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Is the Torah Perfect?

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein

  

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Question:

My dear Rabbi,

I want to ask a question which is not related to religion. Do you yourself believe that there are things in the world that are perfect? I ask this question because I think only G-d is perfect, but other things, including religion, are not perfect.

Answer:

Judaism believes that since Adam sinned with the Tree of Knowledge, nothing in creation is completely perfect.

The question is how you define perfect.

In Judaism perfect means something that it is entirely transparent.

Everything in existence comes from G-d, which means at the core of every being is G-dliness. So why don't you see G-d in creation? Because creation is not transparent; it is not perfect.

In the process of being created and existing physically, objects and people begin to take on the façade of their own identity. For example, Adam was hand crafted by G-d, but he took on his own identity when he ignored G-d's command and followed his own desire.

the Torah sees right through our façade, it sees our core, and at our core is G-dliness. G-d rests on Shabbat.
Although he was created "in the image of G-d", after he sinned he was no longer transparent: when you saw him you didn't see a perfect reflection of G-d, rather you saw a human being making his own choices.

The more you are aware of self the less perfect you are. The more selfless you become the closer to perfection you get.

The Torah is not a Creation, it is a Manifestation.

The Torah is perfect. It is a purely transparent expression of the Divine. It is precisely because the Torah is so transparent that humans have a hard time understanding its meanings or abiding by its laws. You see, humans are naturally self centered, but the transparent nature of the Torah encourages the person to reach perfection through becoming selfless and transparent.

The more you are aware of self the less perfect you are. The more selfless you become the closer to perfection you get.
Naturally, the self has a hard time becoming selfless.

Because of our self centered nature we only see our own façade, so when we look at Torah through our paradigm we might only see the façade of Torah. But the Torah sees our transparency, so when we look at ourselves through Torah's paradigm we see a transparent self, which allows us to see the transparency of Torah, which allows us to see the transparency of existence.

For example: we discussed in a previous email the concept of working on Shabbat. Why do we find it hard to abstain from work on Shabbat? Because when we think of Saturday we think about ourselves, our needs, our image, and our luxuries. But why does the Torah command us not to work on Shabbat? Because as a transparent expression of the Divine the Torah sees right through our façade, it sees our core, and at our core is G-dliness. G-d rests on Shabbat.

The Torah is a transparent G-dly expression manifested in order to teach us how to penetrate our own façades and become transparent G-dly expressions as well.

The Torah's ultimate goal is not that we become a better self; it is that we return to selflessness.

Which is perfect.


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RELATED CATEGORIES

Philosophy » Creation
G-d » Creation

Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Adam
The first man, created by G-d on the sixth day of creation. He was banished from the Garden of Eden after eating from the forbidden fruit of the forbidden knowledge. Died in 2830 BCE.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.