Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Torah and its outer and inner Garments

Torah with Rashi - and Arizal (Rabbi Yitzchak Luria) Commentary

Photo: Miriam Woelke

The kabbalistic ZOHAR - Book of Splendor (published in 1290) on Parashat Beha'alotcha teaches, dass that all stories in the Torah (from Adam and Eva, Noach, Avraham until Moshe) are a main part of the Torah itself with the goal of teaching us about the origin of the Jewish people. However, the ZOHAR considers these stories as the "outer garment" of the Torah. Our task is searching for the deeper inner meaning of the Torah and we cannot only be satisfied with the stories about the history of the Jews.

When we compare the “outer garment” of the Torah with humans, then we are receiving a similar result. There are people who only judge others according to their outer appearance. Hence, according to their clothes. What is more important than an outer appearance is the soul of a person and thus, we cannot judge other people by the jeans brand but by their "Neshama - Soul".

The same when it comes to Torah: We read and learn all those stories about Gan Eden (Paradise), the fights between Yaakov and Esav, etc. but this doesn't mean that we have found the soul of the Torah. That we have understood the inner meaning and why G - d provided the Jews with the Torah. The Torah doesn't only consist of a body (the outer garment) but also of a soul (the inner garment).

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