Shabbos Parashas Pekudei

Sefer HaMiddos, Shaar HaDaas (Gate of the Intellect), Chapter 13, continued
We said that no wisdom can exist without having been transmitted by a Primal Intellect. It is the fortunate lot of the Jewish People to have received from Hashem an abundance of wisdom. We are a great and exalted people, to whom Hashem has granted an inborn capacity for understanding. The Jewish People has a natural proficiency in all areas of intellectual inquiry. We see for ourselves how our youths display wondrous wisdom. Because of our astuteness, we have a critical eye, and when we are presented with a claim, it is hard to convince us all to believe it. At the same time, when we encounter a self-evident truth, we accept it readily, for Hashem has implanted in our hearts a natural tendency to recognize truth.
Thus, the belief in Hashem and His servant Moshe is universal among all classes of our people: the young and the old, the common people and the elite, and so on. Even among young Jewish children, who cannot yet tell good from bad, we find many who are God-fearing and continually engaged in Torah and mitzvos; fear of Hashem can be seen on their faces as part of their nature.
Let us consider how our commentators explain Tehillim Chapter 19. The chapter begins by saying that “the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament tells of His handiwork.” After elaborating on this statement, the chapter goes on to speak of the Torah: “The Torah of Hashem is perfect, restoring the soul. The testimony of Hashem is trustworthy, making the simple one wise.” The chapter begins by praising the sun, and then proceeds to praise the Torah. The sun and the Torah are our steadfast luminaries. Just as the sun was created to shine light on the earth for the benefit of our bodies, so, too, the precious Torah was given to us to shine light on our souls and open the eyes of our intellect. And just as our physical eyes are receptive to light, so, too, our intellect is geared to absorb wisdom. And the Torah is the fountain of wisdom, from which we draw counsel for dealing with all the various challenges of life. One who safeguards the Torah and observes its dictates will proceed through life securely, without stumbling. We find wise counsel in great measure in the homiletical teachings of the Sages, which provide guidance in dealing with all kinds of illnesses and difficulties.
Moreover, the Torah contains comprehensive information on nature of all creatures: how they are conceived and born, how they move from place to place, what agitates them and what calms them, and so on. Some of this information is presented in Scriptural passages devoted to these topics, while some is presented incidentally in metaphorical statements. One example of the second type is found in Tehillim 42:2: “As the deer longs for brooks of water, so my soul longs for you, my God.” Another example is found in Mishlei 17:12: “Better for a man to encounter a bear bereft of its offspring than a fool in his foolishness.” Likewise, the Torah contains information on all other creations, both those under the sun and those above it, without exception. Regarding every creation, the Torah provides information about its nature and behavior, its beginning, middle, and end, its genesis and its purpose, what benefits it and what damages it, its source, its appointed time, and where it is from and where it is going.
David Zucker, Site Administrator

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