28 Av 5781 / Friday, August 06, 2021 | Torah Reading: Re'eh
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Likutei Halachot: Learning for the Wrong Reasons    

Likutei Halachot: Learning for the Wrong Reasons

All dissension arises from the opposition that derives from learning Torah shelo lishmah/with ulterior motives,


Translated by Rabbi Dov Grant

Excerpts from Likutei Halachot, by Rebbe Natan of Breslev
All dissension arises from the opposition that derives from learning Torah shelo lishmah/with ulterior motives, for the prospect of money and honor, viewed merely from the aspect of "the left". This gives its learners the capability to "speak falsehood about a tzaddik, with arrogance and contempt" (Tehillim 31:19) as Rebbe Nachman explains (Likutei Moharan I 12). 
Consequently, Ya'acov exerted himself to extract wealth specifically from Lavan - for the fall of opponents and contenders, which correspond to Lavan, occurs through the wealth that derives from the "left" of the Torah. Unfortunately, due to our many sins, the sitra achara/incorporation of evil forces gets the upper hand in every single generation, allowing the opponents that correspond to Lavan to draw the wealth to them. Most wealth is under their control since they are the embodiment of the concept of the "left", where wealth lies.
In reality, however, the wealth and livelihood of the entire world stem only from the concept of Ya'acov, the Man of Truth – as reflected in the verse "Ya'acov was a perfect man" – the true tzaddik that learns Torah lishmah (with no ulterior motives), whose Torah is pure and unadulterated. It is only for the good of the general populace that he turns almost imperceptibly to the shelo lishmah, in order to draw livelihood and wealth to the world. There, at the root of the supply of wealth which the true tzaddik draws upon, wealth is pure and clean from the grasp of the sitra achara.
The opposite is true, however, when the unfitting, insincere lamdan (sharp Oral Law scholar) learns the Torah of the holy rabbis of the Mishnah, only turning to the "left" where the shelo lishmah is blemished greatly. When he learns, merely for self aggrandizement and contentiousness, to be called "Rebbe" or "Rav" only for wealth and money, utilizing the Torah as "a crown for his personal usage" – then wealth descends and drops to the sitra achara, G-d forbid. Wealth then generally ends up with the "outsiders" that represent the "left", the sitra achara of the non-Jewish world and resha'im.
All this stems from Adam's sin through his wife Chavah and the advice of ha'nachash ha'kadmoni (the primordial snake), who the Torah describes as "aroom mi'ko/ (more cunning) than all the beasts of the field" – where the description of aroom relates to Lavan the Arami/Aramean. He first enticed Chavah, who represents an aspect of the Oral Law, which corresponds to Rachel and the concept of the "G-d fearing woman" (Proverbs 31). This is the aspect of Chavah that corresponds to speech, relating to the Oral Law and "night after night speaks wisdom" (Tehillim 19). And the ram'ai/deceitful one, the snake, incited her "to reveal aspects of the Torah, not in accord with halachah", to permit eating from the Tree of Good and Evil. Thus it states (Bereishis 3:4): "You will surely not die", whereupon he pushed her until she touched the tree, learning and teaching her a deceitful binyan av (comparative cases) halachic argument: "Just as touching doesn't carry the death penalty, so it is with eating".
Now we already know clearly that all wealth is drawn via the woman. The woman is conceptually related to the left relative to her husband (who corresponds to the right) and it is there that wealth lies – and one must "subsume the left within the right" in order to rectify everything, as is known. Therefore the tzaddik clarifies and elevates all the halachos/laws that are the Oral Law to the aspect of chibbuk, nishuk and zivvug (embracing, kissing and joining/marriage partner - kabbalistic concepts of divine closeness reflected in aspects of the marital relationship), as explained elsewhere (L.M. I 12). All the unifications of the true tzaddikim and their physical relations are drawn from there, corresponding to the zivvug of Ya'acov and Rachel and the nishukin/kisses concept of "Ya'acov kissed Rachel".
Now, regarding someone that is not a tzaddik and is inclined to physical desires – according to the degree of his inclination, so is his corresponding drop to the "left". Through this, all his Torah learning is also to the "left". Consequently, his entire rectification is only through the great and true tzaddik that corresponds to Ya'acov, who is pure and totally holy from this desire: Whether with his zivvug or whether with his Torah study – his entire intention is only for the sake of heaven, to arouse Supernal zivvugin and nishukin, as in "Ya'acov kissed Rachel".
However, the snake incited Chavah to the point of inciting Man, turning him away and falling to the "left", to physical desire. Thus Chazal inform us that Adam caused a sexual blemish that resulted in him revealing Torah "not in accord with halachah", corresponding to eating from the tree of Good and Evil. That's why the curse was specifically in livelihood, as it states (3:17) "You shall eat in toil", because the main blemish reaches livelihood that is drawn from the concept of "left". (Hilchos Reishis Ha'geiz 5:3)
Rabbi Dov Grant has his own website at http://likuteihalachos.blogspot.com. You may contact him at ravdgrant@gmail.com.

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