28 Tevet 5767, January 18, 2007

Pay attention, open up and allow HaShem to speak His Words of Living Torah directly into your mind and heart...
Torah & Sage 2
By HaRav Ariel Bar Tzadok. Copyright (C) 2007 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.

The Sage lives among us; he witnesses and partakes of the changes the people experience.  The living Torah within him guides his heart and mind to understanding the written Word in the way that is proper for the times.  In this way is the Sage able to apply Torah directives and laws to new situations with the self same authority as was in the beginning. 

The living Torah guides the Sage to revelations within the written Word.  The Written Torah and the Living Torah are one; they will always bare witness to one another and reinforce one another.  They can never contradict one another.  Any such claim that the Living Torah would violate or change the written Word is a sure falsehood worthy of immediate dismissal.

The Sage knows the Way of Torah, for the Living Torah reveals to his heart and mind the Way of Heaven.  The Sage reveals the Path that we are to follow in order to bring Heaven down to Earth.  This path is where we go and how we live; it is not only a law unto us, rather it is life itself, it is our nature.  We call this path, the way to go.  We call it in our language Halakha.

While one must know the Way of the Sage, it is also imperative to understand the limitations of the Sage.  For the living Torah embraced within the heart and mind of the Sage only speaks to the moment and to the circumstance.  Never does the living Torah prescribe directives as was in the beginning when Torah was first brought down to Earth.  The living Torah of the Sage is subjective; it has its applications and its limitations.  The living Torah of the Sage is therefore more often called tradition, in our language Minhag. And as we say, Minhag B’Yisrael, Torah Hi; the accepted tradition of the people becomes Torah.

Thus, we find that in different places, at different times, numerous Sages have taught various things in the Voice of Torah, none of which agrees with one another.  Some say a thing should be done this way, and others say the same thing should be done in an entirely different way.  Many become confused when they are faced with the various expressions, ways and apparent contradictions of the words of the Sages.  However, there is no contradiction and certainly no confusion, for those who walk with simplicity, embrace the living Torah, and know its truth.

The Way of the Sage is to speak living Torah for the moment and place.  The Sage is the first to know and admit this.  He always states his views beginning with the words, in my opinion.  Yet, his opinion is not just the thoughts of man, no, the opinions of the Sage, express the very living Torah within him.  Nonetheless, with all the vitality and authority of the Torah speaking from within him, the Sage knows well, the limitations of his remarks and directions.

Thus, the Sage speaks to the moment and the place.  Those who come to learn the words of the Sage must also recognize this subjective nature and enable the living Torah to flow, from the many mouths to the many circumstances. 

Thus, the Sage of here and now can look back upon the words of others Sages distant in time and space and hear the Voice of living Torah speaking through them.  Transcending their subjective opinion relative to that time and place, the Sage is able to extract the true essence of the wisdom of the other Sages and apply it to his moment, his place and his circumstances.  In this way does the Torah live and maintains its immortality and stability; always fluid but never changing.

The lion has roared, who will not fear.  The Voice of Heaven speaks through the mouth of the Sage of Living Torah, who will not pay heed?
Shalom, Ariel Bar Tzadok

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