multitude

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+ 251 The eyes of the soul of the multitudes are unable to endure the vision of the divine. Plato


+ 380 If I had engaged in politics, I should have perished long ago and done no good to either you or to myself. ...for the truth is that no man who goes to war with you or any other multitude, honestly struggling against the commission of unrighteouosness and wrong in the State, will save his life; he who will really fight for right, if he would live even for a little while, must have a private station and not a public one.


+ 217 The multitude of books is making us ignorant. Voltaire


+ 264 Whoever loves silver will not be sated with silver, and he who loves a multitude without increase-this too is vanity. Kohelet 5:9


+ 181 As for Me, behold My covenant is with you, and you shall become the father of a multitude of nations. Bereshit 17:4


+ 205 And your name shall no longer be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. Bereshit 17:5


+ 185 For the little that you had before me has increased in multitude, and the Lord blessed you upon my arrival; but now, when will I, too, provide something for my household? Bereshit 30:30


+ 179 And You said, I will surely do good with you, and I will make your seed as numerous as the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted because of multitude. Bereshit 32:13


+ 185 And God said to him, I am the Almighty God; be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a multitude of nations shall come into existence from you, and kings shall come forth from your loins. Bereshit 35:11


+ 151 And also, a great mixed multitude went up with them, and flocks and cattle, very much livestock. Shemot 12:38


+ 130 But the multitude among them began to have strong cravings. Then even the children of Israel once again began to cry, and they said, "Who will feed us meat? Bamidbar 11:4


+ 117 Torah for its Own Sake

What is the essence of learning Torah for its own sake?

In spiritual teachings, this is self-understood. Such teachings are openly concerned with coming close to God and elevation in sanctity. We are uplifted by these teachings.

But what about Torah texts on practical matters?

We must understand that these are all branches and garments of the light of divine honesty and justice. Within their details, we may find the divine soul of the perfection of the world: in life, in physicality and in spirit, in community and in the individual. Once we realize this, light gleams and descends into every detail. Once the feeling of our inner heart and mind is dedicated to the divine and inclusive illumination hidden in the multitude of these practical teachings, we come to an inner revelation within every detail, which shines in accordance with the capability of our individual spirit.

At times, our thought broadens and takes such clear form that we may even express and explicate the spark of divine light that we have understood in some of those details. And in this elevated state, we uplift all the details.

At other times, the matter is revealed only as a subtle glimmer in the chambers of our heart. Even then, however, this lifts our soul to an elevated state, through which all of life is rarified.

In regard to this latter manifestation, our sages stated: “Whoever learns Torah for its own sake merits many things.” And regarding the former inclusive illumination, they added: “And not only that, but the whole world is considered worthwhile for his sake.”

Orot Hatorah 2:2


+ 146 The Plain of Halachah and Aggadah

When we begin to take steps upon the plain of halachah and aggadah, a multitude beyond number of unions and harmonies beyond number is drawn out. The universes of heaven and earth, humanity of the flesh and humanity of ideas, with all the wealth hidden in each of them, are then unified. They bring each other to the wished?for action that leads toward complete growth and perfection.

This connection is nothing less than the revelation of the unity that had been hidden within them from the very beginning.

Whoever has not tasted the flavor of halachah has not tasted the flavor of Torah. And whoever has not tasted the flavor of aggadah has not tasted the flavor of­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ fear of sin.

Torah and fear of sin must always accompany one another. The service of Torah learning must be methodically revealed, in an active form, upon this unifying basis—one whose results are very great.

In truth, aggadah always contains a halachic essence. Similarly, halachah contains an inner agaddic content. In the main, the content of aggadah is found in the qualitative form of halachah. And the content of halachah is found in the quantitative form of aggadah. Even without any particular search or awareness, when we learn halachah, we are touched by its hidden content of aggadah; and, when we learn aggadah, we are touched by the pulse of halachah that is folded into the content of the aggadah.

However, not everyone has a properly keen awareness of these two streams—each of which is constantly filled with the content of the other. An alienation between these worlds, which are in essence so joined and twinned together, leads to an unhealthy separation in the nature of deep study and its broadening. It constricts these two areas—halachic and the aggadic—to a narrow arena.

We must clearly bring forth the meeting of these two forces in a rectified form, when each will make the other_s content exceedingly fragrant. Each will profoundly aid the other to bring forth its details and to shine a more brilliant light upon its own general appearance and upon the depth of its own internal logic and what that embraces. The scent of aggadah must make halachah fragrant, in a measure that is well?reasoned and fitting. And aggadah must be given its worth within a framework, with set laws and a clear, defined logic—like the form of a strengthened halachah. With this, the power and freshness of both will be multiplied.

The need that brought the masters of pilpul in previous generations to at times attempt to integrate aggadah and halachah welled forth from this demand for a unification of these forces, which so much act in unison.

We are already called upon to gather together talents and knowledge in order to clarify our learning and all the paths of our lives. In particular, the essence of halachic learning must be broad, composed of the various approaches of the early and later authorities who have grown to be so many over the generations—we very much need that depth and breadth. And we must approach with complete breadth the unity of the contents of halachah and aggadah—which includes the categories of logic and history, ethics and faith, feeling and civility.

And resting upon all of them is a pure phenomenon, one soaked with the dew of the life of the totality of the light of Torah, ready to rest like a beautiful ornament upon all those who learn Torah for its own sake, giving them a special sensitivity and satisfaction of the heart?inspiring joy of Torah.

Orot Hakodesh I, pp. 26?27


+ 127 Enriching the Community of Israel

One way of learning Torah for its own sake is [to do so in order] to enrich the Community of Israel with great spiritual powers.

The more that the light of Torah increases, so that with one heart the people of Israel appreciate and respect it, the more that the fundamental power of our nation gains strength and firmness.

And the individual soul of the person who brings about this universal blessing itself grows and gains glory, gains completion and beauty, with a multitude of fresh branches. And it sends forth a multitude of powerful roots, through which it takes root amidst the roots of the Tree of true life. To the degree of its purity and might, this soul recognizes and feels the depth of the pleasantness of the good taste of a fulfilled life.

“Your palate is like good wine. It goes directly to my beloved. It causes the lips of the sleeping to murmur” (Shir Hashirim 7:10).

Orot Hatorah 2:4