50. Ra'aya Meheimna (the Faithful Shepherd). WE SHOULD also INTERPRET THE WORDS: "The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar..." (Vayikra 6:6). This is the Torah CALLED 'FIRE,' of which it says: "'Is not My word like a fire?' says Hashem" (Yirmeyah 23:29), AS IT SHOULD ALWAYS SHINE UPON THE ALTAR, WHICH IS MALCHUT. "It shall never go out" (Vayikra 6:6); surely THE FIRE OF THE TORAH SHALL NOT GO OUT, since a transgression does not put out the Torah. But a transgression puts out a precept, and he who commits a transgression puts out a precept, which is CALLED 'a candle.' He thus puts out his candle from his own body, NAMELY, THE SOUL THAT IS CALLED 'A CANDLE,' of which it says: "A man's soul is the candle of Hashem" (Mishlei 20:27). It is extinction indeed, for the body remains in darkness. He who causes the Shechinah to go away from Her abode THROUGH HIS ACTIONS, brings about extinction and darkness into that place. A transgression is darkness, "and a handmaid that is heir to her mistress," (Mishlei 30:23) FOR A TRANSGRESSION THAT IS A HANDMAID AND DARKNESS INHERITS THE PLACE OF THE MISTRESS, THE SHECHINAH, WHICH WAS REMOVED FROM HER PLACE.
51. Regarding the ascension of a precept on the side of the common people, WHO ARE WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE OF THE TORAH - for them A TRANSGRESSION extinguishes a precept. The words: "And the wicked shall be silent in darkness," (I Shmuel 2:9) are fulfilled in them. As for the sages of the Torah, THEIR PRECEPT is never extinguished because they shine upon the precept with several mysteries of the Torah. For light is called 'a secret,' Raz, NAMELY THE NUMERICAL VALUE OF LIGHT (HEB. OR) - 207 - WHICH ALLUDES TO THE SECRETS OF THE TORAH BEING LIGHTS. The precepts of the Torah, which the sages observe, are considered in them to be just like the Torah. They will never be extinguished, night or day, because they observe in relation to her: "But you shall meditate therein day and night" (Yehoshua 1:8).