Let My People Know

"Grasping things in their smallest detail, but being unable to see much beyond them"

One person may have enormous intellectual powers and be able to manipulate great ideas with ease, and yet be unclear about what good and evil are in his life, while another person may be limited in his conceptual grasp, and yet be very precise and sure in his ability to discriminate between good and evil, right and wrong. 

Altogether our world is indeed like some backward pupil-grasping things in their smallest detail, but being unable to see much beyond them. 

Even the relations between good and evil, holy and unholy, are very problematic for most men. 

True, this is also the result of the Divine hiddenness. 

However, since the Torah teaches us through the vehicle of this world, as it were, cloaked and masked, liberation is attained only by intensifying the relationship between man, his soul, and the mitzvah. 

Where this relationship is lacking, or where it is a negative relationship, the Torah remains just another book which, even if it is considered holy, does not necessarily belong to higher worlds. 

It has no "wings."
Without any means of taking off from the earth, for as long as the thought of the Torah remains human, the Torah does not have any more effect on one than anything else does in the world – whether book, object, or idea. 

In short, the spiritual consciousness, or the holy intention, is decisive. 

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From The Long Shorter Way by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz