214. Known in the Gates

I Heard on Shavuot (Pentecost), 1939, Jerusalem

“I am the Lord thy God” (Exodus 20:2). Also, in The Zohar, “known in the gates” (Proverbs 31:23). Question: Why did our sages change from the written word of calling the holiday of Pentecost by the name “the giving of our Torah”? In the Torah, it is specified by the name “offering of first-fruits,” as it is written, “Also in the day of the first-fruits” (Numbers 28:26). Our sages came and named it “the giving of our Torah.”

The thing is that our sages did not change a thing, only interpreted the issue of the offering of the first-fruit. It is written, “Let the field exult, and all that is therein; Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy” (Psalms 96:12). The difference between a field and a wood is that the field bears fruit and woods are infertile trees, which do not bear fruit.

This means that a field is discerned as Malchut, which is discerned as acceptance of the burden of the Kingdom of Heaven, which is faith above reason.

But how much is the measure of the faith? This has a measurement, meaning it should be filled to the very same extent of the knowledge. Then, it will be called “a field which the Lord hath blessed” (Genesis 27:27), meaning bearing fruit. This is the only way by which it is possible to cleave to Him, because it places no limits on him, since it is above reason.

Knowledge, however, is limited. The measure of the greatness is according to the measure of the knowledge. And this is called “another God is sterile and does not bear.” This is why it is called “a wood.” However, in any case, both are called “edges.” Rather, there should be a discernment of the middle line, meaning he needs knowledge, too. But this is on condition that he does not spoil the faith above reason.

Yet, if he works with knowledge a little better than with faith, he immediately loses everything. Instead, he should have it without any difference. Then, “the field will exult etc., the trees of the wood sing for joy,” for then there will be correction even for “another God,” discerned as the “wood,” because he will be strengthened by faith.

This is the meaning of what is written about Abraham, “walk before Me, and be thou wholehearted” (Genesis 17:1). Rashi interprets that he does not need support. And about Noah, it is written, “Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:9), meaning he needed support, though in any case it is support from the Creator. However, the worst that can even be is needing the support of people.

There are two issues concerning that:

  1. A gift;

  2. A loan.

The gift that one takes from people is the taking of the support. And he doesn’t want to give it back, but wants to use it for the rest of his life.

And a loan is when he takes for the time being, meaning as long as he hasn’t strength and power of his own, but he hopes that by work and labor in Sanctity and purity he will obtain his own strength. At that time, he gives back the support that he took. Yet, this, too, is not good, because if he is not rewarded with obtainment he falls anyway.

And let us return to the issue that the “giving of the Torah” and not the “receiving of the Torah” was because then they were rewarded with the Giver of the Torah, as it is written, “we wish to see our King.” Hence, the importance is that they were rewarded with the “Giver of the Torah.” And then it is called “a field which the Lord hath blessed,” meaning a field that bears fruit.

This is the meaning of the first-fruit, meaning the first fruit of the field. It is a sign of being rewarded with the “Giver of the Torah” and complete awareness. This is why he says, “A wandering Aramean was my father” (Deuteronomy 26:5). Previously, he had descents and craftiness; but now it is a sustainable connection. This is why our sages interpret the issue of the first-fruit, that the “giving of the Torah” is to be rewarded with “the Giver of the Torah.”

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