Let My People Know

"The Torah has so many locks and keys, and each key is individual, each doorway is one's own"


When studying the Talmud, it is all too apparent when one does not quite comprehend a passage, because the Talmud speaks about people, animals, the mundane affairs of men. 

A student can easily discern what he grasps and what he does not. 

But when studying the Kabbalah—which speaks about sefirot, angels, Divine lights, and vessels—the ability to distinguish one's own lack of understanding is far more difficult, so that the subtle danger of misconception is a sad nevitability accompanying such study. 

All of this is not intended to divert attention from the fact that the Torah, including the manifest and the hidden, is all one. 

To be sure, it is said that it has seventy faces. 

Indeed, some sources say it has six hundred thousand faces, because that is the number of souls who received the Torah when it was revealed, and each one has, to this day, his own understanding of it, his own orientation and point of view.

When we pray, saying "Give us our portion in your Torah," it is to let us have the merit and the good fortune to grasp our own private portion of the Torah. 

For the Torah has so many locks and keys, and each key is individual, each doorway is one's own. 

A person can be considered very fortunate if he finds the special key, the private door that is his to enter. 

Too often people just keep wandering about getting involved with other people's keys and doors; they make mistakes and get themselves confused and entangled in points of view not their own. 

The simplest solution is to be certain that one's connection to Torah exists. 

If one just lets attention be properly oriented, it is possible to feel that certain sentences in prayer, certain passages of Scripture, have special appeal to oneself; they speak to one. 

Many Jews will learn these passages by heart, becoming emotionally intimate with certain words that serve them as a doorway.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From On Being Free, p. 196, by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz