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Seeing the Sounds
The Zohar
All 613 commandments of the Torah derive essentially from the Ten Commandments. In addition, the total number of letters comprising the Ten Commandments is 620 - the sum of the 613 Biblical commandments plus the seven rabbinical commandments.
Souls, Good and Evil: Part 1
The Holy Ari
The Ari explains that Adam's eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil caused good and evil to become intermingled in his soul, as well as in all reality. Prior to this, the difference between good and evil was clear, and man's soul contained no admixture of evil; his perception was totally clear and unclouded by his ego.
The Guiding Hands of Torah
Mystical Classics
The first Five of the Ten Commandments deal with the honor of the Almighty, the Creator, whereas the latter five address man's needs and dignity. It appears that one set of five commandments was engraved on one of the two tablets, and the second on the other; we are to regard both groups of commandments as equally important.
The Sublimity of Nursing
Chasidic Masters
Each of the seven emotional attributes, when "mature", is a composite of all seven (making 49 emotional components of the soul in all). For these "nuances" to come out, the soul must undergo a period of spiritual "nursing", which engenders the spiritual development and growth of the soul's emotional attributes.
A Sight to Behold
Contemporary Kabbalists
The metaphor of sight is employed in describing lofty and awesome revelations that are very near to the recipients. Therefore, sight is used to describe the tremendous revelation of G-d's essence and the supernal joy experienced at the Torah's giving - as well as the delight of the Jewish nation at these revelations.
Shavuot: Mystical or Physical?
Ascent Lights
When Moses ascended to the heavens to receive the Torah, the angels objected. But, as the Lubavitcher Rebbe explains, the purpose of the Torah is to create a dwelling place for G-d in this plane, the lowest of all the created worlds. When we do G-d's commandments and learn His Torah with our physical bodies and minds, we bring G-d's essence into physicality, something even an angel is incapable of doing.
Receiving the Torah Anew
Mystic Story
“Enough!” the Shpoler Zeide called out. “That’s the final blow!”
Why Cheesecake?
Why Cheesecake?
Laws & Customs
Kabbalah explains the mystical reasons for eating dairy on Shavuot for the sweet, nourishing words of Torah are likened to milk.
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