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Learning Torah for the heart’s sake

by yedidah on December 16, 2013


We could  approach Torah just through our mind, trying to understand it intellectually—learning the mitzvot, and fulfilling the commandment of learning the Torah. Although we all have to start our learning of Torah through our mind, many just leave it at that. But Rabbi Ashlag, the great Kabbalist, teaches that just learning the Torah intellectually does not in fact fulfill the real purpose of our study of the Torah. As Rabbi Ibn Ezra tells us, the most important reason for learning the Torah is the tikkun of the heart.

What does the term “heart” refer to? Is it simply an anatomically important vessel in the body that keeps us alive? Or is it something more? Many people refer to the heart when they want to describe their feelings. But Rabbi Ashlag defines the heart as desire. The tikkun of the heart is thus the rectification of the will. This makes sense. When i am excited by something, my heart races faster. When I am angry I can hear it throbbing in my ears. But why should my heart need rectification, why does it need to change?

Related talks:

  • Joining heart and mind
    The Torah: the soul’s voice
    The labor in Torah
  • { 2 comments… read them below or add one }

    Daniel J Estopinal May 25, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    Thank you so much for writing your two books. I am on my fourth reading of Tapestry and learn more each time I read it. I have some questions if that is okay. I am not a Jew, but I love the One and the Kabbalah of the Rabbis Ashlag. I studied the wrong writings on Kabbalah (Hermetic) for many years and waited for the Hebrew to be offered to all. I always knew the ascent was the real goal and not all the other things that was taught, such as magic and the like. I am beyond happy to learn that the real deal is all about love thy neighbor. Do I need to convert to the Jewish faith to study the Zohar? Will it be much longer before you complete another book in English. I have many of M. Leitmans books, but I don’t feel the love that comes from yours and the translations are not as clear and soothing. I wish you the best and thank you again for providing the public with such awesome works of Love.
    My best to you,


    yedidah August 28, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Thank you so much! I am glad this work means so much to you!!
    You are right. I try to do my work with the love that I feel pours from Rabbi Ashlag for us all. All the best Yedidah


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