. To counteract that threefold program, Orthodoxy proposed a program of its own, which called for the following: (1) faith in the supernatural origin of the written and oral Torah, (2) maintenance of all traditional observances and forms of worship, and (3) the continuance of the study of Torah in the traditional sprit. This program was intended to rule out any possibility of compromising with modernism. In practice, however, Orthodoxy did not shut out completely all tendencies that conflicted with tradition.