Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “The Written Torah needs endless amplification, study, and clarification.”

The Written Torah comes to us with letters, which are the foundation stones, and with “Tagim,” or tiny increments or “crowns” to some of the letters, “Nekudot,” or marks indicating how the text should be read, and “Taamim,” or musical notes indicating how it should be chanted.

These additional elements indicate ever higher modes of grasping the meaning of the text.

Wondrous secrets are thus encompassed in both revealed and hidden features of Torah.

That is to say, the Written Torah needs endless amplification, study, and clarification.

There are infinite layers of meaning, depthless beauty, and new modes of experientially living that which was revealed.

In another context of thinking, the Written Torah can be likened to a seed that can grow into a whole organism, like a tree or a person.

For instance, the Torah injunction to keep the Sabbath holy was expanded into a huge volume of the Talmud, and on it many books were written.

Perhaps for this reason, among others, the Torah is called Chavah (Eve), the mother of all life.

It gives birth to much that in turn is the source of other products of mind and spirit.

There is also the factor of emergence from the hidden, the bringing forth after an embryonic period of gestation.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz