Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “To engage in Torah.”

A great king ordered the manufacture of a special crown, providing for this purpose extremely valuable jewels and ornaments.

The master jeweler prepared the frame, but when it came to setting the priceless jewels in their place, he found his hands trembling with anxiety lest something go wrong.

He called a local rustic, who had no idea of the value of the jewels, to put them in place, and the task was done simply, without any excitement.

In this way too, an ordinary person who does not appreciate the terrible holiness of what he is doing may read Torah and even determine Halachic procedure and ritual.

There seems to be an odd paradox here.

The physical being of man, notwithstanding all its innate evil impulses and limited comprehension, is what makes it possible for him to engage in Torah.

In certain respects, it may be likened to the special protective mask that welders wear to avoid being blinded by the intense flame.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz