Parashat Noah — Fundamentals of The Torah's Inner Wisdom


Father and Son in Spiritual Manner

Father and son are called cause and effect. Every father is the cause of an outcome, which derives from it. It is customary to study ’cause' in the context of time. In other words, that cause is in the past, and the effect in the future or the present. But we'll study this as one body, as in one time. As Ba'al HaSulam writes (Talmud Eser Sfirot, part 7, Ohr Pnimi: 10) "Thus, the chain of time we find in this world, in terms of past and present, extends to us from the Elyonim, from the Pnimiut and Hitzoniut. The past extends from the Pnimiut, and the present extends from the Hitzoniut. The Hitzoniut is always apparent to us in this world, and the Pnimiut is hidden from us and does not serve us at all, but is destined to appear before us in the future, at Gmar Tikun."[i]

These wonderful words from Ba'al HaSulam open for us a new channel through which to consider the present and the future, the internal and the external, and cause and effect. That the connectio nbetween them is that of root and branch. All who wish to see the inner wisdom of the Torah must internalize this understanding throughout all of his study, as all study of the internality of the Torah seeks to rise above the dimension of time.

"All the wisdom in the world is valued only by the contribution it brings to the final purpose of creation" (Pri Chacham A, pp. 135).

Just so are our actions judged by the outcome that they bring. If an action goes against our purpose, it is judged as false. If it brings us closer to our purpose, it is judged as truth. As it is written (Exodus 23:7) "Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not; for I will not justify the wicked." If the chain of events following from man's actions bring him closer to his purpose, this man is called righteous. But if they distance him from his purpose, he is called wicked.

It is further said that our distinction between righteous and wicked is based on the way they relate to their actions. A wicked person strives for the material, external and ephemeral. Therefore, necessarily we will find in these things the outcome of his actions – i.e., material outcomes, earthly children. A righteous man, who seeks the purpose of his actions in the transcendent, so will he bring forth generations in the spiritual worlds. These are called righteous deeds.

We can further consider man, whether he is righteous or not, according to his generations. If his generations, meaning the outcomes of his actions, are directed towards giving pleasure to the Creator, then we understand that the root of this outcome, called 'father' is true. Therefore, this 'father' is righteous. However, if the outcomes are only in order to receive pleasure to himself, then we shall certainly say that this father was wicked.

Of course, we're not actually interested in Noach, who lived thousands of years ago, but rather in Noach who is inside us here and now. As we said above, our whole approach is to that which is beyond time. That at least should be our intent of our efforts, if we wish to touch on those aspects that transcend physical perception. In this way also we should train our

If man wishes to be just and righteous, meaning to justify his Creator, this he can do only by seeking to bring forth spiritual generations, that they may give pleasure to the Creator. So too, he must discover within himself worthy fathers for each of his actions. These are called internal reasons, which may lie dormant within him and which he needs to awaken so that they become the reasons for his actions – and not, heaven forbid external or material reasons. Materiality is the desire to receive to one's self. Often times, man does not fully consider the place from which his actions are generated. It is well for him to do so, as in this way he can properly judge his actions, and guide them.


Excerpt from Parashat Noah

"HaTorah, Ha'Adam, vemah sheBeineihem" ("Between Torah and Man"), Rav Adam Sinai.