Who can receive Torah?

The dimensions of the Holy Ark in the Tabernacle are different than the other vessels. None of its measurements are whole numbers. We find that it was to be two and a half cubits long, one and a half cubits wide and one and a half cubits high. (Exodus 25:10).

The Ark housed the Tablets of the Ten Commandments as well as the Torah. The Mei HaShiloach teaches that we are only able to receive Torah if we feel incomplete and lacking. The person who lacks this humility and feels totally complete as they are cannot be a fit vessel to absorb Torah.

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3 Responses

  1. This statement about who can receive Torah is the most astounding I have heard in a very long time. The concept that one is capable of receiving Torah based on one’s recognition of one’s own incompleteness, is both illuminating and liberating. I find it illuminating because it points the way to Torah; and l find it liberating because it helps me understand that every individual person is in a different place, such that they will receive, or not , Torah in due time. In other words, there is only so much one can do in sharing about the wondrous works of Hashem; the rest we raise in prayer.

    1. I agree. I found this really powerful – this idea that Torah is about perfecting our character, but part of the path is realizing that we will never be perfect. Once we think we’re perfect, we have stepped off of G-d’s Path.

  2. This post is excellent. When we think we’re perfect, we have ironically stepped off of the Path of HaShem. Even though the goal of Torah is to “perfect” our service to G-d.

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