Rabbi Yehuda opened [his discourse] with words of Torah and he said: "She is a Tree of Life to those who grasp onto her and fortunate are those who hold her fast." (Prov. 3:18) "A Tree of Life" is the Torah, which is a great [from the side of chesed] and mighty [from the side of gevura] tree. It is called Torah [lit. 'showing'], for it shows and reveals all that was hidden and unknown. [The Torah is also called] 'Life', for all life Above is contained in it and issues from it. "Those who grasp onto her" - anyone who is connected to her is connected to all that is Above and below. "Fortunate are those who hold her fast" Who are those who support Her? They are those who fill the purses of students of the Torah with merchandise, as explained. [They provide them with merchandise, allowing them to trade and make a living, and through this they become a vehicle for netzach and hod, the two “legs” of the sefirotic tree.]

"Those who hold her fast" become worthy of producing faithful prophets [who emanate from netzach and hod, since they are a vehicle for the supernal Merkava/chariot of netzach and hod; they “hold her fast”, becoming the “supporters” of the Torah which represents tiferet]. Don't read: "Fortunate [in Hebrew, 'me'ushar']" but 'meirosho' [by scrambling the letters], meaning literally 'from his head'; they support the Torah from the top [from chochma] all the way down [until yesod]. The meaning of 'from his head' is the head of all, called 'head', as it is written: "I was set up from forever to be the beginning [in Hebrew, 'meirosh'." (Prov. 8:23) This beginning [i.e. 'head'] is chochma, for it is the head of the whole body, and it causes the body to spread to the ends of all six directions [sefirot, till the end that is yesod]. Those "who hold her fast" as written: "His legs are pillars of marble" (Songs 5:15) [netzach and hod which stand to support tiferet, called marble and which include the 6 extremities]. Those who fill the pockets of Torah students support the Torah and become pillars of the Torah from its head to the body's end [at yesod, to which they draw down abundance to malchut that is like a pocket receiving all blessings]. All the faith [malchut] depends on it and it is supported and [the one who suppported Her] merits sons who are fit to be faithful prophets.

BeRahamim LeHayyim: What does this mean to you, and why is it revealed to you now?

We need to bind ourselves to Torah: to its words, its hints, its allegories, and to its secrets. Supporting it and its students rebounds for us many rewards and blessings.

But we must never loose sight of the ultimate bonding — to G‑d. For the Torah is a garment for G‑d, and it is to Him we must connect. It is possible to have a deep relationship with Torah, but still need to work on one's personal connection to the Almighty. Ask not what G‑d can do for you, rather what you can do [to build your relationship] with G‑d.

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
Copyright 2003 by KabbalaOnline.org, a project of Ascent of Safed (//ascentofsafed.com). All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work or portions thereof, in any form, unless with permission, in writing, from Kabbala Online.