"Moshiach is ready to come now-our part is to increase in acts of goodness and kindness" -The Rebbe

Monday, November 2, 2009

The inner—not hidden—dimension of Torah

The Rebbe taught:

As pnimiyus HaTorah [the “inner dimension” of Torah] is revealed more and more, the connection between the nigleh [“revealed”] and pnimiyus dimensions of Torah becomes more and more apparent, and the opposition of the opponents to Chassidus steadily diminishes.

Toras Menachem 5712, Vol. 5, p. 144.
Why is there a correlation between revealing the connection between nigleh and pnimiyus HaTorah and diminishing the opposition to Chassidus?

Perhaps this can be explained as follows. although they may admit on some level that it is a part of Torah, those who oppose the study of
Chassidus regard it, whether consciously or subconsciously, as separate and distant from the “traditional” Torah that they know, which they view as “normative”—the nigleh dimension of Torah.

However, when they are shown that the
pnimiyus is in fact the pnimiyus of the nigleh that they already know and value, they then come to accept the pnimiyus and even desire to study it.

Perhaps this can be tied to the fact that the Rebbe never uses the expressions that have traditionally been employed for “Jewish mysticism”—
sod, the secret dimension of Torah, or nistar, the hidden dimension of Torah.

This choice of language was clearly deliberate, as is evident from the following anecdote: Once a rabbi remarked to the Rebbe that he did not consider himself on the level to study the
nistar dimension of Torah. To this the Rebbe responded (and the Rebbe estimated that this rabbi would be able to accept this sharp rebuke): “The reason that this part of Torah is called
nistar—on account of which people refrain from studying it—is because of you. For if you would agree to study it, even the nistar dimension of Torah would become nigleh!” (Toras Menachem 5712, Vol. 4, p. 236)

So this appears to be the reason that the Rebbe prefers the expression
pnimiyus HaTorah. The other expressions imply that this dimension of Torah is supposed to be hidden, while the expression pnimiyus HaTorah implies the opposite—that this dimension is the pnimiyus of the nigleh. On the contrary, it is the nigleh that develops organically from the nistar, with which it is inextricably and symbiotically bound.

Although the other expressions were used by
gedolei Yisroel [great Torah scholars], these expressions were appropriate in past times when this part of Torah was supposed to be hidden. Nowadays, however, when we have been charged with the mission of “disseminating the wellsprings [of Chassidus] outward,” the Rebbe has revealed to us that the appropriate term to use is pnimiyus HaTorah.

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