Vol 19.50 - Simchat Torah           Spanish French Audio  Video

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(5738) The gates of Light, the gates of Blessing, the gates of Success (c.f. Sefer HaSichot 5705 pg 59)  



1. The Rebbe Rayatz once said in a Simchat Torah Sicha:

“On Simchat Torah the gates are open. The gates of light, gates of blessing, gates of success are open. All the gates are open, and access is attained with Torah (observance).”

The words of our holy Rebbeim are stated with the utmost precision. Therefore, since the Rebbe Rayatz specifically delineated “gates of light, gates of blessing, gates of success” – even though (he states immediately afterward that) “All the gates are open“, proves that the main innovation of Simchat Torah is that these three gates are open.

One must understand:

What is the special connection of these three gates to Torah?

Moreover, one must understand:

It is known that the Six Days of Creation correspond to the six thousand years (of the world’s existence). And since the Creation of light was on the first day - before the third day which corresponds to the third thousandth year since Creation, when Matan Torah occurred – it is seemingly proved, that the aspect of “gates of light” is not dependent upon Torah.

The same also applies to “gates of blessing”. For it is known that one of the reasons why the Torah begins with the letter “Beit” – “Bereshit”- is because the letter Beit is an expression of Bracha – blessing. The aspect of blessing existed immediately at the beginning of Creation. Therefore, why is it said that the “gates of blessing” is specifically connected to Torah?

The question is even greater:

Since the world was created in its fullest form (עולם על מילואו נברא), it comes out that the aspect of blessing (which is alluded to in the Beit of “Bereshit”) already existed at the time of Creation in its fullest form.

The same also applies to light. Moreover, and on the contrary – the light that was created on the first day of Creation was without limit. As the Sages state: “(The light that the Holy One, Blessed be He, created on the first day was so profound that) Adam looked (and observed) with it from one end of the world to the other end”.

This means not only that the general existence of light and blessing, is not dependent on Torah, but also that the light and blessing, in their fullest form is not dependent on Torah. Therefore, why does it state that this is specifically attained with Torah?

Seemingly, one could explain, that the completeness of Creation, in and of itself, from the perspective of created beings –

including also as they were in the beginning when the world was created in its fullest form,

is a completeness that nevertheless has a boundary. Therefore, it is not a true completeness.

Therefore, it states that the gates of light and gates of blessing are attained specifically with Torah. For “light” and “blessing” here, refer to the true light and blessing, in their most complete form. This means as they are from G-d’s perspective, who is the True Completeness. Therefore, it is attained with Torah. For as is known, (Matan) Torah removed the barriers between the supernal and lower realms. And through Torah, one attains all the aspects as they are from the Supernal perspective – namely, from the Creator’s perspective.

However, this explanation is not sufficient, since:

  1. According to this, the main point is missing:

Since the general aspect of light and blessing, and even the way they are in their fullest form, exist even without Torah – it should have been emphasized that through Torah, one attains the light and blessing the way they are from the perspective of the completeness of the Creator (or something similar)?

  1. The reason that Simchat Torah was established on (the Second Day of Yom Tov of) Shmini Atzeret and not on Shavuot (the time of Matan Torah) is because the joy of Simchat Torah is connected with the Second Luchot (that were given on Yom Kippur) which are a “double measure” ("Kiflayim l’toshiya").

And since the words: “is attained with Torah” comes in conjunction to the beginning of the saying: “On Simchat Torah the gates are open”, it is understood that the words “with Torah”, means Torah, in the manner that it is connected with Simchat Torah. This means with the virtue of Torah, which came through the giving of the second Luchot.

Since this is so – even if one were to say that “gates of light etc.” refers to the aspects as they are from the perspective of the completeness of the Creator, it would be sufficient for this purpose to have the aspect of Torah that is from the first Luchot (which was on Shavuot). Therefore, why is this connected specifically with Simchat Torah?

3. One can understand this by prefacing that on Simchat Torah, we find three aspects which are comparable to the three aforementioned gates (gates of light, gates of blessing and gates of success):

In the aspect of the Second Day of Yom Tov there are two aspects:

  1. The property of the Second Day of Yom Tov as it is a result (and continuation) of the First Day of Yom Tov.
  2. The property that it possesses the virtue of “the words of the Sofrim (Rabbis) are sweet to me” (עריבים עלי דברי סופרים), which does not exist on the First Day of Yom Tov.

The same is with every Second Day of Yom Tov.

On Simchat Torah, however, there comes a third aspect. And as has been spoken of many times, since the Second Day of this Yom Tov is called by a separate name – Simchat Torah – it proves that it possesses (in addition to that which it is the second Yom Tov of Shmini Atzeret) also its own aspect – the aspect of Simchat Torah.

Just as the aspect of the Second Day of Yom Tov, even though it is just from the Divrei Sofrim (Rabbinical), yet, on the contrary, from this itself, it possesses a virtue over the First Day of Yom Tov. As aforementioned, the words of the Rabbis are sweeter than the words of Torah – this also exists with the third aspect. Namely, that even though Simchat Torah is not an obligation at all, even not from the Divrei Sofrim, it is just a Minhag.

(This is like the wording of the Zohar: (Parshat Pinchas 256b): “Yisroel have a Minhag to make a rejoicing with (the Torah) called Simchat Torah”),

However, from this very reason, there is an additional virtue over that of the first two aspects. For as it is explained in many places, a Minhag Yisroel has a virtue which does not exist in a Biblical or Rabbinical matter.

4. These three aforementioned things are also found in the aspect of Simchat Torah itself:

Since the name is “Simchat Torah” (just mentioning 'Torah' plainly, without any qualifier), it proves that the joy is connected with Torah, in general. Torah, in general was given with the First Luchot.

Nevertheless (as aforementioned in Par. 2) the reason why Simchat Torah was established on Shmini Atzeret (and not on Shavuot) is because the joy of Simchat Torah is (primarily) connected with the Second Luchot. The Second Luchot are (in the Written Torah, itself) similar to Divrei Sofrim.

In addition, the aspect of Simchat Torah itself – namely, the reason that the Yidden rejoice on Simchat Torah, is a Minhag Yisroel, like the words of the Zohar: “Yisroel are accustomed (ונוהגין) to make a rejoicing with it etc.“.

Since a Minhag Yisroel reaches higher than Torah, and even higher than Divrei Sofrim (as aforementioned Par. 3) therefore the Zohar states, in conjunction to “Yisroel are accustomed etc.“ (and “it is called Simchat Torah“) that “they crown the Sefer Torah with its crown“. In other words, after (and through that which) Yidden are accustomed to “make a rejoicing with it“, they make a crown to the Torah. For the Crown of Torah (Keter Torah) is higher than Torah, even higher than Torah as it exists from the Second Luchot (and Divrei Sofrim).

5. The explanation of this is:

The reason that the Second Luchot are higher than the First Luchot (a “double measure”) is because they came about through the Avodah of Teshuvah of the Yidden. And the root of (the souls of) Yisroel is higher than Torah.

However, since even the Second Luchot were given from Above,

(The Avodah of Teshuvah of Yidden was indeed a cause for the giving of the Second Luchot, however the Second Luchot themselves were given from Above) –

therefore even the Second Luchot are an aspect of Torah (of which Jewish souls are higher). However, in Torah itself they are a double measure, since they came as a result of the Avodah of (Teshuvah) of Yidden.

Whereas, since the entire aspect of the Minhag to “make a rejoicing with the Torah“ comes from Yidden, therefore this accomplishes the crown of Torah, which is higher than Torah (even in the way it is a “double measure”).

6. This is also the connection between Simchat Torah with the “gates of light, gates of blessing and gates of success”, since these three aforementioned things in Simchat Torah

(Torah, in general; the advantage of the Second Luchot; the Minhag to “make a rejoicing with it“)

are similar to “light”, “blessing” and “success”:

The difference between “light” and “blessing”, plainly, is that:

  • When one blesses someone, the one giving the blessing intends that the recipient should receive the essence of the blessing and benefit from it.
  • Whereas, light is connected (not with the benefit of the recipient, but rather) with (the “nature” (טבע) of the) illuminator (מאור). Which is why the property of light is that it shines automatically. Moreover – the sun shines over the entire world, so much so that it shines even on a garbage heap, even though no benefit is derived from its shining there.

And this is the connection between the First Luchot and the Second Luchot, with the gates of light and gates of blessing:

The emphasis at the giving of the First Luchot was (mainly) – the giving from Above (and not so much the emphasis that the Yidden should (beforehand) listen, comprehend, receive, and unite with a wondrous unification (like with the understanding and grasping of the intellect) with the Torah. This is why, in actuality, the Yidden, at the time of Matan Torah on Shavuot (due to their condition etc.) - did not grasp and absorb it. Because of this, the First Luchot are connected with “gates of light”, since the emphasis of light is (as aforementioned) that which the Illuminator (מאור) shines.

However, the Second Luchot are different. Their giving came about through the Avodah of Yidden. The Teshuvah of Yidden evoked (ארויסגערופן) as it were, Supernally, that they should be given the Luchot. In other words, the emphasis of the Second Luchot was that Yidden should receive and absorb the Torah. Because of this, the Second Luchot are connected with “gates of blessing”, where the emphasis is on the recipient of the blessing, namely, that he should receive the blessing.

And since there is the maxim that “last in creation is first in thought“ (sof ma'aseh b'mach'shovoh techiloh), namely that the inner intent of drawing down light is that it should be received, grasped and united (in a Pnimiyut manner) in the receptacles (keilim) – therefore the Second Luchot are higher than the First Luchot, in a double measure.

7. The inner explanation of “last in creation is first in thought“/“sof ma'aseh b'mach'shovoh techiloh“ is

(Not that the thing that one wanted in the beginning of his thought, comes out in the completion of the deed, but rather)

that the conclusion (“sof”) which results from the deed, after the deed, reaches the “beginning” which preceded the thought, even before beginning of the thought.

This is expressed in the example of a craftsman who takes upon himself to do a task, and the task comes out “in the utterly best way . . in a successful manner”. The meaning of this is not that the artisan expected, at the outset, that the task should come out “in a successful manner” – since he cannot know this. He can only accept to perform the task “according to the best of his talents”. Therefore when the task comes out (even better than he thought at the beginning of the project) “in a successful manner” – this reaches in the level of the “beginning” that was before the thought.

8. Similarly, this is also the aspect of “success”, as it were, Above. (Since all aspects which are here below descend from Above). The “abode for G-d, blessed be He” which Yidden accomplish through their Avodah is “in the utterly best way . . in a successful manner”. Even better, as it were, then the desire that was at the beginning of the thought, as aforementioned. For although it is simple that this itself (namely that the abode should be “in the utterly best way etc.“) is the intent of Creation, at the outset, nevertheless it is the level of “beginning” which is higher than “thought”.

The explanation of this (at least concisely is):

The main purpose (of Creation) is that Yidden should make an abode for G-d in the lower realms though their own Avodah – Avodah with their individual strength.

And since the desire for worlds (עולמות)

(Including also the “beginning of thought”)

has a connection to Creation and has an effect in the world, therefore this very intent

(of “G-d desired that there be an abode for Him, blessed be He, in the lower realms“, through the Avodah of Yidden entirely of their own strength)

is not “drawn down“ (אראפגעטראגן) in the “beginning of thought” of the Creation, but rather remained hidden in the level of “beginning” which is higher than the “beginning of thought”. So much so that the intent does not effect the lower realms below and the abode for G-d is completely accomplished, through the Avodah of Yidden of their own power.

From this it is understood that when Yidden accomplish the (purpose of the) intent of “G-d desired that there be an abode for Him, blessed be He, in the lower realms“ - that it is in a manner of “success”. For this very intent is higher than being drawn down in the revealed Will for (the creation of) worlds and even not in the beginning of thought.

9. Even though the “abode” which Yidden create with their own power, is accomplished through the Avodah with all the Torah and Mitzvot in all of their details, it is in a revealed manner when one fulfills it not because of any specific reason etc., but rather just because G-d “commanded us”.

(And not because of the segulah, which is accorded when, one fulfills the command of G-d).

This is like the saying that “even if we were commanded to chop wood (we would do so with alacrity)”.

And the same also applies to the aspect of Jewish customs. For since there is no command from Above regarding them, they therefore come entirely from the power of Yidden themselves.

In other words:

The Supernal Will that Yidden should fulfill the Minhagei Yisroel remains even more hidden than the Will for Torah and Mitzvot, in general. So much so that there is even no command regarding them.

This is the (possible) explanation why through the Minhag of “making a rejoicing with it“ one (afterwards) “crowns the Sefer Torah with its crown”, where the Crown of Torah is higher than Torah, even the way it is from the perspective of the Second Luchot:

 The Second Luchot, even though that the emphasis in them is on the receiving of (the Luchot and) the Torah from the Yidden perspective (as aforementioned Par. 6). Nevertheless, since they were given from Above,

(like a blessing, which although provides a benefit to the recipient, nevertheless comes from the one giving the blessing) –

they are still not at the level of “end of the deed” (“sof ma'aseh”). Therefore, through them, only the intent of how they are drawn down at the beginning of thought is complete.

However, through Yidden accustoming themselves to “make a rejoicing with it“ – to rejoice with the Torah even after the giving of Torah from Above – this resembles the aspect of success which is specifically in the “end of the deed” (“sof ma'aseh”) (after the deed). This reaches to the intent of the “beginning” which is higher than the beginning of thought.

10. According to all the above, the aforementioned question (Par. 1) nevertheless becomes even greater:

Since the innovation of Simchat Torah is the aspect of success and the aspect of “light” and “blessing” existed even by the First Luchot (Shavuot) - and by the Second Luchot (Yom Kippur) – why does it state in the Sicha, that even the “gates of light” and “gates of blessing” are connected (specifically) with Simchat Torah?

One can understand this by prefacing that which we find, that through

(the Avodah and proper study – Yagata/Striving in Torah – of)

Yidden, there is an increase in Torah (ווערט נתוסף אין תורה). So much so that one must innovate (מחדש) in Torah, to increase in it (לאפשא לה). The same applies to Minhagei Yisroel, where it states that a “Minhag Yisroel is Torah” (מנהג ישראל תורה הוא). It comes out that through that which Yidden fulfill a Minhag, it comes to Torah.


Indeed, although it is true, that from that which the root of Jewish souls is higher than Torah, one can understand how Yidden can accomplish a new aspect in Torah.

However, it is still not understood:

How is this very aspect (especially - that which Yidden innovate through their Minhag) a part of Torah?

(In other words, not just that one is obligated to fulfill the “decrees, and enactments and customs” which the Sages innovated. But more so, that they become a part of Torah. So much so that it is like the aforementioned expression, that states, regarding Minhagei Yisroel

(even with regarding to the Minhagim which are not connected with ‘Beit Din Hagadol”)

that a “Minhag Yisroel is Torah”).

The explanation of this is:

In Torah, there are two levels:

  1. The way Torah is the Wisdom and Will of G-d. From this level (of wisdom and will), Torah is established, so much so, that there are aspects which are innovated through Yidden.
  2. The way “Torah and G-d are entirely one”( אורייתא וקוב״ה כולא חד). Namely the way Torah is rooted in G-d’s Essence. From this level, this new aspect itself can become a part of Torah, as will be explained.

Since the Supernal Intent is that Yidden should innovate in Torah with their own power

(Through which their root in G-d’s Essence is evoked),

therefore, after Yidden (through their innovating an aspect) accomplish the drawing down of G-d’s Essence - they accomplish on the effluence even in Torah (similar to that which is stated in the Sefer HaBahir that David connected Torah with G-d). Therefore the innovation (both the “novelties” which Yidden learn from Torah through their “struggling with it” and also the “decrees, and enactments and customs“ which Yidden innovate) – become a part of Torah.

According to this it is also understood what is stated in the aforementioned Sicha that (not only “gates of success”, but also) the “gates of light” and “gates of blessing” have a connection to Simchat Torah, which is accomplished through Yidden – even though “light” and “blessing” exist in Torah, the way they are of their own accord.

The true aspect of “light” is that it visibly illuminates everything that is included in the illuminator (מאור). Even that which, of its own accord, is above the scope of revelation (and similarly, this also applies to “blessing”).

And since the true aspect of Torah is that which “Torah and G-d are entirely one“, it comes out that specifically on Simchat Torah, when Yidden “crown the Sefer Torah with its crown“ and draw down and reveal the source of Torah, the way Torah is rooted in G-d’s Essence – specifically then, it comes into revelation, together with the “gates of success”, even “the gates of light” and “gates of blessing”, with the epitome of completeness.

MSichas Simchat Torah day, 5730

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