Questions in the Bible

…to Everything

Our origin is in the Divine nothing. Our goal is to understand everything, as it says, "Those that seek God shall understand everything."

We come from wisdom, the father principle, and we go to understanding, the mother principle. Father, "the depth of the beginning," is "nothing" ("wisdom appears from nothing"; the "nothing," the source of every new insight, of every new flash of revealed wisdom, is the very essence of wisdom). Mother, "the depth of the end," is "everything" or "all" (the secret of the World to Come). Everything/all refers to the entirety of the 50 gates of understanding, including the 50th gate, the understanding of God and His ways. The word "everything/all" (כל) equals 50.

The Festival of Shavuot, commemorating the Giving of the Torah, is on the 50th day of the Omer, which begins on the second day of Passover. The first day of Passover, the day of the Exodus from Egypt (the birth of a new national entity, Israel, from a psychological state of servitude – the birth of something from nothing), is coming from nothing. The culmination, receiving the Torah at Sinai, is reaching our goal – everything.

Indeed, in the Giving of the Torah on Shavuot there is both the coming from nothing (wisdom) and the going to everything (understanding). The Torah is the primary manifestation in reality of God's infinite wisdom, as it is said, "The Torah comes from wisdom." God gives us the Torah from His wisdom, from Divine nothingness. We receive and internalize God's Torah with our faculty of understanding. This is an ongoing process that begins on Shavuot, proceeding to the ultimate understanding of everything (the "sense" of the month of Sivan is the sense of proceeding onward).

The process from nothing, wisdom, to everything, understanding, repeats itself several times throughout the year. After Shavuot there is a negative manifestation (which in the future will be transformed to ultimate good), the "Three Weeks" from the 17th of Tamuz to the 9th of Av. This is a period of mourning over the destruction of the Temple. It begins on the day that Moses broke the Tablets of the Covenant to the eyes of the people after the sin of the Golden Calf and culminates on the day that the people cried over the report of the spies that the inhabitants of the Land of Canaan (the Promised Land) were too strong to be conquered. These two events correspond to the (blemish of the) sense of sight (the sense of Tamuz) and the sense of hearing (the sense of Av), which in turn correspond to wisdom and understanding.

Then come the Ten Days of Repentance, beginning on Rosh Hashanah, corresponding to wisdom in the soul, and culmination on Yom Kippur, corresponding to understanding in the soul.

Then come the two festivals of Chanukah and Purim, the festival of oil, wisdom, and the festival of wine, understanding.

These four transitional periods, from wisdom to understanding, from nothing to everything (which themselves correspond to the four letters of God's essential Name, Havayah) comprise a total of 162 days in the year. In a normal year of 354 days (12 lunar months, alternating from 30 to 29 days) there remain 192 days, the value of "'in all', 'from all', 'all'" (בכל מכל כל), the three forms of "everything/all" that appear in reference to the three Patriarchs, from which the sages learn that they tasted in this world the taste of the World to Come, the ultimate experience of "everything/all," the place that we're going.

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