I will attempt to translate the Hebrew introduction I composed as an illumination of my goals in this project of torah explanation and commentary. I am trying to do this in English, and if I succeed, I suspect that this work will carry on for generations to come. Will God be with me? Only he can supply the answers.
Before I even start to address the beginning stories of creation and world formation, I would like to, in order to strengthen the intellectual nature of this piece, to establish certain anecdotes to aid the audience in understanding the conception of my chosen way of speech. To reach my desired destination and achieve proper authenticity in my methods, I will immerse myself in the Torah text.
With all due respect, I see truth as a general rule for my life – and it is beyond my imagination to know that hundreds, thousands of people smarter than I, more educated than I, have lectured on these topics before. These talented giants, through the work of others have the unique ability to discuss and question the Torah's hidden secrets and hints.
The letter P, “Pshat”, can be translated into “literal”, or “meaning”. The letter R, “Remes”, means “hint”, or “clue.” The letter D, “Drash”, can be translated to “preach”, or “interpret”. The letter S, “Sod” of the PARDES, means “secret”. Our godfathers through the generations have taught us that, for example, if the Pshat portion of the PARDES is not clear enough, go focus on the Remes, for maybe you can find your answers through the hints and suggestions in the text. If that is not satisfactory, you can then move to the Drash to learn knowledge of the way they demanded and preached to people. Then, if all these methods still do not lead you to your objective, you can delve into the Sod – the secrets of the Torah – the last letter of PARDES.
These are the methods and key points for one to observe, for one to see, for one to follow holily. Personally, I lay my hands and my soul on this magical method as the main and absolute key to understand the Torah.
Lastly, in my humble opinion, I would like to warn that when people finally understand the torah, they'll stop studying her. The Torah was created, formed, and given to us from God's archives and warehouses. Through Moses and through God's many maneuvers through the generations, we human beings inherited the Torah, to live and work through her.
Many things may have happened to the Torah text through the years – a fact that I honestly believe. My recommendation, however, is not to burrow into such details. Instead, accept the matter and the text as is, and try to understand, embrace, and develop the knowledge that can be gained by researching and delving into what the Torah can tell us of our lives. The Torah text, in front of a typical person who can read the text in Hebrew and has an average understanding of the matter, will be able to discover every aspect of the Torah that he desires to be fulfilled in his own individual way. However, it is very difficult for this person to maintain his individual way of understanding the torah without succumbing to other interpretations. In keeping to his own interpretations, that person will soon find himself having created a new Torah of his own to worship. On the other hand, if that person doesn't study and understand the Torah in his own individual way, he will be unable to teach others of his findings. Furthermore, it will be impossible to produce spiritual benefits on any level. Moreover, if he decides to sit back and just accept everything others put in front of him without being truly involved in the process… well, I would not want to be that person, as I'm sure none of you would either. I hope you take this idea to heart, because it will serve as bright candlelight illuminating your way along the narrow path towards understanding the Torah.
I, your faithful servant, study the Torah by immersing myself in it through different ideas and approaches for understanding the material. I am above none other – all I am asking to do is to take the holy Torah, that sublime instruction, that marvelous narrative, that piece of the holy nation's religious history that contains everything, all I am asking to do is to illuminate the text and its meaning, the theology of the holy Hebrew, the artistic linguistic methods, and lastly the Torah's body language.
The Torah, as is, is the most sable, postured, and authentic document ever created. The few changes she has undergone is due to the different humans that have passed down the work from generation to generation – something that is in perpetual motion. During the last 3500 years humans have lived and died, yet the Torah exists, unharmed, and with every slight change we see human life become more and more entwined in it. In other words, we humans shadow the Torah. She is immortal. She is deathless. Each generation possesses its own visions, its own ideas in lecturing about the Torah. Each generation carefully surrounds themselves with new and unique methods of study and research, and the results of such work are reflected in the lectures, and carry certain parameters for us to mold ourselves to. Each generation was successful in passing on its vision to the next generation, both enriching the Torah, and providing more questions to be answered from it. This is the work of a lifetime. In my humble opinion, the Torah should be seen as a book of history – she is the mirror of our lives. The book contains stories, poetry, songs, melodies – everything humans need to live. Moreover, the way the text is written, as it appears in the book, challenges the learner to seek the truth, and now to perfectly interpret and apply it to our lives. The Torah commands us not only to merely obey her, but to accept her as is. In this way, the Torah does not necessarily need to explain anything in terms of its spirit, its destiny – we are the ones that need to validate our existence. It is our responsibility to admit the worth of our lives every day – something that has become automatic for us. We work to make money – to get a form of compensation that can easily be measured and felt.
In Torah study, the compensation is abstract, unmeasured, impossible to summarize, and comes with time. Furthermore, this compensation is a collection of knowledge gathered only with experience – information that assists an individual by merging with him – becoming one in facing the life put forth for you by God. This I say with no malice or ill intent – for look how much beauty is in the Torah's way of life, look how interlaced the holy book is with the texture of our lives. There are so many advantages in learning and studying the Torah – my heart hurts when I think there are some that feel they have completed their Torah study. In my approach, I concentrate on the different layers and views of the Torah today.
We must look through the last 5,764 years and see how we can combine, integrate - understand the Torah entirely. I would like to closely examine the Hebrew Torah text as it is, and try to analyze, among other things, the vocabulary in order to find my answers.
Before we even begin to move to text manipulation based on certain assumptions, we must first ensure that we understand the basic Hebrew vocabulary. Through this sense of examination, it will be very necessary to find out how to minimize the collusion between need and necessity and the message preached by the Orthodox movement. Their ideas on how to absorb and understand the Torah must be taken and utilized with as little friction as possible. It is possible that many issues in my work that will be denominated as nonsense by the Orthodox group, but their concerns are valid and should be taken into very serious consideration, if for nothing else but equality and fairness. The way I've tried to outline and wave the torah text is based on a sense of how the Torah creates that special influence over every aspect of daily life. Picking up and understanding the Torah text is not an easy mission.
The way the holy Hebrew text appears is difficult, especially to those who must rely on translations. Thus, they naturally can miss the nuances and hints. It is moreover not easy to establish my theories as they are without proper exposure to the most critical criticism possible. Their vision is clear to me – I can practically touch them with my hands. They are waiting for me around the corner. The absolutism of their approach developed through hundreds of generations of orthodoxy. The way we see them today is with a negative overall connotation towards possible religious change – no such changes can take place in any form. Personally, I accept and respect these principles, and I do believe that none of us has the right to change the Torah Text – to take away even one letter or character to modify it to fit our needs. But to add to the Torah on selected issues – I admire and welcome anyone who does so. This is the Torah's legacy and lesson – the ability to manipulate herself to meet our needs. In this way, the Torah welcomes every one of us to be genuine in our relationship with her. Yet regardless of whether different approaches and ideas are accepted, the Torah still lives on, independent of the generosity or desires of her followers. We are subject to an ocean of rules, laws, theory, and explanations – in many ways and forms – about the holy text of the Torah. My approach, if it must be summarized into one sentence would be to look and examine the torah text and manners with modern, contemporary eyes, and with the dominant spirit that governs us. Whether we like it or not, we are surrounded by these influences. We live with that spirit, activating life within us, the spirit that gives us the important tools for our existence. In other words, we make money to stay alive – we invest such a tremendous amount of effort into this venture… yet all that effort can lead to nothing, leaving us poor. To understand this rat race, it is important to understand who is the boss… who holds the golden key to approve of our ventures. Life, wealth, happiness, health… the true, main source of these things? The Torah. If we immerse ourselves into her existence, read and digest her lessons over and over, we will finally understand what our modern life prevents us from attaining.
To clarify, I would claim that while we do not yet understand, through Torah study such diamonds can be achieved. Furthermore, you learn to accept life as is it, and everyone as a unit of soul, spirit, rationale, flesh, and blood.
May you be blessed by god.