26 September 2018 | It is said in the Zohar that every new interpretation of Torah creates a new heaven. (p.188) That means, when people study the Torah together and bring out new meanings that fit their situation they had created a new reality, and indeed a new heaven for themselves.
Torah is a living presence, a tree of life. It is because the life project of the Jew is to make the Torah a way of living. “Loving your neighbor in a book is easy; loving your neighbor in life is hard.”
Torah can be interpreted in at four levels. (p.190) At pshat (literal level), the plain level, Torah is a book of stories and laws. That meaning is refined through remez (implicative level), implication. Then through midrash, “the level that the rabbis developed, used today in every synagogue” comes “a freedom the Torah gives us. The word drash means … Seek me out, take me, stretch me, make me real to you. If this stays a book, it’s dead. If you make it part of your life, it is a tree of life to all that will hold fast to it.”
At the deepest secret level – sod, Torah is really the name of G-d, repeated again and again. It’s made up into a narrative so people can understand it and teach it to children. But the reality is far deeper, and one spends a lifetime searching for the real meaning, the secret.